Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 02/21/2018

Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

From this Side of the Pond

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?

For inspiration I go to our local Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA, an outdoor art festival, or the John C. Campbell Folk Art School.  I'm a jewelry maker and I also make hand drawn cards/envelopes.  Just being around other artists is always an inspiration. 

2. What's under your bed?

Fully grown dust bunnies, wearing my run-away slippers...

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

Definitely Cook a Sweet Potato Day...with butter and brown sugar please!  A possibility, but not likely; My husband and I are going to a prix fixe dinner on Thursday...not sure if sweet potato will be on the menu.  

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?

Medical bills and insurance companies...Getting everything billed and paid correctly for an accident I had one year ago.  It has been a daunting task....

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?
  1. Having a detailed online schedule that I can pull up easily. I was a professional project manager, schedules have been part of  my life for a long time. Without one I feel lost.
  2. Setting priorities and staying focused on those priorities keeps stress and anxiety  under control.
  3. I keep learning; I read, take classes, go to weekly trivia nights, travel and explore the world around me. 
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Has anyone taken the high speed ferry from Ft Myers to Key West?  I'm looking for information about the trip....was it bumpy or rolling?  I get seasick, but I don't want to take medications, they make me sleepy.  Also, any "must see" places in Key West.  I've been many times, but love to discover something new on every trip.

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Artist Trading Cards - (ATC) - Swap-bot

Have you heard of Artist Trading Cards (ATC)? They are small original works of art exchanged amongst artists. They are given away, never sold. The size of ATCs is 2.5 x3.5 and are typically made on card stock or heavy watercolour paper.  The tiny works of art are exchanged in person or online in group swaps. There are several swapping sites open to general interest people from all over the world. The ATC community accepts people from all abilities, using a wide range of  medium to create their cards. 

I belong to the online group Swap-bot.  This group is very large and has hundreds of themed swaps. They not only sponsor ATC swaps, they also have many other outlets for creative swapping. I've participated in fiber, collage, journal page, ephemere, and decorated envelope swaps, but my favorite is the ATC swap.

Here is an example of the card I'm sending this week.....

The theme of this swap was "Profile Based"; after I was assigned a swap partner, I took a look at her profile for ideas on what she like, where she lived, and any special requests.  She is an Emergency Medical Technician living in Cheyenne, WY; she said that she would like to receive a emergency services themed that is what I made for her. 

EMS - Artist Trading Card

I used a collage technique to create this card. I included a map of Cheyenne, Wy as the background, added emergency services ephemere, and vintage photos.  I like how it turned out. 

I drew and colored this cute little ambulance on the front of the envelope I'm using to send the trading card.  I hope she will like them. 

Additional Envelopes that I've created...

I always decorate the envelope I'm sending the cards in.  It is so much fun to open the mailbox and find brightly colored mail in amongst the bills and such....I love swapping! Below are examples of other decorated envelopes that I've sent recently...

Check out Swap-bot if you are looking for a creative outlet, but be careful, it's addicting!

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 01/31/2018

Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

From this Side of the Pond
1. Speaking of your wit's end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all's well that ends well, or no end in sight...which 'end' phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.  

  Right now I would say I'm at loose ends...I feel very unorganized (not typically my situation).  My sweetie and I were both suffering the Flu for 3 weeks. The Christmas Decorations are still up, the house is less than sparkling, and my creative projects are spread across every flat surface. The situation has gone way past my tolerance for clutter.

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

  At the risk of revealing my true vintage, I must say my most cherished accessory was my leather fringe jacket.  I wore it so much that most photos of me from that era feature my jacket and Chukka boots...guess when!?!

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

  I spent the day making handmade Valentine's Day cards and envelopes. I love a good craft project and it made me smile when my little cat Ghost got up in my lap to help.  He loves a good paper project too....

