Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I've wanted to do a tutorial all summer and have been reading a lot of make over and upcycle blogs lately. While in the shower, best place for singing and thinking, I was ruminating about how I could use some magazine holders and didn't want to spend any money (we are on a money diet here at the Ponderosa, like everyone else). So I'm going to show you how I took this very nice cereal box:

and turned it into this fabulous and FREE magazine holder.







Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm gonna party, like it's my birthday...

And I did.  Just had a wonderful 3 hour gab fest dinner with amazing friends with whom I helped right the world. Did you feel that tilt?  Love you, Universe.  Mwah!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let's see...

I've missed the 4th of July here, Happy Belated Independence America.  I went on an unexpected trip to Chicago with a very good friend who had won the entire trip to see U2.  It was smashing.

Generally, I've been having a VERY laid back summer.  Just what I needed to recharge.  I don't officially go back until August 15 and I'm pretty psyched to see what is in store for me next year.  Education is always a surprise.  You put your order in at March preregistration and then the admin mixes it all up and give you what they think you should have.

I have been making stuff, finishing up long waiting projects, etc.  I do want to get back to blogging here and will have some photos up this week of recently made items, as well as some before and after of the clean up.  I have one spot left to take care of in the studio and then I can post real before and afters.

I really just wanted to check in with anyone that checks in with me and say "hey", so Hey!

I'll leave you with a bit of Chicago:

At U2.  This was a lucky capture!

Lake Michigan waterfront  from the trolley tour on top of the doubledecker.  The doubledecker can now be checked off my bucket list as one of those things I've always wanted to ride.

The river and a bit of skyline.  Chicago is quite a juxtaposition of modern and vintage buildings, which I loved.

Peace and love, fellow bead-heads!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Operation Seek and Destroy Clutter

I figured out that my muse might be hiding in my so overly neglected studio so I decided to clean, REALLY CLEAN: labeling, sorting (for beaders that can be a nightmare), trashing, etc.  I'm starting to feel the urge to create creep up.  Also, I got two new clay books that I ordered through Amazon: Julie Picarello's PATTERNS IN CLAY and Jessica and Susan Partain's POLYMER CLAY COOKBOOK about minature food charms.  They are both very well written and I can't wait to try the endless techniques within each. 

I will post before and afters of the Seek and Destroy once I'm finished.  I have about 6-10 hours work left to really be up and running (I've already put in 15 hours).  Can't wait....


Sunday, June 19, 2011


My dad, Kenneth Freeman, was from Tahoka, Texas and couldn't wait to get out.  He graduated from high school at 16, went to Texas Tech for a semester (while painting cars for money) to major in law.  He still wanted to get further than Lubbock (30 miles from Tahoka) so he joined the Army.  He was blind in one eye and had to memorize the eye chart to pass the physical, but he got in.

I'm gonna brag on him a lot, so bear with me.  He did so well on all his aptitude tests that they sent him to officer candidate school.  He broke his arm the last week and couldn't finish.  He decided not to go back, but continued to progress up the Army food chain.  He married my Mom in Sept '52 and went off to France soon after (post war stuff don't you know). She was 4 years older and had two kids. They had me in July '53.  We all went over to France in December '53 where he was busy helping to fight the early cold war.

We came back to the States in '55 and settled in Norfolk VA where he kept on moving along.  I got sick and needed a dryer climate, so he put in for El Paso and White Sands.  He was in at the beginning of missile program and soon found a way to be an officer without Officer Candidate School and became a CWO2 (skipped over CWO don't you know).  Missiles took us to Michigan and then there was a slide.  The top secret issues my dad had to deal with did not mesh well with his share all, gregarious soul and he started binge drinking.  He was the happiest drunk I've ever met, and he always made it to work (functional alcholism??).

The Army saw fit to let him finish his 21 years on Okinawa where he was a middle officer overseeing Post Engineers.  He brought the first country fair to Okinawa which was a huge success, including appearances by John Wayne and Fess Parker.  He secured us the best house on the island.  My dad was a bit of hustler.

He loved El Paso and as soon as he retired he wanted to come back to El Paso.  He made a deal with my mom, one year to find a good job or we were moving to Chattanooga (her home).  Two days before the year, he found a job as an insurance adjuster, so we stayed.

