Wednesday, August 17, 2016

was that 6 or 7 or 6?

Yesterday while i was waiting for the optometrist my eyes were dilated to aye-aye level so i had to keep them closed to prevent the fluorescent light from piercing my brain.
credit: Philadelphia zoo
Sitting in a room full of people with my eyes closed naturally makes me think of meditation,
which made me think of missing my meditation group,
which made me think of the blog post earlier this week,

which made me think of the original picture i 
used of day lilies that Cassie and Mike brought me after my dad died,

which made me think of my dad,
which made me sad for a moment, but then concerned because dad had an issue with his eyes that i was being tested for that very day,
which made me nervous,
which circled me back around to meditation,
which made me consider my meditation haiku,
which gave me pause, did the mid line actually have 7 syllables or only 6?
Yep, that haiku is syllable deficient. 
How in the world did that happen?
Haikus are not rocket science, people. There are only 17 syllables total. That is the whole point.
I think it was because i was toying with both meditate and meditation during the writing process. 
I also realized that i spelled meditate wrong. sheesh.
double bah
So here is the revised edition. 

Monday, August 15, 2016


I have enjoyed a meditation group on Monday nights, but we are on a summer break.
sigh... i miss it
Meditating on my own has gotten easier, but it is still way better at the group.
So a pensive haiku instead:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Fun in the Summertime card

Today is the August Card Hop, going live at 8 pm on the NikCo FB page.
Here's a l'il taste:

Thursday, July 7, 2016


No really, it is a giant clown.
How giant? you ask.
Can you spot me in this picture?
Okay yes, the clown in question is Ronald McDonald and he is not as scary as other clowns (at least not this mid-late 20th century version of him; some of the live ones i've seen have been highly questionable).

But this Ronald is BIG -
 big enough to hold me in his hand.

Located of I-71 in central-ish Ohio (exit 131, to be exact) this mega-Ron is welcoming everyone to share in a Happy Meal at the adjacent pavilion, which is probably the prettiest, most well-maintained McDonald's Birthday area i have ever seen.
Rea and i stopped specifically to collect this giant object for my 101 list when i was there for my birthday/Mother's Day in May.
She wanted a picture of me by the anthropomorphic food for another size reference:

though on closer examination,
does it look like
the hamburger is ironically trying to eat me?

A pleasant little stop in our day and another thing crossed from the list, but i do have to admit that when you are sitting under Ronald, looking straight up,
he is a little scary.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

shakin' and bakin'

Well actually, shakin' and stampin', but that is a not a fun post title at all.

I am involved in a Facebook hop with other SU! demos this month.
      We all did a project involving a shaker box and have the posts linked so that you can click right through to see them all.
Here's a wee bit of mine:

Now clickity-click right here to see the whole thing on the NikCo FB page.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

often things are done a certain way for a reason

    One morning while visiting my mom i found all of the ingredients for making blueberry pancakes waiting for my on the kitchen counter.
My brother makes the BEST pancakes ever, but mine are certainly fine for home consumption so i got to it.

Then it happened - i had an IDEA.
Oh, how many misadventures here in the Nikiverse start with me suddenly having an idea?

It really annoys me that blueberry pancakes only have blueberries every here and there because they are added after the batter is poured.
    You get bites with a lot of berry and bites with no berry.
It tweaks at my love for food homogeny.
What if i added some of them during mixing so that they would break apart, scattering blueberry bitletts throughout the batter?
Then i could still place extra berries where needed as they cooked.
Double the berry goodnes!
It is so obvious, so easy.
Why has no one done it like this before?

sigh... this is why.

Too much berry caused the top cakes to cook unevenly and be, well, you can see for yourself.

I added more batter and placed the berries as is common and got the delicious bottom cakes.

sigh... foiled again by dratted reality

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

you greatly disappoint me

  Editing pictures for the Etsy updates in April (current pieces still on sale, 40% off with code MAKINGROOM) I was just going through old photo files and cleaning things up a bit when i found a hilarious picture of one of my charges.
        You need to know that Olive is very sweet and affectionate, but in her old house her favorite perch was on top of the high shelves in the studio so sometimes a girl would look up from her project and be startled by eyes looking down from the ceiling thusly:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

what do we see?

