Monday, May 28, 2007

My take on Shirley McCutcheon's innovative birdnest charm....

Shirley made some gorgeous bird nest charms, and when I saw them on her blog i just had to have one. I asked Shirley for one, and she very generously sent one to me. This is the same bird nest she taught to Beth at Art and Soul, and the same one that Beth taught Nina Bagley, who posted it on her blog. I turned it into a pair of earrings. The ear wires are niobium, and the nest is brass.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


I recently participated in an altered doll RR. My doll was a white blank tree. I expected the tree to be turned into a tree "person". You know, the participating artists would give it eyes, nose, mouth, hands, personality. The artists who worked on my doll were Michele Remy, Diane Gilligan, Vonda Sisson and Karen Campbell.

This is the plain doll that I sent. I called the doll "Arborvitae Magnificus". The name was eventually shortened to "Arborie".
But this is what I got! What surprised me was that each of the artists related to the tree ( and all trees, for that matter) very personally, and each choose to keep the tree a tree. The journal work was very moving and personal. I had no idea that trees, which are a very important part of my own life and my artwork, are so meaningful and inspiring to so many others. But then, I should have known. Did I think I had an exclusive on trees?

This is my finished doll! Look closely at all the detail - it is magnificent! See the dragonfly amidst the flowers?
This is a close-up. The tree has been hand painted and embroidered. Michele Remy added the wonderful tree hugger. many of us are tree huggers? Then Diane gave her glass jewels and rabbit peaking out. Vonda hung symbolic picture leaves from her branches, and Karen made her bloom! Every one's contribution was outstanding.....and the journal- oh my gosh!. Pages and pages of artwork - hand painted and illustrated! I am blown away by it. Thank you all so much! (... i wasn't sure who did what, so I guessed - I hope i got it right!)

This was the Journal cover and here is a sampling of the beautiful pages:

I am thrilled!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Check out Angie's interview......

Today was mow day. We have had almost no rain for the last week, so there were literally hundreds of palm fronds down. It is my job to pick them up...then we mow. I do all the edges and the narrow spots the big mower can't get, and my DH mows all the big acreage. It takes him 1- 1/2 hrs to do his mowing, and about an hour to CLEAN the mower...he is very anal.
I also use my mower as a blower to blow the pine needles back under the trees (i should have had a dust mask on!) There were so many needles that the blower blew them into 2 foot piles which looked awful. i had to rake them up and dump was hot, humid and dirty work. Then Lance made me a tall cool drink - and that did me in for the day.
i have company coming next week and i must clean i must clean i must clean.......
Today Lance had his motorcycle delivered. It looks like a beautiful red BUG. It is pretty!
Check out this cool interview with my friend Angie. Angie is an incredible mixed media artist who does just about everything - and does it well. Wait til you see her incredible carved gourd! Her husband Chuck has a men's music group that meets every year for an annual retreat - the group is named after ernest borgnine - just because it it! Last year he somehow got in touch with Ernie Borgnine and then Chuck flew out to meet him. This year, Mr. Borgnine came to the retreat! Angie said they all had a fabulous time!
ok. back to cleaning.

Monday, May 21, 2007

slaying dragonflys.............

yesterday my youngest sister Teresa was talking to me about how a dragonfly followed her around and then lit on a tree near where she was working and just stayed there and didn't fly away. Our mother loved dragonflies and Teresa took this as a sign of our mother being with her, and so she commenced to talk to - at? - the dragonfly. Whenever she is feeling blue and missing mom, up flies a dragonfly into her view and she vents away.
yeah yeah yeah. never visits me!
so today, while on my morning bike ride, i started thinking about how i would like to do a painting , with a dragonfly in it, sort of a memorial to my mom. But the only picture I have of a dragonfly is one that a friend took, and it is orange and my mom hated orange. She liked purple.
i swear to God in heaven - this is true!
On my way home my eye sees something on the road ahead of me - i pass it- turn around - and there on the side of the highway is ......a DRAGONFLY - a PURPLE one!
Weird, huh?
I whip out my camera that i always carry - but for the life of me it won't work. I change batteries, etc, Nope! it won't work.
I thought the dragonfly was dead, but i guess it was just in the process of dying.
So I gently picked it up and put it in a plastic walmart bag i had in my knapsack (to bring home local fruit and avocados I find in my travels). When I get home I get out my really good camera and take a bunch of pictures.
I left him on the lichen on the avocado tree, to die. In peace.
Then I get an idea - that after he has died, i should preserve him in silver, just like i did the gecko!
So I go back out to the tree, and i notice the wind has blown him to the ground.....and as I go to pick him up - a big rooster runs up and .......EATS HIM! End of that great idea.....
I have a tendency to read into things much more than what they really are.., but it got me thinkin. If it makes me feel better and more complete and a bit more joyful - why not believe?