What did I love best about my Dad: working with him upholstering found furniture; working with him on cars (yes I can change my own oil, windshield wipers and tires, Thanks, Dad); him helping me with my math homework (a gene not transferred from him to me); he taught me how to find stuff, call and ask about parts, etc.  I loved sitting with him on the porch when he would play his guitar and we would sing folk songs and country tunes.  I love that I look exactly like my Dad, no Maury Povich needed.  I loved that he taught me how to carry out practical jokes without malice. He was a purposeful disciplinarian, always with an explanation, no screaming or yelling or hitting.

My Dad died at 42 in Nov '72.  I was 19 and there is not a day goes by that I don't miss him.  I would love to have him around now so he could see my success.

So Dad, I love you and miss you.  God please take good care of him until we can sit on the porch of heaven together.  Thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2011


The last few weeks have had me begging for something creative but without the motivation to act.  I've known for a month or two that I wanted to take an art related class of some kind this summer to get my mind away from state assessments and special ed paperwork, school in general.  I NEED to feed MY soul. 

In addition, I did not want to travel outside of El Paso.  I have taken a trip somewhere job related during my birthday week the last five years and I have had enough.   I HATE to travel.  Seriously, left up to me, I would be just like that ancient dead man they found in a cave in England a few years ago who had relatives 10 miles away, only I would not have made it 10 miles!!  I was an Army brat raised, not by wolves (although the jury is still officially out on the wolf issue), but by extroverted, nomad parents who loved moving, making new friends, etc, etc, etc.  While the experiences and places I have been are priceless, I never had a hometown and longed for one. Also, being a shy, extreme introvert (can we say recessive gene) it took me FOREVER to make new friends. When my dad retired in 1968 to his love of El Paso, so did I at the ripe old age of 15.  That was it, I wasn't moving anywhere else, EVER.

I digress, back to the need for an art infusion, I couldn't find any classes that were here in El Paso and I absolutely refuse to leave this summer, so I mottled together my own "art" course with free projects found at Interweave Press and YouTube.I downloaded mixed media tutorials, beading tutorials, videos on wirewrapping are sitting in my wait list on YouTube.   I really want to barely leave my house this summer, so the computer was a logical source.  I'm also looking at some DVD's and ebooks from Interweave, not free, but hey, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less than the cost of a plane ticket, gas and my sanity. For instance check out this short little teaser video from Interweave, after two minutes, my mind was racing with possibilities. short inspiration packed video    Brilliant! 

And Interweave Press store  tons of free projects 

YOUTUBE ->;The Crafts Channel (just an example of what is on YouTube.  I'm not going to paint "wellies" but so fun to watch and I feel like I'm in a British art class with a couple of whacky, crafty English birds.

I hope I have inspired someone to take a step to something.  When asked lately, always a question when educators are headed to vacation time, others regale me with their planned itineraries and I simply say, "I'm doing as little as possible with a maximum of fun-ness!"  They recoil in shock and awe, "You mean you aren't GOING ANYWHERE????????"   "Nope," I say, "and you can't make me! (insert raspberry sound here)."  I cannot tell you how content I feel.....

I will update my progress on said art endeavor and hope everyone is doing just what they want with their precious vacation time!!!  A little or a lot, your choice.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lovely give away mash up

Mary Ann Carroll is having a lovely Sunday giveaway.  It is a set of beautiful earrings that are a mash up of her beads and patina'd links from Miss Fickled Media (aka Shannon Levart).  They are gorgeous and you can have a chance at them by just answering a question on Mary's blog.  What are you waiting for, get to it (click below).

Have a great Sunday everyone.

MACarroll giveaway

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What a month

I'm actually quite happy to bid adieu to April 2011.  It was an expensive month, a less than healthful month and a crazy, stupid busy school/work month.  On the work front, state testing is OVER for now.  Now we wait for the results.  It's all too stupid.

May 2011 looks more promising.  Almost finished with my ESL certification classes.  Summer vacation is just 27 work days away.  I get my new A/C for the house...expensive, but a must have in El Paso.

O and I'm hoping my muse moves back in at some point...Maybe I'm just too tired to think...

Have a great week everyone!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In honor of turquoise, the true color of royalty

When I think of turquoise, I just become very calm.  I love it.  Happy and serene in the same moment for me.
But I love wacky also and this girl fills the bill.

