Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here's to a great 2009!

As the year comes to a close, I'm reminded of just how blessed I am. I'm living through the worst winter I've ever seen but I have a warm home, a snoring Pug boy and dreaming French Bulldoggy girl next to me, more hobbies than I can shake a stick at, and friends that check in on me (making sure I haven't fallen into a snow drift, I suppose)!

I wish everyone a wonderful 2009. My goals are to become more gainfully employed - that means working for someone else or turning those millions of ideas floating around in my head into that million dollar cash out (uh huh). Like everyone else, I'd like to exercise more and lose that winter (and summer and spring and fall) weight.

I'm going to take a trip - not sure where yet. Somewhere I've never been, I think. Any suggestions?

Well, in my characteristic fashion, I can't sit still so I've started a new quilt (yes, before finishing the last one) and I've been knitting the neighborhood puppers sweaters. Hey, it's cold out there! HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008


The snow makes me decidedly unproductive - but I did make myself get stuff done this week!

Knitted this hat for a friend's mother-in-law who has been going through chemo. I loved knitting this. Used Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, which is Merino and very soft.

Put some stuff in the electroforming bath -

It's snowing like nobody's business again this morning. I'll see what else I can force myself to do!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where my snowshoes at (or enough already)!

Ok - it's probably actually too early to start complaining about the snow. However, it's December 23rd and little ol' Deer Park is absolutely BURIED in snow! At one point, we got 30 inches in 24 hours. That was so last week! I can't find official totals but it *has* to be 40-45 inches by now. By comparison, last year (which was pretty terrible), we got 110-120 inches for the whole season. I am more than bummed as I am supposed to fly over to Seattle tomorrow - I don't think it's going to happen. I'll post more on my "serial hobbying" in this cabin-fever-inducing weather but in the meantime, enjoy a little of my snow chronicaling here. We had a snowstorm on the 12th that dropped about 6 inches - that was nothin'! The above photo was taken on December 21st.

This one - a few hours later - It's so hard to show the magnitude of how just how much snow this is. I can't actually get to the backyard, but if I could, it would be up to my thighs.

And yesterday -
It just keeps coming down! Temps have been hovering around zero, although I did wake up to -11F the other day.

I've become verrrry fond of the snowblower -
This is the third time this week I've had to rescue my mailbox from the snowfall and the snow plow.

Finally, my Andrew Carson kinetic wind sculpture may not be getting much action today but it is a nice, colorful distraction against all of the whiteness! If you'd like to see it day before yesterday in the mini blizzard we were having, have a look at it here -

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Yup - it's my birthday.  Kind of a non-starter really but I am going to go and have a crafting evening with my best friends in Deer Park today.  Can't think of a better way to celebrate.  Should I take my wheel? My loom? Knitting? It would only be better if my twin sis, Lya, could be here with me.  Happy birthday sis! 

Funny thing is that I just don't feel an age...some days I feel like I'm still wet behind the ears and sometimes it seems like I've been there and done that.  I do hope to have many, many more years to ponder the meaning of life though.  It's never easy but it's always interesting!

We make the most of it (well, we try, I think) and this week I've been up to my eyebrows in websites, weaving, and listing items in my Etsy store.  Here are a few goodies -  This isn't really meant to be an ad but I so rarely post my work, I thought you might like to see it.

Thanks to everyone today for the happy thoughts and well wishes - I appreciate every one of them!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Family Tree

So, finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon this week - no small feat.  I adore this series.  It's a story of time travel mixed with historical fiction and each huge book keeps me completely riveted to the end.  In these books A LOT is said about the clans of Scotland.  Since I became a weaver (ha!) last week, I started thinking...hey...somewhere on my mom's side, I think I'm Scots Irish...yeah...I wonder what my tartan woud be...I wonder if I could weave it...

So I call my mom and say, "What do you think our clan name would be if we could trace the ancestry?"  Keep in mind that most of my family is Hungarian or Austro Hungarian or German.  There's something like 1/16th that might be Scottish.  She decides that it might be "Dalrymple" from her father's mother's side.  He ended up with some middle names that included "Augustus Dalrymple" - of whom, it turns out in my research, there really was one mentioned in history.

Soooo, I look up the tartan and guess what?  No disrespect intended...none at all, but I'm not sure I like it.  It's not horrible and I may still try to weave it but here it is -

Well, you can't choose your family - but maybe you can at least find out who they were.  I'm going to research them further.  Maybe it's that I have a milestone birthday coming up - maybe it's that I think it would be a shame to forget.  No matter what, it's bound to be interesting!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weaving and Bobbing Along

What a few weeks!  I find all of the sudden that I have more time on my hands for various reasons.  That is good and bad.  More time often comes with less money, know what I mean? 

The good part is that true to my "serial hobbyist" moniker, I have now taken up weaving!  I had to go and do it - I found a used loom on Ebay.  Yes, like I needed another hobby...  It sat on the dining room table oh, for about 5 minutes, before I started pouring over the manual to learn how to warp it up.  Those people at Ashford really know how to write an instruction booklet and within an hour, I was ready to weave!  I wove and I wove...and I wove some more and finished a scarf, this time for ME (I tend to give away everything I make).  I was very excited to have finished something without any help and I think it looks pretty good!

