Friday, October 26, 2007

Monster Mash at VAAM Gallery

Last night was the Halloween Parade in downtown McPherson. The kids marched down Main Street in their costumes, then went up and down the street trick-or-treating at businesses. The Gallery at VAAM was well-stocked with goodies and "Spider Woman" and the Red Crayola (aka Betty Jo and Elizabeth) were on treat patrol.

Liz and Betty Jo doing their thing.

I thought this costume was clever.

Is this the world's cutest little witch or what?

Piracy was alive and well on Main Street last night.

My Dylan as brave Sir Robin Hood.

This level of cuteness should be illegal.
It was a beautiful clear, cool evening and the kids were very enthusiastic, of course. It's fun to be part of a community event like this.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chilly Sunday, soup weather

Autumn is definitely here. The breeze switched around to the north and took on a distinctly chilly nip. My DH manfully climbed a ladder today and patched a few holes in our guttering preparatory to the inevitable fall rains. I spent the day running the washer and dryer nonstop; while waiting between loads I put together more jewelry and listened to a book on tape. I also conducted a PMC firing for a heart-shaped pendant and some bead cones I made to match a pendant I finished earlier.

I made two batches of soup (I love soup in cold weather), one a tex-mex spicy pork and hominy soup, and the other called Cowboy Stew, which involved bacon, stew meat, vegetables, and rather a lot of red cooking wine. It all tastes good and it's mostly nutritious. We can have the leftovers for lunch and supper all week if we want.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Friday jewelry post

I hope you aren't tired of seeing jewelry because that's mainly what I've been doing lately. Click on the images for a closer view. Below is a special order I made up for a client. The pendant and earrings are set with hematite. This is the first thing I've done to hang on a collar rather than a chain of some type.

Simple turquoise and silver. I understand turquoise is currently a hot item. Again.

Silver and dyed pearls. The charm is one I purchased.

I rather like this piece. These are more of my ebay pearls with an amber and silver clasp, sterling beadcones, and a pmc slide. Yummy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Baubles, bangles, & beads aka my latest ebay purchase

I couldn't help myself. It's the color that grabs me. Aren't these cool? No idea what I'm going to do with them but I couldn't pass them up.

I'm in a jewelry making mode these days, which is probably good because Christmas is coming, The Gallery at VAAM is getting ready to do the "holiday hanging" (sounds festive, doesn't it?) and things like jewelry and silk scarves make great gifts. I have an order arriving from Dharma Trading Company, my ONLY source for dyes and dyeables. If they don't have it, it doesn't exist. Then I'll have colorful hands full-time for awhile unless I can locate my gloves.

I had a custom order for jewelry arising from Artful Taste of Autumn. I have finished it already and will post a photo in the next day or so. It's great to be able to tell someone that they can tell you what they want and you can make it for them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Artful Taste of Autumn

I am dedicating this post to my friend Jules, who will appreciate the garden scenes.

Yesterday was the much-anticipated Artful Taste of Autumn, held at the rural home of Chris and John as a fundraiser for the Visual Arts Alliance of McPherson. Somehow, the October weather in Kansas has always cooperated for this event and this year was no exception.

My booth, with jewelry on the table and scarves hanging from the trees in the background.

My DH David, manfully manning the booth.

Following are several scenes from around the grounds and gardens. It is truly a lovely place.

The gargoyle garden.

Chris and John have built their own outdoor wood-fired pizza oven. It was working overtime last night, and the pizza was delicious.

This is my favorite spot.

A view from my table. It was a wonderful evening.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My fingers are green and purple

I hate to wear gloves at any time, and that goes for when I have my hands in a dyebath as well, so I guess I have no one but myself to blame if my hands look horrible.

I have made up several devore silk and silk velvet scarves and one large shawl. Everything has turned out well, especially considering what a hurry I've been in to get it all done and how I've been having to work at it in my lunch hours and into the night. I'm sorry the lighting in these pictures is so bad. I took them in my living room at night with a floor lamp for lighting. Leaves a lot to be desired. The colors are really much better than they appear here.

