Monday, December 29, 2014

A December to Remember

   Not sure what's more exciting, that Christmas is over or that the New Year is days away...


     December was a good month.  At nearly the last minute, I was able to accompany a dear friend to a Stevie Wonder concert at Key Arena in Seattle.  All I can say is that was the classiest concert I ever went to. Having only frequented rock concerts in the past, I had already decided I was too old for them.You know... music is too loud- I'm too old mentality, not even to mention the 2nd hand smoke, ahem...rowdy bra/panty flinging bimbos and drunken dipshits that always make it a challenge. Yeah- I'm one of those fuddy duddys. I just wanna sit back and listen to the artist, not see some bimbo shake her money maker in my face (true story- U2 concert Seattle/2011)  But Stevie? New experience all together. I know his music, but had never been to his concerts. Like I said- C-L-A-S-S-Y...  end of story. Amazing talent and legendary voice. Wow- what an event!  I blinged out the photo because let's face it- it was low light and not a great photo to begin with.

     Then I found out there is a waterfall near me in my city. Victor Falls... I've been driving past the area, but never realized it was there. It's a small one, but beautiful just the same. The city had recently acquired it and had finished the parking lot and area. It's beautiful, you can hear it roaring from the parking lot.  I wasn't able to venture far. I saw it was open to the public and it just so happened to be after our first snow fall. So it was icy cold and the trails to the lower level were messy. I stayed up top - but come a less wet/muddy season I can't wait to explore it further!  I'm sure it will be a favorite picnic spot. 

Then there is my progress on the creative front. I've really gotten back into sculpting little critters.  I've started a head of one, and then got sidetracked by making eyeballs with UV resin pupils from a video I found on YouTube. I could NOT get a decent photo of those glossy eyes.  They are a little messy but for my first set, they look better in person.  So I have photos of my newest critter (sans body), eyeballs and a combo. While the new eyes don't belong to him, I tried them on him for size. Whoa! Not a good fit, but what a hoot to see him come to life! Adding resin eyeballs (and incorporating them into a figure) to my project challenge list for 2015. 


Other than that December has been the typical ho hum month. So glad all that Christmas rubbish is over with. Now that the days will be getting longer again I have something to look forward to! Come on Spring!!! (only 3 months away) yeah!

Coming up is the start of the Polymer Clay Challenge 2015. The goal is to create and finish something out of  polymer clay on a weekly basis.  I'm definitely up for the challenge. 

Bring on 2015!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2015 Whaaaat?

       Less than one month away and it will be a NEW year.  2015  HoLy CrAp!  Do you realize that is the year that Marty in "Back to the Future" traveled to?  That was  *gulp* 30 years into the future and that is THIS coming year.
     So what does 2015 hold? I have no freakin' clue. My creativity seems to ebb and flow in the weirdest manner lately.  What do I want to achieve in 2015? Well.... I want to make jewelry, I want to make more items with Polymer Clay, I want to get into miniatures.  I want to seriously buckle down and get back to where I was creatively before you know... life got complicated.  I just want to be creative dammit.  If not for any other reason but my own sanity.
       So I am pledging to be creative with Polymer Clay on a weekly basis. :D  Crazy right?  OH hell why not?
   Good thing there is already a movement to do just that. :D  Yes-  I hereby commit to the  "2015 Polymer Clay Challenge".  Thanks to Katie over at Katres Acres I want to commit to being creative with Polymer Clay in 2015!

    1.) I want to sculpt more monsters/critters/characters.
    2.) Explore miniatures in polymer clay
    3.) because we all know polymer clay is a "crossover" medium- I want to incorporate it into jewelry/ charms as well
    4.) I want to actually produce something from the tutorials I've bought and collected- like the ones on BlueBottleTree. I don't want to just achieve it from a technical standpoint- I want to actually go further and create something with it- not just the technique.


So there you have it. I think I need more clay. Bah ha ha ha
           

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Third Annual Autumn Splendor Blog Hop

 Welcome to Third Annual Autumn Splendor Blog Hop!

 I couldn't make up my mind one what project to showcase! I have half a burlap wreath done, but couldn't find the ribbon I wanted and wasn't inspired to finish. So I dug into what I've been working on for the Day of the Dead.  I've posted here before how much I love the colors of this Mexican celebration and how beautiful it is and the meaning behind it. I always thought skulls were morbid, not anymore obviously.   

     I've had these stamps in my stash for quite some time and just love these images by Rubber Soul. I decided to make a pendant for a friend.   So I dug out some little wooden blanks.  I used my finger to apply a very light coat of Hard Coat Mod Podge to the wood to seal it. After it dried thoroughly (I probably waited less than 5 minutes) I used Staz-On to stamp the image.  I then used the Sakura Gelly Roll pen in white to color in the skeleton.  I also used a black Sharpie to color in any "oops".  Then I took my Krylon gold leaf pen and colored in the trumpet.  After that dried I colored in with a marker. I used an alcohol marker (Letreset ProMarker) because I wanted this color of red. After that dried- I added another light coat of Hard Coat Mod Podge to seal it. Glued on a bail and there you have it! 



   
 In hindsight- I wish I had blinged it out with some glitter dots. If you've ever seen the shrines and sugar skulls- it would probably be even more in line with the Day of the Dead celebrations.

Thank you so much for stopping by!
   

Click HERE to go back to the master list for the Third Annual Autumn Splendor Blog Hop.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Canada in a Nutshell

     Why is it that when I go on vacation and have ZERO supplies of any kind with me- I feel the most inspired? Hubby and I took a road trip north of the border for an extended weekend and I didn't even pack a Micron to doodle with.  But I snapped plenty of pictures to remain in my brain for when I do get back in my den.
     We headed north and into beautiful Canada, Richmond and Vancouver to be more exact. No solid plans outlined but a hotel reservation on the outskirts and the possibility of imbibing a good brew. Ok- so that's not completely true- I had found out about the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park but hubby is not keen on heights so I knew it would depend on whether or not he would be able to handle the bridge. Luckily after a sketchy start, he managed and we went forward.  Here's a few pics of our weekend. It is a touristy location. We got there well before it opened to snag a parking spot and it allowed me to get some clean shots of the bridge without the hoards of people. 


    So you walk across the main bridge- it's only 450 feet long and 230 feet high. I felt the photos exaggerated the size. Overlooking the river gorge below. Not surprising none of my photos ON the bridges turned out sharp... all blurry. Because the bridge doesn't stop shaking exacerbated by a non-helpful camera setting. lol  On the other side of this bridge is the Treetop Adventure- just a series of bridges among the tree tops, not too high off the ground, but I imagine if you fell you'd either break your neck or suffer serious injury, not necessarily death.  'Cause that is how my brain functions.


