Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pap Smear Scare

I got the dreaded note from the doctor about the results of the last pap smear. The note states: "It shows a need for immediate action". So I immediately thought CANCER!
They already pre-scheduled me for a colposcopy appointment for August 7th, so it must be serious. I will try not to freak out.

However, I looked up colposcopy in About.com and it does not necessarily mean one has cancer but shows inflammation or other infection. I think that it's better to know than not to know....but the mind works in mysterious ways like thinking of all the time one has felt more tired than usual...or when one particular day you had to throw up because of nausea...etc, etc, and so on until one gets worked up into a frenzy!

The procedure is fairly simple. Acetic acid is placed on the cervix (ouch!), which causes the cervical cells to fill with water so light will not pass through. Then a large electric microscope is positioned to see the cervix. Abnormal vascular areas will show up as white and a tissue sample is taken from the whitest areas are sent to the lab for further evaluation.

I'm the type of person that is very curious and will try to trick the doctor into telling me right then and there what he sees. I did that during my pelvic ultrasound in which I said " I know you are not supposed to tell the patient if you see something bad as you need to get lab results back, but is there anything you can tell me about what you see?" That is when the tech said that I had some minor watery cysts that are perfectly normal. So I will probably try the same tactic.

I will keep everyone updated.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank You Farrah!

When I was a little girl I watched Charlie's Angels and was amazed that women were finally being portrayed as being brainy, gainfully employed fighters! I guess that finally inspired me to take Hap Ki Do later on in life.

I wanted to start painting again and was not sure where to get inspiration from. So I started from the influences of when I was a child, and we really don't appreciate those people until they are gone unfortunately.

So Thank You Farrah for encouraging all us girls out there that we can do it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ancient Jewelry

I enjoy making pieces of art that creates an ambiance of going back in time to the days when all they had were natural materials. Nothing went to waste. Such as when they skinned the animals they used the hide for leather, made glue from the skins and created stuff from the bones.

I remember trying my hand at making rabbit skin glue in England. You get the skin granules at old timey art stores. Some stores over there still carry pigments in little waxen bags. It harks to the days when they used to make their own oil paints. They hand mixed powder with linseed oil and ground them together. When? During the time of Shakespeare?

Anyways, when I made the glue I had to use a double boiler. It sure smelled like skin! Not too bad though as it kinda sent one back to caveman days...sort of tribal recollections of roasting one's rival by skewering him and slowly roasting over the ritual fire pit. Also, could also make my own gesso from putting Whiting into the glue until it was of double cream consistency. I'm not sure how to transfer that into American terminology even though I'm American...but just imagine pancake batter that is not too thick or too thin.

I'm not in the mood to create something from scratch. The cute little wild rabbits in are yard are safe for one more day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's Black, It's White, yeah yeah yeah!

I had a marvelous time working on this commemorative collage in the black and white theme for Michael Jackson's memory. Which brings to mind how he started out a black man and ended up white man, pretty much. It really never bothered me to hear of all the latest updates in his looks through the years....figured if he was unhappy with his looks and he had the money to "make that change"...so be it. My thoughts on that is.... that we probably will never really know what compelled him to change his skin color....was it because of the pigmentation disease like he mentioned in an interview? Now we will never know, but the doctors that treated him do.

Or, as some mention, was it because the "man in the mirror" he wanted to erase was really his father Joe, who beat the Jackson kids to a pulp growing up? Well, it's not as if we could have just walked up to him and asked him, as even when he was alive he was prone to giving the "stage" answers to some questions. I would love to do some research and find out how many people have actually done the same whitening thing with their skin. Can we actually reverse the process and add more pigment to our skin? That would be neat to get a tan that way...if it was safe.

I think Michael Jackson wanted to compel us to ask these questions of whether it really matters if we are black or white.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Turtle Sculpture

I love my little fern gully in my back yard! It is a great place to photograph my latest creations....except for the fact the area is buzzing with mosquitoes! Since I have stopped using chemical bug repellent, I've been using Burt's Bees all natural herbal insect repellent. It' got as the ingredients: castor oil (no wonder the bugs hate it!) rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, citronella, clove, geranium. The carrier oil is soybean and the natural preservative is vitamin E...or tocopherol.