there are a lot worse ways to manifest grief than yelling out loud to a dying dragonfly about how angry you are that they have up and abandoned you....and who knows? maybe one day they WILL answer back. maybe in my dreams?

Look at those great wing veins!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bob King, Incredible log sculpture artist...

Today I went into town to watch the Echo Saw Sculpture champion, Bob King, in action. Our local farm supply store, Kawamura's, was hosting a 2 day machinery exhibit, complete with free hotdogs and ice tea.... I spent 4 hours watching him - he was amazing and I was mesmerized! He had a small chain saw, and a larger one. He also used a small dremel and a larger power drill with carving bits he had adapted himself. He said he can usually do a carving in about 2 hours, but the wood he was carving in Hawaii was really hard, so it was taking him a bit longer. He makes no preliminary marks - he just looks at the log and starts sawing. The power saw scares me, but he was fearless - he used the saw with the dexterity and agility of a quick sketch artist - only he put in fine details. He said for around $500 ( and transportation) he'll come to your house and carve up a dead tree in your yard into whatever your heart desires! He still had all the details to add to the eagles, but i had errands to run before he finished. Go to the website highlighted above to see more of his work. FYI - he said he can barely draw stick figures!

On an unhappier note - i got my good drawing computer back from Toshiba. When we first bought it, the dvd drive wouldn't load some of my cd's. Since I was going to start a new job and needed the computer, I opted to not send it it. So last week I called up Toshiba, and decided to use the warranty and get it fixed. Toshiba sent me a box, and within a week the computer was back to me. The note from Toshiba said they had replaced the optical drive (good!) and REIMAGED
my computer. oh why oh why oh why had they done that? Toshiba could not offer me an explanation either. Only that sometimes they do, and they had told me to back up my files in case they did. Well, my DH had made an acronis reimage of my computer, so I thought I'd be ok. But it would not recognize my C drive. DH did manage to get sections of it, all of my pictures and documents - so I was thankful for that....but my work files were lost - and many of my software programs would not reload - aaaack! I have to call the software companies and beg for new install codes!

flowers and a day at the beach

Mothers Day Flowers!
Thursday was Lance and I's 20th Wedding Anniversary. We chose to not go anywhere off island - heck, where can you go when you live in paradise? We spent the morning at the beach - it was a glorious, beautiful day - clear cobalt blue water.

Me and the Dog

Kealia Beach

We drive the truck right onto the beach. We have a special place to go to where the water is always calm.

A doll abandoned in the sand - I couldn't resist!


portuguese man o' war.....don"t step on them! outstretched hand....a giant log of driftwood

patterns in the sand...

another shot of the same sand, showing the river bank that leads to the ocean...
After the beach we came home and Lance barbecued steaks and king crab legs.

It was a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SKY! plus i've been tagged....

