Friday, December 30, 2011

The end is near.........Welcome 2012

my witch from Arley Berryhill's class, Mom and I having a cocktail at Thanksgiving

and Ed and I having a sushi dinner at our favorite restaurant

My last post started with "oh my gosh I can't believe it has been two months since I've written" and here it is another two months gone. Where does the time go? Has anyone ever answered that question? I don't think so.

2011 seemed to have flown by and now it is time to take stock of where I've been and where I'm going. This past year brought so many wonderful things.....

another Artfest last April

polymer clay workshops I organized with Jana Roberts Benzon and Sarah Shriver

another season of training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (Ed and I raised $5,200 and went to San Francisco to do the Nike Half Marathon)

a few days in Phoenix with my fabulous friend Cynde at Art Unraveled

celebrating my mom's birthday in Albuquerque with my brother, his wife and my daughter, Jennie, and having Mom make the decision to move here

having my dad visit us and discovering a new restaurant in Santa Fe

my friend Pam and her son Kendall visited from North Dakota and we got some of our old Z-CoiL buddies together for a lovely dinner

being active in the Kokopelli Doll Group (and winning a blue ribbon at the State Fair with my first doll!)

being active in the LIBROS book arts group (and winning a blue and red ribbon for two of my hand made books)

starting a Visual Journaling group

making a super cool witch in a workshop with Arley Berryhill (photo attached)

going to Clay Carnival in Las Vegas (with Cynde of course)

making a bunch of new friends online (and I got to meet Carlanda Brown Williamson and Serena Barton in person)

and somehow I managed to work full time!!!

Ed and I had another wonderful year together - we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, we grew lots of tomatoes and corn in our garden, we hosted a Stampin' Up party and Ed helped the ladies as we made lovely Christmas projects, we trained for the half marathon together and Ed also coached the Team in Training cycling team, we relaxed while watching our favorite TV shows (and I often had my art table set up in the living room so that I could feed my creative habits while catching up on Trueblood, Grey's Anatomy, Bones, The Closer, etc), we went to the Yoga Winter Solstice celebration, we held another Trivia Night fundraiser, we had a lovely Thanksgiving in Arkansas with my mom (whose house is on the market so she can move to Albuquerque!!), and a quiet Christmas with home made cookies.

2012 is already starting off with a bang.....going to Dallas in two weeks to do a workshop with Kate Church ( and I'll be returning to Artfest at the end of March (sad that this will be the last one ( We are hoping to go back to Australia to visit all our friends later in the year, but that may not happen unless they finally let us use our frequent flyer miles or we win the lottery!

I hope that 2012 brings everyone a wonderful year full of magic.....and I'll try (once again) to be better about posting in my blog.

Happy New Year!!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Early morning Sunday thoughts

First thought.....can it really be almost TWO MONTHS since I last wrote in my blog? Well, the evidence clearly shows that to be true. The best intentions have been falling by the wayside lately. As I get older I keep discovering more and more and more things I want to do and be involved in and I know I'll never have time to do them all. So how does one go about choosing? That is a topic that deserves much more additional thought. I'll let you know what I find!!

Second thought.....I found out last night that Artfest 2012 is going to be the last one. Teesha Moore is moving on to other adventures. I am signed up to go again in 2012 and it will be my fourth one. Fort Worden in Port Townsend is a magical place, with lots of magical friends and to think this will be the last one has made me very sad. Of all the workshop adventures I've ever participated in, Artfest is by far the most special, so I feel empty and sad that I am about to attend the last one. But maybe the fact that Teesha has made this decision will help me to go back to my first thought and make decisions that will be right for ME. Hmmm....keep that thought.

Third the meantime, I am headed out in a few days to Clay Carnival, a wonderful get together of polymer clay artists that I have attended for several years. It is four days of learning and sharing and laughing and is also magical (although I must say that the Imperial Palace hotel doesn't hold a candle to the magic of Fort Worden for many obvious reasons). Although I will miss my wonderful husband, it will be good to get away and do the thing I love the most......make art.

Since I've had a bad cold for a few days now, I don't think I have a fourth thought. Oh I'm sure it's in there somewhere, along with about a million other thoughts that are screaming "Pick me, Pick me, Pick me". But I am trying to quiet all the voices and decide what is best for me. I wonder how Teesha did it? I am sure by being brave. I guess I just need to learn a little bravery.

And I leave you with a photo of me in my Halloween costume. The intent was to be Dr. Frank-n-Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it was kinda depressing that only one person all day knew who I was supposed to be and that so many people said "oh yeah, I've heard of that movie". Proof that I am getting older and the time to make me decision is NOW!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Learning to be fearless

My friend Cynde and I made a pact a couple of months ago to do something creative every day. Since then, rarely a day goes by that I don't get out my pencils, or scissors, or paints, or stamps, or stencils, or needles and threads, or a favorite art book and lose myself in the joy of creating.

