Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Finally Complete...

I know you are all tired of seeing this denim vest, but she is finished and I wanted to show her off. I have worked in segments of 3-4 hours at a time and it only took 5-6 times to finish it. I love to bead while I am watching TV. Sometimes, DH has to jar me back to reality to keep from missing something we are watching. I don't think he minds, though.

I started off with a nicely made denim vest from CJ Banks, I wore it several times as it was, but I felt it needed something to set off the tailored look of it. I started out by adding lace to the yoke, pockets and collar. Then I started to bead one of my "tilty-head" girls on the back, with the plan being to look like a connect the dot picture. Somewhere along the line (possibly to cover up several boo-boos) the design evolved into a fully beaded picture. I sewed on pewter charms on the pockets, collar points and have a parade of jungle animals marching across the back.

On another note...

I am thinking of starting another blog. A weight loss blog. I am 40 pounds overweight, by all standards and I need a tool to help with my accountability. There is a really nice family fitness center being built in our neighborhood and it will be completed in about one year. I know it sounds silly, but I want to be in better shape before I go. So I thought I would consider this venture a year long plan. That way I can lose about one pound a week and meet my goal in time for the Grand Opening.

At, first I had decided to make this a private blog, but that might be a cop out when it comes to accountability. Is anyone interested in joining me in a weigh-in, food, and exercise log (or even just encouragement)? Let me know what you think of this idea.

That's all for now. Take care.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I found this today

I have been looking for a wide brimmed hat. I tried on all kinds of hats yesterday... cowboy hats, Indiana Jones hats, ball caps and the like. Then, today, I found this. You all just know this is the hat for me. I mean it is so sassy, I just had to have it.

I found it at Sears, on a clearance table. The stitching is unraveling a wee, tiny bit on the edge, so it was marked down . Since a needle and some matching beading thread with take care of that problem, I think I got a deal. It has large eyelets, that allow you to change the scarf. It even has three scarves included. I hope no one will mind if I wear a straw hat after Labor day. It was marked down to $3.99, so I think that was quite a deal.

That's all for today. Take care and do something fun. You deserve it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Caliofornia Dreamin'

When you can think of no words, let the photos speak for you.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Photo Impact Pro

I have had my photo program for about one year. I have only used it to size pictures to get ready for blogging. I got out the book today and decided to paint a picture using the paint tools. I am actually very pleased with the results. (If you wondering what is on the fence, it's holiday lights, not barbed wire).

I had a lovely surprise today. Flowers, Candy and a card. Birthday was in April, Anniversary was in August...I was wondering why, so when I ask DH in a laughing tone, "what have you done?", he sheepishly reminded me of that official piece of paper that he received Monday for an improper lane change. I had to laugh, I had already forgotten about it. It was apparently still on his mind. Candy is always yummy and who doesn't love a card that has your hubby's voice telling you how happy he is to be with you and then the card plays Happy Together, by the Turtles. I grew a little misty. You can't ask for more than that.

Hope you are having a great day also. Take care and go draw a picture with your computer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Repurposed Beads

I collect old jewelry. I usually wear it as is, but sometimes I buy something vintage and just don't like it when I get it home. Wooden beads look so good when I see them in a shop, and yet when I get them home they are "clunky and tacky" instead of "funky and hip". This is perhaps a solution to my problem. If not a solution, at least it got the creative juices flowing.

1980's wooden bead necklace, inexpensive and always easy to find

I took the wooden bead necklace apart and painted them in Halloween colors and painted some pumpkin faces, put a wire through them and made a big clunky bead. It looks sorta like a house with a Jack O' Lantern on top. I had to make one of the cone shaped beads from Sculpey, since I only had two.

I plan on taking my sister and our friend, a collection of beads that can be worn on a leather or cloth cord. My sister cannot have metal touching her skin, so she wears very little jewelry. I usually make her something for her desk, but I think she might go for this idea. I made three very similar and thought it would be fun for all of us girls to sport the same kind of bead.

I don't know if I can get a holiday pin on DH, but that's a possibility, also.

Well, that's all for now. Take care and show us your art!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Southern California

Thought I would post a few pics of the San Diego area. We don't surf, but I think it is so cool. If I were 30 years younger, I would love to be a beach bum. I love going to the shops and eateries around the beach. Always so much fun.

