Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I've had two orders for my soaps already (thanks Marcia and Jan!) which I'm excited about. I should say that you need to tell me what kind of soap you want on the paypal page in the comments/instructions section. You will have to scroll down to the bottom of the page as it isn't immediately obvious where that section is.

I learned the hard way that I wasn't charging enough for postage, so I've adjusted it. If you're only ordering 1-2 bars I will refund part of the shipping but most people are ordering enough to warrant the higher rate. Also, I've had enquiries from people in the UK wanting to know about shipping. Unfortunately it is steep, about $10 for 3-4 bars of soap. The good thing is, the soap itself is very affordable so you may feel it's worth it.

Thanks to all of you who have been an encouragement to me in this endeavor.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

soap galore

I've made an awful lot of soap lately and have been asked to post photos online so I am obliging. I have other kinds and can make just about any scent, so don't be shy about asking.

pomegranate, red rose & thyme, and cedarwood/thyme

peppermint refreshment soap in a loofah, oatmeal & calendula, and magic mint

green tea and lemongrass, honey/almond, and citrus/pomegranate

mango mint shampoo bar, sandalwood/cinnamon, citrus/chamomile

These are available for $2 per bar, plus shipping if I have to send it to you. The paypal button has a US shipping amount of $3.95. If you live in another country I'm happy to ship to you but the shipping amount will be more. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Friday, October 16, 2009

and now for something completely different

Or maybe not so different, when you think about it.

I am adding a line of hand milled soaps and other bath items to my usual for-sale repertoire. This new range will include bath and beauty soaps as well as scented bath salts and "fizzies". I plan to put a link to PayPal on this site so that items can be purchased directly from me. I've got lots of Facebook friends interested in these products, some who do not live near me, so hopefully this will facilitate their shopping.

Hope you are all well.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30 already.

My parents and siblings and I at Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary party in July

Hello, dear blogfriends.

I got a message from Liz wishing me well so I thought I'd better check in. As predicted in my last post I have had a frenetically busy summer and now into autumn as well. I have arts festivals every other weekend and sometimes successive weekends from now through November so I am scrambling to keep enough stock on hand to see me through. It's a good thing though!

My dh turns 50 in a few days and I'm planning a surprise party for him--don't worry, he never reads my blog.

The kids are fine, Chris enjoying just working and saving up money for future education and Dylan a happy 4th grader. Can't believe he'll be 10 soon.

I need to think about getting out the dye supplies again as silk scarves are always a hit at fall/winter shows.

I hope you are all doing well. I'll try to check in on your blogs.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Hello all--Gone a long time again, things are just very busy. But I thought I'd give a little update even though, as usual, I have no photos to back up my story.

Let's see...son Chris graduated from high school at the end of May and turned 19 the next day, so there was a lot of celebrating going on. He now has blue hair. Don't ask. He also won a 2nd prize ribbon for a really nice reduction print at the county student art show, we're very proud of him.

Dylan is enjoying the summer. He's had tennis lessons for a month, goes to the water park, and is participating in the library's summer reading plan.

Our married kids, Adam & Emily, are doing fine. They seem to have adjusted well to being wed.

David and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary in May. My parents observed 50 years just last month and all my siblings and their families will be here in a couple of weeks for a reception and family dinner in their honor.

I have a busy summer and fall planned art wise, with several shows and artist-in-residence opportunities. I recently had the honor of being asked to exhibit my jewelry in the gallery of a noted sculptor, Dr. Richard Bergen, whose statue "Ad Astra" is atop the dome of the Kansas State Capitol building. The reception/gallery walk for that is actually this evening. Here's Dr. Bergen's website http://www.bergensculpture.com/index.htm

We have decided to convert more of our basement area to studio space, more for my son and husband (both into glass) than for me, although I will set up my 2 kilns in that room. David enjoys stained glass and we're all anxious to explore fused and slumped glass, plus Chris can have his torch permenantly set up.

So life is busy but good. I will make a valiant effort to take and post more photos. Especially of Chris's hair.

