Thursday, December 31, 2015

As the year winds down....

                           I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year,
                                                        and all the best for 2016!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

T Stands For Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone! First, I thought I would follow up a little with the dried papaya results. If you read my last post, I had found a tea nearly the same as I had in Sweden and thought it just needed a little more papaya taste. I purchased some dried papaya that I cut up very small and added to the infuser when I made the next cup.  Not only did it not add flavor, but it seemed to bland the flavor that was already there.  I decided to just be content with the way it is--almost perfect.

Today because everything is in such a rush, I am sharing my husband's coffee cup--I know, I know, it looks worse than my stained tea cup, but he loves it and won't give it up. Since I had my tea at 6:30 this morning and did not even have my eyes open, this will allow me to join Elizabeth and the T Stands for Tuesday gang.

I have all the decorating done, most of the cleaning, and planned to do more of the baking this morning. In the meantime today, took DH for a routine test this morning, got a panicky phone call from my 89-year-old Dad that he was having trouble with his laptop, and found out DD is on her way home from work early, so my whole world went topsy turvy again!
Thank goodness for Elvis music that keeps me happy & energized....

Thank goodness for my happy little avocado pit--which isn't so little anymore.....
Thank goodness I've had a little extra time to bead (ok, I skipped a few cleaning chores, but who will know?) which always makes me happy.....

And thank goodness for all my online friends who give me so much encouragement, inspiration, and friendship--just by being there!  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

T Stands For Celebration

Hi Everyone! Another year has rolled around, and today is DH's birthday. We celebrated by having his favorite meal--homemade pasta which we ate so fast I neglected to take a photo! However, I did remember to take a photo of my drink for the T Tuesday gang.
As you can see, I've started decorating and have cheered up the Dining Room a bit. You can see some French beaded flowers that I just completed in the background, and, of course, Mr. Moose in his usual spot.  I made the birthday card on my new die cutting machine which I will tell you all about probably after the holidays since I have put it away for now.
Here is a closer look at the card.  This weekend we will be going to our close friend's Hanukkah Party, so DD & her boyfriend will be here for the weekend which will be nice.

This past weekend was the annual "Candy Cane Run" in our town.  Santa goes around on the back of a fire truck handing out candy canes to all the kids in the neighborhood. They usually make several passes on nearby roads but I didn't have my camera ready in time. So, instead I will leave you with a photo of a visitor of another kind while I go finish decorating!

Happy T Day everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

T Stands For Two Posts in One

Hi Everyone! I'm running around doing errands today, but before I go thought I'd join Elizabeth and Bleubeard for a T Stands For Tuesday post. I'm actually drinking English Breakfast tea right now in my same boring cup, so instead of another photo of that, I thought I would share my recent tea purchase with you.
Ever since I returned from Sweden, I have been trying to purchase some tea that I had there every morning with breakfast that I absolutely fell in love with. In our travels around the city we came upon two tea shops where we inquired, but neither were familiar with the tea even after showing them a link online in Swedish. Near the end of the trip I even asked the hotel staff at the buffet where I could purchase some, but alas they order it online. Not to be deterred when we arrived home, I set out on a mission. I scoured the internet and found it but choked at the cost to order and ship to the US. I tried all the shops around here, until I finally found something very similar at a company I have ordered online from. Enter Passion Fruit Papaya....very, very close to the one I have been searching for, if only it had a little more papaya taste. I am going to buy some dried papaya today if I can find it, chop some up and let it dry out and then add it to my next cup.  Hopefully, that will do it!

Now on to my 2nd post....for Art Journal Journey whose theme this month is collage, I made this:
I have no idea why this photo came out so blurry, but I took a few close ups, so not to worry!
Here at the top you can plainly see that I used an old book page as my substrate and did a glazed lavender background. I used a little trick that I learned from Seth Apter to gesso the back side of the page first to control curling. It worked! The birds were cut on a die cutting machine, but that is a story for another post.
The rest were magazine images, scraps of paper, wings off a bag from a purchase in Egypt, and a gifted crown for the "king of the jungle" lion. Valerie,our hostess this month, wanted to see some words or journaling, so I chose an appropriate quote from Emily Dickenson, "Luck is not chance, it's toil; Fortune's expensive smile is earned."  Stop by AJJ and see more fantastic collages!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Second on the 2nd

Hi Everyone! I can't believe it is December 2 already! You know what that means, right? Yes, it is time to join up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for a second look at previous post. I chose this post from January 10, 2011, because when I came upon it, it made me smile! Hope it gives you a chuckle, too! Click on the link above to see Elizabeth's post and what everyone else is sharing.

