Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Power of Creativity

Many who are acquainted with me are aware that my family suffered a major tragedy at Thanksgiving time. The situation is now not as grave as we had feared but we still have months, if not years of stress and heartache ahead of us. I think it is natural when faced with horrific circumstances that the mind just shuts down on many levels to allow us to cope with things one at a time. But then, gradually, normal activity must return for us to regain mental as well as physical health. I think that routine, doing what one normally does, activity helps us stay grounded. It's just common sense that without a solid foundation, a structure will eventually crumble.

So part of my emotional foundation is my creativity. At first, in light of the gravity of what has happened to my family, beading seemed rather trivial. Where is the usefulness in creating beauty when the world right now seems so ugly? But creating is a part of who I am. Using my hands in a constructive, positive way has always given me purpose and satisfaction. It is calming and helps me to focus on other things than problems that I can't really solve anyway. Some things will just take time and have to be dealt with if and when they occur. In the meantime, I've found my beadwork again and I will create whatever I'm inspired to create knowing that every bead and every stitch is helping me cope and helping me heal.

I had purchased Marcia DeCoster's book "Beaded Opulence" a few weeks ago but had not taken time to look at it. This weekend I opened it and was immediately inspired by the versatility of right angle weave. In fact, I was so inspired that I gathered my beads and needle and thread and came up with a new cuff. In the spirit of keeping myself grounded, I guess it should be no surprise that the colors that I reached for were brown and turquoise. Not only the colors, but also the style is very elemental so I have christened it Earth and Water. Hopefully, this cuff has opened the floodgates for me and my beading will keep me sane in this crazy, messed up world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trash to Treasure

One stop on the Highway 36 Treasure Hunt this summer was a true gold mine! This seller was disposing of inventory from a closed jewelry store for a friend. There were boxes upon boxes of new, still on the card, earrings, chains and brooches. At first, I was looking at brooches and dangling earrings thinking how I could use them as pendants with my beadweaving. Then I saw this pair of button earrings that really struck a chord. They were coppery with a small silver bead outlining this golden hued pebbley texture. I had to have them. In fact, I decided I had to have two pair of them. I finally got them worked up recently and listed to my Etsy shop.

I snipped off the posts on the earrings and treated them as cabochons, throwing in some more gold to the metallic mix with rainbow gold and amber seedbeads and playing up the copper with a darker bronzey brown two-cut seed bead. Then I added dimensional open peyote stitch rectangles between the earring cabochons and finished with a RAW chain of faceted metallic brown glass beads and rainbow gold seed beads. The toggle clasp repeats the rectangle theme but is more like a buckle shape.

I rather like the finished product and kind of wish I'd bought more, but I still have several more pieces to rework. I wonder if they managed to get rid of all that old jewelry or if they just tossed what was left.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Fall Fair

Only signed on for three arts and crafts fairs this fall and the first of them was Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 2 and 3 in a town just 40 miles from me. It has been a good show for me in the past and in spite of the current economy, it didn't disappoint this year either. We set up early Friday morning, starting a little before 6:00 a.m., sell from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, then back again from 9:00a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. It's a lot of hours but the schedule seems to catch just about anyone who would want to attend at some time during the two days.

The site for the show is the county fair grounds and Steve and I always set up in one of the out buildings. The building is used for livestock during the fair, so only has solid wall halfway up, but has a roof and a paved pathway down the center of each aisle. It can be chilly, but if you come prepared, it's not a bad space to set up. We hang tarps and put down ground cloth to help cut down wind and dust. Thank goodness we do, because Friday the winds were horrible. We had 30 to 40 mph winds all day long! My display stayed pretty secure but we didn't get the placement of the tarp quite right on Steve's side and he lost several framed photos to the wind gusts.

Over the two days I sold probably three fourths of my floral items which was excellent since they were all fall pieces and I probably won't take much in the way of fall arrangements to my next shows. But the most exciting sale was the sale of my turquoise necklace, Shades of the Southwest. I rarely sell any pieces locally in the above $50.00 range so when my most expensive piece is purchased it's truely a red letter day! And the same purchaser bought beadwoven earrings to match. Several beadwoven bracelets, a couple more necklaces and quite a few earrings went home with new owners, too. It was so strange that we had a larger crowd on Saturday but I had larger sales on Friday. Guess they had to be serious buyers to brave that ghastly wind!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Green Pieces