      Last week was the one year anniversary of the final time i saw my daddy.
   We spoke over the next ten weeks before he passed, of course, but there is something different about actually seeing someone while you talk to them. Expressions and  body language enhance the meaning behind the words while location and appearance makes the memory of the discussion crisper. At least it does for me.
                 I miss my dad.
   But losing him has made me reevaluate all of my relationships and rethink how i experience life and turn those experiences into memories.

Much of the last year was spent in a blur, sleeping even when i was awake.
   But it feels like it might be time to try to open those eyes back up.
taken from an art-soul class collage

 Aqua Velva eyes.
Clear, bright, knowing. Not lately
Wake up! Time to SEE.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

it all has to GO

Just in case any of you lovely readers aren't following my store - NikCo - on FB, i wanted to let you know that i am having a crazy 40% off sale right now to quick-sell older inventory and make space for the new sparkleys being created in the studio.
Take a virtual stroll over there and use the code MAKINGROOM to receive 40% off of all orders over $10.

Beautiful. Classic
Love them all, but it is time.
Buy. Buy. Buy. Bye-bye!

pssssstttt... why aren't you following us on FB?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

when are dogs toddlers?

Wiggle. Wriggle. BARK!
Furry frenzy: four months old. 
Just a rolling blur.
four month old Sasza with Nannie Niki

Friday, February 5, 2016

awesome show this weekend!

NikCo will be there both days!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

bullet point bulletin

  • Despite the rumors that you may have heard, i am not laying comatose in a lab at a secret military installation immersed in a brain wave study to discover a renewable energy source that will have the power to save the Earth and mankind: boon to civilization that will inevitably be weaponized and show harmful side effects after 30-50 years. 
  • I could not tell you if i was involved in said completely hypothetical situation

  • My winter visit to Ohio was extra long and i got to spend lots of time with my mom, go shopping with my sister, meet my nephew's girlfriend over Christmas dinner (which i got to cook - yay to my mom having a better kitchen than me!) and visit Rea's farm. 

  • I did however learn that cows are quicker than you think.  When i pulled up in my car there was only one cow near the fence; by the time i got out of the car, there were four!  How did an 800 pound creature just appear like that?

  • The fabled studio redo is almost done, finally.    It has been a long time coming, but Rea and I set-up an 8 week challenge through December and January to get things organized, purged and rearranged in our respective houses with a scrapbooking retreat together as a reward at the end so I was really motivated.    I have seriously sorted and purged things, getting rid of supplies or pieces of half-done ideas that have been cluttering up my studio and my mind for far too long. There are 7-9 more boxes/bags to be sorted, but i have all of the new shelving and storage in place so it is only a matter of deciding what to keep and putting the other things into the correct space.

  • Tonight is the greatest night of the entire project: Labeling Night! Suzanne is coming over after work and we are going to label every box, bin, case, drawer and shelf in the studio, including relabeling anything already labeled so that all of the labels match.   MATCHING LABELS, PEOPLE! Clear, concise organization really makes my skirt fly up.

  • The newest addition to Nannie Niki's menagerie is an 11 week old terrier mix named Sasza (pronounced like Sasha) and she is a cutie-patootie, reminding me of my beloved Chang.

  • New Year's cards are done production and i am working on addressing and getting them in the mail. Watch your box.

  • Though winter is mostly a fallow festival season, don't forget the Annual Jewlery Show at Objects Found over Super Bowl weekend. More info about the event will be posted here and on the NikCo FB page, which you should go Like right now, in case you haven't already.

  • It has now been half of a year since my dad died and we have made it through the major holidays (except my and my brother's bbdays in May) without him for the first time. In no way i am through grieving, but i can feel some of the depression clouds parting.

