Sunday, October 25, 2009

You Did It!!!!

Remember the song in My Fair Lady that Pickering and Higgins sing after the ball? "You Did It"

Tonight, old man, you did it! You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, And indeed you did. I thought that you would rue it; I doubted you'd do it. But now I must admit it That succeed you did. You should get a medal Or be even made a knight.
Well that was the song playing in my head when the last stitch went into the last piece of material of the VERY last beach/grocery tote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And with 59 hours to spare!!!!!! :)
I even finished up all the projects that I know of !!! I made this little charm bracelet for Lindsey, Dylan's mom. Type writer keys in D and C (for Christan, Dylan's half brother) See the two tiny pieces of sea glass???? Have I told you before how cool my Dremel tool is?? :)

I wire wrapped a sterling heart locket on the bracelet and placed both little boy's pictures in it. A added a couple of dark blue and cream colored freshwater pearls. I rather pleased how it turned out.

For my little girl who is getting married which will add a new branch to the family trees braiding hers to Joe's to create their own, I made she and I matching pendents. To me there are no better symbols of growing through life gracefully then a smooth piece of sea glass and a lovely cream colored fresh water pearl.

I decided to participate in a last minute exchange sooooooooooo I put together these earrings. A little copper & sterling wires, a few little garnets, and moss agates They are a nice length and move so gracefully.

For a challenge to create a piece of jewelry with out using jewelry tools, techniques, or pieces bought at a jewelry/bead/craft store I made this pendent. It's a crystal prism and brass chain I bought at the hardware store. I decoupaged an antique map on the back. I dug through the jewelry graveyard drawer and found a matador and a Chinese water carrier pins, and a glasses holder pin. Removed the pins off the back used links from the chain as jump rings and hung the ex-pins and crystal to the eye glasses and then strung the chain. Wah Lah a necklace is born :)

I'm going to say good night Bloglandia. We leave Tuesday morning (yeah the day after tomorrow) and we haven't started to pack yet!! Will catch up with you guy's when we get to North Carolina come Wednesday :)
Until then have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you
are. p;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Last Hurricane of The Season?? Maybe...

Well we made it through another Tropical storm/hurricane :) This one went by the name Rick. By the time he finally did come ashore he was downgraded from a category 5 to a 2+ with gust of wind at 150 mph. :( The picture above is at the sea wall that's about 8 blocks from the house. Although there was quite a bit of wind damage and flooding in parts of the city our little pocket came through unscathed!! :) This is a good thing because if you remember the Tropical Storm at the beginning of the season is when the huge pine tree across the street met the ground and the neighbor's van hood with it's face!!

The storm did take out the power grid for the city :( Some parts had power restored by late afternoon. It was about 10pm before ours came back on. Fifty trucks and about 1500 extra power co. employees from the state where sent in to help restore power. In all honesty LW and I are always so impress with the quick, & efficient way the power company always responds to a power issue. They are always here within 30 minutes of it being called in and they stay until they have power restored!! If a part has to be ordered they will rig something to work until they can get the part here and installed.

Since I was without power which means no sewing yesterday I finished up a couple of now power necessary projects. I'll get pictures tomorrow and post them. BUT I now have to make of for lost sewing time Let me tell ya who is playing in the Pay it Forward and then it's back to "garment district" for me!

Although I'm going to have to be rigging a bit of a multitasking machine together if any more projects are placed on my plate!! :)

OKAY the three Bloglandians I'm really looking forward to playing Paying it Forward with are Sharon of SharDon Exclusives , Leslie of Bei Mondi and Little Veronique of Narrative Jewelry Wooo Hooo, please email your mailing addresses little sisters. It'll be fun to have a few projects to look forward to starting when we get back from our visit to the Northlands and the excitment of the wedding :)

Hmmm you think I could rig my sewing machine up to the stove and get it to finish shopping????? Worth a try maybe?? ahhhhh maybe NOT!!!!!

