Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


July 21, 2011

I have not fallen off the clay chair on the way to the pasta machine I have been playing with flowers. They are wearable art for your hair.

Tonight I think I am going to try a Lilly.

Flickr Find

April 12, 2011

I forgot to provide a link to the Flickr site of my rock purse creator so here goes!

If you look on the second page you can see one of her treasured rocks!

Enjoy the day!

2010 in review

February 9, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 45 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 61 posts. There were 182 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 76mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 20th with 63 views. The most popular post that day was Polymer Clay Bead Swap.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for kaleidoscope cane tutorial, footlong hotdog, facebook cont, “from polymer to art”, and polymer clay tutorial.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Polymer Clay Bead Swap February 2010


Regional Pendant Swap May 2010


OMG Kato October 2010
3 comments and 1 Like on,


Kaliedoscope Experiement January 2010


Faux Goldstone Quick Tutorial March 2010

I Don’t Wanna Change

October 31, 2010

Recently at work we did an exercise where we teamed up with a coworker, looked at each other for 1minute, then turned our backs to each other and changed three things about the way we look, we then turned around and the partner was to find the three things. Part of the exercise was to keep all changes until the exercise was over. The way they drew it out was to ask us several times to keep changing things, and guessing. Many unchanged the changes before the exercise was over.

What was it to symbolize? We do not like change and fight it usually in very creative ways. Change is not always good but we must do it. I have been contemplating changing my clay for a month now. I think it is a given that I must do it but I am fighting the change by not buying the clay I need on-line.

The disk I have for my camera has been corrupted somehow and I have been fighting the change. I mean this is the camera I have shot both magazine articles and so many Flickr shots with. I know this baby well. I have it down to just set micro, timer, and no flash she never lets me down. Until now. Hubby being the wonderful guy he is says (in his wonderful middle eastern accent) Julie why you messing with that camera? Where in the heck did you get that? Use that one the new one but don’t break it.

It is an inside joke since I am the one that breaks most of the cameras. See the rubber band? That is what is holding the batteries in so I guess it is time to ditch the camera but I just don’t have the heart to do it. I mean it still works. But I did take a shot with the new one and it sure takes pics okay now I just have to figure out what all the buttons do.

Another thing I have been doing is playing with clay and epoxy. Change right? I have worked with it a few times but this time for some reason the mixture was not just right and the items ended up sticky. An old friend suggested cleaning with nail polish so I decided what the heck it can’t hurt right? Although not ruined they are cloudy now and I am going to fill with another layer of epoxy in the hopes that I can salvage some epoxy pieces.

Change can be good if the right preparation has been done. Whether it is reading how to shoot cool shots with a camera or making sure to get the exact amount of both bottles when using resin.

What are you changing???? Or are you afraid of the C word and refuse to try??

The Digital Age Or Summer Beach Swap Gone Bad

October 8, 2010

Many of you may know I host the swaps at City O Clay. They are really fun and I am sooo close to a well oiled machine with them, which means they run smoothly with practice.

This time for some reason there were problems on my end from the very begining. I don’t remember what they were exactly in the begining but at the end it was no priority boxes, printer issues, and no freeken images of the swap items!

Okay the boxes I will admit that was a rookie mistake. Printer problems, everyone has technical difficulties, but no pictures What the Heck? I had to remove the images from the card and so I burned a disk, MADE SURE I COULD ACCESS SAID DISK, and then took pictures of the swap. It was an camera I was so happy as it had taken me a while to even attempt to remove the images. I looked at them too, not on the computer but the card and then when I went to access the images, the folder was empty.

Still not sure how it happend but it did and the next swap is open so I have moved on. I have hopes I will to not make rookie mistakes, deal with technical issues in stride, and get images next time and make sure they are saved before mailing.

Next swap due date is Dec 1 and it is a holiday ornament swap that I already have my inspiration decided on.  I am off to the clay table. What are you doing?

A Day is What Cha Make It

September 1, 2010

What the heck?

 A day is what cha make it? I thought this blog was to be about art and clay not philosophical stuff. Bear with me for a few hundred words and  learn about me and maybe yourself in the process.

We all have bad days. I am talking the lose your job, car crash, illness or loss of a furry friend days. Those times in life are just bad days and on those days laughing, crying, friends and alcohol can not even help. All you can do on those days is just get through them the best way you can.

What about all the other days? The ones you do have control over?

