Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July Theme Challenge: Flowers

Photo by my nephew Skyler.
It is that time again - the reveal for the Art Elements monthly theme - Flowers.

Mom and I LOVE flowers. If you are friends on Facebook with mom - then you know she loves to post pictures of the flowers from her gardens.

We also love going to a little hort park located near where I work. We have thousands of photos of flowers from that little park. We have even put some of those flower photos on metal prints.

Mom and I love to make flower plates, bowls, pendants and jewelry. I have pictures posted on Flickr, Pinterest and our EB Facebook page. I have been a little lax on posting pictures and I also need to make sure all the photos are out on all of the sites.

Grandma showing Skyler how to saw. I also had Skyler help me enamel.
This past month mom and I have had my niece and nephew for a visit. My niece was able to stay two weeks before she had to get back to work and we have had my nephew for a little over three weeks. We only get to see the kids once a year (they live in Oklahoma) and we only maybe able to see them two more years before they start college. So, we are trying to enjoy as much time with them as we possibly can. If you follow me on Instagram - you can see some of things we did while the kids were here.

So - we didn't fully complete the piece for this month's theme.

The piece is ready to be strung - but we actually have a few more enameled pendants we want to add in. I didn't get them enameled - so waiting on those to be completed.

Mom found the pattern for a sunflower and she sawed it out. I know I took pictures of her sawing out the piece, but now I can't find those pictures (sorry!).

Mom then wanted to form the pendant. I have a dapping block I bought a year ago, but haven't done anything with. I haven't domed anything for over 10 years, so I need to watch some YouTube videos - but mom just winged it.

Mom did a really good job of winging it :)

Once she was done with that - it was onto enameling (after mom found the image she used so I knew what colors she wanted the pendant to be).

Before going into the kiln

After being taken out of the kiln
Here is the final look at the sunflower pendant.

And these are the smaller pendants that mom is sawing out to add to the necklace and also make a bracelet from.

Mom sawing out the little suckers that I will have
fun enameling

Mom finishing up the filing and sanding

Completed pendants that need to be enameled
A look of the beads we are using in the necklace:

We are using some of our lampwork glass beads, with pearls in between the beads and I think we are adding some seed beads too.

Thanks for sticking it out with me until the end.

Now it is off to see what everyone else has created. Here is the list of those participating:

Here is a list of our Visiting Artists:
Evie and Beth - you are here

And our Art Elements Blog Contributors:

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Plastic, Plastic, Plastic Everywhere You Look - Trying to Change That in My Life

This is a picture of my shower - lots and lots of plastic. I don't know why it took a 2x4 to hit me upside the head to see this. I can't believe how much plastic has invaded my life. I know I didn't always use plastic - what the heck happened. I know - convenience.

I am trying to change this.

Produce Bags

Grocery Bags
Mom and I do use recycle bags and produce bags when we grocery shop, but there is still soooooo much plastic in the store. We also use biodegradable trash bags, stainless steel straws, glass jars for water, glass containers for leftover foods. But I still want to make more changes.

In our area a new grocery store opened - we walked into the store on Sunday and it was a sea of plastic. There was a lot of produce that was not in plastic. I did go to the cheese and meat counter to ask if I brought in my own containers will they put the food in there. They said yes, so that can help out. And they do have some bulk items you can put in your containers - but they still had plastic tubs for peanut butter and plastic bags for the bulk items.

I crocheted this soap keeper sack
At our last show, the end of June, I did buy handmade soap. All fresh ingredients, but they package it in plastic. This past Saturday I went to our local market and there was a woman who made her own soap. It was at least wrapped in one piece of cardboard with her shop name. So, I think I will buy from her.

I want to get away from my loofah - still trying to remember when I started using it. I think I bought my first one from Bath and Body in the mid-90s. So, I found a YouTube video on how to crochet a soap sack. She did a very good job and I crocheted my first one.

The soap by a local woman. Smells divine.

I love how it turned out. I have got rid of my plastic loofah and I am now using this soap sack and I just crocheted a washcloth last night. I found another YouTube video and followed it.

I loved how it turned out. I was not able to use it yet because a co-worker wanted to see it today at work. She would like me to teach her how to crochet dish cloths/wash cloths for her to give as gifts. So, when I get back from vacation we are going to meet at lunch so I can show her how to crochet these.

I did find a couple of YouTube videos on how to crochet a loofah. I think I am going to give that a try tonight. I will post how well it worked when I finish.

This past weekend I also spent a lot of time on Etsy looking for handmade shampoo bars, deodorant, makeup and toothpaste. I was looking for bamboo toothbrushes, but didn't find a lot made in the United States - most were made in the United Kingdom or Canada.

I have ordered shampoo bars, foundation and powder, toothpaste, deodorant from several Etsy stores. They all should be arriving this week. I will let you know how they all worked out. The one thing I am worried about the shampoo bars is the pink in my hair. I tried to find bars that were for color treated hair.

I also looked for Etsy stores that used all natural resources and did not use plastic in shipping. Those were my big things for searching.

Once I receive everything I plan on documenting how they arrived and how well they work. And will let you know if I will buy them again from those sellers.

I have also joined a Facebook groups for plastic free: 1 Million Women, Plastic-Free July Support Group, and Zero Waste Cartel. There are really some good ideas on these Facebook groups.

I think the next thing I am going to look for are bamboo toothbrushes, biodegradable tampons, reusable razors. Though the razors scare me - I am really good at cutting myself when shaving.

If you have any good ideas about recycling, buying non-plastic, or already have things you use and love - please let me know. I really want to do better in my life!

Thanks for sticking around for my rant.
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