Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm back, well sort of.

Irene proved herself to be a formidable opponent in this area that is not so used to hurricanes.
Our electricity went out at 3:30 am Sunday and just came back on last night at 9:30 pm. Even though the storm lost a lot of its punch before it hit here, we received a massive amount of rain. Without power, of course, our two sump pumps were useless, & we woke up Sunday morning to a foot of water in the basement. When the rain slowed by midday, we hooked the pumps, freezer & fridge up to the generator that we bought 4 years ago and have yet to use. The water pumped out pretty quickly. We didn't want to leave it overnight and unfortunately, the water came back in, though just a few inches. We lost anything that was in bottom drawers or cabinets including some of my craft stuff. My driveway looks like we are moving with the piles of garbage.

All of our surrounding neighbors--in fact, anyone with a basement in this area got flooded. Our phones are still out & cell phones work sporadically. I know there are many who had it worse than us and I am thankful that we are safe, our home is intact, & were able to save most of the food.

I think we are finally getting it...we just can't have a finished basement. We are both tired of ripping up/drying out rugs and doing the clean up.

We drive our daughter back to college on Sunday so the scramble is on to do laundry, pack and try to get as much wet stuff out of the basement as quickly as we can. Not sure if I will be blogging much this week. If you were in the path of this storm, I hope all is well in your area. I'm thinking of you and will catch up with you soon!
Taken on Monday after much of the water receded back into the lake:
These last two photos show the water going over the spillway which is normally at a trickle or not even flowing at all:
We are a block away from this area and we can hear it roaring! It reminds me when we went to Niagara Falls & starting walking towards it--the sound was much more powerful, of course!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunflowers

This week the theme at Inspiration Avenue is Sunflowers. I love them so this was a fun challenge. I created an ACEO in oil of one large, colorful flower.

Well, this was quite an eventful week...An earthquake centered in Virginia that was felt North to Toronto and South to Alabama. I felt a 30 to 40 second shaking which at first I thought was me until I saw the glass in our wall unit moving and our loveseat rocking on its own. Early Thursday morning (3:30 am) we were awakened by a blinding flash, a loud bang, and loss of power. Apparently, (but unconfirmed at the time of this writing) a transformer blew up right down the street. Around 4:30 or 5:00 am the power tried to come back on with another flash & bang. Shortly after that it was back on. Most of the day Thursday we were without internet--which means I did a whole lot of crafting, LOL, in between trying not to fall asleep. Stop by for a shop update next week.

Have a happy, creative weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There's a Nip in the Air!

As the weather begins to change to warm days and cooler nights, my thoughts start turning towards all things Autumn. The flowers, apples, pumpkins, warm tones of yellow and orange, brightly colored leaves, shedding trees...well, I could go on with lots more, but I think you get the idea. My thoughts are starting to turn to Halloween and hopefully getting some stock in my shop before it is too late. What do you think of my primitive witch? She is on the same style as the angels/tree toppers that I made last year and had a lot of success with.
Unfortunately, this time of year also signals my daughter's return to college. I think this year will be better, at least I hope I won't start crying when we leave the first time.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Milestone For Me

I recently reached a milestone in my Etsy Shop of 200 Sales! The purchase came from a blog friend, Deb, whose blog is filled with gorgeous photography and thoughtful, often whimsical commentary. I wanted to send her a surprise gift and now that I know she has received it, I wanted to share it here, too:
Ladybugs have a special meaning to Deb and when I saw this cabochon made by Lori Cook from Outoftheflames in my stash, I knew it was meant to belong to her! Isn't the cab pretty? I surrounded it with black czech crystals & black seed beads.

Have a happy Monday!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great Giveaway!

I don't usually post on a Saturday, but this is just too exciting to wait until Monday! My friend, Nicole over at Beadwright, is hosting a fabulous giveaway. If you enjoy bead embroidery or have ever thought of trying it, you have to get in on a chance to win the book she has up for grabs. I am not going to spoil the details--you'll have to hop over to Beadwright to see them, but take my word for it...Do Not Miss This One!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Icy

The theme this week over at Inspiration Avenue is Icy! Many of us have been experiencing very hot temperatures this summer, so here was a chance to cool off and create something that fit the theme!
Nothing says icy to me like a cool skeleton girl wrapped in beads of snowy white and glacial blue! Are you feeling the cool? She even has some icy crystal dangles that end in snow white pearl drops. Brrr--just feel the freeze! If that isn't enough, she comes backed with the coolest white leather and a matching blue ribbon necklace. If you'd like to see more of her...she can be found cooling off in my Etsy shop!