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cool Discovery In Surfsville Bloglandia

You know how it is. You take a little break and visit a couple of your favorite blogs and before you know it you've been sucked into the tube, the pipe, and you keep following those waves from one blog to another. :) Soooo that was me the other day, took a break to let my joints have a bit of a rest, and before I knew it I had stumbled on some neato-banito sites. I found one called "Antique Jewelry University" and I gotta say it's one of my new favorite ones. Just like the title says it's all about antique jewelry from wearing a few bones around our necks to the current fads. It has an encyclopedia section. A forum you can read or join, a news letter to subscribe to, a library and a photo gallery. Here is their self description (and they do it so much better then me)

"AJU, what is it exactly?The Antique Jewelry University is a project that has the aim to be the most extensive source of information on period jewelry available online. The goal is to attract a community of appraisers, jewelry historians, gemologists, collectors and other jewelry lovers who will share their knowledge in order to help the public and each other expanding their understanding of jewelry. We invite you all to play an active roll in expanding AJU as a valuable source of information to the jewelry community. "

It's a relatively new brainchild and it's being added to all the time. I tried to copy their header for ya, but all I go was an inch of the Pantheon (Looks good huh??) So you'll just have to surf over from here to see it all.

I did copy a couple of different photo of ancient jewelry to share. I love to go back into old archives to see what was created in the past that can be used for inspirations here in the present. Its amazing to see what my human ancestors created, how they lived and what they thought. And it's great fun for me to wander back to the past for a few inspirations on creating jewelry for the present.
Look at this necklace. If I told you I just found it at someones ETSY store you'd waste no time finding out who created the beads. Right?? Only thing is it the artist lived a couple of thousand years ago!! :)
This piece of Minoan the inhabitants of the island of Crete around 1400B.C.E Huh I just bought the new Contemporary Copper Jewelry book by Sharilyn Miller and dang if she doesn't have almost the same twisted/hammered wire links!! :)

And look at this piece It's Etruscan a civilization in Italy around 900B.C.E Could pass as a piece of Metal Clay work I'm a thinking

This is one type of portrait painting that really creeps me out. It was all the rage in the Georgian period especially in France. It's a great way to carry a picture of your good friend around in your pocket without anyone really knowing what the person around the look like.... yeah right and if you believe that...... But I swear I've seen a number of contemporary artists use this concept in their creations. I guess that's what they mean when they say "nothing is new under the sun"
We humans spend a lot of time taking from the past and remaking to be our own. To me that's a good thing. We honor the gifts of those that lived before us, but still have the need to make them our own.

Soooooo when you have a bit of time and ya want to take a bit of a trip back to the past jump on the AJU time machine and go exploring. You never know what you'll find that might inspire you!!
Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are p;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Invitation to Come Play With Me

The other day, well it might have been longer then the other day, but it wasn't all that long ago that's for sure :) Renate (Put a Little Magic in Your Life) my ever so gifted Bloglandian sister in Germany sponsored a Pay it Forward award. Well I suppose it's not really an award in the true sense of the word, but it is the only "award pass it along" that I love to pass on!! When Renate passed it on her rules were the first 5 comments that wanted to play would be "it", and they accepted the challenge to pay it forward on their blogs. She would send us a token of friendship and we in turn send our tokens of friendship. She also said it didn't need to be elaborate, expensive or even made by you. It's just a little "I'm glad you are in my world"

Now I'm going to pass my pay it forward challenge along. But I need to adapt a couple of things. First Renate didn't say there was any time limit. This is good especially for bloglandians like me. So I'm not putting any time limits on mine. But I do know that it will be after the holidays before I can get started, and they will all be delivered within 12 months from now! :) The other change is I need to change the 5 posters to pass it along, to three. Y'all know how much I love trying to get parcels out of here, Yes? Well I'm not sure if I promise 5 parcels in a year I will be able to deliver, but I have done 3 pay it forwards before so I know that's doable. :) I HATE making promises I might not be able to keep.

