Monday, September 29, 2008

Beach Break

I have been sitting at the computer all day.  It is going to be one of those weeks that I need to strap it to my chest and carry it with me wherever I go.  Work deadlines.  Paper for class.  Wish I had started sooner.  Blah blah.  When my neck was screaming from too much computer tonight, I took a break and painted.

I had fun painting these flip flops.  Painted tin is not the easiest surface for painting, but I hope if the colors are bright enough and there are enough flip flops, it will work.

Enough goofing off, I am back to researching my leadership communication assessment of Susan B. Anthony.  Interesting woman.  I have blogged about the suffragettes before.  Tough chicks.  Makes me wonder if there is anything I would sacrifice and fight for so long and so hard.  We owe those women.

Normal Girl

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The River of Time

We met Mary Todd Lincoln today at the River of Time.  We talked to her for at least 90 minutes.  She had a lot to say.  To say the least.  She told us she decided to marry the President when she was 9 years old.  She told us that when she moved into the White House, it was a wreck and congress gave her $20,000 to fix it up.  She told us about her sons Willie and Tad loosing goats into a White House tea party.  She showed us her top petticoat under her dress and on top of her hoop skirt, with an American flag embroidered on it.  That was as political as women got since they were not allowed to vote. 

And she told us that Mr. Lincoln made all of his decisions by following God's direction.  His congress was always mad at him because he read the bible every morning instead of letting them advise him.  What happened to that kind of politician?  She talked to us about the United States being born of a need for human freedom.  That was exactly what made President Lincoln free the slaves in the southern states.  And that is exactly why we have intervened in so many wars around the world.  It is the reason we are in the war right now in Iraq.  We are helping people gain their freedom.  Some things never change, hmmm Mrs Lincoln?  I sure hope this is one thing that doesn't change.

And we talked to a Quartermaster Sergeant about the realities of being a soldier in the civil war.  

And this lovely lady told us all about the underground railroad.  

And this is our favorite french voyageur.  The voyageurs are a big part of the history of the area around Bay City.  The life of a voyageur was both exciting adventure and danger.  If you are 5'4"  or less, can carry 180 pounds, and cannot swim, you would have been hired to be a voyageur.  They made decent money.  They paddled a canoe 12-16 hours a day.  We talk to this guy every year, he is fascinating.

Here is what I think.  It would be a real blast to learn a character from history so well that you could act her out and answer questions about her life.  I would like to do that with the life of my 11th great grandmother Marie Rollet Hebert who settled Quebec with her husband in 1605.  
Normal Girl

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tutorial (kind of) For Found Object Charms

Tutorial for Found Object Bracelet Round Robin Bracelet.  If you have not done much jewelry making, this will help you.  We don't care how you get it on the bracelet, just join and play!  Remember the deadline to sign up is October 4, 2008.

In this tutorial, I will cover both found objects that you might use to make a charm, and ways to attach those charms.  

You can attach with a jump ring (instructions at the end)

You can wire wrap a charm to a bracelet (instructions at end)

You can attach with a split ring (instructions at the end with a few more ideas)

Found Objects

Dominos:  There are smooth ivory dominos and the regular black dominos.  These examples are on ivory because they are smooth.  Drill a hole in the domino or add one of these cool findings, or, these.

Whatever you can do on a domino, you can also do on a Scrabble Tile.  

You can do many things on a domino.  Rubber stamp images.  To do this you need an alcohol based ink and any rubber stamp.

Decoupage or collage.   For piles of inspiration, look at these Etsy vendors.

Bottle caps.  For more ideas than I can express, google bottle cap charms.  Some people have been really inventive with these things!

Other Suggestions:
  • puzzle pieces
  • game pieces
  • postage stamps
  • keys
  • old slides
  • stuff out of the bubble gum machine
  • watch parts
  • piece of measuring tape
  • any kind of paper 
  • pieces of old jewelry you take apart
  • tags
  • clock hand
  • button
  • used wire
  • guitar pick
  • cut up stuff: old credit card, pop can, etc
  • beach glass
  • shells
  • OK, I could go on forever.  If you can attach it to a bracelet, it is fair game.  