     Lastly there is the Cliff Walk portion of the park. It's not bouncy at all, The path is cabled into the side of the cliff. It was fascinating and beautiful. That's when I realized my camera was set on a setting I had no idea what it was doing but hubby wasn't going to go through it again so I could retake the photos. Such a party pooper... kidding! He was a good sport for getting across the main bridge and yes- you had to cross it again to get back out. 


    Again- we were ahead of the crowds just enough to get clean shots with no people. Which is great, but you have no sense of proportion or scale. I LOVED this totem statue. It was a very clean park, no gum stuck everywhere, no graffiti carved or marked anywhere. (of course they had signs to not do that) But still, compared to every spot in the US- it would have been destroyed with senseless graffiti. 

     We also ventured out into Vancouver as well. We went to the aquarium where the highlight for me was the HUGE jellyfish exhibits... HUGE! They had several varieties in their own tanks.  Afterwards we walked along the famed seawall at Stanley Park. It was beautiful. It was a cool day with plenty of sunshine. Perfect for a stroll along the water. 

  
     Apparently the mark on my lens is INSIDE the camera- and with it being a point and shoot- I have NO idea how to remove it. I guess it's my new watermark?  meh....

So that was my weekend. Now I'm gonna see if I can tap into the inspiration that hit me when I was away from home.
Oh yeah.... I forgot one more photo - just for fun...



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zetti- Crazy

   I've been seeing Zetti for the past month. Crazy awesome images that require a double take to clarify what you are seeing. Whimsical and bright and just all around fun.  The artist- Teesha Moore, from what I understand created this genre of Zettiology.
     Thanks to my beloved Art Charms group I dove head first into creating for a swap. The goal: purse charms. The theme: All things Zettiology. It actually was a coincidence that she was closing out her stamp line on her Etsy shop just as this swap was gearing up. I was lucky enough to snag a grab bag of unmounted images.
    I am no stranger to altered dominoes. I have loved making them for well over a decade. I was however a bit rusty with my process. I have a tendency to get a bit ahead of myself when I get really excited about something.   I did not take photos of the process Oops... is it really necessary? I dunno.
My process for stamping and coloring dominoes is this...

1.) DRILL FIRST!!! Attach your screw-eye if that is what you are doing.. otherwise if you are adding bails you can add them later.

 2.)Stamp image using Staz-On, let dry, cure, heat set, etc. I have better luck if I flip the stamp over face up and put a piece of tape on the back of the domino for a handle and use it apply to stamp. Works most of the time.

 3.) Color - I LOVE to use the Adirondack Pigment markers- they blend, they are vibrant and since I get really hands on it's good that they wash off easily! These also don't interfere with the Staz-on ink which is a solvent based ink. I mean- yeah if you keep smearing it, it will rub off eventually... but for the most part it is good to use together.

 4.) Not sure if necessary, but I heat set with my embossing gun, basically make sure it's good and dry.

5/6.) Spray light coats of Spray Fix... and um... don't just grab the first can that has matte on it in the box in the garage... (like I did- or you might have grabbed the matte clear coat) Again- this is my preference, since I grabbed the wrong thing- it obviously doesn't matter if I use the spray fix or not. Light handed coats is what matters. Otherwise it will blur...and all your hard work and lovely coloring will be wasted. I take a large piece of tape and make loops and stick my dominoes to that and a shoe box lid- this makes it a vertical surface- easier to spray. Let the spray fix dry (if using)  If you are using a clear coat- apply several light coats to build up the surface... I prefer to let this dry and cure for a few days, depending on the weather before I add to this with beads and embellishment.

7.) If you are using a bail-you can add beads, baubles, dangles, bling, etc. chain and clasp.. whatever you are using it for.  Mine was for a purse charm swap so I added a small section of curb chain and a clasp.

Altered dominoes is so much fun. I used to jump start my creativity by turning out a few of these.  
Here's the images from the swap.


Happy September!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Keep On Posting... Keep On Posting...

      I really am trying to keep posting despite the boring drivel and rambling.

     We are back to hot temps here in the PNW. Lots of fun things to see and do during these longer days of summer. Mosquitoes, cold lemonade and pretty sure I've eaten my weight in cherries!  I finally had a chance to ignite my green thumb!  I have a few dear friends who are downsizing and after being in a home for 28 years- there were a few sentimental plants to be had. My friend's mother has some hens and chicks that were originally from her childhood home.  Once I get them established I plan to put some markers in the pot or bed, kinda how they do the species, but with the address or maybe the GPS coordinates. Something to remember their roots... literally and figuratively...bah ha ha
    It just so happens I  LOVE hens and chicks and stare at them longingly every time I go to to the farmer's markets. My mom always had a massive bed of them. I've always wanted to grow them, just never felt the motivation.  Until now.  Me thinks I may have dug up a few clumps too many. But I will survive... jury is still out on my little plants.

       For now- I'm putting them in containers I need some raised beds- with the dog afoot.  I've also acquired some strawberry pots and regular pots from the same friends. I'm hoping to make the strawberry pots all about the hens and chicks.  Along with some Coral Bells and some garden benches that still have some life left in them. I also acquired some lovely vintage bedroom furniture. Several projects to keep me going into the fall/winter that's for sure! I've been busy learning (aka- getting overwhelmed) by all the soil choices.  Oy. So I am winging it. If they die- they die, if not I have for the time being, extended their lives.

     I've also gotten back into some swaps on my favorite art charm group. Yay!  So August is looking up... hopefully it won't be so dang hot I can't enjoy the yard or work on my garden bench projects. (hopefully I will remember to take before and after pics)

This was the view of the mountain last evening...  *sigh* I never get tired of this view.

*I have since cleaned my lens, no more fingerprints...  *DOH!*  ;)

Here's to a wonderful (and hot) week ahead of us!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lavender Dreams

      Wanna  lesson in Washington State phonetics?  Pronounce this... Sequim.  How is it supposed to sound? Skwim- yes- you heard me... er.. read me. Sequim.  Amazing right?  I love that about this state. All these amazing names, pronounced without the least bit of logical phonetics.  That's not the only one.  There are a LOT of names that are based on the history of the indigenous peoples. Washington has a fascinating history.  Becoming a resident as an adult has been fun learning all the history, still not keen on the geography, but always a work in progress, eh? 

    Anyhow, this weekend marks the 18th Annual Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington.  I went a few years ago when my sister came for a visit. This year, I decided I wanted a road trip and with the weather being beautiful- I did. My husband even played hooky to go with me.  It's about a solid 2 hour drive from my house. It's also a beautiful drive too.   

     I went for the lavender fields, it's a beautiful and visually inspiring area. Sequim itself is a quaint little town. The mountains from that angle are the Olympics, nice change of scenery... literally. The weather was gorgeous is dry for Washington (see the link to Wikipedia for all the details). It's also the retirement capital of the state. I can definitely see why. It's beautiful!  During the Lavender Festival, they also have a wonderful street/art fair. TONS of inspiration and anything goes- lots of artists really play up the lavender stuff. I always feel like I'm at a museum. I saw lavender manifested in so many mediums I just never would have thought... not just the color- the actual little bundle sprig of lavender. Very beautiful!  My goal was just to go to the street fair and hit up one or two of the farms for photos and a token or two.   


