Saturday, January 26, 2013

Focus on Life Week 4 - Create Art

This week's Focus on Life pic is "Create Art".  Sally said to create art and that there is no wrong way to be creative.  To immerse ourselves in what we already love to make and to give ourselves a little push to try something new and to share that.

Patterns to be glued on copper and finished enameled pieces
Mom and I usually don't do any sawing, lampworking or enameling during the week.  For me it is laziness - when I get off work I go home and feed the cats.  Once I am home I usually don't want to change my clothes, hop back in the car and drive back over to mom's - like I said laziness.  Though the previous three weeks, I was just going to mom's and then heading back to my house late (poor cats were swarming when I got home to feed them). I think I will get back into that routine again.

These are pieces that need to be sawed out this weekend.  I plan on helping mom because it is waaaaaay to cold out in the garge to torch or enamel.  Last Monday, when I was cleaning up the backsides of completed enameled pieces, I had to open the garage door a crack (I think the exhaust fan was frozen) to let the fumes out so I wouldn't kill myself.  Those were the coldest 10 minutes out there!  Though I heard it is supposed to get back into the 50's this week, so I might go out into the garage to torch some.

I did knit some this week - this is a pattern for fingerless gloves.  I have the glove to where I now need to do the thumb section but I can't remember how (I suck at reading patterns).  I am going to take the glove into work and see if a friend can help me remember how to knit this part.  The yarn I am using is our favorite yarn - so nice and soft!

I am also experimenting this weekend.  Mom and I have tons and tons of pictures we have taken and I want to do something with them.  I have watched and read so many tutorials on making pendants with images that I want to give this a try.  I need to Mod Podge the pictures and then I plan on using  glass tiles to glue the images to.  I will keep you posted on how this turns out.

This is something I need to finish, right now sitting in my drawer at home.  This was mom's birthday gift four years ago and it is still not done.  I am trying to find my drawing pencils to finish it and get it framed for her.  As you all know I HATE TO DRAW!!!  But lately I have been wanting to try it again, Jen Judd has been inspiring me to try with all the drawing and painting she has been doing.  Though I want to give Zentangles a try.  Drawing intimidates me and I feel like I don't have the imagination to do it.  I NEED an image in front of me to draw something (like mom and grandma's picture).  I can't just pull something out of the air - I don't feel like I am creative enough to do that.  I feel restrictive - my chest starts to get tight and panic sets in.  I am hoping with the Zentangles I can let myself go.  I will keep you posted on how that goes and if I can actually get myself to give it a try.

Please check out the rest of the wonderful people who are participating in Focus on Life at The Studio Sublime.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Today is Sign Up for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party

Today is the day to start signing up for Lori's 7th Bead Soup Blog Party!  I just finished signing mom and myself up for the party and we both can't wait to find out who are partner will be.

We have started working on the pieces we plan on sending and I am so excited because we also plan on giving our partner one of our new clasps mom and I have been playing with.  You will have to check back when partners are announced and we can finally share pics!

via Goggle
My happy dance for signing us up :)  Now head on over to Lori's blog and join the fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

January Art Bead Scene Challenge Piece

Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons
Jessie Arms Botke, 1940
Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel
32 x 40 inches
(Please note this art is copyrighted and is to be used only as inspiration.)
Mom and I were excited with this month's challenge because it was peacocks again - yay!  I think mom had a design thought up right after I sent her a link to the challenge

We are calling our piece "Tail Feathers".  The whole necklace is actually based on the "eye" of the peacock's tail feathers and the colors found in the inspiration piece.

The focal pendant is based on peacock feathers and the colors within.  I used the enamel colors I am calling "Peacock", cobalt blue and chestnut brown.

These pendants are based on the shape and "eyes" in the body feathers.

I had a lot of fun with the beads - I made up six sets of test beads to decide on what colors we wanted to use for the necklace.  We decided to go with the "Kuiper Belt" beads and accented the necklace with purple Freshwater pearls, brass accents and brown seed beads.

We didn't have a big enough clasp to go with this piece so we used one of the extra "eye" pendants as the clasp and just made a loop of seed beads to go around it.

