Thursday, April 20

Craft Projects Overtake Murfreesboro Woman's Home

Well that is what you would think if you were to drop by. There is a big queen size quilt on the long arm. A sketch pad color pencils on the kitchen table and a canvas on the stand in the garage. There is fabric on the regular machine too for a new shower curtain. So to say the least I have plenty going on. I just came in from digging in the yard. The front flower bed was over crowed and several of the small bushes had died so I've started working on that a little bit at a time. At this current rate it may take me till the end of May to get it all done, but it will get done. 

The big quilt is taking longer than I had expected. I am over half done then the binding - not really looking forward to that part. This is the biggest quilt I've ever quilted. 


I really enjoyed this Easter. The Church I go to had 2 services on Saturday night and we went to the early service. Then Sunday I slept a bit late and put my bunny cake together and went to my sister's and had a wonderful time. My nephew hunted eggs and we had a wonderful meal. Angel made brownies with strawberry's on the side that were covered in strawberry icing (oh that was to die for) and I made a bunny cake. My mom used to use jelly beans for the eyes and nose. I was lazy and just printed off a cute face and used that. The cake was chocolate and was so moist it was hard to handle and ice. So I called him freckles cause he had a few chocolate crumbs in his white icing. The coconut covered up those for the most part. 


After a too long break in jewelry making I am getting back at it. These were a custom order and I like the way they turned out.  This shows a few of the steps to making such a simple little earring. I love how the light catches on the hammered edges. 


About a month or so ago I got out the poly clay and started making elements for my jewelry. I'd not done any clay stuff in several years. The elements I created were a bit different than my older stuff, but not quite the different I wanted. So I am going to revisit this in a day or two (oops another project) maybe I'll wait till the quilting is done and the binding cut and ready. I have several cool found objects that are sitting on the bench patiently waiting for me. 

My nephew said I am obsessed with octopus and pigs.  Pigs tend to end up in my kitchen and the guest bath for such a small room has 5 octopi in there. I guess this is what happens when you live alone you let your quirky out. So this is a little 3" x 9" and the background was done with the flow paint technique. Tried out a new paint pen for the drawing. 




Monday, April 3

Back to the world of wire

Well after having fun painting for a bit I'm back at my bench. I know there are a lot of jewelry designers who have a "look" to their designs. When I see their jewelry I know who made it. Mine not so much. I'm not sure as an artist if this is a bad thing or not. I guess some artists/designers develop a style. Then there is that whole thing of selling your creations and different people having different taste in colors etc. So if you want to sell do you need to make a wider spectrum of work? Or do you just make what you want and hope it will sell? I have no idea. I know I don't want to make mainstream pieces. For the most part I make what I like and that makes me happy, so I guess that is the right path. I sure hope so.

Here are a few of my recent pieces. 

I have noticed as much as I try it's hard for me to create "random" looking jewelry. 
You would think it would be easy and I'm sure for a lot of people it is, but
my brain seems to want structure even in an off center design. Maybe it was
too many years being a graphic designer - always lining things up just so...who knows. 


I had drifted away from steampunk type designs and have gotten
back to making a few over the last few months. I enjoy the mixed 
materials I use in these. 


I finally completed this free form bracelet and gave it a test drive and
it wears very comfortable. 


A slight eastern influence, so I added jade in the mix. 


Here is one of the abstracts I painted and I used it for a background for
my dapper octopus. He is hanging out in the guest bath which I now call 
the Octopus Garden. 

_______

Well the bloom is off the rose with my new little house (really 12 years old). Sunday morning was off to a odd start with the outside part of my ac unit screaming and grinding to the point I went to the back door to see what was out there - dragons, transformers? 
No just the possible death throws of my ac unit.

I stopped on my way home from church Sunday and got a sub at Publix - oh they are wonderful if you haven't tried one - much better than any of the chains to me.  I was all set for binge watching the new episodes of Midsummer Murders on Netflix when...
I had a little flood in the guest bath, seems the toilet isn't draining out properly. Oh the joys of owning a house. So I have repair guys coming tomorrow and Wednesday and hopefully I won't be on a ramen noodle diet after I pay for the repairs. It's times like these I sure wish I'd paid more attention when Bobby fixed things around the house. We never called a repair person and it is a helpless feeling to have no clue what to do, or who to call. I'm learning thou but somedays it's just real hard. I'm just a 60+ southern woman spoiled by her husband and now trying to learn to stand on my own two feet. Sunday I stumbled, it won't be the last time I have to just keep walking. 

