Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 2010 Wrap Up

What a month. I really didn't get much done after the funeral, trip home up north, a short illness, and then losing my creative mojo. I was slipping into the pit of poo. So I celebrated my birthday for a week again, like I did last year and I enjoyed myself. I also recharged the creative batteries. I met with friends I hadn't seen in awhile, talked to artist and writer friends and reconnected with creative business contacts.

So, this is what I did accomplish:
Sage, a stump doll with polymer face and hands
finished reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Worked on my bunny wall hanging, started a Double Irish Chain quilt, worked on my pirate story, and started another foil doll for the film.

I'm kind of glad this month is over. There were setbacks and some disappointments but the trip to the mountains saved everything. Onto a brand new month, a new year for me. It's time to turn into a creative juggernaut.

Are you ready?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebration June 2010

Here is a pic of the Great Smoky Mountains from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Quite spectacular and they just seem to go on and on and on. This was taken yesterday on my birthday. Last year my friend Maya took me to the coast and I said I wanted to live there. This year she kidnapped me to the mountains. I want a place there too.

I did manage to celebrate my birthday for a week this year just like last. Yesterday was day five and we started off a little after eight on the AM. She didn't tell me where we were going. We drove through Blowing Rock, NC which is a picturesque and quaint little town. Gorgeous! It is a tourist town and has people all year round, especially in the winter for skiing. The little shops were wonderful as well as the older homes.

We then headed to Boone, NC which is home to Appalachian State, a college town. But to wake up in the morning and see mountains covered in green in the summer, reds and golds in the fall, and white in the winter would be awesome. We had lunch there and dessert was from a bakery that uses all organic ingredients. I had a cranberry, coconut, chocolate chip cookie that was chewy on the inside and crispy around the edges. Yum! You could taste the love in that cookie. Also got a piece of triple chocolate cake with cream cheese in the center and in the frosting. Wow!

Then we headed to the parkway, passing an area that had a huge landslide. The two-lane highway had been cut off. Further along we went part way under a huge boulder. As big as one of those mini buses. The road did some serious curving and Maya is such an excellent driver. I wasn't really worried, but some of those turns were treacherous and didn't want to end up in her lap. We got to the viaduct (I wish I was able to get a picture of it) but it was part of the road that swung out and away from the side of the mountain. Amazing. We came around a bend and there was this expanse of mountains on top of mountains. I just about cried it was so beautiful. It looked right out of a magazine.

We continued on and stopped at several historic sites. Here is a painter at the Moses Cohn House. Inside is a shop for arts and crafts from members of the Southern Highlands Guild. We stopped at several other shops too.

Moses Cohn House backyard.

The front of the house. A very big house. The Moses Cohn Hospital is in Greensboro, NC.



Along the parkway we came across Negro Mountain which was renamed Jackson Mountain. The first name because many slaves traveled it to freedom. I guess someone didn't like the name Negro so it was changed. I guess it didn't matter that it was a part of our collective history.

I also stood where Daniel Boone tread. I use to watch Fess Parker in the TV series(I think that was filmed in CA but the real guy was in NC). I can also say I've stood where Queen Elizabeth I was in a ruined castle. That's another story.

We stopped at this very old cemetery with dates going back to the early 1800s. I don't know what kind of flowers these are but they were pretty and smelled very nice.

Some of the markers were just stones.

A close up of the pretty flowers.
It was an all day trip and I was in awe of the mountains. I still want a coastal home but I want a mountain retreat too. It was a great day with a great friend. I felt very special and really realized there's so much more of this world I want to see. Two years in a row of a good birthday day. I wonder what's going to top this in 2011?





Monday, June 21, 2010

Sage Welcomes Summer

Here she is. Sage is finally done and on the first day of summer. She came out better than expected and she's been traveling for quite some time now and is in need of a rest, light meal and a cool beverage.
She's got lots of beads and the only thing missing is her medicine pouch. I'm waiting on a mustard seed from a friend tonight in applique group. My friend Rita gave me some old kid gloves that I will use for her pouch. I may have to darken it a little with shoe polish because the gloves are off white. It's all good.

The ball on her staff is actually painted with gold Lumiere paint but it's not showing up well.

