So back in October, my friend Pat McGraw had an opening and I fell in love with a particular grouping of mixed media paintings. I remarked (more like gushed) to Mr. Pearl and Pebble about how I loved these four works. He said well we really shouldn't be spending that much. So we walked on and I thought maybe I could have just one. He agreed and we went back to them only to discover they ALL had little red sold dots below them. I was so bummed out! That was so fast! You snooze-you lose!!! I put in a special order to Pat asking her to do another set for me at her convenience. So the other day when we opened our gifts you can imagine my surprise! I do love that man!!!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Oh man check these out! These little pretties are sooooo gorgeous!!! You must ALWAYS, dear bloggers, respond to challenges and give-aways because this could be the outcome!!! Kelley from Kelley's Bead Studio is a glass bead artist (obviously) who enjoys enlisting the help from her readers in naming her treasure that she sells here . A name is randomly chosen from those who post and then she rewards the chosen one quite nicely:) They look and feel amazing - I just don't want to put them down! Thank you Kelley!!!
So this here is actually the first attempt at the buggy bracelet challenge a month or so ago hosted by Silver Parrot . I really loved the colors in the caterpillar but I just couldn't get the bead combo right and I didn't have an art bead that worked well. So today as I was looking at my stash I remembered Lisa Crone's morning post about collaging a piece of jewelry with random beads and finished my buggy caterpillar bracelet. That is one of the great things about challenges - even if you don't finish in time to actually participate, a mental seed has been planted to get the creative juices flowing. This bracelet has reclaimed vintage beads, a chunky amazonite cube, brass and glass. My favorite is the pale turquoise vintage round. I love this color and I like the brass with it! Thanks for looking:)
Friday, December 11, 2009
Here is today's "painting". Maybe I shouldn't call them paintings -a- day, but I don't know what else to label them at the moment. It is my goal to do art everyday with the assumption that at the end of a year I will at least have ten to twenty usuable pieces and at the very least some compositional ideas for "serious" work. These works I have been doing are pretty much exercises at this point and I think it is helpful. Give it try. Today's watercolor sketch is of yellow dog. Derwent Inktense on charcoal paper.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Yesterday was a real quick sketch & wash of the cat. Have to be real quick with the cat. Such a difficult soul at times. But she is perfect and we love her. This morning's daily was of a toilet paper roll. It was much more cooperative. Both are sketched and washed with Derwent pencils on Stonehenge paper.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
So we had our nieces this weekend the youngest being one and quite active so I had to improvise on the painting-a-day thing and color instead. That was OK. I had actually been to an opening a few weeks ago and one of the artist's body of work was in crayon. Kind of refreshing actually. Somewhere between the age of three and twenty we have decided to poo -poo crayons as a serious medium. I don't know why. Anyhow, the crayon drawing is of one of my lamps that I got at the salvage yard for five dollars. It is a beautiful green ceramic lamp. It has recessed areas and when I spotted it, I thought it was glazed with the green and and sepia. When I got it home and wiped it down, the sepia came off. I thought "What could this be?" My mother - in -law suggested nicotine. YUUUUUCCCCKKKK! So it took a bit of elbow grease to get it off, and in the meantime we decided it had been antiqued with shoe polish. Anyhow, totally worth five dollars! It is beautiful!!
The second painting is pastel of a ceramic bird figurine. Love the figurine, not loving the painting. We will leave it at that.
Yesterday's is of a garlic bulb setting on a small dish that Mr. Pearl and Pebble's mother made. (LOVE THESE DISHES) Pastel on Wallis paper-belgian mist. I do like this one.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
The really great thing about photographing work is that it can be seen differently and the bits I'd like to tweak become more evident. Not unhappy with this. I am drawn to the the looseness, the "wobbly bits" as one of my professors used to call them and the painterly aspects. I do like working with pastel. I can haul it all over and can zone out. I am not crazy about today's paper. La Carte Pastel Board. Too sand papery. Tears up the oil pastel. Pulled out the Nupastels. Like them but they make more dust and I was working horizontally so a little more messy. However all that said, I am managing to stick to my new morning ritual even if it is only day four. Baby steps. Can't make it to step one hundred without the first ninety-nine right?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I am challenging myself to paint one a day this month. My cat was in the perfect pose until she realized that I was sitting down to draw her. So I barely got her outline sketched in. Had to wing it. That's ok. Only no.1 after all and I'm not unhappy with it. I was able to experiment with a different pastel paper. This one was St. Armand Sabertooth. I used Sennelier oil pastels and Rembrandt soft pastels. Got to love Sennelier. I picked up a few more colors this afternoon after doing this. Gerry's Artarama has them on sale for 1.79. That is an awesome price. This is my first time dealing with them so we'll see how it goes! (Blick makes me absolutely crazy!)
