Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Year's Gift

For you diehards that have been reading my ramblings for a couple of years, you might remember that I always make a Christmas gift for my next door neighbor Nari. I always try to incorporate a picture of her two grandkids in the work. Two years ago I decoupage a collage of the two on a stretched canvas. Last year I superimposed their faces on a vintage photo of two little guys sledding. I put wings on them and them trapped them in a jar. This year I made her this necklace. I used citrine because one was born in Nov. Had to use the "modern" stone because I didn't have any yellow topaz. The other birthday is in march so I used aquamarine.
The focal is a nice big chunk of lemon yellow citrine. I bent 18gage antiqued bronze wire to attach the danglies below the citrine. The danglies are: a little copper box  about 3/4th of an inch that opens up with a tiny little copper nest & three little eggs.
There is a bright blue Murano glass. and two tiny garnets (of course)
the third piece is a vintage book shaped locket that had seen better days. I covered the book with a bit of cotton crochet lace with a resin coat for protection. On the front of the "book" I glued a little crystal butterfly.
Inside the locket is this years pictures of the now 5 year old cousins, and "abuela('s)" (grandma's) pet rabbit. :)
Finished it up with an 18 gage antique bronze wire hook and the now signature milagros. :)
I hope that she likes it and will want to wear it every once in awhile. 
Gads I hope you poor poor bloglandians are surviving the nasty,ugly, frigid northlands. I promise not to tell you what the weather is like here. It wouldn't be nice to cause severe depression during the holidays! :)

Until next time Bloglandia, have a most audacious art filled day, no matter where you are in the world.  p;)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Wishes

My wish for all of you my most incredible Bloglandian family is that we all are blessed with the joy that comes from celebrating life with the people we share our love with. May you take time to create beautiful, loving memories to carry with you for a life time.
Have a most audacious day filled with celebrations (maybe squeeze a bit of art in) no matter where in the world you
are  p;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

The True Meaning of Irrational & A Project

I think you could safely say I've entered the Stress Overload Zone. Yep that's where you can find me. Tomorrow is Saturday the 18th of December 2010. Yeah, yeah I know aren't we all in the Stress Zone with what?, only 7 days until Christmas and tons of projects yet to finish. But tomorrow for me is a day I really have not been excited about getting to. Tomorrow at O'Dark:30 (7am) I'm to report to the surgical suite at the Clinica Del Mar for my cataract surgery. :(  I can't even begin to tell you what kind of fear that causes Mrs. Ross's oldest daughter!!! Never mind that it's totally irrational, boarding on phobia. The thing is my mind has been working on this irrational thought for a good 49 years. Well...ever since they put the first pair of "darling" bright blue, cat eye glasses on this gal's face. Perhaps this started as a little fear but as I grew and my vision worsened (at break neck speed I might add) my fear of loosing my sight grew right along with it. Then there were those years eons ago when as a young nurse I cared for many patients who were recovering from cataract surgery. Yeah okay that was back in the 70s and cataract surgery has progressed a long way from those years. But somehow that knowledge still doesn't over ride this little irrational fear!! I can safely say that all of my life I have had really only 2 great fears, one having to live out my life with my mind being trapped in a body with no way of communicating (read stroke, coma, etc.), and the other of loosing my sight. So what in the Sam am I doing letting people preform an invasive procedure on the organ that controls my sight???? Just saying...
Deep breath...exhale...  

Now do you see (haha) what I mean about being sucked into the stress overload zone??!!Please don't think my Bloglandian playmates I'm telling y'all this cuz I'm scratching for a bit of sympathy. I just thought it might explain why I haven't been out in the neighborhood posting and visiting blogs. It's a good thing the old nurse, behaviorist that share this body still have the upper (logical thinking) hand!!!! Cuz she knows by this time tomorrow I'm going to be a new woman, well that's sorta stretching it...a woman seeing a bright clear world for the first time in a number of years!! Yeah!!!

