Friday, November 30, 2007

So cool

How cool were the teachers at today's school? Here is the "Science Objective" in one room:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ornament swap

So right before Thanksgiving i decided that in my vast free time i would join an ornament swap : i make 3 holiday ornaments and send them to different people and 3 totally different people send hand-made ornaments to me. The catch here is that it was a quick turn around swap; we got our addresses on Nov 22nd and the boxes need to be mailed by Dec 1st. Yikes. I had a few ideas whirling around and hung out in the studio 2 nights ago. I worked with paper, with glass, with beads, with paper and glass together, with ink, with paint, with glitter, with wire and i had bupkis. I mean nothing was coming together right or it came together but i didn't like it. I must have tossed 4 different prototypes. Randomly, around 10pm, i started opening various containers to get some inspiration and i came across some broken vintage jewelry. A-ha, says I. I wanted to make some abstract angels. I tried to make them matching, but it just didn't click. Frustrated i cut them apart and made some separate ornaments. Ha-zah! The problem was that each angel had her own personality and needed to be made accordingly. Once that was decided they came together pretty quickly. The halos are from a link necklace, the heads are vintage buttons from my grandmother's button box, the wings are from tassel angels i was going to make sometime in the early 90's but never got around to and the bodies/dresses are fashioned from various vintage necklaces and gold wire. Here are Sweet, Sassy and Shy: I decided that individually the angles felt incomplete. I considered sending all 3 to one person and making 2 more sets of 3, but i came to my senses on that one. Instead I made another ornament that matched each angel in some way (if the swap says "sends one ornament" i am compelled to send two; mayhaps i need professional help). Sweet has a heart of course, while Sassy is complimented by a zany swirl-o-rama and Shy lets her companion ornament speak for her. Tonite they get boxed up and sent to NC, AZ and CA; I hope they are enjoyed in their new homes. I can't wait to see what goodies come my way next week. I'll post when i receive all three of them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

fun school sights

So one of my teams got rear-ended in traffic today (they're fine, BTW) while my team had a stupendously fun day - odd how it happens that way sometimes. Right inside the side door was this awesome mosaic-fountain-lady constructed from individual tiles made by kids: and greeting team members Amy and Lindsey was a shark on a pole wearing green striped glasses (how could i make that up?!?):


So my holiday weekend went well. After 923 miles, 2 houses, 3 generations of relatives and quite a lot of green bean casserole i got home late Saturday night. I really love visiting, but driving to and/or from Ohio in the dark (in the rain) by yourself is a bit of a bummer. However, i was able to leave early enough on Wednesday to see one of my favorite driving sights: Western Maryland in the autumn at dusk with a wee bit of fog These pictures were taken at Sideling Hill (a giant notch cut in the top of a mountain for the highway to pass through; it has an awesome geologic feature called a syncline, but that's another story) and if you look really hard at the center of the second pic you'll see a teeny little church in the distance that makes the entire scene look like a postcard. sigh...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. When i was younger it really was my favorite time of the year. We went to Ohio to be with my parents' families. It meant travel and food and fun and spending time with my BFF, Rickki. We used to count the days till Thanksgiving like most people count to Christmas. As an adult i find myself reflecting every year on what i am thankful for. Generally i am an appreciative person; I really know that i have a good life. I can see that the terrible, painful things in life are balanced by beauty and opportunities. Everybody has days when they hate getting out of bed, but mine are few and far between. After being unwell for so long I am thankful that I really am at peace at last. I am thankful that i get to go to a job every day that drives me NUTS, but i still love. I am thankful that despite my complete neglect, I am healthy. I am thankful that I have a genetic family that loves me. I am thankful that I have a family of friends that chose me and love me. I am thankful for the time i get to spend in my studio. I am thankful for the technology that allows me to remain in contact with everyone despite the distances between us. I am thankful that the school i am supposed to be at right now had their power go out this morning so i get to leave for Ohio this afternoon instead of staying up for 24 hours and driving through the night. I am thankful that God blesses me everyday that I wake up, especially since i know i have never done anything to deserve those blessings. Life is good. I love you all. Have a great holiday - enjoy your turkey and count your blessings.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Rachel left the oddest message last week, "I have a bunch of Scrabble tiles that i figured you'd want for crafting purposes, when can you come pick them up?" When we finally spoke she explained that her company had ordered the tiles for some training event, used all of the E's, I's, T's and S's and were getting rid of the rest of them. I found a night i could swing by to pick them up, thinking that there were probably 100 or so tiles that i could certainly find a fun use for, even though they are missing 4 key letters. Imagine my surprise when she pointed to a big box FULL of bags of letters. There are multiple sets of tiles in red, white, black, blue and green. There are oodles of tiles! Wow. So, to all of my crafty friends, let me know if you would like some free scrabble tiles and i'll send 'em to ya. Let me know if you have specific color or letter choices. Remember - no E's, I's, S's or T's. Don'tcha just love free stuff?

