Archive for the ‘things I find exciting’ Category


JM reporting in…

March 3, 2011

Today was removing all the stuff I’ve been shifting around lately–20+ boxes of bottles were sent to the basement so I could function in my kitchen again.  Garbage goes out tomorrow night, then Friday I’ll load up the stuff for Goodwill.  That should gain me a living room again!

I spent the evening with Ben et al, who turned 4 today!! Then I came home and rewired the phone jacks as there was no phone service.  Didn’t help, but after 40 minutes on various automated-menus, I reset the modem and voila! it works again.  I have no idea what happened, but it works.


So, as a photo for today, I’ll show you my daily photo for today that my bestest friend Dave sends me…I’ll be joining him shortly and this is our countdown:

It's in the 80's there!!

Later gator!!



the SWEET smell of Success!

January 22, 2011

I have had so much to say, so much to report but have been totally unable to gain access to my blog.  It’s a minor issue with my Google account; they took exception to me turning my cookies off, but I turned them back on again-honest!!   No matter what I do, however, Google won’t accept that fact and has been refusing me entry into their hallowed halls.

Then I remembered my laptop–YES my settings were untouched…!  So here I am again.  Lots to tell, lots to talk about, lots to share.  Dreams, adventures, and hopes all mixed together so thick it makes my head spin.

Life has been a merry-go-round whirl, a roller coaster ride for sure.  I won’t go into too many details all at once, but over time will share it all, no fear.  For right now, a brief outline:

Jewelry-Very successful! A wonderful show in Florida, great gallery sales, now I’m actively seeking more galleries in other areas of the country.

Work:  new career (but I don’t WANT a career!!) that I can love that entails writing / travel / photography, almost like I’ve always dreamed of. 

Home-life:  not too much change there yet, but pending.  Dad is about to join mom in the nursing home…I’ve done my best for the past 2+ years to keep him going independently, but it’s been so hard on them to be separated and now he’s needing more care than I can give him.  They are looking forward to being reunited. 

So–Pending freedom for me, both emotional and actual, as I will be set loose and  need to move out of this 80 degree bedroom  and back into my poor abandoned home.  I don’t intend to be there forever, just long enough to fix it up and Move On. 

A brand new grandbaby, and another one due in about 4 months.  The ties that bind are strong-this would be the only thing to keep me here anymore.

Well, back to work…i have another ad to create and an article to write.  No rest, you know… guess I’ll shut up now.



Everything old is new again…finally!

July 15, 2010

I’ve been a quilter since the early 70’s.  It was my life-I lived and breathed quilting.  I taught in classes, at workshops, for community events, at civic organizations. 

My proudest achievement was making a quilt by hand inspired by the antique quilts I couldn’t afford to buy.  I patched together scraps to make pieces big enough to cut the patches from, just like they used to years ago.  It was of new materials, but many of the fabrics were part of a reproduction line so they looked the part.  I hand quilted it, then entered it in a show.   Throughout the day, as I worked at the show, I heard women discussing whether it was contemporary or an antique…so I knew I’d succeeded in making my very own ‘antique’ quilt.

Since that time, I’ve moved to contemporary, one-of-a-kind quilts…quilts for walls.  Inspired by clean modern art, by color and line, I created my own graphic statements.  Maybe I should have been a painter, but fabric was my medium, it was all I knew.  My second proudest achievement was creating a quilt that was accepted into the very first international quilt show.  It went to Salzberg, Austria for the huge quilt fest and then traveled for 2 years. 

The quilt scene became so crowded after that.  So many shows, so much money involved, so many hundreds of quilt artists who made these fantastic quilts…I couldn’t help but wonder, would they have made them had there been no show, no $10,000 prize for them to try for? 

I felt very stifled and overwhelmed.  I stopped going to shows, quit my quilt groups, dropped my magazines.  I wanted to create, but I didn’t want to be influenced or amazed by everything out there.  There was so much talent and so many awesome things being done…I basically dropped out and worked on what I wanted, when I wanted, IF I wanted…and it wasn’t often.  I would work furiously for 2-3 months, creating maybe 15-30 pieces, then walk away and do nothing the rest of the year.  I did enter  a show during that time and got in; a friend sent me a picture of the quilt.  I have no idea where the quilt is now, if its sold or if I even still own it. 

But here, this is coming back to the root of it all.  Alabama Chanin is doing it again, but in a new way…simple but so expressive.   Seeing her work excites me and makes me want to go back and do it again.   Check out her blog and give it a go-it will enrich your life!