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We're having chicken salad for lunch...would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

  I love Croissants! My favorite lunch is a steaming cup of soup and a Chicken salad sandwich on a croissant from my favorite lunch spot - Cantaberry in downtown Blue Ridge, GA.

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

  Friends, champagne and a kiss; arctic blast with heavy mist;  falling hard into flu's abyss....    

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

  Hoping February is a better month...we have a road trip planned and a lot of adventures scheduled with good friends and family in Florida. So looking forward to the trip!

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Get Organized...

After the holidays I always resolve to get my house organized...this year is no different.  When my space is organized and decluttered, it brings peace and clarity, and I know that for me, I just function so much better when my home is in order. To help the process, I found a list of things to throw away, donate, or recycle, based on each room in your home.  The list is from the blog: Simply Kierste Design. Maybe it will help you too!

I'll try to make organization a doable project– I don’t have to do it all in one day. The plan is to  start small–maybe a drawer or two a day, a closet, or a room.  The key is to make it a consistent effort– I need to do something every day.  I'm off to sort my socks, they are overflowing the designated sock drawer.

Lori in Blue Ridge

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Stand Out in a Crowd...

How many business cards have you received in the last year and how many do you still remember? I’m learning that business cards should look professional but still have unique flair. That means not having too much going on as far as graphics, while still being attractive. As an artist, my business card is an extension of my work, and I want to be able to market myself the right way. Here are some tips I’ve learned while researching business cards:
• Only choose the best paper for your business cards. Thicker heavier paper is better as it looks more expensive and professional. 

• Use colorful printing, prices have dropped, it does not cost much more than standard two color cards. 

• Use a tagline that will quickly let the person know what your product/skill is. 

• Put a picture on your business card. Studies have shown that people are more likely to hold on to a Business card with a photo on it. It could be your picture, a picture of your product, or a combination of both. Picture cards get attention! 

• Do not use a premade business card design called templates. The more people who use these templates, the more your card starts to look like everybody else’s. You want to have a business card that stands out, not one that gets lost in the crowd.
I’ve learned that if I want to use good business etiquette and good marketing then I need to start handing out more of my business cards. This will help me to conduct my business in a much more professional and efficient manner. There is nothing easier or more profitable than using business cards in a marketing strategy.

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 01/03/2018

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.
From this Side of the Pond

1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are- unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy
Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add.

Adding my own word - chef-driven - Is it really necessary to describe a restaurant as "chef-driven"? Who else is going to be driving it? The busboy, or maybe the seating hostess?

2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?

"Stuff" would be my answer - the things that we never use, but somehow have managed to hold on to for more years than I can count. You know the "Stuff" wine glasses you've amassed from countless wine tastings, the wall art that does not have a place in the new house (or the last three houses), or gadgets that just don't get used like the crepe maker or the popcorn maker that burns every batch. So much "Stuff"!

3. Where do you feel stuck?

Being able to forgive a family member that has abused relationships and caused the entire family much pain and financial strain last year. Their belief that they are entitled to forgiveness and acceptance of their hurtful actions is not helping. I just can't forgive this person right now...I'm stuck.

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?

I had a bowl of soup at my favorite lunch spot on Friday (Cantaberry in Blue Ridge, GA). They make all their soups from scratch; my favorite is Creamy Wild Mushroom Brie.  A locally canned corn and bacon chowder is my favorite canned soup.

5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.

We've just enclosed a side porch so I can have a studio space dedicated to my Precious Metal Clay jewelry business.  It's been too cold (11 degrees) for me to use the space yet. I'm looking forward to getting in there and playing with clay!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Working on New Year Resolutions, one is to join Hodgepodge and blog more often this year!  I'm off to a good start...

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Friday, December 29, 2017

My New Creative Space.....

I absolutely loved working with metal clay during my jewelry class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. My Husband encouraged me to continue working with metal clay after the class; he even bought me a kiln in my favorite color purple as a surprise...    