 January 10, 2011

Boob post revisited...and a big reveal!

Do you remember this post? How could you forget? It is being revisited for a special reason.  After reading all the comments (both agreeing & disagreeing) I came upon Nicole's comment, and we decided it would be fun to each take a boob, er one of the polymer clay pieces and challenge ourselves to see what we could make. So I mailed one to her, and we have now both completed our pieces. Today is the great unveiling ...Oh, yeah, we have not seen each other's pieces either. Sure to be fun! Here is the original post:
 I was playing with my polymer clay & made a spiral bead which I got the bright idea to cut in half and see if I could use it as a cabochon & bead around it. After cuting it in half and looking at them both together...well, do you see it? Do they look like a certain female body part to you? Or is my mind in the gutter?
Is it my color selection? I don't think these are going to make it into any project anytime soon! Maybe if I use the two of them, I can make an art doll of some sort. I think I will put them in my "didn't come out quite like I planned" drawer!

And now for the big reveal.....
I decided to make a brooch and added another "unknown" stone.
Thanks to Nicole's excellent instructions in a bead kit she gifted me, I was able to complete the back without any stitches showing!
I am rather pleased with it...What do you think?
Nicole & I have talked about what to do, and I am going to join her in offering my piece in a silent auction format. All proceeds will go to breast cancer research. If you are interested, just send me an email--highest bidder wins!

Now go see Nicole's piece!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

T Stands For Museum Wrap Up

Hi Everyone! Thanks for stopping by to see the last of the exhibition posts....Moving our daughter into her new apartment on Sunday went really well. The drive there and home was much better than expected, and since we left early to come home, we stayed ahead of the traffic and snarls that occur on this heavy travel day.  Anyway, on to the show.....

The last room, was Autumn, filled with breathtaking golds, deep reds and gem-like colors. One side of the room featured several large displays,
while the other showed smaller, more compact arrangements:
It was interesting--and I didn't notice until I got home and looked at the photos--that this display looked like this on Friday night when the crowd was family and friends, and like this
on Saturday and beyond
when the general public were welcomed in. Here are just a few shots of the larger arrangements:
Moving into the last hallway, is a memorial wreath of the kind used to decorate a loved one's grave. This one is brand new, of course, and even though it is a really terrible photo, you

can see all the work that went into the flowers and wrapping beads all the way around the heavy wire frame.

Last but not least was a plaque demonstrating how a beaded flower is constructed (the steps were constructed by me),
and a case that showed how glass is stretched into rods and then cut to make the individual beads:
To the left are some vintage color sample cards and the photo depicts women collecting the beads onto strings by hand which must have been very tedious! I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of the exhibition. Thank you for all your enthusiastic and lovely comments on all the posts.

I wanted to share a few photos of my blooming cacti--the little one on the window sill next to my seed grown cacti was a cutting I made for our daughter's new apartment.
Now all that is left is for me to share my drink and a freshly baked pastry with Elizabeth and visit all the other participants!

Monday, November 23, 2015

T Stands for Museum Post

Hi everyone! I had hoped to finish up my museum posts last Tuesday, but life keeps getting in the way. This past week I was busy both Monday and Tuesday, and did not have the foresight to start my post early as I am doing now! I hope you are not getting tired of seeing these, but I promise I am almost done!

We are now up to Room 4 which represents Summer in all it glorious bright colors!
Although this is not the best photo, it gives a good idea of the larger display in this room. The branches are hanging from the ceiling and form a sort of enclosure for the flowers.
These vibrant purple and blue flowers were among my favorites. I don't know who made these, but they are stunning in person. Behind them, you can just barely see some bleeding hearts that I crafted.
This display was on another wall in the Summer room. The fencing was in place so no one would touch the flowers which were mostly berries. In the next photo, you can see how they actually had to build a wall so they could attach the stems.
I'm still on a high as I look at these photos again and again and can't believe it happened! Of course it has energized me to keep making and perfecting more flowers....
Ice Crystals

Pink Bleeding Hearts
Thanks for stopping by and bearing with me as I continue to document the museum exhibit. I'm sharing with Elizabeth and the T Stands For Tuesday gang. I'll share my cup of tea, too!
I want to wish everyone who celebrates a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I apologize for not being such a regular visitor lately. DD has found an apartment to  rent, again in NYC, and we plan to move her in on Sunday. After that, hopefully, my time will be more my own.

