Monday, June 28, 2010

My Brand Spankin New Bright Red Vehicle!!!

I'm so happy to be able to report that LW is home from the wilds of the Northlands, safe and bearing gifts!!! It's been even better then a Christmas morning around here. There was the stuff we had ordered on line, stuff that LW had on his list of things he must bring home. There were the wonderful and touching to the point of soggy tissue, friendship gifts from some amazing Bloglandian Sisters. In fact that is a whole post in it's self!!! 

But along with all of these goodies LW came home with the cutest, awesomest,beautimousest, brand spankin new bright RED 
vehicle for me to drive!!!!!! YEAH!!!! :) 

What you want to know what it is??? Well it could be a bright red 
Fire Truck. Then I could have my very own parade any time I wanted to :) But no it's not a bright red fire truck.

Maybe it's an adorable bright red...
convertible sports car. Top down flying over the topes on the highways. Topes are speed bumps that are place on roads to slow people down. That's okay when they are in front of a school and you are only going 20mph BUT try on the highway when you are going 65mph??? Now those are some huge "weeee Bumps" !! But no it's not a little red convertible.

Maybe more like a bright red...
Radio Flyer wagon
 Just think of all the cool treasures you could haul home in a wagon??

Got any more ideas??? Oh I know what about a super fast bright red...
Tricycle!! Perfect to get in and out of those tiny parking spots and NARROW streets down in the historical part of town!! But that would be a big fat no also!!

Okay, I just have to tell you I guess. It's the cutest lovely deep red, brand spankin new (oops I said that already huh?)...

Laptop!!!!!! WAAAA HOOOOO what more perfect vehicle is there to go visiting all of my Bloglandian family in?? I ask You?? Ain't she a beaut??? Rubi and I named her Rojita (little Red). I'm so excited I could just burst, and it's not because she has the newest windows, or gigabytes, megabytes, boybytesdog or any of those other techy things. That's LW's department. :) What the coolest part is, well just look at her she is beautiful deep red!!! Have you ever seen any cooler laptop??

Well I can see LW is getting antsy to finish setting Rojita up so I better let him have the old laptop (that's the one I'm for this post) so that he can get all my stuff moved into Rosita's casa. My next visit to Bloglandia will be in my bright red computer, be sure to wave when I go by!!!
In the mean time have an audacious art filled day no matter where you are in the world    p;)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Tale of Amber

I have been looking forward to today for quite awhile. On Tuesday we put LW on the plane to Northlands (Denver) to visit his 90 year old mum!!!! Yesterday I had lunch with girlfriends, that way I won't have to go anywhere until LW comes home on Saturday. Waaaaa Hoooo I know you guys can understand why I'm so excited. I have 2 WHOLE DAYS all by myself to play in my little art corner. The only thing I have to do is feed and walk the firkids!! Now just how cool is that??? :)

To make an already awesome art escape even cooler is the amber beads that Miguel&Helena and I ordered came yesterday!!! I love amber!! For me each piece of amber carries all that is mother nature. It plays with all my senses. It's always warm to the touch, much more comfortable in your hand & more forgiving unlike other gems, that feel cold, hard, and impenetrable. It has a wonderful smell of pine forests. Did you know that the ancient Egyptians burned amber as incense?? The scent is a very calm and relaxing one especially once it's warm up by body temperature. It can be any number of beautiful colors and often has foreign matter caught in it. Have ever gotten pine pitch on something that ended up close to your taste buds, Amber "tastes" the same way. Kinda earthy/ pine nutty slightly astringent. If you drop it on a hard surface it doesn't have the intrusive hard brittle sound like other stones. See it truly is a small piece of all that the earth is.

So Miguel&Helena and I placed an order for Chiapas amber (Mexican amber) Amber is mined in the mountains in the state of Chiapas. Chiapas is one of the poorest, small inhospitable terrain areas that many of the Mayans then later the indigenous Mexicans escaped to during the many years European nations "conquered" and brought "civilization" in exchange for unimaginable riches. Nearly all of the towns and villages have been designated as "Ejito" owned land. After the revolution, land was divided up by the government and given to the indigenous populations. However each person was not given a piece of property. So much land was allocated to the village to be owned and shared by all the members of the group. Yikes trying to make heads or tails of this whole system does take the intelligence of a rocket scientist. For amber what this means is the amber mines are owned and worked by the ejitos that the mine is on. But most ejitos sell their amber at pennies on the dollar to amber brokers who turn around and sell the amber at enormous profits. These profits NEVER get back to the ejito. Many of the brokers want all the amber that can be squeezed out of the mine with no regards to the physical damage to both the earth and the miners. 

