Friday, August 5, 2016

A Lot to Catch Up On

First fun thing:

Brian and I in the back
Kaitlyn, mom and Skyler
We had the kids starting the last week of June and the first week of July. They are getting so big - and they are teenagers. When did that happen????

We did our annual All Fired Up the first day we had them at home. I really hope the kids don't get to big to stop doing this. I think it is a lot of fun and I actually think Skyler likes it too - though he pretends he doesn't.

One weekend we went up to Wisconsin Dells and stayed for three days. We were at the Wilderness Resort and there sure was a lot to do. This day we did three different putt putt courses. And I actually got a picture of the kids without them hiding.

I think we wore Kaitlyn out this night - because she stayed in the room to sleep. So mom, Skyler and I went out to have fun. Mom and I rode the Go Karts, did lazer maze and then played lazer tag - which was a blast. Skyler was actually smiling and laughing a few times.

Mom couldn't do this - so I did the Zipline with Kaitlyn. I was a little worried at first - but after the first line it was a lot of fun. I told Kaitlyn if she wants to do it again next year I would do it with her.

I think the only thing Skyler really wanted to do was learn how to shoot. We have an indoor range near where we live - so mom called to set up a session for someone to teach Skyler all the basics. How to properly shoot the weapon, weapon safety, and how to clean the weapon. Dang, that boy had some tight shot groups - I was really impressed. I am sure grandma was in ecstatic - she used to be on the rifle team when she was a kid. So, it was nice that her and Skyler could do this together.

I had to share this picture because we almost got Skyler to smile in a pic. They are both such cuties - but I am sure they don't like to hear that from their Aunt Beth.

And the last picture - the day my brother came and got the kids. It was a whirl wind two weeks - but I loved every minute of it!

Second fun thing:

My friend Lisa and I went up to Ann Arbor this year (didn't have a chance to make it last year). It was great to be there again - but HOT, HOT, HOT. There were a lot of new artists and only so much money I could spend (I actually stayed in budget - only went over by $5).

And of course the fire hydrants. I took as many pics of the fire hydrants as I could because I noticed that they have started painting the hydrants red - two of my favorite fire hydrants were re-painted. I was so not happy - how dare they paint my fire hydrants :)

Third Fun Thing:

Mom and I were asked to be the feature artist this year at the Monticello, Broadway Art Show. It was a great honor. They let us set up some of our things in the display case, in the library. The window is in the main hallway as people come in - they get to see our stuff.

We were also asked to do a morning interview at our local TV station. I said sure, of course I know mom wasn't happy about it - but I thought what a great opportunity to show off some of our work.

It was also interesting to see how the morning news is put on.

Here is the link to the actual interview
There could only be two of us doing the interview, so mom was off to the side watching. I am at the end and Monica, the person in charge of the show, is in the middle. I talked for about 20 seconds and then let Monica do the rest of the talking. Mom said I did really good - because I was not going to watch myself on TV!

Fourth Fun Thing:
Because of the kids being here, me going to Ann Arbor, and then doing inventory for the show - there really hasn't been time to make things. But, the night before the show I got an overwhelming itch to create bracelets (I usually don't like creating bracelets because they are so hard for us). I think all of them turned out great.

"Be the Change" polymer clay from Swoon Dimples, our lampwork
glass beads and accent beads.

Jasper, our lampwork glass beads, and accent beads.

Fire Agate, our lampwork beads and accent beads.

Our enameled lotus cuff, our lampwork glass beads and moonstone.

Smoky Quartz, our lampwork glass beads, accent beads and the closure
is a button
Last fun thing:

I think the Broadway show was a great success. This is our booth set up before the show started.

A picture of mom and me before the show actually started.

My favorite metal print "Dandelion" sold. And then we were contacted by the customer asking if she could purchase two more of those prints - so mom and I were really excited!

Our big statement piece - Vortex - also sold. Mom and I were sad it was sold - but really happy that the necklace is going to a good home :)

Mom and I are also working on making up more Viking Knit chain. We also had a special order of Viking Knit chain for a customer who bought our enameled copper dragon pendant. She would like the pendant to be attached to the Viking Knit. So, excited!

Now - mom and I need to get the garage in order so we can start working on making more stuff. I have five pendants ready to enamel. Mom is working on a plate that needs to be enameled and I can't wait to share with you when it is done. We also have five trays of things in various states of completion - so need to finish those too. Also, we have ice cub trays filled with lampwork bead pairs that need to be made into earrings. So, lots to do.

We also submitted our application for a new show that is in the Indianapolis area - so we hope to expand into a new location. I am not sure when we will find out if we are accepted - they jury group is supposed to meet today.

So, our next show will be the end of September - Art on the Wabash. So, need to create, create, create.

I will share pics once we get things made up.

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Wood Floor and New Etsy Listings

The new wood floor - so nice not to have hills in the floor now
This past week mom and I had new wood floors put down in the living room and two hallways. A little over a month ago our water heater decided to spring a leak and water went everywhere. We thought we got it mopped up and fans going pretty fast - but it went into the hallway and damaged our wood floors. So, insurance was called, a run to Home Depot to figure out the wood floor color we wanted and then waited for the delivery and install.

