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?! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Break From Tradition 5 Woman Hop : Come see our Spikes

Here we are!  Just a handful of us lucky ladies who are working with mega spikes Cynthia generously sent us.  Please go see what Cynthia, Therese, Bobbie, and Janet made.  I am darting over to their pages myself right now!

Therese (Therese's Treasures)

Bobbie (Beadsong Jewelry)

Janet (Honey from the Bee)

Cynthia (Antiquity Travelers)

The little hop was just what I needed to get some finished pieces out of the spikes.  I started working with them back in the winter when we first received them, then let them sit, undecided and unfinished.  The day Cynthia announced a little hop, I went right to work!  I need that kick sometimes.  

First is Spike Choker, with ribbon, peacock pearls, seed beads, black ovals, spikes.  It looks great on Fleur!  

Next is a necklace made with seed beads, labradorite, and the spikes.  It bounces around between the boobs and sometimes sits with the spike looking up at me and sometimes with it looking out at the person I am across from.  It likes to bop around :-) 

This next one is rather stripped down.  Spikes, seeds, twins, silk thread.

The last one belongs on a WTFriday post...I am not sure it is quite there yet.  Maybe the proportions are wrong?  Comments?  I think maybe the hematite squares need to go. 

So there are my spikes!  Thank you Cynthia, for your never-ending generosity :-D  The spikes were so much more challenging then I thought they would be, but they were fun!  That first necklace was the last one made and not much time or thought was put into it.  I think it is my favorite out of the bunch.  As always, thanks for visiting!  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Time To Stitch 5, with a Special Guest Hopper

Welcome to A Time To Stitch 5!  The assignment for this hop was to use the same stitch, same piece (all bracelets/earrings, etc) but different beads in each piece the weaver made.  This would show how size, shape, or color changes the piece.  Some changes might be subtle and some might give it a whole new look.  
Thank you, Therese!  You really did all the work on this one.  It was a tough time of year for me to help co-host.  One of the things I love about co-hosting with Therese...when one of us cannot do as much, the other fills right in.  She is a great partner! 

I had every intent on making bracelets for this hop, but then decided to take care of two commitments and do earrings to be sent on to Ears to You.  I have committed to making 60 pair in the 2014 calendar year.  At last count, I had 40something pair made.  

There is so much more to come for this post, so let me get right to the earrings.  I made these first three pair using Ladder Stitch and bugles.  From left to right, I used 3mm bugles, 6mm bugles, and 6mm twisted bugles.  I used 11mm seeds, teardrops, and bicone crystals on all of them. 

On the second set of three pair of earrings, I used peyote.  At least, I think it is it peyote when you are only doing two rows?  I used size 11 delicas for the first pair, 1.5mm cubes for the second pair, 3mm bugles for the third pair.  I added size 11 seed beads and crystals to them.   

It was a fun experiment and in my mind, I thought I would like certain sizes or shapes more than others but when all was done, that wound up not to be the case.  Interesting.  

As the title promised, there is a Special Guest Hopper today...Take it away, Sunshine Girl!!!    

So it's official. 7th Grade zipped by, and Friday is the last day of school! I decided about 2 weeks ago, "Why not make some bracelets for my teachers?" After all, they're wonderful teachers who had to deal with some not-so-wonderful students. They deserve some kind of reward!

I told my mom about my idea. She said it was very kind and thoughtful of me. A few days later, when I was picking out the beads, she told me about this hop. She asked me, "Do you want to do it?" to which I replied, "Uh, YEAH!" And then I started jumping up and down giggling, "I'm gonna do a hop! I'm gonna do a HOP!" My mom always tells us about her blog hops, and we comment with a "cool, I like it," and a smile. (I mean, we mean it, we really love her jewelry.) But now that I'm doing a hop, everything is different.

These bracelets are for my diligent teachers in 7th Grade Math, Science, Reading, English, and, my favorite, American History. They are flat spiral stitch with cream colored seed beads on the sides. The differences:
1.) The beads going straight down the middle
2.) The clasps (but some are still the same)

These are the same bracelets, they're just "posing" differently.

I want to give some credit to my mom. She allowed me to use her materials and helped me whenever I needed it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this extra special hop! Maybe I'll be back.

Back to you, Mom, to finish it off!

I am so happy to have Sunshine Girl here in my blog space.  She loves the flat spiral and it shows ~ she does it so well! 

