Saturday, August 30, 2008

saturday morning

So sorry about the delay in getting this posted. Last night's events didn't lend themselves to getting this little job done. However, bright and early (for a holiday weekend Saturday) we got cracking and here are the results. Dylan begs your pardon for not appearing in the photos, but he was still in his undies & t-shirt from sleeping and he's much too dignified to appear thus on my blog.

The names entered into the drawing for my carnelian/agate/pearl necklace were written down on slips of paper and put into this decorative enameled bowl (Dylan's choice). Another bowl was inverted over it and the contents given a few good shakes, also by Dylan, after which he drew...

Debbi Baker's name!!

Congratulations, Debbi. The necklace will be winging its way to you later today. And thank you all, blog friends, not only for entering the drawing but mostly for enriching my life so wonderfully over the past year. I look forward to continuing our ether friendships.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

last chance

Later today I will conduct the drawing for the carnelian/agate/pearl necklace pictured in yesterday's post. Actually, I will let Dylan do the actual draw. He gets a kick out of that! However, you have from now until I arrive home from work (around 5:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time USA) to post a comment here and thereby put your name in the running.

The upcoming weekend is a federal holiday weekend so we have Monday off. Good thing, because I must take my "Mermaid's Treasure" necklace to the Kansas State Fair, which runs September 5-14. If you don't know what necklace I mean, look at my blog header. I will be spending the balance of the weekend working on my last pieces for the fiber show being hung Sept. 10, and also organizing pieces I want to send to a gallery in Lincoln, KS which is hosting VAAM Gallery members in a special exhibit. Fortunately I can send older pieces to Lincoln so I'm not having to come up with all new pieces for both shows. That would be absolute murder.

I hate posting with no photos, so I'm including one of a huge Kansas thunderhead, kyped from here. We could sure use what this cloud promises--lots of rain.

Hope your weekend is fabulous.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

some results

I decided to try jazzing up my hand dyed silk scarves a bit by stamping them with different motifs, using inks made for stamping on fabric and also Lumiere paint. These scarves are very vivid and the colors are hard to photograph accurately. I stamped just on the ends of the scarves and used the same 3 motifs on each end in approximately the same configuration.

Here's a sun stamped with Lumiere paint in 3 colors. I looked up a tutorial on to make sure I was doing things correctly. I'm fairly happy with how these have turned out.

Here is a better photo of the necklace for my 1st blog anniversary giveaway. In addition to being on a more pleasing background, this photo includes the clasp and the PMC ring charm on one of the bead strands. The pearls in this photo appear peach colored but they are really a creamy white.

Speaking of my 1st blog anniversary, the drawing for the necklace will take place tomorrow, so if you want your name in the hat, please go here and follow directions.
Hope you're all having a fabulous Thursday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

odd shot

***UPDATE***I forgot to mention again that I will be drawing a winning name for my necklace (see below) on Friday, August 29. If you'd like your name to be in the running, please leave a comment on this post before that fateful day.

If you're familiar with Mrs. Nesbitt you know about her odd shots. I don't usually participate in posting odd photos, but this is too good not to share. My niece Katie took it with her waterproof camera, Dylan in the motel pool while we were in Iowa for my brother's wedding to the lovely and charming (and I'm not exaggerating, she is both) Lisa.

I guess this could be classified as an odd shot, too. I will attempt to take a better photo but for now this is it. This is the necklace I've chosen to do the drawing for in observance of my first blogging anniversary. It is composed of glass pearls, freshwater pearls, fire crab agate, and carnelian chips. It has a small PMC ring charm strung on one of the bead strands, which this photo doesn't show. It really is a pretty necklace in spite of the horrid photo.

It is about 18" long and sits comfortably at the base of the neck. I took the photo against a red cloth--obviously not the best choice.

Hope you are all having a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

what's blooming in my so-called garden

So-called because it is so overgrown I don't want to claim it. However, when I looked out my deck door off the bedroom this morning, I couldn't resist photographing these morning glories. My dear grandmother called these "heavenly blue".

Not to be outdone, the trumpet vine is in full flower. Note the honey bee visitor in the right hand blossom.

And finally, this is a variety of clematis given to us by the mother of our next door neighbor. It is in its second flowering for the season! It has been a really good year for some types of plants.

If you have not entered my first blogging anniversary drawing for a piece of my handmade jewelry, go here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

my dyeing day

I'm dyeing today--cloth, paper, and my hair. I got my hair cut earlier today so I decided to use the box of hair dye (burgundy) I've had in the bathroom cupboard for weeks. In addition, I'm dyeing some heavy handmade paper from off-white to orange, plus space dyeing some silk ribbon and cords for use in scarves and probably in the fiber workshop I plan to teach in October. Needless to say my hands will be a sight--I can't stand gloves.

I use Procion and Jacquard dyes for cloth, and I decided to try them on the paper as well. It really soaked up that pure color! I love the fact that the dyes come in so many great colors and are easy to use. It's probably also good that I have flexible expectations because I'm so fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants when it comes to things like this.

