Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ornament Swap Blog Hop

Is everyone ready for the Holidays?  If not, maybe you will get in the spirit by hopping through the Blog Hop for the reveal of 31 lovely ornaments.
My ornament swap partner is Alice Peterson.  Get a cup fo coffee or the beverage of choice and enjoy.

My partner could not decide which ornament to send so I am very lucky, I received two!

a closer view

Now sit back and start hopping:

A thank you goes out to Sally, our wonderful host! I wish you all very Happy Holiday Season.      
List of Participants

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Jewelry Mojo is Back

I wanted to take a hiatus from book and paper making for a while and focus on jewelry.  I had a hard time getting started, especially after I lost my Southwest ring I made in Richad Salley class back in May.  To try and get the mojo back I signed up for Diane Cook's "Etched and Layered Cuffs" - an online workshop sponsored by Artful Gathering ( .  It did the trick.  I etched 4 brass bracelets and finished one, three more to go.  While the etching solution was out I etched some copper for earrings and 2 brass pieces (4x6) for book covers.  Can't wait to get back to all of them.  Too bad my real job gets in the way of having fun.  I just need to bite the bullet and actually retire so I can focus 24x7 on art and other important people in my life.  Back to the etching... here are some photos of the etched pieces and the finished bracelet.  Hope you like them as much as I do.  I also pasted photos in facebook:

 The finished pieces has a filigree and butterfly broach attached using cold connections.  The domed cuff is about 11/2" wide.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Photo Art Album

I finished a custom order for my handcrafted Photo Art Album.  I put a lot of time and heart into this album.  It will be given as a first anniversary gift for the my friends daughter and son-in-law.  To see photos go here:

I took pictures of the top of each page.  The bottom half is a mirror image of the background with an attached transparency with an archival 4x6 photo sleeve.  The covers are made from polymer clay with a leather spine, hand sewed signatures using Greek leather cord.  All pages are printed on matte photo paper with embellishments added after printing. 

Sneak peak:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Road Trip - Part 2: Oh Sanvannah

Oh Savannah – an exciting city with all the southern charm you can imagine.  We stayed in the heart of the Historic District.  We parked our car for three days and never needed to drive until the day we departed.  We over looked River Street and the waterfront.  This is a real walking city and walk we did.  We also took advantage of the city tour narrated by certified historians, some dressed in costume.  It was especially nice since you could get off and on whenever.  This city has lots of history, 22 park-like squares which you maneuver around like a round-about.  One of the squares, Chippewa, is where Forrest Gump’s bench was located.  The bench has since been moved to the museum of history in the Visitor Center.  I had Brian, hubby, sit on a bench in this park and named it Brian “Gump” bench.  This is also considered a movie city, where more than 20 major movies where shot in or near Savannah.  Some of these movies are: Cape Fear, The Last Song, Forrest Gump and the famous Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

We experienced the horse drawn carriage and Paula Deen’s (really more hype than good food – service was terrible and the food not so good) restaurant. This is also a city where you can carry alcoholic beverages as you stroll or walk, as long as it is in a plastic cup.  (sip as you stroll).  Reminded me of Bourbon Street.

The cemeteries were interesting, especially Colonial Cemetery, where you can see where some lived over 100 years or died before they were born.  This was caused by the Union troops during the Civil War who occupied this place and re-carved dates in the tombstones.   Tombstone rubbings are against the law, I’m glad I asked before I did any rubbings.  The most beautiful cemetery is the “Bonaventure Cemetery”.  It truly is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  It is the cemetery where one of the famous scenes in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was filmed.  The famous statue has been moved to a museum and the city banned alcoholic beverages in the cemetery since the movie.  Story goes too many were coming to the cemetery to sip martini’s and picnic (scene from the movie).  What I learned, and so glad we booked a tour guide, was the carvings of many of the tombstones all have meanings.  It was all so fascinating I had to buy a book from B&N on the meanings.  Johnny Mercer, and family members are buried in this cemetery.  If you visit Savannah you definitely want to visit this cemetery.

Other than Paula Deen’s, we had excellent dining experience.  Savannah has many wonderful restaurants to choose from.  Did I mention Leopold's Ice Cream Parlor - heavenly - all homemade on site. Not to be outdone by the best pralines ever - better than New Orlean's.

There is so much to take in and we did quite a bit in 2 ½ days.  Loved every minute!  I would go back in a heart beat.  Any takers?  My bags are packed.
Bonaventure Cemetery pics will be the next post.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Road Trip Part 1

It was a wonderful 10 days.  It all started with a wedding invitation taking place Memorial Day weekend in Durham, N.C.  Well, I could not pass up the opportunity to first go to Raleigh (next door to Durham) to check on our Townhouse, proceed to Durham for the wedding, then on to Charleston to see number 1 son (one and only) and then to Savannah.  The weather was perfect for the entire trip.  We missed all the rain from hurricane Burl – we were always one step ahead of it.

