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.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good News.........

Well, I saw the neuro-opthamologist today and got pretty good news. It is one of 3 things that caused me to lose a chunk of my eyesight, and if it ends up being 1 of 2 of the reasons I may get my normal eyesight back, and that would be wonderful! Two of the reasons involve the steroids I was on for my root canal last week. The dr. told me to go to Wal-mart or Sam's, some place cheap to get my glasses because he is hoping I will not need them very long! There is still a chance that my eyesight will stay like this, we will just have to wait and see. I am relieved though that neither dr found anything wrong during the exams. I have had my eyes dilated twice and the glaucoma test where they stick the thingy on your eyeballs twice! What a bizarre experience! I bought myself some stamps, and a few other goodies at Hobby Lobby today as a boo-boo-be-better present today! The stamps are 50% off this week, so I got quite a few! I bought some fabric remnants there, too! I bought some torn fabric on a card from REDLEAD last week to use in place of some fibers and I really loved the look of it! So I think I am off now to tidy up my studio, get the kids settled and ready for another day, and prepare for another long day tomorrow.

Oh, and p.s. I think I got the message. I need to refocus my thoughts and energy, it is time to leave the past in the past and start working on moving forward again. There is a quote, I can't remember off the top of my head for sure who, a famous artist......." I close my eyes in order to see " I closed my eyes, and I saw.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Why? What is the reason........

Last week I had a root canal, I was put on anti-biotics and a steroid. As usual, I became sick as a dog from the medicine. I really hate taking medicine if I don't have to, but I had to take this stuff. Sometime Sunday night, probably as I slept my vision changed drastically. I woke up Monday shocked at the huge change in my eyesight. My world and its landscape totally altered.
I usually sit outside and gaze at the stars when I have had a rough day. There is something peaceful about looking up at the sky. Last night it became the thing that caused my stress. My night vision, I found has been horribly reduced, and the stars looked nothing like the stars I usually turn to for comfort. I went back into the house horrified, my mind racing with the what ifs...............I walked into my studio for some comfort, only to find nothing looks the same when you can't see,(yes, I know how goofy that just sounded), I typed up my son's paper for him, yeah I know bad mommy, but I kept thinking is this one of the last times I will be able to do something like this for the kids. I went to clean up the kitchen and I could not see the floor enough to see where it needed to be swept. I was going to check the time on the microwave, and could not read the numbers. The pharmacist said call the doctor, this was not a listed side effect, my doctor, who to me seems to over react to everything, said just to give it a couple of days????????????????? I was expecting to hear her say get in here now! We need to do brain surgery.... or something exteme......
At first, I thought, okay, everything is going to be fine because the only ones panicing are me and my hubby. Last night I decided forget this, my world is visual, ALL visual. What would I do without my eyesight? A friend or two said, no biggie, so you will have to wear glasses. Well, yeah, glasses are no big deal, but not knowing what really caused this, is it going to get worse, is it going to get better, is this related to another weird eye problem I had happen 11 years ago, was it one of the medicines, was it something to do with the root canal? I don't want to wait to go to the doctor and end up hearing.....well, we could have fixed/prevented this had you come in a couple of days sooner. I don't have an eye doctor, so I went surfing on the internet under our covered providers. The first one I called had a technician who did not understand how I could know my vision had gotten worse without an exam. DUH lady, I nicely explained several times I went to bed able to see the menu on my tv screen and woke up and could not hardly see the tv........could she tell I was blonde over the phone (ha!) I ended up hanging up on her, politely. If she could not understand the problem, she was not going to be able to help me get it fixed. She would not see I had a drastic change in my vision, just that I need glasses. I called another doctors office, things went very smooth, and my appointment is in a couple of hours. Since this call went smooth, I am now sitting here wondering, ok is this going to be a nice guy, or a jerk like the guy I went to with a serious problem 11 years ago, is this guy going to be a hunch backed, one-eyed warty, bald, smelly, limping green ogre type creature that breathes all raspy through his ear which is half way down his neck? Is he going to be like that character that Tim Conway would play on Carol Burnett, you know the ancient guy that shuffled, did he get his degree out of a box of Post Toasties? Oh, I hate picking and not knowing. I have found myself asking God what is the meaning of this? A couple of years ago when I had the DVT and the PE and literally saw my life pass in front of my eyes, I had a week in the hospital to figure out I needed to make some changes in my life. I needed to reprioritze a few things in my life. Am I needing a kick in the butt because I am not doing this well enough, quick there some other life lesson I need to learn.........
My friend asked me last night what she could do for me, and I almost felt guilty asking her just pray for me. All of these things I get on email say that God has a reason for everything, and there is a reason that we are where we are in life. I just wish I knew the end of this story, the reason. Why am I experiencing this now, what is the purpose. I thought a few weeks ago I discovered a part of my purpose in life through something a friend had said to me, and I was happy, but if I lose my vision, then I can not continue to do what it is I thought I was meant to do. I am confused, very confused......but mostly very, very, scared.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Foolish Virgin, and the guy who is full of......