Attaching Something to the Bracelet

There are several ways to turn something into a charm and attach it to the bracelet.  Something on your charm has to have a loop, a hole for a head pin or wire, or, you have to be able to drill a hole in it.

Use a jump ring.  If your charm has a loop or a horizontal hole, a jump ring will work.  Jump rings are the easiest way to attach a charm.  It is very simple.  Go here to see.

Use a split ring. A split ring works any place a jump ring works.  The benefit to the split ring is that it is a bit more durable than a jump ring.  It is a little trickier to attach and you need  a special plier.  Go here to see.

Use a head pin.  If your charm has a vertical hole, a head pin or piece of wire will work.  You can  make a simple loop in your head pin or wire and then attach to the bracelet with jump ring or split ring.  Go here to see a simple loop.

Wire wrap a loop.  Wire wrapping is a tiny bit more difficult, but still pretty easy.  Wire wrapping will do the same thing as a jump ring or a split ring.  It hold the charm to the bracelet.  The advantage is it is the most durable, guaranteed to hold the charm in place, technique.  It takes a few seconds longer to do.  You can do it with a long head pin or a piece of wire.  Go here to see.

You can google anything you see here and find lots more information and ideas.  Let me know if you have questions.  Go to the Announcement Page for instructions on how to sign up.

Here's What I Think....if you have never done this before, it will be a good stretching experience for you.  If you have done this before, you will be amazed at the creativity you see in a round robin.

Normal Girl

A New Round Robin!

Introducing a new Round Robin Bracelet project!  It is:
  • open to anyone
  • not limited in number of participants
  • easy to join and play
This Round Robin has a theme: Found Object Bracelet.  Found objects are ....well....things you find instead of buy.  See the bracelet above?  On it you see a domino, a scrabble tile, a bottle cap, a checker, a spool of thread, and lots more cool stuff.  Don't freak!  Read the manifesto below.  I will be posting some ideas about using found objects to make charms....sometime today or this weekend, not sure, come back later.

Sign up in the comments of this post, or email Imaginina at  She is the Round Robin Mistress.    Here we go!!

How the Found Object Charm Bracelet Round Robin will work:

• The deadline for signing up is Saturday, October 4.

• At the designated start week, each player will mail to the next person on the list:
• Her own charm bracelet with one charm of her choosing on it. Each charm added to the bracelet must include a found object. That means something you did not buy at a bead store or from a bead vendor. Maybe you add something you found in your junk drawer, or in the garage or on the street….and you write on it, wire wrap it, add beads to it, paint on it. Turn it into a charm. You may use any kind of beads or other charms as well, as long as your charm includes a piece that you found.
• A small journal (can be a couple papers stapled together, a journal from the $1 bin, or something fabulous and handmade that will fit into a 6”x9” padded envelope.
• On the first page(s) of the journal, a description of the theme chosen for her own charm bracelet (can be as simple as “purple” or it can be a thought, a poem, a sentiment, a location, anything, you name it…the round robin should be done and back to you just before Christmas in case you want a holiday theme or a gift for someone else.

• Each player will receive an envelope in the mail that week from the person whose name is above hers on the list.

• Each player will add at least one charm to the bracelet that follows the owner’s designated theme, and the found object rule.

• She will then write a message in the journal for the owner of the bracelet. It can be an explanation of the charm she chose. It can be a description of how the charm was made. It can be a poem. Please tell what your found object is and where you found it. Creativity is welcome.

• She will then pack up the bracelet and mail it to the next person on the list. She will always mail to the same person. The list will be set up geographically to allow for short mailing times. I mail first class and it costs less and gets there in a couple days.

• We are not going to follow a specific mailing schedule. Please add charms and mail the bracelets in no longer than a two-week period.

• When your own bracelet has completed the round robin, you will have a bracelet with at least 8 charms and messages from 7 other people about their parts in your bracelet.

Let me know if you have questions.  Stay tuned for found object charm tutorials.  Then sign up!
Normal Girl

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When the Moon is in the Seventh House

Today I created a songfest of the Mamas and Papas and similar songs on Pandora.  

