Wednesday, March 11, 2009


As a two-dimensional-artist-turned-three-dimensional-artist, I am coming full circle. It is never wise to get too comfortable so I am stretching myself once again. My new adventure is mixed media, acrylic, encaustic and collage. Not sure what will come of it. I am also renewing my love of the horse in my painting and may soon consider selling, although I don't seem to be as productive a painter as I am a potter. This piece was created in a class with a world renowned equine painter who hovered over my painting, claiming the eye "disturbed" him, grabbed my brush and proceeded to totally screw it up! I managed to fix it but Mr. Painter never came near me again for the rest of the class. Wise move on his part!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Beckoning of Lovely

As a newly appointed Ambassador of Lovely -- hey, I have the commemorative, limited addition dog tag necklace to prove it -- I wanted to share our Beckoning of Lovely Project with you, yes YOU, because YOU are part of this wonderful universe and YOU can join us in our search for all things lovely. First, you may wish to visit the beginning of the "Beckoning" at to understand the power we can have as strangers coming together to make this a more lovely world. Then, proceed on to

Here we go....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged. How cool. Artist Extraordinaire mochachild tagged me, and since I think it's a neat idea, I will try to keep this going.

Here are the rules:

~ Link to the person who tagged you

~ Post the rules on your blog

~ Write six random things about yourself

~ Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them

~Let each person know they've been tagged

Some random facts about me...

1. I am a closet nerd and love NPR, especially Science Friday with Ira Flato.

2. Despite my many talents, the one that I wish I had is to be able to sing -- trust me, I really got gypped in that department.

3. I am a writer and have written a book for middle school kids about a girl named Samantha who is a sixth grade loser, something I know from experience!

4. I acted in community theater throughout high school.

5. I am still madly in love with Jon Bon Jovi.

6. I love bugs and, REALLY, I do!

Now it is time to pass the torch to:


Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Dawn

The morning is hushed, my favorite time before the sun rises over the horizon. No one else is up. This is my time to take stock of my life, what I am grateful for, what I still have concerns about, how far I have come. A new optimism is taking hold, between a new administration in the White House, a new home, my children becoming fine adults before my eyes. I often find myself getting stuck in the sticky wicket of doubt. How do I deserve this? What if I lose it all? It is a constant struggle to lead myself gently back to the knowledge that it is all part of my story, the story that feeds my greater knowledge each day. Most times it is a happy one, sometimes sad, sometimes angry. But always with my greater good as the outcome.

Someone posed a question on Twitter yesterday "If you couldn't be yourself, who would you be?" How do you explain to someone that you are right where you want to be, that if you were someone else, you would be subject to a whole new set of rules set up for someone else, the good, bad and ugly? I mentioned I loved my quiet anonymity and she seemed surprised that I love that part of my life. After all, this was Twitter and weren't we all "peddling our goods" in some fashion? But the quietness is part of what I love about my life. In the quiet is my connection to everything I need, my source. It is where I go for instruction and guidance. And I can think of no other life I would rather live. I have my creativity, my health, my loved ones and beautiful surroundings. And foremost, I have my quiet guidance, always there to place me back on the path. I know of no other life I would rather have.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mad Science Meets Art

What happens when science and art collide, when that path of black and white empirical data has to make way for the intrusion of the other colors of the spectrum?

You get an artistic scientist…or a scientific artist…or Amanda Giesler, aka Ulixis.

At the ripe age of 21, she is a Master’s student in Physiology and Pharmacology, researching the link between obesity and asthma on a cellular level. Sometime in between working in the lab, doing literature searches, reading papers, authoring approval forms for research funding, and being a teaching assistant (whew!), she manages to find a little time for her art. And that is where the collision takes place, in all its wondrous colors and shapes. Be it jewelry, paper art, or just collecting fun beads and buttons, Amanda takes her inspiration from nature around her and her wonder at it all.

“I grew up in the middle of nowhere, the middle of Northern Ontario. My parents owned a tourist camp beside a river and 100 acres of land.”

This bucolic setting afforded hay in the autumn, a forest to get wood to heat the house in the winter and to gather the annual Christmas tree. And inspiration for Amanda. In school when all the other little girls were professing a desire to become teachers, Amanda wanted to be an artist.

“I grew up in a very picturesque place. I’m always more creative after a trip home.”

She now lives in Hamilton, about five hours away from her roots, on the seventh floor of an apartment building. Even so, she feels being there has helped her creativity. After putting aside her craft endeavors while concentrating on school, she rediscovered that side of herself after finding all the resources in a larger town.

“I see my artistic evolution as a revolving wheel of media. Just taking the past year into account, my work has improved a lot.”

Still, she feels she has a long way to go.

Her current family includes her boyfriend Pat, whom she met in high school over seven years ago and her pet finch, Michael.

“Pat has been pretty tolerant of my crafting. He helps me solder, comes with me to crafty stores and markets and puts up with the mess without complaining *too* much.”

Aside from her science and her crafting, she loves to cook.

“My science side is reflected in some of my work (the Mad Scientists of Etsy team challenges, mainly), as well as in my cooking. Once you know how to follow a protocol for an experiment, recipes are no problem. But I prefer cooking, because you can add your own twist to it without ruining anything!”

And how does Amanda define success as an artist/craftsperson?

“I don’t really consider success as an artist. I don’t create for success or money. It is a joy, a pastime, a stress-buster, a lifestyle. I get satisfaction from seeing what I have done with my two hands.” Validation is good, but the sheer joy of creating and sharing is what keeps her going.

And the future?

“Looking at my work, my style has matured… but I’m still young. My experimental years aren’t over.”

Ah, those experiments! Einstein, Hawking….Giesler?

One never knows!

Please visit Amanda’s shop at to see her fun (and experimental) items.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm Gonna Be Featured!

Yay! Thanks to The Bath, Body, Candle blog -- for offering to highlight me on October 21. There will be a giveaway: my French Vanilla and Amber candle, just for logging on and leaving a comment.

I must say the blog is a fun shopping trip in the land of handmade bath and body products. Ever since Michael started making soaps six years ago, I haven't touched a bar of commercial soap unless I was forced by circumstance. This blog is like handmade soap HEAVEN! In scanning the older posts I found something that just tickled my fancy:Is this not the cutest little shop? Take a look: What a fun conspiracy of artisans! Okay, I'm putting this is my future "wants" file -- a little shop shared with fun artists! Anyone want to join me?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bandit, My Dear, Sweet Canine Friend... home.

A little piece of him is missing, right below his right shoulder. It was an interloper, an unwelcome guest. It was cancer -- technically a mast cell tumor.

My old guy is back at his post, under my office chair. He's a little out of it. He has a Frankenstein scar the length of my hand to show for his long, hard day. But with the help of Fruit of the Loom, and some major painkillers, he is looking quite cozy.

I wish I could hold on to him forever, but I know I can't. It is part of life, this death thing. We all succumb and my dear canine is no exception. I am sure he has been around before, though, as he has been my angel for so long and will probably follow me elsewhere, in another form, as another being.

He looks up with his big brown eyes. He knows. We've saved him once again.

And he is grateful.