Monday, March 20

Shifting Gears

I've always found it helps my creativity to walk away from my jewelry making and do something else for a day or two. I go back to my jewelry bench with a fresh outlook. I was struggling with a necklace design and just walked away and went out and did some long over due organizing in my garage. I cleared off the big jewelry bench out there (the one I had in the old house) and did a lot of other organizing too. I made a 2nd work area from a sheet of plywood and 2 sawhorses and put it at the end of the jewelry bench. I made a place for my nice easel to stay when not in use and created an area just for painting. Something I love to do but seldom do. I've painted about 4 painting in the last 3 years - that isn't a good sign and I'm hopeful that setting up this work area will get me back to painting at least every once in a while. 

I went on a bender and painted some quick and easy pour paint abstracts - had never tried that and I love it. It's finger painting for adults - just as messy and some really cool results. Here are my first few paintings. 

The first one I did got painted over, the second one I did I used for a background for the painting below. But then on the 3rd try I did one I liked. It has 3 colors in it and I love the contrast and flow of the paint. I thinned out this paint more than the folks I've seen on Instagram. It did very well. 

This is the one I messed up. This was an old canvas and it had metallic paint on it. Not sure if it was the torch or the  paint underneath but it caused the new paint to crack and get bumpy. So I painted a cool 70's chick on this far out background. 

The texture is strange but I was just playing around so I didn't care. 


These 2 are 7" x 14" and I did them today after completing the groovy chick. 
I have no clue what I'll do with these but I had fun and 
I guess that is all that matters. 

Note: don't paint with your canvases this close you will get the blues 
on the white and gold canvas. Lucky it kinda looked OK. 

In time the plywood top will be very interesting cause the paint never stays on the cardboard I put down under the canvases - it finds a gap and it escapes. 


Monday, March 13

A Sewing Day, and maybe a little jewelry

I have several sewing projects I need to work on. A quilt that has been waiting patiently on my little long arm for weeks. The all important 8th birthday shirt to make for Ian's upcoming birthday. It's really hard to think he will be 8 very soon. My sister brought me this cute Avenger fabric and his Hulk green t shirt. It's always fun to deliver these shirts to Ian he's always so excited and appreciative. 


 This has been on my machine for too long and I need to start this today.
This is for a friend and her mom made the top years ago. 
Her mom was an avid seamstress and made the girls clothes. 
This quilt of many colors was made from the scraps.


 Over on the bench is a free form wire cuff I started last night and I'm eager to get back to. I've been really into using this black wire lately with copper. The black wire is steel and really good for using as a foundation to wrap. There is a lot more to do on this cuff, but I enjoy this type of wire work. 
This will have a chain and toggle closure so it can be adjusted to fit. 

Last week I took a selection of jewelry to a local shop to sell there. 
This is the cutest shop too, she has her Easter stuff out
and it's just too darn cute in there. 

Quite a few of my friends are into racing and I'm clueless about the majority of sports stuff. I found it quite funny that my sister's new kitten is watching the races. Angel said she sat there for almost 30 min! My dogs never paid any attention to the TV unless they heard other dogs barking on there then they would run to the front door thinking the intruder dogs were on the front porch. They were cute but not real bright. 

Monday, March 6

inched out on the limb a bit more

I often think of doing things as crawling out on the limb, especially when it is the unknown. I'm not a big adventurer. So I like to stay next to the trunk of the tree when possible. The only problem is all the good fruit is out on the end of the thinning branches, the rewards aren't easy to reach. 

So after mulling it over for several weeks I inched out a bit and have added several countries (4) two my shipping profile on Etsy. Most sellers just boldly sell worldwide and probably never thought a thing about it but then there is me. There are somethings I give little to no thought about and tend to put too much thought into other things. No rhyme  or reason to the difference between the two either. 

I've started looking for and sending in my entry on shows for this summer too. Since I don't seem to be able to work a full time job anymore due to my stupid back I will have to make this jewelry hobby into a full time thing right now

I'll be taking my creations to a new shop this week to see if the shop and my jewelry will make a good pairing. I'll let you know how that goes. So big decisions going on here in my little world. 

Today I spend the day doing new photos of jewelry, adding product to Etsy and posting on any social media I can. Free advertising is a good thing. 