If you have not entered my one year anniversary jewelry drawing, please read about it here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

one year anniversary

clipart from

As of August 29 I will have been blogging for a whole year. It has certainly passed quickly and I'm happy to have made the acquaintance of so many friendly and talented people.

To commemorate the occasion I am planning to give away a piece of my handmade jewelry, not sure what yet but probably a necklace. If you are interested in putting your name in the hat for the jewelry drawing, please post a comment ON THIS BLOGPOST. I will draw a name on the anniversary date itself. I will also issue reminders about the drawing between now and then.

Thank you, readers and posters (and lurkers--I know you're out there!) for enriching my life so much over the past year. I hope we're able to stay in contact for a long time to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

blog friends are the best

I love my blog friends. A couple of weeks ago Kate put out a request on her blog for a stateside blogger to purchase a toy her little girl mightily wanted that is much more reasonably priced in the US than it is in Britain. She offered to trade goods for goods, so I, being the craven little so-and-so I am, and always with an eye to the main chance (sounds terrible, doesn't it?) leapt at the opportunity. Several months ago Kate had pictured on her blog some darling cups from Green Gate which simply aren't available here (believe me, I looked) so I asked her to get me a couple. Well, just look what arrived in the mail yesterday--not only these wonderful cups but a Green Gate tea towel, which is just adorable on its own, plus some Cath Kidston bath melts, another line of items not available in the US. Kate is also into mixed media and knows I am, too, so there was a spattering of hot pink sequins included in the parcel as well. Thank you soooo much, Kate!!

I've got another fiber piece started but it's not too far along so no photos yet. Hopefully it will look like something later this week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

playing with fiber

I worked my day at the VAAM Gallery on Saturday. As usual I schlepped all my equipment and materials down there (more than I actually needed, which is also par for the course) and had a studio day. Customers cooperated by keeping themselves to a bare minimum--not so good for the gallery but my time was pretty uninterrupted. I managed to complete something for the upcoming fiber show, involving trapping fibers between layers of solvy and stitching all over, then rinsing the solvy out to leave a lacy fiber effect.

This is a terrible picture but it gives you an idea of what the piece will look like draped over the tree branch I have in mind as part of the exhibit piece. Please note our decorative laundry room door--yes, it was used to hang a dartboard on by the house's previous owners.

If you're a fiber-y type and haven't experimented with solvy, by all means give it a try. The effects one can achieve are just wonderful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

i can't wait

I was so pleased to receive an invitation to be an artist participant in this year's rendition of "Artful Taste of Autumn" This is a wonderful event that comprises an evening of wine tasting, delicious tapas, and original art in many different mediums, all set in the beautiful rural gardens of Chris and John who graciously allow the use of their property and indeed work very hard to make this event the success it always is. One of my first blog posts talks about last year's event. If you're interested in seeing it, go here. Otherwise, here is a photo of one of the gardens in this lovely Tuscan-style venue.

OK, so I couldn't stop at one photo. But it is such a lovely setting and a wonderful, fun event. I'm thrilled to be included again this year.
Dylan is off to school this morning. I walked him into the building, not for his sake but for mine, so I could meet his teacher and see his classroom. He was absolutely rarin' to go. He is so not shy at all, which I hope will stand him in good stead later in life. Even as a kindergartener, everyone knew who he was because he'd make himself known. Extroverted, yessiree.
Hope you're all having a good Thursday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

monarch migration

Brazenly abstracted from here.

It's a little early, but I think the annual monarch migration may be starting. At least I've seen what seems like more than the usual number of these orange and black beauties around lately. Since the weather has modulated so much, cooler and drier than it was even last week, the weather forecasters are calling for an earlier autumn, so maybe the monarchs got the word. Anyway, it's a beautiful sight. I've seen several butterflies "playing" in the lawn sprinkler! That's quite something.

Monday, August 11, 2008

lookie what i got

The mailman was very generous today, delivering this gorgeous silk velvet fabric I purchased on e-bay as well as the two books I ordered last week from Red letter day at my house! Now all I have to do is decide how to use the fabric, it being one of those things I fell in love with and bought without having any clear idea of what to do with it. It's about 2/3 yard of gorgeousness.
My kids go back to school later this week. This summer has absolutely flown past, faster than any I remember. I'm not sure why, maybe we just had more going on this year than usual, getting Dave's new office set up and our little trips here and there. Anyway, it's nearly over. Fees have been paid, supplies have been purchased, and we're just about ready. This is Christopher's senior year in high school, so we need to get him on the docket for senior pictures, something he cares absolutely nothing about. Oh well, at least he won't be one of those kids (mostly girls) who have to have 15 changes of clothing and a bunch of exotic backgrounds. We'll be doing good to get two shots, one formal, one casual. The family will have to be satisfied with that. The upside is it won't be as expensive without a bunch of fancy stuff thrown in.
Hope you're all having a good start to the week.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

fairy mints

Has anyone seen these before? I found them in Des Moines when we were there for my brother's wedding. I bought them because I thought the tin was so fabulous. The mints, unfortunately, taste like bad rose perfume, but I didn't care about that.

