Nest Feathers and Twine - Formally Artist's Block Studio

The things that make a house a home and the stuff that holds is all together.

Years ago I started this blog with a mindset and goals that I have found have changed direction over time. I am excited to say that this blog has a new name.....Nest Feathers and Twine. I hope you come by and visit often. Feel free to get comfortable and kick off your shoes and join me on this journey of metamorphosis.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I have moved



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

in just a split second.....

at the end of this post you will understand the title.....

my 'morning' started off stepping in cat puke. 

cold, wet, and squishy.  and puke causes my gag reflex to react so severely it can hurt...

my morning vertigo was in full swing, and normally if it is just that, morning vertigo, within an hour or two it eases up.  good thing i thought...i have got a to-do list a mile long and i will be doing it by myself since my daughter started her new job today. 

i quickly discovered i was in a full blow meniere's vertigo attack, and my vertigo is getting much  more intense.   in addition to the sense of feeling like i am walking in one of those bouncy houses or castles that are at kids birthday parties and feeling like i am spinning, i drop things, can't swallow or choke, can't concentrate and feel like i am not in my body and not in control of my body. 

i give myself 5 minutes.  just 5.  to cry on the rough days.  most days i don't shed a tear.  when i do have one of those days maybe 30 seconds of my 5 minute alotment are used. 

today for the first time in a very, very long time i became very angry.  i have so much to do, and now more than ever i really really need every  minute of every day to get work done for our etsy shop. 

with the hubby in the shower i went into the kitchen, in hopes that if i just pushed hard enough and made myself concentrate and just took it slow i would be able to conquer my long list of stuff to be done.   i soon found myself stuck unable to make it from the fridge to the kitchen table just a few steps away to sit down.  i had to wait for my hubby and hope my legs did not give out. 

once the hubby was out of the shower and found me in the kitchen i let the dam burst and i cried for about 4 1/2 of my 5 minutes....then crawled back in bed and cried again.  i was so angry and frustrated.  this upset me more...normally anger is not what i feel during these attacks. 

i don't get angry because i am thankful i am alive, i am at some point going to be steadier and less spinny...even though i know my future may bring deafness as a result of this disease, or as a result of surgery to cut the nerves that are damaged that cause the vertigo attacks. 

i am thankful i do not have a worse disease. 

i have had people tell me when i have been having a rough day...'well at least you don't live in they have it bad right now'  or 'well at least you will live through this, some people are dying from their disease'  or 'well at least you don't live in one of those countries where there is war'......ok folks yes, at least i don't have all of those things and yes i am grateful......but some days 'this' gets try it for a day.  somedays i think i deserve a pity party and a big one at that...because most days i laugh it all off...we make jokes about my unsteadiness and i laugh, really laugh....but sometimes i am just so sick of it all.  unless you live with this disease you just don't get that it is not like the fun you experience when spinning in an office chair. 

ok....this arty girl feels so much better now.  that felt good. 

my spinny days have lots of levels.  on days like today where i was grounded in bed i have days i can still do something.  work on a fiber necklace, or on a smaller loom.  then there are the days where i can't focus my eyes and work my hands and i am left laying in a ball on the bed, and if i can watch tv i have to watch it sideways.  i can't stand noise though, and sometimes i am temporarily deaf in one or both ears...but i need noise to drown out the ringing in my ears, which is a symphony of bangs, booms, hisses, roars....

this is how i spent my afternoon...curled up in a ball, deaf mostly in my right ear, deaf off and on in my left, unable to do anything but lay there...

a few hours later i was doing a bit better, but normally i would have stayed in bed where i belonged but i pushed myself to get some work done while the hubby was outside working on our still broken truck. 

by earlier this evening i was able to get on the computer and begin adding more stuff to the etsy shop, but still spinny to the point that walking was still a hazard, and even just looking up at the tv and down at the computer would cause me to fall over. 

at 9:16 while watching raising hope and adding a necklace to my etsy shop our power went out. 

it has been getting warmer again over the last few days, but we have had way hotter days and never even thankfully had a flicker in the power.  

after 23 years of living here there have been many accidents and our power station or box has been hit causing us to lose power, and within minutes we heard the sirens and new that is what had happened. 

steph and max ventured out to see what and where the accident was and a bit later steph called crying. 

in all the years that these types of accidents have happened just yards from our home, i always wondered if someone had lost their life, and thankfully, up until tonight, no one had. 

a young man on a motorcycle was going very very fast and hit a curb and he and his bike flew in the air and hit a power line and then landed 50 - 100 feet in to someone's yard.  his bike went a bit further. 

when steph and max arrived they were trying to give him cpr, and were unsuccessful. 

