October 20, 2011


I've been feeling a bit lost and bewildered lately.  I have not been spending much time in the studio.  Really about the only thing I have been spending much time doing is sleeping.  When the weather starts to turn cold, I just want to hibernate.  Unfortunately, Halloween is less than 2 weeks away and I have wings to make!  Yep, wings.  Fairy Wings.  Friday I am dyeing the silk for my wings - lots of dots and swirls and when they are done, I am going to burn the edges and burn some holes in the middle of the dots!  I am so excited - more excited about this one thing than I have been about anything for a while.  My 15 yo niece is coming over Saturday to dye her wings - not sure where she stands on burning but silk is so awesome when it is burned!  YUM!  Definitely will take some photos.  Have also been spending an inordinate amount of time watching makeup tutorials on YouTube to get ideas for fairy makeup - OMG there are so many great little companies coming out with the most delicious makeup - I don't wear a lot of makeup - I have sensitive eyes so about once or twice a year is about it but the new bright colors make me want to go CRAZY!  My 13yo and 15yo nieces are coming to my house on Saturday 10/29 to get ready for a halloween party - we are all dressing as fairies (okay they will be fairy princesses and I'll be the queen - slightly worse for wear!) but I can't wait to do makeup and hair with them.  I have bought some juicy items and can't wait to try them out.  Just have to get some good makeup remover or I will be a mess.

I bought 5mm habatoi silk for the wings so they will have the effect of having a life of their own.  OMG I want to buy like 100 yards of this silk and make a fabulous dress that swishes and whispers while I walk.  Wish I had someplace great to wear something like that.  My big thing is fabric dyeing so I can imagine all the wonderful wild colors I would dye a dress like that.
Okay so I think I might be crazy but I am seriously thinking of checking into fashion school. I know I am like horribly old to be considering this but with dollmaking out of the question, I still have a ton of ideas for costumes and colorful stuff so thinking maybe that is the way to go.  Only thinking now will let you know.
Got a great red wig to wear for halloween - I'm kind of going a fairy goth - reds and blacks - so cool!
Sorry for not posting so much - horrible kitchen remodel - kitchen is done but still so much to do in several rooms of the house - totally not into it but has to get done!  Got to finish some grout and caulking in one room and then seal the tile on the floor and walls (long story) in one bedroom and then remove wallpaper in the family room which is currently stuffed with tons of stuff I've got to go through and determine what is to be done with it all.  Makes me sleepy just thinking about all the work.
Wish I had more to share and some great photos but I am looking forward to being a bit more active now that the horrendously life changing kitchen remodel is drawing to a close.
On a more serious note, my 15 yo kitty was just diagnosed with diabetes - shots every 12 hours oh my.  I love her so I do it but I hate it!

Take care and keep on coloring outside the lines - Be happy!

December 04, 2009

Beach Vacation

Sorry it has taken so long to share my beach vacation with you. One thing about vacations is that you never really know what you take home with you until some time has passed.  I love that my sister, Beth, and I were able to reconnect on this trip.  Since brain surgery in 2002 (mine for a brain aneurysm - I'm fine!), our relationship has not been exactly the best - I won't go into why but we are doing much better.  We talked so much over the 4 days she was there.  In the morning watching the waves crash upon the ocean and drinking orange juice; while swimming in the pool; hanging out getting groceries and running errands; looking at the multitude of stars in the sky every night (I forgot there were so many!).  I feel like I have a much better understanding of who she is. 

The beach was not sandy like you would think but rather was made up of millions of crushed sea shells left every morning on the beach.  What surprised me was how loud it was  - the waves crashing on the shore, the wind.  We didn't see any boats for the first 2 days and then it seemed like they were everywhere.  Even a couple boats out all night.  We say maybe 10 people on the beach and in the area the whole time we were there. 

The pool was great - we spent every afternoon swimming and playing in it - usually in the early afternoon when the day was getting really hot. I don't know what people do at the beach in the heat of the day - sleep? 

Me in my favorite pool floatie chillin out - Beth with the camera in the pool taking a self portrait

Beth braved the gas grill which was missing a couple of nobs and grilled some steaks that were absolutely delicious!   Cooked just the way I like (something a few restaurants haven't been able to do)!  I made chicken fajitas one night.  We got our nails done one day - Beth had a manicure and I had a medi-pedi.  Beth talked to another lady there who mentioned Aunt Kate's as a great place to eat so we lunched there - very, very good food but very hard to find!  We walked around after lunch and found this sign:

I have 3 orange and white tabby cats so Beth thought it would make a great photo!  Unfortunately, the photo taken of Beth and I together by the waitress did not turn out - too dark!