 
      We had a lovely time at the street fair- but it was very sunny and hot and despite the lemon lavender ice cream  (my hubby had the vanilla bean lavender) it was quite toasty. Luckily just when the clouds went away we were ready to hit the farm and grab some lunch. We ended up just going to one farm, but it is probably one of my favorites. Meaning it has parking, a gift shop AND the typical picturesque fields of lavender. 
 
     Here's a few notes- the place was BUZZING with bees. But they were so busy I wasn't worried and felt comfortable moving from row to row. This place was full of sound and smell. Soooo lovely. Nothing is more amazing than smelling a field of lavender. Being able to sit on a bench on the edge of the field and take it all in. So grateful for this lovely experience. 


    We ended up just hitting the one farm but spent some time there just chillin' and taking in the lovely view.  When that was done- we grabbed a late lunch/ early dinner and headed back home.  Promptly getting stuck in rush hour traffic on a Friday.  **DOH!**   At least I still had the memories of a few hours earlier to get me through. ha..

Here's to a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fun Stuff

     So I finally spent some time in the creative den, inspiration followed. Who'd have thunk it? I was excited recently as Sculpey by Polyform came out with a new clay named Sculpey SoufflĂ© that finally hit the brick and mortar stores near me. I'm still stalking Hobby Lobby, but I was reassured they already have the merchandise map to reset the clay product, they just don't have the merchandise, but anyday now.  Regardless- I found some at JoAnn AND it was on sale... SCORE!  
    I tinkered around- it's definitely a neat clay. I'm not too biased. I have begun to appreciate Premo! so I'm not loyal to any one brand.  I was just itching to get something made. Ironically the things I made was made with Premo! and not the Souffle' ... oh well.
     I had purchased a few tutorials from The Blue Bottle Tree, which I have yet to really dive into, because something tells me I won't resurface for days once I do. But I did make a few items with her Mica Leaf Tutorial, which is worth checking out here. From there it kinda spring boarded into a few other things.   It's a simple technique with full wow factor. Here's one of my finished pieces from that tutorial. This was the technique that had me in my front yard picking leaves off my trees as 11:30 at night. lol
 
But the wheels got to turning from there

 I basically just had fun with my powders. Dug out some molds I had never used. As for the little medallions- I made them into beads. I also made a few roses. I miss making stuff. *sigh* Hopefully this is a turning point for my creative muse. But do you SEE The turtle? He's a bit rough around the edges and I need to spiff up the quality a bit more. But I was so excited to make something I just had to finish it.  My photo is crappy, but it's awesome.

 I'm very excited about this.
   
  You see, in my previous craft life I was a die cut fanatic. Okay- truth be told, I'm STILL a die cut fan and always will be.  My first love was the original QuickKutz, which is Lifestyle Crafts now. Then I got the electric Cricut and SCAL software (my Cricut is THAT old and hopefully soon I will upgrade to a Silhouette). I also have the Sizzix Big Shot- which I also love very much.  I love punching out all the pieces and thinking in layers and assembling them- whether it was simple or complex, it's just satisfying. I took that concept and transferred it to polymer clay...  obviously the most simple version. ;)
 So everyone  has a little box of abandoned die cuts right? You punched too many, changed colors, sizes, or your mind completely. Yeah... I had purged a lot of them when I moved. But I had one little pencil box left with flowers and a little stylized turtle.  BINGO! Yes- I have an affinity for turtles. Ahem... if that isn't already obvious.
   So I slapped that turtle die cut on the clay, cut it out with my trusty Exacto,  layered it onto another piece of clay... cut the outline out and added the Pearl-Ex powders. Baked it right up.  I decided to add a bail to it.  Future versions will have an eye pin embedded, but for this-I had a bail so I didn't worry about fiddling with anything else. It looks amazing and I'm quite inspired. It has me looking at all my die cuts in a whole new fashion.  So that's where I am right now.  I not only made something finally- I actually followed through with baking it. Now to decide on glaze and finishing it up and wearing it!
                 Here's a photo of my sidekick, just for cuteness' sake.  He had a rough week last week- he had to have a tooth removed and not having kids yet myself- he is my baby. Seeing him in pain that first night was a heartwrencher.  But he's all better now and I am pretty sure he feels even better. Goodness knows he couldn't possibly be any cuter.

So that's that! We are in for a full on scorcher this week in weather. Almost makes me wish we had air conditioning. But I will survive.
Have a great week!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Life is WONDERFUL

    ***If you are here for the BSBP- HERE is the link.***

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Time for my regularly scheduled overdue ramble... (I've been holding a lot in)

     No life is perfect... But all life is a gift to not take for granted.  Never let the toxic people in your life (current or previously) cloud your day.  You are as happy as you let yourself be. Have no shame or guilt in enjoying the simple things in life.   Most of all BE YOURSELF and be your BEST self!  OH and those fleeting moments when Karma gives you a validating glimpse of those toxic people's lives and actions-  acknowledge it and MOVE ON! Life is too short to give it a second thought. But know... Karma never fails, it's timing might not be what we want, but it all comes around. :D  ...and that's all I have to say about that. 

   Now that the BSBP is on the downswing and all the stress of getting the piece designed and posted on time is over. I can relax a bit more.  I've had house guests last weekend that left on Tuesday. My parents drove out from Missouri to see the new house and spend some time with my husband and I.  It was a good visit. We took them the Lemay Car Museum, which even if you are not a car enthusiast  (which I am NOT) it's an AMAZING museum.  I'm pretty sure my dad enjoyed it. He had a blast telling us which car he'd driven, his first car, his fathers first car, cars he had through the years...etc.  It's that extensive of a collection.  
     
     I think they also appreciated the quiet and the walk-ability of our neighborhood, sidewalks and variety of woodland trails. We even saw a deer one morning. I had seen them cross the roads, but hadn't been that close to one. Pretty sure the deer said  "OH CRAP! HUMANS!" . lol  The mountain even cooperated and came out the last evening they were visiting.   I had also taken them down to Dash Point Pier and we saw an Eagle, granted it was being chased by some crows but we still got to take in it's beautiful soaring. The tide was on it's way out and we saw a bunch of crabs walking around and starfish galore hanging on the legs of the pier.  It was a good visit. 
    
       Now to get back to the regularly scheduled things... my goal is to get my craft den back to blank canvas status...
   : cue the maniacal laughter...

it COULD happen....

seriously stop laughing...  (oh I'm talking to myself when I say that)

Happy Memorial Day a.k.a.  long ass weekend...


Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's Time for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Reveal!


    Welcome to the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party!!!!

