Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Running, lifting weights and doing pushups (or any physical exercise, especially challenging exercise) are a really effective way to dissipate stress. My diet has gone to hell over the holiday season, but I am keeping active. The other day I bought my January 2010 YWCA pass. Since I have no clue if I'll have gainful employment in February, I figure that if I buy the pass this far ahead of time, I'll be more likely to afford February's and maybe even March's monthly pass. It would be cheaper for me to commit to a year, but I'm not feeling that risky right now. Paying $55 for full access (no restricted hours) to a gym that's 2 blocks away, during the crappiest months of the year weather-wise (lugging all the "stuff") is well worth it. Last night, my brother and I went for a run on the most dreary, drizzly, damp, cold day possible. And it was exhilarating! I probably could have gone for another 10 minutes, but his calf was hurting and I didn't want to make him sit in a steamy pickup waiting for me. But I can say that it did whet my apetite for more cold-weather running. He estimated I ran about 2.75 miles.
My mom is the best. She has had to transition to living in a nursing home....though she can still get around, has her mental faculties pretty much intact except for short-term memory issues. This could have been a really bad situation.....but she has accepted the situation and is now thriving more than I remember in past years. Next step is to get her apartment cleaned out. That will occupy much of my "free" time over the next month.
St Theresa Textile Trove is closing in just 6 weeks, which is coinciding with my 10 year anniversary there. I have started submitting my resume to places...one in particular is a job I'd REALLY like to get, but will have to wait to find out if they're interested. On top of everything else going on, I need to keep on the job search. I just don't have the resources to tide me over until I find new work. Part of me is a little scared, I have to admit. I haven't been unemployed for more than 2 weeks since probably the early 1990's. And as much as I'd like to be able to support myself with my craft, I really need to interact with other people. I like being out in public, talking to different folks.
So, I'll get going now and start making something, for someone, somewhere.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Last week, a traveling clown, a cute French older woman collecting donations to further her work in children's hospitals, came into St Theresa Textile Trove, where I work. She really was very nice. Not creepy at all. She had a nametag with the name of a doll attached to her front....the name was Ranga.
UPDATE: The customer told me that the image she attaches to her emails is a photo of a raven. Makes it even weirder, that her image is different than what is showing up.
Two times this week something very symbolic occurred...a sign only I could recognize. I wonder what it all means. And what will be the next "coincidence" that will knock me out of my own shoes?
I'm tired! Goodnight!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I'm having a sale in my Etsy stores, ovenfriedbeads and ovenfriedbuttons, this weekend, through December 1. Might as well jump on the "great deals" bandwagon. I'm feeling particularly in need of funds to prepare for my days of possible joblessness.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The store has been in business since 1994. I've worked there since January 2000. It's going to close for good in January 2010. I have managed the store for about 5 years.
I know that we will receive many sad emails and calls about our closing. But let me assure you, Becky and I are feeling much relief. She has really put her entire livelihood on the line to keep the store open. As I like to say, "Love doesn't pay the bills." If it did, we'd have franchises all over the country. The store has been on virtual life support for a very long time, and that's not a healthy way to continue doing business. We are not going to dwell on sadness for what is lost....rather we will look forward to the adventures that God/the Universe will have in store for us.
Ovenfried Beads will remain alive and well through and past this transition. St Theresa Textile Trove was my career, but Ovenfried Beads will hopefully step up a bit in the queue.
If there is anything that can be learned from all sides of this situation, it's this:
Saturday, October 24, 2009
A few days ago I went to the laundromat to clean my clothes, and while the wash cycle was going, I took a walk at Stanberry Park in Cincinnati. Colorful fall leaves and photographs were my main treasures. The photos above are from a huge tree that has been carved through the decades. I didn't notice any obviously new carvings, but one thing that was so obvious was the age of the carvings. About 10 feet high, old lovers' initials were stretched and spread out. The bark continued to grow, and the lines filled in. Almost the whole circumference of the trunk is covered in scars. If you have a chance to check it out, I recommend it.
The photos of the carvings inspire me to think about what kind of scars or carvings there are in my own personal spiritual tree. What events, relationships, dates, times and places have left a permanant mark on my own history? How deep are they carved, and how legible are they? Equally important...what kind of tree is it? Trees are so symbolic in so many way, and the answers are completely subjective.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
My weekends tend to be more relaxed as far as diet is concerned, but I do work out just about every day. Yesterday I completed Week 4 Day 2 in the Couch-to-5K program for new runners. In the beginning of this program I thought "oh my GAWD I have to run for 90 seconds straight?". Now I'm running a 3 and 5 minute run, twice in a workout. Later this week it will be all 5 minute segments, then 5 and 8 minute segments, then a full 20 minutes nonstop.