I love prints. I don't know why. I am particularly drawn to wood cuts and lino cuts. I think those are relief prints? I really enjoy browsing Etsy and seeing all the talented print makers. Here is my attempt. I just printed this from a lino block. A couple of weeks ago when I was struggling with the right beads for the ABS challenge, I made a polymer bead that had a design in it that looked like a stylized owl. I was REALLY tired but told myself to do a quick sketch. So I did. Last week I re-sketched the design on a linoleum block and cut it out over the weekend. (Oh and you can also make slices in your skin with a linoleum blade.)
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Here she is my little Swallowtail Butterfly bracelet finished at the very last minute for Silver Parrot's Buggy Bracelet Challenge. I have to admit though, I love the colors in that caterpillar, and I spent most of last week trying to get that just right. Pulled out the polymer clay and came up with some beads I am not unhappy with. But they won't work for the little guy. So last night I dug through my drawers and found the beads that I thought were quite complementary to the butterfly. They are Czech glass, seed pearls, mop inlaid bone, sponge coral, vintage lucite, coral, lampwork, a carved resin connector and three little stoneware beads that I actually made this summer:D Sorry about the light. Michigan gets dark about 4:30 these days!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I am a bit hesitant to post this because this is not the intention of my blogging experiences! But I just opened yet another bill from our adoption agency and am feeling a little low. It's NOT the $$ that bothers me so much, we knew to expect expenses. But I want the expenses to feel "legitimate". It is just so frustrating because, for instance, this particular invoice is for the home study renewal (we have just entered year 2). Fine. But the homestudy renewal consisted of: 1. Fingerprinting - fine but we did it last year, why again? Well the answer given = the state of MI doesn't keep them on file. (?) (This is a completely separate fee mind you) We also don't get fingerprinted at the state police's office. No Sir. They contract other people at various locations-for our convenience. Our convenient location was in a little room of an unidentified office space of some sort in a strip mall. Well, it did have a written sign on the inside I think. The convenient location had a girl who fingerprinted us on her laptop it seemed. The security agency takes information like SS, driver's licence, all names ever used etc. 2. The caseworker comes to the home - I guess to see that we still have electricity since last year's visit. 3. Physicals ( I have excellent cholesterol levels) 4. Three references from friends who have known you for at least (?) years or so. See here again, these people already did this last year. Apparently nobody keeps records of these letters either. The only thing we didn't have to do over, was the individual/couples "counseling" with the case worker. Which is a good thing because I didn't feel like rating my sex life for her again. I know that everyone just wants an appropriate environment for the baby. I would want peace of mind if I was making the decisions the birth parents are considering. I'm just venting I guess. I feel like the process and the state is somewhat unorganized. I'm sure there are reasons. So during this season as we all see those we normally see as well as those we don't, if while in the course of conversation any of you finds out that your cousin's daughter's boyfriend's sister is considering adoption please think of Mr. Pearl and Pebble and myself. This link will take you to our online profile. You may email me if you like. The online profile is part of our agency's website, so if the birth parent(s) want information they can access it from our page. Like I said, I don't intend to blog about our adoption journey per se. In general I like to wallow in my anonymity. But I feel a certain level of comfort at the moment with those of you who visit. So thanks for reading!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
So this is my most current. I just got my little Artbeads package and these wonderful little stoneware "candy cane" beads were part of the order. I just love them. I had purchased these funky little brass caps a few months back and they don't work on just any bead. They really need a 10mm rounded something or other and tubular seems to be even better! So I was delighted to come across these little guys. Had a left over venetian glass bead and a faux cinnabar focal that I've never been able to make work - this is why we don't get rid of things-EVER!! Took me about five hours to say "OK" - hence the title:)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
So one of my new favorite books (as indicated in the list to the right) is Ancient Modern by Ronna Sarvas Weltman. Last week when I didn't sleep because Mr. P&P was in Japan, I attempted to create one of Ronna's "assignments". I am not unhappy with them. I hadn't played with polymer in years. This time I tried shoe polish-couldn't find Future floor polish - to finish. Ok I guess, kind of splotchy, but kind of works given the "dug up" look I was kind of going for..... I would like to try the floor polish I think. Also, I tried the cornstarch peanuts in the center. I really like the organic shapes because of it. I am wondering about the complete disintegration of them though - how do I know if there is anything left in there and will it get moldy in there if so. Is cornstarch an attraction for anything alive? Should I expect mice or moths to follow me around if I string these?
