Very Cool Cards

I absolutely love free samples. It's so fun to find something free to incorporate into art - and just like with the sample thermal ribbons, I hit the jackpot with my latest freebie. If I could just remember where I got it!

I got the greatest photos in the mail today - printed on fantastically heavy card stock. These are going to be great fun to work with - make sure you keep your eyes open to see what I do with these little works of art!

(Don't forget you can click on the images to make them bigger.)

Fun with Peyote Stitch

One of the other things I've been playing with are beads. I think I may have finally figured out Peyote stitch. I've never taken the time to learn various beading techniques - there are tons of them - preferring to come up with my own designs. There are advantages to coming up with your own technique - you are the only one who knows how to do it and you get to express your individuality as an artist. However, there are disadvantages also - namely the amount of time spent pulling apart creations that aren't working right. I probably "reinvented the wheel" more than once - some of the techniques I've come up with have probably already been done, with easy instructions available...but where's the fun in that?!

I didn't want to make anything too involved or big - only some accents for other pieces I'm working on. I ended up trying different types of beads and different threads and wires - and I had a lot of fun. Take a quick look at some of my finished little accents...

I've tried like mad to add numbers to the picture in order to make identification easier for you - however, I'm apparently dumber than a rock. I've tried in four different photo editing programs and couldn't do it. I've been thinking about getting PhotoShop - there are tons of things I'd love to do digitally - but it isn't in the budget. Spending the last hour trying to make it work has definitely increased the priority level of PhotoShop though!

Here is a close-up of the pieces - since two of them are actually cylindrical I changed their orientation to show a different view.

The large blue circle in the center is actually a piece of navy velvet that I imprinted with heat and a dragonfly stamp. Very fun!

Some Artsy Fun

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. Everyone around here is mostly recovered - the Princess is back to her beastly ways & resumed fully exasperating her brothers as only she can. I am no longer contagious, goopy, scabby or flourishing with bacteria. I still have parts of the house to clean and disinfect - but since I decided to rearrange the entire house, I'm doing bits-and-pieces as I move stuff around. (Ok, I'm doing bits-and-pieces as I supervise the boys moving furniture!)

I have spent some time lately working on wrapping fibers. Very easy technique that yields neat results - grab various fibers and wrap them around a chenille stem (pipe cleaner). It's easy to change these up a bit by adding embellishments - buttons, beads, flowers, tags, berries, charms, etc. Here's a picture of a few...

And a close up...

The ostentatious squares, circles, squares, etc on the far left one are little plastic embellishments I bought cheap at WalMart awhile back - I think they were $1.99/bag. The third from left has bells randomly wrapped in; the fourth has buttons - flowers, bumble bees and a lady bug; the fifth has a few beads; the last one has berries I pulled apart and randomly wrapped onto the chenille stem. I only used little bits of fibers I had left over from another project on the last one.

Fiber wrapping is so easy that even the Princess made a few. I would post pictures but she took hers to school to give to her friends. While she and I played with wrapping fibers, I made some smaller ones to use on other projects. These were quick, easy and fun - even if they do look like fishing lures!

The charms hanging from the black one in the center are three antiqued silver circles with lots of texture and a small turquoise stone in the middle. The white one wrapped with pink fibers (above the black one) has an 8mm ab teal Swarovski crystal wrapped onto it. On either side of the crystal are some funky bead caps. There is a lady bug button on blue fibers that I tightly wound on the round white one - and on the opposite side of the lady bug are clear 8/0 seed beads woven with green embroidery thread. The red one (below and a little to the right of the round white one) has a turquoise and silver charm hanging from the center - and the rest only have different fibers wrapped around the short pieces of chenille stems.

I have a few other little things I've done lately and will post soon. I'm just glad to be on the up-swing now. I have officially banished any sort of bacteria from the royal kingdom - I hope to never have a visit from impetigo again! I do want to thank everyone who sent well wishes, advice and kind words to me - I know some of the neatest people. Everyone who took the time out of their busy life to send me a note touched my heart - and I'm grateful for all of you!