Monday, November 19, 2007

ahhhh... paper mache

You know I love school art. At today's school they had a big totem pole in the front lobby to celebrate National American Indians and Alaska Natives Heritage Month. (who knew?) From top to bottom it represented the spirit totems of Thunderbird, Bear, Whale, Frag and Beaver.
There is just something magical about paper mache - it's versatile, paintable and can turn any old box into a bear. I miss paper mache.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Little Spice

I'm always on the lookout for fun new restaurants. Last week the Palmateers took me to this hole-in-the-wall place called Little Spice Thai Cuisine. Located by Arundel Mills it was excellent. The food was great (i had a yellow curry with potato) and moderately priced, the atmosphere was casual and friendly, and the decor was modern, but cool. The whole place had a nice eccentric yet inviting feel to it. When you get tired of turkey next week, if you're in the Baltimore Washington Metroplex try this place : you'll love it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


First it was unseasonably warm. Then it was rainy. Where was my favorite season? Today it was ridiculously foggy. But at our school in Calvert county (south of Baltimore, for non-Marylanders) the sun broke through at lunchtime and it was gloriously autumn. It was bright and clear with breathtaking trees. It was crisp enough to need a sweater, but not cold. It even smelled like campfire in the air. (i assume it was house with a wood-burning stove or something charming like that cause we never heard any sirens) I LOVE AUTUMN!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Project Mari

You may recall that my friend Francie is in the process of adopting a little girl from Vietnam. Adoption is a pricey endeavor and she has done some cool things to help raise money. She wrote a children's book, illustrated by her mom, about adoption. She also put together a children's CD of songs, stories and poetry (with a track by yours truly reading The Paper Bag Princess).
Here is the link to her Cafe Press shop, featuring both of these along with an assortment of gift items. Marvel at her creativity and perhaps do a little early holiday shopping, won't you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One woman's trash... my idea of shopping! The only thing better than looking through my local antique/art/junk/consignment store is looking through their garbage. Look what i found: What am i going to do with a broken glass lamp and the world's ugliest oval painting? you say. I have no idea! But that's the fun part.

Felt Frenzy

If you're hip to the crafting crazes, you know that using felt in paper arts has been hot for awhile. I've resisted thus far cause i don't really get the appeal - it just feels so 70's to me. So imagine my surprise when last night i was working on a pile of November cards (Happy Birthday Zachary, Ron, Colleen, Christina, Matthew and Glenn) when i thought This could use a little 3D swirl; maybe i'll use some felt. I sat down to try a few cuts in a few different colors and when i looked up, i'd done this: That's a lot of felt shapes to use for a girl who isn't sure if she likes felt shapes! So don't be shocked if you receive some felt from me soon!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Making Murder Art

Saturday night was Open Space Arts' annual Gala Fundraiser. This year former TSPer Annie wrote a murder mystery set in 1955. We all came in retro evening wear and had a fabulous time. In fact, we were having so much fun talking, eating and looking for clues that i forgot to take any pictures of us. The plot involved the moderately drunk and majorly detestable coat-check girl turned actress Angel Von Tassel being poisoned at a party hosted by Charlotte Rose for the 1954 Best Actress Oscar-winner, Cassidy Peacock. There was intrigue, infidelity, blackmail and the best line of the night, "There's been a little death. But I see no reason for that to ruin the evening." Plus it is always great to see former TSPer Thom in a tux as the head of the studio. I've wanted to host a Murder Mystery for ages (i was a bit too young to get in on it when it was all the rage back in the 80's) and this really makes me want to do it. Anyone have New Year's Eve plans, yet?


One of my croppin' cronies - Anne- secretly eloped last year. She and her husband, Dale, didn't want to tell anybody until they were able to tell all of their kids, which took almost a year. On Saturday they had a wedding celebration. I went expecting a party, but they also renewed their vows and had a blessing. Since they were alone at the civil ceremony it was really important to them to have a Christian ceremony with their family and friends. Held at Dale's brother's house in Annapolis it really was a family affair as we gathered in the back yard - there were 3 generations of Anne's family, 4 generations of Dale's, friends, dogs and kids playing on the swing sets. Even the 2 pastor's from St. John's are married to each other. It was laid back, but very sincere and lovely. There was a lot of laughing and crying, as there should be at weddings. Congratulations to the Crutchleys and may they blessed all of their days!


There are many words that could be used to describe me, but clothes horse (technically a phrase, i know) is not one of them. As a child of the 80's there was a time that such things really did matter to me. Now, if i am showered and my clothes match I consider myself presentable. However, i realized that i randomly had 2 posts about appearance and figured i'd put them together. Firstly, i have mentioned to several people that i cut 7 inches off of my hair resulting in picture requests, so here ya go: Yep, that's a lot of hair gone. (if you're wondering why i'm looking to the heavens in the picture it's because i took the picture right before i started cleaning the studio behind me - yikes) Secondly, i don't buy shoes very often. In fact, i generally don't get that worked up by shoes. But WOW did i get some bitchin' shoes last week. Thank God that flats and ballet shoes are back in style. These shoes were buy one pair, get another pair for $1 - that's right, just $1. Soooooooooo, since i haven't bought myself shoes in... ummmmm... let's go with months, since i can't actually remember the last time i bought shoes, i bought four pairs! They make me happy.