Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Intimate Dance With Inflammatory Breast Cancer....

This has been a hard post to write. Partly because I am such a private person, partly because of raw emotions. I sit writing this in the local hospital's Cancer Treatment Center (hairless by  the way) while receiving a full day of chemotherapy drugs. This is my second treatment session.  Six sessions in all, each session lasting 21 well into February I will be receiving chemotherapy.  Then there will be a mastectomy followed by more months of radiation and chemotherapy. Fifty two weeks in all to rid my body of cancer...or so we hope:)

I tell you this because my cancer did not start as a lump. It started as a redness and swelling on my right breast that looked as much like a bee sting as anything else...but obviously was not:) Four days later I was sitting in a doctors office thinking I had an infection  of mastitis. So antibiotics were started...but because my doctor was proactive...he scheduled mammograms, ultra sounds and got me registered in a local program to help with financing with breast and cervical cancer should this be more than an infection. A week later after biopsies, on October 13, I was diagnosed with a rare form of  cancer called Inflammatory Breast Cancer. It travels fast and loves to spiderweb to the other breast, to bone marrow and brain tissue. I was fortunate that this was caught before it traveled any further than my right breast and the lymph nodes under my arm. So I am Stage III C IBC. Nineteen days after diagnosis I started  Chemotherapy...what a wonderful world we live in:)

I tell you this because...don't take any chances if something unusual and visual  happens with your breast. There was and is no pain from the cancer. The first I was aware was the redness. But thinking back...for several weeks I had been easier to fatigue than usual. But when you are tire easier:) I put a lot of this on just being older...but was not the case:), do not walk to your nearest doctor if these signs show up. May not be anything...thought mine was simple infection...tired to just being older. But neither were routine for me:) The only fighting chance you have with this nasty invader is recognizing it quickly!

If you want to know more about Inflammatory Breast on the title above and go to the research site. Might be good information to keep in the back of your mind...for future reference. I hope you never need it, but at least a seed of knowledge is there. I had no knowledge of IBC. Just thought breast cancer was breast cancer...which is bad enough. My heart goes out to every single person who has had to deal with cancer in any form. Not only does it knock you off your feet mentally and takes your family and friends down the same road.

I can not tell you how much the support of family and friends have meant to me. The support of internet friends has filled in any gaps. I am doing well:) This is the beginning of second of my 21 day only four more sessions to go of the hard chemo drugs. I am staying positive, my family and friends are staying positive that this will be a cure for me. 

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself. "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along."

Thanks for listening....any positive thoughts or prayers are eagerly family and friends far and wide will keep me positive and on the path to healing. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Some become more special just by the nature of reality. You forget to say I love you enough, thank you enough, treasure each smile enough, each grand childs hug enough...there is always tomorrow you know....but maybe not:)

Thank you Gina, Steph, Harry, Cindy, Birgitta, Viki, Carol Ann and many others for all your inspirational words, healing thoughts and quotations of power of positive thought and living, gifts filled with the power of love...and prayers from lovely people of many faiths that I have never met. I feel the love and the family feels this love too! I treasure each of you!!

And if I have made any broken promises... please forgive me! I have been somewhat distracted this past month...but if you will remind me...I will correct the broken promise:)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Ever B'Sue Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop....You're Invited!

It is a privilege to participate  in this First B'Sue Boutiques' Sari Ribbon Blog Hop! I look forward to seeing all the creative design of so many talented artists! Thanks to Harry of OscarCrow for alerting me to the hop:)


This is an older piece I did last year. Using a mixture of  my little raku treasures, silk sari ribbon from LaShell of, Tracy Bell's generous lampwork and copper findings, brass key and other findings  this creation found it's way into existence:)The blue silk sari ribbon really pulls the piece together...I don't think it would be the same with out the ribbon. I wove the ribbon through the raku snake, around the neck to the front closure. Feels ever so nice against the neck.

This is a recent piece using a gorgeous black silk sari ribbon and a simple pendant I made using one of my raku bezels filled with a golden shell, Susan Lenart Kazmer's Ice Resin, and another of my raku treasures..a winged bat. A fun piece to create and one of my first attempts at ice resin. Once again...the black silk sari ribbon complements the pendant perfectly!

So here is a list of the other  participants...have fun picking a favorite....if you can:) I can hardly wait for the inspiration all this creativity brings:) 

Be sure and say Hi to Harry for me:) Enjoy!


