Monday, December 26, 2011

Wow have I neglected my blog!

First I blamed it on the holidays, which was somewhat true because I worked on presents, crocheted ornaments and shopping by computer.  Then I blamed it on not having much to say, also somewhat true, didn't want to give away what I'd made for gifts.  Then, lastly, I blamed it on not having taken pictures to share, the lamest excuse because I just got a new camera for me, and I don't have to wait any longer for hubby to take pix.  So here it is, complete with a couple of pics of the new ornaments, and hopefully, an end to blatant procrastination!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Sunday for Fun

Well my last post was kind of gloomy, so I decided to post today to lighten things up a little.  I got a new camera, a little Canon Power Shot, 16mp.  I have never had my own digital camera, so this is a first (scary) adventure.  So be gentle with me, I'll get better at this, LOL!  I just got tired of bugging my hubby every time I wanted photos, and his vision is problematic at best.  So I took a few photos of my viking knit chains, and wanted to share them here!  Hope you all enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday blues

So, yesterday I watched Camelot, always an emotional movie for me, and the upheaval seems to have lingered on through today.  For those of you who might not understand my love of this movie, with all of its inherent flaws, including seemingly endless closeups of the interior of Vanessa Redgrave's nose, the opening crotch shot of Franco Nero as Lancelot, and importantly, the cheesy Hollywood casting.  Broadway had Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton, the movie had the two mentioned above, with wild man Richard Harris (in a lot of 60's blue eye shadow and smudgy eyeliner) as Arthur.  Now, I love Redgrave and Harris in this movie, but Franco Nero???? Geez, was he the only guy on the planet for the job?  And David Hemmings as Mordred, was Malcolm McDowell sick?

Anyway, I digress, the movie is emotional for me because my brother and I sat through it twice one Christmas day at the age of 15 and 6 respectively, to escape a drunken father and a very abusive stepmother.  It gave me sanctuary, reminded me of our murdered President whom I adored, and will always be a very important movie to me.  You know, how songs are "our song"?  This is "my movie".

So, to fight the weepies, I worked on viking knit all day, and will publish a pic of the first one when I get the end crimps, claps and pendant on.  Sometimes art is creative, sometimes inspired and sometimes escape.  I love getting lost in art like I was lost all those years ago in our little neighborhood theater, imagining there were noble knights, tables round, goodly kings, true romance and that I could be Guinevere, if only for a day.

Camelot, Vanessa Redgrave 1967 Warner

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sari ribbon???

I sent my name in, my blog address, and purchased the ribbon, but I am unsure of my status in tomorrow's Sari Ribbon Blog Hop.  Sooooo, I'm just going to post the pic anyway, and leave the rest to the universe!  I never got any e-mail info, so I can't send you on to another blog, but I wish everyone well!  I didn't realize it until tonight, because first, I had surgery, then my daughter came to visit, and then I just finished my piece in a panic.  But it turns out, there was some follow up missing on my part, so, it is what it is!

Happy news!  The hop list is below, and I am on it!  So, hello happy hoppers, and I will be surfing around to all of you!

Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop

Vickie Wills

Susan Kennedy

Michelle Mach

Michelle Lee Hardy 

Ruth Crawford

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

Diana P. 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy 

Connie Rios-Relyea 

Jennifer Justman    

Deb Davis

Cathie Carroll

Rosemary Cowit

Georgene Lockwood

Cathy Buckley

Harry Wood

Sonya Stille 

Mary Deis

Heather Goldsmith

Susan Rouleau

Terry Matusyk

Pam Chesbro

Mary Shannon Hicks

Janice Everett


Kristina Johansson, Maneki 

Kris Binsfeld



Catherine Jeltes


Sharon Palac 

Deb Beechy 

Jean Yates

Patrice Pfeiffer 

Dorcas Midkiff

Lynn Perry Bennett

Linzi Alford


Cynthia Wainscott
Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
Alice Craddick
B'sue Boutiques Creative Group

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thanks, Michelle!

Just wanted to say thanks to all the Hop Team, but especially to Michelle Mach.  I have enjoyed the two hops I have been privileged to participate in, and appreciate your time and effort in organizing, promoting and being general mother to us all throughout!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hop, hop, hop!

Well, here it is!  My crazy pics of my blog piece, and my apologies in advance.  I really, really got carried away with captions and clip art, but I love Autumn, I love being whimsical, and I loved this project!  I really wish the pix showed how 3D the knot hole is, but, here it is anyway.