Even the dogs have their own beach.

I am getting a bit excited about our vacation. I have already gotten out my 3-1-1 items and even my swimsuit. I still haven't figured out what kind of head gear to wear for several hours in the desert. I am very fair skinned and can burn year round, so I have to be cautious.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend and is looking forward to an even greater week. I really need to clean up the studio, so I don't have that waiting for me when we return. That's what is on my agenda this week, and it probably means I will clean for a few minutes and then do art for a few hours. Cleaning the studio in this manner can be time consuming. By the way, it's been a while since I have seen pictures of your art spaces. I suppose summer sometimes keeps us away from our spaces, but fall arrives tomorrow, so get in there and get ready for holiday art and gift giving and all the wonderful things that we do in our studios this time of the year. (I should get an award for the length of that sentence).

One last thing, here is a shot of the current stage of my denim vest. It has evolved into a bit more than originally planned, but I am having fun working on it. Hope you like it.

With all that being said, I'll close for now and go fix homemade soup and sweet tea. Have a good evening and take care. Don't forget, we'll talk soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Don't forget Sept. 19 is Talk Like A Pirate Day. In honor of this unusual holiday, I am re-posting a picture of my Gentleman Pirate.

You can read about him here. Enjoy your day and don't forget to wear a gold hoop earring and say Arrggh, Matey.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I know it's not carved in stone....

I know you have seen this picture in my profile, but here is a slightly larger version, so you can make your decision.

I took my Darling Hubby to get his hair foiled today and it looks so good. In fact it looked so good that I made an appointment to have my gray colored blond. I get home and start to have second thoughts. I love not having to color my hair. I really do. But he looks so good with his blond highlights that I think perhaps I will look that good too. I have two weeks to decide. I know my hubbs thinks I'm just perfect, no matter what. In fact, I think he was trying to dissuade me from even making the appointment. I think that I was having a very brief "oh, I'm fat and old and not that hot, anymore" moment.

I'm not asking for compliments, just your opinion. People say to me all the time, "Oh, I love your hair", but do they really? I think part of me wants to still look like I did twenty years ago, but I know that's just not possible. So, here is my request...let me know what you really think of my gray hair. I mean it has taken me a long time to get all the color off my hair and get it to this point. I will probably call and cancel the appointment for color. I just am wondering.

Well, wah, wah, the crying baby is off to get into something. Take care and when you aren't stroking my ego, do something fun. Love ya all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Salvation Mountain

The countdown has begun. Every year my Sister invites us out to California to see her, as a gift. We usually go at Christmas, but this year we are going the second week in October and will celebrate my hubby's birthday on the 11th. We are going out into the desert to see Salvation Mountain. I think it will be a great addition to the trip.

My sister and I usually do some shopping and leave the hubbs in the room to watch movies and call room service. A facial is always part of the trip and our room has a small hot tub outside and it should still be warm enough to indulge.

So, as I said, the countdown has begun. We will only be gone for 5 days, but I will probably pack and unpack several times. You know the drill. The airport regulations and all that come into play. I try not to get excited this early, because I am not crazy about flying. I am going to put those thoughts aside and enjoy the preparations, as well as the trip.

That's all for now. Take care and don't forget to do art!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A good time was had by all...

We had a great time last night. We had to get there really early and still had to wait awhile to snag a good table. DH took the portable DVD player and I took a book, we ate fries and amused ourselves while waiting for the band. As I said previously, we are good friends with the guitar player, Kenny, and we always take pictures when we go see him. Here is a shot of me with Kenny before the gig. He is so talented and such a nice guy.

If you like Journey, then Frontiers is the band to see. Check them out when you can. I suppose that I needed a bit of screaming electric guitar. I like different kinds of music, but love me some electric guitar, always have. I actually got a little weepy when Kenny did his first solo of the night. Sometimes, certain artists move me enough to make me cry, for a variety of reasons. I feel that way about Chuck Negron, Christina Aguilera, and now I add Kenny to my list. I wonder if anyone else feels this way.