I need to get back on the South Beach wagon if I want to speed up this weight loss. I've become too lazy, though I still eat much healthier than I used to. Tomorrow is my visit to Hoxworth Blood Center for my 8 week bloodletting, so I'll get to weigh myself on a proper doctors' scale AND get my cholesterol screening. I'm pretty pumped about that!
No Before/After pics as of yet, so I'll leave you with this photo of a little collection of items I've found on the riverbank.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
December 5 is the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Cincinnati. It's a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, but even more importantly, I'll be running a real race for the first time in my life! I've been training for the past month, and hope to be able to do the run comfortably by the day of the race. So far so good! Anyway, if you feel inclined to sponsor me and support Arthritis Foundation, click here to see my personal race page. You can have your name flow down a continuous contribution ticker! I will post my results in this blog. The race is still 2 months away, but that's about how much time I'll need to be ready!
One more thing.........If I haven't already mentioned here in my blog (and I obviously haven't checked), I enhanced my Stacker tutorial page with text to help folks with tips, tricks and hints. I hope the new page will help folks learn how to make them! Initially I wanted to avoid too much text, because automatic translations across the oceans of the web could really do a botched job of it. However, maybe not.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
John and I have been spending a lot of time in my attic, getting it ready for art-making season. I make art all year round, but the art in my attic is predominantly focused on my found objects/trash that I collect on the streets and the riverbank. One evening I gathered all of my finds and organized them. My attic is a wonderful, dark, inspiring place. Even though I can hear the city streets outside, I cannot see them, so it's almost like a protective coccoon. The photo above features some river finds on a square board. It's my "temporary art" board where I do simple quick meditations of arrangements of the items. This one shows a mountain landscape, with a moon, a second planet, a brown cloud and a rocket.
Yesterday I compulsively started a new bed quilt. My second one, about 3 years after completing my current one. It's turning out exactly how I imagined it would. I'm taking 9"x9" squares of my very favorite organic-y, cellular, biological-looking images. Some of them remind me of patterns one would see through the lens of a microscope, while others may mimic leaf vein patterns. Also, I am using fabrics that I swore I'd never really use, because they were perfect the way they were. Initially I expected to feel uncomfortable cutting these whole fat quarters, yard cuts and multi-yard cuts for a square I can never replace. On the contrary...I felt relief, like by using it, I'm setting it free.
This photo on the right is my cat Sweetie walking on the newly ironed pieces. Like the typical cat of a fairy tale, she tried to pry a pin out of two layers of fabric. Then she nestled in a pile of folds she made from it.
At any rate, I finished this much of it in two nights. Last night I cut about 65 squares, and tonight I cut the black strips and sewed two rows together. It will be roughly queen size. There will be either 96 or 104 squares in all. I think.
I'll try to post blogs more often. Stuff just happens so fast that I can't keep up with it!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Yesterday I received an email from Maika Martinez from Pamplona, Spain. She has been making Stacker beads, and I must say that she's doing just great! One thing I really like about her Stackers is her use of white. All except 4 of them have large doses of white or very light yellow. The "multiple effect" is great. They look good enough to eat!
Maika's Flickr page has lots of great work. She likes to experiment with different techniques, and she does them well. She is also a member of the APE, a.k.a. Association of Polymer clay of Spain.
Thanks Maika for sharing your version of the Stacker bead.
I invite more folks to show me theirs. If you want to give it a try, visit this page.
If you go to my archives from May and April, you'll see others who have done the same!
Friday, August 21, 2009
This new routine has transferred mental energy, too. Where I used to want to just retreat into my art studio sanctuary and get lost in the potential of polymer clay, I am now thinking about a new route to take on my bike, or how far I think I can jog. Food also takes up a LOT more of my mental energy, too. Cooking is so much more exciting, so I am always thinking of new ways to prepare my favorite foods. Nowadays I'm eating so much more veggies....probably more in one day that I used to eat in a whole week before I changed my ways. White potatoes have been totally deleted from my diet. My favorite veggies are asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, spinach, garlic, green beans, cauliflower and cabbage.