     I'm so excited to reveal my bead soup! I traded beads with the lovely and very talented  Diana Shiraishi over at Jasmine Tea Designs.  She sent me some absolutely stunning and Spicy ingredients!  All beautiful pieces. Plus after viewing her work- makes me want to try my hand at Kumihimo!
   
   Here's a recap of what Diana sent to me...

      Let me start by saying- the gorgeous ingredients I received are the kind of stuff I always lingered over at the bead shops but never had the guts to actually buy and design with. I still qualify myself as a newbie.   Read that as waaaay outside my comfort zone.  However, the color palette in this soup was so enticing and beautiful and everything was so wonderfully coordinated, I couldn't help but want to create with it.  There were so many lovely ingredients- I can't wait to use up the leftovers! 


So without further ado... 






     What did I learn from this challenge?  Um- well-first off,  it's probably not the best thing to sign up for right during/after you close on a house and move. Even with the best of intentions I still have so much stuff in boxes in the garage, in a closet, in my den... it was a struggle to keep track of my supplies,and yes for the umpteenth time- it's now been 3 months post move. My den is still in disarray. But at least I have a dining room table now. WhooHOoo!

       My other takeaways from this challenge: 
1.)Balancing visual and physical weight of the various components is both art and science...ha ha ha now I understand it a leetle bit more. I definitely need to go back and tweak how it hangs, whether it's adding more, taking away, or just reworking it. I really learned A LOT about balance while working on this piece. I had never made a multi-strand piece before, not with wire, not with crimps and not with heavier weighted beads.  
2.) Using a multi-hole connector is not Rocket Science, but being the first time I used one was um... interesting, especially if you've never used wire or crimps... (please don't look too close) I think using a different connector would help a lot of issues.
3.).Crimps are not a guaranteed thing-  It's one thing to squish them and make it secure, there are pliers to help and they do- but finessing the stringing material, keeping it taught and not feeling like you are all thumbs is a WHOLE 'nother ball of wax!
4.) If something is twisted- it WILL drive you bonkers if it doesn't want to lay right.
5.) 18 gauge wire really hurts when you gouge your cuticle with it.
6.) I really want to learn to make a paddle head pin. 
7.) I now want to learn Kumihimo 
8.) I also want to learn more about Tagua nuts (those little turquoise triangles are just the tip of the ice er nutberg... ) ha ha and Shibori jewelry- Google Shibori ribbon flower... talk about eye candy!

What can I say?  It was definitely a love/hate process but in the end... Practice makes progress.

     I want to thank my lovely partner Diana for a stunning and inspiring soup. If you haven't visited her blog Jasmine Tea Designs-please do. Her work is absolutely stunning!
   
     I  also want to thank the dear person who first exposed me to the concept of Bead Soup- Bev at Country Frog Creations.  I was intrigued and awed by what you showed me you had created for last years Bead Soup Blog party and that inspired me to take on this love/hate challenge. 

     Last but certainly not least the talented Lori Anderson. All I can say is WOW! Lady! You are a true inspiration on more than a creative level. Thank you for all your hard work!

Thank you so very much for stopping by and be sure to head back over to the master list at:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Phew!

   Honestly- didn't think I'd be at THIS moment. Only 3 days until the reveal and I finally got a creative leg up on my soup, not for lack of trying mind you!   Oh it's not finalized by any means, there's a few kinks that need to be worked out... literally. A couple of technical issues, I want to rework some of the craftmanship issues- let's just say- my first time using crimps and it's not too pretty. lol But as I was trying it on in the mirror- I came to the conclusion that I would in fact wear it.  I also came to the conclusion that boobs get in the way of certain necklaces. But that's another story!  So the next few days I'll be tweaking what I have and hopefully still have sunshine to shoot some photos.

   I can't wait!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Deja Monday

     Yep-I'm exactly in the same position I was last Monday. Good news is the Bead Soup reveal date was pushed back a week. *phew!*  Bad news is that my creative status has not changed.  I'm still majorly blocked. I've even ceased all of my beloved art charm swaps for a few months. That's partly because I need to get my art den in order and finish some unpacking and organizing. Also my parents are coming out in a couple of weeks and I need to get things in order so they aren't tripping over Rubbermaid totes. lol

      There is no denying I am Blocked with a capital "B". * sigh *

      This will pass... I need something... Something... ANYTHING to tap some creative juices.

      In other news, the most exciting thing this last weekend is that security saw a bear cub! (there is still new construction in various stages- so we have night security that patrols the area to deter thieves of course) He spotted it on the far side of the neighborhood Sunday in the a.m.  Honestly, I'm not too worried about encountering a bear or large cat. The furthest I go on my walks are just on the tip of the section that the cub was spotted in, which is closer to a denser wooded area with no current construction. Plus I'm not out and about THAT early. lol  It's just fascinating to know there are bears in the area.
     Our little section of the neighborhood is about to get busier- they are extending one of the nearby roads to new residential. Hopefully they will move forward with the dog park as well. Eventually there will be retail and dining and shopping, etc. We are a brand new community with a 20 year development plan. It's exciting, but makes me anxious. I have always wanted to live in a neighborhood that I could walk to the store and other places nearby, but I might be pushing 60 yrs old before that come to fruition. Who knows?

Happy Monday!

Monday, April 28, 2014

April Showers takes the cake

    Goodness knows it has rained in the month of April. Here I was thinking I killed my lawn by cutting it too short and then it rains for a solid week with a day of sunshine and then the grass is even taller...*Doh!* I think the weather is making up for the fact that we had a relatively dry winter early on. Or maybe that was just the basement apartment talking... time stood still there and not in a good way.

     Soooo... in  a mere 5 days I am supposed to post my bead soup reveal... The very bead soup that I have tinkered and played with and moved around on my mat for weeks like a weird form of zen garden without the sand or rake, and then promptly stuck in a drawer because nothing was working. Good news is that I located the copper findings I had purchased... they were in my glove box. HA!  I have no doubt I will come up with something. If I don't like it- I can always re-do it. What a concept!

   Here's my charm for the "Pick Some Flowers" swap...


     I'm looking forward to the month of May. My parents are driving out for a visit in late May or June. Plus the new hood is trying to organize a neighborhood wide garage sale in the end of June. Hopefully this will be the motivation I have been needing to finish the last of the unpacking- fixing up my art den AND getting rid of a bunch of stuff that has been piling up. There are also talks of a  Block Party... finally get to meet more of my neighbors. Which is good because quite frankly they are all starting to look alike at this point. Unless they have a dog. Then I know them by their dog, but that's it. We moved in Super Bowl weekend and since the Sea Hawks actually won, I think everyone was on cloud 9 for a few months... lol

Have a great Monday!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A State of Mind

   I lived in Texas for a very few short months back in spring of 2001. I ended up leaving because of all things- my allergies were making me miserable. The weather, the grass, the giant bugs, loneliness and the feeling of failure of being 2 years post college and still not having any experience or that dream job to show for it. Moving there was a vain attempt to gain independence- leave what I considered a small town.  Never mind I gave up in under 4 months and most of that spent in continuous misery of allergies brought on by something I was so excited to do regularly...mowing the grass. I had allergies on occasion back home in Missouri, but nothing like this. For the better part of those 4 months, it was one continuous , raspy, watery eyed sneeze-a-thon, snotfest, snottopia, snotapalooza... (I could go on)  So, I tucked tail and moved back home. Defeated...  4 months.  I chalk that up to one of the most stupid things I ever did. Not sure on which one- moving to Texas, or moving back home.
 
