Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh, The Possibilites!

Oh, I'm a sucker for a good book and office supplies- I love a good romp through Staples or Office Depot- but rather than tell you what color paper clips I just bought I'll give you the low down on this book that I think should be part of your library. Call it an 'office supply/business expense' whatever it takes to justify the purchase. I call it another late birthday present from me to me.

I was drawn to this book because of its wide variety of topics. Right now anything that can help me get the cloisonne` or enameled look I want for my big little lady sculpture is a must have right now. Even if its just a particular color combination in an advertisement in a magazine- its mine. This book covers- resin, enameling, acrylic, polymer clay, and glass.

This really cool pin is made from a piece of broken pottery. Two things come to mind. 1. I would have really liked to see the whole piece of pottery- I'm sure its also very cool. 2. What great detail work! So very small and intricate! The artist is Patti Leota Genack. Love the little girl and dog hanging out the window.

There's directions on-
-how to transfer images onto your jewelry and how to keep them protected during the process.
-how to add a patina
-how to make a figure
The author, Sherri Haab, created this bracelet using transfer techniques.

This pendant by Susan Gifford, was made by applying cloisonne` enamel to precious metal clay.
Why, there's even info on wire wrapping, macrame, crocheting with wire, creating buckles and closures- you name it- I think I saw a casserole recipe in there, too!

This stunning piece was created by Kelly Russell. The butterflies and lady are from precious metal clay.
There's complete directions for firing your jewelry. I just found out that 'ramp speed' doesn't have anything to do with racing for that last available spot in the parking ramp.

There were many other pictures I could have included but I hate to spoil it for you! All I can say is- Great Job Sherri Haab, great collection of artwork and artists.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One of those projects that's been nagging at me!

Creative Carmelina, a blogger friend of mine, started something awhile back. She did this awesome self portrait that really spoke to me. We all want to define ourselves. But not in any permanent way that can't be changed. We all want the world to see us they way that we see ourselves. A self portrait can be a very hard project to even attempt.

Blogging has a certain safety in that people can only see what you allow them to see. The picture we create with our words, the story we tell with our art, the glimpses we share with our photography. But a self portrait should be honest. Its not that it can't be pretty- but the truth of it, the heart of it should be un-adorned. The truth should shine forward, beautiful in itself.

I used to believe a story about myself. I took parts of messages I heard from my Mother and believed them to be true. Now I realize that her truths don't have to be my truths. As a young adult I took in the messages from people around me and thought they must know more than me. Now I realize how much we all didn't know back then. Now- I realize 'that' story never really fit and I knew it all along.

I challenge you to know yourself truthfully. It sounds silly to say that if negative words come out of your mouth than positive words should follow- but really- if you ever do dwell on negative things about yourself you need give yourself a good mental shake and state the positive side of things as well. Its only fair to be completely accurate. I mean come on'- if you're going to be hard on yourself go all the way- realize that yeah, you're not perfect and you're not all that bad either. Somewhere in the middle is a big space to be in. A big wide open, full of wonderful possibilities space.

By the way, Creative Carmelina is #103 on the blog hop. Go visit her. She's always doing something amazing. She'd love to have you- she's a great host!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I have the wierdest life.

Strange things happen to me. I'm not kidding. I'm the kinda person who in an effort to save a lost dog kidnaps some one's pet and then makes the owner feel bad for losing them. I've witnessed fish falling from the sky, no lie. My child has single-handedly caused the evacuation of a day care center. These are only the things I can remember right now.

The following story is an example of the craziness that is my daily life. You have to get to the very end for the reward and trust me, its worth the wait.

So, last Sunday night I thought I should get my exhausted butt to bed a little early to make up for several nights of no sleep and days filled with anxiety. (If anyone ever says to you- "Ya know, I think it would be fun to be an interior designer..." punch them for me, please.) So I finally made it in there about 11:00 and I was pretty proud of myself. That should have been the first indication something was going to go badly wrong.

'Round about 1:30 my dog woke me up. It doesn't take much above a whisper to wake me, just so you know. She was agitated and barking at something I couldn't hear. So I let her out and she ran around the yard barking insanely. I rounded her back up and sternly told her to get back to sleep- it is deer season, they'll be moving around a lot and I wasn't going to have her barking at them all night.

But, she didn't settle down. She stayed at the end of our bed and continued to bark at every little noise. "That's the furnace." I told her. "That's the walls creaking because the furnace turned on." "That's the floor creaking where it always creaks when the furnace turns off." "That's the wind on siding, just like every night."

Now, I should admit to you that I am petrified of the dark. I know, I'm 42 and there is a big hairy man in bed next to me but...hey, maybe there's a correlation? So it doesn't take too many nervous little barks before I'm all creeped out. But, I'm 42 years old and a mom. So like a good grown up I get up to check the house. Why didn't I wake up hairy man? Because he drives for a living and I want him rested so that I don't have to worry the whole next day about him crashing his big truck into a family of small children. Yes, I over think everything. Everything. I can come to the worlds worst cause and effect scenario in very short order.

I check the front door, the garage door and the sliding door. I turn the exterior lights on an and peer outside while maintaining a safe 6' of distance between me and the glass because I've seen way too many movies wherein the person next to the window suddenly gets sucked away into bloody nothingness by a scaly claw. I wasn't born yesterday- more like 42 years ago, that's a lot of scary- Freddie, Jason, Alien, and vampire movies.