Here is one of my favorite photos I've taken with my new camera. Yes, this is my third camera in the last 5 years. This is a dried seed pod from a water lily. This has been in my collection of natural items for a few years. Picked it up at Cowan Lake near Wilmington.
My brother took me to Cowan Lake a week ago for my first kayaking trip. It was perfect. And so much easier than I thought it would be. Granted, the surface of the water was like glass....zero current. But the big "field" of waterlilies and the creek that connected to it were just gorgeous! (Sorry, no pix of that!)
This picture is a recent one of me...taken earlier this week. My friend Alyssa and her mom visited the shop. Alyssa is I think 13 years old (her birthday was July 4 but I forget what number she turned!) and is a real natural at designing earrings. She brought in a container of them to show me and hear my professional opinion of them. I think they're great. I can tell she thinks them through. She was sweet enough to give me two pair as a thank you for encouraging her. You can't see them in this picture, but they look damn good.
Green beans at Susan's! She invited me over for dinner last Sunday. It was one of the best dinner's I've ever had. These green beans were so good!
These are little scraps of aluminum and other metals I found on the banks of the Ohio River. The artisitc possibilities of stuff like this kind of just blows my mind.
Well I better get going. I need to do something to prepare for a show I'm doing Sept 26 in Anderson Township. A Fair of the Arts. Be There.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today is my 3rd day on Phase 1 of South Beach Diet. I've never been a yo-yo dieter or try every goshdernit diet invented, but after seeing my friend Susan shrink to a hottie bod, I decided to give it a shot. I read her whole South Beach Diet Supercharged book before I began it. Then she lended me the first one, and I read most of that too.
What amazed me the most is that I already eat most of what one can have anyway. My biggest weaknesses are bread and potatoes, not sweets. But I do have some sugar-free candies on hand for sudden urges. I can feel my cravings for chocolate and other carbs quickly going away....I have to make myself eat the snacks between meals that I'm supposed to have. My skill in the kitchen is getting better....I can't wait til I can have root veggies so I can add them to my big veggie soup recipe.
My perception of my body feels different too. Granted, I've been doing a lot of exercising the last week, so of course I feel physically better. But my mind is so clear...my awareness is very sharp. I don't feel or look physically lighter (yet), but I do feel mentally lighter. The thought of buying myself a bikini for my 40th birthday is very enticing. I've been plus-sized since high school....not severely, but I've always heard "you have such a pretty face" and "you have such a great personality". Clothes shopping is sucky. I don't expect to start wearing really slutty or revealing clothes when I lose it, but I do expect to have a much better selection to choose from.
So for the next 11 days, I will eat no bread, no fruit, no sugary items, and low fat everything else. I'm eating lean meat like chicken and sirloin, lots of veggies like red peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach. Can't wait to sink my teeth into a nice Gala apple!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Recently I got a nice stack of orders from this gal, Stephanie Hovsepian of Mine Hill, NJ. I was wondering, what the heck would someone need so many buttons for? Who is knitting sweaters in the middle of a hot summer? Then she sent photos, and it all made sense. Visit her Etsy shop to see more! Thanks, Stephanie, for your support of Ovenfried Beads! *(and ovenfriedbuttons on Etsy.)
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I found my list a couple of days ago that I made so I could get to sleep. They say if you have problems sleeping, make a list of your next-day chores, so your mind can let them go and actually get some productive rest.
Here I will bore you with the list I made. Some items have been packed...some haven't...and none of the little square boxes I drew next to each item have been checked. If you can think of anything I should bring, please let me know by Friday. This blog is just to take up space and keep it current. My next one will likely be about the show, after the fact.
- change for box $200.-
- credit card slips
- ball point pen
- packing tape
- lint roller
- table cloths
- extra cigar boxes for display
- display tree
- mini display couches
- small bowls
- spinning rack
- lazy susans
- drill (charged)
- cooked canes
- business cards and holders
- fabric bowls
- ear plugs!
- framed piece
- earring rack
- other display items
- necklace and bracelet holders
- magnet board
- type tray
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Hey Etsy buyers! Starting today, ending Sunday, is the annual YART sale on Etsy, where sellers can have great deals and specials, sales and bargains, all at the same time.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I sent a ton of Stacker jewelry to the gallery and it is on the sales floor, ready for eager Stacker-seekers! Tomorrow I will be sending them a box of buttons, pendant necklaces and more earrings to replenish what has been sold, plus some.