To check out the other hoppers, use these links and ENJOY!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Boo Beads


Tell Your Girlfriends

Beading Arts

Cynth's Blog

Morning Glory Beading

Simply Gorgeous

As I Bead It

SilverRose Designs

We Can Make That at Home

Wild Roses and Blackberries

Laurel Moon Jewelry & Beads

Lutka & Co

Lucid Mood Studio

Bead Lola Bead

MLH Jewelry

Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

Michelle (me)
Beads & Books

Michelle H.
Firefly Visions

Blog by Salla

Shaiha's Ramblings

MiShel Designs

Beads and Bread

Pixybug Designs

Pearl and Pebbles

Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

The Bead Junkie

Friday, September 30, 2011

No more whining!

Today, I am officially out of pain meds, and done whining about my tummy.  Tuesday, 10/4, two great things will be happening to me.  First, the stitches and drain are coming out!  Second, I get to publish my Michelle Mach Oct blog hop piece.  For those of you who have watched my last two pieces, Michelle's last hop piece, and Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party necklace, this one may surprise.  For the last two, I used a kind of collage approach, trying to enhance each challenge bit that I used individually.  I also used a lot of metal and wire wrapping.  For this new one, you will see more of a unified approach, and mostly beads.  I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I have enjoyed making it!

I just love doing challenges, even if they are ones I issue myself.  I think it's important that, as artists, we push our own boundaries, use skills that push us past limits, incorporate colors outside our comfort zones and generally rebel a bit whenever we get just a little too comfortable.  Getting the mojo working!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

After surgery ughies

Today was not a good day, not terrible, just sleepy achy and cranky.  Stitches are pulling, tummy is swollen a little.  In general, just the ugly-but-necessary healing process is kicking in.  And the worst part is, I hate me when I whine.

On the good side, I've been s-l-o-w-l-y (due to short-term, but excellent prescription pain meds) working on two rings from Kate McKinnon and Dustin Wedekind's new wild triangle designs.  The first one, a six-winger, came out neato and the second one, a Power Puff, is also headed for greatness.  I'll post pics when I can focus my eyes, and thus, a camera. again.    

The pills run out tomorrow or the next day, so, I'll be back in my regular mind then.  I won't say it's a right mind, but it'll be normal for me, only probably still a little whiny.

Oh, and I have to finish and post my blog hop post for Michelle Mach's latest foray on the 4th, and it's also nearing completion.  Lots of stuff going on, lots to keep my mind off the tummy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So, I'm home!

Got out of the hospital yesterday and I'm feeling pretty good!  Still kind of weak and I tire easily, but I can feel myself mending.  After the stitches and the drain come out, hopefully, on Tuesday, I will be on the road to a healthy tummy again.  At least one part of me will work as it should!  One issue at a time.  Teeth and eyes are the next repair areas.  Just like home repairs, going to do them step by step.  Keep on going until I fix as much as possible.  And the weight-loss is ongoing and approaching 50 lbs!  When I have lost one whole person, I will be done.  It won't make my breathing any better, but it might keep it from getting worse.  That is a big deal to me, and so it goes...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The last Joplin Relief Charity bracelet is up on eBay!

To see the listing, click here

All the folks of the Whole Lotta Whimsy Sunday Social Circle produced the charms for this amazing leather cuff!  It was assembled into this amazing bracelet by Brooke Durham, whose aesthetic was impeccable on this. The amazing Wanaree Tanner took the very professional photos and handled the listing.  I'm telling you all that these artists' works individually would cost way more than this auction's ending price, so bid on this!  You will be supporting a great cause, and getting a killer cool piece of jewelry in the process.  All monies from the sale of this item go directly to the charity.  Everything was donated by these generous artists.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hello blog buddies!

Well, I will be out of commission, starting on Thursday, 9/22, for about a week.  I am having hernia surgery. (Who knew that girls get hernias?  I never even thought about it!)  The surgery itself is pretty straightforward, the surgeon just closes up the hernia with some plastic mesh.  (Hmm, I wonder if that mesh can be used in mixed media art???  Maybe I can scam a spare piece, LOL.)

The scary part of the surgery is that I have a lung condition, and they are concerned about getting me off the ventilator.  They have already postponed it once over this, and I had to submit to more tests and listen to more doctor stuff.  These guys need to lighten up.  I am scared, but intend to sail through the surgery and come out stronger and healthier than before.  Now, all I have to do is get my body to cooperate!