      It was just a few months after I moved back to my home state that 9/11 happened and everything changed and it just seemed that time just froze. I think every generation has that event of  "where were you when...?" That was definitely mine-  having just turned the ripe old age of 24, clueless, naive and broke. Funny thing is I remember an episode that Oprah had called "quarter life crisis" that same summer. It's definitely a stupid age. It's pivotal for sure. You aren't as young, and yet  you really aren't an adult except for your numerical age. Yet some people have full blown families and real lives by then. Then I think maybe if I hadn't wasted 5 years (it was only 5 because of my major- not because of bad grades or undecided major choosing) on college, life would have been different. It would have forced me to get real that many years sooner. Maybe if I had NOT kept dating that nice guy I started dating my senior year in high school and dragged out for the next decade life would have been different.  Maybe?  Maybe if I had spoken up more, life would have been different. Some days all I have is the fact that I know without a doubt I am where I am supposed to be,despite the overwhelming fact I squandered my 20's on the wrong job, wrong guy, wrong state.
     A few days after my 29th birthday, I gave notice at my crappy job, and bought a one way ticket to Washington state. I had a safety net, but I was determined to make this move stick. Thank God it did. Ironically I now live in a town a small  fraction of the size of my hometown and I love it. I'm also excited to announce I can mow the grass without it turning into anymore than grass stains on my shoes.
    Well, you know... it's the little things.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brick Wall Combat

     I am beginning to think that as great as the internet is for being a source of eye candy, inspiration, tutorials, information, techniques, tips, etc...  I can't help but feel it also reminds me that it's all been done before.
 The internet allows us access to a great source of many people's hard work- tips, hints, very well done tutorials, etc. But then what?

     Please note- I firmly believe in giving credit where credit is due, whether it's using a tutorial or inspiration for a technique. This isn't about that directly.  In my opinion THAT goes without even being said.

     I'm talking about actually creating your own thing.  Putting your own spin on something... is that really enough anymore?  It seems that nowadays you pretty much have to reinvent the wheel or a new formula of Tide or risk being accused of not giving credit or plagiarizing. Not from my personal experience, but things I've seen on pages or sites.
      I am seriously beginning to think I just don't have what it takes to create something new and original. It's all been done.  10-12 years ago, I was into altered dominoes big time. I LOVED Ranger's Adirondack Markers, and loved using Sharpies. Any of my creative sessions were always jump started by altering a domino. I used to experiment soooo much back then. Same thing with polymer clay. I would jump at the chance to try something new and just push through it. Sure, my first ones were never perfect but that was okay. Practice makes progress right? I would move forward with it and create something. It was so simple back then. At the very least I learned something new. I used to make a lot of canes and cover small pots, boxes, a lot of Bic Pens crossed my path. Anything that didn't move, got covered in a layer of cane slices. I'm pretty sure I've covered my weight in Christmas ornaments. lol  Nothing original of course.  But my experimentation was my own, or was it?

     But now? What about now? I piddle and putz around inspired and uninspired at the same time in my art den, well currently I am spread out on the dining table.lol  But seriously- I string beads only to unstring them. I wrap something in wire, and clip it all off moments later. I just don't think there is anything left that I could possibly "put my own spin on" and feel satisfied with.  I can create something but feel as though it's all been done in some variation before.  But how can you not mirror or mimic something that inspired you?  If I created something with a water lily on it- does that mean I've been inspired by Monet? I've been there- I've walked the cobblestone streets of Giverny and crossed Monet's bridges spanning his ponds and his lovely water lilies. He was an inspiration.

So here I am- feeling it's all been done before- hitting a brick wall.

Speaking of water lilies...


    This photo is not from Giverny, I don't currently have any digital versions of those photos. This is of a water lily from Butchart Gardens in Canada. I believe it was in the formal Italian garden, if I remember correctly. Oh and I altered it in Photoshop with a filter or something done to it.. I like it. But it's been done before. Especially the way I held the camera with my two 5 fingered hands,  pretty sure I closed one eye when I looked through the viewfinder. DANG IT! So unoriginal.  Why can't I have unique ocular organs and unique phalanges. I feel so cheated.    

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gift Card charm swap received!

   Been a little under the weather... husband was a little generous with the bug he brought home last week and it finally caught up with me earlier this week. This evening is the first time in 3 days I've felt mildly human and feel like I'm on the road to recovery.
    But happy mail came today! The Gift Card charm swap arrived and I couldn't be more pleased with what I received. A lovely lot of charms. I swapped 2 sets of 5- so I received 10 different ones. All lovely, all different.


    I'm still waiting for one more swap to be returned from last month and then it's nearly time to ship out what I have brewing for this months swaps.
That's it for today! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March Color Palette Swap received

 Oh and it's so pretty! The ladies that participated really did a great job! The color palette was so fresh and pretty! Here it is again:


The good news is that I found my camera charger and am now able to use something besides my phone.

The bad news is that the skies are gray and there is no really good natural light when I took these photos.


Now I get to have fun stringing them onto something! 

Happy Sunday!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Recharging

 So... inspiration today was taking a long walk in the woods. I was wanting to explore a new section of the trail and didn't take my dog, he's usually good for 1-2 miles, and I didn't want to make him overdo it. I had a good walk. The temperature was perfect. One part is a subtle incline and I am already feeling it (in a good way). But I had alone time to think and reflect. As I progressed on along a seemingly long part of a uphill trail, I had an idea of where I was, but also knew I still had a few miles left ahead of me. It kinda felt endless... then I stopped, turned around and looked back down the trail. It reminded me of a quote I had found just a few days ago and now it resonated a little deeper. I tried to find who to give credit to, but it kept coming up unknown.  The quote is:

 "The reason why people give up so fast is that they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten."

  Which was exactly how I felt, except I couldn't give up because I was a couple miles in and still had a couple miles to go to finish my goal. Why backtrack when I can move on- I pressed forward. I was rewarded by reaching my goal- a gorgeous lookout point and the dang mountain was still under clouds. RATS!!!  So I hoofed it down to the coffee shop, had a coffee and sat by the fire before heading home. But the mountain did peek out from the clouds just a little bit from this view.


