Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas in California

I have a friend who lives a few towns over.  Between us, in the mountains, burns one of California's largest wildfires, the Thomas fire.  It began on Dec 4th and is still going strong.  It has burned 252,500 acres so far.  There are currently 8,369 fire personnel, 1,012 fire engines, 32 helicopters, 78 dozers, and 62 water tenders fighting the fire.  One firefighter has lost his life.

As a tribute/reflection on this fire, and all the herculean efforts to contain it, my friend created a Christmas card I wanted to share.  She is a talented and creative artist. 

Outside my front door, which is covered with ashes from the fire.
This is written on the inside:

In Life, it's all about what you have left,
versus what has been taken.
Find the shiny spot in life!!

I'm not the kind of person that holds on to many Christmas cards.  But, this one is a keeper.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

More Buttons


This piece contains a bonanza of buttons.  90+ buttons, actually.  I guess I don't suffer from koumpounophobia, which is a fear of buttons.  According to Wikipedia, a famous sufferer of koumpounophobia was Steve Jobs.

A few years ago I would not had the nerve to use so many buttons in a single piece.  I would have felt it was a waste of precious buttons.  But, I have given myself permission to use things I've hoarded.  While collecting is fun, using the stash is even better! 


I re-purposed an old clock for the frame, which made me realize (yet again) that I don't like to put my work behind glass.  I probably will end up removing the glass, but I'll live with it a while to see if it grows on me.

I think I'm done with buttons (for now).  I am grateful they brought me back into a productive artistic space.  Fall and winter are wonderful seasons to be creative.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


I found a bag of mother of pearl buttons at a thrift store recently.  I hit the creative jackpot.  I love buttons.  Best $4 I've spent in a long time.  When I started sifting through them at home, this mandala insisted on being born.  I thought about covering all the holes, but I've decided I like leaving many of them open.  No need for disguises.  It's okay for a button to be a button. 

But, now I feel like the center button needs a little something . . . 

Maybe a second button layered on the top?  I came up with a couple of choices:

Which one is better, A or B?

I have one more button piece in progress.  It has 92 buttons!

Monday, May 1, 2017

UFO Hop #2

I ran across this small piece of spiral rope in one of my bead boxes.  Poor little thing never even made it into the UFO box.  I think I considered it more of a "sample" than a UFO.  It dates back to June 2014 and the blog hop A Time To Stitch (ATTS) 5 hosted by Christine and Therese.  I liked it, I did.  But, a mere three inches in and I experienced rope burnout. 

Not wanting to take it apart I decided to turn it into a hair barrette, my latest beading obsession.  I don't make much jewelry, so when I feel an urge to adorn myself with beads I might as well use hair barrettes.  My standard hairdo is, after all, a ponytail. 

I might as well go ahead and show a few of the other barrettes I've made in the last couple of weeks. Some of them are simple, and others get a little wild.

This next one is my favorite.  I dug into my stash of 10+ year old Delicas (lined dark blue cut, no idea if they even make this color anymore).  These beads shimmer like water at sunset -- blue, silver and pink.

I feel a little guilty I didn't do more on the UFO front.  But I guess sometimes we just have to go with the flow.

I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else made out.  Here is the blog list:

Karen Williams, Baublicious
Francie Broadie,  FAB
Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Liz Hart, Treetop Life
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Christi Carter, Sweetpea Path
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It's Full of Books

Friday, March 31, 2017

SB Art Association

I find I get more enthusiastic about making pieces when I have something to work towards.  It could be a blog hop, a gift, or an art show - it doesn't matter, I just need a purpose.  Therefore, I decided to submit three pieces for the Santa Barbara Art Association's (SBAA) most recent jurying for membership.

The main reason I like the SBAA is because they display their shows in a large public space in the same building as the public library.  I am a tremendous fan of public libraries, and also for making art accessible to everyone.  A lot of people who might not otherwise have the time or interest to go to art museums/galleries have easy access to the SBAA shows. 

The process required three pieces.  One of them I already showed pictures of on this blog, but for purposes of a complete story I will show it again.

Largest piece.  Outside frame dimension 15.25 x 13.5 inches.

This one was previously posted.  Outside frame dimension 12.75 x 9.5 inches.

Runt of the litter size wise.  Outside frame dimension 8.5 x 6.5 inches
These are all bead weaving combined with bead embroidery. 

So what happened?

When I went to pick my work up I received a blue card.  That's the reject card.  I was told I could get feedback from the judges (anonymously of course).  This is what they said:
  • The first judge said no because they thought what I did was craft and not art. 
  • The second judge said no because they didn't like the presentation of my work.  They didn't like the frames.
  • The third judge was a yes. 
The rules are if two judges vote yes you are accepted.  The next open juring is in September.  I'm not going to decide yet if I'll try again .  Maybe I will, maybe I won't.