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, December 26, 2008

hope yours was merry

here is hoping that santa left something special under your tree and in your heart on christmas day.
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Friday, December 05, 2008

new jewels

i have a love of large, chunky, colorful pieces. ethnic pieces. bold pieces. these things i love are all in this neckpiece.
ocean jasper briolettes, citrine capsules, green adventurine rounds, peacock and white keishi (petal) pearls, lilac fresh water pearls, smokey quartz faceted rondells,
and a large half shell that shimmers all of the above colors.

this is the hollyberry wreath neckpiece that is under construction.
this is the piece that i was given sudden inspiration to create the other night. many pieces i create are created with intention, i have been given inspiration, but beyond that i make a conscience decisions on the how's and what's, at least i would like to think. then there are pieces like this one where i feel like i am on auto pilot. to get the look i wanted i created several different combinations of wire wrapped glass leaves and fresh water pearls to give this piece its visual and tactile texture and layers. when i complete a piece like this one and look back at the process of construction i don't know how or why i made the choices i did. i am totally self taught. i know after years of teaching myself, some of what i do is just second nature, but there i times i am left in wonderment of the whole creation process.
going back and reading what i have just typed makes me sound like a nut, but it is just how it works. i am so grateful for the inspiration. oh-so-divine. i would not have it any other way. i am also grateful that i always seem to have the materials i need just when i need them.
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

just breathe......

that is what i keep telling myself....just will all get done.
i would love to be sitting in the middle of this field right now, a million miles away from everything
the warm sun shining down on me
in the middle of a field of sweet smelling flowers
looking at the dark sky in the background i can almost smell a spring thunderstorm brewing in the distance
but i am in my kitchen typing to the rythm of the dishwasher.
as much as i would love to be in this field of flowers, here, home, is the next best place.
bill and the kids safely and snuggly tucked into bed sleeping
the puppies in their crates sleeping
the cat snuggling with max tonight, hogging the pillow and blanket believe it or not
the big birdies downstairs making noise because mommy walked by them and did not say goodnight, so they protest just as a 3 year old would, they are whining.
the little birdies upstairs are snuggled together for warmth and quiet with the exception of one of our little mini doves that tries to woo his mate 24/7 .
'what a girl wants....what a girl needs' being sung by christina a on the funny that is the song playing
the kitchen floor needs to be swept
the livingroom, which is housing most of our bedroom, is still looking like ....ugh...there is not a word to describe
but this is home
and it is filled with the things i love most in this world
so i am just where i am suppose to be

just where i want most to be
home sweet home.
looking at a picture of oh-so-sweet flowers.
on my new laptop.
on my new old kitchen table i just recently painted.
with my fuzzy and oh so warm slippers on.

bill and steph surprised me tonight and took the few remaining fall decorations downstairs, scratch that chore off the list. yahoo...the list is getting smaller.
most of the baseboards are painted in our room, had to put the paint and brush, sponge brush that is, down so that bill and i could call the help line number again this evening since the laptop said it was not connected to the internet this morning. after discovering the internet was not working i did lose a few games of solitaire before starting up the day. real productive. my to do list was screaming for my attention from the kitchen as i sat tucked in the nice-oh-so-warm-cozy-bed losing those few games of solitaire. found 8 stamps to put on the envelopes for the christimas/holiday cards. off to the post office friday to buy some more and mail them off. then i can scratch that off the list....the doors in the bedroom are painted, just need a few spots touched up....i can scratch that off the list. not sure if i like the color, but bill loves it and so does steph, the boys....they could care less. they were driving each other nuts while we were conferencing on the subject. someday those two......they are night and day. i hope they grow out of this...
while we were waiting for the service rep for the router company to help us i began putting some things away in my studio, cleaning up to prepare for the next piece i am going to make, i grabbed a pile of strung green glass leaf beads to put away and (*&*^*& WHAM *^&^*(* i was given inspiration for a new neckpiece! eeeee! i love it when that happens. and very thankful. off to my drawers of sorted-by-color bead collections and i found some wonderful cranberry fresh water pearls. it is weird how i can remember almost every bead i own, and the number of beads i own is a number so large most of us could not pronounce it, but somehow i do remember each of them.
just like they were created from me
guess it is a bead thing
i started wire wrapping while we were on the phone with the router service guy.
a hollyberry wreath of sorts. wearable.
i can not wait to see how it all looks put together.
so here i sit jabbering, i guess talking to myself in-a-way
the rest of the world asleep
part of me is loving the silence
the peace
the quiet
the stillness of it all
part of me hating the hush of it all
wishing i had another human to talk to at the moment
so, off to bed with me
i am too tired to focus the old eyeballs to wire wrap any more beads tonight, got alot done though.
i am too wide awake to go to sleep.
did not get enough sleep last night.
think i will tuck myself in and put on an episode of big bang theory.
love that show
what better way to fall asleep than with a big smile on your face

thanks for the company.
maybe now that i have a portable means of computering this blog thing might happen more often.

