Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day and a Shout Out to Our Current Troops and Those That Served in Our Military

1996 PLDC Party Before Graduation

I can't believe it has been 9 years since I got out of the army and that it has been 14 years since the above picture was taken at Fort Hood, TX, the night before we graduated from PLDC (Primary Leadership Development Course) to become a sergeant in the U.S. Army.

A lot happened while I was in the Army; some good, some bad, and a lot of fun times with the people I served with. Oh, the stories I could tell. The time while I served was one of the best and worst times of my life. I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Plus I really can't get over how skinny I actually was now that I am looking at old photographs, my goodness I was "HOT"!

Happy Memorial Day to all of those that served our country and to those men and women who are currently serving. We are thinking of you and have you all in our hearts!

Enjoy the show down memory lane:
A group working on MOPP-4 Training

Night before PLDC Grad in all my glory

Me sitting in a hanger waiting for the airplane to arrive
My best friend Dawn and I the day we rolled in from the Box at NTC

Sunday, May 30, 2010

And the Hands Have It - Part Deux

Let's finish up the post from yesterday because I am crossing my fingers that blogger is going to work with me and allow me to post images (see I can have positive thoughts, sometimes). This morning mom and I headed over to the studio to work on enameling pieces. We were there for almost seven hours and I completed two hand bowls, a sun pendant (because the first sun pendant got buggered up - thank goodness we had two patterns), five small leaf bowls, and two medium sized bowls. My feet are killing me!!!!! Though I am proud of myself for enameling that many things. Mom was a sawing fiend and she sawed out a bowl I am really looking forward to enameling - it is AWESOME!!! Ok, on with the show.
Set up for enameling marathon session

As you know I was trying to load images of the pieces I am working on for Juls. I left off with one of the hands being sawed out. Let us continue on this journey of the sun flare pendant and the hand bowl.
Sun flare cut out Ready to sand and file Torching the hand to form
Mom forming Hitting a hand

Enamel on Sun flare

Enamel on hand

Completed sun flare pendant

Version 1

Version 2

The next thing I worked on was enameling five different leaf bowls - these were small bowls.

Here are the two medium sized bowls: One bowl is just red and the other bowl is black with marigold yellow

I am going to show you a sneak bead of our bead soup piece (and no your monitor is not messed up - I blurred the image)

Yesterday mom worked on fixing our tent that was buggered up during Hurricane Delphi. We are crossing our fingers that this will hold the structure together or it is off to buy another new tent.

I guess that is it for today. I do plan on re-taking all the images and posting them out on Flickr and on Etsy to sell. I really want to re-take photos of the hand bowls and sun flare pendant for Juls so she has a better idea of what the hands look like and she can choose which one she likes the best.
I also need to take photos of some pieces mom and I finished making and get those posted to the blog, Flickr, and Etsy. So much to do and so few hours in the day. At least we are staying busy and out of trouble (for the most part at least).

Painting With Fire Giveaway

Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire, is having a giveaway like no other.  Head on over to her blog and check out what you need to do to win a set of 5 ridged beads in any color or your choosing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

And The Hands Have It

Mom's First Lily To Open This Year
Happy Saturday everyone!  I hope you all had a very productive Saturday like we did.  It feels like we put in two days of work in a few hours.  This morning we went to the metals studio to form bowls, cut out a hand, and a sunflare pendant.  We then went to the Round the Fountain Art fair and then headed home to work in our studio.

At the metals studio I fired up the torch to heat up 14 bowls that mom then formed with her new toys (a hammer and a forming block).  Mom and I then cut out two hands and a sun flare pendant for Juls (Juls is being kind enough to do a swap of beads for a hand bowl and a sun flare pendant - Sunset beads you are all mine --Ah ha ha ha ha).

Here is what we did with the 14 bowls:

Bowls before being fired
Heating the bowl before forming
Mom's new tools to form bowls
Mom forming bowls
Formed bowls

After we finished forming the bowls we started on the pieces for Juls.  The following is the process of cutting out, sanding and filing the pieces.  Tomorrow I will take photographs of us enameling the pieces.

Pattern I drew for the Sun Flare in 2007 at Penland
Hands before cut out
Sun Flare as it is being cut out
Cut out hand
I think that is all that I am going to post today.  I am having major issues with blogger and trying to upload images.  I will try and post more photos from The Round the Fountain Art Fair and pieces that mom and I were working on.
Stupid blogger (believe me it is not user error!)

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Full Moon and The "My Muse" Giveaway

What a wonderful sight this morning. As I was driving to work, on the back roads, this is what I saw and I had to get my camera out and take a photograph. I love, love, love the full moon. Especially when the moon looks so huge in the sky and it is a bright orange color. I wanted to also take a photograph of the sun, as it was touching the courthouse, on the drive into work this morning but the sun was not cooperating for me. The last two days, while driving to work, that is what I saw and I wanted to be able to capture it this morning along with the image of the moon. Oh well, maybe another day.

As I was blog hopping this morning I was reading Jen Judd Rocks blog and came across a new blog, for me, called My Muse. Heather is having a great giveaway of a two-sided flower bead.

Head on over to her blog and read the instructions on how to enter her first contest.

