Sunday, February 28, 2010

I had SUCH a good time last week......

As you can see from the taken over entries of my blog, last week I spend in the company of 2 very wonderful ladies who just happen to be my good friends who live in South Dakota! We laughed, we created, we ate (oh my stars, I'm gonna be dreamin' about Johny's Turkey diner and sour cream mashed potatoes' for months!) and laughed some more! I can't wait til we get together again, fortunately I only have to wait 2 months!

In the mean time, I'm gearing up for my next show, which is this Saturday at LivingRoom Coffee house, in Valley Junction from 11-4pm. I've got bunches of new jewelry pieces so be sure to drop by!

I'm going to be mean though... I'm keeping the earrings shown below. I fell in love them as soon as I finished them... don't worry though, as soon as I get more of these disk beads I'll probably make another pair. The disks are from one of my favorite lampwork artists, Jodie Marshall. ( The disks are left over from my challenge project. I love love love these earrings, and I'm wearing them as I type this!

More pics coming in the next few days, showing items that I am able to part with so stay tuned!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010. This reporter stood her ground and staked the exclusive spa that Kat had checked into with her friends for BeadCon. On this day, the ladies got a slightly later start and made an excursion to an unlikely location; Hobby Lobby. To the delight of Kat, the hobby and craft store carried more items she could use than she'd realized. So she, Cathie and Sue exited the store with more ideas and inspiration.

Still unable to gain any photographic evidence of the women's beady obssession, this reporter followed them to a local BBQ joint where they celebrated Sue's birthday with family and friends. It all seemed quite inocuous, but was obviously a smoke screen to throw off the gullible. After dinner, the ladies returned to the spa and got to work once more with the addition of margaritas as evidenced by the tiny little drink umbrellas theat were found in the trash the following day.
Saturday was deemed a day of lock down while Kat and her minions plotted their beady plans.

This reporter only saw passing glances of the women as they came and went from the work room to the kitchen and back. Music was played, jewelry was made and plans for future BeadCons were obviously made. Using a long distance lens (since the guard dogs were still out and about), I was able to spot that Sue had made favors, sewn them on their matching bags and even come up with the next challenge.

When dinner time came, this reporter ceased the opportunity. The guard dogs were distracted by the catered meal, this time by Chef Johnnie. I made my way into the work shop clandestinely and took as many pictures as I deemed safe. A few pictures are fuzzy as the rabbit fur on my coat apears to have triggered one of the guard dogs and I was forced to run for my very life.

As with all good things, Bead Con ended with all three women exhausted, happy and delighted to have spent time with one another.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bead Con

Once again, yours truly, Roving Reporter Sue has been assigned to dog the footsteps of the dynamic and eclectic artist known as Kat. It seems that the infamous and exclusive BeadCon has rolled around once again and this time, the location is an all-inclusive day and bead spa in the city of Sioux Falls. The very same city where her cohorts, Sue and Cathie reside. Coincidence? I think not.

The initial clandestine meeting of the trio occurred in Omaha,NE. Kat met with Sue and Cathie and immediately the whirlwind of shopping, eating and giggling began. Since our Kat has many interests, the girls with an unwitting Matthew (the bead wrangler) in tow, hit (in succession), a bakery, a jewelry store, a bead store, a glass store, a second bead store. All this was interspersed with joyously random acts of hugging. With evening closing in, they headed to Sioux Falls.

Using a wide array of highly sensitive electronic equipment, we were surprised to hear Kat's dulcet tones accompanied by Matt's deeper baritone signing at the top of their lungs to the odd They Might Be Giants CD "Flood" while Cathie and Sue just shook their heads in bemusement. The evening ended rather late with all three friends exhausted but excited to be together once more.

Thursday, the ladies rose late, lunched at a trendy little out of the way grill after the lunch crowd. Thus sparing the wait staff the influx of crazed fans. Two more local bead shops were inspected and deemed 'lovely' before the ladies headed back home. Several solid hours of work on techniques and colors heretofore untested were accomplished with great success. The usual haggling and coveting of one another's bead stash also occurred during the evening while this reporter dodged the fierce guard dogs set out among the grounds, namely two miniature dachshunds named King and Amber.