So, I will be thinking good thoughts, saying little prayers, and generally trying to make the best vibrations around me in my little corner of the universe.  I'll have hubby post updates to my Facebook wall, and I'll be back online as soon as I am able.

Thanks to all of you, too, who said such nice things about my Bead Soup Blog Party piece.  I am trying to look at all of them, but it's slow going because I get all involved and have to read all about the pieces, and check them out, and write comments where I can, so it may take awhile, but be patient.  I am cruisin' as quickly as I can!  Hope to see yours soon, if I haven't already.  What a fun party this has been, and thanks and serious props to Lori Anderson for her great work!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Bead Souper Reveal! Yay!!!!

Ok, first things first, I confess to being a bad Blog Party citizen.  I was so excited about both sending and revealing my party packs, I totally forgot to take their "before" pictures.  I'm kind of new to this, but no excuses, I was spacey.  Fortunately my lovely blog buddy, Pat Haight, was not so twitterpated, and photographed both!  So, check her blog at for both "befores", and, of course, her "after."

With that out of the way, when I received Pat's Party Pack, I was really excited for a couple of reasons.  First, I have never used much polymer clay in my work.  I have tried, and continue to try to make clay beads for myself, but I never seem to like the ones I make.  So, I was delighted to get this opportunity.  Secondly, I have been in an earth colors rut, sage greens, browns, brick reds, golds, your basic autumn palette.  Pat's lovely blues and greens and steely grays just leaped out and said, "Remember us?"

So then, what to do?  I decided to make a collage-y component piece to try to use lots of her elements, and add a few of my own.  The first thing I did was to decide to stick with the steel, and immediately made a couple of giant full Persian weave components with these cool steel rings I had laying around.  Unfortunately, the smaller rings were the wrong size to make the weave, and I ended up with GIANT components.  So, I moved along and made several other maille components to use instead.  Gradually, the flowers design kept poking itself into my head, and I started with the focal and just kept going.  I also decided to stick with mostly blues and greens, and added some bright orange and more delicate yellows and golds for contrast.

Time to post the pics and let them tell the story for themselves, and thanks again to my blog buddy for her cooler than cool parts.  Here is "Parts & Flowers" with close-ups and leftovers at the end!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More blog hops, and a surgery date

Well, I joined another blog hop because I am addicted.  This one is the Sari Ribbon blog hop from Good Quill Hunting.  Read all about it (and join!) here

Here is the link to Saturday's big reveal for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party Hop

The other news is that my surgery is being rescheduled for next week.  Looks like Thursday, 9/22 so far.  Stay tuned on that.  I just want it to be over so I can get back to beading and claying and sewing and crocheting and STUFF!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Doctor Day

Today I discovered that, although I am a high risk for the surgery, the pulmonologist will approve my hernia surgery IF I get my blood gasses taken and they come back to his satisfaction.  I guess I will go get that done at the hospital in the next couple of days.  For anyone out there who has not had that test, there is no other way to say it, it sucks big time.  They take a tiny needle and remove blood from an artery in your wrist, which is a very tender spot with lots of nerve endings.  Believe me, no one wants this test, no way.  But, to get the surgery I need, I must present myself for doctor torture, and then, maybe, they will open the double-secret seal on the surgery door.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.

It's a good thing I have the beady projects on my worktable or I might just go mad.  Maybe I already made that trip over the threshold into madness.  It's hard to tell from this angle.  All I can say is that all this is helping me to focus on areas of bead work I need to explore.  That is the best silk purse I can make of the sow's ear that is my life right now.  This, too, shall pass.

Thanks to the Bead Soup Blog Party, Michelle Mach and her blog hops and Kate McKinnon and Dustin Wedekind for their triangle kits.  All these give me reasons to live, thrive and survive, with a couple of bent nods to The Blues Brothers.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I have been ranting.

The mozzarella cheese we made with a kit from  We had another lovely Caprese salad with that cheese, some peppery fresh basil and vine-ripened tomatoes.  We are very lucky to have a Latino grocery, as well as an Asian grocery, both a few blocks from our house.

We also just signed up for this terrific organic produce delivery service here in Phoenix.  Their produce is amazing.  It is mostly local and always organic.  This week's favorite was an artichoke that tasted absolutely flowery, and the last box contained some pluots that Mark just had to make into a tasty cobbler.

