Monday, January 31, 2011

Nothing Done Recently

Sunny Sacramento by Erin of Treasures Found
Art Bead Scene is having a Monthly Blog Tour.  They have a list of all those participating in January's Monthly Challenge.
Brown River by Wayne Thiebaud
This is our piece for the January challenge.

Our interpretation of Brown River
Mom and I weren't in the studio this weekend.  We spent most of this weekend running around and doing some shopping.  I also had to buy a new garage door opener because my uncle was going to come over to install it since the old one died on me.  When my uncle took the cover off the old opener we found out that the plastic wheels were worn down and that is why the garage door wasn't working.  My uncle said he has replaced the wheels in his garage door opener and it shouldn't be a problem doing this in my opener plus it will probably be cheaper (cheaper is better and it will be nice if I can return the new opener and get my money back!).  Right now I am waiting for him to tell me where to buy the parts for the opener.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that the parts are cheap and I will soon have my garage door working again.

Our goodies from Kristi
This is the sneak peek of our Bead Soup goodies reveal from Kristi, at CB&CO.  Mom and I are waiting impatiently for our goodies to arrive, which I hope happens today!  I am not good at waiting! 

Abstract Celtic Knot necklace

Sunday I worked on posting more inventory on our Etsy site.  You all know how long it takes to take photographs, figure out which photographs are good enough to keep, crop, re-size and then post the piece on Etsy.  So, that is what I do when we have a free moment.  I am almost done with the necklaces and I have a few more enameled bowls I want to list.

I hope we can get into the studio this weekend.  We have several pendants that need to be enameled and I want to work on the torch some.  It depends on this storm that is coming through.  It says possible 8-10 inches of snow plus ice.  I am hoping it bypasses us all together.  I am so done with winter and I am ready for spring and being warm while working in the garage.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kitchen Painted - Check

Kitchen Before Painted

Kitchen Before Painted
Yesterday I took a day of vacation to paint my kitchen.  Mom and I are usually working in the studio on the weekends, so projects around the house get left undone.  I have been wanting to paint my kitchen really bad so I decided to take a day of vacation to get it done.  I think I may take one day a month to get things done around the house since they don't get done on the weekends, more important things to do like torching or enameling!

I am pretty proud of myself for getting the kitchen painted in less then five hours.  The walls only about an hour, but I suck at trim and it takes me forever.  I persevered and I got it done.  So, one thing is checked off my list of things to do around the house.  Yippee!  The next thing I want to tackle is the junk room.  Thank goodness I have four bottles of wine from our friends winery to get me through that mess.

Okay, here are the completed pictures of the kitchen.
Took down the greenery on the cabinets and cleaned up the counters
Moved g-ma's and g-pa's kitchen table to under the window.
I think the paintings really look good now with the paint on the walls.

My Rena painting - love it on the yellow wall!

Walls now match the curtains

Reveille is now enjoying the cabinets with no greenery in her way
 Also mom and I have been in three treasuries since this weekend which I think is fantastic.    Our air pendant was in the treasury called "FENG SHUi ELEMeNTS"; our green leaf pendant is in the treasury called "For Nature's Sake"; and finally our bamboo necklace is in the treasury called "Bamboo and Lotus".  Receiving notification of those treasuries made our week!

Last night mom packed our Bead Soup Party package to be sent to Kristi and I will mail that out today.  I am so excited and I hope she likes the goodies.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Goodies for Kristi

Burned Carpet in Shape of Enameling Screen
Okay, to explain the photograph, this is what happens when you drop a hot enameling screen on carpet.  I was working in the kiln, and I pulled a screen out and was putting it down by the heaters when I dropped it.  The pendant also put a nice burn mark in the carpet, but I thought this was more spectacular.  I was able to salvage the pendant, but I was swearing a lot when this first happened.  Mom was sitting at the table sawing and just looked at me and said is the fire put out (sarcasm at its finest).  The burn does remind me of the screen I use to put the trivets on and there are times when I have actually reached down to try and pick it up.  Of course the garage smelled like burned carpet for the rest of the time out there, which was most of the day.  Not a nice smell burned carpet - YUCK!

Now onto the goodies for Kristi, Colie Bug and Company.  Mom and I made up some of our enameled pendants and I made up beads to send along with the pendants.  I had to beat mom off with a stick so she wouldn't run off with some of the pendants because she really liked how they turned out and the colors really came out the way I wanted.  Needless to say I think we will be making more of these types of pendants in the future.

Here is a sneak peek of what we are sending to Kristi.  I am not apologizing for the way the pictures look because I want Kristi to be surprised when she receives them and she can decide if she wants to share or wait for the Bead Soup reveal.

