Monday, December 13, 2010

eBay benefit auction for victims of Gulf oil spill disaster

Your help in promoting this benefit auction is most appreciated!!!

During September and October of 2010, artist Patsy Croft organized the Jewelers for the Gulf project, an online auction of contemporary art jewelry, of which the proceeds were donated to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Fund, to benefit the many victims of the Gulf oil disaster.

I and my writing partner, Peggy Krzyzewski, decided we’d like to donate the Princess Necklace featured in our book, Making Mixed Media Art Charms & Jewelry, to this exciting endeavour.
Sadly, this project coincided with the sudden and untimely demise of my computer’s hard we missed the project’s deadline.
We still want to do what we can to help, so I am listing this necklace in a 7-day auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Fund.
This necklace measures 17 inches long and features eight limited edition mixed media art charms by Christine Hansen and Peggy Krzyzewski, on a silvertone base metal chain with a lobster clasp.

Shipping is free.

Here's the link to the eBay listing:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Celebrations: A Life Remembered

Grandma Olive, 1913-2010

This is a difficult topic for me. My gran passed earlier this year, the day after my birthday. For the first 45 years of my life, all of our celebrations were centered around my mother’s mom. It’s painful to imagine any sort of family gathering without her sparkling blue eyes, bright white hair, and merry smile. To me, the word “celebration” is synonymous with my Grandma Olive.
Detail shot of 2008 Mother's Day necklace for Gran

My gran was a remarkable person. Born in 1913, she survived two world wars, the great depression, two bouts of breast cancer, and bore five children to my Grandpa Ted. Gran was a registered nurse, and worked as a nurse and director of nursing for many years. After Grandpa Ted died in 1965, Gran went to war-torn Nigeria in the late 1960’s, as a Red Cross nurse. She played piano and organ, and was the church organist for decades, as well as the pianist for the local theater troupe. In 1984, she married Grandpa Don, and enjoyed a wonderful life with him until he passed in 2006.
My mom sent me the silver portion of this necklace, hoping I could make it so Gran could wear it. I added the sterling silver cones and clasp, and the luscious silk ribbons in Gran's favorite colors.

Gran was pivotal in steering me towards words and music – as a young girl, I often tagged along with her to church so she could practice the music for the next day’s service. Gran taught me how to play (or rather, lose, at) Scrabble, and amazed me with her ability to do the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink. Gran and I loved to sit together and watch Wheel of Fortune and Name That Tune...of course, she always knew the answers.
In addition to her accomplishments and talents, Gran was a warm and compassionate soul, kind to humans and animals alike. She loved nothing more than to be surrounded by her friends and family – Sunday dinners at Gran’s, complete with aunts, uncles, and cousins were a regular event. If someone in the family had a birthday, or an anniversary, or a graduation, or maybe it was a holiday, ANY holiday, a potluck barbeque at Gran’s was the customary celebration. Christmas Eve parties at Gran’s and Grandpa Don’s home were an annual favorite – Grandpa Don mixed wicked strong hot buttered rums, while Gran supervised the decorations, food, and music.
At every event, Gran delighted in wearing lovely bright clothes, always accessorized by just the right jewelry. Leading off this post is a picture of a necklace I created for her a few years ago, featuring a bunch of my lampwork beads in Gran’s favorite oceany blue and green colors. Also pictured in this post are three pieces my mom sent to me to re-work for Gran, so that she might continue to enjoy them. The faux pearls and blue stone necklaces just needed to be restrung, while the silver bib required a little more planning and forethought.

Gran, I love you so much and miss you every day. Thank you for all you taught me, and for being my grandma. You will always be in my heart, and you will always inspire me. Be well.
Another view of Gran's Mother's Day necklace.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A New Adventure

Evidently November is Art Every Day co-author Peg has adjusted the theme of the month to "Create Every Day." Peg wrote about her commitment issues in today's blog post, and here's my knee-jerk response:

Peg...I have commitment issues too, LOL...but somehow, partnering up with a friend to write a book made the whole thing less daunting, and more of an adventure.