Beth left on Tuesday and I had the house to myself.  I felt a bit scattered - like my energy was scattered all over the house and I spent some time getting used to being there alone.  Beth is a huge presence and leaves any place a bit empty.  After she left, I read a lot - about 5 books (I read very fast), I swam everyday (mostly floated), and just hung out and chilled.  One of the things I most liked about the house we stayed in (besides the pool) was the openness of the house to the outside world - you could see the sky, the beach and the ocean from everywhere in this house!  And the ocean was a constant companion with the waves crashing a fit soundtrack to the time I was there.  Other than in the pool and in the car, we didn't listen to music.  Did not even turn on the TV once.  It was amazing.  We felt so sorry for the people who built their houses across the street from the houses on the beach - so close and yet so far.  Another thing I loved about the house was the collection of glasses and plates - it was fun every meal to choose the vessels to hold your food.  Since returning home, I have set out to recreate that a bit.  I like the different shapes and weights of glassware.  My sister says she has too many choices already and thinks its a bit odd.  She's not an artist like me. 

Even though I packed paints and supplies to paint everyday, I never did unpack them.  I wanted to toward the end but it seemed kind of silly to drag them all out.  I do still want to do a painting or journal page about our trip.  We are looking for new destinations for our next beach vacation - maybe Florida Keys, Cancun or even a cruise.  Who knows but I'm glad she is thinking of her and I taking another trip together. 

Tomorrow I will hopefully have photos of my advent calendar I made last year as well as a small project to share!  HG Belinda

December 02, 2009

Thanksgiving Blues; Lowes misadventure

Kind of a sad and low Thanksgiving this year. We have a rule at work that was set in place to reduce people calling in and taking off around holidays and to reduce excessive absenteeism. Basically, you cannot call in within 3 days of a holiday (before or after); to do so means to lose the day you call in absent and all of the holiday pay. This rule, instead of discouraging absenteeism, seems more to promote people coming in sick which is why not only myself but half of the office were sick over Thanksgiving with a cold/flu virus. Nope, not H1N1 just the usual variety. Because I work Sunday through Thursday, my holiday started on Wednesday. I woke with a scratchy throat but otherwise seemed fine. Picked up my nephew, ran an errand, got lunch, and then my nephew and I got to work installing baseboard in the garage. I had hoped my nephew (Steven is 15) would be able to do the work in the garage alone, but it turned into a 2 person job and so I spend the day working with him. We got almost all of it done and he owes me a few more hours to finish it. His mom came to pick Steven up and she and I went to Lowes to pick up the large items I still needed (peg board and wood).

If you shop at Lowes, please do not disengage your brain because sometimes they do not give you correct information. This not a slam at Lowes - I love shopping there - but it seems the quality of employee knowledge has gone down recently and twice I have been given bad advice. I say this because I had visited Lowes earlier in the week to preshop for the items I needed. According to the Lowes creative magazine, I could purchase a 2' x 4' piece of pegboard; however, the employee at Lowes said they only carried 4'x8' pieces of pegboard. It was while we were cutting the final pieces of wood that I stumbled upon the 2'x4' pieces of pegboard. Could have saved myself a lot of money if I had known that before cutting a 4'x8' piece of pegboard and all the wood to install the resulting 2x4 and 4x6 pieces. Granted, now I will have a nice big piece of pegboard on which to install my tools (never again to have my brother organize them and make them impossible for me to find).

To end this long and rambling story, I was sick and did not make the annual family Thanksgiving gathering. I did get a delivery of leftovers (Thanks Mom) but no family drama on the side. I spent the rest of the holiday holding down the bed or my miniature sofa. Watched far too much TV and never once made it to the studio. So sad. Am feeling better but still very tired. Am hoping to have a much better weekend. Had lots of wonderful creative ideas I had hoped to indulge - alas, was not to be. Hope your Thanksgiving was much lighter and brighter!

One last note, have been a bit bah humbug about Christmas and thought eating a couple bags of my favorite Christmas cookies would help lift my spirits. Couldn't find them anywhere so did an internet search and the company filed bankruptcy in October 2008. No more Christmas cookies. Guess I will have to make do with some Chessman Christmas Cookies - yummy but in a different way. HG Belinda

November 14, 2009

Classes, Journals, Books and Covers Oh My!