What is this phenomenon?  I cannot remember what time I am supposed to show up someplace.  I cannot remember deadlines.  I cannot even remember what I left the living room and walked into the kitchen for.  But I can remember every word of every song from 1969.

harmony and understanding
sympathy and trust abounding
no more falsehoods and derisions
golden living dreams of visions
mystic crystal revelation
and the mind's true liberation.......

Song lyrics that don't make sense I can remember.
Normal Girl

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree

Big Deal.  When she can remember the songs from the 40s, then we'll talk about a good memory.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Final Round Robin Bracelet - MINE!

I love my finished bracelet.  If you did not see the beginning of this round robin, I started my bracelet on its way with one cupcake charm on a chain bracelet.  In my journal, I gave the designers my theme of desserts.  

Each charm is so great.  Too bad I cannot take decent photographs.  If I could do better, you would see this amazingly sparkling rivoli that BH turned into a cake!  The chocolates are perfect.  The addition of the red hearts by VA made it a bit less young and added some spice.

Love the chocolate cake!!  I could not be more pleased.

Can't wait to start the next round robin.  Stay tuned....this week!
Normal Girl

Monday, September 22, 2008

Round Robin Bracelet Spring

This bracelet belongs to TS, and it is finished. All 8 members of the round robin have had their say on her bracelet.

This is the journal page that gave us our direction.

Some close ups of the charms.....lampwork, pressed glass, rivoli, crystals, metal..

cloisonne, and several blue raindrops crystals.

There is only one more bracelet in the round robin...mine!  Stay tuned.

Normal Girl

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hours of Surfing Fun

Queenie sent me this link.  Everything you ever could want online is on this website. .....and some things you didn't even realized you wanted. Bookmark it:

Thanks Queenie,
Normal Girl

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hunger Strike

Something happened to me tonight that I have never encountered before.  My sister is in town for a couple days.  We both had busy days and decided to treat ourselves and go out to eat.  We went downtown in my small city and chose a fairly new restaurant.  We walked in and the hostess told us they were closed.  I wondered why they would close at 8:30 on a Saturday in a busy town.  She told us there was no food left.  OK, we will just have appetizers.  There is no food left.  OK, just chips and salsa.  There is nothing.  No food left.   

Are you buying that?  What do you think really happened?
- shut down by the health department?
- cook got mad and walked out?
- ant infestation?
- the fridge broke?
- a crazed customer went to the back and trashed the kitchen?
- they really did not have any food??

Normal Girl

A Night with the Girls at GCH

I went to Pontiac to Grace Centers of Hope tonight with some great women from church to hang out with some other great women.  When we walked into the room, several of them were sitting around the big table and hollered out, "where have you been?"  They were waiting for us!  In the past, they have not been told that we were coming until we arrived.  They do this because sometimes groups say they are coming and then they flake out and don't show up.  So, we must have passed the test because the ladies were told this morning and were excited all day.  What a great welcome!

Some of the younger women on our team colored with the kids.

There was a game of Apples to Apples going on over in the corner.

And, a table full of journals and paper and rubber stamps held the attention at the big table.  Glitter glue was the big hit of the night.

Thanks to those of you who donated time, crayons, paper, glitter glue, and bags of toiletries.  Every morsel was welcomed and really appreciated.

"Will you come every week?"
"Want to have a sleep over?"  It's good to be wanted, isn't it?

We heard many stories that are so hard to hear, but they each ended in a relationship and a growing trust in God.  It is amazing that they are so open about their lives and their struggles.  One woman thanked me for allowing her to see fun can be had while she is sober.

To see all of the photos from the night:

Fun night!
Normal Girl

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sermon Visual Aids

I was painting at church tonight.  A new sermon series starts on Sunday and that calls for new visuals.  Like it?  Modern.  Clean.

This is the whole sign. That is the title of the series.  It will be about the things that we trust when we should be trusting God, and how that is working for us.  The sign will be hung on the wall in the lobby.  And then......

You get into the auditorium and see this sign.  It is 20 feet long and fabulous.  Can you find anything on the sign that you trust when you should be trusting God?  

