Friday, September 26, 2008

Fern and the unicorn.

Our week of unicorns has gone by so fast. Today I am sharing with you the unicorn frame I bought on Etsy from The Girl Ran Away with the Spoon. It's a brass frame that Erin painted a nice cream color.

I felt that my Fern painting from The Black Apple needed a little something else nearby.

Farewell, sweet unicorns.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Set aside some dreaming time.

Let's celebrate the middle of our week of unicorns with some crewel work. My mom stitched this for me and it was hung in my childhood bedroom for many years. It comes with good advice: set aside some dreaming time.

It was the first piece of crewel work that she did with embroidery floss. Usually crewel work is done with wool, I think. (Mom, correct me if I'm wrong!)

Her stitches are so fine. I think her crewel pieces are my favorites.

It's been wrapped up in a drawer in my guest room. I should hang it up in my studio.

On Friday I'll share with you the unicorn piece I found on Etsy. I hope you are having a magical week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A week of unicorns.

I was feeling a little down and sort of generally blah last week. All the surgeries we've had in our family (there have been others besides me and N) were starting to bring me down. My mom said I needed a little happiness and fun. During our conversation she asked me what made me happy when I was girl.

That was easy: unicorns! Oh, how I loved them. I still have my two favorite unicorn pieces and I bought something new on Etsy while I was feeling the unicorn vibe. I thought I'd share them with you this week.

First up, we have the unicorn jar that I painted when I was a young girl (I had a little help on the eye). I stored all my little treasures in it. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever painted.

I keep it in my studio. It makes me smile to think of my excitement over how gorgeous it was.

Next, I'll show you a unicorn my mom stitched for me.

Here's to a little magic and fun in your week!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Princess earrings.

I made a pair of earrings to go with the Quene bracelet.

I wanted them to match the bracelet more closely, but I think they would have been too heavy for me. I don't like heavy earrings.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The best medicine.

N is in good spirits today and has much more energy. I'm am glad my mom could come over and entertain him while I'm working.

That recliner in the background is mine. The couch behind the recliners is where Mark has been sleeping.

Some friends of my mother-in-law sent these cookies over for N. They are so good! I'm afraid Mickey and Goofy are no longer with us. Minnie's days are numbered.

When N was in the hospital he was given this blanket from Project Linus. We were so touched by this gift. N has had it on his lap most of the time he's been resting.

He had a call from his teacher this morning to check in on him (he was worried he'd be getting homework!) and has had lots of well wishes and TLC all around. I think he'll be recovered in no time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If things come in threes, we're done.

N was sick over the weekend. It started out looking like the stomach flu, but then the pain started. I was very suspicious and Monday morning took him to the doctor. By Monday night, he was having an emergency appendectomy.

We're home now. Mark brought the other recliner into the family room, so N and I can be side-by-side in our recliners. (I'm still in some pain from the hernia surgery and unable to sleep all night in my bed. I had some tests done to make sure the pain isn't being caused by something else. Nothing showed up. It just takes time.) N has been eating ice cream and relaxing. It's amazing how fast he seems to be recovering.

In case you're just joining us, first I had a laparotomy and an infection afterwards. Then I had surgery to repair the two hernias that resulted from the infection. Now N's appendectomy. That's three surgeries in our family in less than a year.

I, for one, am looking forward to the new year - even though it's still a few months away.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have finished the Ootheca Cuff bracelet kit from the fabulous Rachel Nelson-Smith. This week I worked late into the night (well, late for me at least) on the wirework and adding 270 crystals! I can't give you a direct link to the kit on Rachel's site, but if you click on "Projects" and "Beadweaving" you will find it.

I love the dimensional look of the bracelet. One of the really great things about the Quene colorway is that it's reversible. Today I feel like wearing black.

But the next time I might want to wear white.

The instructions call for a safety chain made out of beads, but instead I did a wire chain and dangled some of the leftover red crystals from it.

A former student of Rachel's is selling some Ootheca Cuffs on Etsy if you'd like to take a look.

Now... what should I work on next?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And she continues to work.

I started the wirework on the Ootheca Cuff bracelet. I thought it would go more quickly than it has. I have 135 (!) spaces to fill with wirework and crystals. At first I was cutting the wire and working in the bracelet, cutting the wire, working it into the bracelet, cutting the wire... But then I decided to cut a bunch of wire at once and then work it into the bracelet.

I cut up one coil of wire from the kit. It looks like a lot of pieces, although I haven't counted them. There's still another coil of wire in the kit, so I have a feeling I'll be cutting more.

Somehow I'm not working with the wire in an ergonimically correct way because my shoulder keeps getting sore and then I get a headache. I'm using Lindstrom tools, but I'm not doing something right.

It's slow going, but the end is in sight.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Carol Vance Decker.

I planned to post about something else this morning, but then ran across the story of Carol Vance Decker:

Carol Decker... had an emergency cesarean section on June 10, 2008. After the surgery she developed life-threatening hypotension from a septic pneumonia infection. After fighting for several weeks, the medicine she was on to save her life had the unfortunate side effect of blocking blood flow to her legs, left arm and eyes. Since then, Carol has had both legs below the knee amputated, her left arm amputated and she is blind. Carol was transferred to Harborview after an extended stay in ICU at Swedish Hospital, which insurance has covered to an extent and the rest we have had to pay for out of pocket. Carol will now begin inpatient rehab, which her insurance will not cover, and is estimated to cost somewhere around $80,000.

There is a silent auction with pieces from Etsy sellers being held to help raise funds for her recovery. The auction has a great variety of items, including some jewelry.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A new friend.

Each night we've been taking a walk around the neighborhood. Last night on our walk we found this little guy hopping around. N had brought his bug catcher stuff with us on the walk, so we brought him home for a short visit.

Froggo seemed to enjoy watching television with N. We decided to let him spend the night. N has been so excited and takes Froggo with him everywhere he goes in the house. This morning he took him out for some exercise and fresh air.

Froggo will be heading back to his wetland home this afternoon. We've enjoyed his visit.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


When my friend Andrea was here a few months ago, we went to a large antique mall near my house. I found this bird--is it a quail?--for six dollars. I liked the shape of it, but that beady little eye kind of freaked me out. And I wasn't keen on the bronze color.

So I painted it. Wow. Sorry about the glare in this photo. It's hurting my eyes!

I don't know. Maybe I should have left it alone and not antiqued it. What do you think? I could always repaint it.

Today my friend Rachel is coming to visit. She lives in Wisconsin and we usually meet near Milwaukee, but with my stomach still being rather sore, she opted to come here. I'm not sure what we'll do. I have a couple of things in mind. Maybe lunch at a restaurant on the lake, or take in a local art/craft fair, maybe browsing some books and having lunch at a quaint book store...

I played around with a new look for the blog, but I don't think I'm loving it. I don't know. Maybe I should go back to plain white for a while.

I'm awfully indecisive today, aren't I?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Still working.

I'm still working hard on the cuff bracelet. I thought while I was recuperating I would be able to finish this and finally learn how to crochet granny squares. Boy, was I wrong!

I have some more stitching to do and then it's on to the next step.

I'm hoping to finish it today, but we'll see. There's a good amount of wirework to be done yet and we've decided to go see Fly Me to the Moon this afternoon. N has been asking to see it for a while. It's supposed to be 90 here today, so it's a good day to be indoors.