I'm inspired by the concept of "Create Every Day" - and would like to join you on this adventure.

Like you, I don't know if I'll actually manage to do a blog post every day on top of creating every day, but then again, it's "Create Every Day" not "Write A Blog Post About What You Created Every Day."

Let's see where this path takes us, shall we? And who else would like to join us on this adventure?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oofie update

Rufus is doing...OK. We took him in last week (Friday?) for a bandage check - his toes (where they were a little raw) are looking really really good - no inflammation or redness, just happy little scabs <---ew, gross, I know, but hey, they're nature's band-aids, LOL.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news is that he's got some contracture going on with the muscles, ligaments, and tendons (because he's not moving the leg), which, if it keeps up, will limit his mobility, possibly permanently. Dr. Salloom says it's possible stretching and v-e-r-y careful PT once the cast is off will remedy this complication.

The other not-so-good-news is that the bone density in his broken leg is not what it should be - the vet told me that it should be a bright white on the x-rays, but on the films they took 4 weeks ago (upon his re-injury), they looked dull, which indicates calcium depletion...not due to a lack of calcium in his body, but due to non-use of the leg (he's not using it, so the bone doesn't think it needs to rebuild itself).

So...we're looking at once he gets out of the cast, his leg will be incredibly fragile, and the slightest wrong move could re-break his leg in a new location...

I have to say I'm pretty stressed out about all of this - and really concerned that once the rigid cast is off, he'll re-break his leg. He's already trying to run with the cast on, and when we let him out of the mosh pit to go potty (on-leash), he gets very excited and bounces around, even though I've got him on a 2' leash and am holding him.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Today is September 1, and in the northern hemisphere the frenzied growth and action of spring and summer are slowing down. While autumn doesn’t officially begin until the equinox on September 23, it sure feels like fall – the leaves on the trees are turning color already, the days are growing shorter, and “back to school” sales are everywhere.

Everything appears dead or dying, yet this external appearance belies the action happening behind the scenes. Autumn and winter are seasons for the earth to rest and renew itself in preparation for next spring and summer’s bustling activity. Nothing will happen in spring if the earth doesn’t rest and renew in fall and winter.

What about artists, or any human being for that matter? We live in a “produce or perish” world…but I suspect it’s difficult, if not impossible, to continue producing without rest and renewal. In fact, I think constant production, without rest and renewal, can lead to burnout.

I believe allowing time and space for renewal is an essential practice for every human being.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with finding the time to melt glass. Many of the beads I’ve designed in the past year or so, such as my tulip beads and my fractal swirl beads, are labor-intensive, and take anywhere from 20-45 minutes per bead. While these beads ARE gorgeous, and I’m delighted to be able to make them, finding 2-3 uninterrupted hours for torch time has been a challenge lately.

I decided to consider making beads from a different angle: what if I make beads with simpler designs? I’ve found that I can make a decent batch of plain spacer beads, plus a couple of larger focals, in less than an hour.

My renewed strategy is to warm the kiln up in the morning, and bounce back and forth between my Mom/Writer duties and torch time – this enables me to get some much-needed fire therapy while still meeting my commitments to my family and my clients.

Pictured below is a bracelet I recently made, using lots of my simple beads and a few more complex beads. I love the way the colors play together!

Renewal takes many forms, and will be a different process for each individual. Renewal might be a re-assessment of your priorities, viewing a situation from a different perspective, or a refreshed commitment to who you want to be as a person. Renewal might be a hike on your favorite nature trail, a night out with friends, or a long bubble bath with a glass of wine and a good book. The most important thing though, is to give yourself permission to rest and renew.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Drop a bomb on someone...a Love Bomb!

A few weeks ago, one of my writer friends, the lovely, extremely talented, and compassionate Ms. Amy Lynn Smith shared a link on FaceBook, to Let's Drop a Love Bomb.

What, pray tell, is a Love Bomb?