night night.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


playing with my christmas present, a laptop....i am a creature of habit, and even though this new piece of technology will make my life so much easier in the long run right now i am flustered and frustrated having to learn how to work this new creature. i want to go sit in my closet and pout like i use to as a little girl, but, i am excited at the same time. learning disabilities, which i don't really think of in that way because i am so use to my way of learning, make reading the pounds of instruction booklets that came with this wonderful beast, and trying to make sense of the online instructions a chore to say the least. i am a hands on girl, so i have learned more by trial and error button pushing. i think i found a program thingy that will allow me to transfer my files and my email from the desk top to the lap top, but not sure if the remains of a virus could or would be transferred as well, and if so i am sure the mcaffe would take care of it.....i think.....blahhhhh.....maybe i should call charter and ask them first how to transfer my email...that in itself will be an adventure. after pressing 1 to continue the call in english, then sitting on hold, then answering 9,000 questions that a computerized service rep will ask i will be transferred to a person, that is i know trying hard to be helpful, whose spanglish is nearly impossible for me to understand, i will politely thank them for their help and hang up with my question unanswered because of the language barrier...didn't i press one for english....and try to call again until i reach the one and only charter customer service rep that speaks plain old english. i find it funny that the company name is 'charter communication' but the communication part....uhh...not so much. my hearing impairment i am sure is partly to blame, but....

soon we will be moving the desktop to steph's room and out of my studio.....a good and not so good thing. finally i will have my studio to myself, but even though steph says she is ok with having to share her room at times with the boys when they are on the computer, i know there are going to be issues. agggg, i will deal with that when the situation comes up.

we spent an hour, 62 minutes and 53 seconds to be exact, on the phone with a customer service rep to help us get the wireless router set up. this router comes with a set of very easy looking instructions, actually ummm...6 pictures and about as many words to tell the truth, and it ended up being a nightmare. thank goodness bill spoke to her, the service center of course was in india, and although the woman he spoke with was very, very pleasant, helpful and friendly i would not have been able to understand her since half the time my ears and brain do not process even the accent-less english language very well.

i tried to install some bundle thingy from a disc that came with this thing, but it says it can't do what it needs to do and i need to contact the company that i received it from, so i am adding that to my already way-to-long-list-of-stuff-to-do-today list for wednesday.

i think i am done being whiney.......for the moment. i will be such a happy camper when i have my photos and emails transferred to this new portable piece technology. i am grateful for this wonderful piece of freedom, just frustrated.

i did complete a new necklace to sell on etsy, and i still need to add the items i made last week onto my etsy shop....ahhh, another thing to add to my long list of tomorrows to-dos. i also got all of our christmas/holiday cards signed with love, the envelopes addressed and stuffed with cards sending happy holiday wishes and love at 3:30 this morning. they are ready to be mailed. i decided to cut myself a break and just buy the cards instead of making them. i ripped up all the tape from around my bedroom that i have been painting like forever and have almost the whole bedroom retaped so that i can paint the doors, baseboards, and ceiling. since our color palette changed just a bit i have to repaint some furniture that will be going back to the bedroom, clear coat a century old armoir that we had stored for 4 or 5 years in the garage waiting for just the right place to put it, we won it at an auction for next to nothing because someone had done a really sad job at clear coating it and it needed to be stripped. i decided not to stain it. the old wood has a beauty of its own. most of our bedroom is still in the living room and i have to have it re-painted, clear coated and moved back into our bedroom by saturday, which means i need to have the bedroom finished by then so that we can decorate for christmas. do you think we could move christmas to lets say january 25th?

okay, i am going to quit rambling. go downstairs to my studio and check my emails on the other computer, and if the hubby isn't chasing bunnies in his sleep tonight maybe i will crawl into bed a little early.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

snow, snow,

and more snow.

does this look like less than an inch?  if so, then i think my ruler is broken, and so is the weather guy's.  

is it spring yet......mmmm, how 'bout now.................uhhhh, now........what  
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i miss the warm weather

but i do love to watch it snow, while i am wearing my soft-furry-on-the-inside-oh-so-warm-tootsie-covers, inside, standing next to the heating vent. although, i did step outside the warm indoors to grab a picture of the first flakes of the season.

ok, enough winter already, i want spring back, life bursting from the bare ground, song birds singing their little hearts out, buds blooming, really really, i want spring back.....
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

my daughter is teaching me new tricks

this is so much computer savy daughter found a site that lets you do neat stuff to your photos above and beyond picasa.  
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

new jeweled offerings up for sale on etsy this weekend

while chatting with a very dear friend who always makes me laugh online tonight i put a few new jewels together
to offer on etsy.
i probably won't get them entered until sometime this weekend.
hope everyone has a wonderful turkey day. if it was just me and the hubby we would probably just skip it and say we did it
we have so much going on around the house i wish i could put it on hold
until next month, say about the 25th! for my kids i put everything else on hold and make sure we have a thanksgiving meal, and talk about all of those things that we are thankful for, especially all of those who have been there to help us this past year.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

this beauty is going to its new home

i am so excited that this piece has a new home to go to!
it is all gift wrapped and ready to be put under the tree.