The point of all this ranting is that we have been changing our lives so much.  We have essentially quit drinking, except for a particularly special bottle of wine from time to time.  We are eating vegetarian as often as we eat meat or poultry.  We are eating fish and fruit more than ever before, and we swim as often as possible in the summer.  All this is to try to halt our declining health, and just to have fun.  I have lost over 40 lbs.  Mark's beer gut is gone.  I have a lot to lose yet, but I feel good about it.  Who knew that pushing 60 years old could be so fun?

The best result is that I have clarified a few things about my artistic style.  The essence was always there, but it was beneath the surface somehow.  So, my pieces didn't always make me pleased and satisfied.  But, there was a little niggling thought in the back of my head about what I was after, and it finally came into focus for me.  Stay tuned for the upcoming results of this artistic clarity of vision.  I am slow because of my health challenges, but I'm the turtle.  I can win my own race.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surgery cancelled!

Well, the much-anticipated operation is off for now pending further tests.  Seems the anesthesiologist wants clearance from my pulmonologist who wants an echocardiogram scheduled for Tuesday next.   Geez, I'm worn out from typing about it.  On the one hand, I am kinda giddy like a child who got out of a punishment.  On the other hand, it is rapidly becoming the sword of Damocles over my weary little head.

On the happy side of things, I am making great progress on the Bead Soup Blog Party things.  I got this crazy idea at three in the morning one night, when I seem to do my best thinking.  Stay tuned for the big reveal on that. Should be great fun, along with all the other participants!

Today, I am reborn, and grateful to be alive!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tomorrow is S-day.

Not that s-word!  You have an evil mind!  I am having my scary surgery tomorrow, and I just want it to be over already!  I will post again whenever I am up to it.  Not that I have a gazillion followers or anything, but for my few online buddies, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Working on my BSBP item.

Which is maybe turning into several items because Pat's components are so interesting.

In my other life, I'm preparing for a scary surgery on a big ol' hernia in my tummy, but the scary part is the ventilator.  Because of my lung disease, it will be harder for me to get off of it following surgery, and this will be painful, too.  Not much fun, I'm afraid, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  So I may be away for a week or so, starting Friday.  But, when I come back, I'll be repaired!  Wish me luck and pray or think good thoughts for me if you can.  All good energy will be highly appreciated!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Yesterday, we came home from an exhausting doctor's visit, the breathing tests kill me, and our power was out.  So, no oxygen concentrator, and it was 106 in the shade.  So, what to do?  The pool, of course, but Mark had to jump the fence to get to the back door, since the chain was on the front door and the electric garage door obviously wasn't working!  So, he made the big jump, bent his glasses all to hell (I think he landed on them), and bruised his hands and feet. He is a tenderfoot, too, his poor feet!

Anyway, we finally got into the house, and it was so hot we immediately put on the suits and went on out, determined to stay until the power came back on.  The problem with the plan was that the waiting period was predicted to be over two more hours.  Now, I can breathe well in the pool, for whatever reason, and that was ok without the air, but over two hours in the sun was kinda scary with my pale Germanic skin.  Mark, of course, is descended from sturdy Cajuns, and he turns a gorgeous deep brown and never has a problem except on the top of his sweet balding head.

Fortunately, within about an hour, our usual pool-time duration, the air conditioner groaned to money-eating life.  The oxygen concentrator was restored, and it was safe again to go inside.

Today was another day of setting up doctors' visits and other depressing stuff. Mark was sore of feet and hands.   Sooooo, another trip to the pool, and when we came in, Mark's ouchies were a little better from the nice swim.  And then, my gorgeous beads for the Bead Soup Blog Party had arrived from my party partner, Pat Haight, and they are just delightful!  Another potentially yucky day saved by a big ol' swimming pool and some small and not-so-small beads, links, clasps and doo-dads!  Thanks, Pat!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here we go again!

The Whole Lotta Whimsy Sunday Social Circle has put another bracelet up for auction on eBay. This one is only going to be there for 5 days, and it is a steal right now at only a $51 bid level for all those unique charm designs and all the silver!  Please bid if you love this, it's for the victims of the Joplin tornado. Thanks!  (as Shannon steps down, ever so carefully, from her soapbox.)  Here's the link for your buying pleasure!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well here it is!  This is the necklace I made with my Mostly Metal Challenge kit.  