The three of us decided we would either find amber sold honestly to both the environment and people or we would do without. Helena was able to find a small mine own and run in a small village high in the mountains in the Tzotzil (land given to the Mayan descendants) area. The village, mines,cuts, polishes,brokers, and transports it's own amber. They also know that what damage they do with their mining will be there long after the last amber sliver is mined. Therefore they are trying to make as little impact as they can.

On these heishi beads see how they are not perfectly rounded?? That's because the amber is cut, shaped, and polished by hand.
Once Helena located this tiny village run business, she gave them a call to ask for descriptions and prices. Keep in mind this is all done by phone (which happens to be the only one in the village) with nothing more then verbal descriptions. No internet, or digital images only what you can see in your mind's eye through this guy's description. When we had decided what to order she called him back, told him how much we would spend and what we wanted for beads. The shipping cost was added and then he (the village representative) gave Helena the number of the bank account he wanted the cash deposited to. Most of Mexico is still a cash based country with a real fear and distrust for banks. In all honesty this is how nearly all mail orders are done, which most foreigners seem to realize and accept. What many foreigners can't seem to accept is the money is payed first then the merchandise is sent. It works on a trust principle, and it has been done like this for just a couple of hundred years. What keeps them honest??? Needing to stay in business, all they have to do is cheat once to lose their customers.

 About 4 days later the representative called Helena told her he would head down the mountain in the morning to send the package of beads via DHL. True to his word he left his village at 5am so he could drive the 6+ hours to the larger town at the base of the mountain where the only pick up/delivery office is. He wanted to be sure he got it there in time for it to go out with that day's run!!! Oh and by the way the shipping wasn't as much as we thought so we refunded you with a small string of amber :) See the little "bracelet" in the center??
Two days later you could hear Opie singing "Oh the Wells Fargo Truck is coming to town"
Actually it was more like Helena called me because DHL had delivered the amber. She was a bit distressed because it wasn't exactly what we had ordered, and she didn't want me to be upset. Are you kidding me I was so thrilled to have real Chiapas amber of any shape!! OHhhhhhhhhhh and it's soooooo beautiful. This is what greeted me when I got there :)
Have you ever seen a more beautiful sight???? The colors range from nearly crystal clear to nearly black.
Some are completely clear and others have, what they call in the biz, debris
The sizes go from little 4.5 mm heishi to a 35mm But you want to know what the coolest part was??? We payed a good fair, and profitable price for these beads. Which still was far less then we would have to pay for strings of invisable chips to the brokers and middle men!!!!
Now like me are you wondering why I'm still farting around arguing with Blogger about where to put things instead of playing with all my lovely scrumptious amber??!!! Well I'm just about to put right this observation!! Here is wishing you an audacious art filled day no matter where you are in the world   p;) 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cowgirl + Biker Chick = Identity Crisis??

Hmmmm I suppose not really. I mean there are a number of similarities between the two. They both have fast, powerful, and ever so good looking
modes of transportation
Which require super cute boots to tame their rides,
Boot picture courtesy of Something Sublime\
and look GOOD while doing it!!!!
One thing is for sure they both share a love affair with denim. Yep good old been everywhere, done everything denim.

My ever so kind and generous Bloglandian Sister, Deryn-Something Sublime has been such a wonderful friend in many ways. One of course is all the "Muling" she has so willingly (well I hope willingly?)done for me. As a small thank you I decided I would try to bring these seemingly dissimilar career paths, of a Cowgirl & Biker Chick together in one little "vestita" Wow I'm telling you it wasn't easy. But as it turned out I'm rather pleased with the results. I started with a  bit of vintage tea dyed lace because everyone knows that both these independent girls have a soft spot for lace. ;)
Add in some denim, and pretty pieces of vintage lace trims, that just so happen to have taken a bath in a tea cup. :)
A bit more denim and what self respecting Cowgirl-Biker Chick doesn't want to sport just a touch of bling??
There is always room for a tad more denim, and just a hint of tea dyed floral chintz to show the soft side of these two hard livin workin kinda girls.
Course neither one would ever be so silly as to wear her heart on her sleeve. But it still isn't to hard to get to. That is if you have the key.
Throw in a final helping of denim and you end up with a "vestita" that looks like this.
I'll send this up to the Northlands to be posted to dear Deryn on Tuesday. That's when the most adorable "Mule" this or any side of the Rio Grande wings his way to Colorado to visit his mum. Then all I have to do is keep my fingers crossed that both alter-egos will approve and enjoy wearing their shared vestita.