Lori Dorrington

What he didn't realize was that I needed many additional tools to be successful at this new craft. Dryers, tumblers, polishers, textures, expensive metal clays, metal tools, etc, etc, etc... The tools for clay and supplies for other crafts began to take over every flat surface in the house.  When he had to move my tumbler, dehydrator, and handmade card stock so he could make dinner, I think he was sorry he encouraged me to start down this new jewelry making path...LOL.

So, today construction of  my new Metal Clay Studio is complete and ready for action; we've enclosed one of the porches on our house with weather tight panels and screens. Take a can't get much better natural light than this!

The entrance to the studio...

The kiln, tumbling, and drying area...

The design and production area...

The View...

The view of the stream...

Stay tuned for updates on my spring collection of  metal clay jewelry...I'll be working in both copper and bronze.  LOVE the new creative space!

Lori in Blue Ridge
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Love this Place...

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a week long class at the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in Brasstown NC. It was a wonderful experience and well worth the investment!

Mrs. Olive Dame Campbell donated her homestead and created the beautiful campus. The school was founded to nurture and preserve the folk arts of the Appalachian Mountains, it is a nonprofit adult educational organization based on non-competitive learning. Founded in 1925, the Folk School's motto is “I sing behind the plow”. The Folk School has week-long and weekend classes year-round in traditional and contemporary arts, including but not limited to jewelry, fiber, blacksmithing, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography, storytelling and writing. 

The landscape is inspiring...

The studios are well appointed...

Classes are fun and varied...

The classes are beginners to advanced levels...

I took a class in precious metal clay jewelry; the instructor was Pam East – she is a precious metal clay artist who shares her knowledge with beginners like me. She is funny and interesting and a great teacher.   Here is a sample of my work:

Copper Metal Clay Jewelry - Lori Dorrington

Looking forward to my next class this summer!
Lori in Blue Ridge

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Dreaming of a Winter Retreat....

The cooking is done, the presents have all been unwrapped, the new toys have been tested, and the fire has gone out.... Grandma needs a break...I'm dreaming of a snowy winter escape....

Maybe a cabin covered with snow...

With a cozy rustic interior and a big  fireplace.... 

and a funny snowman to greet us at the door...

With two big cushy chairs to read by the fire.

 Or maybe a cozy little place just for two...

With a warm little interior for snuggling...

and a sweet barn for daydreaming in the hay!


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Monday, July 31, 2017

Wise Words

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 07/12/2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 313

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

From this Side of the Pond

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)
Today I had a chat with our neighbor Brian; I gave him a tip about a couple looking for an investment property. Brian is a realtor here in Blue Ridge, GA.

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

I'm most like a lake. I'm an easy going individual, relaxed with a sense of calm and serenity.  Lakes are serene, consistent, and tranquil. 

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

I have been to Rehoboth Beach, but I was very young and have little memory of Delaware, but I do remember the beach and playing in the surf with my cousins. Georgia is the "Peach" state; I would rename it the "Peanut" state.  Peaches are no longer the largest crop in GA and they are hard to find this year. Peanuts are plentiful and GA is the number one exporter of peanuts in the nation. You can't drive more than a few miles in our state without seeing a boiled peanut stand on the side of the road...we love our peanuts!

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

My go-to is a desert: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars, it's a crowd pleaser.  We recently took them to Trivia night, they were a big hit.

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

Hire a nanny?  I have not been a mother/parent, so I don't have any tips for new parents. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
It's been awhile since I've joined a hodgepodge. I had a serious accident on my bicycle 6 months ago and shattered my shoulder and upper right arm. I had reconstructive surgery and have been concentrating on physical therapy.  The doctor predicted a year before I'd be back to normal. I thought that was crazy, but  now I know the surgeon wasn't kidding. I'm just starting to use my hand and arm 6 moths later....Thanks for all your prayers, good juju, and thoughts for healing. 