Then there is this room...
Lusting I am for this room I am.
And I would create an altar to worship these bowls, for real

Now these are just too many turq choices...

It is creating a turquoise mania for me!!!!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Jewelry I've been making to sell....

Not much to say, but I've been making stuff to sell.  Enjoy.

Irish Cairn necklace reworked

fun spinner

Funky spiral polymer

How is your week going.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I have been in hibernation lately.  I'm not a "spring, oh isn't it grand" person.  I'm an "it's fall, everything is wonderfully dying and stark" person.  Also, in El Paso, spring means wind and we are having a doozy today.  The wind and I are not good companions.  It makes me anxious and unsettled.

Only 8 more weeks of school.  As of June 9th, I'm off until August 22nd or there abouts.  This makes me smile. 

On another bright side, after several custodians have climbed ladders while shaking their collective heads looking at the A/C to my room, decided to install a window unit which is working quite nicely.  So...at least it will be cool for the next 8 weeks.

I'll resurface soon...Love to you all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Finger lickin' linky goodness

My linky gifts to you

Earthenwood Studios  Melanie is cooking up some rare stuff.  Check it out.

Cindy Gimbrone  is challenging us with wire, my new love.

Genevieve at Jibby and Juna gives us a look at a final product.  Amazing.  Beautiful.

Lisa Clarke at Polka Dot Cottage helps us clutter bust.  She also has some wonderful and FREE button tutorials for the beginning clayer. 

Elaine Robataille does a wonderful job of moderating the Polymer Clay dept at Craft Gossip.  Give it a whirl.

Happy Mango Beads  What is not to love about that name and they have fantastic deals on wonderful beads.  Very friendly and fair trade minded.

Gera at aMused Studios is revisiting work.  I love redoing some of my old work that I sorta liked but never loved.  Yet the potential  was always calling to me.  Here is her result.

Jennifer Perkins is just fun to read.  Get a cup of something and allow yourself some fun.

Mary Ann Moss  is a wonderful writer and is currently in Paris (France, the real one).  She is a great read and what she does with journaling is to die for.

Go ahead, pull up a chair and browse.  It is okay, really....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Looking for my muse....sigh

When inspiration alludes, hunt...

While looking for my very naughty AWOL muse I've been visiting famous artists' websites.  What a treasure these are.  Thanks to all those that keep these sites alive, probably with very little support from our government...but I digress.

Today I visited Calder's site for a while and what a treasure.  I love kinetic sculpture and Calder never disappoints.  But first up is one of his very first sculptures, a little dog in 1909. I'm in love with this simple, sweet, expressive piece.  How lucky are we to have this national treasure available on line?  Very!!

"Dog", Calder, 1909 from Calder Foundation Website, copyright 2011

"Myxomatose"---Calder 1953 from Calder Foundation Website, 2011

I love the above piece.  This is the style that Calder is probably most known for.  These abstract kinetic pieces have always fascinated me.  His color talent is amazing as well.

"Bracelet"  1935  Calder from Calder Foundation website 2011

This bracelet is right up my alley now.  I'm loving working with wire and love this piece.  Calder also made wonderful paintings and wood sculptures.  He was extremely prolific and we all benefit from this vast archive of work.

If you have some time to dwaddle and want a little eye candy try going here Calder foundation.  I don't think you will be disappointed.  Have a great Sunday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin go bragh!

Who could resist a shamrock covered dog???

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.  Not feeling too creative lately.  Have made a few things and will post soon.  Just need to decompress and recharge.  Been using Spring Break to relax and chill.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Prayers for Japan

Unless you have lived in Japan (I did as a teenager) it is hard to imagine how amazing these people are.  In the U.S. (and I'm extremely happy to be an American) we reward individualism and self-reliance, both good things.  In Japan, they are all about community and it is amazing to see how a country full of devastating disaster can rise and show us an example of what the world could be.  I remember so well how peacefully everyone treated one another and Americans can prove to be challenging.  They always treated each other with respect.  I don't want to live anywhere else or be anyone else, but a little peace towards one another and a little consideration when you feel like biting someone's head off would sure go along way to making the world a better place day to day.

I guess I will start with the woman in the mirror....

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Hi all my fellow Bead Soup partiers.  Thank you so much for all your encouraging words!!!  I never cease to be thrilled by the community of beaders.  We are a generous and supportive lot!  Love to you all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


View one of the necklace.  I thought the boros screamed for pearls.
View two of the necklace with more detail to include the charm.