I am trying my best not to be too critical of myself, and am attempting to be fearless. It is a difficult struggle. As an artist, we somehow see ourselves as less than we really are. I am attempting to NOT try to be perfect, but to just ENJOY the process of creating.

There is a website that I subscribe to - the Brave Girls Club - and every day they send out an inspiring message that I use to help me in my quest to be the artist I want to be. To not be scared. To try new things. To be confident. To be FEARLESS. It isn't easy, but I am taking baby steps in the right direction.

I used my fearlessness and submitted one of my original drawings (inspired by a class with Carla Sonheim) to the Brave Girls, and I just found out that I am the featured "birdie" artist of the day. I am thrilled. Tonight I have NO FEAR.

Check it out.........and subscribe to their'll love the inspiring messages. (I believe you have to be a member - it is free - to see the posting. )

Monday, August 22, 2011

Before and After


No. I didn't get a face lift. I look exactly the same (well, perhaps a few more wrinkles since I last posted). Are you KIDDING? It has been over two months? Yikes. Can I give the excuse that I've been REALLY busy? Because I have. It's the truth. The whole truth and nothing BUT the truth.

I'm not sure where the rest of June went, but in July, Ed and I organized and held our Trivia Night fundraiser benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We are training to walk the Nike half marathon in San Francisco in October. So there was a ton of planning to do. It was a successful night and we raised just under $2000.......but we still have another $2000 to raise to reach our goal of $6000. (anyone out there want to donate??)

Then the following week, I hosted Sarah Shriver for a FABULOUS polymer clay workshop. I met new polymer friends from Miami and Colorado and we had so much fun learning new things to do with polymer. Ed and I treated the whole class to a clogging demo at lunchtime!!

The week after that, I took off with my friend Cynde to Phoenix, where we attended Art Unraveled and learned MORE new art techniques. Cynde is now officially my art partner and we pledge to make some art every day.

I took one look at my studio this weekend and in the heck can I make art?.....I can't even SEE my table!!!! So I decided to share the before and after photos with you!!

Sorry.....gotta run.....time to make some art while the table is clean!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Full Tilt Boogie

Life keeps speeding along and sometimes I have great trouble just controlling the steering wheel! I am always overwhelmed with all the possibilities and choices that are out there. My newest acquisition is the "Full Tilt Boogie" class that I signed up for with Mary Ann Moss. WHAT??? You don't know Mary Ann Moss? Shame on you. She is awesome and her online classes are spectacular. I have been enjoying "Remains of the Day" for about a year now, and on June 17th, those of us who have signed up (and paid for) Full Tilt Boogie will get our first instructions and videos to watch. I can't wait. But I guess I'll have to!! We are going to be using a vintage photo album (see a previous post where I share photos of my super cool eBay purchase).
In the meantime, here is a photo of the sun as we saw it this week through the haze of smoke that has been coming from the Arizona fires. It is so sad that such a horrible disaster creates something so beautiful.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walking for a cure

My wonderful, gorgeous, patient, handsome, sweet husband, Ed (can you tell that I think he's pretty amazing?) has signed up to walk the Nike (half) marathon in San Francisco in October with me.
I walked it 2 1/2 years ago and it was really fun. My knees aren't so great, and my feet pretty much suck, but I just took my time and eventually crossed the finish line. The fact that I knew there were handsome firemen in tuxedos waiting at the finish line to hand me a Tiffany necklace from a silver platter definitely helped keep me going!! Anyway, Ed and I started training last week and we are holding a Trivia Night fundraiser on July 23rd benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). It will be the fifth one we have done and it is always a REALLY fun evening. So.....if you are in Albuquerque, please come and join us. And if you're not in the neighborhood, please help us by donating to help with the research to find a cure for blood cancers. The link to our website where you can donate is
I have participated in four LLS Team in Training endurance events and have raised over $20,000 and Ed has been a cycling coach with the teams for four years. We have friends and family that have been affected by these terrible diseases, and we will continue to train and fundraise until a cure has been found. Please help us by donating today!! And a big thanks in advance!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Artist Fingers

I adore Artfest. Teesha Moore does such a wonderful job of gathering artists to teach all of us. They are the best of the best, and Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington is a truly magical place. But I must say, that the hardest part about the experience is what it did to my poor nails. Here is what they looked like after three days of making art. I thought they would never be the same.