Oh, I forgot to mention I have lost a total of 37 lb. to date, with the help and support of my nutritionist Suzanne. I'm doing Pilates, walking, and gardening for exercise.

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying summer or winter, whichever hemisphere you're in.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

this and that

Surprise!! Two posts in two days.

I don't know why this is, but whenever I am of necessity pushing one medium exclusively I get a near overwhelming urge to do another. In this case I've been making a lot of jewelry for my upcoming shows in various places, and I'm DYING to make mixed media. Aaargh! Maybe I'll check out doing some mixed media jewelry and take care of both things at once. It's an idea, anyway.

I wanted to share this photo of our new library stained glass windows, part of the much-needed library renovation and expansion finished recently. Since it isn't my photo I'm posting a link to where it is on twitter http://twitpic.com/53b0l These are in the adult section. The children's section at the other end of the building has its own three wonderful kid-related windows including one of a reading dragon. They're gorgeous.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a wonderful surprise

I have just had a most embarrassing and yet gratifying experience.

It all started on Saturday evening at a reception held at the VAAM Gallery for the guest artists involved in the new mixed media exhibit there. The place was packed, and everyone was having fun eating the marvelous chocolate goodies provided by the VAAM board and conversing as much as they could amidst the din of that crowded space. I noticed an older man looking at my necklace display, so I made my way over and chatted with him for awhile. He identified himself as an artist from Salina, a larger town about 30 miles north of McPherson. He said he had his own studio and participates in the monthly open studios tour in the art district up there, and asked if I'd be interested in exhibiting my jewelry in his gallery. Of course, I jumped at the chance. He ended up buying the necklace and asked me to hold it until he could get me the money. I took it home with me and waited to hear from him.

On Monday morning he called and asked if he could drive down and pick up the necklace. We arranged for him to come to my office. He did, and brought his son who is also an artist. Since there was much better opportunity to chat in my office than there had been in the noisy gallery I asked him about his history, etc. He is a painter and bronze sculptor, and as a young man came to the midwest to study Birger Sandzen, Kansas' answer to the French impressionist movement. 

It wasn't until after he left and I looked up his studio website that I discovered to my utter shock that he is Dr. Richard Bergen, the sculptor whose work is atop the Kansas state capitol building (see below), part of memorials, and in many private collections. In other words, he's rather a celebrity in these parts. Obviously an unassuming man since he mentioned not one word to me. My embarrassment was mitigated somewhat in that, although I hadn't recognized his name, I definitely recognized his work.

You can read more about the history of this sculpture here and see Dr. Bergen's website here. And this lovely man wants to exhibit my jewelry in his gallery. My goodness.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

you know it's been a long time since your last post when...

...you have trouble remembering your password.

I am here and all is well. There's a lot going on in our family right now, and life is just very busy. Our second boy, Christopher, will graduate from high school in a little more than a week, so we've been doing graduation parties and receptions for him and other graduates. Also, this week is our city (actually county) celebration of All Schools Day, the 96th annual event. It is a HUGE deal here. Nothing gets done the last 2-3 days of the week except one fun thing after another, including a parade, a carnival with actual big rides and games, concerts, art shows (I'm in 2) and other assorted hilarity.

My brother and his wife from Kansas City will be down for the hoo
pla, and we'll all have dinner together Friday evening. Saturday my mother and I are going on a walking tour of stained glass in the downtown area, including old and new installations. The new library expansion includes 6 huge and wonderful stained glass windows. By the way, for those of you who remember that my mom has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer, she's feeling good and only has 2 more weekly treatments before she's done, hopefully forever. She does appreciate your well wishes. 

I have four, count 'em, FOUR art shows lined up for this summer/fall, including one next month at the Flint Hills Symphony in southeast Kansas, one in September at the Fair on the Square in Lyons, then two in October, the Halstead Fine Arts and Crafts show, and my all-time favorite event, Artful Taste of Autumn. So I'm going to be even more busy. Not to mention, I currently have several mixed media/fibers pieces on exhibit at a local coffee house. Not bad for someone who only makes art in her (precious) spare time.

