Friday, September 28, 2012

I Made Soup!

Bead soup, that is, and turned it into this cute little maple tree:
Since the squirrels seem to have (again) beat me to the acorns that drop to the ground, I made some caps with my own hand made mold. I dusted the mold with pearl-ex powder first so it would have some sparkle. Wrapped the bottom of the terracotta pot with jute, added a cute double bow and some cork on the bottom to protect the table.

I'll be back on Monday with my latest AB spread and my annual free shipping sale that I hold every October for my birthday!

Have a happy creative weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paper Bag Album

After seeing some paper bag albums on a friend's website, I decided to try my hand at making one or some. Check out Pam's blog to not only see her albums, but she is an amazing photographer, too!

Since this first album was going to be a gift and the person reads my blog, I have had to wait until I was sure she received it before posting. Since I didn't know what she would chose to use the album for, I kept the theme very general. Here is the cover:
Some pages have writing. I used cardstock and the pamphlet stitch with some pretty fibers to bind the album.
Some flowers, others music themes...I did the two pages with different cardstock but with the same theme.
These are the inserts that I made to go into each paper bag opening. I used lightweight craft foam. They are cut out all in one piece.
Many of you already know Stacy, who is very fond of crows. She is a very talented painter who specializes in crows. Stop by her blog and say hello if you haven't met her yet!

Thanks for the inspiration and challenge, Pam!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vacation Part 6

Our next stop was a brief visit to Misson San Juan Bautista, one of 21 missions that were started up and down the coast of California. It was founded in 1797 and still provides Catholic religious services.
There were several museum rooms, as well as a beautiful courtyard and garden. Of course. I was drawn to the cacti!
Just look at these blooms!
It is of interest to note that the San Andreas Fault line (the line where two of earths plates meet) runs just below the property out back, and indeed the mission was damaged by a big earthquake in 1906. Because the mission sits close to if not on the fault line, they have two seismic recorders on site. One I could not find; here is the other:
I'm glad our visit was brief!?!!
Moving on, we drove the famous scenic 17 mile drive along the coast.
It was nice to see my old, old friend, the lone cypress (tree) which has stood on its rocky outcrop for over 250 years. I last saw it about 30+ yeas ago.
After a brief visit to the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course to check the time...just kidding, but where else can you find a Rolex this big?! We did spend some time and were able to see the 1st tee and the 18th hole as well as some plaques of winners of tournaments held there. I grew up "watching" golf on TV because my Dad loves it, but I'm not that impressed with the game in general. No one on our tour played--I don't know why. A round of golf at this esteemed course only costs $495 + a cart fee!

We overnighted in Monterey which has a smaller Fisherman's Wharf area.
This pelican was very obliging! Just a few more stops to go! Join me next time for a visit to Hearst's Castle and some star gazing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Odds and Ends

Praise, when used sparingly, retains an everlasting value. --Unknown

First, I want to thank everyone who has made such kind, supportive comments about my altered book. It means so much to me.

Now, I have one more page to show...but, first a bit of explanation. Since my book is small in size, I realized it is much easier to create two-page spreads, so I am going back to where I only used one page & trying to make a complementary page.
I created the page on the left first, so I went back and did a similar style on the right side using the complementary color of orange which is blue for the torn strips.

I also completed another ring of french beaded roses this week--which I consider my signature piece:
Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

AB Lesson 17

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. --Chinese Proverb

In Lesson 17, Elizabeth teaches and demonstrates all about polymer clay. You can go here to see her post. I am already familiar with working with oven baked clays, but there is always something new to learn, and I devoured this lesson like I did all the others. Here is my spread:
I'm trying to keep in mind all the design principles we learned--like repetition!
The pink hearts in the dancers hands (or just released) are, of course, made from white and pink clay smooshed together, then rolled out, cut with cutters, and then altered the shape on one a bit. You probably can't see in the photo, but the 2nd little palm tree on the right page was cut out and added, as well as the left half of the middle palm tree. I was trying to give a little extra texture.

My AB is certainly getting fat & I now appreciate why we might want to gesso the cover first unless we planned to use its design for our cover design! The next lesson covers fabric, and I am working on a more intricate spread that includes polymer clay two. Stop by for the reveal in about a week and a half!

Again, thank you so much, Elizabeth, for taking us on the altered book journey!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Pendant

Happiness should be your life's work, not a vacation that you postpone until you have more time. -Unknown

I'm trying to build up my jewelry stock for the upcoming holiday crafts shows (2) I participate in. After our basement flooded last summer and I lost so much of my holiday themed supplies, I have decided not to buy any more. I have seen a trend in the last few years where more "generic" items sell better, so I am going to use up what I have which is still a considerable amount and focus more on jewelry and other beaded items. I'll be listing my holiday themed items on Etsy soon also. Just a heads up to my readers...October is when I do an annual shipping sale which will include everything except custom and made to order items.