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

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Rainy Season Cometh (soon)

Just a little puddle from one of the tropical storms last year. We are at the tail end of our dry and parched season. But there are a few annoying signs pointing in the direction of the emanate rainy season. The humidity's headed up at full speed. Before to many more days go by, the amount of humidity will be a higher number the the temp. The temperature is still in the pleasant mid eighties. The humidity is also hanging out in the mid 80%. Fans are being pulled out of many ah purse, and since no self respecting man would be caught in public with a FAN  they have a rolled up magazine or newspaper stuck in their back pocket. The "sweat rag" vendors are at the intersections. Huh? Sweat rug?? Oh sure you know yesterday they were washcloths today sweat rags.:) Oh my gosh we all have one either sticking out of a back pocket or ever so daintily folded in a purse. Some people have been seen color matching their  SR to their outfits!!!  But no one leaves the house without one to wipe the sweat .er.. perspiration out of your eyes!! Water bottles and sun hats are seen everywhere. The fruit-water vendors are at all the stoplights selling ice cold half liters of freshly made Jimica, Horchata (rice/sugar water),or water. The tropical depressions are starting to roll in.

Tropical Storm Ida is hanging out in the waters in Southern Mexico on the pacific (our side) side. But the most annoying spot can only be held by the internet & power blip outs. Sometimes we are given a small warning in the form of thunder &or lightening. 
Many times the only warning of impending loss of power/internet or just internet is when the room turns dark to black and the internet connection suddenly disappears. Most of the times the blips last only a few minutes sometimes a bit more. What is ever so annoying is the multiple blips for hours at a time. @#%!!** The internet's gone...nope it's back....nope gone again &%@#&*!! I'm telling you it can make putting together a blog post take all day (and then some) I've been working on this little bitty entry for 2 days now!! I suppose if I didn't insist on loading pictures that would expedite matters. I could get the post all type out then wait for those 3 seconds between blips to hit the send button and hope it gets to where ever it has to go before it's sucked into a black hole
But oh my god how boring is that??? I know the answer to that. I know when I hit a blog that is all words and nary a photo to break things up I can't myself sit and read the whole thing. And I figure I surely can't be the only one out there that feels this way. SO I'm not going to spend days trying to get an entry posted that  bores any unsuspecting reader to death because it consists of only Blah Blah Blah (right Charlie Brown??)

That being said I'm going to try to get a couple of pictures of a little necklace I just finished posted before I hit the send button.

I'm really please about the way it turned out. I think it might just have to live here for awhile
Five mm garnet rondelles With a few blue rhinestone  pieces from a vintage necklace, A nice big garnet nugget for a focal and top it off with a bit of copper wire.  I bent the copper wire around the garnet to sorta frame it. Then attached the ends of the wires and the chain for the garnet to a multiple strand finding ( I'm sure it must have some scientific name?)  from a lovely but woefully out dated ( leaning towards Ugly) vintage rhinestone necklace. Then attached the focal to the necklace with a small lobster claw. That's it hiding under the little piece of sari silk :) I like to use lobster claws on my own pieces because it gives me more options with fewer pieces.

Where the focal attaches to the necklace I placed a couple of faceted rondelle iolites, and hessonite garnets finishing off with a couple more blue rhinestone pieces.
For the back closure I used just a simple lobster claw because I want to focus on the pretties I put at the closure.Since I have short hair I can do a bit of fru fru at the back of necklaces because they can be seen. Besides it's always a bit of an enticement to see what the front of the necklace looks like.  There a nice light uncomplicated necklace for the dog days of summer!
Okay it's now currently 10:12 pm and the little internet symbol thingy is all lit up (yeah!!) So before this chance gets away from me I'm going to wish you guys an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are  ;)

PS Cross your fingers and hold on tight to your lucky faux rabbit foot keychain here goes the send butooooooonnn.....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Art is a Good Way to Heal a Sad Heart


Thank you dear friends/kindred spirits for all your support, love and caring you have so willingly shared with LW and I!!!! It helps to know that there are others who understand our pain and willing reach out to comfort us!! These are the times that you cherish throughout your life. That out of such sadness and sorrow comes such selfless unconditional caring! Thank you all from the depths of our hearts! :)

