Thursday, February 28, 2019

Art Elements - February Theme - Birds of Prey

From Google images
This month's fun theme is Birds of Prey from Art Elements.

Mom actually did a lot of the image search this time. She did find an eagle catching a fish and was working on the pattern and decided she didn't like it.


So, mom went with her second image idea and started working on a pattern. I am glad she likes doing this part of the process - I HATE DRAWING!


Once the pattern is completed (and scanned so we have it for the future), she glues the pattern down onto 20 gauge copper.


Mom drills the pilot holes because she hates it when I drill the holes. One less thing I have to do - go to it mom. We drill the pilot holes so we have something to thread the saw blade through to saw out the patterns.



Mom saws out the pattern of the piece and then files and sands the piece before she hands it off to me for enameling.

Since this past weekend was supposed to be 50 degrees I was enameling on Saturday! I told mom she had to have it done before Saturday - I was not freezing while enameling this time.


I always start with a first layer of clear. I then build up on the colors.


I am always holding my breath as I carry the piece to be in the kiln - be careful, don't drop it, don't drop it - Phew! It is in the kiln. I also cross my fingers when I am enameling. I think I know how the colors will turn out - but never know until the piece actually cools down.


This was my final firing of the piece - I had my fingers crossed the whole time. On the back side mom and I weren't happy with the blue - so I added one more color on the front and I was waiting to see if the blue became a darker color - and lucky it did.

Here is our final piece:


The tips of the feathers are a dark transparent blue, that flows down to a transparent green, to transparent light orange and yellow. The body of the bird is transparent oranges and reds.


I was worried about the colors becoming one big orange, but I was lucky and the colors actually turned out they way I wanted. I told mom if I didn't like the colors she was going to have to hammer off the enamel - the look of panic on her face was not funny. She was worried about damaging the beak and claws - so no hammering was needed during this process!


The piece is about 10" long and about 5" across. Mom will be putting this piece in a shadow box for display.

It is funny - I didn't think we made any other pieces that were Birds of Prey - but mom said yes we have - so I got to go picture hunting. That was fun - to see pieces we made but forgot about.

Here are some other pieces we have made in the past:

We made an owl pendant for one of Lori Anderson's bead swaps - I think we sent the owl pendant to Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry.


Mom and I actually had the eagle pendant made first - a friend of mine came to us asking if we could make a piece for one of her donors. The donor was going over to England for the 2012 Summer Olympics. They wanted to give her a piece to wear while she was over there. So, that is how the eagle pendant ended up in a necklace. My friend said her donor loved it and wore it proudly during the Olympics.


This is the back of a red-tail hawk. One of our customers from Etsy sent us a drawing her daughter sketched asking if we could make a pendant based off the drawing. So, mom went to town making up several patterns for the customer to choose from. We had a lot of fun finding pictures of red-tail hawks and having conversations with the customer about the piece. Mom and I actually made up two pieces - a large pendant and a small pendant for the customer to select from. The customer ended up buying both pieces - one for her and the other for her daughter. I love it when we can collaborate like that with a customer.


I found this image of an eagle. I asked mom if she could make a pattern out of it and then saw it out. Mom loves a challenge. It is really hard to see all the colors in this piece - but I seriously loved how it turned out. This is another one of our plates that go into shadow boxes for display.

Last one:

Another owl - but it is a Day of the Dead owl. Mom and I bought a Day of the Dead coloring book - and this is one of the pages you could color. Mom made a pattern out of that page and then I went to town with the colors. This plate is also in a shadow box - and I think I may cry when it finally sells. I am really in love with how it turned out - but someone will give this a good home.

So - that is our bird of prey challenge pieces. Thanks for sticking it out.

I hope you have fun blog hopping and seeing what everyone else created.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Odds and Ends - Before the Art Elements Challenge


Last week I had a team building event at work. They were providing food, for lunch, and the rest of us would bring in desserts. I asked mom if she would make Czechoslovakian Slices for me to take in. The last time she made these was back in 1999 - she made them and sent them to me when I was at NTC, in the Box (the training area). I think my squad and I ate them until we made ourselves sick - but it was so worth it.