  • I continue along with the 101 Goals in 1001 Days, doing very well on some and miserably on others. Once we return from our retreat at the end of the month i have plan in the works to invest time in a few of the languishing ones, including getting back to writing on a regular basis

Friday, January 1, 2016

fresh start

Today is my favorite non-holiday day of the year.
January 1st.
The beginning. The start. Fresh. New. Clean.
To the jaded naysayers who insist it is just a random day, artificial and meaningless, I say.
Well, DUH!
ALL dates are artificial, the concept of marking time, naming it, is a human construct and you could make the argument that all dates are meaningless - the Earth is gonna keep spinning whether we keep track of it or not.
We imbue days with meaning for ourselves.
I happily choose to consider today another chance to re-concentrate my efforts at self-improvement 

Technically, every morning is a new start, but it is easy to be so swept up in that day's events that I forget to be mindful of that. 
Plus, it is so very easy to be critical of yesterday's mistakes (or every mistake of your life, like the time I lied to my first grade teacher - yes, that still pops into my head every once in a while) that I forget to forgive my own frailties, my human-ness, to start over each day.
New Year's Day is an opportunity to truthfully evaluate where I am and where I want to be and then mindfully make a strategy of how to make that happen.

This year's resolution is to actively work on my 101 Goals in 1001 Days. 
What are yours?
Good luck on getting there, friends.
Work hard, but be gentle with yourself when things don't quite follow the plan.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

when a bead is more than a bead

When i launched the ReWearables line in 2012 my main motivation was to have a creative outlet that rescued broken and discarded beads, gave them new life.
It wasn't a business yet; it was actually just an item on a ToDo list.
A lot (i mean A LOT) has changed in the past 3.75 years, but i continue to relish saving pretty things from being discarded.
However, yesterday i had an experience that brought into focus for me that the work i do to pay the bills can also be the work i do in an effort to positively impact the world around me.
Whenever someone gives me jewelry or items to use in my studio i offer to make a custom piece -or they can choose something from my stock- as payment.
Viva the barter system!
Kalisha offered me a basket full of  jewelry and she asked me to make a pair of bracelets for her mom's best friends.
Her mom, Stella, passed away last year; in fact, her one year angelversary is rapidly approaching and Kalisha wanted to share something special with these two women.
She supplied one of her mom's favorite necklaces and some pieces for me to use.
If you are looking at that badly lit picture and thinking,
Wow. That is a motley mish-mash of things,
then you are right where i was last Friday. They are nice pieces, but i could not get any sort of vision of how i was going to get them to work together in not one, but two bracelets.
Saturday i cut everything apart and sorted the beads and bobs so that i could get a fresh perspective. In doing so, i noticed that the focal necklace i was using had several pairs of beads, not singles, not groups, but pairs. Just like i was making a pair of bracelets.
A-HA! (that makes me think of the music group; here is one of my favorite a-ha songs)
The two bracelets would feature the same three beads in the center, one bead for each of the friends.

The round lavender beads were the only ones that color on the whole necklace, so they were Stella.
Similar in size and importance, but different in shape and color a pair of puple beads and a pair of pink ones became her two friends.

After a quick consult with Kalsiha i decided to make the bracelets matching, but different: one would be a sleek linear design and the other a chain of dangles. Some matching beads were included on both, but there were also different beads on each because i figured the three friends would have shared experiences, but the details of the each of the ladies' relationship with Stella would be unique.

The only thing i added (besides the hardware of course) was a tiny pair of angel wings as the matching dangle detail on both bracelets to symbolize that one of the friends had moved on, but was still a beautiful part of the remaining whole.

If you are wondering why the pictures are sub-par, it is because both pieces were completed to my satisfaction less than 2 hours before i was schedule to give them to Kalisha so i had to shoot them at my desk as it was rainy and grey yesterday.
She seemed to like them and i told her that i was going put their pictures on the NikCo FB page as an example of my custom work, but that i would wait a few days so that she would have a chance to present them to her mom's friends.
That was at 3:45pm.
At 5:20pm i received this text
If you'd like (to) share as early as tomorrow I was in here crying like a baby so we met up shortly after you left. Both ladies loved there (sic) gifts and said they felt my moms spirit with them "Stella is looking down on us" is what Liz said!
You just know that brought a tear to my eye.
Some days, especially lately as i meander through my own grief, i feel like how i spend my time has no real meaning, no impact on anyone around me (i am sure we all feel like that sometimes) so it was a welcome surprise to realize that i can use my creations to help people and touch their hearts.