by the time i had made my way, he was gone.  alone.  in a grassy patch of side yard under a sheet.  and nameless since they could not find i.d. on him.   but at some point a mom, who is going about her business is going to get a call no mom should ever have to get.  someone's baby is gone.  someone's little boy is laying there all by his self with no one there.  and my heart aches for them. 

in just a split second my anger at my disease left. 

in just a split second a young man taking a joyride lost his life. 

in just a split second a parent's, family's, and friends lives will change with news of this loss of life. 

i am hoping this young man's death will save another persons life....because i am hoping now my youngest son really gets it.  he is a good kid, a wonderful boy, a kind loving spirited boy that thinks i worry too much.  that was angry with me when i grounded him from going back to his buddy's farm for possibly ever once i found out they were riding 4 wheelers at over 70 miles per hour. 

we sat down and talked about it, and seeing that young man's battered body laying just yards from him, and witnessing his death i hope really made it all hit home with my son. 

he says it did.  the look on my son's face while we talked about says it did.  because in a split second it can all change. 

so,  to the young man who lost his life may God hold you His arms and give your family the strength to make it through the seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and years to come.....without you there with them because of a choice you made that took a split second. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

too tired to title this post....

this arty girl is one pooped puppy. 

days on end of going...going...going until i drop. 

i am so very grateful the beast (vertigo) has been fairly well behaved for the last several days.  it is still there with every step, but thankfully i have been able to run at a fairly good pace.

we have almost all of the scarves unbanded, tied, and stitched...which is way more work than putting it all in and we are getting ready to wash the first few batches.  i can't wait for you to see what they look like.  we had a couple turn out kind of pukey looking, but lots of neat is so hard to not keep them all.

i have been trying to think ahead to future projects and gathering bits of fabric here and there to dye, especially since we are up to eyeballs it seems in dye. 

yesterday i took lots of photos and added about 13 new items to the shop, i have lots more to add and planning for that to happen tomorrow...uh....later today.  i think the skeetos managed to find just about every nook and cranny they could to snack on me while outside messing with dye and taking those photos, and the yard work i did today.

 my legs look diseased from all the red bumpy spots from the skeeto bites.  this spinny girl thought she would take advantage of being able to bend over and not fall on her face and shave her legs in the shower....sorry if that is a tmi.....shaving my legs can be a luxury with vertigo.  one look  at the sea of spots and i thought that is a disaster, and one of those flesh eating infections  waiting to happen...running a series of sharp blades up and over these bumps and lumps.   oh well, people will notice the varicose veins and bug bites  before the hair i am sure...*snort*    besides maybe my porcupine-y like leg hairs will impail the nasty little boogers  when they land on me tomorrow while i am outside!

finally got the hubs to put about 50 nails in the top support board of our privacy fence after of week of honey when you a chance could you.....and before 5 when the crabby nosey neighbor on the other side is awake.  i learned that them there is fightin' words to a man....lordy....i can not tell you how many times i prayed that our crabby nosey neighbor did not hear the racket.   i am a plan ahead do ahead kinda person...he is a when i need it i will do it fly by the seat of his pants kinda guy and it is partly why i married him and partly why i could just.....ugh it drives me crazy sometimes!  hopefully in about a week you will see the reason for the nails.   one of those things i miss being able to do myself...the vertigo messes with my sense of where i am in the world, and well...i would kinda like to keep my thumbs and fingers functional for the arty stuff. 

so...i am usually a more visual show n tell girl and not so chatty.  maybe it is mosquito venom making me chatty...*snort*.  ok.  so that was probably funnier in my head. 

so i will share some photos and then i am off to try to go to sleep. 

just a wee bit of the photos i took will have to pop on over to the etsy shop and see a few more of the goodies.

another heart rock Max found for me yesterday to add to my collection. 

nighty night all....smooches. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

what it was is not what it will be

i have been a busy busy girl.  i have neglected my blog once again.  i feel guilty. 

i need to get back in the habit of making a visit here nightly.  i was just getting good at it when life made a turn i was not expecting, and since i have no idea when we will have a sense of 'normalcy', as much as i do not care to be normal, i just need to adjust my big girl undies and carry on.

i have decided to make a change in direction with my jewelry.  i will still make semi-precious items again when the need or fancy may strike, but i am following my heart's desire.  found object jewelry.  a long lost love of mine. 

i am gathering all things not the norm for most in jewelry making.

on a recent trip to goodwill i found these

we can't figure out what they were...but now they will be a part of a necklace.  i will give them  a bit of patina to give them a nice aged look. 

in my hurry to photograph them i apparently did not notice the frosted flake left behind on the table...and you might not have either if i would not have pointed it out, now that i see the photo here on the blog!