The Sari ribbon blog hop list

 Vickie Wills

Susan Kennedy

Michelle Mach

Michelle Lee Hardy

Ruth Crawford

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

Diana P.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy

Connie Rios-Relyea

Jennifer Justman

Deb Davis


Cathie Carroll

Rosemary Cowit

Georgene Lockwood

Cathy Buckley

Harry Wood

Sonya Stille

Mary Deis

Heather Goldsmith

Susan Rouleau

Terry Matusyk

Pam Chesbro

Mary Shannon Hicks

Janice Everett


Kristina Johansson, Maneki

Kris Binsfeld



Catherine Jeltes


Sharon Palac

Deb Beechy

Jean Yates

Patrice Pfeiffer

Dorcas Midkiff

Lynn Perry Bennett

Linzi Alford


Cynthia Wainscott
Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
Alice Craddick
B'sue Boutiques Creative Group

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Work by Maura Fox...

This lovely creation is by a fellow Etsian Maura Fox. Unfortunately, Maura's shop is not open yet...but I certainly hope she will consider sharing her creations there. This piece has one of my raku faces as the focal bead/cabochon surrounded by glass seed and bugle beads, crystals and brass wire work. Isn't she gorgeous!!  A perfect nature's child rendered in glass, clay and metal.

Thanks so much Maura for sharing this with me...and letting me post this delightful piece as well:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Touch of Passion...New Treasury Post

New treasury with some wonderful talent! Click on title above to visit the shops. If you like what you see...hope you will share with your Internet friends on Twitter or Facebook...or your favorite sharing site.

Thanks so much for looking:)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Reveal...I'll Show You Mine...If You'll Show Me Yours...

These are the treasures that Jill from Gypsy Brocante sent to me. I adore every single item! Even the wonderful pink velvet bags they came in and ribbon they were tied with. I thought long and hard about how to best use these bits from the past and decided I wanted to do more than one creation. There were too many items that deserved to be a focal. Hope you will look at all these photos enlarged to see the detail of Jill's soup mix.
I mixed Jill's china pendant, key and beads with some items from my own collection to create a necklace rosary. I had a larger scale crucifix and an odd rhinestone ear ring that fit perfectly in the color scheme.This piece reminds me of my grandmother, whose favorite flower was a pink rose. Her china had lovely pink roses on them:) I intend to add to this piece later on by removing  the key and adding a locket with her photograph. I have a small photo that is hand-colored and has this color palette. It will be perfect!!
This piece can be a headband or a choker. It is twelve inches long and has ample silk ribbon to use as tie back. I used the vintage rose pin, pink and white beads on this piece with vintage lace and crochet and pink silk sari ribbon. Ribbons are from  Lashell at
Another religious themed piece. I used one of my raku icons with Jill's rhinestone closure, and rhinestone and glass  beads. I attached the focal grouping to an 18 inch necklace of several kinds of pearls,silver beads, and my raku beads that I  wire wrapped in segments and put together. With Jill's beautiful clasp, I can take the focal group off and attach to a simpler silk ribbon or chain and wear closer to neck. Will be gorgeous peaking through a cotton open collar blouse with a vintage jean jacket.
And last ..but still with beads left this cuff. The focal is another of my raku icons. Jill's rosary pieces, crucifix, paper rose earrings are attached to vintage lace, silk and there are vintage glass buttons and even a silver dragonfly from my collection in the mix.

I am anxiously waiting to see what Jill has mixed together with my bead soup ingredients.

I have shown you go take a look at all the amazing work by over three hundred artists who have patiently and lovingly worked with their partners soup mix. If you click on the title above you will go to Lori's posting for the Bead Soup Blog Party and find links to all the artists participating. 

And most important.... there are not enough words of thanks and praise for Lori Anderson and her tireless work to bring this all together. I am humbled by her passion and energy:)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Experimentation With Resin...Can Be a Sticky Business

I have been wanting to try imbedding items in resin for ever so long.  I recently created some deep well bezels in raku, some unusual in shape. In this experiment I have three standard cabochon shapes to fill and a little boys head.  I gathered up a few of my mini-raku pieces and odd supplies and started down the road on a new learning curve:)

I inserted a head pin in the hole I made while the clay was wet...pulled it tight and anchored from the outside with a plasticine clay. Thought I had the hole completely closed off...but the resin will flow through the smallest of openings. A small amount did flow to the outside of the bezel.  What I  did not expect was the plasticine clay  bonding with the resin so well:)

This piece turned out pretty well. I coated the interior well with a black pigment acrylic paint. A white moon shape/face is covered by  a small golden capiz shell I found at the beach this summer. I wasn't  sure how the resin would react with the shell...but was very pleased. The Ice Resin made the shell translucent, so you can see a faint moon face below.  The bat was a paper thin raku piece...another experiment...too fragile to use alone, it works well in this piece protected by the resin. I coated the over lapping wings with the resin front and back...and was happy with the strength it offered.

