Friday, July 31, 2009

Of Slugs and Giveaways

The only thing I have done today besides sweat my way down town to buy a tube of E 6000, was surf blogs. Now how do you spell slug-Pat... ?? :) After hauling ourselves down town to the only store in town that sells E6000 glue there was none and along with that info the news that they were not going to carry it any more (ever) :( Jeez now I have to find a mule for glue!! They did sell me a "new" glue and said it was just as good, haaaa I guess we'll see.

Sooooo while surfing I ran across this really cool give away. Jennifer of Glass Addiction is giving away two different pieces of her jewelry. There is a pair earrings with her awesome lampwork beads.

The other is a pendent made with one of her "ice cube" beads. Okay so why don't you wonder over to her blog and register for her giveaway and check out her ETSY site. But do not get your hopes up about winning the ice cube because it is mine!!! ;)

I think it's time I head to the shower, all this salt from sweating is really bad for the complexion of us slugs don't you know!!

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jeepers Poncho Makes Six!!! & A Couple of Finished Projects

Course if you read my blog very much you know that there are two humans LW and I who live here. We share these digs with 5 rescued dogs :) All the way from Rubi at just over 2&1/2 lbs to Talli at 80 lbs. Two Chihuahuas Rubi and Charli, a street dog Nena, 2 labs Nickie, Talli. Our friends Luci and Toni are headed to Mexico City for a couple of weeks. Soooooooo Poncho their Chihuahua on steroids has come for a sleep over with Rubi & Charli. That give us 6 in one house with no I repeat NO yard :( LW feeds and walks the big girls. I feed and clean up the little guys. Aw heck you know what they say (I still haven't been able to identify they??) what's one more when you already have 5 ?? Check back with me in 2 weeks I'll let you know then :)

Heather of Humble Beads is having an awesome giveaway in celebration of her Studio Tour :) She is giving away $50 of her hand made beads!!!! But as the commercials say you have to act fast cuz all this is gone tomorrow :(

The guy (Toni) who cuts our hair is a true Junker extraordinaire!! He is not above pulling "good stuff" out of the garbage. I sometimes think that he and I are the only 2 in Mazatlan that really get it :) That's okay though cuz it gives us more junk to hunt. Well Toni found this great brass wall sconce laying on the top of a pile of construction garbage at an old house being redone. So he asks the owner what he intended to do with it, owner said he was throwing it away. Well Toni doesn't have to be told twice, he said thanks and tucked it under his arm and off he went He sprayed it black and added some black artificial crystals to supplement the clear ones that were left on the sconce. Oh and he pulled the old wiring out of it.

Last week we did a small trade and I took the sconce home. Black is great in his shop but I want it for my girly girl room well I think I do for now. I confess I forgot to take a before picture :) I took off all the crystals and slathered it in crackle medium When that was dry which took a whole day. Maybe that's what they mean when they say not to use in high humidity?? :) Okay when it was finally dry I gave it a nice thick uneven coat of white paint And let the crackle to it's magic.

Once the paint was dry I dabbed a bit of raw umber here and there which gave it some nice greenish brown "liver spots" :) Then I went after it with my most favorite antiquing medium... Okay all together now "Brown Kiwi shoe wax"!!

When I had enough brown on I rubbed on a good coat of tan shoe wax. Then grabbed the shoe brush and gave it a good buffing. I think it turned out great!! Looks like it has a good hundred years of repaints and good livin don't you think?? Oh and Tristan the way I keep it from coming off on my hands is first use light layers, let them dry, buff then add another. Just like they do when applying the hand rubbed French wax finishes. I will also spray clear finish on when I've used it on something that doesn't absorb well.

I rehung the clear crystals and hung some great looking dark amber and blue gray glass beads. Couple of candles and I'm really lovin the way it came together :)

Nother trade. Lee was looking for a home for her old king size Battenburg lace duvet set. I gave her a call asked her if she wanted to trade her duvet set for jewelry She said sure!! I made her this bracelet and earrings. use some of the same pearls I made Martha's birthday gifts with.