Mom is not sure where grandma got the recipe - maybe from grandma's home economics class or a friend. I wish we knew - oh well. These are really good, but very rich! The recipe really calls for apricot jam - but I love cherry - so we made a slight modification to the recipe.


More dragons have arrived. Mom actually had to buy these dragons for me because I was in a meeting when Sally was listing them in her Etsy shop.


Mom said she was a nervous wreck trying to order the dragons - but she got two of the three I really wanted. I am proud of her :)


I finished enameling our piece for the Art Elements - Bird of Prey challenge. You will see more of the piece when we post on the 28th of February. I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I Have to Pat Myself on the Back

From Google Images
Mom always says I have to toot my own horn because no one else will. So, today I am patting myself on the back and sharing it too.

From Google Images
On Monday I was working away Googling answers to try and figure out how to create rules on an InfoPath form I have in SharePoint. I had figured out two of the issues and now I was working on my last one when all of the sudden the power went out and everything turned off for a second.

From Google images
This is how I felt when the power came back up - I have no idea when I did my last save in InfoPath - so I had no idea if all the changes I just did were still good. Also, did I just lose all the links I found in the Google search for my answers. UGH....

My computer eventually came back up after about 45 minutes. I was able to restore my sessions, except for the last tab of links I had found for my last question - now I had to remember how I worded the question to find the last site I was on for my answer - that was fun - NOT!

Because of what happened with the power outage - almost all the systems were down across campus.

But - because I migrated our SharePoint on-prem environment to the SharePoint Cloud environment - our department was at least up and running with SharePoint.

I also could work because I had moved almost all my documentation to the Cloud environment. So, because our network drives were down, I at least could get to the documents I needed to work.

Now - it is trying to change the mentality of our work employees on using the Cloud SharePoint environment and moving their documents to the Cloud. I have been offering training, of course some people attend, but not the majority of the employees. I am now setting up meetings to go out to each individual school/college and meet with those areas and show them what the Cloud environment has to offer.

From Google Images
I sent an After Action Review to my AVPs a few weeks ago, but yesterday I sent a follow-up email detailing what happened on Monday and that our SharePoint environment was up and running and if users had moved their documents to the Cloud they could have retrieved them to work.

So - I did send a what a great idea it was that we moved to the Cloud email :)

That is my Pat on the Back story for this week. Mom is right - you have to toot your own horn because no one else will (mom does not count - she thinks I do an amazing job with the Cloud - but she is biased).

Friday, February 8, 2019

Always Be Yourself. Unless You Can Be a Dragon...Then Always Be a Dragon

My package arrived!
Yesterday was not a good day at work - nothing was going correctly in SharePoint - and the day seemed to never end.

I called mom and told her I was on my way home and I had a bad day - she said something arrived that would cheer me up - and she was correct.

My little dragons arrived!
I have been waiting anxiously for this little gems to arrive.

Photo from Sally Sutherland's Facebook page.

Early in January Sally said she had attempted to make dragons and they were in the kiln. I was waiting and waiting and waiting to see when she was going to list them - and finally the notification came on her Facebook page. I love dragons - I have been collecting them since I was in high school and one day I really want a tattoo of dragon.

I had my alarm set to make sure I was at my computer to get ready to buy some dragons. So, at 1:00pm Eastern - I was on the Etsy site (had Paypal up) and started buying dragons. 

I don't think I had so much fun in a long time. The first one I bought was the little turquoise one in Sally's banner. I tried to purchase the red one, but he sold fast. I also tried to purchase the little black guy, but he was gone. So, I went to the next ones I really wanted - I am sure there are some very angry customers with me - because I grabbed my other two little guys and I saw they were in other people's carts. I was hitting that buy button like no one's business - and I got them. I think my heart was pounding more in those five minutes then the whole time I work out :)

So - here are my little treasures:

The first one I bought - doesn't have a name yet - but he will


It is hard to tell - but there is blue going through the black.
So much fun looking at all the details
Isn't he adorable - I love that little heart!

