Sign up for Creative Jump Start 2012

There is still one day left to sign up for Creative Jump Start 2012. This is the brainchild of my dear German friend Nathalie Kalmbach, who managed to get 31 artists and designers to offer their best pieces of advice on inspiration and how to get out of the creative doldrums. It was a huge undertaking for Nat to accomplish, not that the participants weren’t thrilled to be asked — but just that we had to get our assignments turned in December, which isn’t the easiest time of year to take on additional work.

Then Nat had to do the really hard work of compiling the information, writing the intros, handling the sign ups etc. All that effort is going to be worth is though as she has put together a really amazing program and its all FREE. Yes, free. Just sign up.

I only mention all the work that went into it because I think sometimes we don’t recognize fully the amount of love and effort people in creative community put out for the our love of art and design and collaboration. I truly am honored to be one of the artists featured in the program, and I can’t wait to check in on a daily basis to see what great advice the others have to share.

Check out Nathalie’s post on Creative Jump Start 2012 for more information and how to subscribe.

Reflection on LASIK


I feel like those movies when a person goes into confession with the priest. Forgive me, father, it’s been a week since my last blog post. A lot has happened because part of that was spent enjoying the holiday celebrations with my family and cooking for 14 people on Christmas Day.

I started at 6:30 a.m. when my son woke us and his baby sister up to see what Santa Claus brought under the tree. He was good though, teaching sissy that they had to take turns opening presents so we could all enjoy what Santa brought. After breakfast, I began all the preparations to make a huge holiday meal and pretty much stayed in the kitchen until everyone arrived. I love cooking and am pretty good at it, so it was an enjoyable time.

Many of the days leading up to Christmas were spent healing my eyes from LASIK. I’ve had poor vision most of my life. I remember when my teacher told my mom I needed glasses. I was 13 years old and, unfortunately, had already spent a lot of my childhood being picked on for being chubby and sensitive and artistic. When it came time to select my glasses, I cried and begged for contact lenses. I remember saying to her…”Mom, the kids are all so mean, please don’t give them another reason to call me names.” Fortunately, she allowed me to get contact lenses in addition to glasses, even though we didn’t have the money for the extra expense, and I’ve been wearing them ever since.

I’ve been interested in LASIK for at least a decade. For some reason, I decided this was the time to take the plunge. I did my research, found a good facility, checked to ensure the doctor had excellent credentials and was licensed, that the facility was in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and read everything I could in the company’s literature and on the Internet. What I failed to do was get more information on monovision. The topic came up during my eye exam to see if I was a good LASIK candidate.

Monovision is when your eyes are corrected differently with the laser. One is corrected for distance and the other for reading. The theory is that our eyes change as we age and without the correction, we will still need reading glasses. They gave me an example of what my vision would look like and it seemed great. The pre-op doctor told me that some people’s brains have trouble adjusting to monovision, but most adjusted fine.

I had no idea that I could have gone to my eye doctor and asked for monovision contacts to see how I would adjust. I wish I had done that because it would have changed my decision. My bad for not knowing all the facts.

I’m 11 days into LASIK now and my eyes are healing well. The first few days were rough. Not seeing well, not adapting to the monovision change and serious dry eyes even with all the drops. Apparently, my eyes healed quickly and the drops given after the surgery dehydrated my eyes which caused my vision to stay wonky. I’ve been taking Restasis for 5 days to get moisture back into my eyes from the inside out and things are looking up (pun intended).

We went on a nature walk the Saturday and I was amazed to see the snow-capped mountains in the distance from my right eye as clear as I’ve ever seen. It was magical. Reading is getting a little better out of my left eye, but being on the computer is really tough. I have to start writing my book manuscript soon and I pray all heals before that deadline lands.

I have another follow-up appointment this week to see how the Restasis is helping. I know for a fact LASIK worked, but there’s still more fine tuning to do. I’m seriously hoping my brain will switch soon to monovision and all will be well. This is a lot of personal stuff, which I rarely share on my blog, but I know there are some folks who are worried about me. I wanted to let them know I’m doing better every day even though it is frustrating to not be 100%.

I seriously hope many of you are still enjoying time off this week or still more family time leading up to the New Year. Best wishes!

A Sight To Behold


Please forgive the little break I’m about to take on my blog, but it’s not something I can really control. You see, I decided to do LASIK eye surgery on Friday as my birthday present to myself. Unlike the miracle ads where people wake up the next day and can see 20/20 vision, I still have yet to regain my full vision.

The procedure definitely worked. My vision is much better that it was before (which was very poor without my contacts/glasses), but it’s not well enough that I can effectively live my normal life right now, and it feels somewhat devastating at the moment. The LASIK Center tells me to have patience and healing takes time. My friends and family are being so supportive too. I know all is well and that it will be OK. I trust I was well-taken care of. I’m not supposed to be on the computer or reading or working, which is terribly hard for me.

I’m taking a healing leave of absence until after Christmas. That means no blogging, no Facebook, no Twitter and no texting. Is this hard? Heck yes! But I also feel like this is a life lesson right now in taking care of myself. I’m going to chill out, rest my eyes, take some much-needed family time this week, and keep affirming to myself that all is well and that my Christmas miracle of perfect vision will be here before Santa’s arrival.

Here’s wishing all of you a very Artful Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza.

Facebook Family

Yesterday was my birthday. It’s not a milestone number by any means and I still have work to do, so I thought it would be kind of like any other day.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I grabbed my coffee and my iPad, like I do most mornings. My daughter and I snuggle while I check email and Facebook for 20 minutes or so before we have to get ready for the day.

When I went on my Facebook page at 7:30 am my time, I had so many well wishes that I was surprised. The sweet comments kept rolling in as the day progressed, and by 3 p.m. West Coast time, I was truly overwhelmed with emotion from all the love from my Facebook friends.

I’ve said this often to people who ask about my job. I work from home in my quiet little messy studio making art, writing and working with Susan and the ICE Resin team members. I travel to teach five or six times a year, but I mostly live in my fuzzy slippers and comfy artist clothes.

When I hear from literally hundreds of people birthday wishes and sweet comments about me or my work, I just feel beyond blessed for my life and for this tight mixed-media art community of talented friends.

Thank you Facebook for allowing me to connect daily with these amazing people. Considering that I thought it was a nothing special birthday, it turned put to be one of my best days ever.

Here’s wishing all of you a truly Artful day!

Creative Jumpstart 2012


I promised you an announcement today, so here it is. My wickedly-talented friend Nathalie Kalbach came up with a superb idea to help people across the globe get out of the winter blahs we all sometimes feel as creative beings. It’s called Creative Jumpstart Summit 2012.

With more than a dozen talented ladies participating, including some names you know well like Heidi Swapp, Rhonna Farrar, Donna Downey, Julie Fei Fan Balzer from the USA and other big time designers from Germany and France, etc. there is a lot of wisdom to draw from. I feel so lucky to be included in this amazing group of crafting experts.

Each of us will be doing a short video telling how we find inspiration when our Muses are not as active as we’d like them to be. I’ve been thinking about my video and what I’d like to say. I haven’t actually done the video yet, but it’s percolating in my brain. I can’t wait to visit all the blogs and see what others have come up with on this important subject.

Be sure to click on Nathalie’s video teaser to see who all is participating. Turn the sound up loud, because just the music alone may spark some inspiration in you. Stay tuned for more information as the Summit progresses. I’ll be adding updates as I know more.

MIA and Deadlines


It’s that crazy time of year where we have all our normal work to do and then pile holiday festivities on top of it. For me, there is the added deadline of my book. All of my projects are due this Friday and I’ve been like a little elf in my studio working my metal like a madwoman. This is why I’ve been MIA on my blog.

Today’s post is just a small one to let everyone know that I will be back to the routine very soon. It’s also a teaser to ask you to please return here on Thursday, Dec. 15th for a very special announcement of an online project that I’m participating in with more than a dozen amazing creative women in our industry. I can’t say anymore, except to come back in 2 days to read all about it.

As I work today in my studio, I’m looking at a winter wonderland of snow. There is a baby deer and her mama who have bedded down in a nice warm spot under the eves of our house right next to our central heater. They look up whenever I start pounding away with my hammer, but the noise doesn’t frighten them enough to move from their toasty little home. The pic above is taken in my front yard. Winter certainly makes for some beautiful pictures.

Teaching Q&A’s

The best part about teaching is seeing students get in the new techniques. Here is my fellow instructor Liz Hicks and the so talented Camille McClelland, ask Wonder Cam

My December column is live as of today on Since I’ve just returned from the most amazing time being one of 3 instructors at Seaside Soiree, I thought I would tackle the topic of teaching. It’s a subject I know many people are interested it, so I give some insight as to how I began my journey as a mixed-media educator, along with some helpful hints on terminology and getting started.

I hope you get a moment to check it out. There are four contributing editors and each of us writes a column that stays up for a week at a time.

Speaking of Seaside, here are some pics of me and my incredible students creating wondrous goodies with ICE Resin and SLK handcrafted bezels.