I've been having some luck selling clothing items on e-bay, so this weekend I'm going to go through my closet, cull those things I no longer wear and post them online. I'm a plus-size gal and I've noticed that it's very difficult to find nice plus size clothing in second hand stores, so others like me tend to grab things when they can get them on e-bay. Now I just have to decide what to do with all my money! (Maybe buy more clothes? Nah!)

It absolutely feels like a Louisiana swamp here today--so humid the moisture is literally dripping from the trees. At least it isn't as hot.

I hope you are all having a good day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

relief from the heat

I was awakened early this morning by the sound of thunder rumbling across the area. Although we didn't get any actual rain here in town it is significantly cooler. Humidity continues to be quite high, but at least we'll be out of triple digit temperatures today and hopefully for the remainder of the week.

This is a little something I made for myself (as opposed to selling). I had a new top I wanted to wear to the reunion and needed a necklace to go with it. The pearl colors are hard to define in this photo, but one strand is a deep olive green and the other is kind of bronzy brown. There's also a strand of little oval shaped wood beads. It's quite short, not a choker (can't do that) but the pendant sits right at the base of my throat. The pendant is PMC which I impressed with a rubber stamp that includes a rose which you can make out just off center.

I've subscribed to the back issue of Maggie Grey's Workshop on the Web that contains instructions for the fairy shoes so I shall hopefully produce some shortly. That is, if I can wrench myself away from making jewelry. It is quite habit forming!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

new fridge?

We may be shopping for a new refrigerator in the near future. Our current model we've had for 11+ years and it's showing signs of age, i.e. the shelves in the door cracking and the little slats designed for keeping salad dressing and mayo bottles/jars in place keep coming off when the door is opened, causing everything to cascade to the floor with a crash which is becoming more than my nerves can take. The photo above is representational only. I have no idea what kind of fridge we'll eventually get. The old fridge still chills well and runs fine, so we'll probably clean it up and give it to a local charity that provides needy folks with decent used appliances.
Although I'm still in the jewelry making mode, I'm looking at future fiber/mixed media projects. Robin's blog shows a darling pair of fairy shoes which I'm very tempted to try. I'd seen other examples of these elsewhere and wanted to make some, so perhaps it's getting to be time. They're teeny--only about 3 inches long. If you google "fairy (or faery) shoes" you can find more photos from other sites. I could make several pairs for the upcoming fiber exhibit. They'd be different, anyway.
It continues very hot and humid here, but we're supposed to be getting some relief tomorrow and through the rest of the week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, August 4, 2008

i've been awarded!

Darling Kate has given me this beautiful award, which I do appreciate so much. I'm going to pass it along to a couple of bloggers on whose sites I have heretofore only been a lurker:

Scarlet Papernel

Judy Scott

Check out their sites if you haven't already.

a wonderful but exhausting weekend

My 30 year high school class reunion was just great. I don't know if it's age or what, but we were all just so glad to see everyone and had a great time visiting. Most of us still look pretty good for our age (snicker) and I didn't see any evidence of plastic surgery or botox usage. We'll see if that changes by the 35th year reunion!

I was so exhausted after two days of reunion activities (plus I had a bad headache) that we didn't go to church on Sunday but just stayed at home and tried to catch up, including grocery shopping and about six tons of laundry. I'm happy to say we made a lot of progress.

In the course of the house clean up I was sorting through a bunch of papers and found an unused gift certificate for Nearly overcome with giddiness, I went online and ordered the following:

These both look like great books and the total actual cost to me was $6.33. Not bad at all, I'd say.
It has been so hot here and apparently will continue into the middle of this week when we're supposed to get some rain, and hopefully some relief from the heat. Ah well, it is Kansas in August so I guess it's only to be expected. Hope it's cooler where you are.
I hope you are all having a great Monday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

mermaid's treasure

My state fair entry necklace is finished except for a mermaid charm which I still haven't decided on, and which will be hung next to the clasp at the back of the necklace. It's called "mermaid's treasure" for rather obvious reasons.

Here's the pendant. It strung very well and hangs beautifully. It's quite heavy.

And the clasp, which I also made, along with the shell shaped bead cones. I'm pretty happy with this as a first attempt at molded PMC pieces.

I haven't done a Friday cat blog for awhile, so here's Dylan mimicing Romeo, asleep as usual.

This weekend my highschool classmates and I are gathering for our 30 year reunion. Yikes. I have gone to reunions in the past and always enjoy them a lot, but have trepidation beforehand. This evening a group of my old girlfriends from the dim past are getting together for dinner. Some still live here, others have traveled significant distances. It will be good to see everyone, and it will be just like sitting at the school lunch table except that the food will be better!
Have a great Friday everyone.