And now the list of all the participants...go see what they have made!  I am extra excited about this one, since we have no idea what stitches everyone used.  Thank you to Therese, once again.  Thank you to all you ladies who continually sign up for this hop...there is no hop without you!  And to Sunshine Girl for always having an open mind and an open heart.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Creative Continuum of Seven ~ May

Today is the Fifth of Seven dates from now through July we will be 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!

Alicia, the brains behind this hop, sent out cabs and rounds.  I have worked so much with cabs lately but am woefully uncomfortable doing so.  But I am super proud of what I made here.  I had it completely finished back in February, eagerly awaiting the May reveal.  The whole time I was working on it, this poem kept looping though my head.  It was a comfort and offered guidance and fit the Seasons theme perfectly :

Nothing Gold Can Stay 
                         by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

("Stay gold, Pony Boy.  Stay gold."  who remembers that?!)

Full Frontal of absolutely lovely agate beads and cab.

The rope is chenille stitch.  I made it as a bracelet for the ATTS hop in January, but there wasn't enough there there so I pushed it aside for a undetermined future project.  This wound up being just the right project.  The colors were just the right green/gold understated look I wanted to quietly support the cab.  

Netted Bezel. 

 On the back of the cab, I made a peyote/brick swatch to hook the frontal netting onto.  Worked perfectly!  I will be implementing this technique much more often :-)

Sweet button closure.

Thank you Alicia, for the goods to make this happen...and for the wonderful idea of pulling all seven of us together!  

Friday, May 23, 2014

WTFriday?!!? Gaia the Goddess Continues to Give Me Grief

But really, is that any wonder, given the winter we have had?  And Spring hasn't been much of a joy either.  But I am not here to talk weather, I am here to ask for opinions about what you think of the necklace in this post (i accidentally just wrote "pissed"...Freudian slip!).   I posted about Gaia and how she came to live with me here .  We have had a bumpy ride together so far.  She gives me fits!  In the midst of a uber fit, I ran into a box and the lid popped off and this necklace was inside.  I had one of those "your peanut butter is in my chocolate/your chocolate is in my peanut butter" moments.  What if I took apart the bouquet and the flowers became a part of Gaia?  What if I did?  So I did.  Here is a rough draft.  What do you think?

Large eyes, large lips, ginormous thyroid, nice boobs, nice round belly...I am not attracted to her as a whole, but each individual part of her I love.

Thoughts?  Observations?  Comments?

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Bug, The Huntress

Sunshine Girl was the star of the last post.  This time it is The Bug.  But there is some backstory before it is her time to shine here.

(WARNING: This photo on the left, showing The Bug how she looks on a daily basis, is the only non-graphic photo on today's post.  If you don't want to see the rest, leave now.  I won't mind.  The upcoming photos are from cell phones, so the quality isn't the best.)

When I was living the frolicking life of a single girl in the Rockies, I was a vegetarian.  It wasn't political, necessarily.  It was more because I didn't cook and I wasn't fond of the taste of meat.  It was just easier for me to be a vegetarian.  Back in the day, none of my friends were hunters.  The thought of it never crossed my mind, except the one time my companion and I were backpacking and we ran into hunters.  And then, my only thought was that my clothes were brown and tan and that was probably not good. My pack was colorful, so I hoped that was enough.  We survived the hunters, but the cattle that tore through our campsite caused quite a bit of damage.  Fast-forward to when I met the Bird Man on a trip back East.  The first thing he told me was that he is a hunter.  I realized then that I did have an opinion about hunting, and it was not a positive one.  He took a lot of time and patience to talk with me about why it is necessary for the environment, that he eats the animals he hunts, that his dad was a retired game warden and he and his friends are always safe and legal in their approach to hunting.  I returned to the Rockies with lots to ponder.  I was hot for this guy, but he hunted.  And he lived back East.  Two huge strikes against him.  Well, here I am...been with him for nearly 21 years now.  And the first meat I ate after several years without it was a quail/woodcock/duck/goose/turkey medley.  And holy crap was it good!  One of the last things I gave up when I stopped eating meat was elk.  So I could not wait for him to cook venison for me.  And when he did,  that was probably when I decided to stick with him for the duration.  But all these years later, I still tuck that part of him aside and don't acknowledge it much to people I don't know very well.  Not fair to him, I know.

