Monday, August 30, 2010

A Lot of H&H, A Vestita & An Enameled Leaf

That would be Heat & Humidity and boy have we got some! You know I can usually refrain from whining most all of the rainy season (summer). But when it gets to the point where the percentage of humidity is higher then the temperature. When you can't get your clothes on fast enough before you can ring water out of them. When even stick straight hair gets frizzy, When the baby power you use to keep your tender skin creases dry has the consistency of gruel. When just trying to generate a thought makes you sweat like the engineer feeding coal to the train's steam engine...  I can't seem to help myself! 

About the only thing I got made this week was an upcycled vestita. I started out with a cotton, sleeveless, button up the front top. You know one of those cheapy India meets Bohemia tops the import markets have?? I cut about 10inches off the body and cut the arm holes bigger 
For the bottom ruffles I used two of the fabrics I brought back from the Northlands last month. Of course both pieces (along with the top) were given a nice long soak in a tub of tea. Kinda toned down the bright colors and added a bit of depth. The red stripe is a nice dark red ticking and the blue is a copy of an antique pattern of toile de jouy. I really like it because the scene is quite different from the usual maidens running around the meadow chasing boys :)
A bit of a Persian feel. The original fabric dates back to Napoleon's trips to Northern Africa/Persia. On the bottom of the red stripe ticking I added a small decorative stitch. That fabric would rather unravel then fray it left alone. So the stitch will keep the whole piece from unraveling. In the eyelet that runs around the neck I threaded a piece of frayed vintage sari ribbon very close to the same color of blue.
Did you happen to notice the awesome enameled leaf and adorable bird strung on sari silk (that just happens to match the vestita)??? Oh I thought you had. Well the most amazing,gifted and generous kindred sister Deryn made it for me!! Have you noticed how everything she makes has a magical feel?? So simple but conveys such complicated thoughts!

On the back of the vestita at the neck I  stitched a bit of vintage lace trim, a scrap of material and a pretty blue rhinestone earring. I like to add a little hint on the back of things about what the front might look like.
So there you have my only completed project, that took all of last week to get it done. Woo tomorrow is the first day of September, that means we only have maybe, God willing and the creek don't rise six more weeks of homesteading in a sauna!! :)
Please have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are  p;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Across Two Continents and the Pond

Hector and his wife Victoria are two of the most gifted chefs anywhere. Because Hector was born and raised here they decided to return to their (Hector's Victoria is from the UK) roots, and open a bistro!!! How lucky are we!!!!! As one would guess they have been an instant success with both the nationals and the foreigners, even though they opened at the beginning of the off season this summer.

H&V closed the restaurant for 4 weeks for a bit of a face lift (the restaurant!) and they went to the UK to visit their families. Victoria's is pretty much all English but Hector like many Mexicans has a number of European bloodlines in his family tree. English,Walish,Hugarian,Scotish that I know of. Anyway. I was so honored and amazed when he asked me if I could make a necklace along the lines of Tali's Path for his aunt. We talked for a bit, he told me about his aunt, she is a big boned tall 50ish "posh" (and just exactly what is posh??) fun loving woman who loves to laugh and enjoys big jewelry. But not gaudy,flashy or showy. Then turn me loose. This is what I came up with.
Like Tali's necklace I made this one long so that it could be worn long or wrapped twice. For a focal I used one of the engraved hearts I added the verdigris patina to.
I used some of the Mexican Chiapas amber front and center. One of Hector's request was that I incorporate a bit of Mexico in the necklace that didn't look like the campy souvenirs sold to tourists. I also used a piece of Mexican jasper, iolite, garnet, tourmaline, and a vintage pin.
The pin originally had little red wooden pieces. I pried them out and replaced them with some lovely vintage garnet crystals. Gave the whole necklace a nice Victorian,bohemian feel. Well at least that's what I thought :)
I added a couple of extra inches of chain because Hector was a bit panicky that the necklace wasn't going to fit around her neck. All he kept saying was "But my aunt, she is a very BIG Scottish/Hungarian woman". No amount of assurance that unless her neck was bigger then The Hulk's the necklace would fit fine. So I decided the most diplomatic thing to do was add a few inches of panic chain for his peace of mind. Work perfectly! Hector loved the necklace, and was very happy. I was very happy that Hector loved the necklace. Now all I want to know is if his aunt is happy cuz she loves the necklace. But for that info I'll have to sit on pins and needles till the first week of Sept. when the kids return to reopen their much missed (and loved) bistro!!
Wishing you an audacious art filled day no matter where you are in the world    p;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Favorite Day of the Year !!