I actually won something! This never ever happens! Pearl and Pebble was randomly drawn for last week's give -a-away on Art Bead Scene! My booty will be a Jangles Pendant from Jennifer Heynen. YAAAAYYYYY. To claim the glorious prize, my instructions were simple e-mail her with my info. Well my server thought otherwise and would not let me do any sending from that address:( YIKES! I tried various things. Don't know what worked what didn't. I enlisted the help of Mr. Pearl And Pebble because he speaks computer much more fluently than I. He tweeked and I believe the problem has been corrected, however, I think poor Jennifer received about ten e-mails from me. I envision that on her end she is like "OMG ! Can you believe she sent another one ?!?! Here just have the darn pendant already!!!!" Sorry Jennifer!:D
So I have decided to accept the challenge of the utmost kind presented by Tif aka Dottie Angel. I will not buy anything for my own closet or home unless it is handmade or recycled/resale etc. for one year. Check out Tif's blog to read more or just read as she has a unique wit that will make you smile and give you little happy feelings inside!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Inspired by my breakfast. Does this mean I am a foodie? I took pictures of my oatmeal because it looked good, yummy and reminded me of a possible color combination for a necklace. So, oats topped with dried cranberries and walnuts with a "little" milk = rubies, wood and pearls. We will see. This led me to my next thought -a title- which was Ruby felt a little nutty wearing her new white bloomers. Bloomers? Where did that come from? Why not creamy white hat or fuzzy white ear muffs? At any rate that made me hhhmmmm...."What would that image look like illustrated?" We will see.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
No-NOT the annoying holiday music time (that wouldn't be annoying but enjoyable if it were played at an appropriate time), but the appearance of the simple and wonderful pomegranate. For the next three to four months they will be available at my local market. For those of you who have not tried these awesome edibles, I challenge you to pick one up. Now I know the first time you bring one home it is a bit daunting. Here you are all excited. You sit it on the counter. Hmm how does one eat a pomegranate? You may decide to cut one open. Well now this is a bit of a mess isn't it? "Is the whole thing edible?" you ask yourself. I am here for you dear friend. Get a bowl of cool water. Cut both ends off of the pomegranate. Now score from end to end (like a beach ball) around the fruit. You don't have to go too deep about 1/4" or so. Holding the fruit over the bowl of water pull it apart and you will see the exposed seeds. Gently "rub" them off of the white membrane. Get as much of the seeds as you can. Discard the skin and membrane. Most of the seeds will sink and any membrane pieces will float. So skim off as much white as you can and then pour pomegranate seeds and water into a strainer. Transfer seeds to a bowl. Grab a spoon. Enjoy!
p.s. all the juice is in the seeds which are easily "popable" so don't perform this on your favorite antique white linen table cloth as the juice will stain.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Well here we go - my latest. I am happy with it so yaaayyy:) Now, I am calling this White Turquoise because that is what they called it at the bead shop. If I was looking at an unidentified strand I may quess it to be Howlite or Magnesite because the veining is more brown than black. Which ever stone it may be, I think it is quite fabulous. Like pralines 'n' cream.
So, I am also quite excited because I purchased some glorious lampwork beads from Sky Valley Beads. (I'll post when they come -they're gorgeous) But, if you are curious and can't wait they click here and see them on one of my favorites pages.
I love doing treasuries. My latest one features a bead from Lisa Peters (Aren't I just the linky little thing today). It's actually a connector. I love it. I might have to have it. But anyway, I was reading her shop announcement and clicked on over to her Flickr pages. Wow! I really love her cobalt and earthenware (don't know if this is correct terminology or not) pendants and connectors. I don't really know how to work Flickr. I did notice these little square thingys that seemed to float over certain images and showed who wanted what. Lorelei, if you're reading this-Somebody beat me to 'em!:)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
So I finally finished (I think) the necklace I've been working on. The coco pendant is from The Bead Pod. I love it! I took forever foraging through my stash, thinking I wanted one thing but it didn't look real right - you know the drill. I am happy with the finished design though. In the past I've been such a symmetrical gal and then in the last few months I'd moved into an asymmetrical grove, but that wasn't working for me. It may have something to do with the pendant having such a dramatic vertical element in it's center. I don't know. I am thinking of hanging a tiny silver bird from the "bail", and add a teensy tiny red bead from him. Hmmm. The light here in Michigan is typical. There is none. Gone from now until June 18th or so. So the picture kind of sucks. I do like it on the water spotted wood though. I went to the bead shop this morning. The "good" one is just far enough away that it takes me forever to get motivated to go. Was good though. I have decided that I am totally into the hunt and stash. Perhaps I was a squirrel in a past life. I got the goodies home and now I just want to hold them and look at them. Maybe that is just part of my process.
