Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June Monthly Bead Challenge

Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilperic," 1895-96
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864-1901)
Oil on canvas. 145x149cm

This month's Art Bead Challenge was a real collaboration between mom and I.  I really wanted to add a copper enameled pendant to the piece, since that is what mom and I really like to focus on.  Mom sketched up a dress for the design, and she sawed the dress out of copper.  I then enameled the dress pendant and made the lampwork glass beads (floral beads and spacer beads).  Mom came up with the necklace design and strung most of the beads and seed beads.  I helped at the end by adding the last of the seed beads and crimping the necklace to a clasp (mom hates to crimp).

The one thing I need to improve upon is measuring.  Mom had the idea of wrapping the seed bead strands around the main string of beads, to make it look like the ruffle of a dress; but I cut the wire too short (I thought I made it long enough).  Mom knows my challenge of not measuring and she dealt with the short wires and made the necklace work (we hate stringing seed beads or we would have done a "do over").  Overall I am really happy with how the necklace turned out.  This months challenge reinforced how well mom and I work together.  Mom is the bomb!

Full Necklace

Close up of floral beads
Close Up of dress

Monday, June 28, 2010

Giveaway Winner Revealed

Today is the big reveal of who won our Leaf ThumBOWLina bowl.  Mom and I decided to show you the process of how we picked the name.

We first typed all the names into a table in a Word document

We then cut the names out
Folded the names and placed them in a bowl (ceramic bowl made by my ceramics professor Siggy)

We then had my co-worker draw the name out of the bowl - so there was no cheating

Here is the big reveal of the name
Drum roll please
And the winner is:
Winner is Baglady

Baglady could you please email us with your address and we will get the bowl sent off to you as soon as possible.  Our email is:  e13e14mccord@yahoo.com

Thank you all for participating in our first giveaway and for your lovely comments because your comments make it all worthwhile for us!

I know mom and I would like to do this again in the future, so keep your eyes open for our next giveaway.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We Are Back

Mom and I are back from vacation (rats!).  We just got back home from dropping my niece and nephew off in St. Louis with my brother.  Mom took the kids up to Michigan with our family to a cottage we all rent for a week.  This year (no money) I didn't go.  I had a whole list of things that I wanted to get done; do you think any of it got done, NO!  Though I did get some mulch laid, my yard mowed and mom's yard mowed and I got the beads made up for the Monthly Bead Soup Challenge, but didn't get the necklace put together yet.  All I did was sit on my comfy couch and read and it was nice!  Tomorrow it is back to the grind.

We will have the drawing for the ThumBOWLina in the morning.  I have the names typed out and we are going to cut them out, place them in a bowl, and have a co-worker draw a name out of a bowl.  We will post pictures and make the announcement in the morning.  I hope you are all as excited as we are about the drawing.

Both mom and I are done for the night (eight hour drives seem a lot longer now).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bead Soup is On

Close Up of Focal
The Party is on - Bead Soup Party that is. This is our first time participating in the party, and we are so excited! Our partner for this Bead Soup Party was Christine of A Hot Piece of Glass. She sent us a wonderful assortment of her beads that reminded mom and me of summer, so the name of this piece is Summer Lovin'. Christine also sent us a handmade clasp, accent beads and colored Viking Knit chain. We made large jump rings with 18 guauge blue and red craft wire to connect Christines's lampworked beads. We used 20 gauge red craft wire to make the connecting loops for each bead. We created a focal using three of Christine's beads and a wire spiral she created. We cut the Viking Knit in half and then created double strands of accent beads to drape around the VK. Sterling Silver beads we used to border Christine's smallest bead to finish off the necklace and feed into her clasp.

In conjunction with The Bead Soup Party, mom and I decided to have a giveaway. If you would like to participate please go to the Giveaway Post and leave a comment.

I hope you enjoy the piece because we had a blast creating it.

Full View of Summer Lovin'
Mom wearing Summer Lovin'
Handmade clasp by Christine

Summer Lovin'

Friday, June 18, 2010

Our First Giveaway

In honor of the Bead Soup Party starting tomorrow, mom and I decided to have our very first giveaway ever.  Drum roll please...Dum Da Da Dum.  We are giving away one of our Leaf ThumBOWLina bowls, now how exciting is that; pretty exciting let me tell ya.
Yellow Leaf ThumBOWLina
This bowl is part of our series, ThumBOWLina.  The ThumBOWLina series are our tiny bowls (3.5").  Mom called them ThumBOWLina as a joke and it just stuck.  If you would like to see the process of how we make our bowls you can check out our Flickr site.

The contest will last through the Bead Soup Party, June 19th-June26th.  Mom and I will draw a name on the 27th of June. 

The simplest way to enter is - leave a comment on this post.  Make sure you leave your name with your comment so you can be entered in the drawing.  You can earn an extra draw by blogging about this giveaway and letting us know you blogged about it in a separate comment.

Here are a couple of more images of the ThumBOWLina:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Tree After the Storm

We just had the mother of all storms rip through our area on Monday, it was cool but kinda of scary at the same time. 

On Monday I had to take one of my cats, Chai, to the vet and the appointment lasted a whole lot longer than I anticipated so I ended up taking the rest of the day as a vacation day.  I took my kitty back home and then headed over to moms to watch shows she recorded on the DVR for me.  Mom happened to be home with a migraine because of the storms that were moving in.

Chai looking innocent

While I was watching shows I heard the thunder and saw the lightning and then I heard the tornado sirens.  I didn't think anything of it, just kept watching my shows.  Yes, I know stupid, but it didn't look to bad outside.  Then all heck broke lose.

The wind picked up big time.  It looked wind you would see in a typhoon, not in Indiana.  Then the rain just fell in waves.  At one point I looked out mom's back door and saw the trees bent over almost sideways.  Then I heard the sirens go off again and I got mom out of bed and into a bathroom.  We sat there for a little bit and then went to look out the windows and that is when the hail started.  At least we got the small pea sized hail and not the golf ball sized that same places received.

It was around 6:00 when everything stopped and we headed outside to see what happened.  First thing I saw was the big tree limbs on the ground that nearly missed my car by inches.  Mom's Bradford Pear was gorgeous before the storm and now we will be lucky if we can keep it alive.  At least the limbs didn't go into mom's bedroom window and missed my car.

Mom's Tree in April 2010

Mom's Tree after Storm

Front view of tree

There is a house, on the back roads I take to get home, that I absolutely love.  They have these beautiful mature trees in their yard that are now on the ground.  They had two huge trees fall where nothing was and one tree fall on their fence, where the livestock usually eats.  It doesn't look like any animals were hurt and the house and barn are in one piece.  I am seriously going to miss those trees.

I think all the storms have passed through and it doesn't look like anyone was seriously hurt, just property damage and about 5000 acres of crops are destroyed.  Some of the crops maybe able to be replanted but not the corn.

Sometimes I wish I could be a storm chaser because that storm was awesome.  Yes, I know I am a little warped sometimes!  Maybe in my next life.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Computer Issues, a Great Surprise, Bead Soup Update

Sorry I have been quiet on the blogging front, but this week was a week of hell for me and my work computer.  On June 4th my office moved to a new location on the second floor of our building.  The move went pretty smooth and the set up of the computers went pretty well, a shout out to our IT people - You guys did a great job!  Once they got the computer into my new cube we found out I didn't have any power.  I finally got power but found out I didn't have a network cable and I couldn't get to the internet or to any of my drives.  At lease that gave me time to unpack my stuff and get my cube set up the way I wanted.  I put in a request for a network cable before I left for the day and hoped it would be there when I got to work on Monday.

Guess what, got to work on Monday and still no network cable.  So I got to play computer hop scotch while I worked until they brought me a network cable, which was in the late afternoon Monday - YEAH!  I got to work at my desk for a day and a half before I got a virus on my compter Wednesday morning.  WTH!!!!  I have no idea what happened but I was freaking out - our IT guy came and said it was nothing I did, but they were going to have to re-image my computer - I lost all my work links, my personal links and the most important links, the blogging links.  I think that is what hurt the most!!!  The IT guys got my computer done late Wednesday afternoon and Thursday I spent about two to three hours downloading my work programs and trying to remember what work links I needed in my favorites.

I think what made this week more bearable was the following - a package from KJ of Silver Parrot and a package from Juls of Julsbeads.  OMG ladies those packages were great and perked me up like nobody's business.

About a month ago KJ posted the blog Let's Play a Game, you had to guess what wasn't in her purse and post it.  I actually guessed correctly and I won four of her wonderful ice resin pieces.  Love, love, love them and I was all a flutter when mom brought the package to work for me to open.  It was almost like my birthday - PRESENTS!  Aren't they great!

The next package arrived Thursday and mom brought it to me, at work, on Friday morning.  I was giddy, like it was Christmas, because I knew what was in that package - gorgelicious beads -that was what was in that package people.  I couldn't wait to cut open the bubble package and pull out the items. The package was so prettily wrapped that I didn't want to open them, but I knew I had to if I wanted to get to those beads.  I opened the package and thought, "Mine, all mine".  Though I am sure mom would have hit me over the head if I kept them all to myself, but they are soooooo pretty and feel all good when you play with them.  Of course we are keeping them for ourselves but we need to think of what we want to make with all that gorgeousness.  Oh happy day!

Thank you card and wrapped package

Candy, Wrapping, Card

Beady Goodness by Juls

Beady Goodness

The next big thing is our second art show of the season.  It will be at the Whtye Horse Winery in Monticello, IN.  This will be the first time we have participated in this show and mom and I are excited.  We are just crossing our fingers that the thunderstorms will pass us by and we will have an awesome show.  I will take photos and post them on Monday.

Bead Soup Party is just around the corner and I seriously can't wait.  My bead soup partner, Christine, has posted a sneak peek of what she made on her blog.  Because there are so many of us participating in the party Lori has broken down the participants into segements and dates to post their finished pieces.  We are suppose to post our piece on the 19th of June and Christine will post her piece on the 21st of June.  I can't wait to see what everyone has made.  Here is another sneak peek of the piece we created from the wonderful stash that Christine sent us.

Sneak Peek

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Eye Candy and Your Opinion

Mom and I went to the studio today and I was able to get six bowls enameled and part of the June Art Bead Challenge piece enameled. While I was enameling mom was able to cut out two very large bowls (which I will enamel next Saturday), a couple of small pendants I am working on for a friend, and filed/sanded three more bowls.
Ginkgo - yellows w/ spruce/gem/Nile green

Here are the fruits of our labor. Enjoy!
Flower Bowl - Atlantic Blue, Iris, Orchid

Heart Bowl - Red and Black

Heart Bowl - Atlantic Blue, Iris, Orchid

Ginkgo bowl - spruce/gem/Nile green

Here is the piece I plan on using in this months Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge. I made two in case I messed up one of the pieces.

Dancer dress in pink
Dancer dress in purple

This is another bowl I enameled. Both mom and I like the inside of the bowl. The outside of the bowl is up for grabs. Mom likes what happened to the bowl but I am on the fence on whether or not I like what happened, and I have no idea how this happened. Let me know what you all think - Keep it the way it is or try to fix it and cross your fingers that I can.

Inside of bowl

Outside of bowl

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Move, Inventorying or SleepyCreek

Well, yesterday our department moved to our new home on the second floor.  For the past six years we have been down in the lower level (basement) and NO ONE came to see us unless they were bored or needed information.  This will be something new for us all.  The move took all day and some of us had power in our cubes and network connections and then there were the rest of us (ME) who didn't have power and still did not have a network connection when I left for the day.  But I am moved into my cube, and I have all my pretties and plants moved and set up for display.

We also had a staff meeting where our boss said we didn't have to panic about our jobs disappearing (at least for now).  That the new implementation goes into affect on July 1st, but that just means it is business as usual.  Our boss will now have two bosses to report to and we just carry on like we have done before.  I think most of us are still in panic mood and updating our resumes.  I am trying to keep a positive attitude but it is hard when everyone else is wondering if we should even bother unpacking our personal boxes, from this move, since they are already packed up.  At least it is the weekend!

So far this morning I have got my oil changed and tires rotated on my car, mom picked me up and we mailed off Jul's box and a box to my niece and nephew, at breakfast, went to Walgreen's, Hobby Lobby, Shoe Carnival (I bought two pairs of sandals), and now I am checking email since I have not been able to do that since 8:00am yesterday morning.  Mom and I need to work on inventory for a show next week but I think I have her convinced that we need to go to Sleepy Creek Vineyards for a wine slushy plus I need to buy more of my coffee (I drank the last of it on Tuesday and I am in withdrawal).  We can do inventory when we get back.  Plus it will be nice to drink, knit and not think about work or anything else for a few hours.

Tomorrow we will be in the metals studio working on enameling the rest of the bowls that we have formed, form the bowls mom finished sawing out, work on part of a piece for June's Art Bead Challenge, and a piece for a friend of mine.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lonelies Prize Draw

Laura, of Beads by Laura, is having a prize drawing for the above lovelies!  Aren't they just divine!!!  Laura is calling these beads her "Lonelies" and thought the beads could use a new home (I say they would love our house!).
Head on over to her blog and find out what you have to do to enter to win the "Lonelies".

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thunderstorms, Short Story and Eye Candy

This morning was awesome. I woke to hear thunder and then as I was driving to work there were lightning going off all over the place. I LOVE IT! If I had a high shutter speed camera I would have been pulled off to the side of the road trying to get photos of the lightning. When I was younger, my best friend and I use to stand outside to watch the lightning. One time, when I was stationed in San Antonio, there was a gorgeous lightning storm going on and of course we were outside, in the parking lot, watching it. My roommate came running outside and yelling at us to get inside now. It was AWESOME! If you have been able to tell yet, I love thunderstorms!

After I made my post about being out of the Army for nine years, some of my blogging buddies said they would love to hear stories about my time in the Army. I have been thinking about this and what stories I could tell that wouldn't bore you to death. Last night I was thinking about basic training and I thought of this story.

You think of the Army as being one huge entity, but in reality it is a very small community which I found out about a week into basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. My dad was in the Army and he retired about two months before I went off to basic training (don't worry this is part of the story). I found out my dad and one of my drill sergeants knew each other. I found this out when I, with a bunch of other girls, were in a hair salon getting our hair cut. Like I said this is about a week into basic training. I just happened to be talking with my drill sergeant and found out she was stationed in Worms, Germany. I asked when she was stationed there and then mentioned my dad had been stationed there. Lo and behold she knew my dad. Now tell me, what are the odds that my drill sergeant would know my dad. I will try and think of more and interesting stories, but for some reason that story just popped into my head last night and I couldn't shake it. I am going to have to look for my journal I wrote in during basic. I am sure there are interesting things in there. Oh, I am also a weird person because I actually had a blast during basic training (though I hated running and push ups!).

This weekend mom and I were pretty busy. Here is some eye candy of what we created.
Tree Bead Bracelet
Adobe Earrings
Black/White Necklace

Butterfly Necklace
Cupcake By Beads by Laura
Small beads by Laura

Acid Etch Purple/Gray
Tan/White Earrings
Owl by Earthenwood Studios

While I was enameling on Sunday mom was a sawing machine. Here are three things she has cut out and now we just have to file/sand, form, and then enamel.
Bonsai Tree
Lotus Flower
Peace bowl

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