I tried to make the sari fabric into fabric beads, but the acrylic medium I used made them very dark.  So, I used them anyway, but put the original fabric into the tiny picture frame at the bottom.  I used mostly metal, hence the wire wrapping and chains, and perked it up with the netted pink seed bead bezel for the cab, and the little netted seed bead halo for the bicone, as well as the assorted lampwork beads from my stash.  I stuck to the color scheme from the sari fabric, even though the beads turned dark, because I loved it, pink, green, burgundy, black and brass.  My unique item was the little pagoda chain thing that I snuck into the design twice.  Loved this challenge!  Hope to do more!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ok, get ready!

The Bead Soup Blog Party Pack is all ready and will be mailed tomorrow to my party partner, Pat Haight whose adorable blog is  If that isn't the cutest blog name!  Here is the mysterious mixed up picture of the Party Pack.

And tomorrow, the Mostly Metal Challenge Entry.  Check back in the morning for the finished project!

I had the:

Antique Brass Romantic Kit
1 antique brass 24mm hollow back floral heart pendant
2 antique brass 24mm hollow back leaf charms
1 antique brass 18mm "Oui" round charm
4 antique brass 8mm filigree bead caps
16-18" of Sari silk ribbon (color varies)
One pink 19mm pearlized vintage cabochon
6-7 glass beads

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So excited about the Bead Soup Blog Party!

 I just love swaps, and it is a great way to get to know new people.  Since I haven't sold my work previously. I hope that this swap, Michelle Mach's Mostly Metal Challenge, (how's that for great alliteration?), as well as participating in Tonya Davidson's Whole Lotta Whimsy Sunday Social Circle group will give me that little push into selling.  I have been so occupied with health problems, I have somewhat lost sight of my creative goals.  I am, however, starting to get my muse on.  So, time will tell, but I have a good feeling!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Friday!

Came in from the pool a while ago, grabbed a shower and nestled into the lazyboy to check e-mail.  Found a note from Lori Anderson saying she would be getting the party partners aligned, hopefully today.  So, I went to her site to remember exactly what a good partier should be doing.  I found a button to link to her party blog.  Now my HTML knowledge would fit into a thimble with room left over, but I decided to try to make a button and link it all by myself without annoying Lori any further (there was a little drama about my MacAffee  not allowing me to link to her signup form, which she, very graciously, resolved).  So, I tried it a few times and got a couple of rude messages, and then, all of a sudden the sun dawned, angels sang and it worked!  Today is a good  day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Charity Day!

Today, the Whole Lotta Whimsy Sunday Social Circle, of which I am a proud member, put their first collaborative charm bracelet up for bids.  There are six total bracelets, and a lot of members did a lot of work on these, particularly Brooke Durham, Tracey Edwards and Wanaree Tanner, (I hope I didn't forget any of the core group) and everyone who made charms!  The funds collected from these sales will go to the victims of the Joplin tornado.

Anyhoo, here is the link so you can all check out the first amazing bracelet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sorting day

So, yesterday, I made great progress tidying my work room.  It started out as a plan to put a bunch of new materials away, and then devolved into fixing my lampwork bead boxes, sorting them by color, separating out the focals, you know, OCD organization. I venture this thought, however.  The items I want the most will still hide from me when I need them.  "It is inevitable," says the Greek chorus in my head.

In the evenings, while watching TV, I have been crocheting a purse for Autumn, and procrastinating on other things.  I do feel a huge creative burst coming on, and all the laziness will be eclipsed by a flurry of projects in several media modes.  Out of the depressive, into the mania, I always say!  Maniacs rule!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I would never have thought that I could whine about 105 degrees being too cool, but after coming out of the pool yesterday, I was so cold!  The pool has been cool for the last few days because it has only been in the low 100's, during the day, and the low 80's at night.  When I came up out of there into the slight breeze you would have thought I was back in Colorado in January!  Then I came into the air conditioning, and I almost cried.  What a big wimp I am!  I realized that I am now incapable of surviving the cold.  It was bad enough when I was there, but after 11 years in New Orleans, and two here in Phoenix, I give up!

Today I am going to work on straightening out the store room again, and sketch out some ideas for Michelle Mach's Mostly Metal Challenge and a couple of metal clay things that are rolling around in my head. I will post sketches of the metal clay ideas, but Michelle's challenge is going to be secret until it is closer to the due date.  Gotta have some mystery about me, after all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Day for Thrones!

