Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What I Did Today!

I went to see the President speak today! He made a stop in Dubuque * and - as an added bonus - we also got to see Michelle Obama! I'm not sure which I was more excited about. I'd love to wax philosophical on the wonderful things he said but, really, today wasn't about that for me. I love the guy and he's got my vote... period. I wanted to go today because there are some truly great men and women in our world and it's something to see them and hear them speak about the things they hold dear. Today I got to see two of those people - Barack Obama is a great man and Michelle Obama is a great woman.

We went early, of course. The line was literally a mile long! The appearance was in an outdoor amphitheater along the Mississippi River and it was a beautiful day. We saw Air Force One fly over on it's way to the airport and then watched for the cavalcade to come down the hill into town. I found it all very exciting (I wish I had another word for it!). Another wish for the day is that I had taken the camera... ooops... I had it ready to go in my purse and then found out that no bags were being permitted (although cameras were!) and left the purse - with the camera tucked in a side pocket - safe at home. dang.

Well, I have my ticket and my memories. I lifted a couple of photos from the AP news site for my own personal scrapbook and that's enough for me!

*If you click here - you might be able to see me waaayyyy up in the top left corner of the crowd - get out your magnifying glass! :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Catch of the Day!

We have a little putt-putt fishing boat that we enjoy taking out on the Mighty Mississippi. Some of you may already know that I love to fish! The hot weather and hectic schedule has kept us off the river lately but we finally went out early Monday morning. Lots of fish were caught but ultimately we brought home 3 freshwater drum, 2 catfish and a bluegill. What a tasty dinner we had that night! Here is a shot of me with the catch of the day - my monster freshwater drum, measuring in at 23" long!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bright Colors and a New Commission - Part 2

In an earlier post, I showed you the beginnings of a commission piece for my friend Ali. She's getting married in October and her colors are any but ordinary! An artist herself, trained as a sculptor but concentrating on fiber art and quilting at the moment, she wanted her wedding jewelry to reflect her passion. Here are just some peeks of the progress. None of the components are permanently attached yet because I still want the freedom of moving them around. This just happens to be one of the many arrangements to date. I would love to know what you think - symmetry? asymmetry? More orange? Less blue? Whatever... leave a comment and let me know! :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gathering for a new piece

At some point this summer my mojo took a vacation. It has been along time since I pulled a bunch of bits and beads together for a new, large project. I have been concentrating on making smaller pieces but, while enjoyable, it is not where my heart lies. What I love most is making big-ass bead embroidered stuff... period.

So here is my latest gathering - centered around a raw stone slab are some mother-of-shell disc beads I got from Fire Mountain. I wrote about them in my latest post, saying I was a bit disappointed because they lack shine and seemed a bit dull. Since the stone slab is not polished and has a beautiful natural matte finish, the shell beads fit perfectly with it! Thank you, Carol! You were right! I think I can make these puppies work! :)

Here are a few more shots - the color palette is taken completely from the colors found within the stone slab: burnt orange, russet, gray, the slightest hint of buttercream yellow and tiny flecks of sage green. While I know there really isn't any turquoise, I thought the unpolished turquoise nuggets fit very nicely with the rest and was an unexpected (and, hopefully, interesting) color choice... Let me know if you agree!