Case in point our 23rd wedding anniversary was August 27th. This is the one day of the year I get to be sappy, and have him tolerate being sappy with me for at least a few hours anyway. We have dinner or orderves (sp?) and just enjoy talking of our life together and talk about how far we have come and where we think we will go together in the years to come. For me that is what I want on my anniversary and I am a happy camper.

Usually I get my wish but this year someone  in our lives came to town and needed (or so hubby said) a ride from the airport. I tried gently reminding hubby about our anniversary without actually coming out and saying it.

Me: What day is Saidi coming again? Did you find out what time yet?

Him: He is coming Friday and no I do not know what time yet I will call him on Thursday before he leaves and find out the flight information.

Next Day

Me: Do you have to go and get him Mahmood is closer wouldn’t it be more convenient for him to go and get Saidi?

Him: It’s Saidi Julie even if Mahmood can pick him up we will go together and get him from the airport.

Me: ((inside hmph! Go get him WITH Mahmood))

next day

Me: Did you get a mattress for Saidi yet?

Him: No I will do that Friday with Mahmood.

Me: Did you find out what time he is coming yet?

Him: No I just know he is coming the 27th. Whats today? The 25th? Yea he is coming Friday the 27th……….(huge eyes I mean huge eyes) Ohhhh that’s why you keep asking about Friday. Its our Anniversary.

Me: Honestly its okay I just want to know when you will be home because if its late I am going to go for a mani pedi with Roseanne.

Him: Dont you ever learn? You are going to go with her? Good Luck!

We both really love Roseanne but she has a bad history of actually showing up for our mani pedi’s the first three or four times they are scheduled. We did end up going out to get our mani pedi’s on Friday night and I told her how happy I was to spend the time with her. I honestly think that if she stood me up too I may have had a bad day. While getting our pedi’s I heard of her anniversary woes and she has got me beat hands down. Hers is the 28th of August and now I feel responsible to remind her hubby because all she wants is to have her hubby remember and he isn’t doing that if she has to remind him. (ohh we went around and around that one for a long time and all she wants is for him to remember).

I could have been mad, cried, thrown a hissie fit, started a fight when I did not get what I wanted from hubby. But right now in my life that is not where I am as a person. Years ago not so but now I am okay with it and spent the time with a dear friend laughing and talking about our marriages and children. It was a really nice day.

In art we can have a bad day heck any real artist will admit they have them all the time. Say you sit down and nothing flows from your fingertips or what does is not good looking at all to us anyway. Remember we are our own worst critics with our art. So when these days happen what are you going to do as an artist?

Well you can cry, cuss, learn from your mistakes and cry, post pics on Facebook for where/how did this go so wrong feedback from our friends and family there are so many things you can do. One of my favorites is to reach into the bowl! Another one is to make Natasha’s.

Being an artist is such a solitaire life. I mean it is us sitting at the work table or bench, by ourselves, all the time. I know we have the great option of clay groups and Facebook but in the end it is us sitting down to make that blend, or cane and no tutorial will ever prepare us for that moment when we actually do it. Having it not turn out the way we want to can really lead to a bad day but only if you let it.

The next time you doubt yourself as an artist get feedback to either help you get better, or help you get over your feelings of inadequacy. A day is what cha make it!

What will you make your next studio day be? Uplifting? or  Nothing but negative?

Only you have the power to choose because in the end it is you sitting solitaire at the table!

Thank You Tory Hughes!

August 22, 2010

No I am not just using her name to get hits on my blog I really mean it. 

I have been away from my claytable for months now, only two but it seems like a lot longer than that believe me. Life stepped in as it always does sometimes, vacation, computer crash, good things and bad all mixed in along with the laundry and a 40 hour a week job at Americas most convenient bank! 

Even though I often speak about focus and art in my blog  I lost it. 

Look at an earlier post about focus I spent a whole month just talking about Facebook and how we could use it for productive means not just playing games. I have kicked the Farmville habit and blocked the games successfully yea for me. 

I talked about how you can find it in your art and not be a quitter 

I just wasted a half an hour looking at old posts so I am getting myself back on track by saying that as much as I talk about focus and art I have just lost the way. I needed Tory to inspire me to get back to the art table. 

She has a Face Book page and that is where the shout out came to get a Focus handout from her. Not only did she send it but I had requested by my phone and she out of the kindness of her heart found my e-mail and sent it to me. Since computer time is limited for me at home it took me days to even open it. When I did she kicked me in the butt with the first sentence. 