I seem to have been in a green mood lately. After quite a dry spell, I've finally finished, photographed and listed two new pieces to my Etsy shop. A third piece is finished and photographed but not listed yet. And guess what? They are all shades of green. Maybe I'm getting in my last hurrah before nature turns golden and then silver. And then again, maybe I just like green.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Golden Moments

Seems as if it's been a long time since I've gotten a project finished and listed to my Etsy shop. I've been in kind of a beading slump after I finished my last EBW challenge piece. So for inspiration, I visited my beadroom stash and found just the thing to spark some creativity. I'd bought these green and gold glass beads at a cool little bead store my sister and I found when we went on a shopping trip together recently. It was such a fun day and although my sister doesn't bead (she's a quilter) I think she had as much fun helping me pick out beads as I did. At the same store, we found some gold seed beads with a smooth, burnished finish that went with the larger green and gold so well. I don't work with gold very often, being a diehard silver wearer, but these beads struck a chord.

Then it was on to my library of beading books for some design ideas because I wanted to do something different than my usual spiral or herringbone. I pulled out a book I've had for a while on beading with brick stitch and remembered I'd gotten some cool ideas from it in the past. Sure enough, as I leafed through it, I saw a piece with little diamond shaped links between beads. So how about for some interest, I graduate the size of the links. But as I put it together, it seemed too blah and I got the idea to open up the diamonds, making them the same green and gold as the glass beads. Things were shaping up nicely at that point. Then I found three pendants in a baggie at a yard sale. One was silver and pearl, one a black and white acrylic and one a gold spiral diamond. I actually bought the bag for the silver one but when I got them home I realized the gold one was a perfect match to my green and gold necklace. So through a series of rather serendipitous events, I arrived at that golden moment when everything came together and Voila!.......

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Indian Summer Patchwork

I am a bargain seeker, a treasure hunter, collector of odds and ends. My bead stash runneth over. So, when the theme for the Etsy Beadweavers team September challenge was announced, Indian Summer Dream, I knew I had the perfect components to make up my interpretation of the theme - somewhere!

Last fall I bought these darling fall leaf buttons in Hobby Lobby's clearance aisle. At the time of the purchase, I wasn't sure what I'd use them for, but they said "take us home" so I did. Now which drawer did I put them in? Oh yeah, there they are! Okay, so how do I make them up? Lots of fall colors, of course! What else does "Indian summer" make me think of? Wrapping up in an old throw at football games, kicking through the fallen leaves on a crisp afternoon walk, seeing the glorious autumn patchwork of treetops blanketing the Flinthills.

I think I've got it now... a patchwork of autumn colors, scattered with leaves, to wrap around the wrist.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shades of the Southwest

I love silver. I love turquoise. I love silver and turquoise accented with coral. I love Southwestern style. So it was only natural that my entry in the August Etsy Beadweavers' challenge be a Southwestern style design done in turquoise, silver and coral. The large, chunky freeform turquoise pendant was another of my finds at the farmer's market where I purchased the turquoise square donuts. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be the focal piece for my challenge entry. Since the pendant was asymetrical, the rest of the necklace evolved asymetrically as well. I'd like to think that with this creation, I've put my own little spin on traditional Southwestern style.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

All in a Weekend's Work

Yes, I know the weekend's not over, but I feel like I've done at least two days work today. I decided to replace the sliding glass door that leads from my kitchen onto my enclosed patio. The door has always been leaky and takes up a lot of wall space that could be put to better use. So having no other plans for the weekend, my boy friend and I decided to tackle the project. Thanks goodness he's one of those guys who knows how to do all that stuff. I hate to think how many projects he has done for me in the last ten years; painting, remodeling the basement, vinyl siding, electrical work, plumbing, if it has to do with remodeling or maintaining a house, he's done it! Anyway, back to the door re-do. The first thing that had to be done, of course, was removing the old door and getting it out of the house. The original installers must have used twenty tubes of caulking putting in this door! We finally got it loose and then the fun began. This door was extremely heavy and had to be taken down three steps, across the patio, out the patio door and across the back lawn to be loaded into a trailer for disposal. We used two pipes to roll it on and it must have taken half an hour. Once it was out, though, the rest went together relatively easy. We got the new door squared up, and then Steve framed in the new wall, insulated it and hung the sheetrock. I was the go-for for the project after we got the old door out, but I did install the door knob and dead bolt by myself. It's still got a ways to go. Steve is such a perfectionist when it comes to finishing sheetrock. Since the kitchen is kind of a mess right now anyway, I'm going to go ahead and scrap off the old ceiling texture, have him re-texture and give the walls a new coat of paint. I think it was a good decision to replace the door. I'm liking the way it looks and even discovered an added benefit. It makes the house a lot quieter and I can't hear the annoying barking dog next door any more!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Old Love Affairs

