edina tien: December 2006

December 31, 2006

time flies

Best wishes to you for a very happy 2007!

December 29, 2006

viva las vegas!

Wow, I didn't think Vegas would be a popular place to go for Christmas but it was packed!! I've heard the Strip described as a Disneyland for adults - I can definitely attest to standing in many Disneyland-style lines!

We had a good time doing a little of everything...visiting the newer hotels, eating, shopping, and a little gambling (since we ended up in the black, I can say that it was fun - it would be a different story if we hadn't!) We also watched some terrific shows. First, we saw LOVE which is a Cirque du Soleil show based on the Beatles' music. Though not a traditional Cirque show of acrobatics and feats of strength, it was still an amazing production with outstanding costumes and creative energy. Every vignette did a great job of bringing to life the Beatles' songs and the different historical eras in which they existed. Highly recommended, and a must-see if you're a Beatles fan. Next was Mamma Mia, a musical based on ABBA songs. Although the plot was simple, it was fun and I was impressed with how they were able to work in so many songs and make them flow naturally as part of the story. Again, highly recommended if you're an ABBA fan. Last, we saw Jerry Seinfeld who was fabulously funny as usual. I only wish the show could have been longer, though I'm sure it's exhausting enough for him to talk nonstop for an hour. The comedian who opened, Tom Papa, was also very good.

We did some window shopping in the various malls and shopping arcades. If you're into luxury name brands, Vegas is a great place to visit because so many of the stores are conveniently located together. One of my favorites was Hermès (to look at, not to buy!) - the quality of their merchandise is phenomenal. Here are some of their holiday window displays.

We also enjoyed lots of great food. Here's the foot-high sandwich my brother is about to dig into from Carnegie Deli (and no, he did not finish it) :

Other random photos:

inside Bellagio hotel

views from and of Bellagio

Paris hotel across from Bellagio

the Mirage's "volcanic eruption" display

canal inside the Venetian

my brother reading up on how to beat the house

Thanks for putting up with my vacation photos and stories - I'll stop here to keep from boring you any longer! Read on for the rest of the 12 days gifts...

12 days swap finale - boo hoo!

This has been an incredible 12 days of Christmas gift exchange and I'm a little sad that it had to come to an end...wouldn't it be wonderful to open up gifts like these each and every morning?!

Bonus gift #13: a fantastic altered tin made by Maija Lepore

Day 12: a terrific altered pocket calendar made by Lelainia Lloyd

Day 11: Kelly Snelling made a phenomenal handbound
blank book with her artwork and handwritten literary
passages scattered throughout the pages

Day 10: an amazing tag book (each page individually decorated!)
made by Laura Duet

Day 9: a very cool brass stencil necklace made by Crystal Neubauer

December 22, 2006

happy holidays!

We're off to Vegas for a few days. I know it's an odd choice but my parents insisted on a family vacation this year, and Vegas is a short enough flight that we can drop off and pick up the dogs on our travel days and shorten their stay at the kennel. None of us really gamble so our focus will be on hanging out with each other, eating good food, and watching great shows. The last time hubby and I visited Vegas was about 8 years ago, so I'm sure we'll also check out all the over-the-top hotels that have been built since then...I think New York-New York was the newest hotel when we were there!

I'll be back next week to share the rest of the 12 days gift swap and some other projects in the works. Until then, may you and your loved ones share a joyous holiday together!

December 20, 2006

more goodies

Above are photos of the très magnifique gift I received from Diane Downs at the PAC holiday party. She covered an old wine container with French-themed papers and filled it with lots of yummy goodies including game pieces, brass stencils, wood printer's blocks, and original French vintage papers and postcards. I also love the keys, tags, and soldered charm that she made to hang from the handle. Thanks again, Diane!

Below are photos of the charms that I made for Maggie Kolkena as part of her present. This year we drew names and provided wish lists. Lucky for me, Maggie said one of the things she has been coveting lately are Sally Jean-type charms. Don't know if you can see the collage on the bigger one, but it says "duct tape FAIRY" since Maggie had taught this class at Art and Soul a few months ago. The smaller "fly" and "soar" charm has a little bird charm dangling from it.

catching up on the 12 days gift swap

I'm so grateful to be a part of this swap with such talented artists. Here are the awesome gifts I received on Days 2 through 8.

Day 8: a fabulous altered CD dangly made by Liz Smith

Day 7: a lovely booklace made by Penelope Harris

Day 6: a breathtaking beewax collage made by Katie Kendrick

Day 5: a gorgeous necklace made by Kristen Robinson

Day 4: a beautiful notebook made by Deb Lewis

Day 3: my canvas collage

Day 2: a wonderful soldered pendant made by Amy Huff

And actually on our assigned day, we got to open a bonus present because we have 13 people in our group. So I opened the fantastic gift made by Maija Lepore on Day 3 but won't post a photo until everyone else gets a chance to open theirs.

December 16, 2006

just a quick note

Thank you so much for your emails and comments of concern and well wishes. I'm actually feeling much better than I thought I would be. My biggest worry right now is my back. I think I need to find a chiropractor to get an adjustment, so if anyone in the Portland/Vancouver area has a recommendation, I would much appreciate it. Thanks again for your concern - it really means a lot to me! :)

December 15, 2006

turn & look before you shift into reverse!

