Monday, May 31, 2010

Aunt and Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary

My aunt and uncle will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next weekend and to help them celebrate, their two daughters have arranged an open house type party in their honor. I will be there to help everyone celebrate. 50 years! Wow!

I remember being at their wedding as a little girl but I had forgotten that my parents were Matron of Honor and Best Man. My cousin sent me this photo along with some others that I don't remember ever seeing. Thanks Cousin! My mom is on the left, my dad on the right, and my aunt and uncle, of course, the bride and groom, a beautiful couple. They all look so young and happy. Mom looks so pretty and my dad so handsome. My parents are both gone now and I miss them so much so it was great to see this photo perhaps for the first time. And I can't wait to see my aunt and uncle, cousins, and family members, that I haven't seen for a very long time.

Soggy Memorial Day

Thanks to all those brave men and women out there serving our country now and thanks to all that have served in the past. We owe you so much.

Memorial Day weekend is almost over. Our weather made it rather difficult for outdoor activities but we did manage to play golf with some friends yesterday. Not exactly brilliantly sunny but we finished before getting drenced. The outdoor barbeque we had planned for after our golf round turned into an indoor feast. Oh well, it wasn't too bad and Norm managed to nearly finish the small deck in the front of our house today even with the wind and rain pouring down on him. He is such a focused man at times.... I feel bad that he had three days off and it rained all three days. Poor guy.

I also got a bunch of beads made and I'm making quite a bit of progress on that summer show inventory. The photo above shows some bracelets in various stages of completion. Just waiting on components.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day Shift Bracelet

Just beads on cotton cord. Casual, simple and fun to wear. 

Camping in May

We spent Tuesday afternoon getting everything loaded and tied down. RV is all loaded up with warm clothes, tons of food, and fishing gear. Pickup is loaded up with boat, motor, and campfirewood. We hear there is a severe weather alert for western Washington so I check the weather forecast on Yahoo for eastern Washington, which is where we are headed. Just some clouds and possibly a few sun breaks. Cool! No mention of the severe weather expected at home.
We are on the road by 7 am Wednesday morning. Because of morning commuter traffic it took us 5 1/2 hours instead of the normal 4 hours it takes to get to our destination.
We have camp set up and lunch consumed by 2 pm. It's too windy to take the boat out on the lake so we decide to just kick back and relax. Norm takes a nap and I settle in with a good book.
At 3 the campground caretaker shows up with another gentleman in tow and tells us we have chosen a campsite that had been reserved and we would have to move. Hmmmmmmmmmm...... When we arrived 2 1/2 hours before we were the only campers in a campground of at least 35 camp sites. Now this PERSON is telling us the spot we chose is RESERVED???? No one told us it was reserved. There was no sign that said RESERVED. There are 34 OTHER campsites available but we have to move because the site we chose is RESERVED.....???
Now, Norm had just awoke from a nap and he's sorta cranky when the these gentlemen show up. I was very proud of him though, because he did a really great job of hiding most of his irritation at having to pick everything up and move it to another campsite. 
It wasn't the poor old gentleman who had reserved, (and paid for), the campsite last September, who was to blame, but someone from the state parks dept. who dropped the ball and didn't follow through with the reservation by placing a reserved marker at the campsite.
We had just finished moving the trailer, resetting the jacks and releveling everything when the sky started to turn very black and the wind started to howl. The storm that was expected at our home had found us at our campsite! Thunder, lightning, pouring rain, and severe wind. In fact a tornado was reported to have touched down not far from where we were camping!!! LOVELY!
Thankfully the storm didn't last long but the wind stuck around for the rest of our stay, making it impossible to take the boat out on the lake or even to sit on the dock and fish.
Our plan to beat the crowds of Memorial Day weekend campers sort of backfired. The weather for the middle of May just isn't reliable enough in Washington for outdoor activities unless you're a fish. Better luck next time I guess. We'll try again in July......

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I've been inspired to practice cabochons lately. I LOVE Carlee's! she makes little pendants out of her cabochons. So cute and colorful! They are a bit tricky for me and out of my beadmaking comfort zone. The one pictured above turned out the best but the "petals" look more like little "feet". It's about the size of a quarter and maybe a little large for a ring. I'll have to ponder on what to use it for. I'll be thinking about it while I'm camping with my favorite guy the next couple days.

Back on Friday........

Friday, May 14, 2010

Making progress............

"A Full Deck"

Don't forget the Mother's Day Studio Tour runs through this weekend, May 15-16 so if you didn't have the chance last weekend you haven't missed out. There were lots and lots of visitors last weekend and I'm expecting many more tomorrow and Sunday, especially with the nice weather we are expecting here on the island. Hope to see you around.