How about it my fellow Bloglandians (that includes any silent readers out there if there are any) come play with me. It's such a simple way to put a huge smile on someones face, and make their day :) So if you're thinking yeah I'll play then leave me a note in the postings. If you want to pass on this all together fun filled game that's okay too. Then just leave me a hello-how are you comment. Cuz like you, comments always make my day, along with putting a spring in my step. :) The first 3 that want to play the game will be my pay it forward partners. And it that's YOU be sure to post your pay it forward challenge on your blog in the relative near future! (please) :)

Back to my little art corner for me, as for you my Bloglandian family: Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are. p;)
Hmmmm it seems I've been as clear as mud explaining the game. Sooooooooooo let me try again. Renate posted on her blog a call for friends to "pay it forward" I said pick me pick me :) She did :) Sooooo now Renate will send me a small token of Bloglandian friendship. She can make it if she likes but doesn't have to. When I agree to play I agreed to pay it forward. SOOOOO if you would like to play leave me a note in your comments. Then sometime in the next year I will send you a token of Bloglandian friendship :) Now all you have to do is get excited about little surprises. You also need to post a call to play on your blog. Those friends that want to play are the ones you then send a friendship token to. And so the process just keeps rolling along. Now do you understand, yes????

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sixteen Days & Counting!!!

Yikes that's 2 weeks plus 2 days!!!! I'm sorry I haven't been a very responsible Bloglandian the last few days! :( But I'm just barely keeping a head of the a fit of the Panics. I'm managing to get all the promised projects done, but only cuz I haven't allowed myself to slip into Bloglandia and go "awandering" I finished all the jewelry projects that I had on my plate. Now if I can just keep that plate clean.

Tomorrow the sewing machine gets fired up, so I can finish those projects. Oh Gosh no LeAnn I don't have all the beach/grocery tote bags done but I do have half done so that leaves me 10 more to do. :)

Here are the last two jewelry projects I finished this weekend. "From a woman's soul. Through a woman's eyes. By a woman's hands" is a quote that Jo Northrup, the artist-author of "Where Women Create", has painted on the wall in her studio. Since the first time I read it I have wanted to visually interpret it with a piece of art jewelry. Have any of you guys ever had a piece that takes months of percolating on the back burner waiting for all the right pieces of an inspiration to come together??? Well for me this was one of those pieces. On one of those divine vision kinda days I struck on the idea of creating an antique "chatelaine". Chatelaines have been around since the Medieval era. It's French meaning-lady of the castle. Because pockets were not built into clothes yet, the lady of the castle or house wore a belt with a clip to hold the keys and necessary implements needed to run the house hold. They continued to be popular until the first world war when women had to work away from home in heavy labor positions. Then pockets and purses took over.
I decided to interpret the quote by creating a chatelaine to submit for a challenge I'm participating in.


The belt is brass chain (naturally aged in the sea air) ;) I wove a torn tea/vanilla dyed piece of manta and vintage tatting lace through the links and secured them with some copper wire wrapped with a few beads. For the "chatelaine clip" I found a vintage huge brass skirt pin. The kind we use to use on wrapped plaid pleated skirts that we wore in the 60-70s :)

Oh the pin I hung an empty watch case, that I placed a small heart pendent, a tiny key, a piece of tiny Mermaid tear, a pearl, a sapphire and some white stars. On the back I decoupaged "from a woman's soul" The middle "tool" is a vintage chandelier prism, that I transferred a picture of a beautiful wise old woman's eyes. Along with "through a woman's eyes" The last tool is a vintage brass door key that is hanging from a piece of faux vintage brass with HOME stamped in it. On the top surface of the brass is a wire nest with three eggs. There is a tiny glass bottle with a few grains of sand & a mermaid tear and a tattered piece of paper that says "by a woman's hands" It's sealed shut with a piece of tatting lace and wax.

It took a while to get the whole thing to peculate to the surface, but I really am very pleased with the way I visually interpreted this beautiful quote. :)

This is a little necklace I through together for myself. I wanted something I could wear with anything and be able to change the focals to dress the piece up or down. I wired some dark dark red vintage glass beads and some chunky rustic pieces of agate (look like lovely caramels) In the center of the glass beads I place a small lobster claw, so I can change focal on the slightest whim. Well after all it's my prerogative don't you know ;)

For the back half of the necklace I used a frayed piece of red sari and sand colored silk. I wire wrapped them to the necklace and for the clasp I reconstructed a great pair of vintage rhinestone earrings. Dang I forgot to load a picture of the glued appliqued flowers on the backs. I think that's the best way for me to cover up the most awesome butcher soldered jobs you will ever be forced to see!! :) I can wear it with my Mum's vintage cameo, and her wonderful piece of amber. Actually I can use anything that strikes my fancy :)

Okay my fellow Bloglandians I'm headed to bed!! Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are p;)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Be Still My Green Heart, and Another Project

Well here it is, the first week of Oct coming to an end. Yep, and I'm now chained to my little art corner except for potty breaks and a few hours of sleep. Okay I am showering and putting makeup on but that's because I have to share the room with LW and the furkins!! ;)

Actually I'd be skating pretty good except I have a couple of those "oh please could you make a little something for so&so's bday" Now my friends know as well as anyone else that I can't just do "a little something" NOoooooooo not me. :)

Martha called yesterday and wanted to know if I could make a small gift for her friend/dentist's Bday. Doc L is a wonderful intelligent very professional Mexican woman. Here in Mexico Art jewelry has not caught on yet. I bet you can guess that DocL wouldn't quite get wearing a salt shaker turn dragonfly necklace :( Nope this had to be a plain stringing kinda job. And for me those are the hardest. I didn't get into bead stringing back in the Woodstock days, or the late 80 or now. I just can't stay focus long enough to figure out what bead to put with what and what color works with that one. My mind starts to wonder and the next thing I know I'm looking at the drawer pulls and wondering how to make a bracelet with it!! After taking beads out and pushing them around only to put them back to pull out others this is what I came up with.

I strung some caramel colored stone chips and stuck tiny bright blue glass beads in every so often Two nice big amber colored glass beads with 2 clay beads that look almost exactly (if you squint your right eye and cover your left) like faux turquoise . I'm sorry I just couldn't get that blinding shine off them so you could get the whole effect but trust me they look good. :) Then I hung a nice vintage amber glass prism. Now this might just be pushing the envelope a little to far. We'll have to see what Martha thinks tomorrow when she picks it up.

Threw in a few nice silver spacers and beads thanks to my little Bloglandian sis Lulu's care package!! A couple of charms just because being to serious makes me grind my teeth. Made a simple hook and tied on a couple of pieces of lace here and there.

Although I could never be accused of being the matchy matchy kinda girl I know that some women need to have matching earrings sooooooo I made a pair to go with the necklace.

Now for the DAA TAA TAAA DAAA coolest thing I made yesterday Ha I think it's the coolest thing I've made in days........ This my Bloglandian friends is a piece of sea glass-a mermaid's tear!!! I shaped into a heart with my awesome Dremel Tool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is this not the way coolest ever????? Yep it was a piece a bit triangle shaped with rounded corners and my trusty diamond bit and I turned it into the heart shape you see before you :) On the screen it's about 1inch. in real life it's 3/4"

I think I better add 3-4 more packages of diamond bits on my list of stuff from the States, cuz I am having way way to much fun with this!!!! I also drilled a few holes in some pieces for earrings and another pendent. I think I might have found my signature....a Mermaid tear with every creation. ;)

Hi Ho Hi Ho it's back to my little art corner I go. But you guys have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are p;)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Started Your Holiday Shopping Yet????

Yes in deed the Holidays are just around the proverbial corner. That thought alone can strike fear in the heart of any brave gift giver's soul!! It's also means it's time for my yearly period of indecisiveness!! :( Oh you guys know what I'm talking about. What can I purchase, make or donate that Aunt Herminie hasn't got,will like, or doesn't shove back & forget in the dreaded black hole of the gift closet??? There have been years that I have even started a gift project only to abandon it. There's nothing like Cousin Barfy making fun of the lady in the checkout line who is wearing a jacket that looks just like the one you are making her!!! Okay next idea.....

Remember not to many years ago when they stared the give a gift to a charity in the giftee's name?? It never has caught on with the masses. Maybe partly because come the holiday morning everyone is sitting around a naked tree with nothing to tear wrapping paper off of. And tell me what family is getting up at O dark:30 to sit around opening little donated in your name cards, and squealing Ohhhhhhhhh I Loooooove it!!!!!!!! How did you know??????????

Well this year I have found a cure to all these stresses. So I thought I would share this miraculous cure with my Bloglandian family!!!!! There is a young peace corp couple that is working in the hill country of Guatemala. One of the projects started to help the indigenous Mayan women/artisans in the local villages to become financial stable. For hundreds of years the Mayan women have had the reputation for creating beautiful needle work that is rouged enough for daily life. These Kindred Sisters, like us find the overwhelming need to create art in order to keep their souls alive :) For many years as so often happens these women artists have been shamefully exploited in the matter of payment. We all know the stories the artist is payed pennies only to have the dealers get rich by selling the art for 400 times what they payed. :( After years of this goes on the artist is placed in the position of excepting the arrangement with the thought that some money is better then none. So that they are always struggling to keep their families alive.

Okay so back to holiday gifts. This Peace Corp couple have helped the Mayan women create an artisan coop, to create and market their amazingly beautiful tote bags. Now mind you these are the bags that for over a thousand years have been used to carry everything from a small pinch of herb to enormous loads of firewood.

It's a well know statistic that many indigenous coops have varying degrees of success. There are any number of reasons, but one of the biggest is finding a market for the art work. And nearly 95% of the time the market is not in their area,state or even country. Any of us that sell our art know exactly how crucial that is. You also know how devastating it can be to have to compete against the dealers with the money and advertising budgets that can make their artists household names. These two factors are a huge reason why the coops slowly, painfully perish.

Armed with this knowledge the PC couple helped the women established a store for on ETSY

With an ETSY store they can reach around the world and sell their creations without being exploited by the dealers of the "Developed" part of the world!! This also makes it soooooo perfect for us to step in and show our support for our Kindred Sisters. Before you zip over to their store to do your holiday shopping I have a couple of pictures of their bags. BUT let me warn you right up front go get your hankies right now. Why??? Well each bag is presented by it's creating artist. Each beautiful artist's face reflects the pure pride and joy they have for their work. You can see that what so many of us are searching for they have already found. The peace that comes with letting you soul fly free. And boy oh boy if that alone doesn't make a grown artist eyes leak nothing ever will!!!!!

The bags are different sizes from small to huge. I'm sure that they would be willing to make a special size to order for you, if they don't have what you want. They start at $15.00US for the small bags (perfect for a day purse or portable project bag) up to 21"/21" for $35.00 big enough to haul your studio in!! :) Yep those are DARN cheap prices for amazing hand work. Of course it's a huge increase in the amount they were being payed by the dealers. Except for a small coop membership fee the artists keeps all of the money they earn. Wow, what a novel idea.

( Small Bag)

I know I already have a looong (hopefully not to boring) posting, so if you are tired of reading I'll understand if you just head over to ETSY now. But sometimes you got to be a bit chatty especially when it comes to lending a hand to fellow kindred spirits.

( Medium Bag )

Okay we have pretty much covered everything but shipping cost. I want to hopefully explain a couple of things so you aren't surprised when you get there. I'm sure by now you all know that one of my favorite phrases is : "Even Paradise isn't perfect" referring of course to the lack of mail service we have. :( And what we do have is horrendously expensive. Well the same is true of all of Central America. Historically when indigenous artists go through a import/export representative the cost of covering shipping and customs is always given as the reason they get payed so little for their art. Then when the art reaches the States the buyer is given the same story. You have to pay more because of the cost to import. hmmmmm if both the seller and the buyer are paying the shipping then where is the extra money going???.... ya right....

(Large Bag)
Now are you beginning to understand why the coop has kept their prices low?? The artists realize that in order for us to purchase their art the shipping cost for us ends up being high. Although trust me they are not as high as they are for LW and I. Heck not when it cost us $40US to send Mette's little wedding journal to the States!!! So I want you to plan on paying around $40US for the medium size bag including shipping. Jeez that's still a great price for an incredible handstiched art bag. :). And $15-20.00 for shipping is darn good.

I think I better let you guys go do a bit of holiday shopping along with expressing your admiration to some of our most remarkable kindred sisters. But let this be fair warning, you better get a move on cuz LW and I are doing our Christmas shopping after dinner :)

Oh so you don't have to wade all the way back upstream to find the ETSY link just tap your heels three times & give this picture a bit of a tap and off you go....

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

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Souvenirs and "The Grand Tour"

From about the 1880 to 1914 when the world was sucked into the First World War the popular thing for the aristocrats was to set off on The Grand Tour. They would take a year-year&1/2 off and travel around the world to see the sights. The tombs of the Egyptian rulers were being discovered. The middle East was full of mystery and exotic customs. Modern transportation was making many places accessible and even comfortable. Well I think I could argue that one but I suppose it wouldn't take much to be an improvement over Burro travel :) The invention and rapid improvements in the young field of photography was a wonderful way of recording their trips. It seems like any time you stumble on a collection of old photographs there is always qqqquite a few travel pictures. Have you noticed how many use to say we'll "record this for posterity" ???? Have you ever wondered just where this Posterity person is and where they have stash all the photos??? No??? Must just be me then :)

Along with the photo of you breaking your as...bum riding on the back of a cranky camel with bad breath and a nasty habit of spitting, purchasing a locally made piece of jewelry was the souvenir de jour. My friend Jackie P's (remember she is the friend who fell in Mali, Africa and broke her shoulder?) birthday has arrived. Jackie has spent her entire adult life working in foreign countries. Much of it was in the Middle East and South East Asia. I thought it would be fun to make her a couple pairs of earring's that reflected a bit of these cultures. I found these two cabinet cards in my stash so off we went on a whirl wind grand tour.

In Egypt the prerequisite ride out to the pyramids on the before mentioned camels so we could have our photos taken for that Posterity person. Then a trip to the markets and a purchase of the souvenir jewelry. I used a couple of antique-vintage type writer keys. J for Jackie, yes that's not a P (that's because I used the me for me-Pattie) sooooooo we went with the F for Friend and also Francis (Jackie's middle name) I used a bit of vintage lace, a couple of crystal beads. Then stepped out of my comfort zone and made a different style of wires. I think they came out rather spiffy actually :)

As we continued on our trip we wandered a bit in western China. Isn't the little guy just adorable and he so graciously let those two VERY VERY strange VERY VERY white, red hair and blond hair ladies take his picture. It just seem easier then having to listen to the VERY VERY strange sounds coming out of their mouths. ;) For our souvenir jewelry here I used 2 wonderful colored jade beads, two small squares of honest to goodness faux ivory and two little squares of Korean jade. This pair I wire wrapped and made the wires with of copper.

I'm sure you noticed that I didn't bother to age either pair with a bit of patina. Well that's because I have discovered that when it's small pieces of copper, silver, & brass withing 2 weeks they have a lovely natural patina that I can't come close to duplicating. And being someone who is more then happy to share the work with Mother Nature, it's a perfect arrangement :)

I don't know about you guys but I think I've had all the Grand Touring one girl should have this evening. I think it's time to tie up that cranky, bad breath, spitting camel and climb into a tub full of bubbles to soak my aching as...bum :)
Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on where in the world you are p;)
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