Since I still do not know what's up with my camera and couldn't even find it last time I went to look for it, I have no pictures of anything I've mentioned in this post. However, I have stolen a photo of the shoes I have on today, which I thought might tickle your fancy. Mine are like these, only lime green. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

dylan can see!!

A couple of weeks ago Dylan came home complaining he couldn't read the writing on the overhead projector. So it was off to the optometrist, and this is the result. He's doing well with them although he's left them on the floor a couple of times. He's holding Paul Revere as he was interpreted for a biographical report Dylan gave at school.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

joyous easter

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Matthew 28:1-9

Wishing everyone a blessed and peaceful Easter Sunday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

behold the man

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything-
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

at last, a couple of photos

Courtesy of my mother, who let me borrow her little uploading gizmo, I finally have a couple of recent jewelry photos to post. Even then, the color isn't very good but you'll get the idea. The first is a series of three necklaces, kind of all on a theme, five short strands of mixed pearls and crystals, finished with bead cones and chain to the back of the neck, then closed with lobster clasps. I thought they turned out rather well.

This (or something similar) is what I will send to be juried to the Flinthills Symphony art show soon. The silver pendant was made with PMC impressed with Kansas prairie grass for the texture, then set with a champagne CZ.

Since our big snowfall last weekend we had two smaller ones, including this morning. Yesterday it was 75 degrees, today 40 with snow. Argh.

Friday, April 3, 2009

a wonderful gift

We have some dear friends who have just purchased a new home and found something in the basement they weren't entirely sure about. He thought it might be some kind of dishwasher or other appliance. Hmmm. Well guess what--it's a big electric KILN and they're GIVING IT TO ME!! I'm fainting from the hyperventilating. I truly cannot believe it. We may have to rewire the house for it, but by golly, whatever it takes I think we'll do. Thankfully I have a husband who is handy at that sort of thing.

In other news, we may be getting another 6" of snow this weekend. Grrr.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

a new/old photo

I came across this old photo of my husband (before he was my husband) and I in our college days. We were young.

I am feeling much better, thanks for all your good wishes.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

snowed in and tummy travails

I must say it's just as well we couldn't go anywhere this weekend because we've been visited with a stomach virus. I won't go into any details; suffice it to say a little of that goes a long way. I may indulge myself and take a day off work tomorrow. I surely won't be much good in my present state.

I hope the rest of you are in fighting form.

Friday, March 27, 2009

we only thought it was spring--blizzard ahead

I'm getting rather sick of winter weather, especially since we've had such a nice bit of spring in between. We're forecast for up to 15" of snow here today (blizzard warning) and no one is thrilled. Except for the kids, of course.

I had nice daffodils and crocus blooming. This should put paid to that. However, starting on Sunday we will be in another warm up so at least the white stuff won't stay around long. And we really do need the moisture.

It has been announced that Art in the Garden will not be held this year. It went on for eight years running, so it's not surprising that in this small community they were running out of willing gardeners. Maybe it can turn into an every-other-year event. I hope it doesn't go away altogether. So I have (hopefully) three art shows this year. That's still plenty.

I hope it's more clement weather where you are!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

don't give up on me

Oh dear, awol again.

I can only plead extreme busy-ness and a camera that suddenly won't let me plug it in to the computer to upload photos. And maybe I'm kind of distracted and unmotivated. No excuse, really, but that's the story.

I will post enough to say that I'm fine, my family is fine, and things are actually going well. Also, for anyone who is interested, I have lost about 20 lb. by now, so I'm pleased with that.

I have a couple of exciting opportunities coming up this summer. One is a chance to exhibit (if my work gets past the jury process) at an event called the Flinthills Symphony, featuring the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra giving a concert in a pasture in eastern Kansas. Should be fun. There's a similar but smaller show in a small town near here that I'm also planning to participate in, plus the annual Art in the Garden and Artful Taste of Autumn events. I think four shows seems like enough, especially since I'm still exhibiting at the VAAM Gallery and there is such a thing as spreading yourself too thin.