A Love Bomb is an encouraging comment left on a deserving soul's blog.

It's free. It's fast. It's fun. And it changes lives.

Love Bomb Missions are carried out on Thursdays, and last Thursday's target was Rachel, nearly 18, who just lost her dad and suffers from eating disorders.

426 people (me included!) left loving comments for Rachel last Thursday - which she found, after enduring a very rough day. Her response brought tears to my eyes, and reminded me just how powerful and transformative kindness really is.

Wanna learn more? Check it out here:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh no...not again!!!

Rufus...again...chilling in The Mosh Pit...

A little background:

Our greyhound Rufus turned 3 years old in June (greyhounds are considered puppies until they're about 3). We adopted him in January 2010. He raced 4 races last fall and was retired, because he didn't win.

When we adopted Rufus, he was skin & bones, and had chronic diarrhea, greasy dry dandruffy fur...all of which I believe were due to his body not liking the food that he was given at the track.

Everyone in our family has food issues/allergies/intolerances - Jerry & Archer cannot have wheat or corn, so I'm really familiar with how food issues can lead to diarrhea and physical symptoms. The first thing we did was go to our awesome local independent pet food store Mud Bay and we got Rufus started on Skoki, a high quality kibble.

Rufus started to put some meat on his bones, shed like crazy for a couple of weeks - lost all of the dry nasty greasy fur and now has lustrous soft shiny fur - no more diarrhea too!

Around the beginning of March, Rufus seemed to "grow into" or "find" his speed - we have 1/3 of an acre and the hounds love to chase around the yard, and it was amazing to watch this massive hound (Rufus is much bigger than most other greys) simply FLY around the yard - I've never seen a creature so fast!

March 18, he was scooting around the yard, and whilst turning, literally shattered his left hock (ankle bone). Hock fractures are quite common in greyhounds - when they're running and need to turn, they put all of that weight and force onto that one rear leg and then twist it to make the turn.

Most hock fractures are simple - one clean break - Rufus put a y-shaped fracture into one of his ankle bones, and completely shattered one of the others - there were too many tiny chips for the surgeon to put back together, so the surgeon, Dr. Everett, did what he could and we hoped for the best.

My suspicion is that due to his food issues, Rufus' bones did not develop strong enough to bear his speed - therefore the significant damage.

So, since March 18, I've been caring for this giant puppy, and at the end of June, he finally got his cast off. The vet said it was OK for him to be off-leash and move as much as he's comfortable with...

He's been doing terrific, and even galloping a little - not running flat-out like he used to, but definitely getting the wind in his ears.

The latest incident:

Last Saturday night, after we'd fed Oofie, Sam, and Ivy, I turned the boys out to pee - Sam did his thing, but Rufus went out bouncy, and wanted to race with Sam, so they started to race. They weren't going super fast - just kind of galloping together...went into the turn...then Rufus yelped and came up lame.

Soooooo.......took him to the vet, she took x-rays, and yes, indeedy, Rufus re-fractured his hock...the pins in his leg are bent, but not broken (a very good thing), so at this point, he's back in a cast, and will be for at least 6-8 weeks. He goes in once a week for bandage checks - greyhound skin is notorious for being tissue thin and developing cast/bandage sores (not good at all). The hope is that his hock will repair itself enough that he doesn't need to go back into surgery...which we really can't afford anyway.

Rufus is accumulating fairy godmothers like you wouldn't believe - and it's a good thing too! He sure needs them! His/our latest fairy godmother is Vicki M. of Bellevue, who sent us a generous donation with which to purchase Rufus' very own ex-pen/mosh pit. Vicki, thank you so very much!

I must say, Rufus is NOT pleased at all about being in The Mosh Pit AGAIN, but hey, if you're gonna keep breaking your leg, you're gonna keep getting thrown in The Mosh Pit!