One of my earliest jewelry memories is receiving a silver and turquoise bracelet when I was probably 7 or 8 years old. My grandma and grandpa had taken a vacation in Colorado and brought the bracelet back to me as a gift. They always brought us some little trinket back when they went on a trip. It was a little narrow cuff style bracelet with small turquoise cabochons glued across the top. Oh, how I loved that bracelet, not only because my grandma picked it out for me but because it had turquoise and that's my birthstone! I finally outgrew it but I think I still have it packed away in a box with other childhood mementos. But the thing I've never outgrown is my love for turquoise - blue turquoise or green, doesn't matter. So I am always on the lookout for turquoise to use in my jewelry designs. Some of my best designs, I think, I've done with turquoise.

A couple weeks ago, we went to a farmers' market and I found a jewelry supply vendor with a lovely variety of turquoise. I purchased some beads, a large odd-shaped pendant and some open square donuts. The pendants and donuts are reconstituted turquoise, but turquoise nonetheless. I couldn't wait to get home and start playing with designs. The first I came up with was a bracelet using the square donuts. I linked the donuts with bands of beadweaving using metallic silver seed beads and small red coral beads. It's got that classic southwestern look, which I will always love.

One of the donuts I bought had been drilled to use as a pendant and I wanted it to coordinate with the bracelet. So I used the same metallic silver seed beads along with turquoise and red seedbeads and beaded a shaped, open square in peyote stitch to hang the turquoise donut from. I wanted the chain to be very metallic looking with touches of turquoise and the coral beads. I stitched it in herringbone for a sleek, shiney look. The clasp is a repeat of the peyote stitch square. And of course to complete the ensemble, I had to make earrings to match!

Monday, July 13, 2009

What Ifs

Do you ever have those "what if" moments? I have them a lot when I'm beading and sometimes my best creations evolve from those moments. Lately, I have been infatuated with shaped beadwork. Ever since I bought Diane Fitzgerald's book, I have been enamored of these little geometric jewels. The open shapes, especially, fascinate me and I have started using them on many of my designs as toggles. I like the solidness of them for clasps because that's a very desirable quality in a clasp. I also like using the shapes for earrings and have just listed a couple pair in my Etsy shop. It was while I was stitching those earrings that I had my "what if". Before you zip the two sides of the shape together, there is a furrow (that's farm country speak for trench) around the shape formed by the two sides. Kind of reminded me of an open pea pod. Which is probably what inspired the what if. Anyway, what if I made one side one row shorter and instead of zipping the sides together, filled that furrow with larger beads - like the open pea pod? Yeah! What if? So I tried it and I liked the results. I was going to make another set of earrings, but in a second what if moment, I thought, "what if I just hung this from a simple chain or satin cord as a pendant?". So I tried that and like it too. Here's the result of all that what iffing. Let me know what you think.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Here Comes the Bride!

Not me, for heaven sake, it's my entry in the Etsy Beadweaver's July Challenge. The theme was picked by the May challenge winner, Miriam of Cielo Designs. While I don't plan to ever be a bride again, it was fun coming up with something for this challenge. I tried to do something sort of traditional bridal, but at the same time, that could be worn for any dressy occasion or even to soften the look of a business suit. I just recently learned how to stitch a flat spiral and I've enjoyed experimenting with the stitch. In my necklace I started with the original flat spiral using AB firepolish crystals and three shades of white seed beads. As I worked toward the center, I made graduated loops of beads on one side. The flexibility of this stitch gave me the idea of the rings in the center to represent the unity of marriage. This may have been the first piece I've ever made in all white. It was a bit of a challenge just to come up with the variation of white seed beads that I wanted, but I'm pleased with how the different finishes complement each other.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Working Vacation

When I go on a vacation it's easy to put away thoughts of accounts receivable, payroll and insurance filing. After all, that's what I'm taking the vacation from! But the work I do at home usually goes with me, even on vacation. Most of the time my SO drives so even short trips are a source of uninterrupted beading time.
Last week when we drove to Oklahoma and Texas, I loaded plenty of entertainment for the drive time: a book, my laptop (with new games loaded) and of course, my beads! I played a lot of Bejeweled and Bubbletown, but I also got a lot of beading done!
This first picture is a stone I bought some time ago because I liked the "natural" color of it and also its asymetry. The Pottawatomie weave kind of mimics that same asymetry.