Someone who does not look pretty good?  Why, that would be Beanie, my normally fluffy, fluffy Persian kitty boy.  However, around this time of year, he starts to get more than a little matted and being the declawed guy that he is, he bites like a son of a gun when brushed.  So, off he went to Grrs and Purrs for a little salon time.  Poor dude - does he look silly or what?  He's cold all the time now but the sweater lasted all of about 10 minutes as he kept walking backward, thinking that would get him out of it.  He's my boy - no matter what he looks like!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to (cold) reality...

Back home and while I truly didn't buy any souvenirs, I got one anyway. I believe I brought some Mexican bug with me. Anyone who knows me, knows that if I have no appetite, I must be sick!
Came home to a cold house - the furnace had decided to go out while I was gone. Again, I can probably thank my lucky stars that it wasn't the middle of winter. The pests were so happy to see me. No matter what the temperature, it's a warm welcome when you have two dogs, four cats, three rabbits and a fish vying for your attention. Annie did some might fine dancin' and Beanie McPhee asked to be picked up and purred up a storm - makes my heart hurt!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


As my birthday present (a bit early), my mom paid for me to go on a zip lines/canopy tour.  It was awesome!  The tour I took was the "Canopy Veranos" trip.  We left the hotel at about 9:30am and headed up into the mountains south of Puerto Vallarta.  It was a nice, air conditioned tour bus - for which I was eternally grateful, given the heat this week.  It took a considerable amount of time to get up to the tour site due to road construction and generally bad, narrow and bumpy roads.  The trip is gorgeous though so even the rough ride was ok.


Got to the place and had a good training on how to ride the zip lines.  Cute guides who all spoke English reasonably well.  We were outfitted with harnesses in good condition, helmets and gloves.  We flew through the air on zip line after zip line, crossing over people below us at times.  The zip lines were hard-earned as we had to climb some pretty steep stairs and steps built into the mountainside.  The air rushing across my face as I "zipped" helped to dry some of the sweat worked up from the climb.

Being the animal lover that I am, I'm not sure if I enjoyed the zip lines more or the end of the tour at which you could actually feed spider monkeys, coatimundi and pygmy marmosets.  Very cool! 

I came "home" to the hotel at 3pm happy and tired and very glad I went!


P.S.  The pygmy marmoset looks kinda sad, but rest assured, they were fat and seemed very happy with all the attention they receive.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Same cat!

Ok - had to check in again because I got a picture of my Gattito friend.  He's a sweetie pie.  He enjoyed a little snack of kitten Friskies.

It's a lazy Mexican day...

See?  Even Hector, the Iguana thinks so!  Actually, our traveling companions seem to have gotten a touch o' the "Revenge" today.  I seem to have escaped unscathed - but nonetheless, kind of lazy.  Getting lots of reading done and now I'm out on the balcony watching the clouds roll in.  I think we might be in for a bit of a storm.   

I made reservations for a "Canopy Tour" on Thursday.  14 zip lines - gonna be fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

On the Road Again...Hola!

I can't believe it's finally here - my biennial trip to Puerto Vallarta with my mom and her friends.  Actually, "biennenial" isn't quite right. Last year, the conditions just weren't happenin' for either of us and we ended up just visiting each other.


So, sand and surf and almost unbearably hot weather the first day or so but it's better today and I'm sitting on the balcony watching the iguanas in the trees, seeing peacocks on the resort grounds strut their stuff and obviously, checking in.  Went up to the Gigante supermarket this morning.  I missed it on the bus because it has apparently changed its name.  Came home and got in the pool for a bit.  Not quite lobster-ish yet but I can tell it's coming despite the lavish use of sunscreen.  Blame my heritage for the pasty whiteness.

More pix soon,


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Always in Catch Up Mode...

Hey! Where is the time going? I feel like I'm always in catch up mode - you know what I mean? Just some quick updates. Made it through August with all the shows and such. Sales - way, way down. Partly because I didn't have a lot of time to make inventory, partly because people just aren't buying. Who can blame them? We're in interesting economic times. I'm working on an article for the Women in Glass issue of Flow Magazine. Fun fun - it will have something to do with marbles and something to do with electroforming - couple of hints for you! It seems I'm connecting with friends from my past. Last weekend, I was visited from dear old friends from Seattle and today, I got a wonderful surprise from a friend in Singapore who I met 20 years ago. So nice to hear from him again! So, what's on the horizon? Article writing, maybe some teaching. Beadmaking and spinning when I have time and a trip to Puerto Vallarta in October. More soon! Janelle

Friday, August 1, 2008

August is BUSY!