On the earrings I tied a few blue, pink and black threads from the fabric I used for the wire wrapped beads.

The fabric is scraps of vintage hand woven and embroidered decorative pieces. They were removed from worn out clothing. The are the decorations on traditional Guatemalan dress clothes. Many times the collars and other pieces are recycled from one shirt to the next. There is so much work that goes into the traditional indigenous patterns that it would be a crime to throw it away when the cloth of the shirt wears out.

Then just for fun I added an old glass top typewriter key with an L on it. :)

And finally I decided to make a little bracelet for myself with three more old typewriter keys. I bought these on eBay and I'm having tons of fun playing with them :) I finished it off with a few wire links cuz my Bloglandian sister and wire bender wizard Sharon says the secret is practice practice practice :)

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm Not Cranky Dammit!!!!

This summer seems to be one of the most wonkiest in recorded history!! There are a number of places in the summer part of the world that are still stuck in early spring!! Then there are other parts that are merely a few steps north of hell ! :( There are even places say like Mazatlan Mexico that are in a steam bath with the knob stuck on the sweat like pigs setting!! :(
This morning on one of the expat forums someone had to remind us that the temp has been in the mid nineties. Oh I can hear you guys in Texas & Arizona from here. "What the nineties it's 106 here" "You don't even know heat" Well I beg to differ :) Our humidity has been hovering around 80% Soooooooooo my Southwestern Bloglandians that shoots the heat index up to oh about 119 degrees Ha so there!!!
Oh gosh I'm sorry I seem to be exhibiting a symptoms of one of our more contagious maladies. Well here let me try to explain. This is a note I sent to the forum this morning. I have reproduced it in it's entirety for educational purposes :)

This is an open explanation & apology from those of us that weather the Rainy Season to those who Don't :)
Along with the temperature and heat index rising you will also witness the phenomena of the Rising Cranky Index!! Or RCI as THEY in the world of Officialdom call it. (we all know that acronyms make anything truly official!!)

Generally speaking the Temp (T), HI (heat index for those of us in the Know) and RCI do not collide until about September. However this year it has appeared dreadfully early :( When this happens it creates a rather volatile condition, known again in Officialdom, as INCD. For those not in the officialdom loop that would be I'm Not Cranky Dammit!! :)

However this year the INCD seems to have moved in EARLY and apparently has set up "homesteading rights" known again in Of..okay okay you know already... as a Stall Pattern (SP) Because of this SP the RCI along with the T&HI are causing the INCD to critical mass (yep CM) When that happens the entire Mazatlan community, from La Cucaracha all the way up the food chain to Officialdom are plunged into, (dare I say it out loud??) the "Crankies"

The symptoms of the Crankies are easy to recognize.

1) The condensation of water on the outside of a glass,which then creates a stream that runs off the table into your lap begins to feel a bit like H2O torture :(

2) The victims will take at least 3 showers a day however their clothes are soaking wet all day

photo courtesy of Getty images

3) The baby powder, Gold Bond & corn starch disappear from the store shelves, while the victims are seen to be covered with white gooey globs adhering to those imaginary fat folds on their bodies 4) The city's supply of fans, air conditioners, or mini splits is completely diminished

photo courtesy of Buck family
5) The victims develop enormous cravings for liquid refreshments

6) They develop wonky skin rashes completely unidentified by modern science while the supply of hydrocortisone and anti-fungal creams are depleted

7) The city supply of cotton under garments and clothes is also completely diminished!!