Tomorrow is Artful Taste of Autumn. I will take my trusty camera to record the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

new jewelry

Here's what I've been doing with some of the pearls I bought on e-bay. I think patinated PMC looks stunning strung on pearl strands. In case your monitor's colors are off (like mine at work) this necklace is made with a strand of gold and a strand of capuccino, plus a strand of smaller pewter beads for contrast. It will be finished off with PMC cones at the clasp end, to coordinate with the pendant.

I've also gotten out my dyes again, this time to work up some silk scarves and wraps to take to Artful Taste of Autumn this weekend. I hope to be able to photograph and post the results. My biggest difficulty with dyeing stuff is that I really don't have a lot of room for the process and the room I do have isn't handy to things like the stove and running water. But I persevere.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Burning Down Main

McPherson had a chili cookoff contest downtown today. The Gallery at VAAM fielded a team (can you "field" a chili cookoff team?) and our entry was quite popular. Here are photos of gallery members who helped out.

Here is Elizabeth, guarding the pot.

From left to right: Liz, Ann, Jill, and Michaela, spelling out "VAAM" a la "YMCA".

This is Ann, our resident hand weaver, at her loom. Behind her, hanging on the wall, are several of her finished pieces. She's more patient than I am.

It was a fun day, the chili was very good, and lots of people went through The Gallery. When I got home I found a package with the first 10 sets of pearls I purchased on ebay waiting for me. They are just as gorgeous in person!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

fun with ebay

I'm bidding on several sets of freshwater pearls via ebay. Love the yummy colors--mango, apricot, bronze, coffee bean, cappuccino. Can't you just taste them? Here's a sample of what I'm hoping to buy:

Apricot orange

Mango peach


Chinese cranberry
Pearls are gorgeous with slides or pendants of PMC. I'm in the process of making a couple right now. As usual, will post when they're done.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tagged by Lesley

Well, I'm not sure if I can do this or not, but I'll try. Lesley has tagged me with the following instructions:

1. Link the person who has tagged you
2. Tell seven honest things about yourself
3. Tag seven new people
4. Leave a message with the person you have tagged so they know about it

Here are my seven honest things:

I majored in art/education in college to make my dad happy. He thought I'd be unemployable with just an art degree. Ironically, I have never taught art (nor wanted to) but I now make art, belong to a local gallery to display my art, and am much more active as an artist that I ever thought I would be earlier in my life. I'm happy!

My third child, Dylan, was a complete surprise. I was almost 40 when he was born and went through the pregnancy with much trepidation, but he was and is such a joy. I don't know now what we would have done without him.

I'm a soft touch for cats in need of a home. (We currently have 6.)

I lived in Oregon for 12 years, mostly to get away from this small Kansas town where I was raised. However, somewhere along the ways my priorities changed (maybe it was having babies) and I began to value my small Kansas town for its positive, child- and family-friendly aspects. I'm glad to be back. Sometimes I miss the Oregon scenery, but there's no place like home.

I am a trained singer.

I am perfectly capable of purchasing a large ticket item (think cars here) solely on the basis of color. Yikes.

I love to cook, but I'm a lousy piecrust maker. My oldest son Adam knows that if he wants a pie, he has to make the crust. I can come up with the filling, though!

I am hereby tagging the following people:
Julie The Compulsive Worrier
Julie another mixed media artist
Maggie at stitchingwithschnauzerandsiamese
Dianne aka faerydi

And now here is my quandary; I am so new to blogging that I don't have many people to pass this along to. If anyone on my list is willing/able to introduce me to new blog pals, that would be great.

More Bits and Bobs

A few more jewelry pieces I completed over the
weekend. We have a lovely bead store here in McPherson, Joyful Creations which is owned by my friend Joy Schrag. She has a great selection of beads: crystals, pearls semiprecious, wood and lots more, plus silver, gold, and pewter findings. I purchased quite a bit of the components in these pieces from Joy.

This is a PMC pendant with a strand of dyed blue-gray freshwater pearls and silver spacers.

This is a bracelet of Russian serpentine strung with silver spacers.

I may not be able to sell these earrings. I like them too much. PMC disks with garnet dangles on a French hook earwire. The silver is patinated with liver of sulfer.

Slices of red glass strung with silver.

Simple silver heart dangle earrings.

A patinated PMC pendant set with a citrine CZ.