It actually works and does last a long time. If I sniff my skin and it smells like its worn off I re-apply....especially if I'd been sweating......excuse me....perspiring! No, actually I do sweat like a man, because I do all the work around here with me being a single mom and all!

This is a better snapshot of the sculpture showing the cute turtle on the top and surrounded by lovely mosquito ridden ferns. I got rid of all the poison ivy last year with a topical treatment...which means I had to find all the plants and spray the growth tops, so I was gingerly looking around to see if there was any new growth. There was some but it was out by the woods. Don't worry, I am prepared with Burt's Bees Poison Ivy soap:

The main ingredient is jewelweed, of which was studied by Robert Rosen Ph.D, a chemist at Rutgers University. The chemical in jewelweed, called lawsone, is a substance that binds to the same molecular sites on the skin as urushiol (the stuff in the plant that gives us a rash)and in effect locks out the urushiol. The simple result is that you do not get the rash. That bar of soap is a gardener's friend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Turtle Garden Sculpture & Pineapple Upsidedown Cake

Here are my latest creations. One is of the food variety and the other is of the concrete variety. Both equally messy with having to put ones hands into slimy materials.

Some people might not be able to tell the difference (these days people make these elaborate cakes and my sculpture might be misinterpreted as such)but the object representing the before and after egg shape with the turtle on top is the sculpture for my wonderful client Carolyn.

I experimented with a new bulb for the cake picture. It's supposed to make it look natural without all that yellowing that takes place during a regular indoor picture for us amateur photographers. I believe it seals the deal. It might look even bluer than usual but I suspect that is the compromise one makes to trade in the yellowy look.

The bulb is at Lowe's for around $7 and it's called Ott Lite: High Definition Natural Lighting. I tried to find it at Home Depot, but apparently they took it off the shelves as they were not selling enough of them.....I asked the salesman about it.....just in case you were wondering about my useless information skills. That seems weird as I would think that lots of people would be using them in their photo sessions. But, this is the country...I forgot. People are tending to their farms and don't have time to take photos.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

They Don't Really Care About Us

I have been walking around in a virtual haze all week since the passing of our Michael. I just lackadaisically assumed he would always be here. A couple days ago I was listening to earlier Michael from Motown on up to his latest work and realized....... I never really understood what an immense talent he had until now.

It's taken me all this time to put out a video clip of him singing the song he was supposed to sing on his upcoming tour. I would have done so earlier, but I've been dragging my feet in mourning. It still rings in our ears because this song was splashed all over the media showing him on stage two days before he died. I like this rendition of it as it shows how he cared so much for the underprivileged.

Michael, I hope you are at peace finally.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Realistic Murals

I found this picture of a sidewalk mural. This is so neat....like the person is gonna actually fall in this pit in the middle of the road!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Italian Kitchen

I just finished a lady's kitchen with Bellagio Faux and this is the result. I did a cobblestone wall, which is harder than doing a stoneblock effect as I had to tape and paint each individual stone to give it a haphazard look. I guess you can say I was stoned to death. Or, you can say I'm stoked that I'm done. My arm is about to fall off...it's ok....it's only a flesh wound.

Also did the rest of the kitchen in a orangy/yellow Bellagio Faux and the technique gives a marvelous effect with just one coat over a lighter basecoat. It has little particles of plaster suspended into the transparent colored glaze which makes it sort of looks like someone Hueyed up some orange tang after eating scrambled eggs. Thankfully, it does not look like that when it goes on the walls and the little particles get squashed down by one's trowel.

I'm so used to doing layers and layers of Venetian plaster to get the same effect so I've got a new friend in a paint can! I can save myself from getting tendinitis. Next time I go out to eat I'm going to bring my Bellagio paint and buy it a steak.