Monday, November 24, 2008

Winding down the AOI Cards

One more Autumnal One Image Card in the Mail!!! Sometimes these are taking more than one sitting to come together. Sometimes I just put the unfinished card up where I can see it and let it work on my subconscious for a few hours. S-L-O-W-L-Y they are coming together, Pam's "Mon Amie" went into the mail last week, Claudia's "Wild" went into the mail today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

AOI Again!

Susan Brown's "Birches" came off the workbench last nite. I am bound and determined to get these done! I really enjoy the process, but I am running out of to move on to other pressing projects! However, for this I tried my new "puffy paint" in white for the snow on the little evergreen in front of the house and the santa hat on the bun. I loved the way the birch trees came out! I will definitely use this background stamp again and again!

Monday, November 10, 2008

one more Autumnal

One more Autumnal one image card out the door and in the mail! This is Terry Owenby's "Flora" card with a little "fauna" on the front. Although these last cards are hard to start - I think my inspiration meter is on "empty"! - Once I get going, it usually comes together. I kind of have a theme running through all the cards, I try to put a phrase on it that ends up with a little quirky take on the subject. Sometimes it works better than others! :-O For this one, which started with some kind of stamp on it, I added a postcard stamp with the fern as part of the stamp. Kind of like an ephemera, if that makes any sense! So this made me think of adding some other plant stamps, one which I used some of my new (to me) flocking powders to give it a different texture. It wasn't until I was completely done that the word "flora" came to me.

I have added my little funny bunny stamp to each card (I *AM* Silver Rabbit Studio, you know!), and sometimes the bunny just has to comment! So he has to counter with "fauna" on the front. LOL He does sometimes take on a life of his own, like a character in a book! So here is the finished back of Terry Owenby's card, the original card I received, and finally, the bun with his "fauna" comment.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Okay, this is Neal's Van. Neal passed away on Feb. 11th, 08 from side effects of lung and bone cancer (lung embolism, to be specific). IF YOU SMOKE, STOP NOW! It is an ugly and brutal way to die. Well, we have been trying to sell this ever since March, probably, and FINALLY, someone has bought it! What a relief! Actually I am sad to see it go because it is one of the things my brother and I shared - I have the same van, except it is a Grand Caravan instead of the Caravan model. After I got my van, he found this one and bought it. It was fun to know he had bought basically the same thing, and we joked about it several times. He didn't get to drive it much, though, because exactly a year ago on the 6th, he had called me to say his legs were numb, and he never actually walked again as that really was the start of the rapid downward spiral of his health.
I don't like to post negative things on the blog, but this is a bit of my life, and the journey. If you smoke and this makes you think about stopping, I have done my job. You can't be prepared for the total disruption of your life and that of your loved ones who must help you when cancer strikes. So do yourself and your loved ones a favor and stop smoking least prevent this kind of death. There is no one in the health care system who really has your best interests in mind - it is all about the money. From the doctors to the nursing homes, hospice care, it is all about how much they can charge the health insurance and get away with it. We had to fight every day to even get them to take Neal's temperature at the nursing home. Even the Doctor insisted that Neal wanted to die. They changed the nurses regularly so no one nurse could follow his downward progress and raise the alarm when there was a problem. I could go on and on.
I hope and pray that the new administration will find a way to move the focus on healthcare from the almighty dollar to the real care of human beings.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2 more birthdays

Two more birthday cards for Gem Cutters - Eastern Influences Happy Birthday - a vintage background stamp that I embossed in clear on Naturals Ivory cardstock, then used a sponge dauber to make the background perfect plum. Rose red accents with the large oval punch and ribbon over top of a DCWV Fall stack paper compliment the background, Happy Birthday from On Your Birthday set and the flower from Eastern Influences put the final touch on this pretty "girly" card!
Another vintage set Basket Full of Fun make up most of the images, with the pumpkins from Loads of Love Accessories for the third fall basket. Another one of my favorite DSWV papers and Pumpkin Pie Grosgrain Ribbon finish off birthday card #2.
I've used Luminarte' water colors for both cards, which have such a sparkly look! I've been using them on the Autumnal One Image swap and just can't stop now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This semester I taught 4 classes at CCBC (Community College Baltimore County), at their Catonsville Campus. There were two 4-week soldering classes (back to back), a lampwork class over a weekend and a 1-day class for chainmaille. I love teaching all these classes, but the load was a little much with all the OTHER classes I was teaching/taking in Oct and Nov! I am glad that those are all over now and I can concentrate on the metalsmithing class I am TAKING towards my jewelry certificate at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art). Students made some great projects this semester - a pic of the Continuing Soldering class is below:
One student is missing from the photo, but they all made at least one ring and a set a stone in either a pendant or as a ring.
This is the second time for Christina in my continuing soldering class, and she is a little workhorse! These are 3 of the 5 rings she made - a sterling twisted wire ring, a lovely petrified palmwood cab set as a ring, and a simple textured band.

