Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Are You Having Some Winter Fun??

So what do you do when the temperature dips into the "Goose Bump" zone, hmmmm??
Maybe a bit of ice skating on the neighborhood puddl...that is to say pond?
We have seen some VERY BRAVE (or stupid) souls "sunbathing" on the beach!! Can you imagine??
Granted they must be from the frigid Northlands, but really it is winter after all. I mean us "locals" are wearing heavy sweaters, shoes, you can even see a few parkas and boots (especially in the mornings)!!

Yep I know our highs are getting down into the low 70s brrrr!! But our nights now that's a whole nother story.  Good Lord it's going to get down to 43 frigid degrees tonight!! Gads that's almost ice on the puddles weather. Lucky us we don't have any puddles (this is the dry season no rain since Oct) If you will remember we don't have any heat in our houses,they are made out of brick,mortar,and cement,and many are open to the outside. You know so we can get those lovely cooling sea breezes! These are the days when you have to go outside to warm up cuz it's a good 10degrees warmer then in the house.  When was the last time you took a shower when the bathroom was a sultry 45degrees,hmmmm??

But I have a secret weapon. Ahhh no it's not a "widow maker"
Even this Dweeb knows water and electricity don't mix well!!
Nope my secret weapon even LW is a-lovin though he would deny it if he was asked in public. You know it's one of those big boy things. Oh but I do love it and the bathroom is ever soooooo warm and toasty!!
Isn't she a beaut??!!!

And since we are in hibernation mode around here, the rocking chairs have been getting quite a work out. It's a good thing we have one in every room (well not the bathrooms or kitchen). This is my current favorite corner.
Do you notice the dog crate?? Our bedroom is  rather on the small side and with 4 dogs and crates well... Did you know that they make great end tables?? :)
I light a lovely scented candle and fix a cup of black tea.
I cuddle up in my wonderful soft,warm (handmade in Patzcuaro) wrap that LW gifted me. Then sit and rock while I read a new mystery on the Kindle (another new best friend) or the Jan. issue of Belle Armoire. Which just arrived 4 weeks late, but that's a whole nother story.
Lest you think I am spending my whole day reading, let me assure you that I have been playing at my work bench and sewing table, some... I'll show you the finished creations next time!

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

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marie And Her Bows

Have you ever noticed that Marie Antoinette was rather partial to wearing silk ribbon bows as lovely simple elegant chokers?? There certainly are quite a few public portraits with her wearing one. 
 It appears that this "style" was one she wore throughout her public life, not just when she was a young girl in Austria. There are portraits of her as a new wife, queen  & mother wearing them. It could even be argued she that this was a look she was comfortable wearing, & found it becoming even when she had reach the "matronly" age. 
Of course the average life expectancy for women in the 18th century was about 37. She was considered an older women at the twilight of her life in her 30s. Heck she was still a long way from the wrinkled,sagging body parts that come with the Big "M" Course it also wasn't something she was going to have to worry about
Now you want to know why I started off with a bit of French fashion history?? Well I have always liked the way little bow chokers look in these historical paintings, and have wanted to incorporate them with the current jewelry trends. I've been playing around with a couple of ideas and I'm really liking the way they are looking. How about I show them to you guys and you can tell me what you like or don't like and give me a few suggestions of what you would like to
see. oK?
I started out with about 2+,- inches of dupioni and shantung silk that I tore instead of cutting and finishing the ends. Kinda gives it a bit of a tattered vintage look. I tied the ribbon into a nice full bow, leaving enough length to the ends to wire wrap them a hook to necklace. I made two short strings of faceted garnets and faceted agates to go around the back of the neck.
I used a vintage rhinestone earring as the clasp along with sterling silver handmade hook.
Since I made this blue one for me I stitched a small lobster claw to the bow to hold the focal. That way I can change out the focal for a different one. This one is a vintage hand carved cameo that was my mother's. She bought it from an artisan in Italy. It has always been one of my most favorite pieces.
I also made one with a black&burnt orange/sienna piece of silk, and copper wire.
The stones are some beautiful colored faceted rondelles of aventurine. On the ends where the clasp and the stones meet the silk I wire wrapped a set of vintage iridescent crystal earrings.
For this focal I found this great piece of Mexican agate, which if you look very closely has a small sorta kinda drusy/geode thing going on. Sorta there in that split on the right side of the triangle.
I just couldn't help myself but I had this adorable little crystal heart that was the perfect finishing touch. So with a bit of E6000, it now sits pretty as can be on a little ledge of the agate. :)
I didn't use a lobster claw on this one. I just attached the focal to the bow with a few stitches. I also stitch the center of the bows on both pieces because silk has a tendency to come untied.  As I'm sure you noticed these are far from being chokers. Women have more then one size fit all necks and chokers only look right when they fit nice and snug in the center of the throat. Therefore I opted for a bit of a drop so that the bow lays right at the base of (my) throat.  Ha actually the real reason I nixed the choker is most of us "mature" women and me in particular do not need any more attention given to our plucked chicken looking neck. Well be honest. We all know that a girl's neck seems to have grown an extra bit of skin once we hit the Big "M" stage. It seems that we either wake up one morning to find we are now sporting a double chin or a little pleat on each side of the once sexy "hollow" of our neck. :( So  when I wear a choker I have that pathetic plucked chicken with a ro.er.."bow" tied around it's neck hanging in the market look.  It's just better to admit that I have passed the choker stage in my life before some little child loudly brings it to everyone's attention. "LOOK MOM that lady looks just like..." 

