Jewelry Elements

I set out to create a jewelry collection that reflected scenes of nature. These are scenes that are beautiful and a little odd. A little odd never hurt anyone.

1. Turtle Shell

necklace 7p

necklace 7

Beads Used: jasper stone and mother of pearl.


2. Abalone Shell

necklace 6p

necklace 6

Beads Used: mother of pearl, fresh water pearls and glass.


3.  Lava Flow

necklace 5p

necklace 5

Beads Used: mixture of glass and acrylic .

4. Petrified Wood


necklace 4

Beads Used: Shell, Wood, Red Garnet Beads, Jasper Stone, Glass

5. Frozen Pond

Round island of ice around reed grown in lake

necklace 3


6. Glowing Embers

necklace 2p

necklace 2

Beads Used: LOTS of Glass beads

7. Sea Shore

necklace 1p

necklace 1

Beads Used: Glass and Shell beads




















































Warming Up


When I sit down to write I begin with writing. Runners and athletes warm up before they start so why not writers? Sounds a bit redundant, right?

Would someone have walked up to Babe Ruth in the batting cage and asked, “Hey why do you keep swinging that bat around? You’ll be doing enough of that during the game.”

But for some reason the thought of warm up writing is ridiculous for some writers.

How do I warm up to writing? With a journal. It helps me work through the problems I was trying to work out in my head…while tossing and turning like laundry in bed the night before. Also because it helps jumpstart my brain. Often times I would sit with pen in hand, frozen, unable to write a single word. That doesn’t really happen anymore. I trick my brain into working. I ask myself a series of questions which makes writing a gradual process.

  1. First, I ask: what will I be working on today? Then I answer, in my journal.
  2.  Why do I want to work on that?
  3.  What problems am I encountering?
  4.  Once I’ve fixed this problem why will the story be better?
  5.  Why do I want my story to be better?
  6.  What do I want my readers to take away from this story?

This list could go on forever. The point is, I’m MAKING myself answer and thus TRICKING myself into writing.

What benefits have I discovered by using a writing journal? I get to see what I’m working on in a personal narrative. It’s as if you’re talking to your best friend who actually wants to hear every single little detail about how this character likes the color orange and how in the story the color represents a bigger meaning through humanity…and doesn’t pass out from boredom.  Journaling works the best for me. I heard of others keeping an audio journal. You know ya’ll talk to yourselves in front of the mirrors trying to settle arguments. Why not settle writing issues instead? Record your voice. It gives a clearer focus.

Warming up to writing can also help with working through the kind of things most, not all, writers often are looping through their heads. I don’t want to write. I don’t know what to write about. Who cares about this stupid story? It’s a mental block, not writers block. Push past it and keep going. You know you can. Look where you are now. (Go ahead, look.) How did you get here? In fact: write about it.

My Book

Plundering Valens.

Do you know how long it took me to come up with that title? Well, because I asked that question you know it took me a long time. I’m still not sure if that is the best title for the book. (You will soon learn I’m a crazy perfectionist about certain things) At least now when people ask me what’s the name of the book I don’t have to say kooky things like,

“Umm… Crayon Colors or Lint Mobile.”

I can give them a name I’m almost certain will appear on the cover.  Plundering Valens.

Ok, now this book has a name. Then they ask what it’s about. I should answer the question this way:

“It’s a historically accurate novel about the postmodern methods of fingernail care. 10,000 pages.”

Their eyes would glaze or they would make some sound in their throat and say, “That must have taken you a long time. I didn’t know you had such an interest in nail care.”

Then they would never bring the subject up again in fear that I might want to share what the book is about. Also I hope that they didn’t notice that the title I told them didn’t match the subject of the book.

No, sadly, I don’t go through all of that.  Most of the time I say this:

“Sci-fi novel about a girl.”

For that response I get the hmm face or the silent ahh face. Usually followed by, “Cool.”

But for the sake of others I will try again.

“It’s like a light-on-the-science-heavy-on-the-fiction novel about a girl named Jia Ming. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t talk about her nails but there might be a few references to designer clothes because she’s like stinking rich and the daughter of diplomats. Then she totally realizes she wants her own identity, so she goes on this really cool journey and totally makes some BFFs.”

I may still get some eye glazing for that explanation but at least I told them the main character’s name right? There is of course more to this book. But for now I think that will do.

Plot and Structure

“The King died and then the queen died is a story. The king died and then the queen died of grief is a plot.” -E.M. Forrester

Plot is about elements, those things that go into the mix of making a good story even better. Structure is about timing- where in the mix those elements go.” -James Scott Bell, Plot and Structure.

I’d like to say first that my favorite author on the subject of writing is James Scott Bell. For some reason his work speaks to me more than other authors. So it would make sense that I would share with you an exercise that I often do to help me with my own plot and structure for my stories. Surprisingly it involves sitting on your butt watching movies or reading a book.