The newlyweds are getting along fine. The usual adjustment phase I think, learning how to live together. It's a good thing they'd dated for three years before they married. At least they had maybe an inkling of how life would be.

I am now going to check in on all the blogs I've been neglecting these few weeks. I hope to do better in the future, and especially to work on getting my camera to cooperate so I don't have to post without photos.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

kyrie eleison

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

from Psalm 51, New International Version

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

fat tuesday (mardi gras)

I don't usually pay too much attention to the day before Ash Wednesday, but circumstances alter cases sometimes. In the next couple of days I look forward to taking delivery of the following:
I saw this jacket on ebay and had to have it. $7.99 brand new.

This is my little kiln. The firebox is only 6" square, but that should be fine for PMC and warm glass projects.

In other news, I am currently working with our local hospital's nutritionist to get my weight under control. I see her for a weigh in every other week. She keeps me honest and is a darling person with whom I enjoy talking. I've lost 9 lb. so far.

Fat Tuesday, indeed.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

congratulations to dylan

On the very day of Adam and Emily's reception Dylan participated in his boy scout troop's pinewood derby and came in SECOND!! He was so excited and proud. So we had lots to celebrate on that day.

We're gradually getting back to normal around here post wedding. I've been able to spend some time in my studio creating things, and have taken the plunge and purchased a small electric kiln to fire my PMC pieces and maybe try some warm glass techniques. I'm very excited to get it, and so is Christopher who has been wanting a kiln for his own glass projects. Should be fun.

I've been enjoying getting more or less caught up on people's blogs. If anyone is on facebook, I'm there too as of a few weeks ago. We can be buddies!

Monday, February 16, 2009

mission accomplished

I'm happy to say everyone survived the wedding and related festivities. It was really a lovely ceremony, performed by my brother which added so much to the meaningfulness of the day.

This is one of two alter bouquets, made by me. Actually I did all the flowers but the mothers' corsages.

Ring pillow--I made this.

Guest book--I made this. (I'm detecting a theme here.)

Cutting the wedding cake, which I did not make. Did the flowers, though. Aren't they sweet kids?

I love the look on Emily's face in this shot.
So now I have a daughter-in-law. They are very happy. Life is good.
We will now commence regular programming.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

no time to talk

As you might imagine I have been rather busy with work and wedding plans. The event is this coming Thursday evening, with a reception the following Saturday. After the wedding itself there will be a dinner for everyone attending the private ceremony.

Adam and Emily have asked me to create their wedding guest book, so I've been busy with that among many other things. I will definitely photograph it, and will post the photo along with wedding candids.

I hope you are all well. Thank you for the kind comments recently. I will leave you with a snap of the happy couple.
Adam and Emily Shepard, 2/12/09

Monday, January 26, 2009

brain storm

I was thinking over the weekend (surprise!) and am mulling over a couple of things. First, I'm thinking of marketing handmade books for wedding albums and guest books, baby books, keepsake books, etc. You may remember the guest book I made for my brother Brad and his new wife last summer:

I would have some in stock but would be able to do custom work as well.

Also, I'm considering setting up shop on the 'net selling accessories for larger ladies (of which I am one). It is often difficult to find jewelry, especially, sized for larger wrists, and tiny delicate things can get lost on generous bosoms. I'd probably limit this to jewelry and scarves at first. I'm also trying to figure out the best venue for marketing these things.

Tell me what you think.

Friday, January 23, 2009

coming up for air

Between working, wedding preparations, and studio work I haven't had much time to blog lately. However, I did manage to take a few photos of some of my recent jewelry. I always forget it's hard to shoot a good photo in my very pink studio--somehow everything has a rosy cast. Anyway, here they are:

Strands of mixed size and color pearls, with a fine silver and CZ pendant made by me.

This is odds and ends of various green beads with a large fine silver pendant bead I made. Whenever I can string a pendant I made myself along with the beads it makes the finished piece feel more like my own.

A nice dichroic pendant with strands of carnelian, pineapple quartz, and jasper.

