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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Wheely Fun Jewelry Challenge




Janet from Honey from the Bee asked a handful of us Bead Ladies if we would participate in her Wheely Fun Challenge.  Heck, yeah!  So of course, no before photos from me, as that never crosses my mind.  But I am sure some of the other ladies were on the ball and took a photo of what Janet sent.  It was a wooden mini-wheel...smaller than a real wagon wheel but a bit bigger than a tinker toy wheel.

When it arrived in the mail in a package with some other bead treasures, I saw one thing only...a wheel.  I could not seem to allow my mind to make it into anything else but a wheel.  So, a wheel it stayed.  
                                                              a 
                                              Ghost of the Gold Rush 
                                            wagon wheel, to be precise.  

I went to work on it and used Darn Good Yarn Silk Cloud thread for the center spokes.  For the weathered wooded outer rim of the wheel, I used a grey suede ribbon Cynthia gave me a while back.  I put gold tone hex cut beads on the rusty spokes.  After some back and forth with a buffalo head pin, I opted to use an antique, worn, gold tone pin I found at an antique store near my house.  It didn't detract from the wheel and it lent itself to the theme of my wheel.  







I just realized now how much slack is in the loop with the pin in these photos, but when it hangs, there is no slack...as seen in this photo I took with my phone and sent to Cynthia when I was still pondering a few wheely things : 




Thank you Janet!  This was a lot of fun and a true challenge as to how to present the wheel.  


Please go on over to see what our hostess and the other participants made.  









Tuesday, September 30, 2014

.....was.....

If you are interested to find out how .....was.....started, click here.

There has been a stairway to nowhere near where I live for as long as I lived here.  It was just plunked out in the grass, nothing near it.  I decided to photograph it.  And guess what?  It is gone.  I finally decide to bring my camera with me and the Stairway to Nowhere is Gone.  It was still around as late as the end of August.  Wonder where it went?  This was in the same field.  What's the story with this one?  And where did the Stairway go?  It was concrete stairs (about 8-10 steps) and an iron handrail.

Lackawanna County
Pennsylvania



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

.....was.....

Another Tuesday already...hard to believe how fast time flies.  I thought for sure I would finally get to a jewelry post in between ".....was....." posts, but that didn't happen.  C'est la vie!

If you want to find out how ".....was....." started, click here.
So as I said last week, I have been mulling this over for a very long time, but didn't have enough photos for a strong start.  I was hoping for a "if you start it, the photos will come."  Within seconds after hitting the "publish" button last week, I found out a service person was coming, someone I didn't want to talk with for various reasons.  I was pissed that I either had to be home with him in an awkward angry silence or abandon my plans to bead in the workshop all day and leave while he worked.  I opted to leave.  Why be with someone when I can be alone?
I grabbed the camera, drove to the reservoir, parked the car, and hit the woods, alone for the first time in forever.  I used to cherish being alone in the woods.  It was my favorite, FAVORITE thing to do.  But kids, safety, blah blah blah has prevented me from doing it for the past 16 years.   I felt so alive and so much like ME.  I reconnected with my confidence and my strength and my thoughts and my power.  I did contemplate briefly how to fend off a bear, but beyond that, it was completely worry free and cleansing.

I knew this old bridge was here but never photographed it.  Leaving the house and going in the woods, heading in this direction, I made the series photo happen, rather than leaving it up to fate, like I have been doing with these photos.








Bridge over Reservoir
Lackawanna County
Pennsylvania


 So what kind of cars drove over this bridge?  And where were they headed?  Stories.  

I hope to be either less verbal or non-verbal throughout the series and hear your stories instead.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

.....was.....