My offering for this past Wednesday's ATC meet up. I have not been putting these on for some silly reason. I have to go back and do that!

My friend Denise M. gave me this really old book last weekend called the Foolish Virgin. As soon as I saw the title the wheels of creativity were spinning! This ATC is just a small piece of a large picture of a wedding party. The guy pictured looks like he has just fed the girl a line of _____! Ever meet one of those guys at a party? Get asked out by what you thought was the guy of your dreams? And then they say......'I'll love you forever....' Yeah, right! The girl in the picture looks to me like she is dreaming of being the future Mrs. Whatever his name is, the wedding, the house with the picket fence, 2.2 kids and a dog! He looks like he's got plans, but the look on his face says they don't involve a wedding in the near future! Couldn't you just smack the smirk off his face!? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I survived the ROOT CANAL

Boy am I glad it is over! I had a few complications because my body is not normal, and if I was a dog they would have me put to sleep, but ahhhhhhh it is over and done with! Now the fun part is I get a boo-boo-be-better present! Yeah! It is tradition in our house that whenever you have a doctor appointment that results in getting or fixing a boo-boo, the boo-booee gets a present! My hubby said he was going to treat me to some really expensive turquoise graduated tear drop beads............I have not made jewelry in awhile and this would be a good reason to play with my beads again!

I want to thank you Denise M. for talking tonight.......It took my mind off the pain! As always, I have a great time talking, and I did most of it tonight....sorry......even a root canal doesn't shut me up!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

added more stuff...............

added some buttons and needle and thread, with bees wax, and added a fun, silly hat for the other daughter. The other daughter does not like to be so serious all the time, and the other daughter can't stand drama, she likes to have fun and be happy, and silly. Posted by Picasa

The dress makers OTHER daughter

If you look close, the mom and the younger daughter both have the same face, they both desire blue eyes, so wear blue eyeshadow, they are two little peas-in-a-pod. The other, older daughter, has true blue eye color, she is not a pea-in-the-pod, she is standing alone. She is her own person, this embarasses the dress maker, the other daughter will not cut her hair short, this upsets the dress maker, the other daughter wears toe rings, this disgusts the dress maker, the other daughter does not dress the right way, the dress maker does not love this daughter the same way............but that is ok, there are others who love the other daughter just for who she is. The other daughter is going to be okay. Posted by Picasa

Beautiful lights.......

I loved last night. I love the sights and sounds and smells and the feel of a good thunderstorm. There are a lot of times I feel a sense of guilt that maybe I should spend more time with my kids, making happy memories with them that they might one day want to share with their kids, even though I am here 24/7. We don't play a lot of traditional games, but last night I realized that maybe I am spending more time doing this than I thought. I realized this as my youngest wrapped his arms around me and said 'I love you' and gave me a big squishy hug, my favorite kind. We were standing on the front porch and had just said our good-byes to his daddy as he left for work. I realized how neat it is that my youngest and I have the same fascination with the heavens, the stars, the storms...... he and I stood on the porch, talking, holding on to each other, making the ooooohh and ahhhh noises you make during the fireworks display on the 4th of July, swearing to each other that after the next 5, 10, 15 .............lightnings we would go in and get to was past our bedtime. While praying that my hubby would make it to work, safely, I stood there wishing that this moment would go on forever, but knowing I would have to let go of my baby, and I only hope that he someday will be doing the same thing as he and I are at this moment with someone he loves just as much as I love him.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Monarchs on the move.......