Wow. Are you saying I can learn something on my very own couch maybe even in my underwear? Yup, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

I have, like most, thought why did I just spend $8.50 on a terrible movie, in a crowded theatre, on a Saturday? (Marketing mostly, but I blame it on theater popcorn.) Then you think, the trailer didn’t seem so bad. So what is it? Good movies and bad movies have basically all the same elements in them, so what could it be? (Scratches Chin)

Plot and Structure!  To put it succinctly.

Ok, now on to the couch part. In the book Plot and Structure, Bell says either to watch a movie or read a book with the view to start understanding their structure. I started with movies and sitcoms. This was enjoyable because I got to relax and I started to realize why the movies were so good. The plot and structure were sound. I also started to see why some episodes of sitcoms were so funny. It was the comedic timing, which is a form of structure. This skill has helped me in my writing because it has helped me look at my own story and see where I can add interesting plot twists, or if my structure will hold my book together until the end. An invaluable skill if you’re a writer.

So the next time you’re at the movie theater and suddenly the movie turns sour try to find out why it’s so bad. Then you will know what not to do in your own stories.

Now, the picture.

Movie Poster

I decided to do a classic movie poster. Sort of Casablanca meets toon town. It was a blast to draw and I love The Duck.

Why I Love Colored Pencils

“A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.” -Joyce Meyer

Butters One

Why do I love colored pencils? Well, for some strange reason they remind me of pickup sticks and I used to love that game. Second, I feel that I have control of the medium instead of it being in control of me.

Butters Two

So am I saying that all other art mediums have some kind of deep-seated hatred for me? No. Not really. Let me spin a scenario for you to illustrate. You’re standing in your creative place, with your paint brush in hand. You take tubes of paint, water or thinner and you start to stir. Pretty soon a color begins to shape. A color you saw once a long time ago when you were little looking into a rain gutter wondering where does all that stuff go?  It goes down the sewer kid. Not a problem with colored pencils, no mixing required.

Earth's Bounty

This next one I pose a question for people who sew. Has anyone experienced the phenomenon? You’ve got the sewing machine ready. All of your material is prewashed, ironed, even taking the time to baste the material before starting. However as soon as your hand is within an inch to thread the machine you turn into the murderous Hyde? No? Well I Have! Also, not a problem with colored pencils, no terrifying needle moving at speeds practically comparable to light. No electricity required.

Flower One

These are the reasons I turned to colored pencils. I have the control. It’s only my talent as an artist that holds me back. Which if you look at it one way isn’t too cheery. I know though that through practice that it won’t hold me back. Also, they may not have the endless range of colors that paint has but an experienced penciler knows that with a little shading, blending and layering you can have some true pieces of art work.

Flower Two

One more reason? I love them because they’re mine.

Tater Tot

Want to see some awesome colored pencil artwork? Go here:

Write Every Day

“Persistence is Fruitful”"Persistence is Fruitful"

“Energy and Persistence Conquer All Things.” -Benjamin Franklin

I used to write everyday. Everyday I would use my imagination to bring the colorful world to life.


Then poof no more writing everyday. Why? I graduated high school. Years passed and that bright light of imagination dimmed. I had a few stories tucked away but I didn’t work on them. Until something curious happened. My hubby said to me: “Just write it.” That was it. (Well maybe more like, “Just write your story and don’t think about it too much KayCee.”) Before I realized what was happening I had a finished book in my lap and the red editorial pen of doom in my hand. I did it. Yay!

Then I went on to write volumes of books and nothing in the world could thwart my literary debut. (Maniacal Laugh)


Again, I finished, saw that I had more room to grow as a writer and let the bulb dim one more time.  What was the problem? I had trouble getting the words, the ideas, the feelings onto paper. It felt daunting. It seemed like a ridiculous problem until I read a writing book. It told me the base of my problems was not the fact that I didn’t want to write, or didn’t have the ideas but… I was out of PRACTICE. (gasp) Me? But I have this natural writing talent. There is no way, not one ounce of reasonable evidence that could make me out of practice.

Oh, how we fool ourselves into such nonsense. Although once I started to write everyday…..

I went on to write volumes of books and nothing in the world could thwart my literary debut. (Maniacal Laugh)

 Well not exactly…at all.

But, I learned by writing everyday I would find that rhythm of writing again. What sort of tunes do I work on? Anything that gets me writing everyday. (Sometimes lists, if you can believe that.) Through practice and persistence I’m starting to feel that I can get back to where I once belonged.

Now for the next fun part. The explanation of my picture.

Ants are extremely persistent.  They are practically the poster bugs for many analogies, on of them also being teamwork. Anyways, that is why I picked the ant. Now then you might say, “What the heck is he wearing?” Well he’s a Borg ant, and if you are at all familiar with the Borg they have an evil guy catch phrase, “Resistance is Futile.” Then my little ant dressed as a Borg brings my whole theme to my blog to a close “Persistence is Fruitful.”

Also, list of books that helped me write:
Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
Write-a-thon by Rochelle Melander
Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
How to get Ideas by Jack Foster