Miscellaneous beads I made

Enameled pendants

Enameled pendant

Mom and I really hope Kristi likes the pendants and beads.  We love the Bead Soup Party, but we are always on pins and needles worrying about whether or not our swap partner will like what we send them.  It is also frustrating waiting to see what everyone creates - but it is always well worth the wait to see all the wonderful creations!

Tomorrow I am taking the day off from work to paint my kitchen.  I am tired of putting it off and I just want to get it done - after six years in my house you would think I would have all the rooms painted, but sadly, no.  I still have to add one more layer of paint to my bedroom, paint the laundry room, third bedroom, and garage.  Lists, lists, lists, just keep get longer.  I will take before and after photos if I think about it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lori's Having a Giveaway - Letter Stamps

Lori, Pretty Things, is having a giveaway on her blog.

Lori's giveaway is this awesome set of stamps.  The stamps are from PJ Tool & Supply and the new line is ImpressArt letter stamps.  Aren't these stamps drool worthy!!!  I have been wanting to get back into stamping for a long time but we just have not had the money to buy stamps or a rolling mill to texture the copper.

Now, you need to head on over to Lori's blog and see what she has done with these stamps.  I have my fingers and toes crossed that mom and I are picked to win.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Me and BTW

I wanted to take a picture of myself tonight, and me wanting to take a picture of myself happens once every few years.  This is me in all my glory.  The hair needs to be colored, but I think the hair style was great today.  My hair has a mind of its own, so when it looks good break out the camera.  I have my favorite sweat shirt on of all time.  I think I have had this sweat shirt for about 15 years.  My grandma hated this shirt, and I loved to wear it to see the looks she would give me. The sweat shirt has holes in the sleeves and holes down near the bottom.  This sweat shirt is well lived in, like me :)  I have another long sleeve shirt under the sweat shirt because I was working out in the garage tonight.  I think mom said it was about 40 degrees when she came out to tell me that dinner was ready.  So, that is me, gray hair and all.

I worked on the torch tonight because I needed a stress reliever.  I am making beads for the Bead Soup Party swap.  I have some beads made but I have a few more ideas for beads I want to make for the swap still, so that will be a tomorrow night torching.

Since I was working on beads tonight I thought I would take pictures for the BTW (Bead Table Wednesday) hosted by Heather at Humblebeads

I think this is the cleanest my torching area has been in a long time.  Two weekends ago mom cleaned up the torching area and some of the other spots in the garage because the mess was not good for her mood.  I still have a box of glass next to my station I have to go through and put back in the proper colored glass boxes.  I horde glass while I am working and I am lazy and don't put it back.

So, that is me and the bead table for this Wednesday night.  I hope you all participate and show us your bead tables.  Come on, it doesn't hurt, I promise!

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

Mom and I went to the mortgage person last night and it didn't turn out the way we had hoped.  We have some issues we have to overcome and we now have a direction to go to make it to our goal of owning a house together.  I was really down last night and I couldn't sleep.  I kept going over in my mind what I could do to turn this around.  I think I finally fell asleep around 4:55am and the alarm went off at 6:00am.  I did try to get up and ready for work, but when I ran into the wall and stubbed my toe I said I am going back to bed and go into work at noon.

I had an email from my aunt telling me that there is something better out there for mom and I; we just have to be patient and keep the positive attitude going.  I also had an email from mom saying the same thing and a lot of great things we have in our lives.  I just have to keep that in mind, but it was just so disappointing and I felt like a failure and that I had let mom down. 

That was last night and I have sucked it up and I had my whine session, so now it is onto Positivity Out into the Universe!  Mom and I are just going to have to dress in layers and not work in yellow enamel (cracks in the cold weather) until it starts to get warmer. 

On with the great news!  We received an email from our Blog Soup Partner Kristi, CB&CO.  Mom and I are so excited to work with her.  Kristi is a silversmith but started out as a lampworker.  This is going to be so much fun!  Mom and I had started working on our swap, but of course nothing got done this past weekend.  I plan on making some beads tonight and finish up the rest of the pieces this weekend.  We are on pins and needles with anticipation of what we will receive from Kristi.

I have to end this post on a fun note.  Here are some photos of my youngest cat Reveille.  She was watching The Universe with me as I was knitting last week.  She really liked the images of the spiral universes and the exploding stars.  Sorry the images are a little fuzzy, I took them with the phone.

And here are some images of the frost from a few weeks ago.