As usual, we came home smelling of smoke and my ears felt weird. I think the music was a little loud, we were close to the stage, but still it seemed a bit loud to me. Maybe it's just my advancing years.

Well, that's all for today. I hope all is well. Remember to watch out for the effects of the full moon and have a great weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rock and Roll

The fans are getting anxious. At this house anyway. Our favorite guitar player, long time friend and all-around great guy, Kenny Seay will be at Awful Arthur's tonight. He plays with Frontiers, the Journey tribute band. Give him a listen, and if you are in town tonight, get there early.

You know we love you, Kenny and are looking forward to seeing you tonight.

Take care friends, stay safe and fill up your tank, gas prices are going up.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meet Autumn

My hubby said she looks like Twiki from Buck Rogers, but he is only kidding. He then said to name her something sweet, because she is so sweet. I'm going to call her Autumn. She has been fashioned to look like this vintage doll that has been in my family for many years. As I suspected, she did turn out to be a little crazy looking, but hey, maybe that's just me.

Although she is a proper and modest little thing, she shyly posed in her undergarments for the sake of art...

(Sorry Autumn, but your feet look like SpongeBob)

Here is a shot of the pattern I made to design her little Fall dress. I'm so fancy, I cut the pattern out of a paper towel. Hey, it was handy...

She doesn't quite match her design drawing, which I may post later, but here she is in her little dress. I chose these colors for her, mostly because I love them and yet with my coloring, cannot wear them. You put a butternut color or something golden next to my face and I look ghastly. I think she looks cute, though.

She is sculpted out of "Delight", an ultra light air dry compound. I hesitate to call it clay, and it is so lightweight, it is a bit tedious to work with. I have read about sculpting with PaperClay, but alas, mine is very old and has dried into a hard block. I had this compound, that I have used previously for jewelry and thought I would give it a try. I have yet to figure out what to do about the face on a doll. I don't really want to use someone else's design, but I cannot paint or draw on a face after I have formed it, and her little nose disappeared somewhere in the sculpting process. Any pointers in these particular areas would be appreciated.

Knowing that you are only as good as your tools, I suppose that I need to invest in something else with which to sculpt heads, hands and limbs. Someone mentioned that doll making can be addictive and I agree. I love to have something that I can work on upstairs while watching the tellie and this certainly fits the bill. I love to hand sew, so I made her and her garments with needle and thread. More of a homespun look.

Well, that's all for now. I hope you like her and seriously... any tricks, ideas or books that you want to share regarding doll making, will be appreciated. Take care and we'll talk soon.


Just a quick picture of the bunny. I hadn't seen him for days and days. He decided to sunbathe in the front yard and DH got some cute shots of him.

I have been working on a cloth doll. I really want to make dolls, but they always come out looking crazy. Hopefully, I will finish her this week. Wish me luck. Take care and look out for the black hole.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Love Agate

Here is a quick picture of the necklace I just finished. I shaped it into a heart just for fun. It is quite long and lays beautifully.

I got the moss agate chips at the flea market today because I knew I had coordinating beads in my stash. I like to lay various strands of beads on my bead board and see what catches my eye. I found a strand of small glass beads that were burgundy and gold that really spoke to me. I dug through my "Virginia Tech" stash for other burgundy beads and found some that I really liked. I thought they needed something, so I took the trusty 18kt gold leafing pen and did some random designs on the glass beads.

Yes, you can add paint to a nice glass bead if it doesn't suit your design. It's ok, really.

That made all the difference in the world. I then laid them out in a pleasing pattern on the board and looked at them for a few minutes before deciding that they needed to be on eye pin links. Of course, I didn't have the correct size for my main links so I had to make them from 14kt gold wire, and now I am really glad that I went with the links.

Well, now that I have finished patting myself on the back. I'll let you look at the piece again and you decide.

I wear lots of colors that this necklace will go with and I will probably take it on our trip next month. I'm sure the California Girls will love it. Well, that's all for now, take care and have a good rest of the weekend. It's almost time for Big Brother 10. See you soon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My latest prototype...