While sitting at my kitchen table today writing out a get well card, filling out forms for this, that and the other, writing out my list of things I would like to get done today, and thinking of all of the life we have happening around here, there was this beautiful Monarch butterfly that kept catching my eye.
After awhile I stopped to watch this beautiful creature flutter and float around my backyard, and to my surprise I saw that this was not just one, but one of maybe a hundred or so! They covered some flowering trees in a neighbors yard. I imagine they are drinking up nectar, feeding their bodies for the long journey they have ahead of them, preparing for their migration down south.

It always amazes me how much of life's beautiful gifts we miss while being caught up in our busy lives. It is yet another reminder from nature to take time to 'stop and smell the roses'.

I admire this strength and determination of the small and delicate creatures. They are preparing to make the biggest journey of their lives. Those tissue paper wings of theirs will take them on this journey, which will seem like endless miles.

I can only hope my soul is as strong as the fragile wings of the Monarch's while I find myself, and maybe someday soon, I will finish my change from caterpillar to butterfly.

I have always said I learn more and more about myself when I create art, so off I go to go learn................

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles...............

What a day today, huh?.....the weather is icky. I love thunderstorms, the noise, the light show, but I don't care much for just plain ol' rainy days. When I have a day where my muse has apparently taken the day off without telling me, or a dreary day like today one thing seems to do the trick to get me going again...................blowing bubbles!!!!!!!!!

I have a large antique bowl in my studio filled with all different types of bubble containers and did you know there are even different types of hubby even recently bought me 2 bubble guns! yehaw! what fun to shoot bubbles!

Bubbles are very relaxing. I have found that they calm you because you have to slow down and gently blow on the stick thingy to make the bubbles come out, and then watching them float through the air almost makes you feel weightless. By the time I am ready to put them away my breathing and heart rate have slowed down and my muscles are not as tense, and I usually have a smile on my face, and very sticky hands! My cares seem to float away with the bubbles.

Sometimes I close my eyes and can almost imagine what it would be like to be a bubble.....all floaty, the wind carrying you from place to place and nice and round is an acceptable shape if your a bubble and bigger is better, how everything looks distorted because of the round shape, and everything changing color as the sun hits the bubble at different angles, what a view from way up high, float next to a butterfly, and hope to make it to Heaven......but bloop, you pop when you run into the tree. Do bubblesgo to Heaven after they pop? I bet they do. O o o O O o
O o o o O o O O O o o o o O o o O oO o o O O o
o o o O O o O o o O o O o O o O O O O o o o o
o o o o o o O o O O O o o O o O o O o
O o o o O O O o o O O o o o
o o o o o O o o o O O O
O O O o o o o
o o o O
O o o
O o



Have you blown Bubbles today?


My offering for the Famous Women ATC.....Eleanor Roosevelt. I ran across a quote from her almost a year ago and it really made me think, and it has inspired me and continued to motivate me in my journey of change in my life. This quote could have saved me some serious time in the therapists chair ten years ago! In fact this quote made everything that man tried to explain to me make sense! Ok, ewwww this is getting to serious, so I will lighten it up with a little humor, at least my hubby and I laugh about it......not too long after I stopped seeing my therapist we saw him on the news......he was involved somehow in the stressful, huh? We joke that by the time he got done with me he needed something less stressful! Okay, okay, now back to the more serious stuff.....My hope is that this one little quote may find its way to someone else in need of this bit of simple wisdom and change their life as well. May that person find the courage to stand up and say I am not going to take this any more, I am not going to play the victim any longer, and I deserve ______________________and I am worthy of _______________ and I am a ___________________person. (fill in the blanks with what applies......I finally have been able to do it!) May you learn how to F.L.Y. (finally love yourself) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I was having much more fun this time around, feeling a little looser I guess...... (I better be careful, that is how I caught my am just kidding!)Posted by Picasa

I think I am getting better at (is that even a word?) my demo samples together things seemed to flow better this time around, maybe I was too tense the first time around.....or my muse was on vacation.... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Flower child style..........