I do this several times and lecture the dog after each time. She doesn't stop. Eventually, too tired to do the route again I pull the covers up to my chin. The dog and I lay cheek to cheek both staring with big eyes at the bedroom door waiting for the sure arrival of the axe murderer. I know by now its definitely an axe murderer she's hearing.

The axe murderer came in through the slider in the lower level and is just waiting for us to fall asleep before he comes up the stairs. I know he's coming from the lower level because I was too chicken to check down there to make doubly sure that door was locked. It wasn't that I didn't think of it. I gave the stairs a sidelong glance every time I went by them. No way I was going down there! Everybody- Everybody know this simple truth- there are monsters in the basement and vampires in the attic. So, no way, no how was I going down there at 2:00 in the morning....years of tearing up the basement stairs at my parents house had taught me that one day I wouldn't be fast enough....

Its now somewhere around the 3:00 hour and my need for sleep is battling with my furiously beating heart. My adult brain is totally disgusted with my child brain. One more round I tell myself, just do it! This time I turn on the outside lights all around the house and leave them on. Damn the electric bill! Hubby is going to have a fit tomorrow but I'll make short work of him after no sleep! One more time into the children's room to check their breathing. I walk in.

I stop dead. Something has caught my eye. It can't be. I rub my eyes. Yep. Still there. Ok, I've died and just don't realize it yet. Nope, I felt for my pulse and it was there. Present also was this strange feeling of the earth moving under my feet. Now, I've been staring for several seconds. Ok, I really am seeing it- its moving. I take two steps backwards, so does the dog. I flip on their light. Yep. Still there. How can it be? I live in Michigan. Woodland wonder Michigan.

There on the floor of my children's room, lumbering across the shag was.....a hermit crab. At 3:00-ish in the friggin a.m., in the middle of Michigan was a shellfish. Not any shellfish but the one creature who borrows an abandoned shell and takes it with them wherever they go.

So I bent over my- giant in comparison- body and tapped that shellfish on top of his house. His legs immediately curled up like the busted thief that he was- he retreated into his refuge. I picked him up and held him up- eyeball to claw, I decided there was only one place for him to go.

Once I unceremoniously dropped him the fish tank I warned the fish. "Listen, you've got a roomie for the night and I'm not sure when he ate last or what he ate but if I were you I'd stay on that side of the tank."
It was at that exact moment that my dog lay down on the floor and went immediately to sleep. Somehow, my super sensitive dog could hear the tiny noises that this crab was making. She knew something in her house was not right and she was not going to rest until I made her world safe.

There in lies the story of how my work week started. Bleary eyed but with a good story to tell. OH! Where did it come from? Well if you haven't guessed, the story I was told is that it was found on the picnic table on the playground. Our new friend had been in my house all weekend but Sunday night had managed to work his way out of his plastic bag and tried to make a run for the sea.

Let me just say- its not everyday you can claim that your shag has crabs- and then giggle about it!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Couldn't take it! Ballerina revisited.

I tried. Really, that goofy grin. Couldn't just get myself to leave it alone. Perfectionist? Yeah, I know- perfectionism = limits. rest until she was...

just as beautiful as I thought she could be.

Once again I turned to my friend- the embellishment queen- Kristi for help with tiny ballerina's tiara. Kristi works at Pages in Time, a scrap booking store, so she's got the 'in' on all things tiny. She's also on this wonderful journey of all things felted and I wish I could show you the fabulous scarf she just made out of a strange silk (nou nou???) that she then felted and embellished. Turned out to be very sophisticated and I covet it. I would send you to her blog for proof of how wonderful it is but she hasn't updated it since her trip to Ireland this summer. Maybe if I guilt her enough....

Any how, I used this really cool twisted wire I purchased from a florist supply store and glued on the world's smallest gems (thanks, Kristi, now get to that blog!) and viola` - a tiny tiara. Its difficult working that small, people!

I refrained from making ballet slippers because- 1. no one will see them and 2. I'd have to melt the hot glue that is keeping ballerina straight when she twirls. She's got a definite tilt to the side- looks like a tiny ballerina that got a tiny bit tipsy before she went in front of her audience! Thank goodness for hot glue even if it is a bit gloppy.

Anyhow- that's all for now. Am in the final weeks of the semester- big projects for the students going hot and heavy. Leaves little time to Facebook or blog. I do check in with your blogs so keep it coming! Take care.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Here's a quick peek at the ballerina that will fit in the bird. What species of bird is it? No clue. Pigeon? Nothing too exotic. Anyhow this little lady measures 3 1/2". Her head is approx 3/4". Wow, try putting a face on that! So she's not as pretty as I'd hoped but still has a certain 'old world quality'? I really like how this paper clay paints up and varnishes. I may use gloss on her. Her tutu is covered in glass glitter. As I intend to use frit on the body of the piece I wanted to use real glass glitter on her and will use some of those tiny, tiny glass marbles- somewhere- as well.

I'm excited to get to working on the lady herself again but this sculpture is building itself in a certain order. Had to figure out what she was holding before I could do the hands. Had to figure out what the bird contained before I can finish it. Had to figure out a way to contain and protect the ballerina. Had to figure out the back ground for the ballerina...which led to the shopping trip and broken goes on and on....can you say obsessed? This may well be a year long process. Hang in with with me- would you??