Friday, August 06, 2010

A Charming Vacation

A few of the Scrabble tile charms I completed recently, including pictures I took on a visit to Seattle, as well as one of my drawings (bottom center charm)

Summer means sun, fun, and new adventures. On your next outing or vacation, keep your eyes peeled for items you can use to make art charms. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Souvenir pennies are a really fun (and easy) art charm "base" - see our Metals chapter for how to turn souvenir pennies into art charms.
  • Small interesting objects can easily become charms...our Found Objects section in the book gives a few different options for turning found objects into charms.
  • Paper ephemera (tickets, receipts, brochures) from your vacation can be used to make a few different charms.
  • A tiny bit of sand from the beach can go into a mini-bottle charm or into a resin charm.
  • Vacation photos can be shrunk and decoupaged onto Scrabble tiles or printed onto shrink plastic.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A Haircut for Summer...

Recently, Archer announced that he wanted a mohawk...Jerry & I figured summer would be a good time for him to try it are before and after pics:

Monday, August 02, 2010

Art Charms With a Theme

One of the best things about art charms is that you can create a truly customized piece of wearable art. I had the recent good fortune to work on a commissioned piece, with a theme of Hecate, the ancient triple goddess. Since I wasn't familiar with Hecate, I began with some research, which I forwarded to my client. My client reviewed and approved the notes I'd gathered, and selected the color scheme (royal purple, black, and silver), then I began work.
Above are the individual art charms pinned to a Styrofoam board, and following are a few pictures of the finished bracelet.
This art charm bracelet works as a cuff - my client selected memory wire for the base of her bracelet instead of chain. The advantage of memory wire is that no clasp is needed - just wrap the bracelet around your wrist as you would wrap a Slinky around your wrist.
You'll notice that I created a mini-lotus fold book for this bracelet - it contains the Wiccan Rede "an it harm none, do as ye will." Since my client is a fellow Washingtonian, I attached the mini-book to the bracelet with a lobster clasp - which will allow her to remove the mini-book in case of rain.

Many thanks to Kathy, my client, for making this opportunity available to me, and to my daughter Emily for being the awesome hand model that she is!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Rufus the Goofus, my mixed media puppy

At long last, an update on our giant puppy-hound... He's a mixed media pup because he's got ink (tattoos in his ears) and steel (holding his leg together), as well as flesh and bone. Very appropriate since I'm a mixed media artist!

Took Rufus in to see Dr. Salloom yesterday at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, and she was very impressed with how well he's using his leg. She had me walk him around so she could see how he moves - she said she couldn't even tell which leg he'd broken (based on how he was using it).

As you can see from the pics, he's healed up nicely, but there is substantial muscle atrophy, so we need to build his muscles back up. I have been taking him for short walks every morning, up and down some small hills near our home, and he seems to be doing very well. A few days ago, I began taking Ivy out with us, and Rufus acts more like a healthy non-injured hound when she's along for the walk - he even does the greyhound trot with her.

One thing that we are working on is Rufus' leash manners - he was OK before he broke his leg, but during his convalescence, I let him wander, on-leash, and just followed him, for two reasons. 1. I wanted him to take things at his speed and not over-exert him, and 2. I felt for his mental health, he really needed to be able to go sniff things, and stand around and listen to the neighborhood, since the rest of his life pretty much sucked. This worked fine while he was in a cast, but now that he's feeling so much better, and we're going on walks, he's decided that he wants to be the boss all the this 82 pound hound does his best to drag Mama where he wants to go. Mama's getting a great upper body workout, but it's getting old, faster than a greyhound can find bacon.

This first pic shows Rufus' cast, and gives you an idea of how big it was, and how it fit on his leg. It's in two pieces because Dr. Salloom bisected it at one of his first bandage changes, which allowed her to cut it down to fit Rufus' leg as the swelling in his leg diminished.
In the second picture, you can see indentations along the edges of the cast where they had to cut pieces of cast away, in order to better manage those pesky bandage sores. I took pics of the cast, and then plopped it, without ceremony, in the garbage can.
Rufus still has a lot of recovery ahead of him, but I'm hoping the worst is behind us. We wouldn't have made it this far without all the love and support we've received from so many people. Thank you all, so very VERY much!