From this view- I was able to *see* how far I really did come today. Not just because of the fancy trail map posted on the board at the coffee shop.  lol But I could see how far I'd walked. I felt good.  I need to apply that quote to my life in general. I don't know why I haven't looked back at my progress before. In life, not just a walk. Maybe because it's that biblical reference involving pillars of salt? lol  But I've come a long way. I still have a ways to go, but looking back- wow. I can do this. If I can move twice in 6 months, I can surely survive unpacking one final time.  

Total mileage hoofed today:  Just a little over 4 miles, my goal is 7 and eventually 10. Eventually turn that 10 mile walk into a 10 mile jog. So while I share my distance, I will not, however, share how long it took me. That's another level of goals. lol 

I can do this...   Oh yes... YES I can. But first...

 Neosporin for my blisters. ;)  Because apparently I am a glutton for punishment and go for the longest walk while breaking in a new pair of shoes.  *DOH!*

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Another facet of creativity

    Facet or tangent? Ramblings? As the unpacking continues- I found the box of books that I had packed and did not have at the apartment. So these have been in storage for well over a year! I found some goodies!  This box had my stash of polymer clay books and a bunch of coffee table art books.  I also found the one book I thought was lost forever. It was one of those books I knew I had, but couldn't remember the name or author and could not for the life of me find it. I just knew it was on shrines.
        But I unearthed that baby... and lets just say- the hubby bought a sheet of foam core a few weeks ago for a project. Ahem... I may have to replace said sheet of foam core.  So what is this book? Well here ya go...  "Crafting Personal Shrines" by  Carol Owen. Here it is on Amazon .

   So my fascination with shrines comes with my trips to San Antonio for "The Day of The Dead" celebrations. The days when cell phones were not mainstream, let alone the ones with cameras. Back when I still lugged a decent film SLR around and just on the cusp of the digital camera evolution. 10-13 yrs ago? ha! Anyhow, if you've ever been able to observe such celebrations and have witnessed the amazing and colorful tributes to the beloved deceased you know how emotionally evoking it can be. The colors, the ruffled dresses, the rhythm of the music and the aroma of the "Pan de Muertos".

     Well- the book is not really anything like those per say.  Honestly I think I like the idea of the construction part of the shrine as much as the decking it out part.  But this is what inspired me and that's how I was introduced to shrines and it will always be burned into my brain. I think it appeals to me because in my personal environment, I tend to lean towards neutral and earthy colors. Something I fought hard when we picked out the finishes for the new house, I thought it was so boring but neutral is a very good canvas to be accented with the bright stuff. I just gravitate towards the more vibrant saturated palettes in anything else.   I wish I had a negative scanner so I could share the beautiful images I took back then.  Nowadays,I  try to attend the celebrations closer to home at either the Seattle Center or the Tacoma Art Museum. Both locations create giant sand paintings, another fascination of mine. Again- the bright, beautiful colors, followed by the fascination of how they created it, let alone the scale of it!


This one is from the Tacoma Art Museum.



                                      
The one below is from the Seattle Center.


 So that is today's creative tangent. Happy Monday! (or Tuesday) lol

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Snail's Pace

     That pretty much describes how unpacking is going. Today marks 2 months in the new house. I will never forget it because it was Super Bowl  weekend... I won't claim to be a Seahawk's fan, because I don't really do sports. But it was memorable for sure.  We have new neighbors moving into today. The new "hood" is filling up nicely. We have officially cleared out our storage unit and truth be told if our garage was organized we'd still be able to get one car in. I think that is a win in the clutter/junk department.  We finally decided on a new couch, just in time too because several of  the springs in the old one is about read to completely rip through the back.  The new stuff is being delivered Tuesday, now I just need to figure out how to hermetically seal the couch from cat and dog hair. ** maniacal laugh**.   I also have something to put on the windows. So...um... yeah... 2 months in post move...SCORE!

      I have my Bead Soup project to look forward to working on this month. My poor art den is all in disarray after the last few swaps. I think I am going to shove all boxes into the back of the Harry Potter closet and call it a day.  Start organizing and go from there.   ha ha ha ha  *maniacal laugh*

     But I did take a walk in the woods today between insane downpour sideways rain... Here' s what I found.

Yep- a snail shell and tree fungus...  But it looked so pretty.  Who knew weird liquid could look so pretty on the underside of a blob of fungus? Meh... maybe it's only me.  I wish I could properly capture the way the mossy beards hang off the trees.  Here is all my little point and shoot is capable of... It rather washed out how saturated the green is.


So that was my day...  in a snail shell.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

3rd Times a Charm

      It's Spring time and swaps are turning and churning. I just mailed out a few swaps the other day. A "Down the Rabbit Hole" swap I found on a blog in my search for fairy gardens. The other two being over at the Yahoo Art Charms Group. One was the monthly color palette swap. The other was a Gift Card Charm swap. Truly a swap that pushed my limits.

     I had it all lined up and my gift cards collected, die cut them on my Big Shot (steel rule dies only- not the wafers)  I had die cut them and was letting the inspiration strike me. Well I went to file and drill and found my poor die cuts of less than desirable state. The anatomy of a gift card has evolved over the last few years and some of these were from a few years ago or more.  From my years at the printshop I learned a few things about giftcards, room keys, loyalty cards, etc. They are constructed in few ways- basically whatever/however it's printed and and an additional layer of something laminated, anymore I think they are printed right on the plastic! Some are thin, some are thick and quality can and will vary in any and all of these factors.  Well needless to say I ended up ditching my first and second attempts. They were older cards and just not jiving with what I had in mind. My favorite though- I had one that was a Starbuck's card and loved how it die cut so I sought out some additional ones and this is what I came up with.  Just a reminder my camera battery charger is still MIA so this are phone photos taken in a window... lol (although the hubby seems to think it's in a box in the garage)



     My tips for die cutting gift cards, it needs to be a steel rule die- meaning the thicker dies- not the wafer thin dies like QuickKuts/Lifestyle dies, or Sizzlets, but steel rule. Then put the gift card face down (or whatever you want to be the front) on your die- it will allow the front to look neater and any puckering or slight creasing of the plastic will be limited to the backside. For the most part. I still took my files (I have the Basic Grey set from the scrapbooking section) and cleaned up any burrs and lessened any pointy parts that might poke someone. Filing just finishes the charms off. Makes it look better and eliminates any potential injury from sharp pointy edges.  I did not use adhesive on these- the wire held the layers together just fine. I then used some copper wire to wire wrap and make a loop. Making the thick wrapping was awkward as I am used to a nice and tidy eye loop and wrap. I then added a pretty bead and Ta-Da!  I also added a jumpring per the requirements of the swap, I just didn't locate them until after the photo. I can't wait to get these back and see what others have made. 
   So there you have it. Gift Card art charms.  Fun and pretty. 