Another piece from my Relic Series with little yummy parts 
I've had for 20+ years

Earrings I made recently - these are part of new line
I'm starting, it has no name at this time. 
It will be calmer smaller jewelry, created with
more contemporary style and materials 


I ordered 2 of these porcelain doll heads from 1910 today.
As you can see they are small and I am excited to see what they will become.
Yes they will be necklaces not for the above mentioned line.  




Thursday, March 2

Back to my everyday life

Well I've been most distracted last week with all the excitement of getting new counters and backsplash in my kitchen. There were only 2 things I wasn't thrilled with about my new house and now they are all the way I love. I did get a good bit of jewelry and sewing done while they were working in there just due to the fact I had to stay out of the way and I ended up in my happy room all day for several days. Forced into productivity - what ever it takes, right? I'm so tickled I have to show you. And a good thing my old counter tops went to a new home.  I also got the big one bowl sink I prefer. None of this was in my budget, but it makes me happy, I'll just cut back on, well most everything, but still got that big stupid grin going on.


I need to hang up my piggies don't I.


The weather here has been odd. Last week we were walking on the greenway in short sleeves and today it was in the 30's. Then we had a bad storm day yesterday, I was lucky and only got hail and lots of rain. Just north of here there was moderate wind damage (trees mostly). So now that I have the house back in shape from the kitchen update I can get back to having creative time. I have projects on the sewing machine, and WIP on the bench. I love it that way. 

This is a little mini quilt for my kitchen table center. 
It will have a piece of pottery sitting on it or maybe a basket. 
Moda grunge and Tim Holtz fabrics - I love them together. 
I like the look of straight line quilting mixed with
freemotion, but the straight line seems to take forever. 

After the computer death (big sigh) I have been dealing with the loss of photos. I retook a lot of jewelry photos last week. For some reason I had put a ton of the pics of Ian on 2 cds for Angel the day the computer went bye bye so at least a lot of them are still around. Another thing is my old software (I've been told) won't work on this computer, so I've lost my art/design capabilities. (huge sigh/whine) Not sure yet what I'll do about that. I'll think about that tomorrow and just make pretty stuff today. Have a good creative day. 


Wednesday, February 22

Just Another day at the bench

It is another grey day and I'm banging away at my bench. Occasionally I'll hear the Red Wing Blackbird who has taken over one of my feeders but as usual it's pretty quiet in my neighborhood. Today the guys are here painting my kitchen and tomorrow they will be putting up the tile backsplash - so excited. 

Just a few days ago the sun was out and it was beautiful. Glad I took advantage of it and went for a walk with my sister Angel and her son Ian. We went to Stones River National Battlefield for a walk. I'd never been there. Their are wonderful places to walk in Murfreesboro. We have a great greenway that runs beside the stones river. 



I love rocks and this was such a beautiful area. 
It has a horrid history, it's called the slaughter pen. 



Recent creations




Monday, February 20

Ahhhh the pain

Well a few days ago my beloved old Mac just up and died. I was in the middle of backing up photos of my sweet nephew so I did at least get those on a few CD's One thing I didn't know was that all the photos in the iphoto didn't back up with the rest of the files on my hard drive. Thank goodness I did have a daily backup in place. Three years ago when my little sister's computer did the same thing I panicked and went out and got the back up drive. Yea I did a good thing there. So now I'm trying to get this new wonderful iMac back to where the old one was with links, downloads etc. 

Computers have sure changed a lot since my last mac
oh my no cd player anymore! What!

There was just 2 things I wanted to change in my new little house and one of them was the kitchen counter tops. The old ones were very dark. So after living with the kitchen for 6 months I'm now giving it a upgrade. New counter tops and new paint on the walls. My sweet brother in law came over and with the help of my nephew removed the old counters and unhooked all my plumbing for the new sink and stuff to be installed. New counter tops are in now and hopefully painting will be started soon. So excited.


I met JoAnn at a craft show last year and she has such amazing skills in decorating
eggs. She said she would be having a class the first of the year so I signed up. 
It was tons of fun and I learned a lot. Here is my egg I designed in class. 
She taught us the meanings of the symbols on the eggs and 
it's largely based in Christian religion. Very interesting indeed. 

video

I have reopened my Easy shop and have been very busy making jewelry. I was very happy to have a very low inventory at the end of last year. I wanted to add a few new things to the pieces for this year. I have brought back polyclay and added painting on the metal for some of these pieces. 

 polyclay beads and copper washers with enamel edges

clay pendant, painted with alcohol inks and guilders paste
and a few watch gears

Polyclay pendant with inks/guilders paste, wire, fiber and beads

Clay pendant with copper foil and enamel paint