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Its that time of year again

October 7, 2011

Show season is almost with us with just a week left before Art for Heaven’s Sake. I am thrilled to be one of the 60 artists in the show this year. The times are

Friday, Oct. 14, 7  pm – 10 pm
Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, Oct. 16, 11:30 am – 5 pm

Redlands United Church of Christ • 168 Bellevue Ave • Redlands, CA 92373

2010-10-16 17.04.57

Art For Heaven’s Sake 2010 – set up day.

Like the other artists I’ve been busy with preparations making: jewelry, baby blankets, a Halloween throw and hopefully by the show a Christmas Tree throw.

Ages ago I fell in love with steam punk jewelry and have been anxious to make some but put it off because… but in the Fall Belle Amour Jewelry magazine was a brief article on steam jewelry. I was so inspired I decided it was time to experiment. I know I haven’t finished the piece but I like the way its shaping up – Matt commented that he liked it but would like to see some real hands on the finished piece! Hopefully by the show I’ll have some of my own steam style jewelry to sell.




Apologies for the photo – the wrong camera, but here is the in process piece a wire wrapped watch dial with wire wrapped small pearls. (on the camera or as a smaller image it doesn’t look blurred – now that’s a lesson to learn!)


Then there will be more shows in November, it looks like Red Dirt in downtown Redlands @ Ed Hale Park has been postponed because the park isn’t quite ready from its renovations! So the date has been put back a week.

Red Dirt 12th November

Artists For A Cause – 13th November

Art on State Street- 20th November

And in between shows and on show days, the boys have a full marching band schedule, with football games and marching band competitions. We are going to need Thanksgiving break to recover!


I’m moving, the bird has flown…

August 13, 2010

I’ve taken the next step and with Candy’s help, I’ve spread my wings and expanded my blog to a website.

Please change your book marks and follow me to

Its new, I’m still learning – so please have patience but its fun and exciting….

I’ll see you there.


20 years ago today I met Geraint

August 4, 2010

Yup, its hard to believe when he popped round with a bar of chocolate on his return from a conference in Switzerland that we’d be living in California with two teenage boys twenty years later! He pulled the sob story, his sister was away, he was alone etc… and I invited him to dinner….and the rest is history. Its been lots of fun – thanks honey and hopefully many more adventures together.

Writing this I realized July is over, I haven’t blogged for almost 3 weeks! We’ve been busy with music summer camps, trying to pull together upstairs, make desks for the boys and an archaeological dig in Matt’s bedroom! I’ve tinkered with new designs for bracelets and earrings in the evening when we’ve watched tv and started some crochet just for the fun of it.

But next week its back to school and I have lots of plans for the rest of August which will only have 3 weeks left! But it will be good to get back into a routine even if it means the day starting at 6.30am!

I was thrilled to get the acceptance letter from Art for Heaven’s Sake this year and its a reminder that the Fall show season kicks off that weekend. And with both boys in marching band its going to be busy.

In addition Artist’s for a Cause has linked up with the Children’s Fund of San Bernardino and hope to have a successful show in November and we are starting to send out acceptance letters to some wonderfully creative artists.

So I guess this brings me round to my to do list for the month…

July’s list was really short because I knew time would be precious

Boys bedrooms – Will done.  Matt’s still needs much love and attention and a yard sale to clear the house of unwanted clothing, books and toys.

Pink blanket/bag – done. It looks lovely and I’ll take a photo and post it.

2 new bracelet designs – done & more spin off experiments from them (see previous post)

new earring design – done

Pool filter – in and working –thank you Geraint!

Remove Pool pump & filter house? Not this year. trees need sorting more urgently.

Christmas quilt design – 0%.

A post about joining an art show for the first time and what was really needed. I’ve jotted down some ideas and might actually publish it.

Thankfully not a huge carry over list…

Although this is a list for August I think it will definitely wrap over into September because there are 10 weeks and 2 days until Art for Heaven’s Sake!

50 bracelets – started

50 prs of earrings – started

Secret surprise birthday pressies… um already begun!

Artist bio for Art for Heaven’s Sake and Artist’s for a Cause

24 mini Christmas tree decorations in green, red and white

Christmas wall hanging for my friend Teri

Christmas wall hanging for Cynthia in Newfoundland

Sort out studio -fabrics ready to make Christmas wall hangings, and baby quilts

(I’d like to have about 6 wall hangings and a full size throw for Art for Heaven’s Sake.)