I threaded small garnets on the head pin to represent drops of blood.

This piece is one of my raku boy's heads that I made hollow to use as a bezel. Another found sea shell, vintage paper clipping of the word Creation, two watch gears and two miniature raku wings with raku frozen Charlotte are included in this piece. That's a lot of things to get into a one inch head:) I painted the interior gold. Everything was arranged before I poured the resin except the paper. I used a plastic dropper to fill the voids carefully without shifting the pieces. The dropper worked well for this purpose. The paper was layered on the wet resin surface and all left to dry. Next day I domed the resin to cover the paper and rest of Charlotte.

This off the wall oddity has two watch gears, two Milagros and a common house fly encased in the resin. This photo shows the first fill of resin. Next day I domed the resin to completely cover the fly. The background is raku glaze...I had fired this piece on both sides. Same problem with resin seeping out from head pin hole. The fly looks like a broken nose...until you look close and see it is a fly instead:)

And this piece has one of my mini raku Charlottes, mini wings and two watch gears. One to prop up the wings and one used as a halo for the angel. This bezel was raku fired on both sides as well. I love the depth to this piece. I did get some air bubbles...all to one side.  This photo shows the piece with first resin fill.

I have not figured out how to photograph the pieces with the resin to show their depth. There is a warmth and charm to them and a nice weight to the finished pieces. I want to touch the smooth surface  and bring close to see what is captured.

What I learned from my first resin adventure ...
don't put holes in bezels unless I can find a better way to seal the hole with headpin
level by eye is not level by resin standards
keep a long sewing needle or such handy to burst bubbles or arrange the tiny items
keep a good pair of fine point tweezers handy...fingers are not nimble enough to arrange
wax paper is a must to keep overflow contained and not leave traces on bezel

This is an amazing tool for creating. I also painted some resin on a crumbling old book page to see what it would do. Love that look as well. The resin makes so many things it touches partially transparent.

I look forward to my next adventure... I think I will layer many layers of resin and items to get a real depth of field to the piece. Got to do some collecting though, and remember that what I put in the resin...stays in the resin:) 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Words are only a pale shadow to what the heart feels...the depth of pain, of sorrow, of horror and continued fear. Remembering does not ease these feelings...but it gives me hope. I remember that for a short time the world community was as one. I wish that the catalyst had not been  tragedy. I wish with all my mind and body that respect for another's faith...what ever  that faith is that draws us each closer to wholeness...could be honored by all. That faith would bind us together rather than send us in separate directions. That our combined faiths would take humanity into a Golden Age of love and respect for all living things. That our hearts would be on fire...and our souls burn bright from those flames...that everyone who saw those flames would ignite  as well. That that glow from our combined love and respect would make the sun pale in comparison.  I am remembering...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party Time is Soon! And This Is What My Partner Sent...

The clasp is from an old rinestone necklace closure...wonderful!! There is a porcelain rose pin:) And a lovely china pendant/connector.

Glass beads, rosary parts, crucifix...and the list goes on and on!
I have already been inspired!! As you know...I don't do alot of putting together:) I enjoy seeing what others do with my little treasures. But the Bead Soup Blog Party forces me to put on the assemblage hat and when that happens the ideas flow:) These two cuffs are directly inspired from looking at what Jill sent!! They are far from being finished...but the beginnings have pleased me:)
Now all I have to do is to put my wondrous strange twist to Jill's collection..and do it justice. It is quite pretty just displayed on its own!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party Time is Soon! And NO... These Are Not What I Sent My Partner...

I am delighted with my pairing of partners in this seasons Bead Soup Blog Party! Yesterday I sent out my package of treasures to Jill Harris of Gypsy Brocante
This is my second party and the last was so much fun...such a challenge to create with beads I did not pick out:) But a good challenge! 

While gathering goodies for Jill, I decided to do a few more kits. This is fun!! I plan to do more for my shop. This kit has one of my raku focal beads and silks by and stash beads.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Urchins Are Coming ..My Urchins Found An Amazing Home ...

Kinga of says of this piece..."The inspiration for this piece came when I saw the three raku focals made by Wondrous Strange Designs.

They were just so cute and I LOVED the glaze with the shifting colors of blue to purple , and wanted to give them a home by designing their oceanic surroundings.

So I used lots of pearls, shiny miracle beads,and seed beads in a bunch of diffeent shades of blues and teals to compliment them, and added a sea foamy fringe to finish it off nicely.