Lori in Blue Ridge
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Monday, July 10, 2017

New Design

Most of you know that I make and sell jewelry at outdoor and barn art festivals. Since my bicycle accident in Jan. I haven't been able to use the small hand tools needed to complete my designs (I still can't grip well with my right hand yet). So, I experimented with wrapping and coiling copper wire around a cuff until I got use to the feel and flexibility of the wire.
After several trial runs, I began weaving and wrapping the coral beads, copper beads, gemstones, and crystals from my stash around the cuff. I really like how it turned out, what do you think?

Lori in Blue Ridge
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Friday, May 19, 2017

What you doing in there?

Why does my cat Buddy have a special fascination with the bathroom while I'm using it?

If I don't let him in with me, he meows mournfully on the other side of the door. If that approach doesn't work, he will put his paws under the door and wave desperately. Does he think I'm going to be swallowed by the toilet? Is he guarding me in moments of vulnerability? Or maybe he just enjoys watching the water swirl around the's a mystery!
Lori in Blue Ridge

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Monday, March 20, 2017

A Best Seller in My Etsy Shop....

My Etsy shop has been a little sparse since my accident in January. My shoulder injury and reconstructive surgery has limited the range of motion in my right arm and hand. Restocking my shop and participating in spring Art Festivals has been put on hold for this season.  

I was also unable to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party which will have it's reveal's the 9th year for this fun event. If you'd like to see the jewelry designs, the reveal is on March 25th at...

I have had a few Etsy sales, and I'm thankful for that. Below is a photo of one of my best sellers.  I look forward to getting back to work as soon as possible!

Lori in Blue Ridge
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 03/01/2017

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. 'Slow and steady wins the race'...tell us about a time this was true in your own life. 

I waited for the right one to come was a slow and steady journey to find the man of my true forever love. I had to kiss many, many,  frogs along the way before I found my prince, I was 45 when it finally happened!  My advice to anyone looking for Mr or Mrs right: don't settle for mediocre... wait for your hearts desire.  

2. 'As slow as molasses'...Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What's your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what's your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 

Straight molasses - no, but I do like it added to other ingredients to add a little flavor. As a teenager I worked at the Dairy Queen and loved a gooey hot fudge and caramel sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top...yummy! I shouldn't, but I still stop by DQ for a sweet treat regularly.     

3. Your favorite slow song? 

The Look of Love preformed by Diana's so beautifully arranged.

4. Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 

Beef stew in the crock pot, served with mashed potatoes covered with the gravy from the stew.

5. 'You may delay, but time will not.' ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?

I will wait until the last minute, but still allow enough time to get the job done. I've been putting off unpacking the last of the moving boxes from our move in May. It's just not a top priority, but the boxes do make me crazy.

6. Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.

I live in a rural community, folks here in the mountains work two and three jobs to make ends meet.  Getting help with things like house maintenance has been a slow and tedious process. Everyone wants the job, but no one has time to actually do the work.  Example: we need a rock retaining wall built, several bids came in for the work in August; we accepted one, and then another, and we still don't have the wall built..not even started yet...don't know if it will ever get done at this rate....everything seems to move at a snails pace in the mountains.

7. March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you'll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you'd like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 

Craft Festival Booth

I'm very crafty but all projects are on hold.  I had a serious accident on my bicycle 5 weeks ago and shattered my shoulder and upper right arm. I had reconstructive surgery and have a long road of physical therapy ahead before I can use my right arm at all.  They predict a year before I'll be back to normal.  I can read and blog with one hand, so that's what I'm doing now.  My jewelry making business is on hold for the time being. Bummer!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I just want to thank my husband for all his nursing efforts and support; also I want to thank everyone praying for pain relief and healing for me. I am finally out of bed and vertical this week. I do have strong pain meds, but they make me ill and dizzy. Please pray for continued pain relief so I can get off the meds.

Lori in Blue Ridge, Ga
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