8) The folks in the neighborhoods have moved their entire living rooms out to the side walk in the evenings hoping to catch anything resembling a breeze

9) The life saving "sweat rag" is always accessible, usually seen to match the victims outfit and sticking out of a back pocket or pocket book :)
10) Along with the sweat rag the lovely Dance of the Sweat Rags is perfected by all

11) The corners of their mouths seem to have developed a turned down appearance

12) The slightest thing can send them on a 10 minute tirade which will have been completely forgotten 7&1/2 minutes after the last harrumph is uttered

13) They become ill tempered, argumentative, irritable, seem to struggle to maintain a sense of humor, equilibrium, and rational thought processes.

14) Can be (even the most mild mannered) heard to utter some truly "watch what you say the kids will hear" words, at the slightest provocation

In conclusion "The We that Do" (TWTD) hear by offer "Those Who Don't" (TWD) our most sincere apology. In return we request a bit of tolerance for those enduring the "Crankies" due to the SP of the T,HI,&RCI which in turn is causing the INCD to reach CM :(

Pattie ;)
A victim of The "Crankies"
Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)
PS Do you think if the side of the world suffering through summer were to move in mass th the side of the world having winter the earth might shift out of it's orbit??? Hmmmm just something to ponder I think :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amigas & Birthdays

I have always been one of those kinda gals who is a might on the solitary side of the social hierarchy. I have always been much happier as the steadfast owl then the cheerleader magpie. I am very happy when I can be by myself. This doesn't mean I like to be totally alone in my life. There are many people that are very happy to do Alone and they can do it well. I have learned the hard way that I don't do all alone well. But that doesn't mean I don't do, crave or need "by myself time" :) For me that's when my world is moving slow enough for me to really see, hear and feel it. That's when the inspirations raise to the surface of my conciseness and scream "Pick me Pick me" :)

Okay getting to the point. When we decided to moved to Mazatlan we knew no one here. And being true to myself I didn't run out to make all kinds of new friends. Even though we have been here just a couple of months short of 3 years I still have only a few very close gal friends. But two of them just happen to have birthdays in July. ;) One is Mexican and we met on the internet and have been Hermanitas ( little sisters) from the beginning. The other is an expat from the States. It's a bit harder to keep track of her because they are still cutting their ties to the Northlands, and careers. When all three of us are in the same place at the same time we try to go to lunch once a week. Soooooooooo as soon as we are all three here in Mazatlan we'll go to lunch and celebrate Jackie D's and Martha's birthdays. :) You never know might even be this week, well it could happen it's only Tuesday!!

For once I have managed to have presents made before the birthdays instead of having to make IOU cards :( I'm feeling rather smug about that let me tell you!! My usual MO is to be racing out the door with glue still drying :)

My Hermanita Martha is a very independent, intelligent, strong wife, mother, business owner and founder of a wildlife rescue and conservation organization. Martha like many women likes a bit of jewelry, just not to loud, or dripping in bling or pastel. So the other day I took her to the bead store and told her to pick out some beads for me to make her birthday gift with. Well she makes a bee line right over to the pearls that I have loaded up on the week before. She instantly is smitten with some beautiful dark blue that dances to different colors in different lights. She also picked out some iridescent clear crystal beads . If you look down you can see Annalise modeling the resulting necklace and earrings. :)

The center bead on the string of pearls and crystals is a rather plump cat. Martha has a soft spot for all things "kitty" Noooo she doesn't qualify as a cat person. They have 2 dogs and at any given time there could be ducks, pelicans, parrot, iguanas, etc. hanging out in the back patio, building up strength, so that we can release them.