The backing is sheep skin in a light metallic green with a diamond finish, very glitzy. I used two trailer hitch type clasps made out of copper, because they are pretty and they age well ,and they are just so easy to use.. "

Read more about Kinga's creations on her
Or visit her amazing shop by clicking on the title above. Enjoy!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Exotic ...Colorful...and Such Sweet Sentiment....

LaShell of is a must visit shop if you are into silk sari ribbon...or over the top crochet design. I love my visits there...and have a small wall in my studio dedicated to her vibrant colored ribbons. They make me smile every time I pass by them...and I have to reach out to touch as well!

This cuff features one of my little faux ivory faces...that LaShell fell inlove with. We have a mutual admiration club membership you see:) And this piece is dedicated to little old me:) Here is what she says about the cuff...

This cuff fits a 5.75" measurement wrist and up. The silk sari ribbon ties make it adjustable. The width of the cuff is 2 1/4" wide. I have a fired clay ancient face placed center as the focal point. I made 2 beautiful purple and black Dichroic glass buttons. Flaming red/orange silk sari ribbon runs throught the center and I have 2 green tones running on the outside for ties. I used 100% silk handspun nubby silk yarn in yellow, orange, red and browns. This cuff has beautiful color and artistic punch. You will be notices as you wear this art piece.

I have a shop that I love, and love her the seller Dorcas at "Wondrousstrange" Her firing of raku clay and other clay items are out of this world. I dedicate this listing to her for she has given me a gift, I have taken her gift and made it into a wonderful wearable art piece.

thank you for looking"

Click on the title above and you will be transported to a shop full of color and original design work.A pleasure to work with and a delight to share ideas with. Hope you will take time to visit her shop:)

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Designs Are Always Such Fun!

Geometry Squared...Two Raku Deep Well Bezel/pendants

Wonderful geometric wells in raku. This was an experiment to see how if I could do a double side glaze and have a well for treasures and resin. My thinking is that the back can be filled with shallow objects then resin filled. Open back. Fired in loops for attaching to your project. 
I hope to do several shapes in this design. I have not tried the resin yet...but think this will work great! I think I am going to embed on of my mini Charlottes with a bouquet in one and see what happens:)

Tell Me Your Secrets....It's What's Underneath That Counts...Double Sided Glazed Raku Pendants

These are a re design on my raku leaves. I am making them thicker and adding a detail on the reverse. I like surprises...and these will be striking from both sides:)


With A Flourish...Stoneware Round Two Hole Buttons

These look like bone...see the skull  that they are laying on? Blends well together. These are stoneware, but I have used high density pigment paints to create the bone look. I am hoping to do many of my designs in this color combination.

From Here to Eternity... Raku Lentil Bead

These Raku Lintel Beads are quite lovely. Hollow inside, with a hole through top to bottom for stringing. This was a great firing, frosty gold,copper,blue,violet,green flashing. These are not perfectly round...they are hand formed and close to round.

The lintel bead measures approx 1 1/2 inches in diameter and is glazed and embossed on both sides. Each bead is unique as each is embossed with my mold of an original design, cut, partially dried to dome shape, then two disks are then sanded to form a flat surface and attached to form the hollow bead. This is all done before the leather hard stage. A hole is then pushed through top to bottom, and further drying until ready for bisque firing. Beads are primitive in design.

I designed a special firing platform so these could be fired upright and glazed on both sides. The bead is not glued together after is one piece from the first firing.

As you can see...I have been having grand fun with new designs and altering my old designs. I love my new glaze...the pastel colors are to die for. I have an other one that I am referring to as Ancient Digs because it looks like dug up treasure. Both glazes are rich and play with the light. 

As always...the title above will take you to my shop...if you want to spend some time looking around:)

I Wonder What Harry's Up To Today? Summer Love..That's What! UPDATE.....

I just love it when I get a convo from Harry of is that you ask? Because as often as not Harry is sharing a new creation using one of my little treasures:) And he does this so well:)
Description from Oscarcrow..."This artistic fantasy represents the concept of a temporary liaison..a Summer Love. Made of hand hammered and forged copper and brass with ceramic and found objects. An ornate wire heart in 14k gold-filled wire swings freely at the bottom of the 5 inch pendant. A double looped wire necklace in copper tone is about 20 inches long and is adjustable The small figure on the front above the rose is a raku doll made by wondrousstrange an artist selling here on Etsy." 

Click the title above to go directly to his blog and read his inspiration for this piece. And use this link to browse his other shop treasures as well.  Great place to grab some unique Frozen Charlotte Dolls as well!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sea Breezes and Salt in the Air...Treasury II

Like so many of you creative souls...summer turns into a frenzy of chores that keep me from posting:) But when I need to relax...a treasury will do the trick. It's so much like window shopping...but with out all this nasty heat! I have taken time to do several that I hope to share with you.