The evening's meal was catered by the renowned German chef, Kent Tegels, who made an elegantly simple meal of garlic lemon chicken to the delight of the trio of beaders. After jet setting about the globe, such comfort food was an unexpected pleasure.

After a late night with some dangerous hedge hopping, your reporter was unable to get a satisfactory photograph of the artist, but has high hopes of better luck on Friday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SSSSSSSSSSSS! be very very quiet.....

Around 10am I'm leaving today for my South Dakota Trip to visit my good friends Sue & Cathie.. They are leaving around 930am. So If I've timed this right, there is no way they will see my post before I see them!

Why is this important?? Because each year we do a jewelry design challenge. Somebody buys kewl beads and materials and gifts them to the other 2... and then we each have to make something with the same items and we share that something the next get together. This year it was my turn to buy. I selected altra kewl face beads by Jodie Marshall ( and assorted spacers. The 2 pictures above show the same beads btw, each side is a different "mood".

I cannot wait to see what the ladies of SD come up with!!!! But here is what I came up with! I call him my mood worm ( Jerry calls it my Witchy-Worm) The hat is 20GA wrapped in 26 GA sterling silver. It's hard to see but I've got purple wire as "hair" tucked up under the hat. Between the lampwork spacers are vintage crystals naturally! I really like him, and he's a keeper!! Hopefully while at the Littleton Hotel and Beady Resort Spa I'll have computer privileges and I'll be able to get the Ladies wonderful pieces up ! Here are a couple of in progress shots.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Present for my Sister....

My sister at Christmas picked this cab out of my ever growing stock pile of fused glass and said "make me something!" I know she's gotten the package now, so I figure it's safe to post this! I made the glass cab using COE 96 white, dichro, dichro slide and a glass blower's shard. I wrapped with 21 GA square and 20 GA half-round, both in sterling. When I wrapped it, I tried to follow the curvy swirls of the glass. Her birthday is in May, but I didn't want to wait!! Love ya sis!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Change of Plans....

Well the Panera Bread show has been moved from tomorrow night to next Tuesday, Feb 16th due to weather. Let's hope next week we don't get snow, again.. course as a friend pointed out we have had bad weather almost every week since early December.. ugh!!

So hopefully I will see you all NEXT Tuesday at Panera for bagels and jewelry!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Heart Earrings for a Customer with a big heart..... Panera Bread on Tues, and getting ready for my trip

I had fun at the LivingRoom Coffee house show on Saturday! I hope to do it in March also.... more to come on this!

While there a long time friend and customer saw my Valentine's day offerings and wanted earrings along the lines of one of the pendants. Here's what I came up with, hope she likes them, should find out Tuesday.

Speaking of Tuesday, I'll be at Panera Bread at 4150 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines between 6-8pm demonstrating my artwork.

After Tuesday, I'm going to be scrambling to get ready for my trip to South Dakota! I can't wait!!! Sure, I spend most of my free time making jewelry when I visit Sue and Cathie -- just like home -- but I get to visit Sue and Cathie while I'm doing it!!!

Sooo... I 've got to decide what the pack for the trip and what projects to take with me. I wish I could import my intire 600 + square foot studio including the millions of beads, metals, tools, wire (and now a Kiln, glass tools and a growing assortment of glass!) with me, but that seems extreme for a 4 day trip. Besides, the hubby, with some justification, complains over more than a few bags worth. He is the kind soul that has to drag it down 2 flights of stairs and carry it to the car.