I am much better now.  I have my Pepsi, though I did give it up for the year, I needed my caffeine to get me through the day.  I plan on working on beads tonight, so that should cheer me up a lot.  I also want to say thank you again for everyones' positive thoughts for mom and myself.  That more then anything gives mom and I warm and fuzzies!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Positivity Out In the Universe

Mom and I are putting positive thoughts out in the universe right now.  We have been throwing around the idea of selling our houses and buying a house together.  I think what did it is freezing our behinds off this winter out in the garage.  Plus, I am ALWAYS over at mom's house and I only go home to sleep.  So, why not buy a house together; then when I have an idea, I can go out to the studio instead of getting up, getting dressed and drive over to mom's - too much effort!

The EB Bead and Metal House
Mom and I have been looking at houses since Thursday afternoon, and then yesterday we drove around to see the outsides of the houses.  What we are looking for is a house with a basement or a house with an extension to put the studio in.  This house is the house mom and I want!!!!  We actually called the realtor today, and we walked around inside.  The back has an extension that is PERFECT for the studio.  There is enough room to put the torches, the kilns, and all the other tools for us.  There is even French Doors we can close to keep the cats out of there.  I think there is enough space in the house that mom and I aren't tripping over each other and getting on each other's nerves.  The back is perfect for mom (a pergola and large patio) and there is a swing set for the kids when they come up for a visit.  There is also a playground just down the road if the kids want to go there to play.  There are two living rooms, one of which has a gas fireplace, and there are three bedrooms and two and a half baths and a two-car garage.  Like I said, PERFECT.

Mom and I are meeting with a mortgage person on Tuesday to find out if this is a feasible (Positivity out into the Universe!).  We then will call the realtor and find out what we need to do to get our houses on the market and sold.  Just one foot in front of the other, one day at a time!

This will work!  The studio is in the house, both of us are in the house, more work will get done on something we both love to do!  This is our new mantra - Positivity into the Universe, This Will Work!

Please help us with these positive thoughts!  The more positive thoughts the more the Universe will hear us!

P.S. - I added the link to the house under the house image if you are interested in seeing our PERFECT house.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

BTW and Some of My Favorites

Kitchen Table with Knitting Project
Heather, Humblebeads, started a Flickr group called BTW (Bead Table Wednesday).  There are some awesome looking tables out there, so take the time to go to the group page and look. 

I really wanted to participate this week but I didn't get over to mom's to work on beads yesterday.  Instead I went home and was working on a hat for my friend at work.  The above picture is the start of the ribbing on the hat and the yarn is our favorite yarn because it is so soft and pettable.  I will try and participate in the following weeks but I thought I would at least show you what I was working on last night.  I need to figure out my Iphone because I have some cute pics of my baby kitty as she was watching TV with me.  We were watching the series The Universe and we were watching the Alien Galaxies episode.  She was having fun watching the formation of galaxies - her head was going round and round when the galaxies were spiraling outward.  Give me time I will figure out this phone!

I thought I would share some awesome works that I have been seeing since the beginning of the year.  It is so much fun watching what everyone is creating and all of it is so drool worthy.  So, on with the show!
Black and Tan
These awesome beads are made by Jane and you can find her here.  Love, love, love the stringer work. 

Tipsy Waves
This gorgeous bracelet was made by Kristen at My Bead Journey.  I love the turquoise colored beads she used and I love how the wire does mimic the waves.  Too bad I don't live closer to her because I think I might be "Borrowing" that bracelet from time to time!

Red Lotus Pod
This awesome little pendant was made by Cindy Gimbrone and you can visit her here.  These pods came to be over Christmas when Cindy had a creative burst and I am so glad she did.  Mom and I are drooling all over these lotus pods. 

Turquoise and Brown

The wonderful and talented Juls created these stunning pieces.  I am thinking of looking for my camo and camo paint, taking a trip to Alabama and sneaking in to nab these beauties.

Venus of Urbino from the Margie & Me Series
This piece can be found at Kokopelli Design.  Isn't it just stunning.  I just can't get over how people can weave with those small beads.  You are all amazing!

This piece is found on Craftymoose Crafts site.  I love the polymer piece - the colors are gorgeous and I love the swirls in the design. 

The other half of the polymer clay piece went to Nicole at Beadwright.  Nicole and Debbie did a challenge with these polymer beads.  Aren't both pieces fantastic.  If you want to learn more about the challenge go to their websites and read all about it.  Both pieces are up for auction and all the money will go to Breast Cancer.