• A lack of focus most often arises from an unwillingness to prioritize and stick with




I will not go into what her hand out says that is for you to request from her and be inspired by her but I will tell you what that first sentence made me do finally after over 1.5 years. 

There is a wonderful project (I think so anyway) that I want to have published in a magazine but every obstacle that could have has stood in my way. I could not figure out how to do it for months, then when I finally did and tumbled it I ruined the project and had to start all over again. My computer crashed when I had the article almost finished and had to do it all over again since I had no saved disk and lost it all. All that is left to send to the publisher is two pictures that need to be taken and it has been two months and they are still not taken. 

That first sentence made me get up and go take the damn pictures and attach the article that was finished months ago and click send. 

Thank you Tory Hughes! 

Please be inspired by her and remember that whatever it is you want in life can be achieved if you believe in yourself and stick to it. Find your path to success and stick to it. The rewards will be immense and the amount of pride in yourself for accomplishing your goal will be great as well. 

You deserve it remember that YOU DESERVE IT. So do it for you because it will never happen if you are doing it for someone else. 

If you would like to be inspired by Tory here is her website 

Enjoy and remember you deserve it!

Vacation Project 365

August 16, 2010

Vacation is over and I am back to work. It was a wonderful trip and I am sharing it with you if you want to learn a little bit about my trip and me in the process ;). If you do not know it yet my favorite app is project  365 Take a picture a day and see your life in a whole new way. Here are my pictures of the day with commentary that may or may not be long.

July 11

Yabba he is the first and last picture of the day in Lebanon. I really like him not because he is my Father in Law but he is kind soul who loves wrestling and believes its true (roflol). I was so glad I was there the same day, same time two weeks in a row not sure how that one happened since I did not know what day it was most of the time much less the time of the day since I was on vacation. I got to see the prelude to the 6 on 1, and then the actual event a week later. Saleem was there for the second week and except for his usual ticking he was watching the wrestling match with us. I miss Yabba.


July 12

It was a goooood one too.

July 13

This is Fadi Orsan’s  brother trying to do push ups. Of course there is a rather heated discussion of exactly how to do a push up correctly and some great instruction from another one of the brothers Abou Tarek.
 His muscles were hurting for days after this attempt where he lost the bet and did not pay up.When I picture Fadi I see him with the remote control in his hand and watching for the Euro / Dollar amount to pop up or saying “Mesh Tiebie” or this is not any good. Everything was not good………….


July 14

July 15

What a cute housewife she will make some day. She was always cleaning when mom did the floors often I had to fight her for the thing. One day I really watched as she worked and noticed she cleaned under the chairs I was impressed! I have one picture of her laying down on a pillow that I wish had been a picture of the day….just didnt make it lol.

July 16

Only in Lebanon can you have all fast foods delivered. Mikkey D’s, Kentucky Fried, Pizza Hut, Aragilie you name it. Fouad and I wanted to order something one night from a very high floor in a building while the power was out.
This picture did come in handy one night when we wanted Ice Cream the biddi bozza (I want Ice Cream) saying had a special meaning with us this trip. I had the number to call on the phone roflol. Hubby had taken his shower and was not taking the risk of no power to go out and get them. He just did not want to sweat! So we had McFluries delivered one night. I did not get the picture of the guy delivering it because they didn’t want to ask him and I was in the shower when it was delivered. If I would have been there I would have asked and I bet he would have smiled too! It was a very good McFlury BTW!  Fadi when ordering said he didn’t want a Mc Flury because it would not be any good. Ahhh that was a funny funny night.

July 17

Fouad ugh what can I say. This was a wonderful night that ended up with one of our table singing an Em Kaltoum song for the restaurant. The hired singer literally had a seat at our table and had a sip or two of whiskey while the guy sang! This was really a fun night hot but fun.

July 18

This is the result of one of our first hotel experiences in Lebanon. Reservations were made heck Orsan even went to the hotel to see one of the rooms the day before we checked in. We got to the hotel at 4:30 in the morning from the restaurant we had been to. They gave us different rooms than were shown and we were so tired we didn’t want to change rooms. We did find reservations at a better hotel the next night. The tv was sitting next to a plug-in that had one hole and two things that needed to be plugged in for the tv to work. Leave it to Saleem and Fouad to figure out that if you put the tv in the center of the room and had a plug reaching to outlets on different sides of the room, you could get the tv to work! I heard them laughing rather loudly from the adjoining room but was too tired to check what was so funny till later in the day when I had slept a few hours.