She's got a hood on and a shawl over her cloak. I don't know if I'm back in the creative saddle again but I have gotten back to finishing. I worked on my bunny wall hanging this morning to kind of get me into my art groove. Still feeling kind of blah. Maybe it's the heat.

Happy Summer everyone!



Friday, June 18, 2010

Reaper Man

Wow! Isn't it amazing what a good pic can do to some work? You can see his parts. The beads and whatnot. He's a cheeky little fellow isn't he? Someone you'd go partying with and then make you wish you didn't have that last brewski.

You can see the bead work on his hat. I love this guy.

And his silver belt buckle which is on a very thin strip of very soft leather and more beads. The buckle I found in the scrap booking section. I hope you like the updated pics.


Creative Mojo Still Slipping




I'm not trying to freak out about my creative mojo going off and on, hot and cold. A deck of cards not even held together by fly spit. Okay, maybe not. At times I can find thermal air and coast, then I stop myself mid-happy dance, wondering why I'm happy. Nothing's getting done. But I am doing something, it's just not dolls! Maja called me a killjoy.



Any hoo, I've been writing up a storm. Reworking my young adult adventure manuscript and my adult pirate story. I am proud of myself, me still being techno challenged, that I figured out how to resize pics on my laptop so I can post them on other sites. So totally pleased. So I've got better pics of Marlow and Jesserina and my Reaper Man. You can actually see the bead work. I didn't take the pics, Maclain Bryant did. Reaper Man will be in a separate post 'cause I'm still me and the techno stuff still wants to be the boss.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There is Something Going On

Sorry, no new pics just yet. I'm still trying to get over being discombobulated from the trip north. The temps we are having are those fit for August, not June. Sleeping so close to a fan hasn't helped my recovery of being as tired as a beaver making Hoover Dam II and now my sinuses have decided a sneak attack. Lovely summer. I can't do anything about it so I worked, strived to move on.

Yesterday didn't start out well. It was one of those, 'What the heck am I doing?' days. Who am I? What do I want out of life? What makes me think I can do this stuff? Yeah, I was whining and panicking. I quickly grew tired of the Bad Wendy assault and mentally slapped myself. Get a grip!

Am I doing a lot? Yes. Have I taken on too much? Probably. But if I'm not busy, creative busy, I don't feel alive. I've gotten to the point where I have to make things, write things. Creating and writing has finally gotten to the point where it's like breathing. I start to ache when I don't do something with my hands and my mind. It kind of doesn't matter if anyone sees it or not. These things are my creations.

Yesterday turned into a good day even though my head was swimming and my throat felt like the backside of a porcupine. I told myself that I would not cry and stopped thinking of all that was on my dinner table. I chose one thing and worked on it which started a domino effect.

I typed up my synopsis for book II of my Map Hunter series. It's the adventure I wanted to read when I was a kid. The adventure where the main character is a girl and she saves the realm without the aid of a boy. I wrote out my book arcs and then did chapter arcs. I did some reading. I was a voracious reader in my youth and early adulthood. I'm reading Terry Goodkind's 'Wizard's First Rule'. The TV series Legend of the Seeker comes from his books. I get a kick out of seeing his name appear in the credits of every episode, which leads to a new fan to go out and buy his books. I'm also reading 'Outlander' by Diana Gabaldon. I also wrote four new pages of an adult fantasy story. Which may or may not see completion but I wrote it.

I finally finished the first wrap of the Madonna foil doll. This morning I cut skin fabric to wrap her with. The fabric for her dress is ready and I pulled out the fabric for Sage's outfit. She's got to have a medicine pouch. I've got some nice light weight suede for that. I have to see if any friends have any mustard seed. That's suppose to be good for many things.

Also this morning I pulled out my manuscript for a pirate story with a twist. It's about a female pirate on the high seas. I had started it for last years NANOWRIMO and didn't finish. I want to find out where I am with it and see if it can be salvaged.

I've ordered wool batting to use over armatures for my needle felt pieces. The pirates, ghoulies, and witchies are yelling at me to get them done. Halloween is coming!