It took me 2 hours to paint mine.  It too DT, the paintress, 60 hours.  How cool is that thing???

Normal Girl

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We Interrupt This Program.....

I don't know why this happens.  But today at 4:45, my brain said Modigliani. I remembered the day I went to the Kimball with Kathy and Queenie to see the Modigliani exhibit.  I like Amadeus Modigliani and his work, and he has a freaky story worthy of an artist.

He was born in Italy.  His mother didn't think he was smart enough to do much in life, so she encouraged him to be an artist.  He studied with famous guys in Italy and eventually moved to Paris in the first decade of the 2oth century.  That was the time of Picasso and Cezanne and those guys.  Modigliani became the quintessential tortured, starving artist and was heavy into drinking and smoking the point that he would regularly strip naked at parties.  He dated a lot of women, of course, they were posing naked for him all the time.  But, eventually, he got serious with Jeanne, and they moved in together and had a daughter.  He died penniless at age 35 from tubercular meningitis due to poor health exacerbated by the drinking and drugs. Jeanne was 9 months pregnant with their second child.  After the funeral, her parents took her back to their home, where she tossed herself out of an upper story window, killing herself and the unborn baby.

Is it any wonder I cannot become an artist?  I am way too happy.

So anyway, here is the pendant I made when Amadeus overtook my brain today.  It is made on a chandelier dangle.  It has Modigliani's painting called Young Redhead in an Evening Gown.  


Having a little focus problem, but it got me a new necklace,
Normal Girl

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Up All Night

I can't sleep.  I have not had a good night's sleep in my own room since my new neighbors moved in about a month ago.....thanks to the 8767857548376 watt motion lights on their house.  The set of two lights faces my bedroom window about 10 feet away.  Flies make them come on.  And, they are over the major woodchuck highway from the back yard to the front yard.  So, they are on most of the night.  When they come on, it is like the runway lights at Metro are right next door.   When I close the blinds, the light leaks in through the slats.  I can read by this light.

So the children next door got married this weekend and are gone on their honeymoon.  And left the lights on.  I am wondering if I can do something with the lights while they are gone.  Don't want to shoot the bulbs out, or steal them, I guess.  Paint them black?  Put a bag over them? Unscrew the bulbs just enough so they don't make contact and can't turn on?  Nail a board over my window on the outside of the house?  Mount  a big mirror outside my window that bounces the light away?  Get a huge dog that barks every time the light comes on?  

Any other ideas before I do something crazy?
Normal (sleep deprived) Girl

Friday, September 12, 2008

Women and the Vote

Wonder Woman sent this to me a couple weeks ago and it has been on my mind.  So much that I am going to use Susan B. Anthony and the suffragette movement in a paper this semester.

This has information in it that I did not know.  Read it, maybe it will be inspiring to you too.


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers--90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.  Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of
'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.  For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?  Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

HBO's movie 'Iron Jawed Angels' is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say.

'What would those women think of the way we use, or don't use, our right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so
hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.

Voting is a privilege,
Normal Girl

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Round Robin Bracelet - Summer

This bracelet belongs to DH.  It has been to seven of the eight round robin participants.  DH will have a wearable reminder of summertime any time she wants it.

Here is the journal page that gave us our inspiration.

I don't know if the bracelet started on its journey with this watering can, or if someone added it along the way.  Many things have mysteriously happened along the pathways of these bracelets.

Some close up photos show the variety of charms on this bracelet: a sparkling rivoli, wire work, lampwork, hill tribe silver, seed bead work, sterling silver, pressed glass, and words and inspiration.   The garden has been visited by a dragonfly, some ladybugs, butterflies, a hummingbird.  The sun has warmed the garden and made a variety of flowers grow.

Enjoy, DH!
Normal GIrl

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remember Today

I am posting tonight to all of my friends in Michigan.  When the snow is knee deep and the wind is howling through your bones,  and you are whining about winter, just close your eyes and remember today.  Wasn't it gorgeous today?  