Small boy quilt – I was thrilled to get a commission for this and it needs to be done by next week.

Matt’s bedroom – finish emptying it by the time he goes back to school and neat piles of boxes for a yard sale before marching band season really kicks off.

Studio cupboard – help Geraint get it finished – which will help the house!

Keep watering the veggies which are doing wonderfully. We have 5 types of tomatoes thanks to the self seeded plants and fingers crossed some wonderful butternut squash to eat later in the fall. We have plans for next year.

Write the article about 1st time shows…

Start walking Mei again – I’ve fallen off the wagon, she loves it, I really think it helps me creatively and my knees. I would love to lose about 10 lbs and then think about some more after that.IMG_1914

Sunset San Clemente beach – it was fantastic.

PS. I might be turning the blog into a real website… but only if Candy has time to help me. There is no chance of help from Will, Mum’s website is far toooo boring!!!

New style bracelets and earrings

July 19, 2010

Last Fall my friend Linda showed me a bracelet she’d bought. I was interested in the design but I needed to learn some new skills to try it for myself. This summer my friend Adele taught me the basics of wire wrapping and I decided to experiment with the design for myself.

IMG_1952 I don’t know what to call this yet, other than a bracelet! Perhaps “stacks”. It took a good 2 hours to make this with all the wire wrapping. Candy thought the 1/2 inch buttons made it quite chunky, which I’d also thought, which is why I added the heavy brown glass beads. (Each group had 10 buttons but the earrings have 6 buttons))

But I couldn’t leave it there I had to make matching earrings!


Then I decided to experiment with smaller buttons (shirt size) of which I seemed to have many and created this bracelet with matching earrings…


Yes, each one of those single buttons I wire wrapped separately. The smaller buttons give it a lighter feel and I liked the way the groups of three buttons dangled. (This bracelet had groups of 7 buttons together in the bracelet and in the earrings)

I think I will be showcasing these in the new Redlands Art Association show, and take in for that is on Friday.

Mid-July chaos!

July 10, 2010

The boys have been off for a month now, Will has a A for English so that should wipe out the F! Matt’s been to marching band camp and now we have a whole 10 days when we are all together. I’ve been on the usual mother nag for tidying bedrooms, cleaning out school bags, dumping last year’s work and finding all the dirty washing hidden in corners and under beds! 2 Loads came out of Will’s room and I haven’t really dared set foot in Matt’s pit!

IMG_1868 Redlands coming down route 38 from Angelus Oaks – yes the white is the marine layer that we drove out of into glorious sunshine.


These lovely yellow flowers lined the road from about 3000-5,500 ft. They were wonderful and the air smelt heavenly.


I’m waiting to hear from Art for Heaven’s Sake, while involved with finding artists for this year’s 4th annual Artists for a Cause art show in November. Adele and I met with the San Bernardino representatives from the Children’s Fund and to our delight they decided to be our recipient charity for our show this year.

In the back of my mind I’m thinking about making bracelets and earrings and Christmas wall hangings but have nowhere really to start working until the studio is up and running, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Our focus of the summer was getting a new floor down in our upstairs room, all 450 sq feet of it which we did many thanks to Candy Andrew, Liam and Logan for all their help (see last 3 posts). This week we bought the pine to make our own skirting/base boards. Geraint decided to use his router and with 2 coats of printer on I think they are ready for the top coat. Will and Matt got stuck in and helped Geraint paint them this morning. Geraint is also making the bull nose edge for the top of the stairs and the long stairwell side.

This week I’ve crashed, exhausted from it all. Geraint installed the new pool filter (not in the budget) but I so wanted my Hockey painting back and to be able to swim!




The pool after 10 gallons of chlorine killed the wildlife thriving in the pea green soup

In quiet moments I’ve practiced wire wrapping and its improved. I think the new style bracelets are almost there – or were until Will knocked the tray of buttons and sent them everywhere.

It seems like the marine layer is going and summer heat is starting to kick in – oh how spoilt we’ve been, I’m not sure if its hot flushes or just the heat! I’m looking forward to some family time at the beach with the ultimate luxury of FULL hookups. I hope my veggies continue to thrive while we’re away for a few days.