I have said several times when I write, that when I am creating, I am also learning more and more about myself. I grew up being forced to fit in a box, shoved in that box, I am not square, I am...................hmmmmm......... flower every time I got shoved in the box I just naturally popped out of it. I did not do it to be bad, I wasn't a rebel....with or without a cause.....I like to make people happy. I think there are lots more flowers out there, but like I was in the not so distant past, people are afraid to not fit in the box so they do stuff to look like they fit in that box, and they break off their petals. I often look at the world and think we have to many rules! I mean rules about stupid stuff.............think about many people fold their socks and underwear..........not me! How stupid is it to fold these darn things.......think of how much time you spend doing this over a years time......and if you are worried about wrinkly socks and tighty whiteys or granny have a wonderful life then, wanna trade worries? If you wear thongs.....honey you aint got enough material there for even 1 wrinkle! (and by the way, it blows my mind, the thought of wearing something that it meant to give you a wedgy......I have spent my whole life trying to keep from getting a wedgy.....sorry just a thought) If you have kids you know all it takes is 1 time they open a drawer and all of that folding and organization has gone to waste......I had a neighbor who before she left to go out of town actually spent 2 hours at least running around refolding her kids stuff in their drawers in case her family looked while they were taking care of her house .............When I was growing up and had to fold clothes after school that was such a BIG deal, folding the gosh darn underwear the right I guess some form of subliminal retaliation I use to put them on our dog first (not mine, though!) and let him wear them and then I folded them, either that or I just did it because it was funny to watch a Schnauzer walk around in mom and dads underwear........folding the underwear is a 'box' thing, and throwing it in a drawer is a flower now you know why I brought up the underwear issues.........ewwww, and did I just get too comfortable here and give out a TMI? I am starting to feel more comfortable here now that I have been writing more. Hmmmmm, maybe I let those petals out a bit too much?

Okay, okay, I got off track here a little, a price I pay for naturally blondish hair I guess........I am the reason they write the blonds jokes! here I go I was just going through proof reading what I wrote on my previous three, or was it four entries......and I just realized what style my art is..........FLOWER CHILD STYLE... that's what I am gonna call it at least. When I looked at the pieces that weren't me......they were all neat and measured and precise, and with a bit of cute thrown in, they were that 'box' I always popped out of.........when I look at my stuff it is what I use to call 'messy' style, where there are things and stuff hanging out, things are ripped or torn, intentionally uneven, not measured precisely. I like my stuff to have a worn and used up because it was so loved look, a vintage look, but gawd not too much sepia and brown......give me a bit of color. puhleaseeeeee! So, okay I am going to shut up now, and go create in my studio, and temporarily and gently try to make my petals fit in the box..........I love to teach and have missed doing it, even if it was boring insurance rules and regulations, I love to teach and can not wait to do my demos.........and I love to grow and stretch and challenge myself.....but I think it is now going to be easier since I just figured out another piece of my puzzle..........there are still many pieces of my puzzle I need to find and figure out where they go, but I now have 1 more big piece I have found, and it fits next to the last piece of me I found......this feels good, and I can not wait when the puzzle is put together......I think I am gonna like the picture I see..........