Just one more day and it is Friday and a long weekend!  I am so looking forward to the long weekend because mom and I have plans on working in the studio.  I plan on going to the studio tonight to finish off the oxygen and we hope to have the tanks re-filled tomorrow.  Saturday will be a bead making day, Sunday a sawing day and Monday an enameling day.  Of course it will be interesting to see if it all happens on those days.  Have an awesome rest of the week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

January Art Bead Scene Challenge Piece Complete

Brown River by Wayne Thiebaud
Yes, I am shocked also.  Mom and I finished the Art Bead Scene challenge piece before the end of the month.  We are usually scrambling to finish the piece but this time we finished early.  The minute the challenge piece came out I sent it off to mom.  I knew I wanted to have the yellows and the browns in the piece but I was not sure what else to add.

Mom sent me her design ideas and we went from there.  We sawed out the pieces on Saturday and then I enameled them yesterday.  Only had two disasters where I had to discard two of the smaller wheat sheves, but I think that is pretty good.  Because of the cold, the yellow enamel is cracking when I am taking it out of the kiln.  Even with the space heater set up, to slowly cool the pieces, the yellow is still giving me fits.  I seriously can't wait for warmer weather!  While I was enameling, I sent mom off to our favorite bead store to buy Czech beads for the necklace, and I think she picked out some cool ones, though I think she missed me.  We ALWAYS go together when we bead shop.

Sketch of necklace
Mom had drawen a sketch for the layout of the necklace and of course once we started stringing the necklace the sketch went out the window.  We were going to have four strands of beads with six wheat sheaves connected to the strands, but we only ended up using two beaded strands and two wheat sheaves.  I think it turned out really well.

January ABS Challenge Piece - Muddy Waters
As you know mom and I live in Indiana, and we based the necklace off of the farmland around us and the Wabash River that runs through our town.  The Indians called the river Wabash meaning clear water, but of course, sad to say, the river is muddy brown now.  Because of the farmland, we based the pendants on the wheat fields found around the county.  We accented the necklace with Tiger Eye and blue Czech beads, and our own lampwork glass beads.  The two beads we have on the smaller pendants are called Mookaite which is a gorgeous deep red.  The Tiger eye Czech beads are varigated browns which relates well to Wayne Thiebaud's painting of the river.

I have posted more pictures out on our Flickr site if you want to see close ups of the pendants and the beads.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Frosty Surprise

This was the kitchen table this morning.  Mom and I worked on filing and sanding the finished cut out pieces this morning.  We didn't have the chance to walk because the mall doors were locked and we were not sure what time they would unlock the doors.  So, we went home and started working on our pieces to be filed and sanded then enameled. 

While we were working, mom happened to look out the window and said that there was frost on the trees.  So I grabbed my camera and went outside to take some photos.

Frost on a Copper Piece That Mom Has Outside

Frost on the tree
One Lone Leaf on the Tree
I have more photographs but I will save them for the next time I don't have anything to say, and I will show pictures instead.

Start Temp in the Garage

Stop Temp in the Garage
 While we were filing and sanding, I went out into the garage and turned on the enameling kiln and the space heaters.  The starting temp was about 38 degrees and the stop temp was almost 60 degrees, even with the exhaust fan going.  Of course, that was about five and half hours of working out in the garage for it to get that high, but I can live with that.  It is better than 22 degrees which mom and I have worked out in the garage making beads.

Today was a small enameling set up day.  I was working on pieces that had the same colors that I didn't need to set up like we usually do.  I finished three pieces for the Bead Soup Party, but there are some minor fixes that need to be done and then they will be ready.  I finished up the pieces for the January Art Bead Challenge pieces.  I had to discard two pieces because I really screwed them up and they were beyond salvageable, but we have enough pieces for our necklace.

This is the layout for the January Challenge piece.  The two crayon containers contain the beads we will be using in the necklace.  There are four small wheat sheaves and the large wheat sheaf focal pendant plus lampwork beads I made.  I plan on putting that necklace together tomorrow and taking pictures to post.  Of course, that is the plan right now - who knows what will be going on tomorrow.

Oh, if you still have not signed up for the Bead Soup Party, hosted by the wonderful Lori of Pretty Things, there is still time to sign up.  As of right now there are 145 people signed up from all over.  Don't miss out on the fun!  Even though you don't feel like you are a good enough artist to participate, don't let that stop you!  Mom and I felt the same way last year, but I forced both of us to give it a try (forced us by signing up and not backing out of the challenge).  Use this great Bead Soup Party to spread your wings and get your feet wet if you are new to any challenges.  Sorry, I will get off my soap box now.  I just want to encourage you to interact with a wonderful group of artists.  The sign up for this challenge ends on January 14th.
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