The wedding ceremony took place in Duke Gardens.  It was a short ceremony, which everyone was thankful for since it was very hot.  The ladies were all given a parasol and everyone received a fan.  The fan contained the directions to the reception plus a Sudoku game to keep you occupied prior to the ceremony.  Duke Gardens is a beautiful place and if you are ever in the area you really should stop in – it’s free.  The bride was beautiful, along with her dress.  The reception was not like one I have attended before.  Besides the normal, buffet and band, no cake (bride does not like cake), there were arcade machines, casino tables and a photo booth.  It was actually a lot of fun.  We had a great time.

Off to Charleston (actually Goose Creek).  We spent 4 wonderful days with son, his girlfriend and friends.  Good friends of ours were also at the wedding and have a daughter who lives in the Charleston as well.  They rented a beach house for the week for a family reunion on Folly Island.  We went to Folly Island for an afternoon – I was not planning on going into the water so I did not arrive prepared for the beach other than a swimsuit and towel.  I managed to get sunburned (ouch), but the walks on the beach (my favorite thing to do) were wonderful and the water was quite warm.   It was so relaxing, I swear I could live on the beach, but my husband does not want to so I will settle for living on a lake in the mountains (we both love the mountains); the best of both worlds for me.  Dream, dream and more dreaming.  I will say there is no lack of restaurants in Charleston.  They are all good.  The charm of the area and the history, they seem to have it all, until we went to Savannah.  [I am saving a separate post dedicated to Savannah]  Besides good food eating out, we went on a sunset sailing trip from the Charleston harbor.  Another one of my favorite things to do, sailing.  When I lived in Milwaukee we used to go sailing on Lake Michigan and then when I moved to Maryland, co-workers owned a 40ft sail boat, so we would sail with them on the Chesapeake Bay.  Ahh the memories.  Sorry, side tracked again.  Back to Charleston – one day we walked down the waterfront and in some parts of the historic area and found several nice watering holes for a beer or drink – again it was hot and hotter.  My son had his walking GPS going so when I said it was time for beverages he knew exactly were to take us.  First we went to the Spilado Arts festival.  The art was only fine art paintings and very expensive.  I swear I under price my work after seeing these.  Don’t get me wrong – they were all very good, but had price tags of $800 and into the thousands.  We then went to a rooftop bar and restaurant where you can see the harbor and a lot of Charleston.  Good place for a quick lunch and drinks.  My husband and son asked what kind of beer they had and were instructed to look at the shelf which was lined with beer cans.  So they picked one they never had before, Tasmania only to be told after the order was taken the bartender said they no longer carry that beer, so they picked a second choice, again ordered and the waitress comes back saying they no longer carry that beer.  At this point I started laughing and they asked “so what beer do you carry?” since looking at the shelf, as instructed, does not seem to work, they settled for a local beer brewed in Charleston.

Flowers - "saucer" Magnolia

Art from Spilado Art Festival




Gotta love a man in uniform!
Then we went to Savannah – a place I have always wanted to visit – for 3 days.  It is beautiful, historic and has lots of charm.  Plus, many movies have been filmed their, the most famous is “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.  I will have a separate post on Savannah – Road Trip Part 2.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Wow, it has been a long time since my last post.   The only excuse (lame one I must say) is work and life sometimes take precedent over everything else.  My last post said I was off to Art and Soul.  I went and took wonderful classes and reunited with my fellow tribe ladies.  Since then I have made some new art which I have posted on facebook and need to post here as well.  But not today - later.  The past few weeks I have been busy hand crafting new journals and mixed media art -  all for showing at Artomatic DC.
I'm excited to announce that I will be showcasing my work at Artomatic, the DC area's biggest arts festival. Artomatic runs from May 18 - June 23 at 1851 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA. It features 10 floors of art by more than 1,000 artists: Visual art, music, performance, film, fashion, and more. Workshops, tours, seminars and other events are held all month long.

My work will feature mixed media pieces and handcrafted journals/books.  I am located on the 3rd floor.

I hope you can visit me at Artomatic and share in this exciting event. I will be there May 18, May 23rd, June 16, and June 23, but you can feel free to visit the exhibit any time.

Below is a flyer for my space at Artomatic.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Off to Art and Soul - Virginia Beach

I depart tomorrow morning after an hour at the 'ol gym to workout.  Looking forward to a great week of new classes.  I have a mixture of mixed media and jewelry.  I am so looking forwards to seeing friends, drinking wine and laughing until we pee in our pants!  My fellow Tribes women are the best!

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Art work

Where has February gone - only a few more days left.  Well maybe more than a few, but for me it's over.  Next Wednesday I leave for Art and Soul.  I am so looking forward to seeing my other Tribe members; oh and the classes as well. 

I finished two pieces of Artwork this month. 

This piece was for Donna Downey's Canvas Create 2012 for February.  I used DAP for the textured background rather than molding paste.