The wealth of creativity and beauty on Etsy is astounding! I hope you will take time to visit some of these shops...just click on the title above and be transported to a cooler world:) Enjoy!!

Grey Matter Matters...Treasury

Like so many of you creative souls...summer turns into a frenzy of chores that keep me from posting:) But when I need to relax...a treasury will do the trick. It's so much like window shopping...but with out all this nasty heat! I have taken time to do several that I hope to share with you.

The wealth of creativity and beauty on Etsy is astounding! I hope you will take time to visit some of these shops...just click on the title above and be transported to a cooler world:) Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bright Brilliant and Wonderful!! I Sighed Too!

LaShell of says it best..

"I just sigh when I look at this,I think I'm in love. She is one fine fiber necklace big and bold with color and design. You will not find another like this. We have a blend of silk sari ribbon, art fiber yarn, silk yarn and raku clay button in yellow. The button comes from Wondrousstrange at the lovely raku shop!

The necklace in the loop of it measures 30 1/2" opening and long. The madallion is 3 1/2" wide X 8" long. It's for the strong and bold woman who flames up looking at color! This is a long swinging necklace filled with fiber fun, copper flower caps, crystal and glass beads. If you have any questions just ask. This would be stunning over a jacket, sweater or blouse. There's just something to be said about red.

thank you for looking at part of my heart. :)

 Click on the title above to go to  LaShell's prepared to smile a lot!! Her primary colors make you feel young again!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Proof of Atlantis Found...What a Treasure...

Tammara Scott of has been buying little treasures from me add to a project...a  visualization of Atlantis... And she just shared her photos of the completed project. Isn't it lovely beyond description:) So rich and full of treasures to find. Can you find any of my pieces? The colors are soft but vivid and the texture...I wish I could see this one in person:) Photographs can never do such a work justice!

One of Tammy's works recently received the Silver award in the recent Fire Mountain Gems Beading Contest. "Magical Fairy Forest" it's listed here on etsy feel free to take a peek..

Hope you will take time to stop by her shop. So many treasures to see! Click on the title to go to her shop. And you can find her web page here... ENJOY!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July To Everyone!!!

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression, in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be the spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
Albert Einstein

What a wonderful word tolerance is:)

Enjoy the music:)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just the Cats Meow...


This was my precious cat, DoLittle. He was a found dumpster kitten with hair so matted that he could not walk without wincing. Thin and hungry we took him to the vet a real mess and got back a shaved but happier kitten. I had intended to find him a good home...but ugly is ugly and no one was interested and I got attached and by the time his hair grew to its full glory I could not let him leave. His early mal-nutrition kept him from ever growing very large.

He hated being outside and would patiently wait at the door to come back in...this time his anger at being left outside was showing!   

On the 4th of July several years ago...after his morning visit with his cat buddies that live across the street, DoLittle got distracted watching the neighborhood parade pass on the next street.  He did not see the car...nor know what happened. Here one second, gone the next. I don't think the driver new he had hit our little bundle of fur...he certainly did not stop. 

So the 4th is always bitter sweet for me now. I keep DoLittle's picture on my Etsy account as a way of remembering...and sharing. This little guy still brings smiles to those who see his image...and has brought so many kind and sweet comments to me. No cuddling any more...but still he brings joy to my heart:)

This is not meant to be a sad is a celebration for the love we share with our animal friends present and past:) Treasure every moment...I certainly do with our Jack Russel, Barkley:) 

This is a treasury I created to honor DoLittle...hope you will click on the title above and visit the shops and read some of the heart felt comments. we love our pets:)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Really Great Firing...Come See:)

 This was a really splendid firing. The colors are rich but soft. I wish I could really capture the spirit of this really does have to be held to be appreciated.

I am a closet archeologist...and this glaze really does have the feel of ancient buried treasure:)

What does not show is how the gold peeks through the highest textures and looks like it has been touched and worn satin smooth.

Have listed several items in my shop this morning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Amazing Swedish Artist ..Olga... Shares Her Recent Creation...Eternity Spirals

What can I say about the intricacies of this statement piece...beautiful and unique, textural, calming yet vibrant:)
There is a lot to describe...Several of my raku treasures are used...and Olga describes the process best, so I have included the link to her website that explains this process and the inspiration for this amazing work of art. Click on the title to go to her website...and follow this link to see more intircate and beautiful work in her  Etsy shop...
You WILL enjoy your visit:)