Friday, July 02, 2010

The "C" Word...

Commitment is a big word – not just because it has ten letters in it, but because of what it means. Commitment means sticking with something and hanging in there, even when difficulties arise.

Commitment is big too, for what it does. A tiny commitment, of maybe just 15 minutes a day, can develop into huge results.

Say you want to achieve a goal, so you decide to work 15 minutes every day to work toward that goal.

Your commitment is what keeps you showing up and making the effort, every single day, no exceptions, even when you’re not in the mood.

Eventually, you will reach your goal. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen because you put the rest of your life on hold, it’ll happen because you honored your commitment to work toward your goal 15 minutes every day, no matter what.
Here’s one example of what commitment can achieve: Yesterday, the building inspector came to sign off (finally!!!) on the roofing permit. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that my husband Jerry re-roofed our house last summer. And broke his back doing it. Yet, once he healed, he was back up there, finishing the job, because he was committed to the project. I am not at all happy he broke his back working on this project, but I am proud beyond words that he completed the job, and did such nice work.

Another example of commitment, and one more in line with the Art Bead Scene Carnival Blog discussion topic: floral lampwork beads. Earlier this year, I signed up for a floral bead swap. Never mind that I didn’t really *do* florals, I’m such a swap junkie that I put my name on the list.

I practiced and experimented with a few different floral designs, hoping one would turn out pretty enough to swap, and mostly disappointed each morning when I opened the kiln. But I was committed to that swap, and to learning how to create a non-embarrassing floral bead, so I stuck with it and kept trying.

Finally, I recalled a coffee cup that I’d once had, with a glossy black background and lovely bluish-purple irises, and thought that might make a nice bead, so I gave it a go.
Here’s the picture of the prototype for my “acceptable” floral beads – as you can see, I made tulips, not irises, but the basic design is reminiscent of that coffee cup. I decided to see how nice I could get these, so I kept working and practicing the tulip beads, and eventually wound up with beads lovely enough to send out in the swap.

Here are a few more pics of some of my more refined tulip beads. I have a ton of ideas for this design, and am committed to developing them. Too, I’m inspired by other floral bead makers, like Leah Fairbanks, Dolly Ahles, and Kim Miles, whose work demonstrates their obvious commitment to the form and encourages me to keep working on my own floral beads.

Monday, June 14, 2010

WOW!!! We're Number Two!


I am in absolute shock - Peg just now called to tell me that the book is No. 2 on Amazon's bestseller list for Jewelry books. I have no idea how this happened - the book is not even out yet!

Since the bestseller list is updated hourly, I expect this status to change, but at least for now, you can go see where we are on the list:

Our deepest thanks to everyone who purchased the book, passed along our book info, or who simply sent us good thoughts and energy! May the life you live be filled with charms!

Peg's B&B2010 experience...

Go check out Peg's blog to hear how the Bead & Button Show went Saturday...Peg's experience @ B&B2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tomorrow's Debut!

Mixed Media Art Charm Necklace, featuring art charms from our book and three of my Fractal Swirl beads

After nearly three years (er, yes, we ARE a bit slow...), it's almost here...the book Peg Krzyzewski and I wrote, Making Mixed Media Art Charms & Jewelry, will be at the 2010 Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, WI tomorrow, June 12! Peg is going to be at the Kalmbach booth, modeling some of her amazing mixed media art charm jewelry and signing books. She'll be at the booth from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., so do be sure to stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

An Ode to my Drill Press, An Art Charm Maker's Perspective

Technically it’s not ALL mine – it’s mine and Jerry’s. When our most recent wedding anniversary rolled around, I told Jerry we should get a drill press as our anniversary present to each other. Guess what? He thought it was a great idea! (big surprise, huh?)

Don’t get me wrong – you don’t need to invest in a drill press to make Art Charms – I’ve successfully made holes in hundreds of charms with Jerry’s handheld drill. It’s heavy and cumbersome, but it does get the job done.