Monday, October 19, 2009
So I went on my first little get-a-way with the girls this weekend. It was planned as an artists retreat, however, none of us even picked up a pencil. To be fair, we only had not even the whole weekend actually. Six of us rented a house in Sagatauk, Michigan - great town - lots of cool shops, galleries and on Lake Michigan. We did take a little hike Saturday morning and walked over the dunes- which were wooded at this point- to Lake Michigan. Found some great natural treasures- acorns, stones, driftwood. We also shopped. Wonderful antique shops. Note: If you love to "hunt" don't go antiquing with five other women. Although I probably stayed out of trouble (at least at the store) because they were there. A few things I did find, among them were the bulls eye buttons. I absolutely love the colors and the wear on them! Turquoise, red and gold are at the top of my favorite color combinations so these little beauties were a must have. When I got them home it occurred to me that they might just go with a necklace I am in the process of building. Last week it occurred to me to experiment with images of parts of some of my paintings so I made the pendant. Jer and I had gone to the flea market two weekends ago and I found that glorious necklace. I really like how the flower segments go with the pendant. When I got the buttons home yesterday I really really liked how all three work together. So it will be a fun process to see how everything comes together.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
So I am a self proclaimed etsy treasury junkie and one of the items I featured in a couple treasuries ago was vintage beads from a2zDesigns . They were absolutely lovely (as you can see) terra cotta colored roses with gold highlights. Had to have 'em and worried that someone would buy them from my treasury! Anyhow, they arrived today! I can't wait to play!! She also included, as a thank you, the gorgeous lentils. Now I am really thrilled because as you can see they are perfect with the lampwork beads I purchased a few months ago from Blue Seraphim !
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
So I ordered a bunch of supplies to get started with metal clay. Things should be arriving within a couple of days so I will keep you posted with my progress. Or not. If I don't comment I probably had a bad clay day. Can you blow up a kiln? I have a couple of shows (painting) this winter and spring so I must get a move on that. I don't know why deciding what to paint is so damn hard! I'm thinking still life. I was soooo frustrated last week because I started panicking a bit. I stumbled across and old Artist Magazine and it had some good articles. Opened me up a bit. See that's why I don't ever want to get rid of anything! Somehow I need to get a manageable schedule going of when I will create, list and post. I did spend the afternoon listing more beads on Little Blue Egg. It is amazing how long that actually takes. Granted, I did take the photos today as well. I "set up" a few earring configurations too, so I can actually create some while Jer and I are watching TV. Stay tuned:) The picture is a pair of vintage wooden shoes I found at my local resale shop. I L-O-V-E LOVE hunting for treasure!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Good grief how does it get to be more than month between posts?!?!!? This has just been a really really weird year! I can't seem to keep up with everything I want to get done and yet at the same time I feel overwhelmed all the time and can't seem to get started!!! I truly hope this is all hormonal and will pass.
My FireFly kiln arrived over a month ago and now I need to order metal clay supplies and don't quite know where to begin. (If anybody works with metal clay I would love to hear about your own experiences with this medium.) Because I like to incorporate metal into my jewelry designs, I decided it was necessary to use beads and components that were uniquely my own and not always commercial. (Not there is anything wrong with that and I don't intend to stop using commercial components entirely.) Because I don't particularly have a desire to play with fire, metal clay has a very strong appeal to me. Of course there is the clay aspect as well that I am drawn to. That was another reason I chose this kiln in particular. It was not overly expensive for a beginner such as myself and from what I am reading, it has a nice firing range so that I can dabble in enameling, small ceramics and fused glass. Happy Birthday to me! Thank you Sweetheart!!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Well it isn't that I have been slacking off so much here...We left for a nice little camping vacation last Friday. On Saturday my dad phoned to let us know that my brother (in-law) Charlie had died suddenly of a heart attack. He was forty-seven. He was running in a ten mile race that morning with his daughter and my sister. He left this earth at the eighth mile from what I'm understanding. It is so hard to believe. He was in great shape when we saw him last month. He looked like a runner. You know how the really serious runners have that super lean, zero percent body fat look? That's how he looked. I have my crying spells. I talk to him. I have what I think are the normal feelings others have in these situations. I am not sure. I feel sad that I didn't.....(fill in all the spaces)....more often. I feel sad I didn't think about what a great guy he was. We take so much for granted when it comes to family. Anyone close to us really. How hard is it to think about each other? To say something? To do something? We treat our co-workers with more affection and respect sometimes. Not that they don't deserve it. The crazy thing was that on the way up north on Friday, I was thinking about how much time I will have as a mother when we ever get linked with a birth mother (we are in the waiting stage of the adoption process). And all my calculations were based on me not even being to the "top of the hill." But we never can know. Charlie was a dynamo. The man did not sit still for very long. He was always doing something. He accomplished so much. In comparison, I am ashamed of the time I have wasted in contemplation over things I think I want to do. I vow to try harder. My sweet husband makes lists. Maybe I'll try that.