I'm loving making wire wrapped rings right now and these Tree of Life ring is an example of what I'm making.  It is huge, by ring standards, and I'm loving it.  My wire wrapping leaves a lot to be desired, but I love MY new ring.  It is surprisingly comfortable to wear.  And wear it I will.

I'm off to Bead Soup Blog hop.  Enjoy everyone!!

Love and peace to all my fellow bead heads



Don't forget new Bead Soup Party in August

I can't seem to link all the blogs for this party so I'm gonna put Lori's here for all the blogs.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aidan vs. The Throwrug; DUH DUH DA DUH


Mercifully it is short, but, in my humble opinion, adorable, cute and divine.  And I have no plans of spoiling him rotten to the core!  (oopsy, fingers crossed on that one.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Meet Aidan Freeman

Hi, I'm Aidan

Here is the newest member of the Freeman family.  Aidan is a boxer (mother) and bulldog (father) mix and is absolutely adorable.  When picking a name I went to baby name websites and Aidan means "little fire" and that he is.  This photo was a rare two second on his Harry Potter blankie.

He was born on December 29 and has 10 brothers and sisters.  His new family, Daisy and Tess, are shall we say, adjusting to the decision.

So forgive my absence, but as you can see I have fallen in love.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

We are closed Monday, also....now a water crisis!!


Of all the emergencies over the last few days, the water emergency makes the most sense.  We live in DESERT for Pete's and everybody else's sake.  The water company is blaming the Electric company and the gas company is blaming the Electric company.  I agree with their assessments.

When the Electric held their press conference yesterday they in essence confirmed that they are stupidest engineers in the nation, possibly the world.  Said they would not have done anything differently.  Would not have brought in extra insulation, heaters, etc.  I personally hope the CEO's are collectively fired. Being 2011, however, they'll probably get a bonus!  You know they will.  Arrrgggghhh. 

The heroes in this mess are the poor souls who had to go out in FREEEEEEEEEEEEEZING cold weather (night and day) and manually switch switches back on, fix broken pipes, address gas pressure, and deal with angry customers.

Long story short, we are out of school for the 4th day in row, yet no one is supposed to cook, bathe, wash or I guess breath for that matter. 

However, I really must say my attitude after this unexpected break is the following: 

Friday, February 4, 2011


OKAY, universe, I get it.  I'm getting old.  Went for a followup with a new doc, whom I like very much.  She did enough blood work to make a vampire drool.  So I'm seeing lots of normals, good, check.  Then we get to the BAD!!!  Seems I'm deficient in Vitamin D, didn't even know they tested for that...  IN THE SUN CITY.  Of course I never see the light of day.  Anyway, seems that number should be at 50, mine was 11 and not funny Spinal Tap 11.  Perhaps I AM  a vampire.  I now will be taking a weekly 50,000 (not a typo) unit Vitamin D.  Seems Vitamin D deficiency can increase pain, depression and tiredness.  Also, I was low positive for possible auto immune issues.  Soooooooooooo I'm being referred to a rheumatologist who is supposed to be amazing.

Okay, universe knocks again and as I walk in the door I hear 2 pops and my washer hoses have popped off and water is gushing everywhere.  I dash out to turn off the water to assess the issue.  I go to Lowe's and everyone in the world is in the plumbing aisle.  Manage to Mickey Mouse a fix.  Turn water back on low, so far so good.  Fingers crossed.

Sooooooooooo in my calculations, tomorrow should be wonderful.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Daisy in the snow


Here is Daisy romping and snorting in the snow.  The tennis ball is her crack!  Enjoy......

Snow days in El Paso

Here are some snow photos from the desert.  High today is expected to be 24, we hit a low of 2 (not a typo) last night, wind chill -16 (again, not a typo).  Lost power 3 times yesterday, no power loss today, fingers crossed!

Hopefully I can load the video right now.  Daisy is too cute, if a mama can brag a bit....I'm just saying.

Stay warm everyone.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.




Finally got out of the house.  We have been blessed with another snow day.  This is UNHEARD OF as we are off tomorrow as well.  Yay!!