Oye and on that note I hope you have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are  p;) 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pay It Forward

I'm going to be a might busy and preoccupied for the next few days or so. We have a good friend who lost her husband a number of years ago. Since Mazatlan and Mexico has been her home for over 10 years she wasn't about to move back to the States just because her kids are. (yeah!) There are many spouses who make this decision to stay when they have lost their partners. The only real problem that this decision creates is having someone to help care for you while you are in hospital. Lee had surgery for a couple of crushed discs. and kinda needs a lit'l sister

What that means is I have been given the chance to pay it forward.  You guys have heard me say plenty of times that I have found the medical care to be far superior to that up in the Northlands. Part of the reason is that the medical staff here bring the patient and their family into their Plans of Care. This is one of the most positive things that can be done in health care. They have not gotten so busy and overloaded with all the other non-patient care demands that their colleagues up north have. Here it is expected and planned for a member of the patient's family will remain at the hospital to help care for them. There are so many little details that can eat up the staff's time that can easily be tended to by a family member. But don't think for a minute that the nurses,physicians and support staff are not giving the best most professional care. In fact by freeing the staff of those many little chores they have the time to provide the needed medical care and wonders of wonders really listen (and hear) what the patient is saying.

The pluses on the patient side or to numerous to count. One of the greatest is that the patient has some one they know with them before they are taken into surgery and a familiar face when they wake up from surgery. The families are not herded into waiting rooms waiting for hours for "the doctor" to come and tell them what is going on. You can not imagine how the stress level of the entire environment lowers and becomes for more positive and healing. Parents know what is happening to their children, and children can see that Mom or Dad are going to be okay. It truly saddens and makes me very angry to see how the patient/family care in the North has disintegrated to nearly the point of extinction in order to line the pockets a money driven industry.

Okay then, I'll just be climbing down from my little soap box and pack a new knitting project in my hospital survival bag. :)

If all continues as well as it has. I should be home in my own bed by the day..er..night after tomorrow. (yeah)  Hold my spot in Bloglandia for me. I promise to come visiting the first chance I get! Until then... Have a most audacious art filled day no matter where you are in the world you are.  p;) 

Monday, January 03, 2011

Bird Baring Gift!!

Well will you look at that, Gertie, she really didn't fall into a black hole! Yep that would be me. I have to confess I have really found myself struggling to find the motivation to keep my blog up much less put a post together every couple of days. I know it's a spell we all tend to go through, but sometimes (a whole lot of sometimes lately) I find myself posting because it's expected instead wanting to and finding it fun. And I'm at that point in my life, when the fun is gone I don't want to waste time on it any more. For me it's just such a time consuming project. Generally taking a couple of hours. I'm still such a dweeb when it comes to computer manipulation. Heck I think it's more like I'm the manipulatee (new word) and the computer is the manipulator. No really. I was 45 before my fingers sat on a set of keys. I never touch a computer except to dust it. Even after I bought my first laptop I had a 24/7 tether to the apple techs. Even now if it were not for the adorable double E geek on the other side of the room I'd be swimming without my water wings on!!! Oops digressing sorry, by the time I get my pictures downloaded and cleaned up then do a bit of jousting with Blogger and peck out some sentences a whole lot of creative time is lost. :(  Besides if I just faded away from Bloglandia it won't cause much of a ripple. right 

