Monday, January 30, 2012

Back into the Swing of Things

Well my trials with finding a new computer has finally come to an end. Yesterday I talked about a new tablet that I was trying out and after playing with it for a day, realized that tablets really won't replace a computer. Just to do the blog post yesterday was stressful and the learning curve was huge. So, off to the electronics store I went again and found a wonderful little Toshiba Ultrabook. It's lightweight, 13"and really fast. All really important things when cruising the internet, blogging and playing on social media sites. Now I'm back in business and won't have to worry if my computer will boot up.

With the busy month we have had I think I am finally getting back into my normal life. DH is recovering nicely here at home, strength and appetite returning and back to his old self. So, I revisited some things that I had put on the back burner and decided to get back into it. Today I submitted a proposal to teach at a local bead show (Puget Sound Bead Festival) and finalized some paperwork for teaching at Art and Soul Portland. I'm hoping I'll be accepted at the bead festival and submitted 3 different gem tree designs for them to choose from. I will be teaching a Bonsai Gem Tree class at the Portland Art and Soul in September. Here is the info if you would like to check it out. Art and Soul is a mixed media art retreat that offers all kinds of classes ranging from jewelry design, painting, art journaling and now my gem tree sculptures. I may have to look at taking a couple of classes myself.

Here is a look at the new classes that I will be teaching this year at Shipwreck Beads. I will continue to teach the Standard Gem Tree and the Pine Tree classes this year. Click HERE to check out the dates and times of classes.

Have a great week everyone and I'll let you know how it goes on all those other projects.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A New Toy

I've been struggling with my laptop for the past month and DH told me to finally just go out and buy another one. I had a Toshiba netbook and unfortunately the store didn't have anymore of them in stock but they did have some new tablets with keyboards so I thought I would give it a try to see if it would work for me. So here I am typing away on this thing and today it is better than yesterday as I continue to get used to the keyboard. The tablet is an ASUS Transformer with a keyboard docking station. Last night I was trying like crazy to figure out how to copy and paste a url into this post to show you what it looked like.... heck I would have been happy to be able to copy the picture but alas, I couldn't to it so here I am trying again.

Finally success at copying a link. So you get the idea. Still haven't figured out how to copy a photo or link it or even add one .... ugg. I think this is going to be a big learning curve.

If any of you use a tablet to post your blog posts and upload photos, please let me know how it is going and if you revert back to a desktop or laptop computer for these types of posts.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The New Social Media

I think that a lot of us crafters and home based business owners struggle with how to market ourselves and our artwork and this is where social media comes in. I know a lot of artists that don't even have a Facebook account for their business page.... okay why not? It is free and you can promote all you want. How many marketing strategies in life are FREE? So go now and create a page. I have one... actually I have two one for my jewelry business and one for gem trees but the Dana's Jewelry Design page gets updated more frequently kind of like my blog here.

My newest thing is Pinterest. Unlike Twitter you can search the entire site for things you might be interested in. Such as books, DIY projects or Tutorials, Home decor, Fashion, etc. I have several pin boards that are related to jewelry such as my tutorials I have written and jewelry organizers. One of the boards I have that I continue to go back to is a DIY or Things to Make board. I love to find ideas either from other pinners or from blogs that I might want to make one day. If you aren't a member of Pinterest, it just takes a minute to request membership and it is also free. If you would like to follow me, I have a button in the right hand column.

For months.... okay maybe years I have wanted to do a video of making a gem tree, well I had a customer want more detail on how to build the trunk of her tree and so I took the plunge. Since DH was still in the hospital, I used our digital camera and set it up on a tri-pod (next time I'll use the video camera). A few minutes later I had made the video and after much nail biting I was able to upload it to YouTube. I wouldn't say I am technically challenged but I felt this was a big step for me. I do plan to make a few better ones but here it is in all it's glory. LOL

Okay, I'm off to make some bran muffins. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I am so thankful for every one's prayers and healing energy for my DH while he has been in the hospital. He is still there and recovering slowly. Since I have been driving up to Seattle to the VA Hospital everyday, it has given me the opportunity to spend some time people watching while there. It really is amazing and humbling to be surrounded by so many veterans. Quite a few are older but I have been surprised at the number of younger vets. It really does hit home when you are surrounded with them everyday and understand the suffering and life changing experiences they went through for our freedom.

Needless to say I haven't been in the mood or even home much to do a lot of crafting or jewelry making. I did come home early from the hospital today to take the dogs to the groomers. They were stinky dogs and now they are clean... won't stay that way but for right now this moment, clean.

The spaniel, Buddy, never looks that different but the Shitzu, Leo gets shaved when he gets groomed and always looks so much smaller. Now when they want to sleep with me tonight I won't cringe due to their muddy paws and smell. I had to bribe them the second time to get them to sit still for the photo. What you can't see in the photo is a couple of treats on the table. Amazing what they will do for a treat.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tough Week

Last week was a tough week with DH home trying to recover from surgery. By Wednesday we knew it wasn't going well and so on Friday the 13th we took him to the emergency room. Of course they admitted him, stuck tubes in him everywhere along with needles and sent him to ICU where he has been ever since. He wasn't eating at home and they aren't feeding him in the hospital either but they did start a feeding tube .... thank heavens even though he hates it. He's lost quite a bit of weight and doesn't have much energy but they have another CT scan scheduled in the morning and hopefully it will show great improvement with all the antibiotics they've been pushing in him.