The second and third pictures are also a pendant I picked up quite a while ago. I'm not normally drawn to animal prints but something about the buff color with the black caught my eye. I think the reversible flat spiral complements the zebra stripes quite well. Because it's reversible, I made it to also be worn sans pendant by sliding the pendant off.

The last picture is of a bracelet that I made with some of the beads I bought at the bead store in Austin. I fell in love with the khaki color of the triangle beads. They almost jumped out of the display into my hand and shouted, "Take me home!". The 11's and 15's, when mixed with the triangle beads in a flat spiral combination, remind me of a berber carpet. I'm not sure I want to part with this bracelet. Not only do I love the color and texture of it, but most of it was woven while sitting and chatting on the patio in Austin so I guess it has some emotional attachment for me as well. Maybe I'll keep this one and make another one sometime similar to it to sell.

Monday, June 15, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

Didn't quite make my goal of blogging every day while gone on vacation. Guess I got sidetracked doing those vacation things. Let's see, last post was from Port Lavaca, TX. We left there early Friday morning and traveled to Austin, TX. Steve's son and DIL go to the Texas College of Chinese Medicine there learning to be acupuncturists. I always learn so much when we visit them. Talk about a couple of sharp young people. They also have some fun pets. There's a big dog named Lillie, a black and white cat named Thoate and two silkie chickens, Ora and Autra. Friday we just mostly sat around, relaxed and caught up. We did visit a local bead shop however. I had seen the ad for the store on Facebook and Caite knew where it was and had been wanting to go there. Got some wonderful new seedbead colors and made up a bracelet with them, but that's another post. Then Saturday morning, early, we headed off to a place called Wildseed Farms near Fredricksberg, TX. They have a Butterfly Haus which is a controlled area where the butterflies fly freely around you and photo opportunities abound!

I had to buy some of the painted Mexican pottery pieces they offered for sale, too. The colors are so bright and were just irresistable! I got a wonderful salamander that's about a foot and a half long and a small butterfly. Later that evening, the kids took us to see one of the amazing sights in Austin. Every evening from under the South Congress bridge across the Colorado River, at sundown, flies out approximately one and a half Million bats. It is a truely astounding sight! They come out so fast that they are literally a blur but the migration goes on for at least thirty minutes. One lady commented that they looked like smoke against the trees, they fly so fast. The bats live up under the bridge and can't be seen by daylight, but trust me, they can be smelled!

Unfortuneately, I have to be back at my real job in the morning so we left Austin, yesterday about noon and got as far as Purcell, Oklahoma, just south of Oklahoma City where we stopped for the night. Would have gotten farther but Austin traffic was horribly backlogged for some reason on Sunday. We left there this morning and arrived back home around lunch time today. It's good to be home. Besides, I had a new relative to meet as soon as I got back.

Wyatt Christjian was born on June 10 while Grandma was away. He came by emergency c-section and it's probably a good thing I didn't know all the details until I got back. But I've always said things happen for a reason and all that's important is that we have a healthy baby boy and his mama is doing fine.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day Three

Seems I'm a day late now on all my vacation posts, but at least I've been able to make one for each day so far. Yesterday we arrived at Port Lavaca kind of on a whim. We both love the ocean and would have tried to go back to Galveston had the big hurricane not intervened between the last time we were there and now. So we looked a little further south on the map and found this place. It's not nearly as picturesque as Galveston, but nice nonetheless. We spent a good part of the day wading on the beach (neither of us swim) and trying to get pictures of sea gulls in flight. It was quite windy and was so fascinating to watch how the birds worked the air currents. We had a wonderful meal in a local restaurant called the Bayside Restaurant, grilled fresh red snapper and shrimp. The owners have their own boat that fishes in the gulf so they have fresh fish available daily.
Steve made a lot of fun of me for not going in any further, but let's get one thing straight. I love the ocean. I love to watch the ocean. I love to listen to the ocean. I even love to smell the ocean. But I do not like to be under the ocean! Besides, I didn't want to get my jeans wet!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day Two

Okay, it's actually day three already but I was tired last night and didn't feel like putting up a blog. We spent a lovely morning still in Oklahoma City at the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the Crystal Bridge in downtown Oklahoma City. The Crystal Bridge is an all glass enclosed tropical garden that is just delightful. I had so much fun snapping photos of all the exotic flowers. There were also these little gnomes hidden around the garden and they gave you clues to find them. I took photos of all of them I could find. Corny, yes, but I enjoyed the hunt.