I have been mulling this over for a long time.
Photos of abandoned structures.
I know it is not a new idea, but I cannot stop thinking about it.
I am not a photographer, but I do like taking pictures on occasion.  I began taking pictures of abandoned structures a year or so ago.  The idea came to me when we were on our way to Trout Lake in Upstate New York in July 2013.  We were driving for a few hours when I saw a sign.  It was on a tall rusty post, about 15 feet or more in the air.  The sign was in rough shape and said "Diner".  There was nothing around it ~ no structure that used to be a diner.  Just a cement slab with weeds and bushes growing through it.  But the sign remained.
The structures themselves are not hard to find at all, but the photography is presenting a problem.  I will not trespass, so I am snapping from the road.  And the Bird Man will not pull over when we drive.  He will slow down when there is no one behind us, but that is it.  I have to re-examine this situation.

I meant to start these posts September 2013, but I didn't have enough photos at that time.  I still don't.  I have a lot of blur and streaks and partials with the Bird Man's nose in the photo.  But I decided not to wait anymore.  Maybe once I start putting it up here, the photos will be easier to come by.  Maybe not.  But not starting something I want to start is getting old, as am I.  I tend to wait for the perfect time to start something.  THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME.  Ever.  There is only the desire and the now.

This has become such an agonizing-long-time-talking-about-it process that my girls now yell every 10 minutes from the back seat, "ABANDONED STRUCTURE!!!"  They once sent me into the deli to get hoagies and the three of them took my camera and took pictures of abandoned lawn chairs, mailboxes, weeds, house window, deli sign, styrofoam coffee cup, crooked street sign, and of course one of themselves.  They mock me so.....

When the photos are posted,  I would love to hear from you...what story do you think accompanies the structure?  What went on with it when it was full of life and newness?  What caused its demise?
What do you see when you look at it?  Stories.  Everything has a story.  It will be fun to make up a few of our own.

And now....was....


Route 23
Sussex County
New Jersey




Sunday, August 31, 2014

She Made ~ She Made : August

I'm Back!!!!!  (I hope)

Blogging in summer is not my thing.  I don't miss writing my own blog nearly as much as I miss visiting all my favorite blogs.  But, it is the way I have always lived...I am "on" 10 months out of the year and need 2 months of down time.  The perpetual school calendar mixed with spending childhood summers in a different town left me in that cycle that I am not really interested in breaking. I see as few people as possible during the summer.  I just need to empty my head for a while.  The girls keep me busier than I would like, but that is probably good for me.  On top of my usual summer reclusiveness (spell check says this is not a word.  I say "screw you spell check"), my computer died early summer.  I sent it to HP and it came back still dead, so I sent it out AGAIN.  It came back and is seemingly ok, but with several blips, so I have zero faith in this now after LOVING it for a year.  The mid-summer July post on the blog was actually written up and set to post sometime in early June, when my chromebook and I were still were still passionately involved with each other.  So at least I got to participate in the last of the CC7A posts, thanks to my against-character early finish/photos/write up.  I apologize to anyone who left comments in June and July.  I like to e-mail replies to the comments and I just gave up trying to do it on my phone.  I still may get around to you yet! 

 I told myself all summer, I would blog again in September, but when Therese suggested a She Made~She Made on the last day of August, I figured, "Close enough."  She picked these beads, though the agates she gave me are more of a mustard color.  



I had no idea what to do with the mustard agates.  They were tough beads for me to plan around.  I fondled them and kept them in my pocket for a few days.  One day, I was sorting through my rocks from Lake Michigan (the one Therese chose).  I have a lot of them.  They are called Stink Stones, but they look like the moon to me.  I found one that had a hole going all the way through.  I got so excited that I didn't have to drill or bezel and in my excitement, I spilled a container of metal findings and beads.  As I was picking them up, I saw the bell beads.  I cut them off my bell hippie pants I used to wear when I would go to the polls each November (wearing my rag wool socks and Birkenstocks).  I liked the idea of mixing the polished agates, lake stone, and metal.  So I added a few seed beads and strung and knotted it all on an orange Silk Cloud Mini from Darn Good Yarn.