Here's my newest pendant:

It is a little different than my usual. These are free form Tiger's Eye cabochons that I attached to Nicole's Bead Backing (of course!)and beaded around with topaz color glass beads. Reminds me of chocolate and caramel!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

One For My Girl...

Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.--Irish proverb

and one for my shop!
I made one of these for my Etsy shop and showed it to my daughter. She liked it so much she wanted me to make her one. That felt really good!

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More Fuchsia Inspiration!

There were two more varieties of Fuchsia that I came across while on vacation; they were so beautiful they inspired me to create them in beads, too!
The cups on these were the most delicate shade of pink!
Here's the third color combination. The photo is not the best, but the cups were hot pink!
Up until this point, I did not know there were so many color varieties of Fuchsia out there! I'm glad I came upon these in my travels!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Each day can be a continuation, an end, or a beginning. It's your decision. -unknown

Today, I am showing off my altered book page that focuses on decorative edges. You can read Elizabeth's post here.
My page was inspired by the beautiful button robes of the Pacific northwest. I first came upon these ceremonial robes while reading an article in a beading magazine, and was then delighted when I traveled to Alaska & saw them firsthand.

I used some black paper, red mulberry paper behind the cut outs and white ink to dot in the details. When done I glued down some white buttons to outline the shape. I wired some red buttons onto the page to do the edge. I was really pleased with the result, and in fact, it went on to inspire me to create a similar design (minus the buttons) in an aceo:
I call this one "Halloween Spirit". That's the great thing about art...the creation of one thing often leads to another!

Friday, September 7, 2012

APR-Favorite Color

Anytime I get challenged to use my favorite color in art is a happy day for me! Jenn's challenge in the Artist's Play Room was just that!

Again, if you have been reading my blog for awhile, you will have learned that my favorite color is purple--any shade of purple. So I actually combined her last challenge (to show your inspiration) which I didn't get finished in time, with this one. First, the inspiration...these beautiful Fuchsia seen at Hearst Castle:
Here are my french beaded ones:
It was hard to capture the exact shade of purple with beads I have on hand, and I am all about using what I have. But, anyway, they have purple cups!

Use the link above to stop by and see what others did with this challenge.

Have a happy, creative weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vacation Part 5

California, here we come! (Again!)
I assure you, we were not in the middle of an earthquake--I must have had the camera tilted when I took this photo! Do you know what color the Golden Gate is? Nope, not is International Orange! Selected for its high visibility. So, we are back in California...San Francisco to be exact. One of S.F.'s claims to fame, besides its famous cable cars, is that it is home to Lombard Street, one of the city's crookedest streets with 8 switchbacks.
Pardon the wires, but it was up a really steep hill, too!
There was lots of art all over the city, but these are a few of my favorites:
This giant Lotus flower sculpture sits in front of the S.F. City Hall. It is made of fabric and moves in the breeze.
These two were painted on the sides of buildings. The hummingbird one actually wraps around to another side.
By now, I am sure at least some of you have figured out that I spent a day "in Jail"
while visiting the famous Alcatraz.
Nicknamed "The Rock" Alcatraz was a federal maximum security prison from the 1930s until 1963 when it was closed.
Some of it's famous inmates included the gangsters, Al Capone and George "Machine Gun Kelly, and Robert Stroud who was known as the Birdman of Alcatraz and immortalized in the movie by the same name starring Burt Lancaster. He never actually had birds while in prison--the nickname came from his interest in canaries. Another well-known movie, Escape From Alcatraz, starring Clint Eastwood tells the story of an escape in 1962 where 3 prisoners used dummy heads in their bunks and made escape rafts out of raincoats.
All in all 36 prisoners attempted escape. All but 5 were accounted for. The 5 were presumed drowned, but the warrants remain open until each man would be 100 years old. Of course there is lots more to learn about this prison. If you would like to research it further, this is an interesting site.

Join me next time as we venture into the earthquake region!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I am a little behind on my altered book with getting our daughter back to college, but anyway, I have to go where my inspiration takes me. This time it took me back to Lesson 13 where Elizabeth had us creating windows and doors. I previously showed you my window spread, and without further ado, here is my door spread:
Oh no! You're probably thinking..."Not another Egypt spread!" Well, not exactly. Can you guess who is behind the weathered door?
If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you might occasionally see posts and/or crafts related to Elvis Presley as he is one of my all time favorite singers. I also thought you might be able to read the hieroglyphics on the right side of the Well, it says, Elvis King.

I had fun with this one! Hope to be back soon to post the current lesson--edges!