Saturday, February 28, 2015

Makes A Statement! - Creative Jewelry Challenge #1

Mom and I are participating in Sally's Make A Statement Jewelry Challenge. I thought this would be a fun way for me and mom to get back into the swing of things on the creation front. For the challenge, Sally asked us to make a statement piece: a bold and unique piece of jewelry.

Well, here is the process of how we went about it and then I will share the end product.

Mom drew up the pattern for the bib necklace we wanted to create. Just so you all know, if you didn't already know, I hate to measure or do anything math related. So, thank goodness for mom!!!! I am glad she took on this challenge - and yes - we are scanning this so it doesn't get lost for future pieces.  Mom drilled holes in each of the circles and filed/sanded each one before I enameled each one.

These are the beads I ended up making for the piece - at first mom wasn't sure if she liked them - but after they were cleaned she was happy with them. We just had to figure out what to use as accent beads.

Here are the pieces being enameled last weekend. Yes, it isn't fun to enamel those little buggers!

Mom assembling all the circles with jump rings.  Tedious!

And then my setup to take pictures of the piece. Trying to get a good shot was interesting.

So - finally our statement piece:

As you saw - we used 20 gauge copper that was enameled in a kiln. Mom then assembled the piece with 18 gauge stainless steel jump rings, with our lampwork glass beads, Czech beads, Jasper, seed beads and finished off with a sterling silver toggle clasp.

I used enamel colors that are our favorite - I call it peacock. I just love the different colors of green that show up on the metal.

The beads were made with a base of clear glass and then rolled in colored frit. The beads were then strung on beading wire with accent beads.

Here is a close up of the small circle pendants. When I sprinkle the enamel on the copper I have to make sure all the copper is out of the holes so the enamel doesn't fill the holes when I put it in the kiln. I actually use a dental pick that my grandpa used for detailed work.

Mom and I are really happy with the way the piece turned out. I am so glad we participated in Sally's Statement Challenge.

To see the other participants please click on the below list:

Sally Russick
Kim Dworak
Terri Gauthier
Elizabeth Bergesen
Karin Grosset Grange
Paula Kramer
Patti Vanderbloemen
Therese Frank
Beth McCord -You are Here
Niky Sayers 

If you can't view the participants please click here to go to Sally's blog.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February ABS Challenge - Mariposa

Amapolas, 1913
Illustration published in "News of Spring and Other Nature Studies
By Edward Julius Detmold
Watercolor, 208 by 124mm
Can you believe it? It has actually been a year since our last Art Bead Scene Challenge. It is great getting back into the groove of creating. I hope everything is behind us now and we can get back into making things for fun again!

So, mom drew up three butterfly patterns and we only got two of them sawed out. We then picked the one we both liked to make the pendant. As you can see the bigger one of the pendants is what we went with.

We are calling our piece Mariposa - no reason - except both mom and I dislike trying to come up with names for our pieces. I seriously give anyone a shout out on picking names for your pieces. Some pieces the name comes so easily but other pieces, "Mom, come up with a name!!!!"

The pendant was actually sawed out by me this time. We use 20 gauge copper, lay a pattern on it, saw it out, drill pilot holes to thread the saw blades through and then start sawing out each individual holes. Once the piece is sawed out - we file and sand to remove the rough edges. I then talk to mom about colors and once colors are picked out I enamel the pendant in a kiln.

I actually made specific beads for this piece but mom didn't care for all of the beads I made. So, we went through all of the other beads I made and pulled out the blue ones. Mom accented the lampwork glass beads with brass spacers and Jasper beads.

That is how the necklace came about. If you want to learn more about this month's challenge click here.

It has been so long since I have posted I guess I better go and read the instructions on what I need to do.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

30 Word Thursday: We are Elated!

Us last night
We are jubilant
Excited, happy, ecstatic
There are no words to
Explain how mom and I
Feel at this moment.
The house is gone, the
House is gone!
Happy Day!

The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog 
Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

To explain the feeling of happiness - this has been a one year and two month process for the house to go through a short sale process. From what I have learned, DON'T DO THIS WITH A BIG BANK!!! It takes less time to do a short sale with a smaller, local bank.

Mom and I were overjoyed when we left the title company yesterday. To celebrate we went to Indianapolis and bought two pairs of Danskos and ate at Red Robin.

We are each wearing a pair today.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ordinary Extraordinary Everyday Days 11 to 15

It is the last five day prompt from Sally for the mini-photo challenge - Ordinary Extraordinary Everday!

I had a lot of fun with these prompts and some of these really made me think about what I wanted to take a picture of - so THANK YOU so much Sally for the fun photo challenge!

So off we go:

Day 11 - Macro

A macro shot of a fire hydrant from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I go up there each year for their large art fair and while I am there I take pictures of the fire hydrants that are rusty and paint peeling. This one had water dripping down on it because it was being used for potable water.

Day 12 - Temptation

This is my temptation - I can live with out goodies, sweeties, etc. but a Pepsi is my downfall. As you can tell I had one yesterday. I need to get back on the band wagon of no sodas and eating right again.

Day 13 - Sweetness

This is one of my sweeties - he is such a mushmellow!

Day 14 - Love

I am starting back into my love - torching and making beads. I haven't made beads in a year and it has been great making them again. Oh how I forgot how much I love you torch!!!

Day 15 - Togetherness

Mom and me on the couch on her side of the house. During the winter I will sit with her a lot of the time. Either we are both playing on the phone or reading a book or just talking about nothing.