I hope everyone had something wonderful to look at this morning like I did. May everyone have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and a shout out to all Veterans and serving military members. You all do a great job!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Andrew's Thursday Giveaway

Andrew Thornton is having his Thursday giveaway on his blog. This weeks giveaway is a five Czech glass "shortie" strands courtesy of Raven's Journey. The Czech beads look so delicious! I can already see ideas for those beads!

Head on over to Andrew's blog and leave a comment to win.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Craziness and Stressfulness of Life

The past few weeks have been a little hectic for me. My office is currently in the process of moving. We have known about the move for several months and we actually completed our temporary move last Thursday. We are in these temp quarters for only a week and a half and they should have our new offices completed by next Friday and we can move again for the last time. It is going to be weird because we have been down in the basement for six years and NO ONE comes downstairs unless they really need something from us. We are now going to be on the second floor with other people, which is a new concept for most of us.

Our office group also just found out last week that we are being incorporated into another department and no one knows if we are going to be keeping our jobs or if we need to start looking for jobs. My friend and I are trying to keep a positive attitude, unlike a year and a half ago when we found out our job titles were changing but they gave us no reason why this was happening. We weren't in the best of moods during that period of time. This time we promised each other we would keep a positive attitude, but I think it may kill me.

Over all I was doing really well until yesterday when a group of us were talking and sharing information. Some information was talked about and my belly started to hurt. I kept up the positive attitude for the rest of the day but I had to talk with my mommy so she could make me feel better, and she did. I just need to have a plan of action in place. I think that sort of attitude is left over from my army days, I need a plan of action to keep myself sane, or the head starts to spin and profanities start aflying.

Mom tells me to look at this as an opportunity for something new, if I am let go from my current position. I look at it as I will now have more time to work on the blog, jewelry, Etsy, while looking for another job. I really want to get our Etsy store off the ground. I have been reading the Etsy newsletter and blog posts trying to figure out what I am doing wrong or what I am doing right or what I can improve on. I also want to try and find magazines to submit pieces to or other types of competitions to submit pieces for to get our name out there. At least I will be kept occupied, no rest for the wicked.

I have also been down because I just found out my grandfather is not doing very well. He is living out in Colorado with my uncles and I just found out he has Alzheimer's and that the new drugs he was put on has not done wonders for him and he is now in the hospital. My uncles are talking with my aunt about bringing him back home to Indiana to be in a nursing home. I am not sure how much longer he has but it doesn't sound good. I know it is life, but it sucks sometimes!

Thank goodness for Bead Soup Party, lampworking, enameling and making jewelry. I think that is the only reason I, or mom, have not gone totally bonkers yet. I think making the May ABS Challenge piece, receiving Christine's bead soup goodies and making a bracelet last night calmed me down a lot. I felt so much calmer after I left mom's to go home and chill. Though I did watch my first episode of Glee last night. I only caught the last 25 minutes of it but I liked what I saw. I must now see the rest of the episodes to figure out what the heck is going on.

Sorry to be such a downer - so here are some photos that brought a smile to my face and I hope to yours as well.

Bead Soup Goodies

Bracelet I made - used frit with different base colors of glass

May Monthly Challenge - The Juggler

The Juggler (Le jongleur) 1943

This months monthly challenge painting is The Juggler by Marc Chagall (1887-1985). He was a Russian-Jewish painter of the 20th Century and one of the best known representatives of the Russian Avant-Garde in the West. "The Juggler is a major picture of the American war years. A very serious and mystical painting in the full sense of the word, it is filled with a personal mythology which avoids any literary symbolism. The signs are esoteric and ambiguous; they seem to suggest something real and then shift to the unreal, yet they are readable as an allegory of a personal confession."

I based my ideas, for this months challenge, on the color of the painting. I made lampwork glass beads based on the red and blue found in the painting. I then used accents of stone to mirror the yellow and black found in the painting. The stones I used were Citrine and Obsidian Snowflake, Pineapple Quartz and clear Quartz. The Sterling Silver, flower clasp, is based on the little flower found in the painting.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunburned and Photographed Out

Yesterday was a freaking hot one! I think I melted while I was taking photographs and I know I got sunburned, with SPF 50 sprayed all over me.

I did finally get photographs taken of the bracelet I made a few weeks ago, the completed Two-Faced necklace (using chain), a Sterling Silver Viking Knit necklace with pearls, a necklace with an elephant pendant and a necklace with a wolf pendant and the "Bib" necklace that mom has been working on for months. The necklace is made out of enameled circles, copper jump rings and copper Viking Knit. I think it is totally awesome and mom did an awesome job, though I did help cut out the circles and enameled the little suckers, which was a huge pain!

Tonight I want to try and put together the May ABS Challenge piece (beads are made and just need to be cleaned) and take photographs of the completed piece. Of course that will be after I mow and weed wack the yard tonight. I think I can bale the grass because it is so tall and this will be the first time this year that I will weed wack, so that should be fun. Lets see if I can take out any of my bushes or the siding of my house (if you can't tell I don't weed wack - I need a cute yard boy to do my yard work for me!!!!).

Here are photos. Enjoy!

Bib Necklace
Elephant Necklace with bone beads
"Sea Foam" bracelet with turquoise and moonstone

Sterling Silver Viking Knit with freshwater pearls (this was all made by mom)
Two-Faced necklace with "gun-metal" chain (3 different types of chain was used)

Wolf Pendant with bone beads and some of our lampwork glass spacer beads
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