When we are first learning how to walk we fall on our butts.............alot.....and that is just what I did. I took my first samples up to Redlead for my demos........I am learning and sometimes learning can be frustrating but that is ok. The first piece I made for my December demo I totally trashed and at the last minute I put this piece together, it needs some bugs worked out, but it is what I would consider to be pretty close to my style. So I am back to the drawing board....and that is ok because in the end this helps me to grow and challenges me to think about things from many different angles. I think if an artist only creates pieces that are their 'style' or to their liking that they can get stuck in a rut, so I look at this as just paving new roads in my creativity. So I am back off to my studio, trying to learn to walk and hoping not to fall on my butt again......... Posted by Picasa

Here are a couple of samples for my Redlead demo in October. I have a few more things to do to these puppies to tweak them up a bit. It is funny, I thought I knew what I was doing when I made these because I have made them for myself before, but I used different papers and different closures on these, so by the time I got these up to Redlead for show and tell they weren't working like I expected they should be...........just a bit frustrating, and I feel like a major dork.........but I am embracing my dorkness and least I am trying....... Posted by Picasa

My first samples to submit for my demo at Redlead. This is not my personal 'style', but it is what I think they are looking for. It was hard to come up with these, but that is what I like. I look at this as an overall challenge, just like I do with the monthly ATC's. I think all artists at some time should challenge themselves in some way, shape, or form. I enjoy pushing myself to do things that are out of my norm.  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Life just keeps happening around here!

I swear, Murphey's Law should have been called Farmer's Law! Friday when my daughter and I dropped my hubby off at the house of 1 of the 4 guys he was going out of town with, we unloaded our Flinstone mobile of what seemed to be about a zillion and one things for him to take on the trip (they say women are bad about packing!) , and as our daughter went to shut the hatch one of the shocks stuck and the glass shattered everywhere! The poor thing was so upset, and we assured her over and over again that it was no big deal, and that her daddy would go get a replacement back window at the junkyard on Tuesday and it would be like new. Well, today my hubby went to the junkyard and called me on the way back to let me know he was able to find a new back glass, and that he did not bring all of the right tools with him but was able to make the tools he did bring work to remove it from the blazer at the junkyard, he was going to go vacuum out the back of our blazer to get all of the glass out and he would be home. A bit later my hubby, or should I say Knight was home, and went to work right away putting the back glass in............things never 'just' work for us, so I peeked every once in awhile to check his progress, but too scared to actually go outside in case things weren't going well. Not very long after he had begun he popped his head in the house to say he got it put in and all was first thought was......... this was wayyyyyyyyyy to easy.........not only did he find the back glass at the first junkyard he went to, but found it easily, and quickly, and there were lots of them, then I thought you really need to stop thinking like this..........the glass is half full.....not half empty.............afterall, it did not rain the whole weekend, none of us managed to get cut by the glass, stop thinking so negative. It is ok, and sometimes things actually can be easy without the world coming to an end. With my thinking adjusted to a glass half full attitude I went down to my studio to go create! yeah! I am gonna have some eye candy to put on my blog by the end of the night...........just about then our daughter comes downstairs with a big grin on her face and tells me that daddy broke the back glass. I kept working in my studio and told her you can't fool me I know you are joking. She insisted she was not, and we began to play word ping - pong.......ya know he did not......yes, mom he dear he did not.........yes, mom he did........well, the score was tied and neither us were going to give up, so I went upstairs and thought I'm gonna ring her neck when I get up there and find out she was joking! I walk outside to my hubby, shaking his head, with broom in hand............................he felt it needed a slight adjustment and tried to move it over just a bit when it shattered. I had our daughter grab me the other broom and helped him sweep up trying to keep with my glass half full attitude I told him at least this time he would know what tools to bring, and at least there are several more and he knows just where they are, and at least it is not suppose to rain for at least the next week...............we finished sweeping up the glass and sat down on our swing and stared at where the glass should was too quiet, I hate quiet, then we laughed...................that I was not the end of the world, and it was normal for us this 'luck' of ours................I felt better, now things were just the way they were suppose to be, not easy, never working the first time around......the world is good, at least for this moment. We watched the sky change colors, pinks, blues, oranges, and a color that I don't think they have a word for that was so beautiful, the clouds looked like they were made by the quick and carefree strokes from a painters brush, not real at all, kind of like the ones in the velvet paintings of Jesus my grandma had in her livingroom when I was a little girl, the locusty bug thingys were making noise, the kids were inside, quiet, and the skeeters biting.........yup, all is good and just as it should be for this moment......I will have eye candy on my blog tomorrow.................