So - that is my photos for the mini-challenge. I hope you enjoyed the ride!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ordinary Extraordinary Everyday Mini Photo Challenge Days 6 to 10

It is the next time to post for days 6 to 10 of Ordinary Extraordinary Everyday, having fun taking pictures with prompts that Sally provided. 

So - we are off:

Day 1 - Minimal

This is my exercise mat from Tabata - we use minimum equipment during the 24 minutes of non-stop exercising. I LOVE IT!!! The cards you see in the upper right corner are the exercise cards Jill has for us that day. Though the first card always starts with a four minute plank.

Day 2 - Daily Chaos

This is my daily chaos - work. There are just some days there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. At least it keeps me busy!

Day 3 - Words

Words I look at everyday before I start work - there are jokes and some "Fred" reminders for me to keep in mind.

Day 4 - Night Time Calm

My night time calm - sitting on my comfy couch with my fur babies (Mishka on the left and Reville on the right).

Day 5 - Outside

I fudged on this one - I took this last weekend when it snowed. I came onto campus and walked around taking pictures. What I like on this picture is a student walking in front of the fountain with a blue umbrella. I didn't even notice the student until I got home and was going through the pics.

So - that was my five days of pictures. You can head over to Sally's blog and check out what everyone else took pics of.

Have fun!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ordinary Extraordinary Everyday Days 1 to 5

I am participating in Sally's Ordinary Extraordinary Everyday mini-challenge. Sally always has fun challenges plus I wanted something to get me and mom blogging again and I thought this was perfect.

Sally sent us prompts to help us take our pics for the next 15 days.  Our first five days were:

  • Reflection
  • Wrapping
  • Kitchen Ritual
  • Paper
  • Repetitive Pattern
So here goes (oh, I am going to do the first day as the last day because that is when I finally took that picture).

Day 2 - Wrapping:

The meaning of wrapping: paper or soft material used to cover or enclose someone or something.

I actually had a totally different photograph I wanted to use - but it was on my camera and I thought I moved it to my phone - and of course I didn't. I had a picture of the little hort park blanketed in snow waiting for spring and the flowers to bloom. Well - improvise, adapt and overcome - I had this picture from yesterday's 30 days and I thought it was perfect.

Day 3 - Kitchen Ritual

This is as close to a ritual I have in the kitchen :) Both mom and I LOATHE cooking - so this is as close to the kitchen I get. Plus I don't think I could survive without my coffee!!!

Day 4 - Paper

My friend and I are writing down at least one good thing that happens to use each day and putting that paper in a bucket I have on my desk at work. At the end of the year we plan on going back through these to see what good things happened to us.

Day 5 - Repetitive Pattern

I am trying to get back into knitting again - I love it - but just haven't' done it since forever. I don't know how much more repetitive you can get with knitting. It is so soothing and you really don't have to think about anything - which is really nice!

Day 1 - Reflection

This was actually hard for me - I didn't take this picture until last night. This was actually staring at me all the time but I just happened to walk around the rooms looking at pictures and said "DUH!!!" 

This is my all time favorite painting "Reflection". It is a man leaning against the Vietnam Memorial Wall with his hand against the wall and on the wall are the ghosts of his friends touching his hand.

So, that is it for the first week. I can't wait to see what the following days will bring.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

30 Words: Dormant

Lying dormant and blanketed in the snow,
Sleeping the cold winter away.
Waiting for the warmth of spring to awaken
And grow into something beautiful for

Us to enjoy again.

It snowed again yesterday - it was really interesting driving home - not my idea of fun. The news said there were a lot of slide offs and accidents. I don't think I drove over 30 mph - though some people were thinking it was a race - slow and steady wins the race I say!

So - this is my 30 Words this week. If you would like to join in just head on over to Erin's blog Treasure's Found and join in the fun.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

More Lampwork Beads and Purdue Snow Images

This weekend I worked on making more beads - just for the fun of it. Mom and I haven't decided if the beads will be for sale yet or use them for jewelry. At this point I don't mind because I am having too much fun!!!! It was also nice on Saturday - I think the garage actually got up to almost 60 degrees.

These are the beads I made on Saturday. There were two more of the larger beads but they broke in half - which I thought they might when I was making them. I wasn't keeping them in the flame like I should have.

Sorry - don't know why blogger flipped this. I really like how the square bead turned out - I think I am going to have to make up a set. I am still trying to get the larger bead down - still not happy with the way it looks. Though I like the color of the glass!

Love the blue - but it does change color on you - I have no idea how I got the darker blue to come out. I really need to be paying more attention :)

On Sunday morning I played with more beads - and finished off the large tank of oxygen while I was at it. Today I made up more of those blue beads and then I played with raku frit and making a new bead shape I haven't done in a long time.

The pile of beads I took out of the kiln Monday night - my beads from playing on Sunday.

I made up another set of 10 blue beads - and it looks like they all turned out to be the same color. No dark blue beads this time.

And I love how these came out - I am calling them Kuiper Belt Nuggets. I am using a black base with raku frit. I am trying a tutorial I found about raku - I am not really there with the color yet but I am getting close. I also like how the shapes turned out. Now I just need to clean them and see how they look.

It also snowed on Sunday - so after I was done making beads I decided to go over to campus to take some pictures of the buildings with snow. Unfortunately mom couldn't go yet because of her knee - I didn't want her to take the chance of falling - especially since she was to start back to work on Monday.

I love how this photo turned out - it is kind of hard to see the birds in the tree. It looks sort of spooky to me :)

There was also pops of color where you least expected it.

Bell Tower and HOVD
And some nice serene photos too.

So - I had a wonderful weekend playing and actually going outside when it was snowing. How was your weekend?
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