As I was walking into the grocery store this afternoon, a woman backed her car into me and knocked me down. She claimed that she was "avoiding" another car backing up into her but I think she was actually jonesing for a space in a pretty full parking lot. Fortunately, she wasn't going too fast and stopped short of running me over. I'm mostly just badly bruised with some sprains and strains here and there. I spent the better part of the evening in the ER for an exam and x-rays and was relieved that nothing was broken. I'm feeling quite battered though and can already feel my body won't be up for much in the next few days. I have lots to share but it will have to wait. I did want to pop in for a quick hello while I'm still able to since I promised to announce the winner of the zine giveaway. Thanks for all your entries - I decided to add the ones that were emailed to me into the comments section, so be sure to go there to read all the terrific interesting words that everyone submitted. I threw everyone's names into a hat and drew...

ALEX S.!!!

Congratulations Alex, please email me your snail mail address when you have a chance. Thanks again to everyone who played. I had planned to have another drawing this week but I think with my latest setback and the holidays approaching, I'll start again in January. Please check back then - I've got lots of cool things to give away.

And now I'm off to rest my aching body...

December 13, 2006

free zine giveaway

Don't forget I'm giving away a new copy of Randi Watt's Self-Portraits zine - it's one with a cover that is no longer in print so if you don't have it, now's your chance. To enter, scroll down to my post on December 7 or click here and submit a comment with your six interesting words. I'll be randomly drawing a name tomorrow evening and will post the winner's name on Friday. Bonne chance!

addendum: I'm getting emails from people who are having trouble with leaving a comment. That's fine - I'll be sure to enter you in the drawing and post your words tomorrow.

on the first day of christmas...

I got to open this wonderfully crafted gift from Shari - aren't they lovely? I decided to hang them on a wire dress form so I could photograph them. Shari did a great job wirewrapping the earrings and the beads are just gorgeous; I'm sorry my camera is not able to do them justice. I'm in Group One so check out Group Two's gifts on the blog here.

woo hoo - the usps comes through after all

I finally received my Hot Flashes From the Kitchen apron/recipe book after it was sent three weeks ago - yippee! The Priority Mail envelope had opened up on one side and arrived with a rubber band holding it together, but luckily, the book arrived no worse for the wear. Below are a few select photos. All the artwork is great and the recipes look delish - I can't wait to try them out.

a selection of apron pages

front cover by Sarah Fishburn

Susan Goodell/Celine Navarro

Kathy Strittmater/Christi Wich

Kris Henderson/me

December 12, 2006

one more day!!

The present-opening begins tomorrow for The Twelve Days of Christmas gift swap. Here are mine, overflowing from an antique wooden box. Can't wait to reveal the first one - I may have to start at midnight tonight!

December 11, 2006

wondrous white

Here is the gorgeous shrine that I received in the Alphabetica swap. A wonderful job done by Sandra. It took 2 months to arrive from Germany (talk about snail mail) and was worth the wait!

December 07, 2006


In the latest Art & Life (Issue #6), Teesha posed questions to different artists featuring the number six. One of them was six interesting words. Being a big fan of words, language, and reading, I thought that was a great question and wondered what your list would include. To make it fun, I'm going to have a little drawing for a copy of Randi Feuerhelm-Watts' Self-Portraits Zine.

Leave your list of six words in a comment and come back next week to see who won (names will be drawn at random). No need to leave any personal info - the winner can privately email me their snail mail address.

There are so many great words, it's hard to have to choose, but here are the six that I picked today:
1. concomitant - don't know why, but this word has been stuck in my head for 20 years (since studying vocabulary for the SAT in high school)!!

2. onomatopoeia - such a poetic word and great when spoken aloud

3. quality - many meanings and loaded with possibilities

4. obsession - again, a loaded word

5. tchotchke - another fun one to say out loud

6. karma - I couldn't decide between this one and kismet
Tell us what words come to your mind...

December 04, 2006

anyone else having trouble with the post office?

Priority Mail packages are going missing, originating from different parts of the U.S. (no, unfortunately, none have delivery confirmation so the senders can't track them). What's the deal - do they just throw out the ones that don't have a tracking number? Can anyone enlighten me? The only upside to this is knowing that I did the right thing getting delivery confirmation for the packages I've sent out over the years! Maybe it's time to switch to UPS...

clarification...the above was not a statement about the mail in general, just packages for art swaps I happen to be participating in! :)

December 02, 2006

treasure your loved ones

~snow falling on ruby~

Our week-long road trip to the Bay Area was a busy one - there were literally no spare moments to be had. This year, since my sister-in-law just got engaged, we also went to her finace's family celebration which resulted in us attending two Thanksgiving meals within 3 hours of each other. Boy, did we eat well! It was a nice trip made even more meaningful after my next story...

As soon as we returned, I came down with a nasty cold. This happens to either or both me and my hubby after almost all of our CA trips because there's always someone who has a flu or cold and spreads it around during our holiday gatherings. Usually we are very grumpy about it (cuz really, who enjoys being sick?), but this time it was a blessing in disguise. For the several days I vegged out on the couch, I spent lots of extra time petting our two Goldens and discovered a lump on my sweet Boo (short for one of her nicknames, Ruby Booby Boo). We took her to the vet today and had a biopsy done. Very fortunately it was diagnosed as a lipoma or benign fat tumor, but we have to watch it closely because of its location. If it grows too large, it may interfere with her walking. Also, the vet told us to keep track of it because other kinds of cancerous tumors could develop underneath it.

The thought of losing Ruby so soon - she just turned five last week - has been rough. I'm so glad the lump was not cancer, but the scare reinforced in me the fact that neither she nor any of those we love, care about, and who make a difference in our lives will be around forever. It's been a great reminder not to take any of them for granted.