The afternoon that our Tali gained her wings I decided that maybe a bit of art making would be good medicine for my soul. So I dung out some beads, put on some lovely Chopin and started to play, with no particular plan in mind. Isn't it kinda strangely wonderful how it is these times that you do some of your most meaningful creating??!!Here's the necklace I built... Tali's Path.
Although it wasn't until I had completed the necklace that it struck me that the arrangement of beads is a lot like the arrangement of years in Tali's or even our lives. The first part is vintage 925 silver chain from another necklace. It's kind of the shape of plant stems or blades of grass as it's growing, young, strong, bright, smooth, constantly on the move, learning. There are three flower carved ivory beads. Perhaps they are all the people (and pets) who come into our lives to influence,teach, love and share our lives, for a space of time. The first set of beads are little smooth round garnets. Sorta like our childhood years. No edges, or inflexible surfaces yet. They roll everyway, with no fears of being hurt or broken.  The next stone is a vintage hand painted glass bead imaginative, beautiful,guiding the way, and a blending of two colors of green. Not unlike our parents.
The next set of beads rounded nuggets of citrine some with open white areas. A little like the early teen years we all hope to survive (that would be both ours and our kids!) Still mostly open and transparent taking in all the light and beauty around them Then comes the large rough cut garnets. Those years when we are sure that we have all the answers, know all the questions, are invincible, immortal and ever so self absorb.
Then a few lovely colored small roundish tourmaline. Aaaa those years of having babies, raising our own children, becoming aunts&uncles. Now the shoe is on the other foot and we are the ones expected to be the positive influences!! :) Next comes some amazing tourmaline see they do grow up!! No longer smooth but there are no longer totally rough, hard, inflexable edges. We have facets carved into our sides. The middle years of our lives. We have begun to mellow, gain depth and nice patinas. I truly believe it's these years that we finally have all the necessary components to really get to know ourselves. Who we are, realize our dreams, become the person we were always suppose to be. If you look closely there are a few cracks and creases on the surfaces. :) The last beads are amazing clear blue/gray iolites. With ever so wonderful facets, inclusion, cracks and beautiful hard earned character marks. Oh but the color shows the beautiful mellowing that comes only with long lives lived fully. Exposed to all that life has to offer. Both it's joy and it's pain.
We move through our lives in our own ways and in our own time, but for all of us comes the time to let our spirits fly free. But we don't have to do it alone there are many loving hands who hold and love us while we prepare for this next journey in our lives. And it is these loving hands that will gently let go when our time to fly free among the stars has arrived.

Truly it wasn't till I had completed the necklace and went to adjust it as I was trying it on that I began to see the connection of the stones. Perhaps it was Tali's and all the other love ones who I (we) have lost way of answering the questions of why? how come? for what?... It's life, it's the way it is, it's nature, natural and ever so painfully beautiful.

I hope you all have an audacious art filled no matter where you are in the world   p;)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

And Now We Are Only 6...& Our Hearts Hurt

One of the biggest reason I started my blog was to connect with other artists and share this strange life we live. That drive, the overwhelming need to interpret our lives through our art. And so with that in mind I really haven't very often had the desire to share the other parts of my life. Especially when it involves other family members.  But with LWs permission I'd like to share a bit of our life leading up to yesterday.

As most know LW & I are the two human critters that lived here with 5 "firkids". Each one their own personalities. Five of us girls and 2 of them boy type critters. Tali and LW came first. They adopted each other at animal rescue when she was 2 months old, nearly 13 years ago.
 From day 2 they did everything together. Backpacked in the wilderness areas of Idaho in the summer. Snowshoeing the back country in the winter. As soon as she caught sight of the hiking boots much less the backpacks she was ready to go. In fact she would haul her backpack out and take it to the dog food bag to be filled. Oh yeah everyone carries their own personal items and vittles!! :)

A little over 5 years ago Nicki and I joined the family and then we were 4. Nicki is a sweet 8 year old black lab who adopted me to be her human roomy.
 It was us four that gave up "everything", loaded up what worldly possessions fit in an 8'/5' trailer pointed the Xterra south towards retirement in Mexico, to live a dream of a lifetime!

We were only here about a year when friends who had rescued a tiny 4 week old street pup ask us to take her in. That's when Nena joined the famdamily.
 Boy and howdy we have all had a huge learning curve on raising and living with a purebred "street dog" And no they are most definitely a breed of their own, who can tax even a saint's patience!! But through it all Tali remained the matriarch, and most certainly remind you if you forgot.