July 19

Marouk is the best breakfast ever but you got to eat it fresh. We had it on the 18th but it was not fresh so this is the second go around. The black domish part is hot and what the bread cooks on. You can have just bread or they can put cheese or zatar on it. If you ever get the chance to have this fresh do it! I was happy the guy smiled for the picture. I mean it was very hot and we needed a lot of marouk since we were a hungry bunch.

July 20

This was one of our 4 day stay at my favorite hotel in Lebanon. Le Toul De Loop shameless plug here:

This place is the best place ever and as long as we can afford to do it I would like to stay at least one night when I visit Lebanon. You’re in the freeken clouds it is amazing!

July 21

This is a bag of potatoes that Abrahim brought to one of the campfires to roast. They were really good  he brought butter and utensils too but did forget the sour cream and salt. They had salt but no sour cream in the hotel.  I just like the heck out of him. He is always coming out with bags of stuff. I would try to see him coming and get a heads up on what the guy had in stock but with him you just never know. I don’t know if I was able to get a picture of it or not but one morning he had someone bring a tray of kanafe he is so cool. You will see another of his bags later as another picture of the day. I call him abou choudra (or the father of the vegetables) and one of my fondest pictures of him is laying on the grass with his overalls on and a stalk of something sticking out of his mouth. I miss him and his family a lot and hope to see them next summer while visiting.

July 22

This is the freeken elevator at my father in law’s place. Since people smoke everywhere in Lebanon (even in the airport) it is not that strange to see one there. I just had to have this as a picture of the day since I doubt I will ever see another elevator that I can smoke in anytime soon.

July 23

 A lot of the times the next days food discussion would be very important. The egg discussion started late the night before with the guys deciding to go for bayd baladyee or really freeken fresh eggs. They came back with 2.5 to 3 dozen at a very good price and started cracking. Most of them had a really bad smell or stuff in it. I did not stick my nose to see exactly what the smell was or what was in them I listened to their comedy from afar. Hubby had the bright idea of holding them up to the light in the kitchen before cracking to see if he could see anything. They ended up talking bad about the guy and his lack of fresh eggs, and cooking the ones that were already in the fridge from the local grocery store.

July 24

This is another one of his bags. These are fresh almonds (pretty sure that is the nut) and were well received by us while sitting as a group one evening. Again I must stress there were a lot of us that night. When we left there were just a few left in the bag. You eat them by cracking off the green stuff and getting the nut out, then you can dip it in salt. Again I do not eat these I tried them a couple of times but for me I will wait till they are roasted.

July 25

This is hubby who was very tired in the afternoon. If you can believe it he was asleep in this pose and snoring very loudly.

July 26

The heat and electricity are a serious issue in this country for some. You may or may not have electricity, or a motor (generator) and the summertime can be very hot and humid. While checking on hubby tonight after work one of the questions was first is there power and if not is the motor working. He says it is still hot.  This is Fadia’s attempt at cooling us down while we were visiting to welcome her husband home. The only problem is some of the people in the room do not want the fan blowing right on them so it was someone’s idea to point it at the ceiling. Of course that did not last long with me and soon I had both fans pointing in my direction. Heck if they did not want them I was more than happy to oblige and have them blowing on me. Again all I can say was it was freeken hot!

July 27

This is hubby with one of our close friends daughter. We had a great time when we went to visit them in Betroun. It is funny how we ended up staying at their house…..we had reservations at a Chalet which was supposto be big enough for all of us we were 7 that night. It was a big deal at the reservation desk and the customer services were lacking bad that night. The girls ended up with Marcel and the guys stayed with Toni. They were so nice and hospitable it was like home but without MY pillow!

July 28

 I was finally able to go and visit Jieta. Jieta is a wonderful cave that is north of Beirut. I had a great time there and if it wins in the bid to become of the great wonders of the world then I will probably never see it again because hubby will not have the patience to stand in the lines. There were two areas of caves and this is the lower area where you rode in a boat. All in all a wonderful day.

July 29

This photo is being taken in the parking lot of a gas station around midnight while hubby is putting air in the tire of the car. This photo has been over a year in the making and it is the logo for the new car rental in Beirut. The name was not the first choice or even on the list just another of the many obstacles that have come in the past year and at every turn it seemed like it may never happen. God willing there will be peace in the Middle East and the business will flourish. Within four days of opening all the cars were rented which is a good sign.

