Monday, December 21

what a sweetie~

look at this sweet girl! and her beautiful frame! this is the wonderful treasure i received from my swap partner deb miller. we were partners in A Swap for all Seasons' "Santa's Helpers" altered cabinet card swap. the frame is an antique cabinet card frame made from pot metal. i love the detail on it. it's heavy, and very soft. a local artist gilded it with gold leaf, and it really is wonderful, with an aged patina. i love how she is fiddling with her dress. i was a dress fiddler also. she is hanging by our christmas tree, guarding the packages from the sneaky 14 year old.

as i write this it is howling with wind and buckets of rain. my daughter thea has been stranded in the anchorage airport for over 24 hours now, trying to get home from college. too much wind, too much fog, no planes are flying. at least she's not alone, there's a large hoard of college kids with her. if the weather doesn't clear soon, alaska airlines is going to have to send an entire fleet to get everyone over here.

just something to think about if you are considering living on an island....

Thursday, December 17

how can this be????

after a very hectic day, i finally got around to looking at the pile of mail on the counter (at 11:30 pm). there was a letter from my boot camp son. this was in it:

needless to say, i got all teary-eyed and blubbery. can this be the same floppy goofey swimmer boy who walked across the tarmac and got on that plane just 8 1/2 weeks ago???

so many images have been flashing around in my head, things like how determined he was not to have training wheels. how mouthy he's been the last few months. his face when he'd look up at the scoreboard and see a PR time after a big swim.
all those little things have turned him into the man in that photo. well, those things and a healthy dose of airforce discipline i imagine...

geekers. kids are just full of surprises.

Monday, December 14

ahh, a minute to come up for air...

hot diggity what a busy 2 weeks i've had. i'm sure i'm not the only one. but holy cow it's already december 14th??? nuts! i've been submerged in my workroom (i'd like to call it my "studio" but feel that's a bit presumptuous, and the washer and dryer may take offense. they are bigger than me and i can't afford to make them angry right now) at any rate, that's where i've been living, getting ready for a wonderful holiday art show/sale held last friday & saturday. there were a total of 15 local artists along with our hosts Just Jane's fabrics, The Artists Eye Gallery, and Stringbeadz bead shop. friday night the place was packed, i was amazed. everyone was in such a holiday mood, it was a lot of fun.
i spent a week and a half sewing and dyeing silk ribbons and cut silk velvet scarves. i love dyeing, every stage is like finding hidden pirate treasures of colour; the way the fibers grab the dye, blend it, and release it is so amazing. i love the surprise. i'm not one to keep notes, and i don't beat myself up trying to duplicate shades, hues or whatnot. i guess i dye using the prozak method, that way i'm happy and so are my pieces. so, here's some of the stages:the dye bath ~ i use procion dyes and a low water immersion method loosely based on Ann Johnston's book "Color By Accident." here they are after the final clear rinse and before the first machine wash. at this point, i have been rinsing these by hand under hot running water, for what seems like days before the water runs clear and free of dye. an interesting point is that each primary colour rinses out at different times, the blues usually hang in there the longest, the stubborn things.

here's the line up after the wash, before i steam pressed them. i got some awesome vivid greens and oranges this time. happily they all went home with new owners and i'm ready for the next batch.

once i finished with the dyes, i dug back into drilling the sea glass and piecing together more necklaces. i also finished a few bracelets that were quite hard to part with. i spent some late nights with my dremel tool, and thank goodness for starbucks christmas blend in my favorite elf cup.

here's one of the bracelets, almost done. i go all mooshie over pearls, i don't know why, but i'll take a pearl over a diamond any day... and check out that amazing piece of pink glass! what a score, that had me doing major happy dance at mill bay beach one morning, let me tell you! that i had the perfect pink oh man. nirvana on a jump ring...

my ultimate stress reliever is needle felting, i just love everything about it. the feel of the fibers pulling together, they way you can blend the colours, the pop pop of the needle. it's either the first thing i do in the morning, or the last thing i do at night. i didn't get a lot done, but here are two of my favorites: a sea urchin which measured about 2.5", and a little limpit. i made some sweet little angels but neglected to take their photo, so will have to do some more.

so, that's what i've been doing. instead of decorating the house for christmas, or baking for christmas, or anything for christmas. guess what i'll be doing this week... my daughter comes home from college next sunday, and i just can't wait to have her here to hug whenever i want. and have her bring me coffee whenever i want. etc. getting to see her for 2 days in 12 months just isn't enough. i need to get her room dusted out and hang the christmas flannels out to air.

and here's the big happy news - my devon will be graduating from his Air Force basic training this weekend - with honors! he survived the texas heat, the push ups, and the TI's who can yell better than his mom, according to him, and he did it well. we are so proud of the little weasel and i can't wait to see that hair cut. he arrives home at 11:00 am on christmas eve, so we are praying that the weather have a bit of mercy for us so my boy can land on this island.

i can't think of a better gift this year, than to have my family together again. i hope you all are ready for the holidays, and also get to share them with family, and friends.