Thanks, Jennifer, for putting so much energy into promoting my work!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Creating small treasures is about as close to Nirvana as I can get on earth. Art is a therapist.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This morning I attended church where I used to attend and serve for several years. It's one of those insanely huge, modern "megachurches" called Crossroads in Cincinnati. I took time off from it for several reasons, but the main one was transportation issues. After visiting last week, I knew I had to come back, and boy am I glad I did. If I grab a 7:45am bus, I can get there in plenty of time to not miss a minute. The other services are just not in synch with the bus at all, which was why I stopped going. It was too "inconvenient" to get up to go that early.
The tattoo above was applied about a year before I was baptized at Crossroads in 2006. There were periods where I thought I may have made a mistake. But now I'm so glad it's there. It is more like a reminder for me where I come from than a cool cross tattoo.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thank you Margit for contacting me! If there wasn't an ocean between us, we'd be claying together for sure! There must be something in that European water.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I decided to stop using tags or labels for my blogs. The program wants to plug in words I don't want to use. Example, suppose I want to use "Art" as a tag. When I write in "Art", the word "Art Beads automatically fills in and can't be edited. If you know a way around this, please let me know.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Listen to this:
Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."
- Jim Jarmusch
The Stacker beads above are from PetraTornack-Zimmermann from Germany. She is a member of the German Clayguild. Her Flicker site has lots of great photos of her polymer clay, clothing and ATC's. Her Stacker beads look eerily like mine....but I'm so glad because there's no way I could provide Germany with all the Stacker beads they need! Clearly she didn't "steal" my idea...nor did I come up with it myself. It was a combination of timing, circumstance and past information all rolled (literally) into one technique.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The above Stacker beads are from Gaby Birrer of Switzerland. I think her photo here was the first bunch of Stackers I'd seen that weren't mine. Don't they look just good enough to eat? I think they look like chewy fruit flavored candies. Perhaps it's time for me to go make breakfast!
She also does some great extruded beads that get me pretty excited.
If you too decide to make Stacker beads, or have already done so, let me know! Just send me your name, where you're from, your websites (up to 3...like Flickr, Etsy, your own, etc) and a JPEG image of your Stacker beads. I will let you know when I feature you.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I was exceptionally stoked because The Hiders were the first band to play on the stage. I. Love. That. Band. I hope to totally do SSOM again next month.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today I had my bunk tooth all wrapped up in pearly goodness. A root canal and the placement of my new crown on tooth #14. Some folks will question why I would blog about something like this. Here is why:
I take great care of my teeth....no cavities in over 15 years. When #14, a molar, started getting really sensitive, I found out it had cracks in it. Then it started hurting worse. In order to avoid a potentially awkward and painful moment (ie, spitting it out after biting into one of my favorite foods....probably in public because I rarely cook for myself), the Universe decided it should be dealt with by professionals.
Well not only were the dentist who carved away my crumbling tooth (Dr. Jerry Paul) and the endodontist who did the root canal (Dr Timothy Kreimer) FANTASTIC at keeping away the aches and pains, they are both totally model-worthy. When I was a kid, my dentist was not model-worthy, and he had halitosis to boot. These guys are calm, collected, VERY professional and I'm totally satisfied with their service.
Anyway, the thing that shocked me the most about the root canal was the lack of noise during the procedure. I didn't have an iPod, but there was some boring European football game going on. The sound of jackhammers filled my brain beforehand in my anticipation of the procedure, but it was so....quiet. I knew Dr. Kreimer was threading all sorts of micro-screws up in there, digging out the source of my pain, but it didn't bother me. Even the burning smell didn't bother me, when they were doing whatever root canal-givers do. No, I didn't suck on a tank of nitrous or be given a shot or pill to calm me down. In fact, I almost fell asleep. Go figure.
So I walked a mile or so to my dentist after the root canal, hoping to squeeze in my new crown cementing-in, and it worked. Years of sensitivity are over, after my week or so of tenderness. My boyfriend and I are making soft foods tonight for dinner. Yummy!
If you need a root canal and have never had one, don't be freaked out. It's nothing. Think of it as an 'enhanced filling'.
And if either Dr Paul or Dr Kreimer read this post, don't be embarrassed about me outing you as totally gorgeous. I have a boyfriend and I love him very much.