About 5&1/2 years ago LW and I started "ah-courtin". It didn't take very long for us both to come to the same realization that we had each found our soulmate, bestest buddies,partners in this great adventure of life. So it was 5 years ago today that we, as they say pledged our troths for each other, and I became the luckiest girl in the universe!! 
We have had a wonderful and very quiet day at Stone Island's beach. Besides being Monday a very slow beach day, today is the first day of school! :)
Sooooooo if you excuse me please. The day is far from over, as they say the evening is still young, and "Me an the mister"
are going to watch the sun set on our little corner of paradise!
Have a most audacious art filled day no matter where you are in the world  p;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer's Flower

Yeah Yeah I know photography is not a talent I can claim. And it's a good thing I don't have a day job not to quit to pursue a career with my camera. (yikes now that is one convoluted sentence) But if you will overlook that small issue you might recognize Leann of Summers Studio amazing clay flower. For me Leann has that wonderful gift of stimulating all my senses with her creations. The day she debut these beauties on her blog I couldn't get to her Etsy store fast enough. Well ya know it wouldn't have been the first time she sold out a piece in a matter of hours!

Once I got it home I was faced with how to incorporate it into a work that would do it justice. I found the cute antiqued branch with the nest and birds while I was up in the Northlands. I thought it would be perfect to dangle the flower from as a focal. Tiny problem though there wasn't a hole or loop on the branch to attach to. I really didn't want to wire wrap it because I wanted the two pieces to flow together so that the flower gracefully hung in mid air as opposed to being attached.
I took a short piece of 18gage copper wire, balled the end of it large enough to not slide through the hole in the flower. Because the branch was some undisclosed cocktail of pot metal I couldn't solder the "bail" to it. But thanks to the magical powers of JB Weld the two became one ;), and the flower gracefully dangles from the branch as flowers tend to do. A string of malachite chips and one of small onyx beads is threaded through big oval links of silver chain.
In keeping the flower as the main focus of the piece I wanted the clasp to be as unobtrusive as possible. I also want the whole piece to flow in what looked to be a continuous unbroken circle. I found this very cool clasp in a bead store in the Northlands. Well I think that's what it is. I have to admit to being a real dorkaphile, cuz I really didn't know what these were when I bought them. I just thought they looked like cool thingamajigs to play with. I didn't realize that there were 2 sections that came apart. No, really they looked like they could be some sort of mini pulley. So being the good junquer I grab a few to play with.
It wasn't till I got them home and under the nice bright light on my work bench that I noticed they came apart and snapped together. I have never been to enamored with the "magnet clasps" because they just won't stay clasped. But these snap together like the sewing notion snap, and stay together when tension is put on them.
Now I'm wishing I'd picked up more when I got these. :( Isn't that always the way. Hey, does anyone know if these really are meant to be clasps or are they supposed to be used for something else???

All in all I'm quite pleased with the way the support cast came together to show off Leann's incredible work. Since I was smart enough this time to order 2 flowers (one for me&one to sell) I think I'll test dive this necklace another day or two before I take it down to the store! ;)
Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are   p;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Renate's Heart & ABS Challenge??

Over the weekend I found a bit of creativity lurking about. Since that's not always the case I decided to make good use of it. Remember awhile back the amazing mended heart Renate, Put a Bit of Magic in Your Life made for me???
 I have been so anxious to wear it, but hadn't come up with just the right supporting cast for it. In fact I had incorporated it into another necklace. But after I got it made, it just wasn't right. The necklace detracted from Renate's simple,earthy,rustic,real heart. I wanted the necklace whatever it was to support and help draw attention to the heart. So the heart was replaced in the original necklace and I started over with Reni's. I'm quite pleased this new one. In fact I've worn it every day since I made it. It has the same comfort as putting on your favorite worn in jeans, or tee shirt. :)
I used both amber and turquoise heishi beads and copper wire. Very simple very perfect. For me the two types of stones reinforce the story of the heart. All 3 components started out bright,shiny,new,and unblemished. As time and the forces of "life" began to influence them, they began to change, absorb,and incorporate. Along the way they gained the beautiful depth and multilayer of the many influences they encountered. They also grew stronger with each influence, they learned to adapt,mend absorb. They became the sum of all their parts, so that they no longer are the same fresh, fragile beauty they started out as. Now they are a warm, interesting, multidimensional,and ever so much stronger "element" 

While making the necklace I ran across the August challenge on Art Bead Scene's blog. And by some happy coincidence the colors in the necklace are a very good reflection of this month's painting. Hmmmm what do you guys think, shall I submit "Reni's Heart" as my interpretation of ABS's challenge?? 
Blog update (8/17/10) Sadly after reading through all the requirements I decided not to enter. One of them says that stamped metal pendents were not considered art beads. I think the argument could be made that Renate created the heart from a raw piece of copper sheeting, not a pre stamped metal heart. But it's just to warm these days to spend time debating the intent and interpretation of rules. I would much rather just wear Reni's beautiful heart, as a reminder of the beautiful, creative, and thoughtful person my dear Hermanita is. :) 
It would be a lovely way to show off Renate's incredible artistry reflected in her hand made "art bead"!