IMG_1883                     IMG_1880           

Commercial tomatoes just starting to ripen,                     self seeded mini roma toms starting to ripen!



           The main veggie plot by the pool:  toms to left, peppers in the centre and clumps of basil


On top of all this the rumour is that the REV marching band might just be marching in the Washington DC 4th July parade next summer…I guess we will have time to rearrange the budget but no surprise tuba for Will this Christmas and of course Matt will be going as he will be a freshman at REV next year. If the boys are going then I would like to go and so the expense mounts up but what a chance and memory for us all. I think that Geraint will be more than happy to keep Mei company and water the assorted triffids next summer and visit DC another time of year.

I must take some photos of the front garden. I cut the California poppies right back and they’ve returned with a vengeance and have already started self seeding now the irrigation is on and I’m watering the bed regularly. But I just love them so I don’t mind. I planted 4 tomatoes plants in the front bed because there wasn’t room in the back and they are thriving and what I thought was one zuc’ seems to be a round zuc and a possible butternut squash but at this point it is only blooming! The white buddleia has gone wild and I can’t bring myself to cut it back while its blooming. I’ve seen a humming bird and a butterfly around it.

So looking back at my July list – Thankfully I didn’t make it very big in retrospect

Boys bedrooms – 25%, Will had a clear out with my help but it needs cleaning, Matt’s??????

Pink blanket/bag – going with me in the RV to finish in the evenings

2 new bracelet designs – getting there  – oops Will accidently sent the buttons flying!

Possible new earring design – done to match the new bracelets

Pool filter – in and working –thank you Geraint!

Pool pump & filter house, removed to the back burner, Geraint managed without taking it down!

Christmas quilt design – 0% will get round to Candy’s and go and dye some fabric for it.

And I had an idea for a post about joining an art show for the first time and what was really needed. I’ve jotted down some ideas and might actually publish it.

In the mean time housework calls…

The floor is down!

July 3, 2010

Oh, a mega big thank you to Candy and Andrew, Liam, Logan, Will and Matt for all their help today which resulted in our click and lock floor going down in about 7 hours!


Thanks Matt and Will for all your hard work scraping away at this corner – Andrew had already started laying the 15lb tar paper. Geraint found a scraper in the garage and it really made a difference.

IMG_1842 Mei supervising Geraint hoovering the floor (a never ending job all day!)

IMG_1843 Tar paper down, Andrew cutting the corner and Candy checking the instructions.


Logan nailing down the staples in the tar paper!


Mei just checking we’re getting the floor down properly while

Will trims down a piece of flooring and Liam watches.


Matt and Geraint laying down boards and tapping them into place


Almost there Geraint starting to lay out the last pieces that needed to be ripped


Liam learning how to use the saw for himself – note our R2D2 fitted nicely on the saw to catch the dust!


Mei checking for squeaky floorboards and making sure it was ok to walk on – wow it looks fantastic.

We can’t thank Candy and Andrew enough, we really appreciated their help and the floor is amazing compared to 40 year old shag carpet. After I took the photo I removed the blue painters tape, the film over the window came off but Geraint didn’t mind that- he said he hated it!

Now we need to move on and get the room finished – banister, the cupboard, skirting/baseboards, edging for the roof and sort out the furniture!

Once again thanks again Candy and Andrew oh and Mei for her continual inspection of the work – I’m sorry we didn’t get to play ball today.

The floor goes down tomorrow!

July 2, 2010

Yeah all our hard work in preparation is coming to fruition. Remember this:IMG_1673

This was the weekend the boys, a couple of Will’s friends and Geraint hauled up the carpet and threw it out on the window so we could use it in the garden as weed repellant! Note the decorative dark brown edging to the roof, dark brown window frames.


Tonight last thing – wooden trim round the roof gone, all window frames white! Still tools to sort out and remove but its basically done!

IMG_1825The “gaffer”, yes Mei has been up there to inspect and confirm we’ve all done it right! She’s also deigned to take her afternoon nap with me painting.


Geraint and Matt discussing how to screw down the floor, using the counter sunk screw technique!

IMG_1833 Demonstration in progress.

IMG_1834 Done! The holes have been filled with wood glue, sanded and its my little toes in my favourite red sandals… yes Sarah they do whiff!

IMG_1837 Now was our little wet vac a model or source of inspiration for R2D2?