This weekend I need to pack my supplies for Art & Soul, Virginia Beach.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

January doings combined w/Feb

It has been a long time since I posted.  I just do not seem to find interesting things to blog about.  January was a slow month for me with getting back to work after the holidays and not really interested in art or jewelry.  But then some new online classes begun and that was the push I needed to get motivated.  I only completed one project from the online classes which is one more than I usually complete.  It was a painting from Donna Downey's Create Canvas 2012 monthly workshop.  What I like about this workshop it is only once a month and one project to create.   Here is my paining for January:
Oh by the way - I sold it!  How cool is that.  I posted it on facebook and a friend of mine saw it and wanted it.  Also in January I learned how to make a humikimo braid - so hence two necklaces was the outcome from that experience.  Here they are (not the greatest pictures).

And one last project for January:  A small handcrafted journal.  I just love the texture on it.  I used a product I purchased last fall called Kroma Chrome.  I am so in love with this product! 

That's it for January - what have you been up to?

Now on to February.

We did have a small snow fall.  I hate to admit this, but I am missing a good snowstorm for this winter, but I know winter isn't over yet.  Here are some pics from my deck on the last snow fall.

I also have been working on two projects - one is almost complete.  Here are the backgrounds:

The one on the left is almost finished - here is a peek:

Let me know what you think.  I call this Key to my Heart.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Car

Last Friday, Friday the 13th, I joined the world of hybrids and purchased a brand new spanking Prius IV.  I'm glad I am not superstitious - I had a fleeting thought whether I should actually buy it or wait until the next day.  Naw - I didn't.  My intention was to just test drive it - yeah right.  I am excited about the gas mileage I am suppose to get considering the news reports keep saying gas prices will be going up.  It is almost 1 week old and I am still lovin' it. I hardly miss my Lexus SUV.  My first long trip will be to Art & Soul - Virginia Beach here I come.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Goals and word for 2012

I am not one for making resolutions since I can rarely keep them.  This year I want to reach "for the stars" as the saying goes and reach out to others.  I want to take my art business to the next level and to discover, by trial and error, new ways to add to my own techniques data base and share this with the art community.  My word for 2012 is reach.  I want to push my self beyond what I think I am capable of and reach out to others whether this be in the world of art or just helping others in need.

My second goal is to finish, yes FINISH, all my unfinished projects, which there are many.  I have books to hand bind and many pieces of jewelry to finish in all areas; beading, PMC and metalsmith items to name a few.

I also have a third, to actually complete a project in at least one on-line class I have signed up for!  This will be a challenge.

How well are you at completing your goals?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Catching up and saying Good Bye to 2011

It has been a whirl wind December right through Christmas Day. (I always take the last 2 weeks off in December.)  We celebrate Christmas with my husbands daughters and their families on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day is suppose to be a very relaxing day for us, sleep in, open presents, have our signature breakfast followed by a movie and then just relax and do nothing.  This year we skipped the "just relax" part.  We were invited to a friends for dinner and hoopla, so after the movie we went directly to my friends home.  Lots of people were there, food was great and the games were fun.  The following day and the remainder of the week I pretty much did nothing but relax, read a book, picked and choose what to do around the house.  I did absolutely no art work, no jewelry making, no book making, no paper design, just pretty much nothing to write about anyway.  It felt good.  Maybe I needed this break!  I could get very used to retirement and this life style.  Maybe 2012 will be the year.  I decided I will know when it is time.  I told my husband he would be the first to know, then my employer and then my financial advisor, who has said for the past 2 years I am good to go.  I am back at work and still pondering how nice it was to do nothing for a whole week!

Now to catch up.  Below are pictures of the finished gingerbread houses my husband's grandchildren decorated.  They were not as elaborate as in the past but a good job was done by all.  I had trouble with the first batch of royal icing, which did cause some problems at first, but was soon corrected.  I believe the youngest grandchild ate more icing and candy while decorating than he put on his house.  LOL

In process....

The girls finished houses.

The boys finished houses.

Every year I make caramel chocolate pretzel rods and caramel triple dipped chocolate apples.  I made 14 dozen pretzel rods, plus a bag of gluten free pretzel twists.  First the rods are dipped and coated in caramel, then dipped and coated in chocolate then rolled in either sprinkles, nuts, peppermint, heath bar or peanut butter cups.  Yum yum.  The apples are dipped and coated in caramel, dipped in milk chocolate, dipped in dark chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate.  I had a hard time fining very large apples this year but one of the local grocery stores finally came through.  After all this making and packaging I only took pictures of the pretzels and not the apples and did not make any for myself.  Such restraint.  Over the years friends who receive these are now indicating which coating they prefer on the pretzels.  I have to keep a list of who likes what and what not.  I chuckle every year over this.

Wishing everyone a prosperous and healthy 2012! 

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us."   ~Ralph Waldo Emerson