Monday, November 9, 2015

T Stands For Spring

Hi Everyone! Yes, for this post T stands for Spring, at least in the world of beaded flowers. This is a peak into the third room at the museum. It consisted on one long table filled with lots and lots of small flowers. It was of if they were just emerging. There were over 700 beaded flowers in this exhibit.

Again, the flowers emerging from last year's leaves is just brilliant!

I'm back to making flowers for my shop now and hope to get it a little fuller by the holidays. It is hard to keep up with everything--housework and cooking keep getting in the way! I still hope to make my own Christmas cards this year, but that may be just a little too ambitious. We shall see! In any case, here are just a few things I've finished recently:
Trillium Berry Candle Ring Wreath 

This is the gift I made for my friend, the person who owns all the flowers in the exhibit.  I used Nicole's Bead Backing as the base for the card that I added bead embroidery to.  The water lily is made with all vintage glass beads that I "inherited" from a family friend.
Southern Magnolia

 As you can see, I have been keeping busy! We've had warm weather for this time of year and have been able to get out most days for a walk...Enjoying every last one of them before the cold moves in for good, and drinking lots of water.
My blurry glass of water, but really, it is crystal clear!
Linking to Elizabeth and friends at T Stands For Tuesday! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Northern Gannet

This post originally aired on April 7, 2009 and is being shared again today in conjunction with Altered Book Lover's Second Look on the Second.  The second of the month is when we go through our older posts and share one of our favorites or one that current followers may not have seen. Feel free to join along by posting yours and linking up with Elizabeth at the above link. This painting remains one of my favorites!

The Northern Gannet is a member of the Booby family of plunge/diving birds. They can dive as far down as 130 feet to catch the fish they eat. They are the most common type of Bobby, found from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

This is my latest oil painting in which I tried to capture these strong beautiful birds. The paint is still a little wet so I haven't signed it yet, but that is all that is left to do!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

T Stands For A Walk Thru A Few Rooms

Hi Everyone! I am joining Elizabeth and the T Tuesday gang with yesterday's lunchtime cup of Jerry Cherry tea and some Italian Lady Fingers.
I have to admit that I much prefer the softer lady fingers that I grew up with--you know, the kind that most people line their pans with when they make tiramisu? Of course, that has driven their price way up with the popularity of this trendy dessert (which I am also not that fond of), so I "settle" for these.  Ok, getting off my stovebox and on to a look at the show at the museum.

This is the first room you enter which served as a little introductory to the craft. The sign explains the historical origins of flower beading and if I remember correctly introduces the theme of how everything changes with the passage of time. Combined with last year's leaves and dried botanical elements from the grounds of the museum it reminds us that all is transient in this world. It also gives hope by showing the changing of the seasons and the promise of new life. (Heavy thoughts!)
Yes, a rare photo of me! The solid purple flowers are my work, and the others belong to an artist from Utah who also traveled to Stockholm with her family, so we were both pretty much blown away from this first room. In this room was also a case that held some historical pamphlets and a vintage beaded sampler about flowers. From there you walked through black drapes into this room:

This room represented Winter. It was dark with spotlights on each of 6 arrangements in silver and white and muted color schemes. The bottom right photo shows the ceiling and there was soft tinkling music in the room. These three are my work. I just fell in love with the shadows!

That's all I have time for today. Thanks for stopping by for a cup of tea!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

T Stands for T-bana

Hi everyone! I've been so busy since I returned home that I have not even had time to edit my photos let alone create art. 
I do always have time for tea and try to join in on Tuesdays with Elizabeth's T Stands for Tuesday group. It is a fun and supportive group!

It is not entirely true that I did not have time to make art, but what I made are gifts that I will show after they get to the recipients. In the meantime, I will share some art from my trip.
The Tunnelbana, T-bana, or T as it became known is the underground train system in Sweden which is very efficient and easy to use. There are three color coded lines with very easy to read maps.  I was impressed with the art in some of the stations as you proceeded to the carded entry to the tracks.
The art celebrated Swedish artists and other notables.
It was really hard to show the perspective on this, but sometimes there were multiple escalators down to the tracks with at least one of them taking over a minute to descend.  The red "cage" in the right of the photo held an elevator which in this case was more like an incline railway. We tried it on the way up.
There was even art decorating the elevator cage on the way down the escalator.
At the bottom before getting to the tracks, one is often treated to more art in the form of painting on the walls and ceiling. This was one of the more lighted stations so the photo came out reasonably well.
The tracks were well marked, and some of the stations even had suitcase carts that could be used.
Another useful thing were the digital boards that told you how soon each train would be arriving--and they were very prompt!!

I'll share one last photo--my avocado--before going off to visit everyone....
Happy T Day!