Joanne tagged me - so here are 7 random things about me:

1. I think I have been off and on a diet my whole life. You name any diet, I've probably
researched it, done it and gained it all back.
2. I am a master of no art form, but I dabble in many!
3. I stopped drawing seriously when I was 10 because I overheard my mother tell my aunt
how much she liked my art and I was afraid I was a fraud and would disappoint them.
4. My real job is as a 1st Assistant Director - mainly I do television.
5. My favorite color is red.
6. I drive a truck and hate when i rent a car and have to get something that is so close to ground
7. I did not learn to drive until I was 25...I hitchhiked everywhere!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Today we sold our old 1981 Yanmar tractor. We'd bought it used about 4 years ago, to move gravel and dig post holes. We probably put 15 hrs on it - that's it! As fate would have it, we sold it to the Saiva Siddhanta Hindu Temple here on Kauai. I didn't even know they had a temple here, that's how out of it I am.
He invited us to visit the sects extensive and very famous gardens....
As a result of this sale, and because it was bugging him and he is very obsessive, my DH stopped at the motorcycle shop and bought this:

Yep - we are now the proud owners of a 2007 Yamaha FZ6. Age be damned - woohoo - we're easy riders!
A great mail day, today - I love mail! I always feel a little lost on days there are no or only junk mail. First, i got a some teeny tiny antique square nails - they came out of antique picture frames. Then, I got a package from ........DJ Pettitt! Woohoo! When DJ visited me, she showed me how to properly use tar gel and fabric and whatever I had on hand to fuse in a heat press. But i only had an iron, so we ironed it. It turned out ok, but DJ took it home with her to properly fuse it in her heat press, and said she would send it back to me after she got home from teaching in Arizona. DJ being DJ, she returned my small sample and also sent me the COOLEST fused folder - huge - binder sized, that she said was an experiment that didn't work, so maybe I could find a good use for it. YEAH, RIGHT! Knowing DJ, that was just her excuse to give me something gorgeous! She is so generous - and I am very lucky! Look at this-

This is the cover. It is all machine stitched and fused. There are feathers and words and splats and all kinds of stuff on it. And then it is heat fused flat and feels like leathery smooth vinyl. See the grommets? That's the part DJ said didn't work.....

This is a Close Up of the cover

This is the folder opened. It has 2 fused pockets. DJ included other fused samples for me to play with, and one large white fused piece for me to try painting on. The yellow piece is the one I made that she took home with her. Only she added lots of cool stuff to it before she re-fused it. The string that goes thru the grommets unties and you can add pages!

This is a CU of my fused piece. DJ had me take a piece of fabric (this was about a 4 x6 piece of white sheet). We put tar gel on it and then stuck on a piece of yellow lace that I thought looked like houses, and then a piece of green fabric that i crudely cut like paper dolls, and added some other fabric snippets that DJ took and just put here and there, and some threads. and then DJ took gesso and a drop or two of alcohol inks which she smeared together with a palette knife - and VOILA! that was it. (this took about 3 minutes - we'd run out of time!) then i ironed it really hard with a lot of pressure. It was pretty flat, but parts were still a bit hazy, so DJ said she was going to take it home and fuse it with the press and then return it later so I could see what it was supposed to really look and feel like. Of course you can see in the photo that DJ added sequins and words andother great adornments. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, DJ!
I am easily distracted and find myself jumping from one project to another. I have a zillion unfinished projects going right now. I saw these really cool porcelain teeth on ebay and I won them. They are used by dentists to match porcelain veneers on peoples teeth. The ones I got also happen to be vintage, probably 1940's. I got an idea to make a necklace with them.
I thought I could make a "positive ID" pendant - string some teeth together and then add an enameled Precious Metal Clay thumbprint. But making the PPP mold didn't go too well. Soooo,
I changed my theme to "tooth and nails". I went on ebay again and got 6 lbs of antique square nails that came out of an old barn. They are much bigger than the teeny 1/4 and 1/2 inch ones I got today.

Here are the nails I am using for the necklace. The second one from the right has a loop of hammered and twisted baling wire around it, and a tooth just sitting there.