It's been a busy week for me. I've been able to add a few things to my inventory and we've gotten the vegetable garden ready to be planted. I'll be very busy the first part of next week in preparation for a few days of R+R. Camping and fishing in the eastern part of our beautiful state. The weather across the mountains is more likely to be warm and sunny...or so we hope ;-). Have a great weekend! Go do something fun!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Acid Trip

Multi strands of African trade beads otherwise called "Christmas" beads. I love the colors and they look right at home with my colorful lampwork beads. I've chosen this set to wear tomorrow at Seagrass Gallery for the Mother's Day Studio Tour. Black top, white jacket and denim dress slacks. It is important to me that I wear jewelry pieces that really express my artistic style and this set definately does...... Screams Hippkitty Beads!!!! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Texting Virgin

Wanna know a secret? My cell phone is 3 years old. Ancient huh? Wanna know another secret? I have never sent or received a text message. Wow, that felt really good to get that out. It's time. But first I have to buy a new phone and I have no idea where to start. So, I'm gonna start some cell phone research. You can let me know if you have a recommendation. NO SPAM PLEASE. I don't want anything fancy. Believe me, I don't have time to send a gazillion text messages a day. I'm a beadmaker and that takes up most of the hours in my day. The rest are taken up by dinner, laundry, and my blog, in that order. So now you can see why I don't blog everyday. Not enough hours.......
Don't forget the Mother's Day Studio Tour here on Camano Island. Starting this weekend. I'll be at Seagrass Gallery which is the first stop on the tour on Sunday. Hope to see you.

I had to have some dental surgery today. Yuck! There was no Nitrous Oxide. I had to wing it...... Sweaty palms. It's over and my face is a bit swollen. I'm going to nap now......
Before I forget.... It's my granddaughter Morgan's 7th birthday today....HAPPY BIRTHDAY MORGAN!!!! We love you Pretty Girl!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The dreaded "C" word.....

I try to avoid conflict at all costs. I've always been that way. If someone does something to upset me or hurt my feelings I generally don't say anything. My face has a very blank, unreadable expression on it and I get very quiet. There are some things though, that really trip my hammer and I feel compelled to speak up. I have a mental list of those things, which I won't bother going into right now, but pretty high on that list is a subject that most artists, myself included, are pretty passionate about, and that is the subject of copying. Okay, I've said it.... It's my blog so I think it should okay to tell you how I feel about the subject....
Several days ago I stumbled on the blog of another beadmaker whose work really caught my eye and made me want to give her site more that a passing glance. I could tell that her color and design sense were similar to mine and she had also done some of the same design type things I had in the past. I was seeing lots of hearts, flowers, and colorful dots, subjects I use a lot of in my own designs. So I started checking her blog everyday and really appreciating her wonderful photos and admiring her happy work. So last night, just before turning in I clicked onto her blog and lo and behold, there was a photo of a couple of my flip flop beads made into what looked to be book marks. When I clicked on the photo to get a larger view I realized those weren't my beads at all but copies of my beads. Right down to the 3 petal flower decoration and painted toes! My face immediately got hot and my heart started to beat faster. I sat and stared at the photo for what seemed an eternity. What should I do? Should I ignore it? If it would have been just a flip flop bead, without the foot and painted toes I would have been very flattered but said nothing. This though, was a blatant copy. In my mind I'm thinking, though, that if I say something, it's me that will look like the diva.
So, I shut down the computer and went to bed. But I couldn't stop thinking about those flip flop beads. I think the part that upset me the most was that they looked identical to mine. If I had set two of my flip flop beads next to the ones I saw in the photos earlier my customer wouldn't be able to tell they were from two different artists.
And that is why I got out of bed, turned on the computer, and left a comment for the blog author. Actually, I only left a link to a photo of my flip flops with severall question marks. Then I went back to bed, with sort of a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach......
I've had other beadmakers copy my work before. There is an art teacher from Isreal that copies my little purses with a seed beaded handle and sells them the same place I sell mine for $7. Seven dollar???? Come on! That ticks me off too! I did email her about it and she ignored me. Yes, I said she is an ART TEACHER!
When I was selling on Ebay I came up with a focal bead design that had a cute bird on one side and flowers on the other. A short time later another beadmaker had an Ebay auction with focal beads that were blatant copies of my bird bead. Same colors, same swirl background design, same bird, same flowers. This particular artist had been known in the beadmaking community for copying anyone's beads she took a fancy to. None of the other beadmakers spoke up until I finally said something. She was justifying it by telling me she was buying beadmaking tutorials. I guess in her mind if she was paying to learn then it was okay to copy any beadmaker. I quickly pointed out that I didn't sell tutorials and I also didn't give anyone permission to copy my designs.
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with learning beadmaking techniques from tutorials but they were meant to teach a technique or a set of techniques that can then, hopefully, be incorporated into a beadmakers own style.
I could go on and on but I think I've made my point. It makes me really, really happy that I inspire others in their own art. I feel such pride when I see my style influence in another artist's work but it totally hurts me when people deliberately copy the designs that I have worked so hard on. Beadmakers, go ahead and make a colorful flip flop bead, just don't put a foot in it with painted toes. Go ahead and make a cute little purse bead, just don't put a seed beaded handle and a bail on it and call it your pendant. And if you just can't resist trying to see if you can copy my beads, just to test your skills, then give it to your mother or your sister, don't take a photo of it and put it on your blog like you've just invented "the next best bead design".... or put it up for sale.......especially where I sell my work!
'Nuff said!