Author Archives: Sheba

Where, oh, Where?

Have I been??

front painting in progress

I am excited to share that I am helping my S.O., Shawn, pursue one of his big dreams… opening a restaurant! So this summer I have been busy painting the interior of the site, doing marketing and book keeping for the business, planning the art shows that will be featured on our walls and much more. Our opening date is right around the corner and things are moving quickly. Plus I return to my day job as Middle School Art teacher this week! Very little time to squeeze in any art. But hopefully giving myself a show in the restaurant will be a motivator! Meanwhile, I am accepting submissions of my other artist friends to show in our space.

Check out the website!

and like us on Facebook!!/Stuffwhatilike


Today I turn 44 years old. I took the day off and went to the spa. I enjoyed 4+ hours of relaxing, soaking, scrubbing and mosturizing. Lots of wonderful time to reflect and think… some new thoughts are stewing… but my brain is mostly mush from all the pampering, so I will have to share another time. Needless to say I am having a wonderfully relaxing day!

Artfest 2011: Part Three

The last day of classes is often the most difficult because there is usually only so much energy and creativity that I can muster up in the course of one partial week. Luckily, I managed to do a good job with class selection and the last day was a meditative Rug Hooking class with Mary Stanley. I took this class specifically because I hoped to bring back a project for my students. I have a TON of burlap, yarn and what I thought were rug hooking tools. It turns out that there are a couple different types of rug hooking and the tools I had were for LATCH Hooking, not Rug hooking. I continued to be successful with finishing all my projects, so that was my goal again today.

The class was based on the subject of houses and I did like what the samples looked like and thought that it would be a good subject. However, I got to the class and was feeling rebellious and didn’t want to do a house. I decided to go smaller so I could finish in time and made a little heart. I just clicked with this medium though and cooked right along on the technique, flying quickly through my little project. So then I expanded my heart to include wings and managed to finish the whole project, even adding  the backing to finish it off.

I SWEAR I was not trying to be a show off or a teacher’s pet, but I came up with a technique to better hide the folded burlap edge by couching a strip of felt along the edge while sewing the heart to the felt backing. Mary had suggested coloring it with a sharpie or black acrylic paint. I thought my method gave a more polished look so I showed her as I was working on it and once it was complete she had me share it with the class.

Mary shared a lot of resources and some of the history of hooked rugs and it was quite interesting, but most of the traditional styles and patterns are not really to my liking. There are plenty of people out there being modern and cutting edge with this old technique.

I enjoyed yet another small class (all three of mine were under 10 students) and while I know this makes it harder for the teacher to finance their trip, I appreciated the additional assistance and level of intimacy that it adds to the class.

Today Mandy, Lisa, Jen and I managed to have lunch with this super funny gal. Poor Mandy fell on the floor when her heavy back pack caused her chair to tip over. This girl shared with us that she had had a similar experience in middle school that had been very traumatic. Then she told Mandy, “Your falling over didn’t traumatized me in the least.”  Perhaps you had to be there, but we were all laughing pretty hard, and loud enough to attract the attention of a few other tables. We invited her over for drinks that evening, but she didn’t make it. Oh well, it was a fun lunch!

That night was the big fest Show and Tell. Usually it is pretty crazy, hot and packed. But all of artfest was a little lighter than past years. I put my work out like everyone else and was excited to notice many people stopping to photography and comment on my Monster Doll projects. I decided to throw out the handful of business cards that I had in my bag and they were all snatched up in moments. After looking around at all the work and noticing a couple of artists that I want to keep on my list for next year, I decided to pack up and head back to the dorms.

It took me another 20 minutes or so to manage that though, because I was mobbed with questions and comments and was even obliged to pose for some pictures. I had some very interested buyers of these lovely creatures and will be following up on that plan. Even Andrew the teacher came over to snap some pictures and chat. I feel a little weird offering my dolls from the class for sale, but people were really into them. I plan to make my future dolls a bit differently so as to not directly compete with his sales, I hope.

When I got back to the dorm I was really missing my dogs and my honey. I called home and chatted with Shawn, but it didn’t help. After a little wine I ended up doing some performance art, imitating my dogs and their silly habits. Darn everyone and their I-phones too, because there is proof of this silly behavior.