On the silver chain is a pretty piece of mother of pearl that I found on our beach during one of my beach combing walks. Miss M like her jewelry in sets. Earrings to go with the necklace. That way she doesn't have to think about what to put with what when she is getting ready in the mornings. :) I put together a little pair that have a bit of sassy swing to them but not to long and showy. On the end I dangled a couple of kittens. Only these are a bit more regal and and swelt :)

I found a couple of blue glass beads for the ends that are a perfect match color wise with the fresh water pearls. Then I finished off with a double hook made from 20ga silver wire and had a happy boo boo. When I went to flatten them a bit so they would lay stacked on top of each other one slipped and both ended up being FLAT!! :) But I'm really liking it, the way they overlap and meld into each other. A Happy Accident

Now for Girl friend Jackie D. Miss J is an independent, strong, intelligent wife mother, ran her husband's law practice, and was every charity event in NYC's "go to girl" but is now retired (Yaa Hoo) But Jackie is not a jewelry kinda girl. What to do. When she is here which is getting to be more and more, we grab our books, towels and head down to the beach for an afternoon. I've been teaching her the fine art of beach combing. The thing is she needs to get her totes sorted out so she has ones for the different jobs totes do. So for her gift I made a small beach walking tote that just fit her thongs, change purse, and sunglasses, or camera. You know the things you want to stuff in a bag to sling over your shoulder so your hands are free. I used some of the old stand by manta (muslin like) satin stitched up the sides and then pulled a few threads kinda gives it the relaxed I don't iron any more feeling. On one side I transferred an old travel poster from the 20s.

On the other side I appliqued another travel poster. It's a French advertisement, but I love it because our Malecon (sea wall) has the same curve in the beaches as the poster. Then I made a little pouch that is attached to the tote. She can stick her coin purse of God forbid ( cell phone) in it. It's hard to tell in the photo, the print on the front is the one at the top on my post. I love it. It's the Three Amigas!! Of course I had to add just a little bit of jewel so the clasps are little shiny buttons I recycled off of a jacket :)

Okay I'm ready for the Birthday lunch now if the other two will just both be in town at the same time :) Sheeeesh the first time I'm on time and everyone else is farting around. Heck forget this turning over a new leaf business!! Procrastination rules!!

Have a most audacious today or tonight depending on where in the world you are ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Evolution of an Inspiration

In the Spring issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry ( 1 of Somerset Magazines publications) there was a tutorial by Deryn-Something Sublime. She showed how to transfer images onto crystals. Way cool I thought!! Then a couple of weeks ago my bloglandian friend Sharon-Livewire used Deryn's technique and created a wonderful piece that she transferred an image of Marie Antoinette onto a crystal focal. Then I thought okay I gotta do this. First up I had to find the lamp crystals. Ha I lucked out because one of the two bead stores in town had some!! :) Next find a print to transfer. I have kinda been wanting to play around with a Marie Antoinetteish piece of jewelry. I had a couple of portraits of MA in my ever growing digital library. Flipping through them I really liked this one. Then as I got to looking at it I thought "wouldn't it be cool to use the necklace she has in the picture as an inspiration for my creation??" Oh yeah I can use the crystal as one of the 3 focals. Oh oh oh I just scored big on those beautiful strings of pearls!! Perfect. Cuz you guys all know how allergic I am to pink, which is the color of the pearls in the picture.

So I set to work on "transferring MA onto the crystal. Now I have to tell you that was one big learning experience!! First MA was in my computer so I printed her out on the best printer paper with the setting as super duper as it would go. Oh yeah I don't have a laser printer :( Then there's the issue of the transfer medium, hmmm not to be found in this town. No worries I can still do this. But after many different experiments I can report that they all failed to transfer MA to the crystal. Not willing to admit defeat I decided not to transfer her I'd just glue her onto the back of the crystal and move on :)

Now if you have to you can flip up to the top to refresh your memory with the inspirational piece :) The next picture is what my hands, heart and brain created.

Wow if you didn't know better I bet you'd guess they are the exact same piece :) :) Okay so what can I say, you guys all know how it goes. Something happens and your hands just seem to take over and before you know it there on the desk is the piece you must have had in mind all the time. I don't know about you but I learned a long time ago not to let my perceived conception control the final outcome. Much easier, far less stressful and way more exciting to just let the inspiration flow uninterrupted from my hands :)
See there are pearls like in MA's piece. I decided to put the toggle in the front so I used a recycled donut type metal bead with the word beautiful stamped around it. For the bar I used another recycled piece. This time with a bit of the Bling MA loved.

