Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Necklace Swap Update

Remember a while back I was selected to be part of a necklace swap? Well, Lorelei Eurto has finished and photographed all the necklaces and has sent them off to the next artist. See what mine looks like in a before and after photo she snapped?

You need to go visit her blog and check out all the other lovelies. I am excited to be a part of this group and can hardly wait until I receive a package filled with necklaces and instructions. I'll keep you up to date.

Monday, September 28, 2009



I love the word, not because it means, among other things “flee quickly" from conflict, but because its other meaning is to “get away from the ordinary" and "get in touch with oneself”.

The past three weeks have been very difficult for me. When I was teaching, I always had a few weeks after summer school when I was mentally counting the days until school started again. I thought I was doing really well this summer, mentally preparing for NOT going back to the campus, but I was wrong. It hit me like a ton of brick two and a half weeks ago. Since then, there have been more days than not that I would get up in the morning, make breakfast and see my husband off to work, then lay back down “for a few minutes” only to awaken 5 hours later. Some mornings I would not even get up until nearly noon.

This is not like me – this is depression at its most insidious. It eats up my life and saps my energy. And, quite frankly, I resent it.

The good news is: I have been looking forward to this past weekend. I just returned from four days and three nights with my dearest and best artistic friends. Every year, twice a year, I look forward to Quilt Guild retreat. This time I paid for retreat right after I found out I lost my job. I knew I would need the spiritual sustenance that it gives me, and I was right. I took my jewelry to sell, and while I did not sell everything, it was worthwhile. I also bartered jewelry for a 30 minute massage from the on-site massage therapist. Yes, it was very good to go on retreat.

While I was there communing with my best gal-friends, I created two small quilt-tops that I will quilt as soon as I can get my best sewing machine repaired. (Have you ever noticed? Everything costs money!)

Saturday morning I left retreat to attend the first meeting of the Dallas Area regional group of Studio Art Quilters Association (SAQA). I met some of the local big names in art quilting and felt a bit intimidated. They were as nice as they could be so I am glad I joined. I look forward to tapping the collective resources this group has to offer.

Here are the two little art quilts I designed (but have not quilted) while on retreat. This one is Castlerigg, a Neolithic stone circle in the Lakes District of England.

And this one is of Maes-Howe and the Hills of Hoy on the island of Orkney way north of Scotland.

And here is my Etsy shop. Now, please go over there and buy something. I will give a 10% discount if you mention my blog in a convo (to me).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

AIDS Services of North Texas

Fourteen years ago this October, I went through the AIDS 101 Volunteer Training so that I could work with the clients of ASNT (AIDS Services of North Texas).
That was the late 90s and HIV/AIDS was still a death-sentence. There was also a terrible stigma assosicated with the disease. I have lost a family member and very dear friends to this disease. I have personally seen how it effects the lives of those living with the disease (both the infected and their family members).

You can see the cause is one that is very near and dear to my heart.

Twenty years ago the Agency began in a tiny hallway/storage area behind my husband's office (before we came to the church) and then moved as it grew to larger and larger office complexes. Now the agency serves 5 (FIVE!) rural counties around Dallas county with more tha 250 clients LIVING with HIV/AIDS. I am fortunate to be on the Foundations Board of the Agency charged with securing funds and property to build three purpose-built buildings for our Agency's offices/clinics in Denton, Plano, and Greenville, Texas.

Since I am currently unemployed, I did not have to funds to purchase high-dollar tickets to the Hearts & Heros Fundraiser this weekend. I truly wanted to be there. But I let my art attend, and I know it helped to raise at least a little money. The earrings (above) were part of the silent auction.

How does your heart lead you to give? Do you have a cause that you create for? Do you want to learn more about HIV/AIDS?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My First Treasury -- Update!

At the "eleventh hour" just as the treasury was about to expire, Kate from Polkadot Sandals (see previous post) sent me a jpeg of my first treasury inclusion. Those are my earrings in the middle of the third row. And she even gave me a step-by-step tutorial so I could do it myself, if I am ever included in another treasury. I am tickled and honored to be included -- thanks again, Kate!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My First Treasury!

This morning, like most mornings, I was doing my rounds of reading all the blog posts (listed to the right), then I started checking Etsy, to be followed by email and Well, I haven't finished the list yet -- I had to post about the first Treasury I have been included in.

It is a beautiful collection, an ode to the end of summer and the approach of fall, by Kate at Organic Odessey a.k.a Polkadot Sandals. If I knew how to take a screen shot to include as an image I would. Please go check out the Treasury.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Learning Curve

This past Saturday I had my first arts and crafts show jewelry booth experience. I didn’t make many sales, but I handed out a bunch of my cards so it was a good exposure. None of the booths around me made money either, so I guess the economic situation is hitting pretty hard. Speaking of cards, though, I will have to update my cards pretty soon, but I still have quite a few on hand. To tide me over, I had a stamp made at Office Depot that says:

So now I have an updated card with printing on both sides for only about $20. I thought that was a great deal.

(Here's a bad photo of me with part of my booth set-up. Check out my Rosary Bracelet display.)I had my first Etsy sale this weekend. And, I have listed a bunch of books on and have sold three textbooks. So, what does this tell me? I think the internet is my future (at least for the time being!)

Today I am working on descriptions of some of my new pieces for Etsy and hope to get them uploaded soon. In the meantime here are some pictures of a few of them.

(I don't know why this is turned side-ways -- go figure! It's the necklace I am wearing in the above photo.) Suggestions for names would be greatly appreciated. (Leave comments – I can’t read your mind!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Round Robin Necklace Challenge

I am just so excited I am beside myself! (No you aren’t! Yes, I am ! . . .)

Lorelei miss-counted in her Round Robin necklace challenge and didn’t originally include me. --- BUT --- Someone (not me) told her of her error and now I will be included in the in the beady fun too.

I will be starting a necklace and will make some notes for the following designers to consider when they receive my ‘necklace start’. Then, as time goes on, I receive the all six necklaces to work on and send to the next. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Anyway, I am tickled to be included in the incredible list of designers and cannot wait to get started. Here are the other designers:

Mollie (Ethereal Girls),
Nancy (Round Rabbit),
Alison Hodges (Tiny Leaves/Rtsy),
Lorelei Eurto (Lorelei )
Gaea Gaea!,
Check out their links and see just why I am so excited.