So I usually just take project boxes with me, and the smallest amount of "standard stuff" I can get away with. Now for most shows, I've streamed lined my "standards" into 1 medium sized rolling suitcase, 1 hard plastic case about 20 x 20 x 5 inches, and my handy pink and black tool bag. These 3 items allow me to adjust jewelry on the spot at shows, and a very limited range of redo's. For example, say someone wants a crystal ring in red, and the ring in stock is aqua... my red bag has a small stash of crystals just for such a request. Or if a bracelet is 2 small, I can either restring it larger with spacer beads or add chain.. the simple stuff. If someone wants one of my bead woven items or metalwork, then I take an order and mail it to them after the show. There is no way I can bring a torch with me, or lug 600 + types of seed beads!

When I visit the girls however, the standard, is, well -- higher. First of all, I bring ALL of my sterling and gold-filled wire with me. We always end up experimenting with wire when we all get together, so I just have to be prepared for anything wire. That also means more tools with me.... For example I do shows with 2 basic hammers. but I own 12 and counting. So I usually bring most of my hammers with me for a visit... as well as sheet metal, because you never know. I usually bring a greater assortment of other tools with me for the same reason.

And they usually have special requests... and I don't want to run out of stuff to make ( HA!) so I always bring more projects with me that I could possibly do.

And there is always a piece or 2 of jewelry I've made that I want to show them. And Presents of course.. we always give each other presents on general principle, plus to catch up on holidays and birthdays since the last time we got together. This time I have Christmas, just because and Sue's birthday. (which I still need to get wrapped)

I could go on and on... and if it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not! I'm sooo excited to be going and for 4 days this time, I could burst! I cannot wait!!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Busy = Happy! at least this time around.........

The next couple of weeks are so full of good, fun stuff, I'm getting excited just thinking about it! First this Saturday is the LivingRoom Coffee House art show from 10-4pm on main street Valley Junction, IA. (official address: 117 5th St, Valley Junction, IA) I know some of the other artists that will be showing there, so not only is it a good way to connect to my customers, but I get to hang with some of my favorite artsy friends!

Then Tuesday from 6-8 I'll be the featured artist at Panera Breads "Artist on the Rise" program! (4150 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, IA) I'll be selling and demonstrating jewelry techniques and eating bagels.

And in 2 weeks I have my Annual trip to visit my good friends from South Dakota: Sue and Cathie! It's going to be alittle different this year, instead of holding up in a hotel for the weekend, I'm going to visit them in South Dakota! I'll be staying at Cathie's house ( hence forth refereed to as the Littleton Hotel and Beady Spa, or LHBS for short) Jerry is driving me down to Omaha, and the ladies will kidnap me from there. We plan to stay the day in Omaha for fun, food and of course bead shopping, and then I'm going home with them for 4 days! WOOT!

Our annual Challenge piece is due then and of course I'm not done... ack!! I'm not panicking too much however, because the weekend before my trip Jerry and the Little Bit will be off in Iowa City gaming. I have the whole house to myself.. heck, I could exile the fur babies to the garage if I need too! I'm about 1/3 done ( I hope!) on the project, and having a weekend to myself I will be able to get in some extra glass fusing and pack supplies for the trip. I'll miss the DH and the kid, but it's nice to get time alone once in a while.

I cannot wait for my trip!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

General musings of a fat person.........

OK, I know I"m overweight... I have been since 6 years old. It's not going to change overnight. It took me 41 years to get into the hole; hopefully it won't take 41 years to get out. But if it does, it does.

I don't even really care about the weight. I don't think I"ll ever be skinny. I just want to feel better. I want to loose enough weight so my knees don't hurt as much and my ankles don't swell. I want to loose enough weight so that I fit better in booths at restaurants. I want to loose enough weight so I can at least *try* to keep up with the kid. I want to loose enough weight that maybe my asthma will ease up alittle. I want to loose weight because I'm scared if I don't I will stop moving.. period. You name it, it's probably a reason to loose weight.

I'll never be skinny, but I'm heavier right now than I've ever been, even when I was pregnant. I just want to feel BETTER.