Royally Sick


There are several reasons I haven't been blogging lately - I've got some really great things I want to share, art wise. This has been a long few weeks and it definitely hasn't been because I didn't want to be here. Life just had other plans. I'll give you the short version.
The Princess got very sick about two weeks ago. We went to the ER for what I thought would consist of a few hours of breathing treatments - but turned into a few nights in the hospital. She was a very sick little diva - high temperature, hypoxia, asthma, a nasty cough and sinus yuck. After having nebulizer treatments every four hours, her lungs finally began functioning better and her heart rate returned to a gallop humans could count. We continued struggling with the same issues off and on ever since her discharge and it now seems like her little immune system is so shot that she may never recover. Poor baby - it's so hard to watch your kids be that sick. Not only is it hard and you wish you could make them feel better, but it's scary. Not much scares me medically...but I will admit I was a little freaked out when all this came about.

I've been busy trying to take care of her and catch up on everything that's fallen by the wayside since she's been sick - but I wasn't feeling well, either. I began getting sick while she was hospitalized. I didn't have time to get sick - so it was mind over matter. I was going to think myself well! (By the way, check out the link tied to the word "time" above - it's a funny little site. A bit morbid - but amusing nonetheless.)

Not so much.

I finally broke down and went to the ER this afternoon. I have several infections - so it's no surprise I don't feel all that hot. I have bronchitis (which probably explains my hoarseness, my body aches and my coughing fits), sinus infection (explaining the severe sore throat and swollen glands), impetigo and conjunctivitis or "ocular impetigo". Wait a minute...IMPETIGO???? Isn't that supposed to be some funky "disease" people in far off places get? Evidently not. That's what I have. Right where the nose connects to the upper lip. I'm serious. Look. I'll show you...

(After doing a little research, it's become clear to me that I have a pretty minor case. If you'd like to see why I came to that conclusion, click here. Don't say I didn't warn you!!)

The pictures aren't all that great - but then again, I don't feel all that great. If you suddenly sprout something resembling that which has attached itself to my face, go to the doctor immediately. Do not walk. RUN. It does not get better. No matter how much you wish. You can't think it away. Nope. Not this. It requires a massive round of some foreign antibiotic I've never heard of before. (It's nice to know I'm on a medication used to prevent Anthrax poisoning and treats tuberculosis!) Before it disappears, it continues to grow. And it's painful - burning, stinging and every time I move my mouth it feels like my skin is stretching, something akin to extremely dry skin. We won't discuss what blowing the nose is like. Ah, yes. There's nothing like having a sinus infection while there is impetigo up and around your nose.

My eye is currently all "boogered up" as well. I can only see white cloudiness out of that eye. It is constantly gooping up and requires long soaks with a washcloth before dripping the prescription eye drops in. (Another side note: I was going to provide you with some links to pictures of people with conjunctivitis - but even I couldn't stomach the images. If you're that curious, Google "conjunctivitis" and look under "Images". You'll immediately know the pictures I'm referring to.) It took the doctor several tries to even get the eye open in order to examine it. Yep - it's that gross. Even the childebeasts are freaked out about it and won't look me directly in that eye. Unless they are discussing how "Mom has the most disgusting things on her face" they've ever seen. Although this is providing semi-effective discipline. Each and every time they misbehave and I threaten to wipe "eye goo" or "nose nastiness" on them they immediately settle down. Who knew that's what it would take? Yes, they may have permanent nightmares about me morphing into the Elephant (wo)Man - or they may always have a fear of gross medical pictures as a direct result of my threats, but when you're sick and desperate for good behavior, you do what you need to do.

Besides. I know I'll be taking all of the blame when they are in therapy. Why not just add this to the list??

I have much to share in the coming days - but I must get caught up a little bit before I can play and post. If anyone has any ideas on how to ease the burning of impetigo, or how to clear all this gunk up a little faster, please share by posting a comment. Or post a "sick" joke. Doesn't anyone have any jokes (if you need to laugh, click on the "jokes" link) about the ill and diseased they can share so I can find some humor in this situation? Anyone??
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