MUCH later that night I woke up to find Mandy awake and cleaning the common area at 3:30am. I was awake enough that I decided to stay up and chat with her for a while. Which was nice, but not sure if Rita thought it was so nice.

The next day was time to pack up and hit the road. As usual it was a wonderful time, but I was anxious to get back home and see my puppies. On the ferry home I had time to jot down some ideas that I have for some more dolls and even wrote the plan for a class I would like to teach.

It was hard to get ready to go back to work, but it was a wonderful break and I am so happy to get back my artistic mojo.

Artfest 2011: Part Two

We had amazing weather so I went for a little jog in the morning. I enjoyed the coffee made by one of our dorm mates, Colleen, and appreciated the fridge as I ate some yogurt, granola and fruit.

Friday’s class was Monster Rag Dolls with Andrew Dyrdahl. This was a recycled materials, doll sewing class and I was looking forward to using some fabric scraps. I brought my sewing machine, luckily being able to drive I can bring something heavy like that. It was great that Andrew planned ahead and worked with a local sewing shop to have some extra machines on hand to use and then students could even purchase them for a small “show” price. This was very thoughtful of him and the students that had to travel on the plane were quite thankful. Although this project could be made entirely by hand sewing, it was much easier and faster to sew the body and limbs with the machine. When we went around the room doing introductions, there were several fairly inexperienced sewers in the bunch, despite that everyone in the class successfully finished one or MORE dolls within the day.

The main ~new~ things that I learned included how to use coffee to stain fabric (the key is using vinegar to help set the color), I discovered a great strap turning tool that I didn’t have (and had to go buy on my way home) and heard some fun thrifting secrets for finding good fabrics and prints. I busted out 3 quick doll bodies before lunch, which was the goal. We needed to coffee stain them before lunch so they had time to dry before stuffing. At home, of course, you can toss them in a dryer, but not at the fort. Luckily, we had sun and old fashioned radiators to speed along the process.

After lunch, we stuffed and embellished the dolls and finished the day with a show and tell. I was amazed at the work that came out of this class. Each doll had some personality from the artist but they all looked like they could be in a show together too.

That night was vendor night, which I checked out briefly, after a mediocre Thai dinner in town with Jen and Lisa. Then, I finished up my own dolls that evening while hanging out with all the girls. We read silly yearbook entries from some 1920’s vintage year book. They were very odd and seemingly snarky. Someone decided we should all write a yearbook entry for different camp members, so we drew names. But this project seemed to fizzle out by the end of the weekend.

I am not sure if it is the unfamiliar beds or the fresh sea air, but I had really weird dreams every night. But I still managed to get enough sleep to be refreshed each morning and ready for more art.

Artfest 2011: Part One

I wish I could remember all the years I have been to Artfest, all I know is that I have been on and off every year since it started. (I guess I could look carefully at all my journals and bags to see the years.) But I think this year was the best year ever! All my classes were perfectly wonderful, I didn’t have any weird or overly horrible experiences. Although I got a budding migraine everyday towards the end of each intense class. Luckily, it quickly went away before it was time to enjoy the wine and company of the evening activities.

On Wednesday after finally finishing my packing and taking the dogs to the park for a last long run, I hit the road to Port Townsend. I was rained and hailed on and the week looked like it was going to be a cold and ugly one. When we checked into the dorm I was astounded to discover some new fancy furniture, 2 fridges and a stove in the kitchenette. I am not sure how we managed to get such nice stuff, because I scouted around and did not find any similar upgrades to the other dorms. People started rolling in quickly but I decided to head out to the grocery store to pick up a few things to cook in our new kitchen. I skipped the opening thingie, it was about chakras and I was not interested in that! I enjoyed my first evening visiting with old friends and meeting some new ones.