Normal Girl

Monday, September 8, 2008

State of the Art Transportation

I pulled up to the rental car place this morning and saw this in their garage.  I thought to myself....maybe I should find a place with a more modern fleet.

Normal Girl

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I wish I had this problem.  My problem is that I can never find the cord I want, when I want it.  Why does everything have to have its own specific cord?  I have cords for my cell phone, my computer, to charge my iPod, to listen to my iPod in the car and to sync the iPod to the computer, cords for the camera.  I have multiples of some of these and still can't find one when I want it.  It is worse when I go out of town and forget the cord I need.  Then I buy another one.  Another one that I won't be able to find again when I need it.  Or I think I have the cord and open my suitcase to find it is not the right cord.  I wish some genius would figure out one universal cord.  I would pay for it.  I would pay a lot for it.  

Normal Girl

Saturday, September 6, 2008

MYOB Normal Girl

I made this necklace for a column on a current jewelry trend called statement jewelry.  Statement jewelry is BIG.  But Normal Girl got her paws on it.  And when Normal Girl gets her hands on anything, it ends up embellished.  She cannot help it.  It is a disease.

Here is what it looks like now.  It has chain and crystals and more beads.  I got out the cutters to cut all her stuff off and she caught me.  She is making me ask you.  So, alright, I am asking.  Do you like my clean version or her junked up version?  The version you choose will go in the magazine.  Vote.  Please.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Spit Shine

You have probably already seen this but it made me laugh during the big speech so I went looking for a rerun.  I love that she is oblivious to the crowd and the people laughing.  Sarah Palin could not have planned a better advertisement for her family.  Thanks Piper...

Normal Girl

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Go Wolves!

I went to the football game last night with the fam.  Nephew 4, the Redwood, is playing freshman football at Bay City Central.  We all went to Central.  Grandmapa graduated from Central.  My sister/ Nephew 4's Mother, graduated from Central.  However, she married a man who did not graduate from Central.  But, his kids go there, so we put up with him.  So, it was an experience last night.  We were told that nobody would be sitting on the visitor side (it was an away game, so we were the visitors, hence the boring white uniforms) and so we should sit on the home side.  We were behind enemy lines.  It is disconcerting sitting with people who are cheering for your misfortune.  And, oh.  They talked about us.  Out loud.  So, we stayed.  And honked our horn.  And rang our cowbell.

Here is nephew 4, #95.  he is the tallest kid on the team.  He is the tallest kid in his class.  He is in love with football.  This is kind of new, he has done team sports, but has not loved it.  I am not convinced it is about the team or the game.  My hunch is it is about the girls who are chasing him like hussies.

Nephew 4 is a starter, playing both defense and offense.  They walked away last week with an easy win but they were creamed last night by the Midland HS Chemics.  They were behind enough to be replaced by the B team, who promptly got two touchdowns. 

Here's what I think.... Sometimes the B team has a lot to teach the A team.
Normal Girl

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Imaginina Gets Fired

I have never been fired in my life.  Until now.    And, can you stand it?  The job I have tried to lose keeps going strong..  The job I liked? Done.  You know that I work as Normal Girl's assistant. Yeah.  I would not mind being fired from that, and in fact, I have tried several methods to get to that end.

Gossip.   Normal Girl grows marijuana in Girl World and starts drinking vodka by 10 am every day.  Pass it on.

Personal phone calls.  I call my boyfriend, Lars, every 5 minutes.  I use my outside voice and laugh loudly.  Call me.

Drink at work.  I leave a new empty booze bottle on my desk each week and slur my words for an hour after lunch each day.  I could win the Oscar.
Surf the web excessively.  Not only can I tell you where to find anything, I run an online business selling things misplaced by Normal Girl.  I have sold that woodchuck three times.  

Point the finger at everyone but myself.  It is amazing how Normal Girl has the power to make me late every morning, to make my files disappear, and to spill my diet coke in her purse.  She is a spaz.

But, the job of columnist at Bead Unique is gone.  Due to nothing I did good or bad, it is done because the advertising guy is not doing his job.  They say if you want something done right, do it yourself.  

For sale.  Prime ad space in national bead magazine.  Free woodchuck with each ad placed.