But lo and behold, after weeks of treating them to lots of oily mixtures, I was able to get them back into shape. Here is what they look like now. Didn't I do a great job of the manicure? Yep....not a salon own work of manicure art. I guess being an artist also applies to getting the polish on neatly!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beauty and the Mess

This week I went to a meeting of the LIBROS Book Arts Guild at the Treasurer's home (I am the new Membership Chair...wanna join?). Her home was awesome - very cool and arty and the view from her patio was breathtaking. See?

Not so beautiful was what happened to me at work......I pulled my desk drawer out too far and it ended up on the floor!! Gave me a chance to clean it out, and now it, too, is beautiful!!

Sorry....I don't have an "after" shot. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Artist's Way

Often I am the last one to discover cool new things, and this time isn't any different!! I was looking at Dayna Collins' website ( the other day. She is an artist I bought a postcard from at Artfest earlier this month....beautiful work....check her out.
She talked about "The Artist's Way" so I checked that out, too ( Julia Cameron has written books about "discovering and recovering your creative self". Well, I certainly have a need for that!! So I started doing the morning pages and now I get up every day 45 minutes early to write in my journal. I thought I would hate it, but I make myself a chai tea and pour my heart and brain into my pages and I am really loving it.
If I understand correctly (and tomorrow I am going to the bookstore to actually get the book), I am not supposed to spend time reading what I wrote and not necessarily share my thoughts. Part of exploring my creative self I can't let you peek into my journal. I can only make you curious by showing you the front of it!! Some day I might be famous and this photo could be in People magazine and if I showed you the pages, there would surely be some scandal about them. So you'll just have to guess (and continue your subscription to People.....just in case!!)

So I've been telling everyone about my great, new discovery, and it seems many, many people have already been using the techniques. That's ok........slow and steady wins the race, right??

Friday, April 29, 2011

1892 - Who are these people?

Last year I signed up for Mary Ann Moss' online workshop entitled "Remains of the Day". Check out some of the photos on her blog.... The workshop teaches you how to make fabulous journals, and although I have yet to finish mine, the yahoo group associated with the workshop is fantastic and I've done some swaps with the participants. I highly recommend you sign is well worth your hard earned $$.

Anyway.....Mary Ann has hinted that she is coming out with a new class in June and that in preparation for it, we should purchase a vintage photo album. Knowing how great Mary Ann's classes are, those of us who "know" her are ready to click on the PayPal button and buy it as soon as it becomes available.....sight unseen....that's how wonderful her workshops are!

So last week I watched the auctions on eBay and I purchased one. It came today and I am blown away by the wonderful piece of history I purchased for only $21. It dates back to the late 1800's and came with many, many picture plates of people from the past, posed for all eternity. There aren't many names written anywhere in the book, so I am left to wonder who these people were and why the album now belongs to me and wasn't handed down to their ancestors. It is a treasure and I am so happy to now be the keeper of these beautiful portraits from the past.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Artfest and Journal 365

I got back from Artfest last week. Words cannot express what a wonderful time I had. I met up with four great ladies with whom I shared a rental car and we are now forever known as the Fabulous Five. I took classes with Mary Beth Shaw, L.K. Ludwig and Karen Michel. All of them were awesome. I am now saving my pennies (and nickels and dimes and quarters) to return next year for the fourth time!!

I also signed up to do Pam Carriker's online workshop entitled "Journal 365" and today I finished making the book that I will use to do the exercises. The workshop is meant to take you through a year of journaling. This will be a wonderful journey!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm a fool

Well, not really.....but it IS April Fool's Day. No one has played a trick on me yet, but being the gullible person that I am, I am sure that someone will get me before the day is over.

I am having a wonderful day. Jana Roberts Benzon is here from Salt Lake City to teach a polymer workshop (check out her website at This will be the third time I've brought her down to Albuquerque to teach, and we are having a blast. She will be doing a "Meet the Artist" event tonight in the gallery, and we are getting ready for that, then tomorrow we start the "Laser Cut" workshop. Thank goodness there are no real lasers involved, because I'm something of a klutz when it comes to dangerous tools!! I'll post photos of what we make and you'll have to take a step or two back from your keyboard because you'll be drooling!! (that is, of course, if what I make turns out ok!!) In the meantime, above is a self portrait I took of myself on a recent trip to visit family in Miami, as well as a photo of my brother and me as he took me on my very first motorcycle ride!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Every year we make them.....well, I do anyway. I don't know why I do because resolutaions are destined to fail and I hate failing. I said I would post every week, and golly, gee, gosh, darn.....can it REALLY be a whole month since I posted?