Thursday morning was Paper Mosaics with Ty Schultz. Marcia was supposed to teach the class along with him, but since there were only 5 students she went off to make wigs instead. The basic technique for making paper mosaics was nothing mind-blowing new for me. The thing that was different was the papers we used for the project. Ty and Marcia had painted tons of scrapbook and painted papers with a thin coat of resin. It gave them a raised, glossy surface that when cut into tile like bits it really looked like a tile mosaic. But the real magic was when we painted in the ‘grout’ (which was just a colored paint pen in grout like colors) He provided us with a couple of different adhesion choices, both double stick tape and a liquid glue in a tiny tip bottle. I preferred the tape because I just hate getting my fingers all sticky. I quickly finished a couple of little mosaics and began a larger one. My goal with each class was to start small and finish everything in class. I was pretty successful, almost to the point of annoying my class and dorm mates. Today’s muse was the hand so each of my little works of art featured that as the subject. Unfortunately, making the special resin papers was not part of this class, which was disappointing to everyone in the group. “Take my resin class,” was the main answer when we inquired. Granted it was great to get right to the tile mosaic without waiting for thick goopy liquids to dry first, but it was still disappointing to not really be able to go back and replicate the look in my studio. I did end up buying some Pitt pens on my way out of town so I can finish my last piece from the class. Ty was a great instructor, very helpful and good at balancing pieces of information with time to get working, along with handouts that I can look at again.

One fun little bit is when one of the parents of one of my art club students came by to say hello. Her daughter had overheard me talking about going to Artfest and knew that her parents would be going, so told her mom to search for me.

That night I cooked up some lasagna and garlic bread in the new dorm stove and we had a little evening in with all the girls. There was some evening “Iron Chef” activity that sounded like fun, but we heard that it tended towards a mob scene so most of us skipped it. The idea is awesome though. Each of the participating teachers was given a bag of art materials and found objects and they had a set amount of time to create a work of art using at least 5 of the items. These finished works were then auctioned off to create a scholarship for people to come to Artfest that need some financial assistance.

One of my favorite parts of artfest though is the evening dorm show and tell. We all come back from class and show off our various projects, dish the dirt on the class, teachers and other students. Then if anyone has an energy left, we journal or finish up the projects from the day while we talk into the night. Eventually people start to peel off to sleep, depending on their zip codes usual

Artfest 2011 is in a month! and other news

getting super excited…

I finally (after having to do A LOT of cleaning and sorting) found my stuipd artfest booklet that showed what classes I was taking, so I could look up the supply lists. and I am super happy to discover that ALL the supplies are things I already have in the studio, so I will not need to BUY anything! which is a good thing since I am the only income in the house right now. there is a class fee for 2 of the 3, but that’s ok.

I will be Making paper mosaics,
class example

then monster rag dolls,
class example

and finally rug hooking houses.
class example

In other news… Shawn, my domestic partner of almost 10 years, is going to be starting a new business. He is going to start a food truck, which should lead to catering and eventually down the road a full restaurant.

The theme is going to be based on his roots in the Island of Saipan. Island style grilled chicken that is marinated in a sauce of garlic, ginger and soy sauce (plus other top secret stuff) it is very savory, not sweet like the Hawaiian Islands. Plus he will have sides of Red Rice, Potato Salad, and Lumpia. He is still working on the name and plenty of other details before he will be grilling and serving. But it is an exciting shift in our house.

Here is the truck, we looked at it again today, still trying to hammer out the contract details with spanish/english interpretation needed.

My puppy, Frankie graduated from basic manners class with flying colors. So we got x-rayed to check his hips to see if there is any hip dysplasia issues. Luckily there is NOT, which means on Apr 2 we are starting an agility course training class! so excited.

This is what happened to the couch!

This is they type of thing he was doing to our couch BEFORE manner’s class. Luckily he has moved past this troublesome behavior.

I have another big bike ride tomorrow (40 or 50 miles) and soon I have to start weekly back to back big rides to be ready for my STP 200 miles ride in July. It  is getting so close so fast. It is going to be a BUSY Summer!

Now off to work on some more artfest trades!

2011 Artfest Trades

2011 artfest trades, originally uploaded by Charger’s Mommy.

FINALLY Getting into the studio, now that I quit all my time sucking Facebook games.

These are little books made from scrap fabrics, couched fibers and ribbons and filled with recycled and scrapbook papers. Each one is about 3″x5″ and has a velcro closure. These are what I am bringing to artfest 2011 for trades with my friends.

Review of 2010

The Year 2010 was a JOURNEY. However, it was not an artistic journey. This blog has been gathering a LOT of dust this past year, as have most of the supplies in my art studio.

