Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sometimes You Get Lucky

If you've read any of my previous posts, you know that I'm a yard sale junkie.  From about April until September, my SO and I don't miss too many weekends of sifting through complete strangers cast-offs.  We love the early sales, the ones that start around 7:00 in the morning.  In the heat of the summer, it's still cool then and we finish up our browsing and buying by 9:00 a.m. or so.  If you don't get to a sale early, most of the desirable items are gone anyway so going later is a waste of time.  I usually look for clothing for my grandkids, sometimes for myself, items for my daughter's house and my own, books,  but mostly I look for decorative things I can reuse in making my floral designs or old jewelry pieces I can incorporate into my beadwork.  We check on-line in the local newspaper's classified section and also buy a paper to see where all the sales are located.  Then armed with our list and the city map from the phone book, we take off in search of treasure. 
This last weekend, we were headed to a particular sale when we passed a sign for one on a street we'd either missed or that hadn't advertised.  So on a whim, we decided to stop.  Lucky decision.  The lady having the sale had been a Premiere jewelry dealer and she was getting rid of all her display pieces.  I bought all the big pieces pictured for a cool $65.00.  I now have not only a better way to transport jewelry to shows but display options as well.  After we left, I got to thinking about being able to use these for home shows, an idea I've been toying with for quite a while, and I wished I'd also picked up the smaller display pieces she was offering.  So, we swung back by and unfortuneately found she had sold some of the pieces but I managed to score three nice necklace stands and a lovely black velvet table cover for another 2 bucks. 
This time around I also found two pair of pajamas, two t-shirts and swim trunks for my 4 year old grandson ($7.00), a grapevine wreath and a bag of green floral moss ($1.50), a rather unique lidded basket and a really cool wooden chuch birdhouse ($2.00).  Next week?  Who knows what treasures await?  I love yard sales!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Clay Creations

Lately my crafting time has been split between beading and playing with clay.  I get almost equal satisfaction from each medium but the clay probably appeals to the kid in me as well as the artist, where the beads represent more of my adult persona.  There's just something about kneading the clay, running it through the pasta machine, shaping it, mixing the colors.  I used to love making mud pies too!  And the colors remind me of my crayon box when my parents could afford to buy me the box of 24 or, glory of glories, the box of 48!!  The names!  The possibilities!  Clay is like that.  So many endless possibilities of color mixing; I especially like doing marbled designs.  Here's what I've been up to recently with my clay.

The abstract design was inspired by my EBW and Facebook friend, Lorraine of TrinityDJ on Etsy.  I first met Lorraine through the Etsy Beadweaver group and she is just one special lady.  She is no longer able to bead due to illness, but somehow she creates these incredible polymer clay pieces.  Her example, both as an artist and as a person, is the push behind this recent spurt of creativity on my part.

I had a lot of fun mixing the colors for these two and the little red haired girl has to be my favorite out of the bunch.

Since it's not long before Memorial Day, Flay Day and 4th of July, I thought maybe some patriotic designs might be in order.

I'll see how these are received before doing more barrette designs.  Yesterday, I played with a couple different techniques of mixing and shaping the clay to create some pendants.  They still need to be sanded and coated with sealer (the not so fun, but necessary, part of clay work).  Then I will probably to the adult thing and work up some beadwork to go with them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Middle Aged Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day certainly isn't what it used to be.  I'm at that point in life where I'm caught in the middle.  Still have my mom to celebrate the day with and still hope that my own grown children will remember their mom in some small way - a card or a phone call makes my day. 

For several years, it's been a tradition for me to take my mother to the annual Mother's Day Flea Market in a town close to where she lives.  We've always enjoyed the displays of bedding plants and the occasional treasure finds.  My mother no longer gardens or does many of the things she always enjoyed due to Alzheimer's, but we still enjoyed attending the flea market, taking in the colors and smells, the sunshine and fresh air.  We found some books for her.  She still enjoys reading romance novels.  And we found a bit of treasure for me.
The last couple of years I haven't found any vendors selling cabochons, but this year I was in luck.  The ones in the bottom picture I'm going to use together to make a pendant.  The others will be made up individually.  The lighter crazy lace agate (top left in the big picture) is already glued to the backing for a bead embroidered cuff.

As for my own kids remembering their old mom, I needn't have wondered.  Two of them even went so far as to send flowers!