There's the first focal just like in MA's piece. I used the cyrstal here. That posed a small problem because there is only one hole in the crystal and it's at the top. How to continue the necklace below it. Simple I took another piece like the bar in the toggle. It actually has 4 holes in it so I could thread the wires through it, to connect the bottom pieces to the top one. :)
On the bottom strings I changed the beads a bit, not wanting to be too boring :) On the wires going into both focals I tied a bit of dark cranberry colored ribbon, my nod to fru fru :) The second focal is a early 1900's head and shoulders of a bisque doll. She got E6000 glued to another one of those recycled pieces. I think they were a part of a belt once. A few beads to gussy up the support wires
Ya remember the other day when I showed you the two Bohemian candlesticks?? Weeeel then you should recognize the 2 blood red glass cut beads and the amber colored prisms!! I thought they were a great finishing act for MA's "Evolutions" necklace.
Since the back of the crystal really looked yucky with the wires and white paper backing I glued a small piece of tatting over it. I also glued a small piece over the empty hole in the back of the stand MA's head is pertched on. Awwww jeez now that sounds soooooooo bad!!! Surely that didn't just come out of my fingers?? As Pattie's Mum would have said "sometimes it's a good idea to think about what you say before you let it out of your mouth" ;)

On that note and with one last look at Annalise modeling the piece called "Evolutions" I will quietly slip away :)

Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Give Away & Rubi's New Jewelry :)

Is she not the most adorable 3lb little girl you have seem in a looooooooooong time????? (Psst, the answer to the question is Yes!) As most of you know we are a family of 2 adults and 5 four legged dog type critters. :) They range in age and size from Tali our yellow lab at 11 and 80lb to Rubi our year old 3 pounder. There are 4 girls and Charlie our little guy who was rescued from a puppy mill. In fact everyone but Rubi is a rescue pinup. :) Little Rubi was a gift from our dear friends Luci and Tony.

Because our two little chihuahuas are way to fragile to walk on leash with collars we have little harnesses for them. But around the house the little ones both have collars with bells on them. It just keeps the rest of us "Brobdingnags" from squishing our little "Lilliputians" !! :) I have a lot of fun making their collars. Charlie's is always made with a dapper stripe or plaid ribbon. Rubi on the other hand is such a little girlie girl, and she likes her babbles. But she draws the line at those trashy looking pink rhinestone collars that all the other chihuahuas wear!! :) No she's more the tasteful, feminine jewelry kinda girl.

Of course in celebration of summer with our tropical beach town life we added a lamp work cobalt fish. Muy Bonita :)

My friend Sharon of Livewire is the most amazing artist who creates incredible wire work jewelry!! In fact I want to be just like her when I grow up!! Well Sharon is having and awesome give away in honor of her first two pieces of jewelry to be published in a magazine!! (WOO HOO, WAY TO GO, YOU GO GIRL!!) The current issue of Bead Trends Magazine has 2 of Sharon's pieces featured!! :) This piece she calls Always Faithful.

So in celebration and as a thank you to her many friends and supporters in Bloglandia she is giving away "Always Faithful" Can you imagine giving away your first published piece?? I have to tell you that Sharon has the most amazing ability to make wire do her bidding and to make it look easy :) I was really hoping that that I could get a really good close up of her work. But alas Blogger thinks otherwise. But maybe you can see all of her meticulous wrapping and links she always makes!! No store bought chain here!! How very cool is that???
I almost hate to tell you to head over to her blog and sign up for her give away, cuz the more that sign up the less likely my number will randomly be picked :( But I can't keep this dear friend's amazing talents from the world!! SO head over to Sharon's blog Livewire and sign up before Friday for her give away. While your there look around and don't forget to check out her ETSY store :)
Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are ;)
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