Here's that same nail with two teeth added. They are strung on sterling wire with sterling beads. I'm going to LOS patina them. I don't really like the round beads, but at this point I'm just doing prototypes. I'm going to experiment with some other silver spacers and barrels that I have. I tried using thinner baling type wire, but the stuff I had on hand was too soft and when annealed it became brittle. When I decide on how I want to put the teeth together, I will first seal all of the nails so they don't rust any more. I am also going to make the necklace links out of more hammered baling wire, ala Richard Salley, my hero! I love love love his stuff! He has a great tutorial on his website.....
Well that's the plan, anyway.
I did a bit of painting today also. But I am going for realistic, and it is turning out ...AWFUL. .. Oh well.
This is a bracelet i made for my sister, but decided it's too girlie for her, so I'm going to give it to my niece Brittany, who is Izzy's mother. It is made from fine silver wire, swarovski crystals and silver alphabet cubes. A pic of Izzy will go on one of the pmc charms, covered in resin. I need to add one more link and then it will be an anklet.

Izzy - Isn't she a beauty!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Be sure and tune into "Brothers and Sisters" this Sunday, May 13th at 10 PM on ABC.
Check your local listing for times in your area. The episode is called "forgotten son" and Sky plays a war veteran in therapy. The scene is with Rob Lowe. Sky had only one line but he said it was expanded when they were filming it. Hopefully, the scene wasn't cut out - but you never know!
If you don't know Sky you can scroll down a ways on the blog and his resume pic is posted.
I am one proud mama!

Monday, May 07, 2007


Here are pictures of my gecko that I have been talking about so much. Like I said on an earlier post, I found him dead on my shop altar and decided he was a good luck charm and I just left him there. After many months he had gotten all skeletony - so I decided to cover him with precious metal clay and turn him into a permanent piece of fine silver. I had to give him so many coats of clay paste (so he would be thick enough after firing) that he lost a lot of detail. The pic's not the best - but you get the idea. I think in the future I'll give him some amethyst eyes....



Friday, May 04, 2007

...playing outside

I was going to post before and after pictures of my gecko, but i didn't download the pics until tonight -and they are BAD! It's too dark to take new ones, so it will just have to wait another day......
So here are some pics from around my backyard.
This is the banyan tree
....and my favorite flower - this is a type of torch ginger - it blooms all year long
A texture photo of some lichen growing on a post...hmmmmm this may be sideways.
A view thru one of the rows in the Palm Forest
Roots growing from a telephone pole fence post

Thursday, May 03, 2007

the one that got away......

Lance got it into his head that we needed a motorcycle. hey, ya only live once. This is a Honda hornet 919 - what a beaut! super powerful, HUGE - and my favorite color! Of course everything we read on this bike said it was TOO MUCH BIKE. Lance hadn't ridden in over 20 years, but we were undaunted. He went ahead and got his learners permit - you can't buy a bike here until you pass the drivers test and have your license. Then he went back to the dealership to practice on their little bike - just a 125, so he could get the feel of riding again. This little bike would also be the one he took his test with. By this time we had decided that the 919 WAS too much bike - especially since the reviews said that even the racers loved the 599, and it's throttle was less sensitive and safer, yet it could race and cruise with the best of them.

This is the 599. It only comes in black and only weighed 24 lbs less than the 919.
Then, last night, lance dreamt about the bike...and he slept uneasy.
This morning he (we) decided that maybe riding a high performance motorcycle on a tiny island with only one main road and where it rains everyday and the highway is filled with tourists and manic drivers, was probably not a very sane idea.
Lance has wanted a bike for a long time...he wants me to get one too. (yeah, right, I can barely
drive a car...) ...but we will put this dream on hold - at least until we move where there are wide open spaces and drier weather....

Roses lance brought me ...just because!
Today was mowing day. While I was out in the back picking up fallen palm fronds from the palm forest so we could mow, I came across this, on the lawn.

COOL, huh? I believe it is a Walking Stick, but it is the first time ever that I have seen one in Hawaii. It could fly! He can fan fold the papery wings very skinny. I watched him outstretch his front legs and put them up beside his very long antennae, so he looked more stick like.

Here he is with a partial wing open - imitating part of a leaf?

....and one more - showing all of him. He was about 4 1/2 inches long.
Today I also got my "Chunky Bird Book" back. This book is unbelievable. 30 artists participated and it turned out spectacular. Thank you Kathy McElroy!

The cover is by Darya Smith. Go to Kathy's blog site to see all of the bird pages!