I wanted to do a Steampunk bracelet out of leather. I have a nice bag of heavy suede scraps that I got at a yard sale several years ago, but never having worked with leather and without the proper tools, I had to put on my thinking cap. I really wanted to put metal pieces on the band (which I cut out with Pinking Shears) but I didn't want to glue them and I don't have a rivet/eyelet tool heavy enough to work. So this is what I came up with.....

In the top picture what looks like rivets are actually two pieces of polymer clay pushed through the two holes that I was finally able to make. I tried to made the back look like a rivet and the front look like some kind of screw. The disc is polymer clay, embossed with a rubber stamp and antiqued with black and gold paint. The bolts are of polymer also. Here's the fun part... the studs are actually little drops of translucent liquid Sculpey (TLS) that were gently squeezed out directly onto the leather, baked and then painted with the gold paint. The chain is from an old necklace that I used the TLS to adhere it to the leather. I am keeping it closed with Velcro dots and so far it seems pretty sturdy.

Here is the finished piece. I had fun with it and will probably be coming up with more funky designs of this sort. The leather was actually tan and I colored it with an alcohol dye marker.
It held up to repeated baking in the oven without any scorching or smelling. Another learning experience for me.

Have a great weekend and stay safe and dry. Toodles.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What about this??? Get ready for Links

For those of you that make purses, Stampington and Co. is taking submissions for a new publication called Haute Handbags. Check out the requirements here, or check out the always great blog, Layers upon Layers lots of other information and submission ideas.

One other quick mention, as you know, I love my Copic markers and subscribe to the very informative blog, I Like Markers. I found out quite by accident that Prismacolor Markers are also an alcohol based dye ( I suppose a lot of you already knew this) and have the same properties. I think most of us can find the Prismas easier, and they are most certainly more affordable. Just some info.

Take care, I'm off to get into something. Talk soon.

Thanks to my "eggs-pert" friends for their info on my calamity in the last post. I hope more info comes my way regarding this phenomena and any other cool things of this nature.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Put on your thinking caps...

Ok, tell me what caused this? I had some extra eggs that I needed to use, so I decided to do deviled eggs. Yummy, we both love them and they are not that hard to prepare. The eggs all came from the same carton, were all hard cooked together and when I went to peel the shells from them, everything went according to plan until I get to egg #3 and this is what happened.

It would not peel. I had to pick the shell off tiny piece, by tiny piece. The picture doesn't do it justice. If it hadn't been so frustrating, it would have been funny. The only thing I can think of is this one particular egg was, that doesn't make sense. Maybe it's because it was... man, I am drawing a blank here. All the other shells slid right off, no problem. Have you ever had this happen?

Do you have any insight? Let me hear!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Let's focus

Silly title, I know, but the focus today is focal beads. I make large beads, basically, because I love to wear large beads. They can stand alone, dangling from a simple black cord, perfect with jeans. The same bead can be wrapped in 14 kt gold wire and have you ready for evening. They can be silly and gaze at you while hanging from a branch or they can whisk along swimmingly and make you think of the beach.

I have been making beads and jewelry again, now for several weeks, and I had forgotten how much I love doing it. I took some time off from jewelry to do some other types of art and in the process, learned several techniques that will crossover easily to jewelry making.

Hopefully, soon I will have some new pieces to show that will be of a more industrial, "found object", junk type. I'm getting the urge to combine my clay with some funky metal pieces to see what might happen. I am always looking for ideas, so feel free to suggest things you might like to see made into jewelry. Let's see if I can do it.

One thing I was "reminded" of yesterday...always put your large, heavy, lighted magnifying glass back in the "upright position" after using it. It's on a long arm over my table and I had it down close to my work surface. I swiveled my chair around to pick something up from the floor, came up too quickly and almost knocked myself out. I hit my head so hard that things went dark. It took me about 30 seconds before I could get up and go upstairs and have DH check my poor little head. No blood, thankfully, but I have such a sore spot that I can't brush my hair.

Well I guess that's all I can think of for now. Be sure to take care of yourselves and don't forget about all the folks that have been uprooted from their homes. I feel for them. The uncertainty must be so frustrating. I am very thankful for a place to stay that is safe from the storm. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

Keep checking back with me, just because I'm on a jewelry kick now, doesn't mean I won't be doing something completely different next week. If you know me, you know it's true.

Take care and keep doing art!