Thursday, July 31, 2008

My latest project with Carla . . .

Well, I finally took some pictures of my latest clay creation with Carla. This is my prayer altar box that I worked so long and hard on and now sits proudly on my mantle. There are a couple of cool things about this project. It has a removable lid and the view inside (all though a bit blurred in my photo of it!), is very interesting. The inside is glazed and the drawer that slides into the piece contrasts very well with the black interior. The other feature I like is the shrine placed into the piece on the bottom. The removable drawer was a real challenge, but I love the face on the back wall of the inside and the word "serendipity" on the drawer front. The box measures 14" x 6".

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am experimenting here today. I was surprised when I returned from my mom's to find out that I had been selected to receive a blog award from this nice lady. I am new to the blog world and have not received such an honor before, so I am trying to follow the directions to get my links in where they are suppose to go. Hope this is going to turn out the way I want it to!
I need to nominate other people for this award so here is my list of people who inspire me.
1. Leslie at La Fourchette S'est Emballee she will make your mouth water and your eyes happy while she shares her experience in France with us.
2. Deryn at Something Sublime who inspires us all with her jewelry creations and fun jewelry challenge this summer.
3. Liz at Be present, be here a grounding soul who always makes me feel happy that I have checked out her blog.
4. Andrea at The Artful Eye a very accomplished artist whom I am always happy to see in a class we may be taking together.
5. Katie at Joyously Becoming a very talented artist who's work inspires me on a deep level.
6. DJ at DJ Pettitt a very sharing and wonderful artist who posts very faithfully to her blog.
7. Joanna at Moss Hill a very inspirational spirit and artist whose creations touch my heart.

So with a humble heart I thank Molly for nominating me for this blog award and encourage you to visit with the very talented women I have linked for you above. I hope they will appreciate how much pleasure they have given to us by sharing on their blogs. If you have been nominated and would like to pass on this award, please add the logo to your blog. Link back to the person who has nominated you. Nominate seven other worthy receipents. Add links to their blogs and then leave a message for them to let them know. Enjoy passing along the good feelings!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm back in the land of blogs!

I am home and back to blog posting! I spent last week with my mom. She was in a bad car accident earlier this year, but now seems to be fully recovered and up to her old tricks. A big relief for me! Mom doesn't have internet access so it's always a step out of the mainstream when I go to her house. I don't mind, it is actually a great way for me to slow down and unwind. I had hoped to have some jewelry pieces to show you for the jewelry challenge, but J. has been home all this week and it hasn't afforded me the time I have wanted to play. He will be back at work on Thursday, so maybe by Thursday night or Friday?
I went to the Quilt Show in Long Beach on Friday and it was excellent! The vendors and the art were almost overwhelming, but so cool to see! I picked up a few things to play with, hopefully to be pictured in future postings. One of the highlights was to get to meet Beryl Taylor and watch her create some of her material paper. There was also some of her original art from her book and and it was a treat to see it in person. The art quilts were fabulous and made me want to just sit at my machine all day and play with fibers and material. So little time and so many projects!
Today I picked up the newest issue of Somerset Studio's Artful Blogging magazine, and it is as good as the first two issues. I love that publication. In fact, I was driving to the store to buy it when the earthquake hit just before noon today. I didn't feel a thing, but plenty of other people with their feet on the ground did! I have already sat down with the magazine and gone cover to cover looking at the pictures, but now I want get a cup of tea and actually read the articles. The fun thing to do after that is to go check out all these new blogs I haven't been to before.
It's so good to be back. I leave you with this thought. Do something fun for yourself today. It may just be 15 minutes to paint with one of your favorite colors, or to write a poem, or to watch the birds at the feeder in the backyard. But do take the time to do something just for you today. You'll be the richer for it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wow, this week went by fast!

Boy, this week was a bit busier than usual for me! Funny how I've gotten use to life in the slower lane! Some fun stuff happened this week. I was able to get my prayer box glazed and it now sits proudly upon the mantle at home. I am happy with it, and I'm very grateful to Carla for being so patient with me in making it. Friday was a great day of show and tell with two local artists and lunch on the veranda, an excellent day! I am super excited about plans being made for a workshop in August with DJ Pettitt and Lorri Scott in Santa Cruz! A girl's road trip with the express purpose of having fun and making art!!! Speaking of road trips, I am going to visit with my mom this week and will be checking back in with you guys at the end of the week. Just in time for the Quilt Show in Long Beach on Friday!! I am hoping the following week to pick up with next projects in the jewelry challenge. Did I mention I had a great group of women in the PMC class I taught today? We all had fun and created some very cool pieces! So until the end of the week, I'll leave you with this thought, "Your miracles are an inside job. Go there to create the magic you seek in your life."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What a cute kitty!