July 30

My father in law and son Fouad. May god continue to bless them both and bring us together next summer. My only regret this trip is that he did not go with us the many places we went and that he walked home in the heat the last day we were there. I know he is older and set in his ways but I really would like him to go with us more places next year I feel like I didn’t even see him much.

July 31

This was the view from the dashboard on the way home from the airport. The car is having problems and they started with me. Still not sure exactly what is wrong but hubby is driving it and has AAA.

Aug 1

This is my son who wants to be a sacker for his first job. He wanted practice and thought the self checkout was the way to go. Honestly if you see him ringing your groceries at the checkout watch him. He almost ran the splenda twice……and I am talking the big box. Arse!

So those are my pictures of the day. I just love this app I guess it is me being creative in the only way I have time to now. My claytable is screaming at me because I have not sat down at her in over a month. Okay I get it that three of those weeks I was on vacation but still I miss my work table. Not sure when updates will be able to happen for the next month I can see now life is going to get in the way but you can look forward to weekly posting resuming in October for sure.

Take care and be creative in whatever way you can with the time you have!

Facebook Focus Continued

May 30, 2010

If you did not take the poll last week there is still time to take it to be included in the results next week.

I want to continue with the Facebook theme this week with a post that may or may not hit a nerve. It is the games on Facebook and my intent was to delete all games (I only play Farmville) with this posting but I am just not sure I can bring myself to do that. It is not that I enjoy screaming at the screen while whatever I am trying to do freezes, but I really love some special moments that I have had while planting and harvesting. This week Just the facts Ma’m.

I understand that not all of you play Farmville your favorite may be Mafia Wars, Fishville, Cafe World,  Restaurant City, Castle Age or insert your favorite here. Honestly I want you to think of it in clicks how many do you do each and every day when you could be clicking other things? Last week it took 5 Clicks to create a business page on Facebook. 5 Clicks……

When hubby said that he would spend an hour on his farm daily I told him he was crazy and asked if he had a tractor? Do you have a Harvester? What do you have? Let me see your farm!  He removed his reading glasses and explained that he was saving his money. I told him he needed to buy all the machines and get some arborists and farmhands so he just had a few clicks not a million. Our son came into the room in the middle of the conversation and after laughing and shaking his head at us left the room and said we needed to get a life.

This got me to thinking of how much time I spend on my farm every day. And so I had to  of course do some research and find out how long I did spend on the farm every day. This is when Farmville  introduced the newest building a greenhouse! So everyone was trying to get this or that to finish building. Also that was when they made the last upgrade to how you accepted your gifts which led to me getting a lot of error messages and wasted time. At one point this month there was a two-week period where I could not touch my gifts in any way it kept going to the market  no matter what I tried. Believe me I was trying to get to work on the farm I kept clicking and cussing. I almost thought it was a sign from the Farmville Gods that I was supposto quit playing.

Once I finally was able to play again I was amazed at how long it takes to do things.

I will admit I went crazy in the beginning timing how long it takes to do things doing them 5 times to get an average. I timed things like how long it takes the farm to load (11 seconds) go full size (07 seconds) accept 10 spring eggs in your gift box THE NEW WAY (47 seconds) you get the idea?

I know it seems like those are seconds but how many times do you do it in a day or a week? How many clicks? That is the question I kept asking myself. How many bleeping clicks to get that mystery gift from the request stage actually to the farm! So I timed it this time with 3 as the average. Note this part of the research was done on my new laptop (yea for me) which is a lot quicker.

It mattered how quickly and smoothly Facebook was moving at that particular time. One night I spent 11 minutes and 54 seconds and got so frustrated. I ended up spending 26 minutes going through all gifts and getting many error messages but cleaned it out so I could get accurate information for tracking next day.

Next three attempts average for 30 items from request to on the farm not in an egg or box 🙂 13:45.

Harvest, plow and seed were all within seconds so the average time for all was 2:52.

To harvest all buildings, animals and trees with arborists and farmhands 1:04

To fertilize 15 friends 17:19.

That is a lot of clicking that is all I have to say. Think about it how many clicks for you today? This week?  This month? I will focus next week on the special moments while playing Farmville, the poll results which so far have been very surprising, and the decision Delete or not to Delete.


May 7, 2010