I had pre-ordered the new A Game of Thrones sequel, and it came out today.  I fussed with my Kindle so much, in my excited state, I actually have it twice.  LOL!  So today's news banished yesterday's blues!  I also sorted out all the stuff in my storeroom, with Mark's help in shifting boxes around, and assembling plastic storage boxes for small parts.  Tomorrow, the stuff goes in the boxes. Then I can actually begin some new projects without feeling so scattered.  I will try to post pix when I get it into some semblance of order.  Then I have a storage space, a warehouse with the big boxes, a drawing space, a sewing space and a small workbench.  Mark and I will share the power tools and kilns.  They are in his room.  It sounds like a lot of space, but it is a good-sized house, I am a big lady, I have lots of stuff because I have lots of interests, and our kids don't live with us.  So what the heck, no sense in wasting all that space!  Well, I have rambled enough today.  I hope to actually start a metal clay project next week!  It's good to have a goal...

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Monday

Today was Monday all day.  Mark didn't feel well.  I couldn't get organized to do much except read my latest Kindle book selection, The White Queen, by Philippa Gregory, which is hard to put down, and is aiding me in my procrastination and general ennui.  I made a cursory round on a basket I am crocheting, doing some textile work to decorate our new living room when the painting is done.  I played internet games, and was just not too inspired about anything today.  The best part about it is that tomorrow will be Tuesday, and maybe the Monday blues will go away.  Janie will come to clean.  The painting prep will continue.  Maybe I will get the storage room organized, but it is so hard to breathe, I never seem to start.  Maybe tomorrow.  The eternal promise of tomorrow that moves us all forward to our uncertain, but hopeful futures.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Reconnoitering Day

I have been looking for my old blog from when I lived in New Orleans, before Katrina, before all the changes that led me to beautiful, hot, sunny, dry, dusty Phoenix.  My skin is aging by the second, drying to a near-reptilian covering for my insides, but other than that, I love my new home.  Those Southern ladies have a beauty secret, all that humidity keeps them looking years younger than their chronological ages.  

I miss folks from my past homes, but they are all in my heart.  My kids are in Wyoming and Colorado, where I misspent my youth, and it is very weird, but except for my crazy Aunt Barbara, I have been the oldest member of my family for almost 20 years.  Wow!

But I digress, the good thing about having found my old blog is that I found two pix of my work.  The first is a necklace made of fibers, glass beads, a plastic button from the 50's and a cool triangle-shaped two-holed fused glass pendant made by Mark (hubby) and I.

The second is a necklace I made for a dear friend to wear onstage at the New Orleans Jazz and heritage Festival in 2000.  I was so happy to retrieve these pics, thinking they had been lost to Katrina, too.  I still have the red necklace, but the other lives with its owner, as it should.  But I wanted the pic because I loved the piece.  Well, what once was lost, now is found.  Here are the much-ballyhooed photos.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New stuff

I have been somewhat remiss in posting and even talking about my new creations.  First of all, I made a doll from a Jan Horrox pattern, and a couple of purses from the Romantic purses book.  I am still learning these processes, so I am not yet comfortable on my own and designing.  I am thinking about a purse, however.  So that may be soon.  I am also crocheting a set of 5 lace bowls to go in "the white room" in our house when Mark finishes the paint job, and we get the lace curtains up.  So stay tuned for that!  Anyway, here are the pix of the purses, the dolly and the new roof and rocks in our front yard.  Lots of things going on at Casa Hicks right now!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A new day!

Today was so lovely.  Mark and I spent some quality time in the pool, where, for whatever reason, it is the only place I can breathe like a normal human and both of us are pain free.  To us, this is like a tiny miracle.  Mark also went to Home Depot and, after only 8 samples, complete with a patchwork wall, we finally found some paint colors for the living room and dining room.

Tomorrow we are going to celebrate the 4th by watching 1776, which is just so smart and funny.  Then we will hopefully be having another swim, and BBQ burgers with potato salad and baked beans!  We are almost a cliche!

Well, Happy Birthday, America!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day three

Going to try to finish my 2nd lace bowl today, and try to start on a third.  So far I have one in a warm, milk chocolatey brown and a smaller one in ecru.  Might do another in ecru and then tea-dye it.  After I crochet five or so and get them in colors I am happy with, I will stiffen them all into shape.  Not sure what I will use for that.  The pattern recommends a sugar-water recipe, but we have an ongoing ant battle, and I just don't want to create food dishes for them.  So, I may use fabric stiffener or heavy starch, which the ants might like, too.  I will decide later, Scarlett.  Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The money pit.