Here are the other three pendant settings folks made in the class. On the left, Joann set a tigeriron cab, in the center a lovely imperial jasper by Erica, and on the right, a bright rhodonite cab by Sandy. Everyone should be VERY proud of their fabulous work!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Autumnal One Image - over the hump

Another surge for the One-Image swap - 5 more cards in the mail and I am over the "hump"!
Plum Crazy "Mankind discovers the Wheel...Stamp" & Original Image

Peggy Gatto "Art Gives you Wings - FLY" & Original Image
Marlene Elrod "Big Bird" & Original Image
Lori Nowak "Bonjour" & Original Image

Kathy Martin "Party" & Original Image

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2 more AOI Cards and J1 ends

Inspiration continues - I just can't stop now! Here are two more cards and their original images:

Deborah Garcia Eat Cake & Original

Kelly Dunwoody 2 SK8 and Original

Finally, my Jewelry 1 class had their last session. Some folks brought back their projects to display, and I did finally remember to get a group shot before EVERYONE had left!
We did 5 projects this session and they are all pictured here:
Pierced Copper Cuff

Pierced Copper Cuff, Silver twisty ring, Textured and dapped earrings, Sterling silver jump ring bracelet, and...
A beautiful sterling silver pendant setting for a green agate cab.
Congrats to everyone who finished the class! There were many beautiful pieces of jewelry completed!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumn One-Image Swap

Finally, FINALLY I am nearing the end of my teaching frenzy (marathon)! The class scheduled for Sunday was cancelled due to low enrollment (3rd time out of 4 for this location....think there is a message in this?) so....I had Sunday FREEEEEE to play! (catchup, that is). Anyway the Autumn one image swap cards have been patiently waiting for my attention, so I obliged! Actually this is WAYYYY out of my comfort range/experience, but in August I was blissfully free of commitments and signed up! I subsequently stamped a single image on 20 cards (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") and sent them off to Red Dog Scott for shuffling into 20 "decks" of cards THEN sent along to the 20 participants. I received my group and YIKES - it is a CHALLENGE! I have received 4 of my cards back with different treatments, all VERY ARTSY - thank you my very creative sister participants! (photos to come soon...) So with no further ado, I am posting the 4 cards I finished this weekend:

Louella DeMers (Run Spot) Michele Jackson (Latte')

Paulette (Omm) Roberta Wax (Got Carrots?)
I liked these so much I reeeeeeeally had a hard time putting them in the mail! I hope I am as inspired for the rest :-O!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


What the HECK is that picture on your profile???? ok, it is an Aye-Aye! Some day I might be brave enough to post my own photo here, but the expression on this little guy's face is pretty much how I feel right now! I do LOVE animals - and have links on my desktop to many of the zoos with webcams - started with the Pandas, then elephants, giraffes - it is all just so facinating! When I need a moment to relax - I just click on one of the links and voila - a fabu animal to watch!
Along the way I found the Elephant Sanctuary. This is one truly worthy non-profit to donate to. Check out these incredible elephants being able to roam and be themselves in this wonderful Tennassee sanctuary. You will be addicted in no time! If you click on the picture, you will be linked to this great webcam/site!

This is Lun Lun and her cub, I think at the National Zoo... ( ) how cute is that photo! Two other US zoos have panda cams, San Diego ( ) and Atlanta, who has a new panda cub and will have their pandacam up 24/7 until December ( ). Check out these links and you will be just as hooked as I am!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Carlisle School of Glass

Sooooo many things to post about and soooooo little time! I can't believe it has been over a month since I last blogged! Yikes!

This past weekend was the 3rd Annual Retreat for SGB-MA (Society of Glass Bead Makers - Mid-Atlantic Division) at the fun-fun-fun Carlisle School of Glass in Millville NJ.

It was my second time attending and I hope to continue to attend all the rest.

This pic I fondly call "annealers row" as we filled no less than 4 annealing ovens to the brim, over and over!

Last year's retreat was bitter-sweet for me because it marked the beginning of the downward spiral for my brother in his fight with cancer. He had called me on Sunday morning to say his legs were numb and from that point on, he never did get back on his feet. A very sad memory.

Below are pics of this year's group, I think there were 10 of us all together. We made lots of beads, gabbed, shared tools and materials, gabbed some more, had some great meals, and, did I say... Gabbed?
Did I mention that we had some great food? This was at "Fresh" for breakfast on Sunday, when we managed to stuff even more food in after our fabulous dinner at "Library IV" Sat nite. What were we thinking?!!
On the left (front to back), Gail, Joy, Jan and Nolly...On the right, Lisa, Pat, Debby, LJ and (Little) Lisa. Check out the Sunday French Toast Special - yes there really is French Toast under that HUGE mound of Fruit and Whipped Cream!

And finally, the fruits of my labor - nearly forty new beads, hot off the press! Thank you Lisa for the great murini lesson - I love it! (see the blue & white bead bottom left & ivory/black bead bottom center), Joy's baking soda bubbles (green bead upper left), a successful iris gold frit and silver leaf bead from "The Flow" magazine (big dot lavender bead top center), and an odd-shaped (like it tho) attempt at pushing colors inside the bead with a floral "frog" no less (thank you Barry & Lisa) bottom right. I am appalled that I only took pictures of MY beads - because everyone had SPECTACULAR stuff! Yeesh! Next year we will have to have our own little bead swap so I can take home real treasures from this retreat!