a very old chair that i picked up years ago at an estate sale finally just could not be forced to remain chair like any longer no matter how many nails or how much glue was used.   things just don't get thrown away here if they are old and crusty....the older and crustier the better. 

soooo....i pointed out to the hubs just what was to stay and what was to go.  once disassembled, come to think of it, i don't think any of it made it to the dumpster.

these, screwed on the back and the seat of the chair.....

will now be part of a necklace. 

growing up i wanted to be a scientist, anthropologist, archaeologist.  i had learning disabilities that were not diagnosed as a child, so by the time i was ready to go out in the world this arty girl was convinced that everyone was right.  i must have been lazy and stupid and i must not care about anyone but myself.  

had i understood what was going on i would have figured out 'how to' learn and  pursued something in the science field.    i love old stuff.  i love holding something in my hand that someone else used decades or centuries before my time.  who were these people, what were they like, what kind of life did they have.  the wonder of it all. 

i love the look and feel.

 i love all things worn, torn, aged, used.

 if it was glued back together that is even better.  it means that thing meant so much to someone that they kept it, even broken. 

that is the direction my jewelry will be going.  for now.  we will see what happens. 

right now i have so much going on and am running in many different directions at the same time.  even on the days the beast (my meniere's and positional vertigo) is acting naughty.  i don't have the luxury any longer of being able to 'take it easy' on the days i am even the slightest bit functional....but i have to say i feel a bit excited about it all....i feel like i am becoming the me i lost awhile back in some weird way.

  i am exhausted beyond words.  i fall asleep if i am lucky around 3:30 or 4:30.  i get the boys up at 5:45 and stay up long enough to make sure they are up and not going to go back to sleep.  by 7 usually i am out again and then usually the phone will ring one, two, or ten times and then i am up for good a few hours later. 

steph and i are finally getting to tie dye scarves.  one of our biggest sellers.  we have somewhere around 50 - 70 of them in the works now. 

it is only our second year tie dyeing, and thinking back to doing this camp/school/scout childhood activity, you think no biggie.....but boy-oh-boy is it a biggie.  

steph and i are learning so much.

 what makes the best patterns. 

what colors go together, and most importantly which ones do not! 

 what works best as a resist, what does not. 

we have tried 2 new methods of shibori and we are going to try an alternative to wax resist tomorrow. 

just as the weather broke and the temps were tolerable we dove in hands first

today my hands and nails are stained in the blue/purple/green/black colors.  when we went out to do running yesterday i color coordinated my outfit and jewelry to match my hands! 

the temps have been cooler, but it has now been raining off and on.  so the buckets are covered and we run out in between bouts of rain, and in the case today during the rain to move stuff from one color to another, to take one piece out and add a new piece in.  on the up side, the rain is free rinsing water for the pieces that are completed and ready to go in to the wash.

when most of the world is sleeping steph and i are running outside with a flashlight tucked under one arm checking the fabric in buckets. 

here is a peek at pre-dyed wrapped and readied fabric

 can you guess what is wrapped up in this fabric to make it look like bubbles?  it is one of the shibori methods we used. 

 this design we found out is not a good idea.

 these pieces have been woven on a loom first and will be cuff bracelets.

 this section is a method of shibori and was stitched and gathered with string.  lots of work..boring boring boring, but so worth it in the end.

another alternative to using rubber bands.  binding with string makes some pretty neat patterns. 

i can not wait to show you the finished pieces.  this year i decided to keep one for myself!  it is hard not to keep them all. 

after ordering a loom from a fellow etsy seller and loving what i could do with it, i had the hubby make steph and i some additional looms in larger sizes.  i think we ended up with 4 looms a piece.  

i loomed my first cross body bag, and i can not wait to do more to put on the etsy shop.

one of the looms the hubby made is nearly 8 feet long and will be used to make scarves.  i have not had a chance to try that one out yet and can not wait. 

there is so much more to say, but it is time to go check the buckets to make sure i don't over cook some fabric in the dye. more thing....the full moon may have kept us from seeing the latest meteor shower, but it gave me a chance to snap this photo...i am kinda thinking it makes up for it, for the most part.

nighty night to you soon.  mwah!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

these gifts tell me i am being heard and i am blessed....

before this arty girl plays show-n-tell,  i feel i must warn you that this girl woke up once again at the bottom of her hilly pile of pillows, totally sheet faced and drooling...yet again.  normally i sleep at about a 45* angle to help keep the vertigo from becoming too spinny...oh, but sleeping flat feels oh-so-good. 

 the beast is beyond naughty today.  today is the really bad kind.  my brain and body are not connected today.  i have been sent to my room, grounded for the day. 

imagine if you will sitting on the spinning tea cup ride when it suddendly starts up in the middle of talking, walking, swallowing, typing....then the floor unexpectedly drops out and you fall down the rabbit is worse than that today. 