Then came Charli. 2&1/2 years ago. in the days before Christmas we were experiencing one of the coldest recorded winters in Mexico's history. There in a pet shop/vet's office sat this tiny tiny 4 (they said 6) week old boy chihuahua. He was in a small metal wire cage with no bedding, large dog size dry food and a little dish of water shaking so hard he couldn't stand up!! LW took one look at this situation walk up to the vet and asked him how much for the puppy. this is the same LW who just days before said we already have 3 dogs and don't want or need any more. Besides he really didn't see much use for a tiny lap dog. Needless to say Chari our only "full price" rescued pup went home with us, all the while LW is muttering "there's no way I could have left him there all night he would have died before morning!!"
Six months later our dear friends gifted me a baby girl from their new litter of chihuahuas. Well there is no way that you can refuse a gift from a determined Mexican woman (the matriarch no less). Especially when she has been planning this surprise gift for months. SOO baby chihuahua #2, girl pup #4, the one and only Rubi Roo joined the family. 
And then we were 7. A menagerie of two humans and 5 dogs.  Through it all Tali remained the matriarch. But we could see that the years were taking their tole. There weren't anymore backpacking trips. The trip up the street to the grass patch twice a day had become a labor. LW and I talked a number of times about not causing or prolonging Tali's suffering because we couldn't let go.

Yesterday morning it became very clear that Tali had reached a point in her life that she was ready to let go.
So yesterday afternoon the vet came to the house and with papa holding her in his protective Papa arms Tali's irreplaceable spirit slipped free to forever chase snowflakes.

And now we are only 6...
I wish you my bloglandian family an audacious day filled with art no matter where in the world you are  p;)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Excuse Me, Do You Have The Time???

Last winter my Bloglandian sister Renate and I sent each other a bit of stash. It was kinda a stash exchange. She sent a bit of German "junque" and I sent her a bit of Mexican "junque" In my stash Renate sent a couple of awesome old pocket watch cases and some old analog faces. Ever since then I have had the itch to see if I could make some watch face coasters with them. Now I noticed everywhere you look numbers, letters, watch faces and all things graphic are used to decorate with. 

**Since LW has grounded me to the rocking chair in my little art corner...** Oh yeah he did!! Well actually I have to admit it was for my own good. Since the other day while out walking the old side walks in the historical part of town, grace here kinda messed up her knee. Well it's not really my fault. The town is built against the Sierra Madre foothills so that the streets are a bit hillie. When the old part of town was built, the way they dealt with possible street flooding was to raise the sidewalks. 
But you only have to do that where it floods. So you figure out what and where floods from the rainy season's run off from the mountains on one side of town.
Then you decide where & what will flood when we have high tides and tropical storms, since the other side of the city runs down to the ocean.
When you have that figured out then you do a bit of measuring to see how high the water comes Then when you have all that extremely scientific information you raise only the parts of the sidewalks in those areas so that they are just a hair above the maximum flood level.
 Sounds like a perfect solution on paper but in reality it's a bit more complicated. Well if you are at an intersection and the north side of the side walk floods more then the south side of the side walk ofcourse you only raise the north side. Are you catching on here. At any given intersection all four corners can easily be at different heights. Okay back to the fat knee. I went to step off the curb at an intersection and silly me I forgot to look down instead of straight ahead. So I judged the side walk height I was stepping down from to be the height the one across the street. Fatal move. Everyone knows that you always look down at the sidewalk you are walking on never straight ahead to the sidewalk you are aiming for!! :) So I stepped off the curb anticipating where the curb should have been BUT it was a bit (about 10inches) lower. :(
My left knee absorbed the impact of 130+- lbs by hyper-extending a tidge. Ouch. Results are a fat knee and me confined to my rocker, with ice and pain med. 

Wow if I didn't get way off course here **... Since LW has grounded me to the rocking chair in my little art corner... ** I decided it would be a good time (hee hee.. get it?? time-watches oh forget it!) to experiment a bit with Renate's watch faces.
So I scanned the faces onto the computer then sized and printed them off onto nice thick clip art weight paper.
I have some nice heavy self adhesive clear laminating plastic, I put over the faces. A bit of resin on the edges to seal them. Then Super 77 (spray adhesive) black felt to the blank side. 

I think they turned out pretty darn cool myself. Now to test drive them to make sure we don't have to tweak them a bit. Hmmm I think I'll give this set to Jackie D to make sure they work as coaster not just look good. I'm wondering if maybe the next set I try using some thin cork board instead of the felt. What do you guys think???
Okay I'm throwing in the towel, calling it quits, yelling uncle! Between our local DHL cutting in and out all day and Blogger's usual malarkey, and being a bit wonky from pain meds it has taken all day + to get this one little post written. I'll show you the  necklace I finished in the next post. Maybe my patience will be a bit thicker or DHL&blogger will behave!! SO until next time I wish you an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.  p;)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin