Making a Video!

November 11, 2014

I know I have been rather quiet of late… I am in the midst of my wonderful, new project: teaching online for I have been in the pre-production phase for many weeks now. What does that mean? It involves creating a 7 part video first. The video comes down to figuring out what is important to teach, how to say it and show it as well as creating the pieces that show the methods on the way to the end result in at least 3 steps plus the finished piece: so think 4 pieces for each 'chapter' or segment. Wow. That's busy!

We film the video next week! I'm so excited to do this! But here is what happens as an artist: cycles of pure confidence in what I know and can teach but then…a crises of confidence: consuming nervous anticipation that I'll be a total flub on camera. It's crazy. Where does this come from? I know what I know. I can only be me. They can edit, stop, start, reshoot, edit and did I mention EDIT? BREATHE! It'll be fun. REEEEALLLLY!


   So I haven’t posted here in quite awhile.  I was slammed at work and life for months.  Then I went to teach at Bead Fest Philadelphia in August and on the way back to Seattle I stopped in Colorado to attend an invitational retreat that I have been trying to get to for years.  Just before leaving I realized that I can’t work like this anymore.  There isn’t any break from the demand, no time to create, everybody always wants my help with something.  This isn’t the life I would choose for myself but here it is.  So before I left I told one college that I wouldn’t be teaching for them anymore.  I also decided that I will not be going out on the road so much anymore.  As much as I love my adventures it is clear that it’s very disruptive.  It takes a lot of time to organize everything, order materials for kits and classes, maintain inventory of the materials, count everything single thing for kits, pay for every single thing…I could go on and on.  Let’s just say that I’m currently a couple thousand dollars out and impatiently waiting to get paid (they take 40 days for goodness sake – ridiculous!).  So why would anyone want that job? I don’t.

  Unbelievably, I got a phone call today for work (on SUNDAY morning, I was barely awake).  It was business.  No emergency.  Just somebody wanting something and they have my cell phone number.  Really?  It couldn’t wait for a business day?  If I were teaching this weekend I would be juggling this call and a class at the same time? Ugh.

  Before I left I was awakened almost every day by a text message or a phone call.  I was scrambling around trying to get everything together to all hours of the night and people were waking me up 5 hours after I went to bed.

   It occurs to me to say: it’s my phone for MY needs.  Please don’t call me before 9 AM.

  So beyond the venting here there is a real life.  The real life I am choosing includes working in my studio, seeing my husband, cleaning my kitchen and even painting downspouts for the house.  Because I don’t work every minute.  No one ever said on their death bed: gosh, I wish I had worked more…

Worthy Creative Advice

July 2, 2014

“Identify the primary distraction that keeps you from your creative work and deal with it. If you have an issue, be it weight, lack of exercise or family worries, do your best to resolve that issue or reduce it's power of distraction on your time and energy.” – Julieanne Kost (of Adobe Systems)

As I dive into a renewed commitment to my own creative efforts this quote is my scale. It is especially appropriate since I am slowly moving into using Lightroom and yes, that which I have avoided for years: Photoshop. I have always maintained that a good photographer shouldn't need to do much in software if an image is shot properly. I still believe this. Yes, a crop or exposure tweak after the fact may be needed but all the bells and whistles of Photoshop are not required. I realize that Photoshop has become a standard tool and by avoiding it I am just being contrary. Sometimes that's just how I roll.

But now I have owned Lightroom for about six months. I have barely had time to really get to know it. I have found by using the cataloging feature that I have tens of thousands of photographs. It will probably take me years to troll through them much less learn how to use Lightroom. I know… it must be time for a class to shorten my learning curve. After setting Lightroom onto my photographs to catalog them, I had to own that I am a photographer. I should just stop being quiet about it (since it was staring me in the face) and own that since I actually have about 15,000 or more photographs I've taken just from the last 5 or 6 years. Click happy me.

So in an effort to reduce the power of distraction on my time and energy I am going to stop teaching. I already spend a lot of time mentoring artists every day at ArtWorks and through the EDGE Program each Winter. I have come to realize that one can only mentor so much and I need my own creative time.

Light Dawns at the End of the Day, Meredith Arnold, 2014

I have a lot of jewelry to make and am excited about the prospect of digital collage as well as a lot of other projects I have in mind. Onward and upward!



Artist’s are always saying ‘I just want to make stuff’. It’s not so easy sometimes. I’m sure we all know that I had my arm reconstructed. Things have been improving over this last year and a half until…this last month or so. I was beginning to think I undid my surgery somehow, (hauling luggage?). Then last week I get a hard painful lump right under some of the smaller incision scars that I have. By the next day the thing is standing up like a cartoon lump on Popeye’s head. Ahh, so that’s where this pain has been coming from. What to do? My Dr tells me it’s a ganglion cyst and to see my hand surgeon this week. Really? Again? And here I have all these trips going this year, hauling luggage and equipment. When will there be time to deal with this?

Of course I’ve backed off from using my hand but carrying everything on one side throws out my back. Sigh. I just want to make stuff.

Be it ever so humble…

April 1, 2008

                        Silk Sequin Bead           Silk Bead            Silk Bead2         

So this ambitious teaching tour for Spring has begun. It started with teaching in Portland this last weekend  and will ultimately end in Phoenix in May. Points in between include Philadelphia, Orlando and Miami.

   Along with all of this traveling is included a once in a lifetime event: being interviewed on video on both coasts in one week.

   In Portland I was video-viewed by Karen Landey, Video Producer of Indie Arts DVD magazine, (  This is a great way to ‘read’ a magazine.  Karen has created this visual formatted magazine to provide those nuggets that we all seek in our work. The gallery sections are a visual feast of inspiration and each artist interview has something for everyone – that little thing said that makes a light bulb go off over your head.  Each DVD is almost two hours long and past issues contain interviews with Nick Bantock, Michael de Meng, Claudine Hellmuth,  and tons more. There is a viewing guide for each issue which gives info on each segment for each DVD.

  In Philadelphia I will be taping a segment for PBS (Beads, Baubles and Jewels)while I’m at Bead Fest-Wire.  How crazy is that?

  While I’m in Orlando I will be presenting a lecture and demo on PMC at Full Sail, a film, design, art and media school. This is a dynamic place that offers programs in animation, multi-media, art and design programs. The technology alone is very exciting – they have a huge vid screen on their back lot that shows their students creations.  You get a glimpse of this when you go to their website:    I can’t wait to see what they do first hand. Especially things about building maquettes, (small models of architecture or characters for animating).

  The more I learn, the better I can mentor others with whatever they wish to do.  This is important to me as a teacher and as an artist. I always learn as much or more as I teach. Especially from my students.

  Isn’t life grand? But I’m sure once all is said and done and I have taught all of these classes, I will be happy to go home in May to my own studio. As a teacher I see my students brains clicking away with amazing ideas and of course, I have my own ideas and no way to follow them up. By the time I get home I’ve often forgotten a whole host of things that I wanted to make.  But the good thing is that there is always something formulating or percolating to follow up on.