This picture makes me smile:) This is the little kitty who came to our front door crying one night earlier this year and decided to stay. We named her Gwendolyn, I affectionately call her Gwennie. She is very loving and is a much loved part of our family. One of the sources of pleasure for me in my day is to watch the birds at the bird feeders in my back yard. I don't think Gwen gets it that we won't get to see the birds if she continues to have a front row seat to the show.
This has been a very nice relaxing weekend. I had a girls day of art and lunch on Friday. What a great day with two cool ladies. Yesterday was spent watching movies with my honey and doing some knitting. Today was kind of a repeat of Saturday - no complaints from me! I have been looking through LK Ludwig's new book, True Vision and it is making me itch to get into some art journaling. Something I have a big interest in, but have not taken the time to get my hands dirty with yet. Perhaps this week . . .
Okay, keeping it short for today, just checking to say hi.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Inspired by project 3

Today I am posting a couple of the pieces I was inspired to make from the third project in our jewelry challenge with Deryn. I loved the design of the third project although it is a bigger piece of jewelry than I am comfortable wearing. I loved the concept and thought if I could scale it down a bit it would be a great design to play with. I am a certified PMC instructor and have many pieces of silver generated from demonstrating in classes. I wondered about adding some of these pieces to the shelf design and I am pretty happy with the results! I think some of my friends may just be looking at one of their Christmas presents here!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This has been way too much fun . . .

Okay, here is the 4th project from Mary's book for Deryn's challenge. This one was so fun and easy, I had to make two at the same time! Haven't we already recognized that these make a great earring design, too? Every time I make one of the pieces in this challenge, it becomes my favorite piece! I am really having fun with this, thank you Deryn! I love wearing the pieces I have made, and I always get a compliment on them. Both of these pieces were made with etched copper On one of them I did a heat patina on the brass and on the other one I stamped random letters on to the brass. Again, I love that the pieces in Mary's book have such great movement, it makes wearing them very fun. Don't you just love making the little balls on the end of the wire and turning it pink? I have also branched out on the third project design, and will post some of those results later this week. I am now contemplating the pod project and can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. If I were 10 and had to write a paper when school starts in the fall about what I did on my summer vacation, this would be one of the best things I would write about!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America

I always love a birthday celebration! Today we say happy birthday to America. We will be celebrating in our quiet little corner of the world with a BBQ of ribs and chix wings, potato salad, corn on the cob and popsicles! If we are lucky we will be able to see the fireworks they shoot off the end of the pier from our backyard. We are being lazy, watching movies, reading, blog lurking and enjoying life in the slow lane.
The picture I am posting today is my project from Laurie Mika's class a few weeks ago. I really liked working on this piece. It measures 8"x8" and one of my favorite things in it is the little girl who is made from ceramic clay and has "be yourself" stamped on her. I find working on these polymer tiles very relaxing and it is easy to get into a zone, stamping, painting, and thinking about what you want to do with them. It helps to have a stash of tiles made when you go to put a piece together, so doing a bunch in advance is a good idea. It's one of those projects that doesn't have a right or wrong to it so it feels very playful when you are engaged in it. I highly recommend Laurie's book Mixed_Media Mosaics. It is very well written, lots of pictures, excellent instruction and very inspirational. It's one of the best art books I have seen in awhile.
I have been working on several more jewelry pieces, to be posted later this weekend. I have been having fun with them and I am wearing one of project four pieces as I type! So today, remember take pause, think about what it means to you to be an American. If you are not liking what you think about, then think about what you can do to help make it be the America you want it to be.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Here's number three . . .

Today was such a good day. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, just a perfect day in Southern California. I finished up my third project for Deryn's jewelry challenge, and I think so far, this has been my favorite piece. I am already thinking of some variations I want to do on this one (lucky for my mom and friends!). I am really grateful to Deryn for putting this challenge out there. I probably would have sat with this book for a long time and maybe only done one or two of the projects, even though I love looking at it. The projects are all doable and I am using beads I have had for years. It is making me look at my large collection of other books with new eyes and enthusiasm!