Oh dear, here come the feelings of guilt....... I resolved to post every week and now I've let everyone down. That makes me laugh - I mean, it's not as if a million people are waiting for my next post with baited breath. Guess I've let myself down. But NO.....WAIT....I also resolved to NOT be so hard on myself. So it's a Catch 22 and something I will never resolve.

Who made up the idea of resolutions anyway, and why can't they start on 4th?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What a Snow Day produced

Inside view of the box made to hold the Piano Hinge book.
Piano Hinge book lying open.
Piano Hinge book standing on its edge.
Piano Hinge book inside its box. The box is completely made from "scratch". Sections were cut by hand from a large piece of board and then covered with decorative paper and beads.

Here is the story of where it came from...........
We awoke today to black ice roads, freezing temperatures, snow and howling winds. The University of New Mexico (where I work) cancelled classes and announced a "snow day". I thought carefully about what I should spend this unexpected "free" day doing. Clean? Cook? Iron? Make Art? So I made ART!! (what a silly choice of options, right?)
I am a relatively new member of the Libros bookmaking group, recently joined their study group and attended my first workshop last Saturday. Amy showed us how to make a Piano Hinge book complete with a handmade decorative box to hold it.
I listened carefully during the workshop and brought home a mostly finished book, but no box. So with my gift of time today I took apart my book and reconstructed it (because I wasn't happy with how it looked) and made the decorative box to hold it. It pretty much took the whole day, but I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
And it is still snowing..........

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Living my life Wickedly

Last night we went to see "Wicked". I was skeptical because I had a hard time getting into the book or listening to it on audio. But WOW oh WOW was I blown away. It was so AWESOME I just didn't want it to end. So if it comes to your town, RUN, don't walk, and get tickets. If I had some extra cash (which I never do!!) I'd go see it several times more.

Here are some words from one of the songs to inspire you today (and always):

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason

Bringing something we must learn and we are led

To those who help us most to grow if we let them

And we help them in return

Well, I don't know if I believe that's true

But I know I'm who I am today

Because I knew you.....

This blog post is dedicated to all my wonderful friends who have supported me on my fabulous journey through the years. All the good (and the bad) have made me who I am today, and I hope with your help I can continue to live my life to the very fullest. I'm certainly trying.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beading for a Cure

Every year for the past three years I've participated in a wonderful project. Jeanette Shanigan, a beader from Alaska, organizes people from around the world to stitch tiny beaded squares (1 1/2" x 1 1/2") that she assembles into quilted wall hangings. These quilts are auctioned at the Bead & Button Show each year and the proceeds go to breast cancer research. Each year she has a theme and this year's theme is "Caring hands beading together to help find a cure for breast cancer."

Beaders from around the world stitched over 500 squares for last year's "turtle" quilt project. and their efforts raised nearly $3,000. Linda Davis (my friend and one of the co-owners of our gallery) donates her time and beads so that Albuquerque artists can participate. I am proud to say that 90 of the squares from last year were stitched by our local beaders. An anonymous donor purchased the quilt that was made from the New Mexico beads and it is now proudly displayed at local bead store Lodi's Beads.

The past two years I have participated and made a quilted square, but this year I've been overly ambitious and have made five so far!! Here are photos of four of them.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rocks in My Head

No beans in my ears....just rocks in my head. They are there for many reasons. Probably mostly because my head is filled with so many ideas of art projects that I want to do that I would have to live to be at least 500 to complete them all. That's the bad news. The good news is that I have all the supplies I need to last me until I'm 500. So guess I had better get busy, right?

But the rocks you see in the photo are polymer clay rocks in a necklace I made for our "Mineral Spirits" show that opened this week in the gallery I co-own with six other artists. I haven't sold any of them yet - could it be that no one wants to wear the same jewelry as Wilma Flinstone or Betty Rubble? Hmmm. Perhaps I should discover a way to turn polymer clay into diamonds!! Check out the gallery at
Remember my resolution to write in my post every week this year? Well.....I'm right on track. So far so good - and I joined the gym, too. Yep. Rocks in my head.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A clean slate for the New Year

Ed and I next to our Christmas tree on Christmas Day.

A new year lies before us. What shall we do with it? What resolutions shall we make and break? Which ones will we keep? I find this to be an exciting time of year with so many possibilities before me. A clean slate to do with what I want. And what DO I want? I have the same goals I always have each better, get fitter, lose pounds, etc. But this year I am really going to try - no darn it - I am GOING TO spend more time doing the things I love, and get some of the clutter out of my life. (yes, yes, I promise to clean out the garage and have a huge yard sale) And of course another resolution is to write EVERY week on my blog. I can do it all. I know I can. So I bid you adieu for now......gotta get busy working on the new me (but I'll keep some of the old me, so don't worry!!)