Pinterest and the Ghost of the Toxic Green Hag

  **** Crazy Woman Ramble***

     This is a reminder to NEVER get attached to social media sites.  Funny thing is after my account was hacked a few weeks ago and I deactivated it and actually did really well.  I wouldn't say I'm an addict. I don't spend all day pinning, I never have.. really. It is a relaxing thing to do.  I use it mainly for jewelry making and recipes. I should have learned- always print out that recipe- don't just save it to your Pinterest Board. Why? Because at some point you will be hacked. As some point someone will flag something on your board whether be intentional or accidental or maybe there was an unintentional spammy link... who the heck knows anymore.  But to that person (the spammer) - they can suck it.

Honestly the only thing I will miss the most are my art/creative boards (anything related to jewelry/beading/charms) and of course my recipes. OH and my inspirational words of wisdom board.  **sigh**

**UpDATE*** It was hacked again. :(

Double Update 3/28/14: My pleas to Pinterest have been answered. YAY!!! Interestingly enough I am unable to locate any spam boards (like the last time) and they left my settings alone, didn't even change my location. So me thinks it was flagged, not hacked. No sign of beauty product spams either as I was told my profile had been promoting. I deleted a few boards after I  examined them closer, but nothing spammy. If it had been hacked by a spammer- I believe the odd activity triggers it to go into safe mode (which happened last time) and if it's flagged- they just flat out suspend your account.  Oh well...


 ***************
So yeah- from here on- this post goes a bit overboard.  Just so you know.  Yes- there are mean people out there, Yes, if everyone would develop a thick skin and move on- the world would be a better place. Whatever.

So if that one person decided to flag me just because  (not because it was actual spam), good for you!  I have a few of those hags out there,  don't we all?  I call them green hags because I have worse things I could call them. But green is obvious and hag, well you know the implications.  Basically little ol' me has a few haters. ME! It's almost laughable. A poor girl from the midwest. It's kinda funny.  If you knew me personally you'd know I sometimes struggle daily and in general think very little of myself, while the days I feel like a lump of crap are fewer and far between. I still struggle everyday with self purpose. I know I'm on the right path because I still look forward to the next day.  Between my FIL and a few other self serving people who crossed my path, my self- esteem is in low reserve.  My creativity has been my salvation, my outlet, that and my husband of course.
     But one thing I know, I am 100% genuine, some have even had the balls to call me naive and stupid, whatever. Some people can't stand that because well- deep down their intentions were anything but genuine, so it makes them feel bad for a minuscule second. Unfortunately, this is usually when they lash out the most or again.   I have some what of a good people meter, but some people hide their crazy so well, it throws it off and they inch into your life and before you know it- they've trampled your heart and soul good and hard.  You question yourself. You start to second guess your choices. These people learn how to entwine themselves in your life.  There is a word for them... TOXIC... They think they're martyrs, or queens, but toxic is more accurate description.  These are the people that take self help workshops and then suddenly think they are experts and try to analyze you and ask you stupid questions and jump to insane conclusions because you will not participate in their insanity. It's even more sad after you realize it's because they are projecting their own sad life experiences.  These are the people who will go out of their way to treat you like crap and then do their best to make you feel even worse because you actually gained enough courage to call them on their crap. See how that is a toxic cycle? Yes-  you know how the saying goes- you shouldn't burn that bridge? Well- Sometimes you have to burn that bridge to keep the crazy people from following you.
     Sometimes you have to put on your big girl panties and realize that you are worthy of being treated better than that.

Ooh I had a revelation... I'm still detoxing from the last toxic "friend". Sometimes, it can take longer than getting a traffic infraction off your license. lol So yeah- I don't think the world is out to get me, but have you ever had a bad experience and you've moved on, but something triggered all those emotions?

   So yeah- when Pinterest shuts down my pin board of inspiration- it kinda catches me off guard.  Kinda like the last toxic green hag that tried to shut me down and the emotional exhaustion that was involved to deal with her dried up all my creative juices. Yes- two different things, but when my creativity is messed with... I get all serious.

But I will move on and go forth to create again!!! MWAH HA HA HA!!!

 Some have mistaken my polite silence, quiet and soft spoken demeanor for stupid and weak. To those I say- OH well- I sleep at night, well... when I have fresh earplugs so I'm not kept awake by the husband or dog snoring.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Rambling

     It was a beautiful weekend here in the PNW. The air had a slight chill to it but the sun was out, the skies were blue, the clouds were puffy. Apparently there are weather gods and they did listen to my plea for less rain, more blue skies and puffy clouds.
    My den is no where near salvageable yet. I have been readying several swaps to send out this week and in a fit of   "where the hell is THAT?", more boxes inched back in and were opened in a disorderly manner.  tsk tsk tsk   The cats are not happy with me, as I have shut the door to my den since they always find my box of fabric and lay in it. They can no longer get to the window and sit in the sill. Poor kitties. So tortured.

    A couple of exciting things happened this weekend.  I was able to buy lawn ornaments/statuary for our yard for the first time without having to worry about it being stolen or damaged. That was a weird feeling. We also had a  neighbor kid knock on the door for fundraising. That was another exciting thing. I didn't have to worry about unlocking my door. I didn't have to talk to him through a locked security screen door in fear of getting strong armed or scammed for money. I haven't had to put a "No Soliciting" sign on my door yet. At my old house we had them nearly everyday and some I had to threaten to call the police as I had no idea there were solicitors that would keep coming back and try to bully you into letting them mow your yard and yard work. I was told this was called "malicious soliciting" and it is a report-able offence.   Geesh- reading all that makes me think about how bad our old neighborhood really was.
     The only oddly positive thing is that when our huge fancy self-propelling lawn mower was stolen (we used to have a really large yard with a hill for most of the backyard) it meant we didn't have to store it for the time we rented the basement dungeon and honestly it was too big of a lawn mower for our new yard.   So you know- I hope the thief got good money out of it.  The new mower is electric/battery powered.  3-4 passes and the lawn will be mowed. ;) MOStly kidding, but sorta not, it might take a baker's dozen of passes. ;) But that's okay.  I've come to terms with the smallness of the yard, and just having a garage is a plus. We lost our goal of having it cleaned out to park in by St. Paddy's Day.  We are giving up the storage unit next weekend. So the garage is gonna get worse before it gets better. But once everything is here- we can start with storage zones and start putting stuff away where it belongs.
         