(button from my Gram's stash)


Maybe I can wear this to a concert and make a little music myself when I dance :-)  I love the sound these bells make.  
Thanks for reading and for coming back and for being a part of my world.  And Thanks Therese ~ you gave me the kick I needed to get back here again :-D 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists ~ July...the Finale

Today is the Seventh of Seven dates from January through July we are posting work we made with goodie bags other Bloggers sent us.  Alicia had the idea that we each send out six packages with beads or focals and on the 26th of each month we reveal what we made with a certain participant's package.
I am honored to be in this group of Seven...these ladies are a creative bunch.  
Participating in this Event and their Package Month and theme are : 

Monique of A Half-Baked Notion  :  January ~ National Gallery of Canada

Moi  :  February ~ Round and Round 

Sally of The Studio Sublime  :  March ~ Contrasting Colors

Therese of Therese's Treasures  :  April ~ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Alicia of All The Pretty Things (and the brains behind this lovely continuing hop :-D )  :  May ~ Seasons

Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers  :  June ~ SomethingOld/SomethingNew/SomethingBorrowed/SomethingBlue





Emma of A Polymer Penchant  :  July ~ not sure if Emma picked a theme but I would say, Beauty!


So here we are ~ the Grande Finale.  Seven months...a brutal and seemingly endless Winter into a fleeting Spring into Summer Fun.  Today, we celebrate Emma's offerings.  She made the polymer focal and sent other beads to go with it.  It started out very light and airy and summery, with pink silk cord.  But it seemed too light.  And when I asked my daughters what they thought, they didn't have much to say.  SNIP.  And almost instantly, I started weaving a necklace I used to teach.  This version has a base of grey lined triangle beads that are ladder stitched, with picot edging with seed beads on one side and picot edging with tear drops and seeds on the other side.  Then I took the pendant and beads and had them drop off the necklace.  

Fleur is in desperate need of clothes and has been going au natural lately.  This necklace seems right at home on her gorgeous body.  






Thank you Emma ~ this focal is GORgeous with its folds and colors.
And thank you Alicia for being the leader of this small group of lovely women.  Without your idea to pull us all together, this would not have happened.  
And thank you Monique, Therese, Sally, and Cynthia for the packages you sent.  We created some mighty fine work these past seven months, haven't we ladies?

And thank you for being here, reading my tiny blog.  I still love being here :-)  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists ~ June

Today is the Sixth of Seven dates from January through July we are posting work we made with goodie bags other Bloggers sent us.  Alicia had the idea that we each send out six packages with beads or focals and on the 26th of each month we reveal what we made with a certain participant's package.
I am honored to be in this group of Seven...these ladies are a creative bunch.  
Participating in this Event and their Package Month and theme are : 

Monique of A Half-Baked Notion  :  January ~ National Gallery of Canada

Moi  :  February ~ Round and Round 

Sally of The Studio Sublime  :  March ~ Contrasting Colors

Therese of Therese's Treasures  :  April ~ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Alicia of All The Pretty Things (and the brains behind this lovely continuing hop :-D )  :  May ~ Seasons

Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers  :  June ~ SomethingOld/SomethingNew/SomethingBorrowed/SomethingBlue



Emma of A Polymer Penchant  :  July ~ not sure if Emma picked a theme but I would say, Beauty!




Something Old ~ Something New ~ Something Borrowed ~ Something Blue.
When I opened this package from Cynthia, all I thought of was Beach Wedding/Beach Boho/Beach Bum/Beach Beach Beach.  But the Sari kept tripping me up, especially since it is white.  Until I decided to go simple : choker with a little bit of sway.  I added some leftover flat rounds from Therese's Lucy in the Sky package.  This brought together a bit of wedding symbolism of you ~ me ~ us.

Here 'tis:











Thank you, Cynthia, for the awesome toggle, the push to use white, the blues.

And thank you Alicia, for putting this group together.

One more month, Ladies!  Hard to believe we are nearing the end.










Not good self portrait so you can see how it hangs ;-)







Happy Summer Everyone!


My reading, writing, and visiting blogs will be spotty over the summer.  I apologize for that and will miss the blogs I regularly follow.   But ~ it's Summer!!!  What can I do but swim/kayak/drive drive drive?!