My goal is still the same. Something creative everyday. I am grateful that I have friends who tell me to take a break, or they rescue me from my apartment to go see a movie. Always battling demons of doubt and that it's too late for me to do what I want to do with my life.

It's never too late.

I may not get to everything but I'm going to give it one hell of a shot. I'm not done yet.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bus Ride, Halfway From Hell

This is a long post, if you are so inclined, grab your favorite drink and enjoy.

Okay, I just had to write about my trip via that grey dog. I've taken the bus a lot. My first excursions were when I was very young and every year my granny would take me and my cousin out west to visit relatives in Arizona and California. It was great, she knew all the landmarks, and she made the best fried chicken that we ate along the way.

It was funny back then 'cause we would get so dark being outside playing that granny would scrub us to death. My aunt would tell her that it wasn't dirt but a tan. I guess we didn't get as dark in Michigan during the summer. Any hoo, those are fond memories where I saw lizards, road runners, sat on a huge tortoise, and wild west shows in Tuscon.

As I got older, I took the bus to and from university on the weekend to go home to raid the fridge and do laundry. Then I took a bus ride to New Brunswick, Canada for an art workshop.

But this time, oh my.....

The first leg wasn't too bad. The first driver was funny and let us know when we got close to our next stop. And it wasn't even his regular route. He took a head count, and asked us to remember who we sat next to so we wouldn't leave them behind after a rest stop. He said to make sure that we got all of our belongings when we got off to change buses because he would be at the flea market on Sat and any kids left behind would be returned. Then we got to Columbus, OH and it all changed. The new driver wasn't that nice and never told us where we were until he pulled in and basically told us to hit the road. Okay, maybe not that harsh.

It was depressing hitting the steel belt. Decaying buildings but in the town of Finlay, some of those old brick buildings were being revitalized, turned into new businesses and lofts. One old building looked way cool with the worn and dirty brick, very small windows and huge round ceiling lights (it was night). I envisioned artist working inside, loving, battling their life and creative demons. That place has been filed away in my head.

From there to Marion, where a young man boarded who seemed to have been pickled in his cologne. I was trying not to hurl my last meal and couldn't breathe. Finally the driver got back on the bus and turned on the AC. Next stop Toledo and Detroit. Landmarks were familiar again but certain areas looked like demilitarized zones. My poor city. Detroit use to be beautiful and in some places it still is but the blight is incredible. I almost cried. It looks worse than after the riots in the 60s.

Arrived at the terminal an hour late and waited almost another hour for my ride. My mom missed the exit to the station and got all turned around because of construction. You know how that is. So the way up was pretty much a straight shot. The way back was something totally different.

16 bloody hours
We hit so many little towns and hamlets that if you didn't live there, you wouldn't know they existed. Towns where there was just a hound dog sign. There were three extra stops in OH along with those mentioned above. We even got over to Kentucky. Then a gazillion stops in West Virginia and Virginia. I love VA. The early morning fog on the mountains looked like the remnants of dragon fire. Truly amazing. Filed that one too.

Then there were the people. We started off at night. For 20 minutes two guys were talking, one very loudly and he had a raspy voice that just echoed throughout the cabin of the bus. The loud guy was a vet of WW2 and the beginning of his tales were interesting. Then he got into his three marriages (2 ending in death and one divorce), and several deaths by train. It was interesting that he knew so many people who had met their fate that way. Good thing we didn't cross any train tracks. They finally piped down when a guy a seat over and behind me started talking, humming, singing and swearing to himself and doing a rendition of hambone. OMG! He forgot his meds. This took place between 11:45 on the pm and 12:50 on the am. My eyes were about to pop out of my head.

There was the internet dating gone horribly wrong. A lady was on her way to meet her beau. She was from Ontario, Canada and she was boasting how he was 56 and she was 46 and he had a blue Cadillac. I was halfway listening and wondering why she was taking the bus to see this nut if he had a Cadillac? When the bus came to her stop, she got off, and the 3 ladies she was telling her tale to jumped up to see the Cadillac that wasn't there. There was a blue vehicle. A late 80s model compact station wagon that was about 3 shades of blue and some rust. There was a woman and a young man in the back seat. We couldn't see her face (Canada girl) but the guy had obviously seen a pic of her and was very happy to see her. Now if he was 56, I'm 18. He was more like 72. They had been emailing and talking to each other for 2 years. Do you see something wrong with this picture? They (the ladies on the bus) started laughing. I was screaming in my mind for Canada Girl to run or get back on the bus. She could change her ticket at the next stop for 15 bucks. All I could think about was Deliverance and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I do hope she told someone back home where she was going to be in WV.