While waiting for the call for the install - we had to move all the furniture out of the living room - and that meant unloading the Shrank (this is a solid German wall unit mom bought when we were living in Germany). Mom had it filled with all of our glass work we have purchased over the years, old photo albums, vinyl records, VCR tapes and DVDs. That was fun to unload. We then broke down and asked a good friend of ours if he could help us move it. I really don't think he will volunteer for anything ever again :)

Lily watching the fan
This past Tuesday the guys, who would lay the floor, came to the house - and of course after they pulled up the floor there were issues. So, there was some major clean up and then mom bought bleach and cleaned up the floor. So, on Wednesday they came back and laid the floors.

On Sunday our friend (yes, he came back) helped move the Shrank back into the house. Once it was in mom and I had to put it back together again - and boy was that fun. We will start putting the pretties back in this week - because it has to get done before we pick up my niece and nephew this Saturday for a two week visit. We really need to get the TV back in place so they can play the Wii.

Other fun things happening - our new George Burns rose bush (my other George Burns finally died) is blooming. Both mom and I were so excited to see the first bloom open up. Now he has about 10 blooms opened up and they smell so good.

After almost eight years of doing craft and art shows - mom and I finally bought a banner. Both of us are so happy with the way it turned out. LOVE IT!

On Sunday - while mom was cleaning - I was taking pictures of the metal prints that arrived on Saturday. I had to go on a scavenger hunt for the box - it said it was delivered but there wasn't a box on the front porch. So, went up and down our street until I found the box on our neighbor's porch. At least it got me outside to walk around - but there was a slight panic there for awhile.

Here is what got posted on Etsy:

Bee on Flower

Butterfly on Flower
Dandelion - for military children - this is my favorite image
since I was an Army brat for 12 years
Macro shot of a fire hydrant in Michigan
Macro shot of a fire hydrant in Michigan
Macro shot of a fire hydrant in Michigan
I hope you all had a great weekend - and a great start to the summer!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Flower Friday

Clematis in our front yard
I thought it would be fun to do a flower Friday - since mom and I have lots and lots and lots of flower photos.

Rose bush near our front door - her name is Gracie to go with George (who is
not blooming yet)
I have to say - I think spring is my favorite time of year. I love all the different flowers that are blooming and I am actually getting pretty good at naming them. I have even surprised mom a time or two with the name of the flowers that she didn't even know.

Peony - I had no idea that some of them had a pink center
I think this year my favorite flowers are the peony flowers that have been blooming over at the little hort park. They are just gorgeous!

And of course the daisy - such a simple flower - but can be so beautiful!

And I am finishing it off with one more peony. Of course they are now done for the year which makes me sad but at least I have something to look forward to next spring.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Busy and Productive Weekend

This past Saturday was the Round the Fountain Art Fair, which mom and I have gone to each year since I have been home. This year we bought four more metal sculptures to put in the area between my extension and the main house. This is our metal art area.

A hummingbird smelling a flower

A woodpecker

Two birds sitting on a plate

Two owls
Once we were done shopping it was time to work in the garage and finish up sawing, filing and sanding the special order leaf that was requested by a customer on Etsy.

While mom was filing and sanding the leaf pendants - I was working on sawing out a lot of pendants. If you haven't been able to tell - I HATE file and sanding. I love my mom because she does that for us - she is beyond awesome. She has some mad sawing skills and she is nice enough to do the stuff I hate :)

Here is mom filing and sanding a large leaf bowl. Once she is done with the sanding - I will heat it up so she can pound the copper into shape.

These are all the leaf pendants that she got filed and sanded. They are just waiting to go into the kiln.

Link to the YouTube video
The above is a link to the YouTube video I posted of mom pounding the copper into shape. Mom is very particular on the feel of the bowl. She will pound the copper for awhile and then hold it in her hand to see if she likes the feel of the bowl. She will continue to do this until she gets it perfect.

On Sunday I worked on enameling the leaf pendants and bowl. For three of the leaf pendants I used the colors the customer requested and the other three leaf pendants I played and experimented with color.

While I was enameling I had to kick mom out of her usual spot. So, she had to move over to where I usually work. Each of us have a different working style and we have to have our spots set up in a specific way. Yes, we are weird and I freely admit it.

So, mom worked on filing and sanding the pendants I sawed out. Next weekend I will enamel them and hopefully have pictures to share with you.

Mom also finished sawing out the eagle. Now it has to be filed and sanded and then we talk about what colors we will use to enamel it.

This is our lovely kiln going hot and heavy. You can sort of see the leaf pendant sitting on the trivet.

And here are the finished pieces after they have cooled off and ready for pictures.

So, Monday was picture taking day. I really love this new lightbox set up that we put together last month.

After pictures were taken - it was time to edit those pictures. I use Picmonkey - and about all I use on it is the crop and resize of the images.

So, I got all the pendants listed into our Etsy store - and shared the images with the customer who got us started on the leaf pendants. She picked the leaf she wanted and I listed the rest.

SOLD - Green Leaf Pendant
Dark Green Leaf Pendant
Yellow and Green Leaf Pendant
Pink Leaf Pendant

Red Leaf Pendant

Yellow Leaf Pendant
So, that was our weekend. Just a little bit busy - oh and plus mom worked in the yard a little bit on Sunday - along with all the filing and sanding. And yes, she is glutton for punishment. Believe me if I had known what she was up to - there would have been much yelling going on. Sometimes I wonder who is the mother and child :)
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