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Confessions of a Deranged Bead Addi,,

This would be the pile of beads & findings I brought back from the North. Yep it was quite a haul. And I'm sure it was one of the major factors contributing to my over weight bag! But don't you know I really need all of these, truly!! I mean the next chance of a "mule" coming this way isn't until Oct! :(
Eeee Gads can you even begin to imagine the excruciating bead withdrawal that could be??

I found some fun focals,connectors, and findings at a little bead shop in Boise not to far from the boy's house. Oh and I'm quite proud of myself because I only went once!! Yep, I know it was hard but I kept telling myself it was a good character building exercise. :)
The beads I didn't buy locally thus the confession part of the title. As ya'll know beads bought in bead stores are rather costly. Which is fine for a couple of special strings. But the meat & potato beads we use in our work need to be rather economical, or we'd have to price ourselves completely out of the local markets. For many of you guys these are the beads you pick up at the many different shows available NOB (north of the boarder) We don't have bead shows and sales here. Once a year there is a huge country wide wholesale bead and jewelry sale and show in Guadalajara. But that's it.

What's a girl to do I ask you??? Ahhh Haaa eBay to the rescue. I know I know it's not the best answer but for me it's a very affordable one. There is a group of sellers that buy their gem&stone beads from the same wholesalers that sell to the bead stores and at the shows.
They all start their bids low for under $1.00 a string. They tend to make their money on the shipping, as your first string is usually $2.99- $3.99 shipping then the rest of the strings are $1-$2.00 per string. When you add the shipping to the price you payed for the string they generally cost what the same string would cost at a show. Well that's unless you get caught up in a bidding war. For me the best way to prevent that is to place my maximum bids and not check back until after the auction has closed. If I was out bid on a string no worries there are plenty others from the exact same lot I can bid on. There are very very few one of a kinds. Because there are so many different dealers I decided early on to find one that I could work and feel comfortable with. He is the only one I buy from. He knows me and I know where he is coming from. I know that the color of the beads in his images on my screen are pretty much dead on to the color of the beads in real life. 
For me that's really important. Because I can't see or feel the beads before I buy them I want someone that is working from the same sheet of music. That way there are very few if any surprises when you open up the parcel! :) Yep most sellers will refund but for me that's pretty much a non issue. Remember I have to have my stashes sent to an ever so helpful and willing "mule" to bring them down.
Sometimes that means a month or two wait before they get here. I'm tellin ya one thing I have learned here is what being patient is really all about! ;) Oh but what fun when I do get to open all those envelopes of beautiful beads,stones and sparklies!!! It's like Christmas morning!!
So if you will excuse me I have a lovely stash of beads just waiting to be made into something beautiful! Meanwhile please have a most audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are    p;)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Now This Was What I Was Talking About!!

Do ya know what this is a picture of??? Well I do and it's exactly what I was sure I wanted. Remember when LW came back from the States with the "my new laptop"? That luscious deep red. Do you also remember me saying that the top I really wanted was a cool artzy fartzy one??? Well sometimes good things come to those that patiently wait (without tooo awful much whining). Wouldn't you know that the desktop that LW always used decided it too had been an underappreciated word slave, and refused to carry on.

Well the only answer was to order another laptop and I would bring it down when I returned from the Northlands. Oh but this time there was enough of a lead time that Pattie's artzy fartzy cover could be ordered!!! Yeah!!! And so the picture above is the top of my new artzy fartzy lap top. Cuz you see LW was soooo kind as to take the luscious red top so I could have this one! :)
Well you gotta admit it's colorful and doesn't look like all the other lap tops in the room :)

My new Dell wasn't the only high tech electronic device waiting for me. Just take a look at what LW had waiting for me!!!!
Recognize it??? It's a second generation Kindle, Amazon's awesome dawsome e-book reader! Ohhhh yeah, it's so cool and maybe the best part is the instructions are sooooo simple that even I was able to set it up, buy my first e-novel, brew a cup of tea and read the first page in under 15 minutes. No fooling it's sooo easy poesy even an adult can do it! :)
I admit for a dyed in the wool bibliophile there is quite a bit of the ritual of reading a book that is missing. You don't turn the pages, you can't smell the faint odor of dust mites n book worms between the