Jeez can we just get to the showing part of this already??!! Soooo the picture at the beginning is a little mixed media banner I made for our girlfriends who own our favorite veggie/fruit stand in the Market. I used fabrics and doodads from my stash. The background is a piece of vintage decorator fabric.
The last time we were veggie shopping I took a couple of pictures of the stand and three of the gals working that morning. They are sure not the best and they won't win any prizes, but it's the best I could do in the middle of the tornado known as the Market's morning rush hour! Although I took them in color I decided they would fit the vintage feel better if they were sepia toned. I transferred them on to muslin with the help of my magical printing machine
A few snips of vintage lace and trims, an old crystal earring, a vintage pearl&rhinestone earring, a bit of crystal bead trim. And what are the odds I would happen to have an old stick pin with a T and rhinestone cap??? Of course I had to use it. So I stuck the stickpin T over the red printed T in Portillo which is the name of the girl's stand. "Frutaria Portillo" Pretty cool...huh??
Sorry the closeup isn't all that closeup. I'm still trying to learn a different  photo system. I had to jettison my Kodak as it kept wanting to corrupt the innocent minds of the laptop faeries living in my laptop.

I still need to put a hanging "mechanism" on along with the signature Milagros. I just can't decide if I want to use a strip of sari silk or copper wire with a couple of twists& beads. What do you guys think??

Okay my Bloglandian mates, until we chat again. as Bogie would say "Here's looking...(with clear eyes) you kid" Y'all have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you
are   p;)

P.S. Next post will be filed by this cute clear blue eyed girl I know ;)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Glitter Is A Flyin!!

Boy and Howdy is it ever!!!! With only 6 days left before surgery I've
kicked into high gear on the Christmas preparations list.  
This is the only time of the year that I enjoy pulling out all the paper art supplies, and the ol' paper phobia doesn't appear. There's the  papers for cards and gifts
The markers, water color pencils, and...
of course my beloved box of "64"!!
Funny though I never have a problem pulling out the Christmas decorations and playing with them.
There's the beautiful ribbons
The evergreen boughs.
Ours by necessity must be faux.
Oh it's not because you can't find real Christmas trees here (notice I didn't say live or green??). Ya see they must come from the great white northlands. Which means they were probably cut back in ohhhh April-May (2001). By the time they get here there isn't to many needles left on them and those that remain are a distant color of green that even a can of green paint can't fix. :(
Jeez, can you believe they even have the nerve to charge a king's ransom for these spontaneous combustible matchsticks
Then there's the lights you know. I mean what would Christmas  decorating be if there isn't a bit of potty mouth escaping from even the most patient of Santa's helpers?? @#!&*#@!
Boy oh boy I have to tell ya LW has earned his wings and halo at least a dozen times!!! He is sooo patient and there isn't even (well not very many) potty words that escape. Oh I'm sure they were all said, but whispering them doesn't count does it??
Yesterday though I think even Job would have had to look hard for that last bit of ...
 We were in the grocery store, you know to pick up a few items (berries if I was lucky) that I needed for the flavored vinegars I was making. Ha ha haaaa, no such luck but even if I had I don't think I could bring myself to pay $480pesos (bout $40us) for a kilo (bout 2lbs)!!!! Can you imagine!!??? Sooo anyway we switched to plan B and went with limes,chilies,&garlic. When we were in the citrus area picking out limes I looked over by the wall and there was an empty display for tangerines. It was their crates stacked on top of each other with the top one still full of the packing materials. And do you know what that material was???? Yikes!!! it was the most luscious, grey-green, plump Spanish moss!!! No kidding it was magnificent!!!!
I gave a little squeal and went running over to it. LW looked up wondering just what in the heck I was up to now. When  he got over to me all I could say is "I want some of this, I need some of this, I MUST have this!!" "What", he said, "that?? but that's that's just the packing material." "Ohhhhh no I said "that", my love is beautiful amazing Spanish moss."
 That's the Spanish moss I have on my list to "buy" at the craft store!!! To "buy" way over priced (may I add) "Oh", he said "how are you planning on getting it out of here?" "I don't think you can just pick up a hunk and walk out with it." Thankfully that problem was solved when I found a young clerk who told me with a very puzzled look (I'm sure he was thinking silly woman) that I could have what I wanted, and gave me a veggie bag to fill. "Oh sweet Mary Mead" So there we were I in ecstasy shoving my bag full and there's LW trying not to look like he knew me!! :) Finally he said we have to go to which I said "why am I causing a bit of embarrassment???" "Ah yep" he said, "I think I may have reach my indulgence limit for the day". Poor guy see what I mean he has sooooo earned his halo. I'm sure I looked like a crazed Bag Lady to all the other self respecting adults!!!
But surely you guys understand, wouldn't you do the exact same thing???? I mean it's a good thing I didn't have a big black leaf bag!! I'm just sayin :)

But being the ever wonderful angel that he is, by the time we were in the car we were both giggling about the looks some of the grownups were throwing our way!!!! :)

Have an audacious art filled day (I know I will) no matter where in the world you are   p;) 

PS. Pictures of our little faux evergreen Christmas tree in a couple of days.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

When It Rains it Pores

So I thought to myself... just what can I throw into the mix that would really stress up the holiday season. Hmmm how's this: I have had a cataract growing in my right eye for a couple of years. Our otometrist has done an amazing job of staving off surgery by adjusting and compensating with my glasses lens. But he has been warning me for awhile now that there is not to much more he can do, and I needed to think about surgery. Well last week he told me I can quit thinking and start doing. :(

Mexico's medical care is excellent and on the par with any of the Northlands or European countries. The only real difference is the physician and hospitals here are far far more reasonable. All though it seems to horrify some people I'm having surgery here. Since Mazatlan is considered a very small city (under 300,00), we don't have the necessary equipment here to do the surgery. However there is a program out of Mexico City that has an opthamologist bring the needed equipment here once a month and assist our local surgical othamologists. Now granted I could go to Guadalajara (6hrs) or Mexico City (15hr) for surgery. But we have a number of the best opthamologists in the country here, and mine is one of the top in the field. Cutting to the case, the 18th is the scheduled day for this month's surgeries.

I promised my physician I would be a good patient and not do any close up, eye straining work (read jewelry/sewing-art) for 2 weeks after the procedure :( The only problem is I'm not any where ready for Christmas and as any preschooler can tell you the 18th of December is 7 days sooner then the 25th!!!

So even though I made a promise to myself years ago that I would not give half finished gifts at Christmas this year I'll have to break my rule. The escalated schedule also means I have to quit farting around making things for me!! That being said here is a couple of pictures of a little scarf, shawl kinda wrap I made to appease my love of layering. This black one is actually one I had bought at Helena's Although it is machine made the tassels are hand tied.
 I really love wearing it just tied around my neck, but it's ready to go if it gets cold enough for another layer on my shoulders!!
I had just enough of the brown "table cloth" material I used for the first Vestita to make a similar shawl. I used the black one as a pattern.
No long strings to hand tie into tassels sooo I  dug around in my "little stash" and found some light brownish trim I have. Boy I don't know about you, but I couldn't live without my glorious stashes!! :) I have been loving playing with blue and brown together, so I used this as a chance to put them together again. I finished the edge of the shawl and trim with a strip of grayish/blue satin ribbon. I am really pleased with the way it looks. Kinda keeps it from being to somber-ish
(read old Italian grandma-ish)
Picture from

That's all the news I can scare up here in my little corner of Bloglandia. I'll keep ya posted on the saga of my baby blues if you like. With the 18th being only 10 days away this kid better get to finishing up Santa's projects post haste!!

Till next time have an audacious and art filled day no matter where in the world you are  p;)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Creating Just For Me

I decided that after all the creating for the bazaar and the first Art Walk that maybe it was time to make something for me. Actually I made 2 somethings. I made this necklace, well almost, cuz I'm doing a bit of test driving with it. I really like what I have so far but I have that nagging feeling that it's not quite done. You all know that feeling I'm talking about. Yes? So for now I have only one close up. I used
6 mm  Chiapas amber heishi beads and 5mm garnet heishi. The focal is an awesome Art Deco rhinestone pin. I wired the pin to two polymer clay "Victorian Mourning"  hand charms I made. Patina to resemble carved bone or maybe ivory (sorta kinda).
Oops I apologize for the lighting issues of these photos. This is the time of the year that finding good indirect lighting can be a challenge. Especially when Annelise refuses to model out in the middle of the street! Something about union rules. Go figure...sheesh... 

I just have a small lobster claw on the back until I decide how I want to finish the piece.

The other little gift to me is a new "vestita" Although I should say that it's mine until someone decides they have to have it. If nothing else it sure keeps me from getting bored with my clothes. I never seem to keep them in my closet very long. :) The top of this one started life as a little cotton blouse. You know, those soft, very detailed stitching cotton tops that are made in India. It had short slightly puffed sleeves I cut off. Then I shorten the body about 11inches.
The bottom piece is this lovely black and oatmeal colored toile. One of the fabrics I brought back from the Northlands last summer. For as long as I can remember I have always been rather smitten with toile. Especially the very detailed "story" ones. When I was small my mum would place me and a piece of toile in the shopping cart or on a chair while she was fabric and pattern shopping. My instructions were to discover what the story in the toile was about. She knew that would keep my over active imagination in hyper-drive for hours. Heck sometimes she was the one asking if I was ready to go home yet!! :)
I attached the toile to the blouse with a 3inch wide piece of toile covered with a piece of coffee dyed vintage lace table cloth. Instead of gathering the bottom to fit I used pleats. I congregated them in the middle of the back so it kinda reminds you of Victorian bustle. Without all the bulging and poofiness that does nothing for this girl's back side! At the very bottom is this cool vintage satin finished cotton lace I dip in coffee (of course)
I removed the buttons on the front added brown velvet ribbon along the front and around the neck. I top stitched it on with the only "decorative" stitch my machine has. More satin finished coffee dyed trim around the arm holes. I overlap the front so that it fit a bit better. Attached 2 vintage rhinestone & pearl earrings on the front of the "lapels" I created.
The vestita closes at the waist with a couple of  hidden snaps. On the outside I have an amazing art deco rhinestone dress clip. I found it and 4 others on eBay a few months ago. They went for a song because there were some dead stones, and tarnished silver. Can you believe some people can't see the beauty in well earned patina and barnacles??? Just think of the stories it could tell if it "only had a voice" :)
Shhhh don't tell Annalise but this vestita fits me a whole lot better then it fit her!! No kidding it really does look rather fetching on someone who has a bit more hmmm weight shall we say in the top part :) of her chest. She still holds out hope that she will grow into a bit more mature shape. I'm thinking that the only way of that happening is a couple of  LW's rolled up sport socks. Oye I know that was more then you wanted to know. So on that note I think I better make a bit of a mercy run to my bloglandian sisters in Europe. Yuk is freezing and snowing over there. Hang on girls I'm on my way with a suitcase full of sun, sand, margaritas and sunscreen!!!

Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are   p;)  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meet Santa Winifred

Want to hear a bit of heavenly gossip?? The day I unpacked Santa Winifred the first words out of her mouth were to inform me that she is Santa Winifred (her art sisters call her Winni) and she is a patron saint in training. Yep I guess Saint Pete thought that there needed to be a patron saint for us "aging beautifully artist gals". Well that's all Winni needed to hear. She was waiting at the PG (pearly gates) the very next morning with her resume in hand. She wanted to apply before the rush of other saints stared. Shhhh... I have it on good authority that she was the only applicant...but don't tell her, it would be a real blow to her self esteem. 

Any way after a greweling interview Saint Peter gave Winni the position, and introduced her to her new boss, Saint Catharine of Bologna. Saint Cat is the patron saint of artists. Just thought you might like to know :)

Actually I have lusted for an antique wooden "Santos" since I was a kid. I saw my first one at the little church in tiny village just across the Arizona border in Mexico. She was magnificent and had to be at least 200 hundred years old. I think that might even have been when I fell in love with patina. Latin American Santos are my favorite even though there are many different Santos statues in the Latin countries where they originated. They were created out of wood and plaster by the Latin American Indigenous to portray the catholic saints, the Spanish priest described. They are amazingly beautiful and folk art at it's very best. 

Many were half bodies perched on top of a wooden "cage" This allowed for them to be dressed in the appropriate robes for the different "church seasons" Like the picture above they can be anywhere around 50-400 years old though most of the ones found these days are from the late 19th early 20th century. They have layers and layers of faded dirty paint with lovely chips, dents, cracks and other well earned character marks!! As you can well imagine when and if you are lucky to find one they are very costly. The little blue lady above is considered inexpensive as she is only from the first years of the 20th cent. Inexpensive still being in the thousands$$. This one is much older, quite tall & in "pristine" condition. Lets just say you could buy a new car with what she is worth.
I have only seen one old one here for sale. Debbie and I found it in an antique store in San Miguel de Allende. He was not very tall, had been a home for termites, and was only about 60 years old. Yikes we both had sticker shock!!

That's when I decided that if I was going to ever have one perhaps I should consider a good reproduction. So I wandered around the internet window shopping. I found a site in Tenn. that had great looking ones that are handmade from resin and wood
Their top half is hand finished resin that has a couple of layers of paint, crackle,patina, and chips. They even use wooden pegs for the joints just like the real ones.
The cages are made from old wood to match their bodies. I fell madly in love with little Winni the minute I saw her. She looks a bit different then most of the others. She has beautiful natural curly hair, and cute chubby cheeks.
The expression on her face and eyes certainly say she is quite an imp, with just a bit of mischievousness. She fits in the family rather well I think! :)
So right there and then I ordered her, well first I checked with my galfriend and partner in crime Jackie D to see if she and her husband might be willing to mule Winni down. When she said  yes I couldn't hit the paypal button fast enough. :)
You never know one day I might stumble across a nice old (affordable) Spanish/American Santos but I'm sure not going to hold my breath. And I'm more then happy that Santa Winifred, the patron saint of  "aging beautiful artist gals" (in training) has come to live with us!!

Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.   p;)

PS. Don't tell LW but we think Winni might be needing a companion or 2...shhhh... ;) (just sayin)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Can This Be???

No talking shop tonight. :) I'm taking a little Busman's holiday. Although I have been playing around a bit with fabric and the sewing machine BUT just for myself!!

Any ideas on the picture, maybe a guess or two?? No??? Okay maybe this one will help.
Woo before we go any further let me insert a small disclaimer. I don't know if the world was tip just slightly to the left or if I was, maybe the camera, but that seems unlikely because all of them are tilted?? It's a real puzzlement. Anyway if it bothers your sense of eveness (not a word!) try lifting the left side of your computer or laptop just a skosh. See right as rain I'm thinken. :)

Okay so did this picture give you any clues?? And noooooo it's not an old fashioned portable "one holer"!!! But it is portable. Well try this one then.
This would be the inside of the copper bowl. Look at that patina would ya. Oh and the bowl is all hammered and shaped by hand! So about now you are thinking what?? Portable food station, BYOSC (bring your own serving counter), maybe a new fangled pie safe?? Nope, nope and nope. Alright already jeezzz... this picture explains things clearly enough.
Is this not the coolest thing you have laid eyes on lately?? It's an antique portable sink!! Go look at the second picture again. See the two round thingies there on the bottom of the case?? One is to attach a hose to, and the other one is to drain the water from. There is a brass towel rack underneath, and look here a tin soap dish and facet that even swivels so you can shut the lid, which is also the bottom come to think of it!!
When I did a bit of a google search. I found some really interesting info. These little sinks were manufactured by a number of different companies, starting around 1910-1912. In fact Sears&Roebuck Co. sold them in the States through their mail order catalog. I guess it's true they sold everything even the kitchen sink! ;) So anyways these porta-sinks became very popular with the military officers when out roughing it, and war times. It was also on the well out fitted safari camps's list of luxuries. The sink, a portable tub, a nice wooden "porta-potty", surrounded by a white canvas tent and you were on your way to a 1&1/2 star hotel! Since this one came from central Mexico it could have been used during the years of the revolution. Or perhaps in hunting camps What a great way to impress your friends. Take off in one of those new motor cars way up in the high country of the ginormous Hacienda. When you get to "camp" there are fully furnished (huge) tent suites. Then there's the cook tent, dining tent, and the luxurious bath tent, portable, sink, tub,&commode, with da ta da DAAA running water!!! How can that be??? Easy peasy- big water tank on the hill or on stilts, filled with rain and by bucket, long hose from tank to bath tent and Wa La running water for your morning shave. Why it's so civilized you could even take the "gentler sex" along. ;)

Now you have to admit this was one awesome score! Great, incredible, amazing condition&patina to the wood case, copper, tin, and telescoping support hinges. Can you imagine Debbie, Blanca, and I found it, sitting on the table of an old gent selling vintage stuff at the town square market in Patzcuaro. I bet you can guess the look and response LW gave, when I came hauling it in to the B&B room! :) Have I ever told you how wonderfully patient, tolerent, and accepting this man is??? Even though he has no idea what something is or what it will become he finds a safe spot in the Yellow Submarine and hauls my treasures home with only a slight bit of good natured ribbing!! I am indeed a very lucky girl!!!

I mean how can you not love this score??? (okay blogger in it's infinite wisdom refuses to let me post this last picture of the sink on the wall with the vintage telephone and chalk board!! So you'll have to imagine an old black phone hanging on the right side and a little school slate board above the sink on the left side) :(

Have a most audacious art filled day, no matter where in the world you are  p;) 

PS. Happy Thanksgiving my most amazing Bloglandian family!!! How very thankful I am that you have included me as a member of this family!!!!! 
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