    OH and we had our first Deer sighting... yes- long, dark rural road and a deer is not my favorite combo. But it was fast, I was going slow enough to stop for it and wait for other possible comrades. Neighbors have seen Elk at the treeline across the road. No Thank you- Those are HUGE beasts- I've passed them on the road in my car on the side of the road, having to drive past them slowly, and seen them in herds in other areas.yeah.  Seeing them from afar is good enough for me. Beautiful majestic animals but the sheer size is enough to get my adrenaline going,10 feet away is too darn close.
     Now that the sod has firmed up and rooted properly in the yard we have been letting the dog out, which has been fun. To see him roam free in his own space again has been a huge mood lifter. He still  mostly requires his daily walk but the fact he's down to 1 from 3 and 4 a day, shows his age. He will be 7 next month. Usually one good walk/sniff session will conk him out for the day. Poor little guy. I miss my jack rabbit Puggle dog. He used to be the fastest dog at the dog park- running over the hills (used to be a golf course) with a pack of dogs chasing him (just as he liked it). For a medium size dog- he was scrappy and sturdy and could rough house with the big dogs.  Now he's content to snore on the couch for majority of the day. I think he knows this is home and as I am more relaxed and feel safe, so is he.
     As for Junior, well he's always been a trilling, purring, love bug of a lap cat. I put a step stool up to the window sill in the living room so he can get to that one in his advanced age, he can't jump like he used to.  Dora (small but mighty) will probably never lose the grudge for bringing home the dog. But she is proof  as well that animals feel what you feel. I am her human, even though my husband had both cats before we even met. She claimed me. She's always been the typical cat. But her sweetness has multiplied and her confidence with the dog has too. She now demands attention, audibly and with cute little bum/tail swishes to alert you she is within arm's reach, which you know... is HER gift to YOU, so pet her already.  She is also at peace here at the new house. I think she knows too. This is home. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wassoup?!

    Yeah- I know I'm stretching the whole "wassup?" thing. Meh- my humor. So yesterday I went to retrieve my hostage soup from the local P.O.

Note to Self:  do not EVER go to the P.O. after 2pm in the afternoon, especially on a Monday. Everyone and their monkey's uncle is there to retrieve their mail and do their business.

Ooooh but it was worth it just this one time.  Oh yes.... YESSSSS!!!  Is my emphasis apparent enough?

 My soup from Diana over at Jasmine Tea Designs was nothing short of breathtaking and much to my husband's chagrin, quite squeal-worthy. From presentation to actual contents, it was nothing short of the most elegant soup ever.  Quite frankly, it's the only reason my corned beef was allowed to rest after removing from the crock pot. ha ha ha  Seriously...

    I was hoping for a good dose of sunshine today so I could take some at least decent photos. However, that's a stretch, I can only forecast that the sun will stream through the window of my den after I've not only taken the photos but posted this blog. I'm not pessimistic, it's called living in the Pacific Northwest. lol
     
     So without much further ado... my soup from Diana.


     Seriously- the richness of the colors are delicious.  I call the cording rainbow udon, since Diana said it was the "noodles".  
  
     Please note- if it wasn't for PicMonkey.com , this post would have a bazillion photos- I am so glad there is a collage feature. This soup was so much fun to photograph.  Each "ingredient" is just breathtaking.

     I am hoping I didn't leave anything out. Unfortunately, my poor little camera is getting low on juice and the battery charger is MIA since the move. *DOH* I could have taken photos all day.




     This experience has been amazing. As my partner, Diana alluded to, there are some like minded thinking going on, copper elements,  palettes, etc. Gorgeous colors and components, items I have never worked with and have NO idea how to design with but I am still so excited to design with.  It was interesting because these were all elements I have been drawn to in the shops, but never purchased because I had no idea how to incorporate them, or felt they were beyond my novice scope of skill and thought. Well, I believe my creative limits are about to pushed.  

 So thank you  Diana- so very much!  I look forward to designing with my soup. 




Monday, March 17, 2014

Have you heard? The Bird's the Word


    This afternoon I was chomping at the bit to get to the Post Office to retrieve my soup (where it's being held hostage) that my partner sent me...  I thought I would ready my post for what I sent Diana Shiraishi over at Jasmine Tea Designs.

So first a teaser...
   


Okay- now for the real deal..

It was the bird- that Peacock blue/green that tantalized me. It's something I was drawn to, and kinda out of my norm, but it's so beautiful in person. I had bought the bird and the swirl beads from Shaterra Clay Studio on Etsy. She specializes in ceramics, wire and leather.  Her pieces are wonderful and like I said- the bird. It just drew me in. 


     As for the clasp- I purchased it from Fusion Beads in Seattle. They have a website, but for locals, HOLY GORGONZOLA CHEESE BATMAN!!! It is a gorgeous, delicious store that I could have spent hours in. Seriously, if you are ever in the Seattle area- it's a MUST see! They have parking!!! whooohoo! I did not have to parallel park. Ok- I cheated and made the hubby drive, but still didn't have to parallel park and he probably kept me from buying the whole store. lol It's probably a good thing I don't like driving in and about Seattle itself- I would be at that store waaaay too often. 

    The rest of the supporting cast are from other local stores, forgive me if I don't know exactly what the beads are, I generally buy because it's pretty and/or it goes. lol I am blessed to be near several I have frequented since I started this beaded journey a little over a year ago. The Bead Factory and Bead Boppers are the closest ones to me. Lovely lovely stores. These both always have beautiful samples and a current classes available. These two are both strictly brick and mortar stores, the Bead Factory has an online presence, but I think it's set up to order their classes online which are held in the store. 

     A little background on the toggle clasp. I had something specific in mind, which is a good lesson to learn as sometimes things turn out different.  I had hoped for a larger chunkier artisan crafted patina finish copper toggle. But the one I had thought would work was waaaaaay too small. Hence my first visit to Fusion Beads. It was more the shape and simple look I wanted, but the finish was true copper. However, when I placed it next to the bird, I didn't not like it.  ;) I LOVE the shape of it and think the copper works with the peacock coloring in the bird and the sand colors.  So while I am adding making toggles and learning to patina them to my list of things I wish to master,  this would work for this. For my first beads soup, I think I did okay.  I hope

   The funny thing is that the photos don't show the chain and beads I found while still unpacking my craft den and threw in at the last minute. Yeah- the bird matched and I didn't even have those beads at the front of my mind. The chain is more the color I had hoped for the toggle.  OH well...

     It's a little on the smallish side of soups, I'm sure.   I have a tendency to over think things and I did NOT want this soup to become a stress. I pulled together things from my meager stash and supplemented and went with my first gut feeling on them. Maybe I struck out, who knows. Isn't beading really subjective anyway? I mean you see the soups (big and small) and think- WOW! What I could do with that! But, in my minimal experience in this medium, the proper creative spark and anything will work. I've been participating on a Yahoo Art Charms group the last year and that definitely sparks the less is more creativity,  (unless you are talking about quantity of charms themselves) but that's a different post!  LOL!
The rules of Bead Soup- while using focal and clasp are necessary, have fluidity to them. Which is what drew me to this whole soup thing. The train of thought you must transfer to, to be open to new things.
       Drum Roll please...

                Which is why I am here in the first place.

Stay Tuned!  Tomorrow I post about what I received- when plenty of daylight is present and hopefully the sunshine flows through the windows so I can take photos. :D OH is it a very beautiful soup. Seriously breathtakingly beautiful.