After looking them over and being amazed with the details I had to figure out where I wanted to place them because I want to see them every day.

I have a curio cabinet that used to be my grandparents that I have all my glass goodies. I found the perfect spot for them.


There are in perfect company with my two Luccio Bubbaco pieces and my Emilio Santini pieces. I also have some other glass pieces from local artists.

I am overjoyed with my little dragons and my lost girls from Sally Sutherland. If you have not seen her work - you need to follow her on Facebook. If you want one of her lost girl beads you have to be very fast. Mom and I have a total of three of her lost girls (two of them I special ordered from Sally - one was for mom and the other was for me and the third one I was on Etsy so fast my head spun so I could buy her).

Check Sally out - you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Theme Challenge – Moon - Reveal Day

Moon Image - Google search
This month's Art Elements Theme Challenge - Moon. The minute I saw the blog post I signed mom and I up for January's challenge.

I was still on vacation that day - so mom and I started doing a Google search for moon images, goddess of the moon images and moon quotes. The above image is just two pages of images we have. We actually found seven pages of images. Of course we can always come back to some of these ideas and figure out something to do with them.


I also sketched up some ideas for stamped pieces to make into a necklace or bracelet. I don't usually sketch - so this is a big deal. I will come back to these ideas when it warms up some in the garage - that is where all of my stamping tools are. Right now we were about -33 wind chill - but this weekend it is supposed to be up to almost 50 degrees (shorts baby).


From all the images mom and I looked at - this is the one we decided to use to make a pendant. I am so glad mom is the one who comes up with the pattern ideas. Even though mom comes up with a pattern - there are times when she is sawing that she makes adjustments on the fly. I can't do that - I don't do well winging it.


The other pendant we ended up doing was based off of this large pendant mom made for a friend. I love how the design turned out and both mom and I fell in love with the colors. What I wanted to do was also add a "moon" pendant to the back of the tree - so you could see the moon through the branches.


So - these are the two/three pendants mom ended up sawing out for me to enamel.



I did a quick enameling session - before we got hit with the subarctic weather.




I also had a two day bead making session - to make sure I had enough beads made for both pieces.


Once the enameling was done - mom wire wrapped the moon pendant and the goddess tree pendant together. Mom said, "She was winging it". I think it turned out really well.


Mom did have one little mishap - she spilled the seed beads on the beading tray. I told her at least it wasn't on the floor - that would have been fun to clean up.

Okay - enough of me babbling - here are the final pieces we created.
  


I always worry how the finished piece will look, because you never know what color is going to come out of the kiln (too many factors like temperature and humidity play a role).

 The colors I used for the woman I call my cosmos colors. I think of the woman being part of the cosmos - she is all knowing - she is thinking peaceful thoughts while looking at the moon.



The beads I call my cosmos beads too - so they are a perfect fit with the "Woman of the Cosmos".
The large accent stones are Silver Needle Agate. We didn't have a big enough toggle clasp (our favorite store went out of business and we can't find large clasps we like) so I used a large lobster claw clasp and then made a loop for it to hook on to.


I am so happy with this piece - it is going to be very hard to part with.


This is our tree goddess/moon piece. Mom received the design idea from her friend - and then she drew on the design to come up with a pattern we could saw out. I just loved how it looked after we made it, and wanted to incorporate it into this month's challenge. We just needed to add a moon to the whole thing.



Still with the space theme - I call these lampwork beads my "Kuiper Belt" beads. The accent beads are Kambaba Jasper and seed beads. This necklace does not have a clasp.


A close-up of the pendant. The greens are three different greens that I just decided to put together and see how it turned out when I pulled it from the kiln. And I lucked out - the color is amazing!

Another full view of the necklace.


Another look at the beads.

Thanks for sticking it out till the end. Here is a list of everyone who participated. Have fun blog hopping - because I know I can't wait to see everyone's creations:

Guests:
Beth - you are here

Art Elements Crew:
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