Our home in Phoenix with the new rock yard and the new roof, topped by the new air con.  Now we need gutters and paint followed by windows to save energy and screens where they are broken.  .

The charms

Day two

Ok, I was alarmed when my daughter (Tracy) had a run-in with a parked lawn mower, by the dumpster near her little restaurant, and jacked up her foot pretty badly.  But then, in a gesture of supreme family togetherness, my hubby, Mark, fell while patrolling for ants in our back yard and broke at least his toe, if not more.  We will find out on Monday when he can see the doc (or today if we can find an urgent care around here).  These two are the lights of my life, but they make me crazy!

On to arty things, I have recently finished a crocheted lace bowl, 18 charms for the Whole Lotta Whimsy Sunday Social Circle bracelet project to benefit the Joplin tornado victims, a doll and two purses for Tracy.  Busy, busy, busy keeping my mind off my troubles and having fun doing it here in the trusty recliner.  Got to swim yesterday, too, which is the only time I can breathe normally, when I am weightless in the pool.  So, lots going on, good and bad, life goes on.  Gotta say, I am happy and content today!

Friday, June 24, 2011

So, the colonoscopy didn't show anything earth shattering, and you would think that was good news, right?  But cancer is tricky.  It hides.  It sneaks around and lulls you to sleep while it lurks and stalks and waits to intrude on your life and make you sick.  We found this out the first time Mark had cancer.  He was all aboard the colonoscopy train.  Took the prostate blood test.  Nada.  Then he had appendicitis.  It was biopsied with one little cancer cell that blocked the tube  and caused the appendicitis.  Turns out the sneaky little marble-sized tumor hid up just past where the colon turns and the scope can't quite reach.  It had shot off a couple of friendly cells just to make its presence known.  They gave him a PET scan, and saw two hot areas, but they thought one of them was just a cluster of blood vessels.

Then they took the little tumor out, told him they thought they got it all, and gave Mark 13-weeks of chemo, that made his hair look like baby bird feathers.  He got pissed and shaved it.  Chemo made him so nauseated he dropped pound after pound.  He got thrush in his mouth and throat that hurt and made him give up chilies, a serious dietary change for someone who used Tabasco like others use ketchup.  It softened and mutilated his fingernails so that he couldn't even crack a pop top.  To celebrate his completion they repeated the PET scan.  There was still a tiny hot area.

Then he felt the lump.  It felt like a hernia or something like that, but of course, it was exactly the same place as the hot spot on the scan.  Another surgery.  More chemo.  No more hair.  More nausea and all the rest.  Another PET scan, no hot spots.  Another year, another scan, another and another, all ok.

And now a blood test with an out-of-whack marker.  The CT scans are negative.  The colonoscopy looks, on the surface, ok.  No biopsy results yet, but the pesky marker is still there.  So, it's off to another oncologist (we moved from Dallas to Phoenix two years ago.)  Guess we will see what the new PET scan will show.  If we can get Medicare to cover it.  If not, we wait until we can pay for it, and hope the little cancer cells move slowly.

The cancer insurance is all used up.  I am now disabled with a lung disease from hell and I dropped COBRA when we got Medicare because COBRA doubles in price at some point, and then if you get another extension, it goes up almost double again.  It would have taken more than Mark's total Social Security Disability monthly check to continue it.

It makes me so angry!  Mark and I have worked for many years.  Paid into the system.  Then some politicians get up and start yelling about cutting Medicare "and other entitlements,"  while they have Cadillac medical insurance for life.  You are the jerks who broke faith with us, you spent the money that we PAID for our Social Security and Medicare, for years and years.  How dare you imply that you are letting us subsist at barely over poverty level with no cost-of-living increase because of some entitlements!  I only wish that you could have to pay our medical and prescription bills and try to pay for everything else.  I wish you could walk a mile in our shoes, but then again, I wouldn't wish that on anyone else.

I guess I will never run for political office.

Day one

Today hubby Mark has his latest colonoscopy to see if the markers in his blood tests are true and his cancer has returned, or if they are only pre-cancerous polyps.  The CAT scans so far show nothing, but we have learned not to believe every test.  They lie.  They are incomplete.  Cancer is a sneaky business.  I am scared, and he is nervous.  We have been testy with each other all week.  I am facing a scary surgery, too, but mine will wait till mid-August.  We will deal with one thing at a time.