Obviously, I made it back from the Con - tired and happy, I might add. On Sunday, we wandered the somewhat less crowded vendor floor once again, haunting the book publisher booths. Picked up some authors I haven't read - now I just have to find the time to actually READ! I started a "real" job this week, which means more social interaction, more brain stimulation, (more money =) but decidedly LESS time. Oh well - it happens. Next week is the International Society of Glass Beadmakers big get together (a.k.a. the Gathering) in Oakland, CA. I am the merchandise coordinator so I'll be occupied. It's wonderful to see people once a year though and along with that comes with getting to see some real talent and beautiful beads. When I get back, I'll immediately get ready for "Glass on the Grass" - a nice outdoor show at Gonzaga University in Spokane and then a weekend later is the Arbor Crest Winery show - at which I'm also a vendor. Someday I'll find time to take and post pix of the beads...maybe that day will come this weekend. We'll see!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Comic-Con - Day Three

I made it through a day of really fun and interesting panels!  Any Con attendee will tell you that if you get a decent spot in Ballroom 20 or Hall H and if the programming is good, you'd better just sit back for the long haul and enjoy the entertainment.

This morning started out with a panel on Futurama.  I love seeing Matt Groening, Billy West, Katie Segal and others. They showed some hilarious footage that reminded me why Futurama is my favorite animated show ever!  After the Futurama panel, it naturally rolled into a Simpson's panel.  Interesting but none of the voice talent was there.  Not being a 2-D artist myself, I think I love these types of panels, mainly for catching a glimpse of the people who "do" the voices. 

Next was a really fascinating hour with Dean Koontz.  I can't really say I'm a fan as I've been living under a rock and NOT reading his stuff.  I'll have to pick up a few of the books though and give him more of a try.

I had no interest in the next panel for a new Joss Whedon series coming out on Fox early next year called "Dollhouse" but after seeing the trailer and hearing from the actors, I'm actually excited about watching the pilot.  The premise is that there is an agency that will provide a "doll" or (there was another name for them but I've forgotten) for anyone willing to pay enough.  They have taken actual people, erased their memories and then "load" them with the character of who they are now supposed to be.  If I'm wrong about this assessment, it's what I saw in the trailer.  Looks like it will be good.

Finally, I sat through the Battlestar Galactica panel - which was just awesome!  I love the show so getting to see the cast together onstage was really a treat.  There's a new series coming out too called "Caprica" that makes me want to watch all the early episodes of BSG that I missed.

Here are some pix from the day!


Dean Koontz
Battlestar Galactica

Friday, July 25, 2008

Comic-Con Day Two Part Two

Wow!  Another great day!  I spent much of my time today in "Hall 20" - the HUGE room I talked about earlier.  First, I saw the cast of SG-1 - they're promoting their new straight-to-DVD movie called "Continuum".  Then, I saw a preview of the upcoming video game, "Stargate Worlds" and finally, on that theme, I saw a panel for "Stargate Atlantis".  Fun, fun - really!  Each member of both casts were so funny and outgoing.  It made for an entertaining time. 

Let's see, besides the gaggle of creatively dressed people I saw today, I was smiled at by Dennis Miller (of SNL fame), who was walking around pretty much as a normal conference attendee, I spotted Erin Grey (always at the Con), Eric Estrada, Simon Pegg, Lou Ferigno, Corey Feldman, and several other "less than fresh" stars.  I also sat through the "Bones" panel - lots of funny, pretty people like David Boreanus.

On to the pix!

From Continuum -

From Stargate Atlantis

From the exhibitor hall -
And for Lori - it's a terrible pic but a friend of mine DID get in to see Keanu yesterday so here is a blurry, blurry view of him this year!

Comic-Con Photos!

First official day of Comic-Con.  What an event!  There are 125,000 people here from all over the world.  People watching is just fascinating.  Besides the fact that there are people dressed up like Wonder Woman, fairies and the ever present Storm Troopers - the tattoos, piercings, and clothing choices are certainly unique.

Today, we ate breakfast at Seaport Village and proceeded to spend some time perusing the convention/vendor hall.   It is soooo jam packed that it's hard to move but the booths are wonderful.  Publishers offer free books to get you hooked on an author, toy companes hold raffles aplenty and artists sit and wait to show you their portfolio and to hopefully sell some prints.  Often, you can commission them to draw a superhero or to simply fill a page of your book with their own brand of art. 

We did manage to see one panel - the lines to get into these things are the longest I have ever, ever seen.  We got into the "Twilight" panel.  It is always exciting to see the director, writer and most of the cast members of a movie onstage - even if the best view you get is the Jumbotron-like screens positioned throughout the massive and packed-to-the-gills hall.  I love the vampire-themed "Twilight" books and I think the movie(s) might do them justice.  The youngish-actors were probably scared to death and were more than a little scattered.  Other panels with seasoned actors usually offer a little more insight into their respective movies.  Lori, I do apologize, but we couldn't get in to see Keanu.  The picture from last time will have to keep you contented!

Here are a few pix I snapped today.  More tomorrow!

Star Wars fans must be in heaven!  Those Storm Troopers were at the Lucas Films/Arts booth but I believe they are just normal folk who delight in donning their Trooper outfits every year.  The huge Jabba the Hutt (oh my gosh - where was my brain?  I was tired last night when I originally posted this and totally misidentified the big guy) statue is really impressive.
Life-sized versions of the "Ugli Dolls".  Characters like this patrol the length of the convention floor promoting their booths.
Anime is king here and often, you get to see new dolls, toys and other products before they are officially released.   I like this series of dolls.