i tell you these things not for your pity, but so that you will understand if a thought i type out is misspelled or seems to be incomplete you will understand why.

i am in a bit of a hurry to type this post today...the hubby's  interest in what i am typing, while i am typing, was quite....invasive to me, although his intentions were true and sweet, the interest in what i was doing quite sincere.    while trying to type for the last 2 hours i have been staring at the back of his beautiful balding head and feeling his hot breath on my arm and as much as i love this man i want to pop him swiftly but gently on the back of his head and demand he go find something far, far away to do....i have just sent him to the store to pick up the needed ingredients for dinner, and with a gentle kiss on the cheek.

i  love this man, i love this man, i love this man....but my need for privacy to write something that in an hour or so i will publish for the world to see is vital.  just the same as when i am creating.  due partly i am sure because as much as this arty girl and grown and become sure of herself the old childhood monster is still there in the closet.  the monster that never told her what she did right and good.

i feel so vulnerable in the 'during' of it all.  once it is done, this girl is sure and steady enough to proudly play show-n-tell....

father's day i had the most beautiful experience and i feel i have seen a bit of a continuation of that experience over the last couple of weeks.

after being given the gift of so many heart clouds floating in the sky on father's day....i turn my head up each time i go outside since then just hoping maybe i will see just one more heart shaped cloud.  just one more sign from God that He is hearing my prayers and that he is bringing us out of latest trial better than before. 

i stepped outside for just a moment the other night and gazed at the stars and thought...just send me one shooting star to let me know we are gonna be ok....before i even completed the thought i was answered.  one quick shooting star. 

about a week and a half ago a nasty storm began brewing and while watching a live view on tv i noticed there was a beautiful pink glow in the sky just ahead of the storm clouds...i grabbed my camera and ventured outdoors with high hopes of catching some neat storm clouds on 'film'. 

very quickly the pretty pink in the sky was replaced by 'ominous' (our local weather peeps fav word as of late) clouds.

waves of clouds dropped down from the sky and swirled and then were sucked back up again.  these were tornados trying to form according to the weather people. 

the dark cloud on the right hand side was like a waterfall in reverse.  i have never seen anything like this before.  it was amazing and mesmerizing more so than scary at the moment. 

as i snapped photos i began thinking about the heart photos i witnessed and captured on father's day and wished for another...never dreaming of what i would see....

 now, i do know that if you want to see something bad enough, you will.
that once you notice a green car, pregnant woman, babies in strollers you will see them everywhere, right? 

maybe had i not had such a desire to see heart shaped clouds i would not....i choose though to see it as my wishes come true...

in the photo above if you look near the center where the dark clouds meet the lighter ones you will see a heart....
 see the top right...a heart....

 now again....there it is above, not so zoomed in, at the lower left corner of the photo.

a few moments later in another area of the sky...bashfully peeking out from behind another cloud...

 above, over to the left....

there are a few other happenings that we have experienced....seeing a certain quote at just the time it is needed, hearing words from a friend, just when i needed it and no one else knew i needed it. 

there are times when the current circumstances in/of our life have been too much, where i have found myself losing my newly found faith in the Divine, in God...and at just the right time something happens...just the right and oh-so-perfect something....and if i had not told anyone out loud what i needed and when i needed it... then it must be something that is bigger than myself. 

maybe the sky has always been filled with lovely heart shaped clouds,  but it took having faith to be able to see them. 

i have fallen in love with the night sky....every night a new view, new colors and shapes.

a few nights ago the sky rippled.

on the 4th...

a field near our home, so still and peaceful..

crossing the bridge from missouri to illinois

 my idea of watching fireworks at the highest point in an illinois park....not such a good idea afterall.

on the way home from our drive to illinois the moon began to turn from yellow to orange to the most beautiful red.  

i tried to capture the moon while we were driving down the highway and ended up with quite a shaky image, last night i did not get to watch the moon turn red...but it was so beautiful and i was surprised that my camera was able to capture a few clear photos at a distance in the dark.

 as the moon began to set behind some trees it looked as if it were cracking and breaking up.

but before the moon set....the night sky looked a bit like this...

i was heading inside when a part of the sky caught my eye, the pink halo around the blue-ish clouds was beautiful....but watch and see what happened as the clouds changed shape again, again, and again.

i walked in the house in awe...once again.

so now how about some show-n-tell of the arty kind...

normally i end my posts with pics of a sleeping pet....but i thought i would shake it up a bit tonight.

 sam, above, sleep texting....and below max, morphed with the aid of picnik.
nighty night...sleep tight.

Quote for the moment

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

Harriet Beecher Stowe

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