Outside, the gardens were just as lovely. Again we were disappointed not to see more butterflies, but it was already climbing into the eighties by 10:00 or so. I did manage to capture a cardinal on the back of park bench and it was just like he'd posed just for me.

We then headed south again with the idea of going to Waco, TX then veering toward the Gulf and getting as far as we could. Dallas was a nightmare to drive through. Traffic bumper to bumper and construction everywhere. It took us over two hours just to get through Dallas. We are figuring out a different route on the way home! We finally made it as far as Schulenberg, TX and found a motel to spend the night. Then it was up early this morning and on to Port Lavaca on the gulf coast. That's Day Three and I'll write about it later.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day One Traveling

We left this morning in a downpour in our rented Hyundai Alantra. It's a nice car, very comfortable for the two of us. We got to Oklahoma City about 1:00 or so and found our way to the Oklahoma City Zoo easily enough. Spent about two and half hours at the zoo in 95 degree weather, which was about long enough for this old lady. It's a very pretty zoo but the butterfly exhibit that we really wanted to see was a disappointment. Although the area was enclosed, it was with netting and it was too hot for the butterflies to be flitting about. I had fun taking photos of the animals though. My favorites were the river otters. They are so playful and I love watching them cavort in the water.

I got some really cool photos of the owls, too. My old Kodak really came through while my SO with his fancy Canon couldn't get a good shot.

The lady at Guest Services at the zoo was very helpful and found us a motel with easy access to downtown and the Myriad Botanical Gardens where we want to go in the morning. She also suggested we check out Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City so we drove down there this evening. It's quite pretty. There's a canal walk and tons of places to eat. We ate at Pearl's Crabshack which I highly recommend! Food was great. Prices very reasonable. After we ate, we walked along the canal even though it was still about 90. Then in finding our way back to the motel, we stumbled on a Bass Pro Shop and of course we had to stop. I was glad we did because I found the crystal Fireline I've been searching for and it was 20% off! I bought two.
Not sure what the plans are after the gardens in the morning but I think we're veering off toward the gulf coast for a day before heading back to Austin to visit family.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why I Love Yard Sales

Normally, I am up every morning at 5:00 to exercise, get ready for work and have some computer time before I leave to be at the office by 7:30. You would think that on Saturday's I would sleep in, but no, I still get up early. Why, you ask? To go to yard sales, of course!!
Yard sales, garage sales, tag sales, they are called by different names in different areas, but whatever they are called, are wonderful entertainment and if you know what you are looking for can be gold mines. They are also in a way, a great form of recycling. I find lots of containers and wreath forms for my floral arrangements. Most just need a bit of cleaning and allow me to keep my price to the customer lower because my cost is lower. I also find clothing and toys for my grandchildren and sometimes myself. I find home decor and garden decor. Last summer, I even found a cash register to use at my craft shows! In a previous post, I mentioned that the little wooden fish I was using in a jewelry project were a yard sale find. This is a picture of another recent acquisition. A lady had three pedestal bases for those beautiful glass balls you see in so many yards. I took the one with a wind chime and dragonflies in it. She said she didn't know you could replace the balls. Guess she doesn't make it to the stores very often. For a buck and and a half price globe from Hobby Lobby, I got a great addition to the garden. I love the purple globe with my orange flower hanging basket!

These little metal butterflies were another treasure I found for 50 cents for 6 of them. They look so cute in the garden.

During the warmer months on most weekends, my SO and I grab a paper Friday night and map out a course of action for the morning. We love the sales that start at 7:00 because we are early people and especially when it gets hot, we like to be finished with our bargain hunting by 9:00. We also like the neighborhood sales. You can just walk from house to house and it's kind of like a big party. If you've never done yard sales, you should give it a try. It can be a fun adventure. The old saying, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is quite true. So don't try to reach me before 9 or 10 o'clock on a Saturday morning. I'll be out treasure hunting!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Rest of The Weekend

Today was an absolute gorgeous day in spite of the weatherman's predictions . Temperature was in the high 70's, a light breeze and sunshine. This was my lazy, stay-at-home day. I cleaned the living room in the morning, helped my SO mow the yard and then took the bead tray and spent most of the rest of the day on the patio beading.