So when The Bug decided in Fall of 2011 that she wanted to go hunting, I was not happy, scared, and in denial.  But I figured it can take years for people to become good hunters and she would probably get bored and give up before she ever shot anything.  I did try and encourage her to use a bow like her Dad, but she wasn't interested in it.  More worry.  But with her Dad as her teacher and some classes and tests under her belt, I knew she was as safe as she could be.  Her first big hunt was in bear season.  The Bird Man has been hunting his entire life and only got one bear, so I wasn't too worried.  She is always Golden so I should have known better.  We got a pressure cooker not long before she got the bear.  Holy Crap.  People in the family were begging for more when we cooked it for them. Tender, dark, delicious.
She always makes sure her nails are painted and she has earrings in before she goes hunting.  Always a lady.  She skinned the bear, cut off the fat, cut up the meat and wrapped it.  She is not squeamish in the least.

Then she got a deer in 2012.  She processed the whole thing with the Bird Man again.  He does the cooking but she is hands on in everything else.  She is the only female who hunts with The Bird Man's friends.  They all have a tremendous amount of respect for her.  A lot of them are older than we are and they tell the Bird Man how she breathes new life into the group.  Her personality and her sweetness are comforting and infectious to all who know her.  She is truly golden.

 Turkey time.  2013.  This girl is too much!

I thought maybe the bear was given to her by the divine intervention of her late game warden grandfather.
I thought maybe the deer was a lucky shot too.  But then when this happened, I had to admit that The Bug is probably a good hunter.  But I still had my doubts.

Deer 2013.  Impossible to deny the strength of her skills now.  This deer provided a lot of meals, most recently last night for Mother's Day dinner.
Sitting down to meals that came from the garden and from the healthy woods around is hard to think of a better way to eat.  Not all meals are that quality, but we sure savor the ones that come along.  At some point in the meal, one of the hunters asks "Who eats better than us?!"  In unison the rest of us say, "No One!"
(our other motto, coined by Sunshine Girl : We clink before we drink)

And the photo that prompted me to write about this...Turkey 2014...harvested 2 days ago.  That was the first time in this house something other than fish went from field to fork in 12 hours.  It was incredible.
The Bug is so much more than a hunter and I think I take the easy way out and focus on those other sides of her and tuck away the hunting, which isn't right.   She is a runner, a violin player, the most gracious sister/daughter/granddaughter/niece/friend, a helper, a near perfect student, a care giver, a good listener, a loyal person, and a very accurate hunter.  Should she ever abandon the finer things she likes and live off the land, no doubt she and her family will never starve.

Like a lot of people, due to conflicting thoughts,  I enjoy the benefit of the meat without fully acknowledging how it got on my plate.  I need to stop being hypocritical and embrace what my family does.  I never thought I would give birth to a hunter, but...ya just never know what life hands you!

I love my Bug and Huntress she has become.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bucket List

Sunshine Girl made a bucket list.  There are some things on the list that are rather do-able.  There are a couple things on there that I don't want to know about until after they happen.  One of the things she has on her list is to go to Ringing Rocks Park in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County, PA.  Approximately 1/3 of the rocks ring when you strike them.  She said that is what she wanted to do this past weekend.  Ok~we could handle that!

When we got to the park, we followed a short trail that opened up into a 7ish  acre boulder field.  The Bug and I are not the most sure footed people you'll meet, but we made it out pretty far.  Sunshine Girl and the Bird Man were agile and hopping from rock to rock without worry of falling on their heads or twisting and ankle or shifting rocks.  I wish I had that confidence!  I actually remembered a camera (a standing joke in the house because I forget it 99.9% of the time...we have zero pictures of kids' concerts/ceremonies, etc), and took many photos of the Sunshine Girl striking a rocks and striking poses.

It was a gorgeous day ~ beautiful weather, fun with hammers, good conversation, meandering rides along the Delaware, lots of laughing, and someone got to put her first check on her Bucket List.

To find out more about the park, geological info about the boulder field, and to see better photos, this website is a good one.    Sometimes I want to know why things happen.  Sometimes I just want to let the mystery be.

Sunshine Girl

The Bug

The Bird Man.  One guess as to what he is doing? 

Self Portrait

Ringing Rocks Park ~ boulder field

The musician hunting for bells

A Dream Come True

Ringing away

Out among the boulders

Musician and her instrument

We gave her the nickname of Sunshine Girl way back when she was an infant.  She was such a  miserable child for quite a few years.  She had a turbulent start to life, so it was understandable that she was a crankpot.   But eventually, the name Sunshine Girl stopped becoming tongue-in-cheek and became a self fulfilling prophecy.  
We would have kept her regardless ;-)