Here are five reasons why I love my our drill press:
1. The laser cross-hair makes locating my pre-marked drill spots a snap.
2. I can hold a tiny Scrabble tile securely with one hand and operate the drill press with the other without worrying about putting a big hole in my finger.
3. I drilled about 20 Scrabble tiles in less than 10 minutes – would have been at least ½ hour with the big handheld drill and I would have wound up with a stiff shoulder and neck.
4. Holes are straight and true to measurements.
5. The Scrabble tiles didn’t spin around and around and get jacked up, wasting time and materials.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Charming Sight!

Just received the July 2010 issue of Art Jewelry magazine, one of my longtime favorites, probably because the artwork and editorial are both so inspirational. The coolest thing EVER though, is on page's right under the wobbly yellow arrow...nifty, huh?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Making a statement...

Statement: I like love beads.

June 2010 Statement Necklace, in honor of the 2010 Bead & Button Show. Features 45 lampwork beads by me, some of which are from my Fractal Swirl series of beads.

Hungry for more yummy eye-candy? Check out the following links to my sister ABS Carnival Bloggers - they made statement necklaces too!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking Good!

Dr. Salloom of Mountain View Veterinary Hospital called yesterday to let me know that Dr. Everett, Rufus' surgeon, had reviewed the x-rays taken last Friday. He says they look good, but he wants Rufus confined for at least another month, with the soft bandage on his leg. Nothing unexpected, and quite honestly, I'm happy to keep this big happy bouncy (!!!) puppy confined for six months if it means his leg will heal better. Of course, confinement in practice is much different from confinement in theory, so we shall see. In the meantime, I'm challenged just to keep up with Rufie when he goes out on potty patrol - this critter moves fast, even WITH a recently-broken leg!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meet the Author (or at least one of them!)

How cool is this? My co-author, Peg Krzyzewski, will be at the Kalmbach booth Saturday, June 12, at 3 p.m., at the 2010 Bead & Button Show. It's possible that our book, Making Mixed Media Art Charms & Jewelry, might be available, so if you stop by, do be sure to have Peg sign your copy. I'm very excited for her, and wish I could be there with her to celebrate all things charming! You GO Girl, and show everyone just how wonderful mixed media art charms are!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Free at last! (from the cast...)

Rufus in his red cast, tagged with love 
Rufus got his cast off today for his follow-up x-rays, and Dr. Salloom says the x-rays look great and that Rufus' leg is healing well. We are waiting for Rufie's surgeon, Dr. Everett, to review the x-rays as well, and give Rufie a clean bill of health. Hopefully we'll hear something around the middle of next week.

A detail shot of Rufie's last cast...

Rufus is still battling the inevitable cast infections, but he's on antibiotics and out of the cast, so we're hoping those naughty spots heal faster.

Rufus, rocking the new blue soft bandage

I asked Dr. Salloom if she would be able to spot an infection in the bone on the x-ray, and she said this is very good news indeed! That's been our biggest worry, that the cast infections would wander toward the bone and metal, and cause more problems for this giant puppy. We are thankful that Rufus is healing well, and we are very grateful for all of the love and concern you've shared with us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rufus Update, 4.29.10

It's been crazy-busy around here lately (with 2 kids and 3 dogs, I wonder why?!?), so here is a quick update on how Mr. Rufus is doing:

Rufus is still chilling in The Mosh Pit, wondering when the heck he's going to get to go on a real walk again. (Mama's wondering the same exact thing!)

Rufie is still in a full leg cast, and I've been taking him in once a week for bandage changes. He does have a couple of bandage sores happening, which we expected with the full leg cast. We are all (Hansens and vets) keeping a very close eye on him, and praying that no infection will develop at the surgery site. The folks at Mountain View Vet Hospital in Lacey, WA have been absolutely wonderful, especially about doing frequent bandage checks when Mama gets paranoid about Rufie's condition.