I like to purchase the black spiral bound notebooks for journaling but I have so many, I can never seem to find the one I am currently journaling in. Have been playing with dyeing some canvas (for more canvas bracelets and bags). I also like to use canvas as a backing for catching overspray when spraying small pieces of fabric with dye. As a result, I have some beautiful pieces of canvas laying around and it seemed the perfect durable material to use for a cover. I made this cover easy peazy breezy with my serger - basically cut the inner pieces (lining) to size (plus some), then pinned them to a larger piece of canvas and serged away! Could also sew and then bind the edges but the serged edge is pretty cool. Didn't have exactly the color of thread I needed but I made it work. Plus now that you can buy less expensive spools of serger thread, can easily afford more colors in the future. I did not think about a closure for the cover so instead just used some silk ribbon I had laying around (in my appropriately titled silk ribbon container - ta da!). I want to make another cover and maybe do a special closure and maybe some free motion embroidery or embellishment technique on it. Still, in a sea of black spiral bound notebooks, this one definitely stands out! No more having a bunch of half-written in binders. Lately, I've been doodling in my journals like crazy and its all spirals and swirls and very fluidic.
I'm taking another Julie Prichard class - Julie was the instructor for layer of love and is teaching 2 classes right now - Art Journal Super Nova I and Art Journal Super Nova II. Class I is all about making your own journals and class II is techniques for filling your new journals. Am really enjoying the class! The photos below show my first 3 journals. first 2 approx are 6.5 x 8.5 and the one on the bottom is approx. 4.5 x 11:5 (long tall skinny). The colors shifted in the first photo - the stripe is actually very subtle and the pink is not so washed out. On the long tall skinny one, I painted the masa paper used to cover it. Very cool! HG! Belinda

November 06, 2009

Halloween Redux and Celebrating Firsts

Happy Belated Halloween! I am happy to say my thumb is on the mend. I had a fun Halloween this year. One of the few years I was actually off work for the holiday. I work a funny schedule - Sunday through Thursday - so not always able to be home to hand out candy. We had a big crowd this year - the variety of costumes was impressive. I dressed up to hand out candy - wore a blonde bob wig (left over from madonna karoke - a long story) and dark angel costume. Bought some pretty impressive black patent boots from ebay this year to wear with my costume - 5" heels and very goth looking. Always wanted a pair of goth boots. Surprising how easy it is to get used to wearing heels after not wearing them for so long. Anyway, had a great time and gave away all my candy!

Have been thinking a lot lately about firsts. When we are young we have a ton of firsts - first steps, first words, first boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. Seems to me like we get to a certain point in our lives and we stop thinking about firsts. SO I have decided to start focusing on firsts and this Halloween season I did 2 things which I had never done before. This year I went to an actual pumpkin farm to get my pumpkin (first time in a long time that I have actually gotten a pumpkin for halloween). The farm was way out in the country and it was a rainy, blustery changeable day. I had to drive to Bloomington to pick up my cool new boots and on the way back I saw a sign for a pumpkin patch and couldn't resist! The field was muddy but when I got there the sun was out. They had little red wagons to take with you out to the field (so cute). Some families used the wagons to cart children into the field. The pumpkins were scattered everywhere - it was kind of late in the season so most of the pumpkins nearest the barn were pretty picked over but the farther out in the field you went, the more spots of orange appeared. I found several wonderful pumpkins that weighed more than I could lift but finally I found a pumpkin just the right size. 18 lbs. I had so much fun taking my little red wagon all over the field, the wind whipping my hair all over the place, my shoes getting muddy but the sun lifting my spirits. Great day! Good first.

I brought my pumpkin home and wanted to give him a name - I thought a nice name that began with p would be good - like Percy Pumpkin or Perrry Pumpkin or Peter Pumpkin (peter, peter, pumpkin eater) - but the pumpkin insisted on being named Fred. Fred the pumpkin took up residence in my kitchen for the week before Halloween. I wanted to get to know Fred and find out what kind of face he would like. I drew a face for him that was supposed to look like he was frightened. I was feeling kind of frightened myself because I had never actually carved a pumpkin before - there always seemed to be a boyfriend or a brother around who would take over and do it. I bought, on the advice of my sister in law Lisa, a proper pumpkin carving kit and followed the instructions to carve Fred. Went very well I am happy to say and next year hope to do something more complicated. The photos above were taken on Fred's big day, Halloween. He sat on my porch and greated all the trick and treaters early in the evening and then came inside and sat on a stool where I kept him lighted all night long. He didn't last long - halloween pumpkins never do - but I think I might see him again next year or maybe one of his brothers!

Definitely recommend pumpkin fields and carving your own pumpkin. In a couple of days, I will post some photos of my beach vacation and tell you all about it - it was wonderful! HG - Belinda

September 11, 2009

New Toys and Family

Hello all, a few months ago I got a Wacom Intuos tablet but haven't had much time to play with it until today. Amazing to be able to write right on the computer. Very cool and I haven't even begun to tap its potential.

My niece was over last Friday and she brought me a painting she had done (scanned a small portion of it - scanner only takes 8-1/2 by 11 and this was more 11 x 17). Her mom says that I'm rubbing off on her (in a good way I hope!) She wants to be an artist (well on her way). After playing with my new toy for a while, she was getting bored so I put her to the task of "improving" the annual family photo. I think she did a great job - before and after shots below - you have to figure out which is which! Vacation in 1 week - so looking forward to it. Will try to post before I leave but will be without computer and internet at the beach (told everyone at work there is also no phone service but I'm sure you understand my motives there!) Happy Giraffe and check you later! Belinda

Thomas, Lisa, Stephen, Bryan, Jillyan and Josh

Vampire, Clown, rocker, pirate, pretty witch, devil.