Strangely enough, I like myself better at 41 than I probably ever have. Maybe that's why I"m looking at this again. ( Like most overweight folks, I've tried before-- again, again, again, and again. End result, I'm realllllly fat now) Not that I don't have issues, but I think I accept myself as a good person with some problems. Years past, I wouldn't have given myself the "good". The last couple of years some very bad things have happened, and it's given me a different perspective on life.

I know now that fat isn't the worst thing that can happen to a good person. I think perhaps I thought I was a bad person and being fat was a punishment. I was ashamed because everyone who saw me knew I had issues, because I was fat. It was both my sin and my punishment, all rolled into one. I wore a giant, scarlet "f" on my stomach for everyone to see.....

Everyone has problems. Fat people can't hide it, but look at a skinny person and I guarantee that 99% of them have something they feel bad about, guilty about, evil about, or just plain wrong.

So what if I'm fat? Don't like it, don't look. But I want to feel better. I deserve to feel healthier. Liking myself better means it's time to treat myself better.

For Christmas we got a Wii Fit for Jerry's ( that's the hubby) present. After some badgering on his part, and guilt on mine, I've been trying it this week. It's kind of fun, and we are sort of doing it as a family activity, which makes it nice. At this point, even if I do it for 5 minutes I'm ahead of the game.

I'm trying not to overwhelm myself this time. Diets/life style changes past, I jump in with both feet, with gusto and enough enthusiasm to choke a rattlesnake. I loose usually 20-30 lbs, feel much better.. and start to slack off. And the weight comes back, brings friends and we eat even more at the pity party.

So I'm just making little changes. The goal is to feel better, to walk easier, to encourage my "like myself" better impulses. I started with less caffeine. My sleep doctor recommended it, and I grumbled, but I just can't stay up til 2 in the morning and get to work the next day like I used to. Midnight Kat Productions is more like 9-11pm Productions anymore, at least if I have to get up early the next morning! Problem is even when I go to bed at a decent time, I can't always turn my head off and sleep. I didn't believe her when she said caffeine, especially in the evening, could be part of my problem.

I'm trying. I've started to drink only de-cafe Diet Coke after 8pm. End result? I think I'm sleeping better.. more importantly my overall pop consumption is down. I'm getting used to de-cafe, but I don't drink it like I drink regular pop. You know what else? I'm snacking way less at night. So that became my next goal... don't eat after 8pm. Most weekdays this isn't a problem. Weekends it's harder because I do stay up later.

But I'm refusing to beat myself up about it. If I have caffeine after 8pm, then I do. If I eat and it's 10 pm, then that means I ate after 10pm. It's not the end of the world and I will do better tomorrow, and if I don't for some reason, then I have the next day.

So now I'm trying to get back to exercising. About 3 years ago I was exercising almost every weekday for 30-45 minutes. I hurt my knee, so I couldn't exercise for awhile.. and then never got back to it. I feel like sometimes if I don't move more I"m going to grow roots. I don't want to be a breathing statue. So I'm trying to do at least 5 minutes a day of purposeful exercise. Walking, wii-ing, even just stretching. What ever, the important thing is making a commitment to do SOMETHING.. to make it a priority, at least for 5 minutes. Most days I either do 10-15 minutes, or nothing. Again, I'm trying not to feel bad when I miss. The point is I'm thinking about it, in a positive way, in a way that might create real change. I'm making it a conscious decision everyday.

When I get to where I'm doing it almost everyday, then I'll increase the time. If it takes 6 months, that's OK. I don't think it will, but if it does it does. No more wailing in guilt and negative feelings. I'm going to take life as it is.

I think I feel better already. Maybe just a tad less achy, maybe it's just the mental lift of moving in a forward direction.

I'm also feeling much more grateful than ever before for all the good things in my life. My daughter, my husband, my family and friends, and my art. I think without making art jewelry all these years... well, I'm just glad I found the creative outlet when I did.

Don't get me wrong, I still have bad days. Had one today.... BUT.....

Life is short. Enjoy it. Enjoy yourself. Love yourself. Life is to short to hate yourself for not being perfect. It's probably funner not being perfect anyway.