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Happy Birthday to my Knight in Shining Armor

Yesterday was the day my Knight in Shining Armor was born many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many......(recent tests show he may actually be older than dirt! ha! )....years ago! This man is the reason I am today. The reason I am alive, the reason I am happy, the reason I am successful in my world of art, the reason I have 3 beautiful children who at the time of this writing are driving me crazy, but they are beautiful none the less.

When he and I first met, I was at the end of my rope with life. I never seemed to be able to please my family, I was the 3rd wheel, the black sheep. I had always wanted to be an astronomer, or a scientist of some sort, but school was always a struggle, and I had been told I was not living up to my potential, I was lazy, I was blah, blah, blah.............many years later I would discover I had learning disabilities, and art became my outlet for pent up 'stuff'. I had not been in a relationship for about 2 or 3 years, my last relationship was with an abusive alcoholic.......can we say 'no self esteem'.............I knew ya could....... I thought I would never meet my Knight in Shining Armor, and have my Happily Ever After...........
My to be hubby and I met at a bar, it was a setup, kinda, a friend brought me and another friend and her boyfriend brought the man who would become my hubby......he was to choose between the 2 of us, but he was told the other girl would be the better choice. So, we meet, fall in love, and marry. He is the first person, besides my one grandma, who loved me for me, unconditional love. He had made me feel loved, he accepts me completely (blonde dorkiness and all!) He believes in me and has encouraged me in the 19 years we have known each other to do and try new things, and when I fall down he taught me how to get up and dust myself off and try it again and told me what I did right, not reminding me what I did wrong. If it was not for his encouragement, his belief in me, his support, his love I would have given up on art and life completely. He tells everyone how proud he is of me, he shows everyone that walks a foot in the house everything I have done, he shops with me, he even looks through the books I am always bringing home. My hubby and I have had more than our share of the bad times, in sickness, or poorer part of the vows we took when we married, but that just makes the good times, in health, and for richer parts of our lives that much sweeter. This man loves his children and will do just about anything for them and learns just what it means to be a father everyday, he lost his when he was 6. This Knight in Shining Armor has stopped and helped people on the side of the road when they have broke down, he has walked for an hour in 6 inches of snow with a single mom and her baby trying to help her find a car in a mall parking lot that ended up being stolen and then helped her find a security guard. This Knight stopped on the side of Mid Rivers Mall drive and almost got himself killed trying to dodge speeding cars while trying to save a huge alligator snapping turtle that wanted to eat him for dinner and did not understand the person he was trying to eat was trying to save his life. This Knight just last week saw a woman at a gas station in tears and went to investigate to find out what was wrong.....she had run out of gas in front of the pump, she would not get paid for another 5 days, and she had no money.......he put some gas in her car for her and paid for it. His only regret is that he did not put more in her tank than what he did. This Knight has the gift of gab, and can talk to anyone like he has know them forever. Sometimes maybe he does not know when to shut up, and sometimes he gets a little loud, but to know him is to love him. This Knight is a man who has made many sacrifices for his family, and has more than his share of testosterone flowing through his veins, but he has a sensitive side and he bleeds when cut. This Knight most of the time forgets he does not have a big 'S' on his chest (like Superman) and needs to be reminded, he too, is only human. This Knight is the man I love, my best friend, my soul mate. He and I enjoy spending time together, and maybe more than most couples, but he and I were all each of us had for many years, and we have both enjoyed our time apart this weekend, but we miss each other terribly also. This Knight was sent from Heaven by Angels.............This Knight is my husband, and yesterday was his birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY........................ Love you always and forever, bunches and bunches.......mwa.

When the boys are away, the girls will play.........

Friday my hubby and a few of his friends went out of town to Indy for the drag races.
Yesterday a few friends came over to my house for a day of art and conversation. We were together for about 8 hours, but the time seemed to fly by. As usual it went by way to fast. Posted by Picasa

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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