This is the necklace I made to wear at Adam & Emily's wedding. Cultured biwa and button pearls in a glowing off-white with tiny crystals strung between.

Tomorrow is my day to work at the VAAM Gallery downtown. I always enjoy a studio day but I've been so busy I haven't any idea what I'll take to work on. Better get to it!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I've actually accomplished quite a bit lately but haven't photographed anything. I made some rather nice jewelry over the weekend, plus finalized some wedding plans and sent out more invitations/announcements. Since we've had a short time frame to get all this accomplished, it has seemed that everything has happened in kind of a rush. However, it is all getting done, which is the main thing.

I hope you are all well. I will return soon with photos.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

happy birthday to adam

Today is my oldest son's birthday--22 years. I always thought it was funny when older people would say, "It seems like only yesterday" that something had happened, but now I know what they meant. It surely can't have been all that long ago, but it was.

This is Adam in my husband's arms, just a few minutes old. I was in no shape to be photographed. What must be going through a newborn's mind at this point, I wonder?

This is Adam in the 4th grade, age 9. Wasn't he handsome!

And here he is now, with his fiancee Emily. They make a very nice looking couple.

Happy birthday, Adam. We love you, we're proud of you, and we pray God's blessing on you always.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

bridal jewelry

Just a brief post before bed to show off the wedding jewelry I made for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law Emily. Tiny cream button pearls, champagne colored crystals, and 2mm sterling beads. I think it will be lovely with her gown. She's going to be a beautiful bride.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Do visit the long-awaited cyberfyber exhibit at


This was an incredible amount of work for Susan Lenz, whose brainchild the exhibit is. If you click on the "postcards" link on the right and scroll down to #123, you'll see my contribution!

resume programming

Life resumes today after a couple of weeks off after the Christmas and New Year's holidays. In many ways it is a relief to get back to a normal schedule, especially as regards the kids going back to school.

I finished and delivered the long-awaited commissioned piece over the weekend. The couple who had requested it were very happy with it, I'm pleased with the outcome and frankly glad it is finished. It was a challenge, in a good way, but as with a lot of large projects was not without it's panicky moments. Of course I have no photographs of the finished projects (I just never remember that step, for some reason) but have been invited to take photos of it in situ any time I want, so I probably will. Even with the project finished, I feel that there are a couple of "spinoff" pieces still in my head that will need to come out fairly soon. Probably have to cook awhile yet though.

In the meantime, I'm going to clear the decks--clean up my studio, in other words--and get down to some serious jewelry making. I'm seeing ads for this cropping up:

I've done quite a bit of work with silver PMC, but hadn't seen the bronze version. Main plus: it's much less expensive than silver. Main drawback: an actual kiln is required for firing. Rats. I cannot afford that expense at the moment. However, I do have some silver PMC on hand so I can get on with making silver jewelry. Here are a couple of previous pieces:

I kept this one for myself.
This one I sold. Actually I also sold a couple of similar pieces, so maybe I'll make some more since they seem popular.

I certainly hope 2009 is off to a good start for all of you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

a new year's birthday (almost)

Happy birthday today to my brother Brad. Here he is with my niece Brooke. He is a loving, thoughtful, and gentle man.

And here are a few photos of the commissioned work in progress. It's coming along and I'm pretty OK with it so far, although I feel I have a ways to go as far as finishing touches. This started with a base of fabric paper a la Beryl Taylor (my hero) and is actually three 20" x 20" panels. This one is the final panel. The little door opens, too, to show a little vignette within.

This is the first panel in the series, not finished obviously. I've enjoyed adding 3-D and interactive bits to these pieces.

This is a gothic arch made for this project by my very talented uncle out of wood and embellished by moi. The name of the piece in toto is "Through Open Doors", hence all the references to doors and door-related things. The panels will be mounted on artist boards for ease in hanging.

And since it is Friday, and since I haven't posted a cat photo lately, here is Romeo in a box that originally held a shipment of Christmas packages.

Have a great day, everyone.