We all had our laugh but at the end, wished her well and a quick exit. I mean, all the stories about internet dating and she never saw a pic of this guy. Smack my head. There were others who were nuts and without medication. A guy said that when he got to his destination, he was ready to brush his one tooth. One lady got on the bus and asked me if it was the right one to Winston-Salem. I said yes. She asked me three more times in a row and I was about ready to smack her. When we got off for a break, she asked me twice if the bus I was standing next to was ours. I should've said no. Come to find out that she was on her way to see her brother who just happened to be locked up. She had been locked up before too, in the same city.

I did see a group of Amish and I didn't have my sketch book because they made a wonderful scene. There was a skateboard dude who gave a toddler his cell phone when she woke up and started crying because grandma was taking a cigarette break. He was cool.

That ride was a haul. I felt like one of those cartoon maps with the feet. They start off, go straight, loop around, go down, go backwards, and then zig zag. If we had gone in a straight line we would've made it to California. Or at least Las Vegas where I could've played the slots and seen Wayne Newton.

I don't know if I'll ever take another bus ride. But you can't beat the characters you come across.

My Family

I'm back from Michigan. Fran's funeral was nice. She touched many lives in a number of positive ways and my brother did a fine job. I'm so proud of him and his family. My nieces and nephew.

The baby is three months old and just adorable. Loved kissing her cheeks and she's so happy.

Here's my mom and baby.

My brother Damon and his wife Sangria. A very tall Maia, Damon Jr, and Jordyn. I'm so proud of everyone.

I also got to see others I haven't seen in ages. Was able to have dinner with a friend from high school and one from university.
I ate so much and had wonderful drinks. Of course the Margarita and Bombay Gimlet. Then I had this dessert called a Spumoni with 3 different ice creams (vanilla, chocolate, pistachio), pistachios, pecans, dried cherries, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. I now have to lose 15 pounds instead of 10.

I'm still beat from the trip and will have to get over that soon. Way too much creative stuff to do and I'm getting excited again. I will have to take a day or so to go ahead and design things, then I can get started.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June

Happy June!
Yes, it's my favorite month of the year after October. A wonderful month to be born in. It wasn't always that way. When I was a kid, I didn't like my birthday month because it never got celebrated during the school year like other kids. No cupcakes for me in a classroom. I'm still a bit traumatized. A bit. I guess by the time I buy the creative spread in the sky, I'll be over it.

I'd like to welcome new follower Debbie. The creative ride has been fun so far this year. I'm going to shift it into the next gear. Hope you have fun too.

Seeing that this is the 2010 midway point, instead of listing what I'd like to do, I think I'll just surprise you guys and gals. Don't worry, I've got my list(s). LOL I'm learning that even with the lists, it's okay to deviate from it. That does keep things interesting when a wrench is thrown into the works. I will still post in progress pics and work to focus on a series this time.

I am so loving Halloween. I've pulled out all my itty bitty sketches and doodles and ideas I've written down through the flowing sands of the hourglass of my mind. Right. Okay, I'm getting back into my fantasy manuscripts. Did I mention I had a list or two or three?

The mermaid tails are flapping in their container, looking for their upper parts. Hmmm... goth mermaids. Oh the possibilities. I can't wait to use my black and gun metal like tulle, beads, and lace. We shall see.

I am also going to get serious about losing this last ten pounds that's been lingering around my middle regions. Eegads! Bad Wendy is laughing quite hysterically right now. I will have to do a proper introduction.

Last month I was creative 30 out of 31 days. Yeah, that shocked the heck-out-of-me. A new month awaits. I'm getting excited. I'm going to go for the 30 out of 30. Wish me luck.

Here She Is!

It finally came through. Good grief. I'm supposed to be participating in Inktober and here is my first one. Yep, I'm behind. B...