Alabama Chanin's Indigo Star


Magically Delicious!

May 13, 2010

I love things that fill me with wonder: fireworks, icy frozen trees in that blue light of pre-dawn that looks like fairyland, the concrete lace of the watts towers like I mentioned before…

Seeing one of Dale Chihuly’s glass installation was one of those magical experiences. I remember catching a PBS special on him and his work.  To see his exuberance and larger-than-life presence–I was fascinated.  He was so alive and I loved that he was dressed in bright yellow pants and a turquoise shirt!

He was so immersed in his art, and confident; he knew just what he wanted to do. To watch him create his glass was a thrill but strangely enough, it was watching him paint his studies that truly freed me for a time. His large arm movements and sweeping gestures, his generous splatters and squirts of large paint tubes…and in mere minutes, he had painted plans of a new piece of glass art.  As abstract as they are, there is no question of what they are to be:

I was lucky enough to see a couple of his installations over the past few years. The last one was at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh a couple years ago and if you ever get the chance, be sure to see it at night-that’s when the magic happens! I’d seen the Franklin Conservatory in Chicago and, as wonderful as it was, there was no comparing the two.

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His art is surreal and organic…it looks totally as if it could have been growing there, yet like nothing you’ve ever seen. His creations are so fantastical and unique, and he obviously has such a joy in creating–just like what I imagine God must have had when he created the many different species of wildlife…in fact, I have the same feeling of wonder looking at his art as I do when I see pictures of a coral reef filled with all the strange varieties of fish.

I would like to be able to create like that!  To have such a joy in the doing, such confidence and sureness. To not sit and agonize over every little speck but to splat and splotch and dump and smear and just totally make a mess but with a vision so strong that it’s impossible to deny.

Sigh….. 🙂  Ok, I’ll shut up now!


Vintage Waters

May 11, 2010

The other day I was driving on the freeway along Lake Erie.  It looked so misty and still, like a whisper. 

I was coming from shooting a First Communion in Willoughby, a town about 20 min east of Cleveland.  I used to work at a quilt shop out there, and would make this same drive 4-5 times a week and I always loved seeing the water in its many moods…dreamy, sunny, angry, gentle,  sullen, and even solidly frozen.  Back then I didn’t have a camera handy…but now I do so I pulled off the exit, fired off a few shots, got back in the car and continued on my way to my other photo job shooting at the stadium.  It took all of maybe 3 minutes, less time than I spent in Photoshop filtering the picture:


 I love vintage looking photos.  They always seemed to be of simple subjects, as if all of our daily lives were worthy of recording.  And they are soft and slightly tattered at times, just like our memories.   Everything today is so sharp and harsh-and LOUD…hi def TV, super saturated pictures, loud noise and music, and talk radio.  It pounds on our senses, intrudes and takes over our thoughts, clammering for our attention.             

Sometimes you just need to kick back, lay in the tall grass and look at the clouds, letting your mind drift on the currents to wherever it wants to go.

Water is good for that, for letting our hearts meditate.  The soft murmuring of a stream or the dull crashing of waves, rhythmic and hypnotic, lets our thoughts wander wherever without any effort on our part.  Daydreams,   hare-brained ideas,  visions and what-ifs—things that, once we put them into action others will call creative.  We come away refreshed and ready to work again.  And so, even though I took this picture a week ago and today is cold and windy, I still feel refreshed and ready to start working again.

And about time.


A”Hey,That’sMe!OhYeah,OhYeah!” Moment

April 30, 2010

Over at Simple Element’s Blog, Cindy’s been doing a series of interviews on what inspires artists.  I’m not going to tell you who all they are, because I want you to go check them out.

Last week, she asked [little ol’] me!!!  and boy, did I take advantage!  I wrote an entire chapter on what inspires me.  I hadn’t thought about it for so long and the longer I thought, the more I came up with-hence the length.  But it was so much fun thinking about it and then being able to write about it!

Dewdrop Necklace - Chalcedony, Sterling Silver
Chalcedony dewdrop necklace

Anyway, check out her blog for all the interviews-they’re really interesting…and then check out her etsy site-she has the most beautiful pieces up and she makes wonderful jewelry with the freshwater pearls.  I especially LOVE the look of her first page, all aquas, ice blues, turquoises and creamy whites–it alone is great inspiration for an art piece!

Audrey Bracelet - Pearls, Sterling Silver
Audrey Bracelet
I can hear the ocean waves already…………