Glad there were no pictures of me on the computer! HG B
P.S. Julie Prichard has a new website: http://www.julieprichard.com. Check it out - she has some cool new stuff up!

August 28, 2009

Paintings, Blogging, Vacation

Here are the next two paintings from my class - the top painting is class 7 and the bottom painting is class 6. I'm starting to branch out a bit with colors and experiment a bit more on my own. Am still really enjoying the class - only 2 more class projects and I am done. Julie is currently offering a new class all about art journals - check out her website at http://www.lostluggage.typepad.com/
Sorry have not been blogging - my thumb is giving me all sorts of problems. Too much time at the computer - at work and at home and also all the other stuff you use your thumbs for! Trying to get the other one to pick up the slack but it is not as well trained!
My doll club had their fall workshop last weekend. It was a lot of fun but also a lot of work! Learned a bunch and had fun experimenting. Have a shopping list of items to purchase next payday! I came home with about 8 gourds of various sizes. Had fun painting one with alcohol inks; burned a pattern into another one. Definitely have a wood burner on my list for christmas!
Only 3 weeks until my beach vacation and already the people where I work are starting to panic! I am a night legal secretary for a large lawfirm. I happen to have some pretty mad skills that are very highly valued by the attorneys and staff I work for. They always panic when I go on vacation but this is the first time in 10 years I have taken a 2 week vacation and September is shaping up to be a very crazy busy month. I guess it is some kind of job security! And I have been getting some lovely compliments, although in a backhand sort of way. I do love the people I work with!
Well my thumb is complaining and I still have to put everything back in my studio from last weekend's workshop. So away I go like a Happy Giraffe! Belinda

July 18, 2009

Doll Club Meeting; Class

Today was the Indy Cloth Dollmakers July meeting and Nita Butler taught a small pindoll made from felt using charms, beads, etc. Here is mine - I started it at the meeting but finished it once I was home. I put a small piece of paper inside with the word Peace written in it. The edging is a bead picot edging using size 10/o beads. Unfortunately it did not photograph very well. We got a lot of stuff done at the meeting. Finally settled on our Spring 2010 workshop and now I am focusing on Fall 2010 - have 2 teachers I need to contact for informational purposes and next meeting we will decide on that. Then on to Spring 2011! As Vice President, it is my job to line up workshops for the club.
Here is the next in the series of pindolls - I haven't done any beading on the body yet or done the picot edging on the bottom, but I will put up a new photo when it is finished. Yesterday I got 12 heads sanded down to fit on the remaining 12 bodies so there will be a total of 16 when finished! Still don't know what to call them - have my angel series but not sure what these gals are! Having fun trying all sorts of beading techniques.
Looks like I will be going to the beach alone this year. I have rented a fabulous beach house and reserved a convertible so will be vacationing Barbie(tm) style this year! Hope to go sailing and paragliding but we will see what the weather is like in September.

July 12, 2009

Studio Project

Here are photos of my studio with the bright yellow walls (actually showing up a little darker in the photos). Everything is much better organized and I can find things! Found a bunch of little items that need to be finished (pindolls, bags, etc.) so they are on the table awaiting some attention. Was an interesting weekend - had rain all day Saturday until about 7:00 p.m. and then the sun came out.
Lisa, my sis in law, was over to clean last night and we got to talking about wanting to take a real vacation this year. After all this is my first year to have 4 weeks of vacation! We are thinking of renting a beach house - I'd love to find an affordable one with a pool. I am not sure about swimming in the ocean - depends on where we end up. I want to take my paints and some smaller projects to work on. I think we are planning on driving so it has to be within a 10 hour radius of Indianapolis, Indiana and also be in a location where it stays warm enough to swim in September. We have found a few hopefuls at www.homeaway.com but have not settled on one yet. Found a lovely one on Don Pedro Island but we are concerned about having to take a car ferry anytime we need to go somewhere. Could get expensive. But the house is beautiful and the sand is white and the water is gorgeous. Still looking for the perfect house though. Good news is that most of the beach houses for rent have availability in September. I just want to hear the ocean waves crashing on the beach while I fall asleep. I'm not sure I want to live by the ocean but there is a certain allure to try and at least visit it every so often.
Today will be a short day - very tired this morning so did not get out of bed before noon. Sore from moving a lot last night and moving a very large cabinet. Lisa and I talked so much last night that I have lost my voice today. Should be quiet at work though - not much talking required!
Have a great Sunday! HG! Belinda