Instead, I have been juggling my many new, old and important roles in life.

Loganberry dog park

Dog Mommy: We adopted an 18 month puppy this June. Frankie is a Great Dane/ English Mastiff/ Greyhound mix. He is a bundle of energy and anxiety. He has adjusted and blended into our family mostly well. Charger is 13 years old now, and the new puppy has brought him back to a playful age. But the cats have been relocated to the basement. Training classes are going to be a part of the new year as we work on better leash manners and deal with separation anxiety.

middle school art teacher: 2009-2010 was a great school year but so far 2010-2011 has been a stressful year with over loaded classrooms and troubled kids, slashed budgets and more committees and responsibilities than ever. This part of my life takes up the most of my time and energies. I do make a bit of art in this realm when I am making samples of projects for lesson demonstrations. But nothing worth sharing here, usually I write about those happenings on my school and teacher blogs.

5 Mile Lake Triathlon 2010

Athlete: I have been working on being more fit and healthy over the past few years, mostly by participating in triathlons. In 2010, I really ramped up this part of my life. I worked towards a 100 mile bike ride, did 3 triathlons and really began to SEE myself with the new identity of an athlete. This part of my life has been a wonderful journey and utilizes a great deal of my time and energies, as well as finances. I blog about this part of my life quite frequently. As part of this journey, I have also been working with a nutritionist to change my food and eating habits, while also gaining a bit of a hobby in cooking.

jan 2010 WIP Beaded Journal Project

Artist: This part of my life has been in hibernation for over a year now. Part of me is very sad and misses this. But part of me is fulfilled by the new parts of my life. I did start the Beaded Journal Project in 2010 and did a couple pages. I tried to give myself a little word challenge over the summer. But very little got accomplished on either of these projects.

So what about 2011?

There might not be much eye candy or art action on this blog. I have many fitness goals including completing the Seattle to Portland Bicycle classic (A 2-day 204 mile ride in July) If you want to keep track of my progress on this goal, follow me on my fitness blog. I am not going to make an art related resolutions or goals for 2011, but will certainly allow space in my life for art and share it as it happens.

I hope you all had a wonderful year in 2010, and I wish you the best in 2011.


I have been living with a lot of “shoulds.” I should do this, I should have done that. These are both self-imposed and partially culturally imposed. An athlete should look like this, an athlete should act like that. All these shoulds are preventing me from fully enjoying my successes, along with holding me back from making more progress in other areas.

A lot of my current shoulds are holiday related. I feel like I should be decking my house out and having a holiday party with lots of friends and cheer. I feel like that should make me happy and should make me enjoy this holiday season. But really I WANT to cuddle with my pets, curl up in a blanket and read a book. I don’t WANT to fight traffic and crowds at the stores. I don’t WANT to expend the huge amount of emotional energy that it takes for me to be social. I am, on many levels, actually shy and introverted. Holiday parties, or any party for that matter, are emotionally exhausting for me.

So why do I think that is what I should be doing? Commercials probably have a lot to do with it. You see all those happy people at festive parties on the commercials. Also I recall my 20’s living and working in the city where I did the party thing all the time. But that was a different lifetime ago, and I am just not that person any more. Plus that was a lot of shallow and false happiness, not real or deep levels of joy. There seems to be a lot of cultural expectations and pressure during this holiday season that you should be doing something interesting and exciting. I even felt embarrassed when asked at work to share what I was doing over winter break…. ummm… nothing.

My other shoulds are fitness related. I make my weekly plans and goals based on these self-imposed shoulds. Then I am disappointed when I don’t do what I should. One of the biggest shoulds was what I thought I should look like after my 100 mile bike ride goal. Some how I had a vision of a thinner and younger version of myself that finished that ride. The ride ended up feeling so anti-climatic once I completed it, mostly because it (the ride and myself) did not look like how I have envisioned it. I didn’t really enjoy my accomplishment because it didn’t match my “should”.

SO, my ‘homework’ this week is to really listen to my body to what I WANT to do, and forget what I think I SHOULD be doing. To let go of these unrealistic, media driven ideas of what the holidays SHOULD look like, and instead celebrate it how I WANT to celebrate it.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday doing exactly what you WANT to do and not just doing what you think you should.