this is the quote from the customer who purchased the necklace, made my day to have such wonderful feedback from someone you don't know on occasion: 
>Message from the buyer:
This is a Christmas gift for my mother and I can't wait to see her face when she opens it because it is so BEAUTIFUL! I was wondering if you could include a gift box and/or the description you used on the website as to the materials you used so that she can have a full appreciation of the craftsmanship and detail that went into the piece. Thank you!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

15 on the 15th

my middle baby turned 15 years old on the 15th. every year, with each and every birthday i find myself asking the same did this all happen so fast? i can still remember holding this tiny, well if you call a 9 pound 10 ounce 2 weeks early newborn tiny, baby like it was yesterday. i so miss baby sam, but i love watching him grow up and change and become his own unique person. it is so exciting. he has a very odd sense of humor, but that is what makes him sam and i would not change it for the world. he and his little brother usually just drive each other nuts, but i love watching him having fun and goofing off with his older sister. i almost feel like i am watching someone else's family. i forget my baby is turning into a man. his deep voice, hairy body, no more boyish chubby cheeks, he is now taller than i am and just a hair shy of being as tall as his sister, and probably as i am typing this he has grown since we measured him last week and i am sure he is probably a hair taller than his sister now. he seem so grown up at times, then the boy in him, which i am most familiar with, comes out.

sam hopes to be a guitar playing actor, and his is a good one at that. here he is modeling his new wallet while we were waiting for our food to come. he got to spin the birthday wheel and won a target gift card which fit nicely in his new wallet.

after dinner we left the comfort of the warm and cozy restaurant to a very cold and snow flurrying parking lot. we all chased sam to our very chilly mode of transportation with party poppers, all of us happy, cold, full and covered in streamers and teeny snowballs praying the heat would hurry up and kick in. once home we all waited for sam to become entranced by his new video game and once we were sure he was we all pounced him with silly string. boy that stuff stinks!

i look forward to what the next 15 years brings, but sometimes i just wish it would all slow down a bit so i could take it all in and file every precious memory in a safe place.
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the many faces of sam

was not able to catch the serious side of him saturday....but this is how he is most of the time and i love it
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

available soon on etsy

pinks, yellows, oranges, salmon.
makes me think of a tropical sunrise. a warm beach. far away from everywhere. a gentle breeze.
a perfectly pink sun rising out of white clouds into a yellowy-orange-salmon sky.  i love big, chunky, colorful pieces.  this piece is a bit weighty since it is made up of dyed turquoise and swarovski.  
i set some other projects aside and created this colorful happy piece. it was yuck outside, all of the pretty leaves blowing away, the trees dead looking, the perinneals shriveled up, no song birds, and today is a sad day for reasons other than it being yuck weather.
if you click on the photos you can get a more detailed enlarged view.

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our new old kitchen table

about 4 years ago we found this very old farmhouse kitchen table. it had been stripped and was dried out blech old wood, but it had charm. we originally planned to do our kitchen in black and white, then yellow and green, it is a long story. i ended up painting this table white and stenciling a black checker board on it. i never clear coated it, i decided to let it age with use and when it had achieved the oh-so-right amount of aging i would clear coat it.
well, it went from not aged enough to aged too much overnight.
a couple of weeks ago i found my stash of stripper and found that farmhouse charm that i originally fell in love with and decided to paint flowers on the table. i looked over my pieces of vintage china and decided from the pieces that had an abundance of roses in it that i would have to paint roses, and i also noticed i loved the pieces with a touch of blue in them, even though i think blue is one of my least favorite colors. i went down to my studio and found the majority of my paint were dried up.
when my hubby called me from work i told him i was going to forget painting the table since my paints were little bottles of colored concrete. he told me to be ready when he got home, and as tired as he was we headed to the local artsy-craftsy store and found most of the colors i needed.
i started by getting my mojo back painting on a few paper plates and then moved to 2 of the chairs (pictured below). after i painted the chairs it was 2 am, not feeling good from what the anti-biotics were doing to my stomach and i was so tired, and feeling a little sad that i could not find my painting mojo i headed off to bed.
as soon as i walked into our bedroom and saw my dear hubby sleeping i headed back to the kitchen and started painting. if this man had enough faith in me to drive me while he was butt-tired to the artsy-craftsy store to by new paints then by gosh i was going to paint him the most beautiful flowers i could. by 4:30 i had about 3/4 done and i was feeling my mojo was not totally back, and i was having to think about my strokes, they were just not flowing out of me but it was coming back to me. i have to say i am pretty happy about the end result. and thankful to my hubby. 

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table top close ups

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chair backs

i am happier with the chair backs, i was starting to get my mojo back after 2 years of not picking up a paint brush

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chair seats

not so happy with how these turned out, but they will be pushed in most of the time when not covered by people seats. guess i could cut myself a break here since this is the first time i have painted in about 2 years.....
they remind me of the 'lilo and stitch' cartoon background.
by the time i painted the chair backs, pictured above, i figured out that it was the yellow in the leaves which was the cause of my dissatisfaction, so by the time i worked my way to painting my kitchen table i made some color changes.

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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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