Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zig Zaggin'

As part of my show prep for October, I've been working on my show table covers. In between reading articles about America's energy issues (for tomorrow's class) I spent time out picking up poplin and zigzagging edges upon edges upon edges of material. Why don't I just buy tablecovers, you ask? Because they're way too expensive and I can't find the sizes I need. So, Little Ms. Homemaker and her old Morse sewing machine had a great time this afternoon.

I've been to the fabric store three times to get the right amout of material and they're convinced that I'm making witch and vampire costumes for the whole neighborhood with all the black material I now own.

While cutting, I thought of my ma often since she's wonderful with some shears. I actually still have the prom dresses that she made for me well over 20 years ago. Purple satin...what a dream!! Anyway, I apparently did not get the gift from either ma or my Grammy, who could tailor a suit with her eyes shut! My cut lines are not exactly straight, but I can still hope to do better with the seams when it all comes together. Maybe, though, rather than blaming a lack of natural talent, I can blame my helpers...

...Brando got in a big fight with the fabric so Coco came over to find out what was up. She just looks overall disgusted that my attention is on something other than her food needs. haaaaaaaa

But, back to the zig zagging...once I finished up the raw edges of the fabric, I figured I owed myself some time in the workshop. So, I headed down the zig zagging path towards Earringville with lots of sterling silver wire.

I learned a trick to make the two sides equal: use some masking tape to hold the wires together. But, I tried that for the first pair and got tape stuck on the pliers while I worked so that idea went out the window. Instead, I decided it's like a puzzle to try to make the two sides even. And, even it they're not quite perfect, that's just fine with me because nothing in life is quite perfect!! haaaaaaa

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pancake Pixie Platform

I keep hearing from my friends back in Virginia and Pennsylvania about how wonderful these first days of autumn-like weather are--open windows, cool breezes, and leaves just starting to change. I, on the other hand, am experience rain and humidity. I'm not complaining, it could be worse...I could be living in the trailer park on Maxwell AFB and be experiencing flooding like some friends of mine.

I looked outside the other day and, with my foggy just-out-of-bed eyes, saw what looked like a bunch of pancakes thrown all around a tree in my back yard. I stopped and stared for a bit before realizing they were mushrooms and then I just laughed out loud (and scared the cats). Apparently, one of the cool side effects of all this rain (aside from the wheat field growing up in my neighbor's yard) is the mushroom crop! Over night, dozens of big mushrooms pop up in big rings--there's one of these "pixie rings" of mushrooms out in my back yard. According to my expert googling, if you sleep in the middle of one of these mushroom rings, you won't get visited by pixies any more. As I like my pixie visits, I have chosen to stay with the cats and just admire the pancake pixie platfrom from indoors.

I got down to see if there's anything good under luck...I still don't see autumn heading my way any time soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Autumn in Mookaite...

Fall is my favorite time of the year...takes me back to my childhood home and the huge piles of leaves and that wonderful crunch under my feet while walking down the hill to school. Plus, you can't beat pumpkin lattes. haaaaaaaaa

But this fall is starting off extra special with the gorgeous colors of mookaite--it's a type of jasper that features wonderfully rich yellows and reds. I created this necklace, called Autumn's Jumbled, making the most of the golds and reds in an asymmetrical design with a big chunky bunch of glass, stones, and silver in the center.

And, while I think the design is really cool, what's even neater is that it's published in Bead Trends magazine's September issue!! If you get a hold of a copy, check out pages 26 and 27!!! Their pictures of "Jumbled" are soooo pretty!!

You can see another great example of a necklace featuring this gorgeous stone on the Art Bead Scene!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Right there in black and white!

I was fixated on this blog problem all day. When I got home today after talking about Air Forcey research stuff all day, I went to work on my own research. I dove into Flickr and figured out all sorts of crazy things! And, I fixed my own code!!! haaaaaaaaa It was all right there in front of me...I just had to read between the lines and actually figure it out.

So, speaking of black and white, I have to say that my new favorite piece of clothing is this zebra-print silk sweater from Chico's. I normally don't buy things that aren't on some sort of sale, but this just struck me and I had to have it. My wonderfully supportive girlfriends with me there in San Antonio also helped with the decision making. :) Amazingly enough, I wear it all the time! My friends might think it gets old, but I don't! And, it has motivated me into the black and white world with my beading.
I am completely enamored with rock crystal...rough, tumbled, faced, smooth, round, square...whatever, I love it!! So, when a classmate asked for something special for his wife's birthday, that's the first thing I went towards on the table. I used a mix of shapes, sizes, and textures to bring this to life and then created a focal clasp using one of my squiggled wire shapes and a swirled silver hook.

Maybe I've OD'd on the color lately with all the clay work I've been doing...or, maybe I'm so used to reading pages and pages of Air Force research, policy, and doctrine that black and white just feels comfortable to me now! Either way, I'm enjoying the experiments without much color involved...sticking with my greys, blacks, whites, and clear.

Oh, that reminds me of some other good news. One of my rock crystal designs got picked up for the Winter issue of Stringing! So, be on the lookout!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A minor blog mess...

I'm having some difficulty with my html and graphics, so I'm really frustrated, but overall it was a great day in blogland, because I won the August giveaway at the Art Bead Scene!!!

Remember that challenge with the great waves and my voluptuous take on the theme? :) I won't post that picture again (because you can go to the Art Bead Scene and see it) but I do want to show off some other work from this week that is totally motivated by all the wonderful bead artists out there! I love taking completely raw a chunk of clay (that was on sale at Michael's this week, whoo hoo!)...and turning it into something wonderful. I have aspirations to be a great bead artist someday, but in the meantime, I'm going to continue with my own creative whims and freewheeling clay playing to see what happens. :)

Here are a couple of the finished pieces I made with polymer clay this week...

I know I have a lot of work to do with my techniques and color-mixing and finishing and all, but I still LOVE these pendants!! I sat down for a few hours with a bunch of autumn hues (at least that's what I'd call them) and threw in some black and white to see what would happen. I did a little rough mokume gane with some of the colors and then made some simpler swirly canes to mix it up. I'm thrilled with the color combinations!

I have a lot more finishing, sanding, and grinding to do on a big pile of these little one-of-a-kind pretties. But, first I'm going to get back to trying to fix the background on this crazy blog, so please be patient with me and my flickr difficulties. haaaaaaaa Oooooh, I almost forgot, I have a paper due tomorrow! So, off I go!!!


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Bedford, PA, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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