Have a great, creative weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thank you!


Sneaking in an extra post this week to thank you all for your kind comments and anniversary wishes! Waiting by my tea cup in the morning was a handmade card (we always make cards for each other) and a (full page typed)poem including highlights of the first poem my husband gave me when we were dating and of the last 20 years. I made him one, too, but seriously, his was much better! Later in the day came 2 dozen roses--which I took a photo of before they fully opened and dinner out at a nice restaurant. Doesn't get much better than that for me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life!

Are you familiar with that Jimmy Stewart movie? It is a favorite of our family & we watch it every Christmas season. The title also aptly describes my life. Allow me to burst with happiness as I celebrate 20 years of marriage to my true love.
Have a great day! I know I will!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A New Art (At least for me!)

I have always wanted to try my hand at making chainmail jewelry and was intrigued when I read a review on Treasures Found: Inspiration is Everywhere.
I was delighted when the subject of the review, Scott David Plumlee, gifted me with a kit to make his fabulous Romanov Earrings just for making a comment on the that post. Plumlee is well known in the chainmail world and has been featured in Wirework Magazine as well as being the author of several books on chainmail jewelry.

The kit arrived with everything but the tools and although it was probably a little more difficult, I plodded along with my available pliers. In retrospect, they might have come out neater had I had the right pliers, but I was still able to execute the many openings and closing of jump rings. The directions in the kit were accompanied by color photos that made the process so easy & clear--I had no trouble at all figuring out the design and completing the earrings. Here they are:
Plumlee also had a beautiful website with DVDs, books, kits, tutorials and a gallery of finished pieces of jewelry. If you've ever considered trying this art, stop by his website--you'll be glad you did. There are so many fascinating patterns and kits at very reasonable prices!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Inspiration and a new ACEO

While visiting one of my favorite blogs, Sunshineshelle, I read a post where Shelle shared a weekly challenge she found on a site called, Inspiration Avenue. It sounded like fun, and I decided to join in this week. Here is a link to this week's challenge which is to create something based on what you love about summer.

Next to flowers, my favorite thing is to see the many butterflies that are attracted to our purple butterfly bush. I used this concept as inspiration to create another ACEO in my series of "Moose on Parade". This one is called "Butterfly Moose" and features wings painted on an iridescent film with dimensional and acrylic paint. It measures the standard 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" and is acrylic on 140 lb. watercolor paper.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Orchids

Did you know that there are over 20,000 species or Orchids? Many more if you could the man-made hybrids. They grow nearly all over the world; perhaps the only location they do not grow is in icy remote locations. They've been studied, cataloged, and sought after since the early 1800s. There are even a group of orchids named after the First Ladies. I have never tried to grow these delicate blooms--I'm more of a cactus girl LOL--but I sure do enjoy beading them:


Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

A new ring!

Here is my newest ring of french beaded roses done all in shades of pink. Just listed in my Etsy shop.

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't go near hungry animals...

with food! This happened 12 years ago and I am happy that I am alive to tell about it. It was August, and our family was visiting a Zoo in Canada near Niagara Falls. The name of the Zoo escapes me--I have probably suppressed it deep in my subconscious. While walking around, we encountered these:
These were the cutest, most well behaved bears, and no, they are not the animals that attacked me. These bears were sitting in a lake down below and were very patiently and politely waiting for marshmallows to be thrown to them. See the cutie splashing the water for attention?
Enter one little girl--yup, she is mine. She just loved the deer and wanted her photo taken hugging them. Cute so far, right?
Next the same little girl starts pleading to feed them. So like a good Mom & Dad we buy a paper cup of feed. Here is the scene: You will notice who has the feed (Mom) and who has taken refuge on the bench (Little girl).
As more and more deer get wind of what is going on...little girl seeks refuge with her Dad & leaves Mom to fend for herself. Not only was I overwhelmed with the amount of deer pushing to get to me, but they were nibbling my belt, my socks, my shirt--anything they could get their little lips on! I started laughing, of course, before I really started panicking and just threw the cup of seed down & escaped!
Video exists, but I keep it hidden.

No animals or humans were harmed during this episode. A lot funnier experience than the dog. Thanks for all the nice comments!