There isn't the sound or feel of the pages. But it is just as portable as a book :)
But I gotta tell you that after 4 years of living here with limited access to reading material I will gladly sacrifice a few rituals. For LW and I reading is our at home entertainment. Remember we have never replaced our TV after moving down. So instead of planting ourselves in front of a big black box each evening you will find us with our noses planted in a book. We do have a small 10,000 book English language library. Most all the books are donated by people on vacation, so the majority of the volumes are "vacation beach reading" you know romance novels or video games between book covers. New releases are few and far between. I mean who's going to donate a new hardback they just payed $25.00 for. Those usually earn a return spot in the luggage.

There is always the possibility of ordering books from or Borders, etc. but that becomes a real exercise in patience and $$. Ya order the book on line it's sent to our courier box in Texas, from there it's courier across 2 countries borders and customs, taken to Guadalajara, passes through Mexican customs placed back with the courier and brought across country to us. Now you know that the courier doesn't do this out of the goodness of their own heart. Oh no there is a lovely courier/weight cost tacked on. By the time we get that $25.00 free shipping book 4-5 weeks after ordering, it cost us around $50.00. And now you can't even remember why you wanted to read it in the first place.
I think I can sacrifice a few details to feed my addiction to reading a good story. Heck when I feel the need to fully experience the whole lovely ritual I can always borrow a paper and ink book! :) Until then I'll happily whittle my way through my Amazon wish list!

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

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

There Is No Place Like Home....

OH my Goodness Dorthy couldn't be more right "There is no place like home!!" I am sooooo pooped, but had a truly wonderful visit with all of my Kiddos and Grand Kiddo!! We stayed up late and visited. Once again there were kids bouncing into my room at 7:00am to plop themselves at the foot of the bed for a bit of conversation,planing out the day and sips a Mom coke!! Mom coke???? Oh yea they are the best! I have always been a heavy user of "real" Coke-a-Cola ( none of this icky diet business!) in a tall glass full of ice. It's how I get my morning shot of caffeine.
Well when the kids were small there was a no soda except for very special occasions rule in our household. My kids were okay with the concept of there are different rules for parents and kids. So very early on they thought they had found a way to get around the no coke rule by waiting until after mom had taken a couple of sips of coke and the ice started to melt. Then one at a time they would ask if they could "have a sip of your coke Mom?" Of course I always said "yes you can have a little one" They were sure they had outsmarted the mom, but she knew that by the time she let them have their sips there was more melted ice then coke in the glass. ;)
As they got older they started calling my coke "A mom coke". But it could only be considered a mom coke after I had a drink from it. Or they would offer to fix me a mom coke if they could have a sip of it. Even to this day they still ask if  the coke is a mom coke and could they have a sip! :) What would life be without those funny little  family traditions and rituals we create? They make our life so much richer, and bring that comforting warm fuzzy feeling we all long for.  How about you guys what little family traditions or rituals does your family have?? 

What did I do while I was gone??? Oh I shopped and I shopped and I shopped a bit more. I was able to find everything on my list except for the cotton chintz type fabric. It was no where in town. I went to the huge new Joann fabric and craft store. There were bolts and bolts of material lining the walls of every color in the rainbow There were plain, stripes,small pattern calico type,tie dyed,figured,polka dots,you name it, they had them all.
Except for those lovely cabbage rose, English type chintz. :( Every bolt of fabric in there was for quilting!! No kidding!! When I asked how come, I was told that the American working woman doesn't have time to make their own clothes. The only sewing they do any more is craft sewing, ie quilts. And the English rose,flower type patterns have fallen way out of favor! :( Who'da thought?? 

Ah but the most important things I did and the time I spent was with my little famdamily!! We had a birthday BBQ for my youngest (25) son's birthday Little Dylan had a great time at his uncle's party.
You never know he could be the next Beethoven??
     Uncle Anders I'm helping to blow out the candles!
Yuuuummmm I can really get into this cake!! It's soooooo good!!
But you know, no matter how wonderful it was to be with all my kiddos I was soooo ready to come home to the one person in the world who holds my heart next to his with his incredible loving and caring hands! Oh There is no place like home!!

More show and tell of the wonderous things I found in the Northlands, in a few days when I get my "slightly" over weight bags unpacked! Until then my very much missed Bloglandian family, have a most audacious art filled day, no matter where you are in the world   p;) 
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