Rufus has been taking antibiotics constantly since his surgery, the first go-round was Clavamox for 4 weeks, and now he's on a new one (can't recall the name off the top of my head) for another 4 weeks. The Clavamox was to prevent infection with the metal in his bone, and this second antibiotic is to prevent the bandage sores from becoming infected. Despite the heavy antibiotic use, his gut appears to be doing remarkably well. We have him on Skoki food and Wholistic Canine Complete Joint Mobility, as well as canned pumpkin.

I'm taking the big guy back to the vet this coming Tuesday for a bandage change, and I think they're planning to cut his cast down, to below his knee, which will give him a little more mobility.

Overall, he's doing pretty well, considering he's a great big puppy with a badly broken leg!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anticipation…or…are we there YET?!?

Sunrise in my front yard, anticipating the day ahead

This month’s theme for the Art Bead Scene Blog Carnival is “Anticipation.”

For me, anticipation is a double-edged sword. While it’s exciting and pleasurable to look forward to something, it’s also frustrating to wait and a little scary because I don’t know exactly what to expect.

Here are a few ways we artists encounter anticipation on a regular basis:
  • planning, executing, and finishing our own projects
  • participating in swaps and stalking the mail delivery person for our return packages
  • patiently practicing our skills to better manifest our artistic visions
  • coping with lengthy publication schedules before we see our articles and tutorials in print
  • sitting on pins and needles before hearing the results of design competitions or approaches to galleries
For those of us who are lampwork artists, the hours between turning off the torch and opening the kiln the next day seem e-n-d-l-e-s-s.
This is what came out of the kiln this morning...mmm, pretty...
I'm eagerly anticipating what I will create with these beads!

Anticipation frustration usually happens when I’m locked into a particular outcome, or maybe because I’ve scripted something in my mind down to the gnat’s heinie. This might be a new bead or jewelry design, an event I’m planning to attend, or a collaborative project with another artist. Expecting a certain result limits the options available, and quite often sets the stage for disappointment...too, this can be a waste of creative energy that would be better used more productively.

One way I deal with anticipation frustration is by setting general goals and outlining baby steps (thank you FlyLady!) I can take to move toward those goals. This enables me to maintain my momentum, especially on large or long-term projects, despite an apparent lack of immediate progress. Too, having things written down enables me to review my plan, assess the current status, and adjust my approach, if need be. It’s kind of like heading off on a road trip with a map at your side – sure, you can take detours or unexpected stops if you choose, but the map will be there to help you get back on track.

detail of Pennsylvania map, circa 1974

It’s fun to visualize the future, but I believe it’s essential to keep an open heart and look forward with a willingness to accept and experiment with what transpires. A piece of paper posted at my art table reads:

If I knew then what I know now,
I would have been less fearful
and more trusting
that the Divine will care for me.

Reading this reminds me to stop and breathe, and make sure I’m firmly planted in the present and not freaking out about the future.

Bandage Check #1 earns an A+!!!

Rufie, doin' time in the pen...

Took Mr. Rufus in yesterday morning for the first of his weekly bandage checks...and the vet says it looks GREAT!

This is terrific news for everyone - our greatest concern at this point is Rufus developing an infection (either in the bone, because of all the metal, or on his skin, because of the full cast), which may result in him losing his leg.

Rufus' spirits are still up - and he's very interested in going for a walk, but we're not q-u-i-t-e ready for that yet (and we won't be for some time).

We will return to the vet next week on the 8th so they can split open Rufie's cast, cut it down to fit his less-swollen leg, and replace it to continue supporting all of those tiny bone fragments in the hope that they will decide to heal.

Because the vet will have to use a cast saw to bi-valve the cast, Rufus will either be heavily sedated or under anesthesia - we can't have him getting spooked or moving around while they're working on him. Sure wish they could sedate Mama too...

Michelle Buchan, one of the very talented Greyhound Pets, Inc. volunteers put together the following slide-show of adopted GPI hounds - Rufus and Sam aren't on this one, but you will see lots of happy hounds!