Keep warm everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


My Bounty from Ema K

As promised I have a photo of my wonderful Bead Bounty from Ema K. How gorgeous are these?  Yummy.   She included a magnificient handmade lampwork focal, some boro glass, some pale cherry quartz, some green and pink crystals and a beautiful clasp.  I made out like a bandit.  I cannot wait to dig in and start creating.  These beads are enough in and out of my comfort colors that I will be challenged yet not frozen. Also, this mix included some wonderful chocolates (which I ate before I took the pictures, oops).  Chocolate and beads...what's not to love!

We had a rare event for El Paso....real snow (about 2 inches) which of course shut the town down.  Yay, snow day. (and a snow day tomorrow) Usually in El Paso when we do have snow it melts right away because the next day is so sunny.  Not today.  We are also having RECORD low freezing temps,maybe down to 2' tonight or LOWER.  So low, the Elec co is implementing rolling blackouts to relieve the surge on the system.  We have been with and without electric twice today, so I'm taking advantage of being connected.  I'm no survivalist, so being with out electric is not something I relish.  I want 21st century comfort and I'm not ashamed.

A small aside, I've been thinking a lot this winter of when my family was relocated to Michigan in the early '60's from El Paso.  Today reminded me of the first October blizzard and the snow had piled up against the doors and garage.  My mom called the school to confirm that we were out for the day and the secretary politely assured her that, "No, Ma'am, school is in today."  Well I walked to school wearing every concievable item of warm clothing I had  and I SURVIVED, LOL.  Quite an adventure for a desert rat.
So this week, while prepping for the state ELA test with my 14 and 15 year old darlings, one of my boys said: "Miss, I'm not going to take TAKS because I'm moving to Canada."  I reminded him that he shivers with a hood on when it is 80', so I didn't think Canada the best choice for him.  LOL

I'll have photos and a video of Daisy chasing the ball in the snow.  The BALL is Daisy's form of crack.

Keep warm everyone.  Love to all.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My bead swap beads: Ema K rules!

Big Shout out to Ema K.  Got my beads yesterday and have been oogling them on and off since.  Pictures will follow this week.  Sorry, work and house are in the "way" this weekend.  All I can is gorgeous cannot describe my bounty.  I'm not worth, I'm not worthy...........

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MY bead partner... Ema K

Hi all,

My Bead Soup partner is Ema K and I will let her words explain her and her work:

"I am a lampwork artist living in Central Massachusetts. I have been involved in the arts all my life. My family has a range of artistic abilities, ranging from making wool rugs, painting and stained glass to name just a few.

Personally I have worked in ceramics, drawing, painting, tole painting, wool felting and quilting. I have found my passion in lampworking. I could sit at the torch all day creating. I hope you will find joy in my creations as well."
(From the website:  http://www.emakdesigns.com/  /about the artist)

Here is her amazing Etsy shop ------>  Ema Kaye's Etsy shop
Here is her blog  ------->  Ema K Blog at Blogspot

Ema makes beautiful lampwork beads and I love glass, so I could not be happier!

I hope everyone else is having a blast....back to picking beads for Ema.....

Lori's giveaway...letter stamp set....Woohoo

I have been a very, very bad blogger.  I have yet to announce my bead soup partner and her wonderful blog, but first I want to clue everyone in to a give away over on Lori Anderson's blog.  How amazing is she?  She is hosting the Bead Soup Party and giving away stuff.  She is the woman!!!  Hear her roar.  Anyway, here is the blog link that will take you to the details.....   ----->>  LORI'S LETTER STAMP SET GIVE AWAY.

As an English teacher I am fanscinated by words and letters, so my fingers are definitely crossed.  What are you waiting for...go get yourself the entry info.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Did you................

Hi everyone:

Did you get your Beading partner for the Bead Soup Party.....?  I DID, YAY.

Did you contact your Beading partner.....well, what are you waiting for.

Have fun everyone.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It is time for Bead Soup Blog Partying again.  You have to participate.  REALLY!!

Go right here, right now, please to sign up:  Lori Anderson's Blog

It will me worth it, REALLY.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

There is still time to enter this give away at Mary Ann Carroll's blog

(Photo by MA Carroll)
Aren't these lush??

MaryAnn Carroll is having a wonderful and unique give away on her blog.  She is giving away a set of her orphan ceramic beads.  Her beads are to die for!  I think it ends on the 8th.  So don't lollygag or dillydally.

Get all the info right here   --------------->  GIVE AWAY DETAILS