Friday, August 14, 2009
So as I was fondling my bead stash, and perusing online for more fodder, it occurred to me how much I enjoy the hunt. Duh. Admittedly I am a resale junkie with a passion for the old and used. So I decided to try my hand at selling my little lovelies as well as incorporating them into my designs. We will see. I am in the process of setting up another shop which I named Little Blue Egg. I am happy with that. Speaking of vintage, check out these sweeties featured in kitchkitch's Etsy shop. They are so reminiscent of my childhood!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Jer's sister and her three year old were out visiting this past week. We thought it would be fun to go to the flea market on Sunday. I love the flea market!!! I also love vintage toys and fell in love with this little Rocket Racer. I think it is probably a reproduction. Still I think it makes for fantastic subject matter. I also found a few pieces of jewelry to disassemble and rework.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
This little guy was hiding under the garbage can. He was very cooperative while I took his picture. Jer went and got a few pieces of wood from his workshop and whipped up a makeshift froggy house. Mr. Frog was very pleased. He scooted right in.
I slept like um... Didn't really sleep actually. I can't seem to get it together lately. I have a batch of unglazed pottery that has been waiting at the studio for a few months now. Something always comes up and yet at the end of the day nothing has really happened. Do you know what I mean? Please tell me you do! I had planned on finally going over this morning except last night I found out that family will be coming into town and staying with us for a week or so. My little studio is the guest room so I have to get that together especially since one of the guests is three and a half. I did manage to take some pictures yesterday. I thought it might be interesting to "pose" a few of my felted beads into a landscape or a completely different interpretation. I was actually pretty pleased. I think they look like poppies or lollie pops. The inverted one reminded me of cherries falling from the clouds so I called it Cherry Bombs. I think I will recreate these in different media and see where that takes me. I did make the single image into a 5x7 print and called it Snow Poppy.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
So this weekend we babysat our two and a half year old nephew. What a cutie!!! He also brought some toys with him, one of which was a big 'ol Mister Potatohead bucket thingy filled with potato bodies and "costumes". LOVED IT!!! Me -not him. I found great inspiration from this toy and plan on visiting my local Target store to see if I can find one.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sketching with my new Inktense Pencils! OoooLaLa! Everyone must try these! I've been working the picture as shown in the bottom picture. However when I downloaded, I played with the rotation and I think I like the top orientation better. Not at all what I am used to composing, but I kind of like it!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
My latest passion has been felting. I particularly love needle felting. This is something that could probably be analyzed. Being one who is attracted to fiber and texture, I am especially drawn to the wool and have been incorporating felted beads into my jewelry. Sometimes the beads seem so "basic", but then I think that's part of the attraction for me. They are simple, simply made from a natural material. They are a fresh and "smooth" element in the rythm of a mixed media design. That's not to say they aren't time consuming or irritating to the ol carpel tunnel.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Ya know if it's not one thing, it's another. Invested in the Vivera Inks and the Somerset Velvet. Gorgeous paper. Printer prints beautifully. Alignment is all screwey. Printer prints cockeyed and computer won't let me align the image on the paper how I want. (Big sigh) I was in a photographic mood today and took these pictures, which I am very happy with. I can even see the dirt on the cherubs. These were my great grandmother's, circa probably somewhere around late 40's, early 50's? I love them. I suspect they give Jer the creeps. I am fascinated with the red geranium lips. They also have a velvety matte finish that didn't respond well to cleaning the one time I tried. So I let them collect whatever might settle upon them.