And so these have been my thoughts over the last few months. But then a little rusty bird came flying in. Kinda reminded me that fading away isn't the real loss. The real loss is that I would loose my life line to many of my bloglandian family. Now that prospect is totally unacceptable!! When I started blogging 2+years ago I was excepted into this totally amazing universe which we all share!! You all know exactly what I'm saying, now don't ya?? For nearly 53 years I always had the feeling that I was the only odd duck. Well shucks here in this little corner of Bloglandia I'm just one of the many odd ducks. :) Here is where I found unconditional acceptance,support,love,my cheering section,shoulders to lean on,family to giggle with, seek advice from, incredibly gifted tutors, and friends to give me a swift kick in the "back of the front" !!!

Oh yeah the rusty bird part. Well this past Thursday LW made the weekly mail box run. Of course it was like Christmas morning as it was full of art magazines and books yeah! Among all the mags. was this small brown box. And in that brown box was this beautiful poor man's silver ornament crowned with an adorable RUSTY bird!!! OOH MMY!!
The return address on the box belongs to lit'l miss Ruth the proprietors of the net-store "The Beautiful Life" and blog by the same name. And how did it come to be in our little mail box you might ask?? Well Ruth is the gal who feeds my addiction to the Scandinavian Magazine "Jeane d Arc Living" & not very long ago Ruth had the birdie in one of her postings saying that there weren't to many left. When I saw this beauty it was smitten at first sight. I mean whats not to love?? The poor man's silver ( old Scandinavian name for mercury glass) has way cool chipped and fading patina. Oye and the bird is awesome in her perfect rusty feathers!! And you know what a fool I am for rust!! :)
SO I made the comment to Ruth that I would love to have one if I could find a mule heading down this way. Sadly I wasn't able to. At that time of the year everyone is headed north to be with family. A few weeks went by and I had pretty much accepted the fact that there was no rusty birdie in my future. I even went to her web-store to see if they were still there...But nooooo they had all flown away. :(  Imagine my surprise and delight to find one of the little darlins so lovingly packed in that little brown box!
That's when it hit me, if I quietly fade away I might not have to spend time doing postings but far more importantly is that I would loose all of my art sisters (&brothers)! Now that is just way to horrifying to comprehend. It was Ruth's selfless act that reminded me of who you all are and how very important you have become in my life. She took this last ornament out of her stock, boxed it up safely for a long trip and added a little pray that it would get here and safely! Then she waited and waited and waited some more. It was over 5 weeks before it reach us. How it did I'll never know, it had to be one of those "suppose to be things" I mean the reason we caution people not to send to us is when it arrives at our courier box in Texas it must be brought across the borders by a broker. It's (almost always) opened and inspected by the US customs then sealed taken by the broker to the Mexican customs where it is opened and inspected again& sealed. Then because it is a box it goes all the way down to Guadalajara where it hits customs again this time it's opened and the duty and shipping fees are assessed. That's if the custom's agent decides it's okay to let it into the country. Sealed back up and finally brought to Mazatlan. Now that's a whole lot of chances for it to get lost, broken, or God forbid someone decides they could give it a better home then I could! Only this time Ruth's little Milagro of love was never (ever) opened!!! So no one had a chance to see it,drop it or break it!!! That in it's self is a huge Miracle!!!!

But as I said perhaps the greatest gift she gave me was reminding me that it's the selfless acts that bring us joy and make life "fun" That by selfishly turning my blog into a "what's in it for me" place to live I have only myself to blame for it no longer being fun. So as of today I'm putting myself back on track. I might not post but 2 times a week this year, and I might shorten my postings by a few thousand...make that hundred of words and a few less pictures. But I'll be doggoned if I'm going to just fade away quietly!!

And with that note my most dear Bloglandian family I hope you all have a most audacious New Year filled with tons and tons of beautiful art no matter where in the world you

PS. Tomorrow morning I think I'll start my day with an "ice cold coke" (another one of those nasty addiction things) and a bit of Blog hopping!! I've really missed seeing you guys!!! 
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