With traveling back and forth to Seattle to the hospital it has finally decided to be Winter and snow, snow, snow. I probably won't make it back up there for a couple of days but at least I made it today. Since I'm planning on being snowed in for a couple of days I did make it to Joanne Fabric and bought some more flannel for another rag quilt. I should have the first once completed tomorrow and I'll post photos then.

Update 1/20: I really never finished this post and now I'm back to it. When I started writing it was Monday and now it is Friday again. DH was admitted to the hospital one week ago. Things were progressing until Monday night when he had a Pulmonary Embolism. Thank heavens his nurse was with him right when it happened and they got him on oxygen right away and started the blood thinners. So, needless to say this has been a very stressful week with all the procedures and doctors milling around trying to do everything in their power to get the blood clots dissolved. While he was in such critical condition I stayed at the hospital with him but came home last night in all the snow and ice. That was a fun drive... yea right.

I did get out and take a few photos of the downed limbs of our trees and some other pictures this morning that were just pretty so that I could show DH when he gets out of the hospital.

The Dogwood Tree

Porch Rail (downed limb in the distance)

Backyard Broken Tree

The trees are still just covered in ice but the temperature is finally rising and most of it should be melted off the trees by later today.

I do have to thank everyone for their prayers and healing energy that was sent DH's way. It is so appreciated.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A Little Healing

As the patient recovers here at home, I'm trying to get some things organized. Other than finishing up a special order for 14 gem trees, I have my craft room torn up getting things together that I might want to take in the motor home. Is it possible to pack the entire craft room? Hubby is hoping not! I do have an organizer bag with 5 bead boxes that will fit in the overhead in the bedroom and 6 plastic shoe boxes that will fit in the overhead in the living area... that's my entire storage, so no sewing machine or other large pieces of equipment can go. There are some things I have to take such as my gem tree supplies (wire, gemstone chips, wire cutters and glue) and my sketching/drawing supplies (pens, pencils, sketch books) maybe some painting supplies (acrylic, watercolors, brushes, paper, container for water). I'm also thinking some jewelry making supplies and some other mixed media. I'd really like to take my soldering stuff but that might be another whole box of stuff. Writing it all down it sounds like a lot but this is stuff I use all the time. How can I be gone for any length of time no matter how short and not have things to work on?  Ugh, I may have to look at everything again.

Today, DH has spent the majority of the time in bed. Probably for the best as he hasn't been getting a lot of sleep lately and in so much pain. Since the incision is oozing (I know sounds gross) and red, I made up a healing oil to rub around it, not on it. Hopefully that will help the redness and speed some of the healing. I did make a salve/ointment today to use as it heals a little bit more to fight infection.

I did a simple recipe that is Jojoba Oil and Beeswax combined with Essential Oils. I made mine a little greasier than normal but I wanted something softer. Most of the time you would use a 3 (oil) to 1 (beeswax) base and then add your EO's and this time I did a 2 to 1 combo. My EO's were Lavender, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Frankincense, Myrrh and Patchouli which are all anti bacterial type of oils. I actually like the scent and it doesn't smell like medicine. I'll let you know how it goes on DH but I used it on a scrape on my arm and it is less red than this morning.

Now that the weekend has come to an end, I hope everyone is now relaxed and refreshed. I know for most of you it is back to work tomorrow so have a great week.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Longest Week

This week has just dragged by with DH going in the hospital on Tuesday for surgery and traveling back and forth to Seattle every day just got old. Well he is doing great, home now and snoring in his chair. I think it will take a couple of weeks for him to be back to his normal self but that's okay as long as he is home.

So obviously no jewelry making for me this week but I was productive while sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. I did take my sketch book and supplies and decided to do a few Zentangles. So, here are the tangles I've done this week with a look at a couple of sketches inspired from "Sketchbook Delight" an on-line course offered by Alisa Burke.

These first two tangles are based upon traditional Zentangles in that they are created in a drawn box with strings.

These next two tangles, I tried to fill more of the sketch book page.

These are two drawings additional drawings. The one filled in with colored pens is a pattern from our carpet and the other is watercolor where I tried a repeating pattern in the shape of a flower.

I have a long way to go with my sketching and drawing skills but the more I practice, the better I feel about what I have created.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Year

Here we are in 2012 already. Didn't 2011 go by fast? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was making my New Years Resolutions for 2011.... which didn't go too well. I'll have to look back at them to see if I was able to accomplish any of them. I do know that I wanted to have all my Christmas presents made by June or July... that didn't happen but I did make all my presents this past year which I think was a huge accomplishment.

I did get a few new items listed on my ArtFire studio for sale. The one thing I'm not really good at is taking all the photos, fixing them and then getting the items posted. I love making things but it's the other stuff I have a problem with. Still have a ton more to do as I figured it wasn't going to sell itself sitting finished in my studio.

These are just a few of the items that got listed. To check out everything here is the link. Dana's Jewelry Design.

DH is going in for surgery tomorrow, so we are trying to get several jobs around the house completed today as he won't be able to lift heavy things for awhile. Nothing serious but surgery doesn't come without risks and that is what worries me. I guess I'll pack up my sketch book and kindle and try to keep busy at the hospital since not much will get accomplished around here until he is able to come home. Maybe I'll even get some inspiration from being in a different environment for a few days, not sure what kind of inspiration I can get from a hospital but you never know. Just trying to stay positive.

Have a great week and maybe I'll get around to photographing my sketch book for you to see what I've been up to.


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