Mom tried the necklace on, with her black turtle neck, and it was stunning.  Both mom and I are really excited and happy with the way "Tail Feathers" turned out.  It is always good when you like the piece you created, though we tell each other if we don't like it someone else will :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekend Recap - Enameling

On Saturday morning mom and I tried this French Toast Souffle for breakfast (you can find it here on my board).  Mom and I are trying to eat more at home, plus to be more healthy, and to save on the budget.  It was an interesting experiment but I don't think mom and I will eat this again.  For mom it sunk in her stomach (some foods do that to her) and for me the recipe was missing something (cinnamon maybe).  I don't know and I am not good at improvising when it comes to cooking.  I do recommend giving it a whirl though - just because we didn't care for it you might love it!

Today mom made lasagna for us - now this was awesome - my grandma's recipe so of course it was good!  We have enough left over for both of us to have lunches this week.  We are trying to make lunches and dinners on the weekends so that we have leftovers for lunch during the week - again trying to save on the budget and not go out to eat.

Sorry about the poor quality images - under the florescent light in the garage.  These pendants are done but I still need to clean up the backside (divets from the pendants sitting on the trivets because we enamel both sides.  To clean them up I use the diamond files and then I put them in the torch to remove the scratches from the diamond files).  We have a koi pendant, bamboo pendant, pendants for the ABS challenge piece and a heron (special order piece).

These pieces are just out of the kiln - a carousel horse plate and the other pendants for the ABS Challenge.

While I was enameling today this is what mom sawed out - a flower/leaf bib necklace.  This is actual really large and I am so looking forward to this being enameled and put together.  The bib is the focal - I told mom maybe two beads where the bib will connect to ribbon.  That is it - bib, two beads and ribbon.  Mom and I are going back and forth on colors - so that is still in the air.  So excited!!!

Tomorrow I hope we can assemble the ABS Challenge piece and I can share.  I will also share the other set of beads I made up last week - I did finally clean them and I am in LOVE!!!

Now - I am off because I am heading home to jump into the shower to warm up my feet.  It was blasted cold out in the garage but it was well worth it because I love what was done this weekend!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Focus on Life Week 3 - Take Time

Our journey for this week, week 3, is Take Time.  Sally asked us when was the last time you took a few moments for ourselves?  Really took time for us without feeling guilty.  I do have to say I try and do this every night when I get home.  That is the one thing the military taught me was you need to make sure you take time for yourself or you will go bat freaking shit crazy :).  So, I have a sanctuary where I sit my butt down and chill each night - be it to read, pet the cats or watch my DVDs.

I know it is kinda stupid - but this is my sanctuary - my comfy couch.  Of course I have to share said comfy couch with all the fur babies but it is still mine, all mine.  Right now it is covered with a fleece blanket, the heated throw, and the regular blanket because it is cold.  Next to the comfy couch are the books mom got me for Christmas and behind my my memorial wall which I love looking at each day.

I love putting a documentary in and just learning something new - this is a DVD mom got me for Christmas called "America's Book of Secrets".  This episode was American Monuments - as you can tell we were on the St. Louis Arch.  Of course the fur babies are on the couch with me and I have no idea what Tiesha is looking at on the ceiling - always makes me think she is seeing ghosts up there - or my grandma watching over me :)  Poor grandma, I live a pretty boring life!

Another picture of the fur babies on the couch with me.  Just so you know my feet are off to the side of the couch and I am scrunched up all the way to the top because the cats have taken over the couch and no more room for me.  I think they love the heated throw more than I do :)

Me trying to read a book on Saturday, with Mishka wanting to be petted and Koshka wanting to be left alone as I try and take a picture with the phone.

This is from Thursday night - Reville wanted under the top blanket so she could be on the heated throw and she had to be up next to me as I read the Nook (Kim Harrison "Pale Demon").  She is my other mushmellow - has to be where mom is.

Another picture of Reville I had to share with her wanting to be in the action while I was reading.

So, that is how I take time.  Thanks for stopping by and make sure you head over to Sally's blog to check out how everyone else "Takes Time" for themselves.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snaptastic Giveaway

 Awesome giveaway on Art Bead Scene blog today - Snaptastic!

The giveaway is a CD of Kerry Bogert's ebook, Snaptastic!

All you need to do is go to the ABS blog and leave a comment.  For a second chance to win leave a comment that you Pin, tweet or Facebooked this giveaway.  How cool is that!

Now go and enter!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Recap of the Studio

Well, mom and I haven't done a weekend recap in a long time - sorry about that.  Though the first thing I had to do was straighten up the garage for me to even get to the torch, kiln or flex shaft.  Over the holidays mom and I just seemed to throw everything out in the garage to put away later (it was later).  Thank goodness Saturday was a gorgeous day (in the 50's) for me to straighten up some.

As you can see I had to put stuff away before I could even use the kilns.  I used those glass jars to put my lampworking glass in for storage (I am too lazy to turn around to the cabinet and pick out the glass I want to use - I want it out all in front of me).  So the jars are located, now, to the left of me with all the glass I use.

It isn't perfect but at least I can see the counter top and get to the flex shaft now.

I can also now get to my torch without setting anything on fire - which is a very good thing!

I worked on making beads to go with our ABS Challenge piece.  You will see the beads shortly, if you stick it out with me :)

These are pendants and a bowl that need to be cut out with our big cutter - the copper sheet is a 12x12 sheet and mom trying to cut that out by hand would have been a nightmare.  Love our larger cutter!

Mom cutting out the pieces - watch your fingers mom!

These are pieces I was drilling pilot holes for mom - she would cut out the pieces and I would drill the pilot holes.  The pilot holes are there so mom can thread her saw blades through. 

Once I got those pieces drilled for mom she was able to saw out the pendants for the ABS Challenge (which I will enamel next weekend), a custom order piece and a bowl.  That was Saturday's re-cap.

Me in the studio Sunday - it was a little cold
Before mom and I could play in the studio on Sunday we had errands to get done: eat breakfast, go grocery shopping, sign paperwork and fax paperwork back to the bank.

Me making a bead - I could see my breath out there
I was making more beads for the ABS Challenge.  I made four test beads that I really like how they looked so ended up making more and then made a whole other test set that I can't wait to see tomorrow.

Here are the beads I made yesterday: the test beads (brown with green/blue frit, peacock beads, and Kuiper Belt beads).

Sorry about the poor quality images I was taking the pictures out in the garage and the lighting is a florescent light.  But it gives you an idea of what I did on Saturday.  Sunday I made up another set of the test beads and then I tried the base light blue bead with the frit from the brown base bead.
I can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow.  I also made up two test beads with the dark blue base and the peacock frit on top.  Exciting, exciting, exciting!

The large flower piece is going to be a bib necklace and I need to drill pilot holes for that.  And the smaller pendants are part of the ABS Challenge necklace and I need to drill the holes larger and they need to be filed and sanded.  I can't wait for next weekend to enamel these and see how they turn out!

While I was out in the garage mom was in the kitchen file and sanding the pieces she finished sawing out on Saturday.  When I was taking this picture she was working on a koi pendant.

Mom finished filing and sanding the main focal pendant for the ABS Challenge piece and the custom order piece. She was working on the bowl, but her back gave out on her so she is done for the day.

I finished Sunday out with a bang by cooking dinner for both of us.  I am trying to cook dinner almost every night for us both because we are trying to eat healthy.  We are also eating in to save our budget!  I ended up making sloppy joes (we call it bbq) and sweet potatoes nuked in the microwave.  There is enough left over for lunches too - yeah me :)

So, that is the recap of the weekend!  It feels good to be working on the torch again.  I can't wait to share finished pieces with you all later!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ice, Ice Baby - I Heart Macro

This past week the temperature ended up being like spring weather.  So, all the snow and ice I took pictures of last week was melting off mom's rainchain (oh, if you go here you can see what mom's rainchain looks like).

I love how each bucket looked different with the melting ice - not one was the same.

I love how the ice looked with the water dripping off of it - can't tell in the pics of the water running off of the ice.

This ice was up near the top of the rainchain - just waiting to melt.  I just love the different texture you can see in the ice.

Mom and I are participating in this week's I Heart Macro.
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