I was working on my June "Humor" challenge entry. You can kind of get a sneak peek here.

The colorful little fish were a recent yard sale find. They were on a broken chain and just begging to be reused. The lady said she had bought them on a trip to Guatemala. I won't use all of them for this piece so will have fuel for future creations. I managed to finish the components for my necklace today and am working on the chain to tie them all together now. Should be able to finish well before the deadline. Good progress and a great day!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Lovely Weekend

My day job has been a bit stressful of late so I have really been looking forward to the long weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day, though a bit hot in the afternoon. We started the day with a bit of yard sale shopping. Hit the jackpot in finding shorts and t-shirts for my 4 year old grandson, found a couple unique containers for florals and a really cool bunch of little wooden handpainted medallions that will most likely find their way into a bead project some day. Next we went fishing for catfish in a creek that runs through the ground my SO leases for hunting. In the last two days, he had pulled 8 big, as in 5-10 pound, fish out of this little creek. Alas, they were not biting for me. He caught one nice one and I got a few nibbles before it got too hot and we decided to call it quits. Guess it was that cat's lucky day, cause we threw him back.
Back in town after lunch, I decided to go get my hair trimmed and do a little mall shopping. It was nice to have some "me" time and the mall was nice and cool. Got back to SO's house in time to do some beading before supper which was some of those nice catfish he'd caught earlier in the week. Boy, were they good! After we ate, we headed to the theatre to see the movie Star Trek. It was pretty good, but not quite what I'd expected. Still, it had been forever since we'd been to a movie, so it was fun.
Today we drove to Topeka and ate at Red Lobster for lunch. That's the SO's favorite restaurant and it was his birthday Saturday so I treated. My oldest son, his wife and my grandson met us for lunch. We hadn't seen them for a few months and of course in those few months, little ones can change so much. The baby is fast becoming a little boy. Grandma was amazed at how many words he can say at only 16 months and by the fact that he is even learning how to sign. He is such a determined little fellow, I'm quite sure he will accomplish anything he sets out to. After lunch, we all went to the zoo where grandson entertained us with antics and animal sounds. Seeing things through a toddler's eyes can be such fun. Got a few good photos and had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!
So it's been a pretty good weekend and the great thing is, there's one more day left.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Finished and Started Again

It was one of those weekends when mornings were chilly and afternoons were balmy. So I managed to get a little of everything done that I wanted to accomplish. Went to some yard sales and found a few treasures. Shopped for some beads and groceries (not at the same place). Bought some more plants and put them in my shade garden. And finished the blueberry and violet cuff and started on a new button design. The bracelet turned out rather bright but I like it. The other button I started on is a turquoise and copper flower design. It's going to be a bit more subtle in color but I'm liking it too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Work in Progress

I still have several Czech art glass buttons in my stash and they were easier to get to than my collection of stone cabochons, so I picked out another one to design around for my next project. This one has such beautiful shades of blue violet and lavendar! And if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for anything purple. After studying it a bit, I decided to make a cuff bracelet using the button as a focal. Found a lovely dark blue violet seed beed in my stash along with a complementing hue of purple to use for the base colors. The button has some silver in it too so I decided to accent with silver seed beads and silver firepolish crystals. So far I have the cuff a little over half finished but I haven't decided yet how I want to finish the button. Shall I bezel it and then stitch it to the cuff or should I leave it unadorned and stitched to the center of the cuff? Will have to play a bit, I guess, to come to a conclusion.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that my thumb is definitely not green. In fact, I have even been known to bring about the demise of the ever popular, practically indestructible, philodendron. I do have a lovely stand of dandelions and chickweed in my yard, but that doesn't seem to impress my neighbors. But in spite of this, I keep trying to beautify my environment. We finally got a break in the rainy spring weather we've been having so I got ambitious this last week and bought up some plants to set out. I've found that I have the best luck with plants when I put them in containers although the shade and rock garden I started two years ago is still looking quite nice. I added an astilbe plant and two forget-me-nots to it this week. I love the magical, mythical characters of fairies and gargoyles and such and several habitate in my garden areas. I found a new fairy this spring at the craft show I did. She's a rustic metal silhouette and looks quite at home in the shade garden next to the new astilbe plant. My containers look at little sparse yet but I'm hoping they will fill in nicely as the summer progresses. I'm kind of wishing I'd gotten one of the hanging geraniums I've pictured for myself. This one is going to my mom's tomorrow for Mother's Day.