Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Girly Girl Dream Comes True :)

A very long time ago in a far away land there was a little  ORANGE room in our house. It was right next to our bedroom and is actually the size of a modest size modern day walk in closet. :) I had a dream of creating a happy sunny girly girl room just for me. A little spot to sit and rock, or read and to put my makeup on in the mornings.
Remember what the room looked like when we started??? Let me refresh your memories.
Oh yeah it was ORANGE alright and it had been painted on the insistence of the old owners with the full strength wall paint we have here. The paint is meant to be thinned!! If you don't it will get moisture behind it and begin to lift off the wall. Not unlike vinyl wall paper. It literally took us days (weeks) to get it all off.
Then came the rains. The roof developed a couple of leaks and our attention and house budget was focused there. But finally at long last my little girly girl nest was painted and fluffed. I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE this little room!!!! :)
I have always wanted to have a blue and white room. I have collected books, magazines, and pictures for years. But when you have big dark dogs and little boys (that grow up to be big boys) some how white doesn't work. And I don't care what they say about it being soooo easy to throw in the washer to clean!!!!! One things I worried with a white and blue room was that it would look harsh,boring, and clinical. I'm sooooo thankful for my lit'l sister Renate's advice!! She suggested that I might think about adding some warm colors to the paint. She reminded me that the reason white works so well in Scandinavia is because they don't have the same exposure to the light and sun as I do. Taking her advice to heart I used a soft sandy beach color for the walls and a light warm blue for the ceiling.

Although I wanted feminine lace I didn't want flouncy,fro-fro polyester lace. So I used hand embroidery linens,cottons with battenburg laces, and hand made cotton laces. I really wanted to celebrate the incredible beauty you can create with simple needles and threads. I also gave myself the challenge not to buy any new furniture or furnishings. The few new pieces I used where the uglies that friends were sending to donation heaven. 

Would you like a tour??!
 Since I'm not very much of a black or blue and white kind of personality I had to throw in a few splashes of other colors.
Underneath the table fabric is a plastic tub will my back issues of the old Victoria magazine! :)
This little room does have to function as a guest room if need be, so I turned the twin bed into a day bed. Then covered it will a battenburg lace duvet set that Lee gave me.
A few years ago Fifi O'Neil (yeah of "Romantic Prairie Style&Romantic Country mag) had a huge online yard sale. I HAD to HAVE the antique wall scones and plaque. I had no real idea how big they were so I had then sent to my friend and mule Jackie D to bring down. And as you can tell they are huge!! They are wood and cast iron. The SPQR plague looks like carved wood however it's a theater prop. It's really a type of carvable foam! But until you pick it up you can tell the difference! Cool huh? Still has the prop company's tag on the back.
I draped a long piece of jute I washed and sewed beaded trim on the edges over the sconces. I like to think that simple homespun can be as beautiful as luxurious velvet. My mom who was raised in logging camps during the Depression taught me that beauty and money don't have to go hand in hand.
This was a set of shelves I think companies like the Franklin Mint sell to display their teacup collections in. It was cheap brown wood with spindles on the front of the shelves. Look sorta like a cage or stair banister. I took them off painted some nice thick layers of white them crackle then finished with light blue. It holds some of my favorite things of past, present and room for future.
The ivy heart wreath at the door.
Until I find the perfect dressing table this will do just fine. I covered it with an almost antique linen&cutwork embroidered table cloth my grandmother made.
Tiny little hand stitched and embroidered baby slips, one of the most precious expressions of a mother's simple love and devotion to her child. What baby isn't an angel?? They just check their wings with Saint Peter before they climb on the delivery stork.
 And so here we are where we started
Every morning when I open the door to my girly girl nest I can't help but sigh, smile and pinch myself. Then quietly thank LW for helping me bring another dream to life!

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Amazing Bloglandian Art Sisters!!

One day while trying to understand through exploring the magical world of Bloglandia I stumbled into a group of jewelry/wearable art artists. Most are girls but there are a few boys in the mix. Now mind you this isn't a real group in the physical world way. It's more like the supportive/protective "our gang" only in that virtual dimension. Most of us will never meet, or if we do it will only be one or two "our gang" kids. But that doesn't stop us from celebrating the accomplishments of one of us. We are more then happy and quite comfortable to let each of us be who we are. To like, listen to, read, create art, and do what ever allows us to be individuals.
We are always there to lend our encouragement and confidence when one of us is in the middle of a life changing experience.
Heck in our eyes we are all raving beauty queens!
 Or kings
One of the most amazing and humbling characteristics of this/my Bloglandian family is their unconditional generosity!! A few weeks ago Deryn and her family came down for their annual spring break fling. When ever Deryn come down or knows that I'm headed to the northlands she always has wonderful stash treats for me. She knows there are art and fabric supplies that I just can't get here and she always has her suitcase stuff full of them! This trip was no different. There was beads,baubles,ribbon,fabric scraps, remnants, resin and....
 Okay I have a  small  confession to make. Like a dork I had a wee bit of an obsessive mood strike and like a good O/C personality put everything in their rightful places before taking any pictures. I know dumb, really dumb. So you will just have to take my word on some of my goody stashes. 

BUT along with all these awesome treats, what did I find??? I'm now the very proud owner of an original creation by the incredible jewelry artist Deryn. Huge Sigh... Oh yeah, I know how long you have been wishing for a Something Sublime original, cuz it was always at the head of my "lust list"!! And now I have one, and not just any old one, but this amazing looooong or short necklace, with tropical colored sari silk to boot. Want-ta-see???
Look see one of Deryn's little bird nests with 3 blue "eggs" :) The wings are pewter casts that Lynn Davis makes!
And see one of Deryn's resin charms and her impeccable wire wrapping. Did you know that it was her precise and beautiful wire wrapping, and her gentle mentorship (yep I invented that word!) that created in me a deep love and respect for the art of wire wrapped and handcrafted jewelry.
The pewter clasp is also a Lynn Davis cast piece. And to tie her whole piece together Deryn used this truly sunny strip of vintage sari silk!! Oh yeaaaaah I know how lucky I am!!!!! :)
As if this isn't already Christmas in March, Deryn also brought me a loving parcel of treats from mi Hermanita, Renate all the way from Germany!! Oh and the treasures in that little parcel were also enough to take my breath away! uhhhh same thing about pictures and O/C personality apply, sorry. :( Renate knows my weaknesses well, garnets of any size,shape and color being one of them. And look the heishi string has a ss lobster claw already on it. Just begging for a focal don't cha think??
Renate also knows I have a HUGE passion for vintage lace especially hand made cotton lace. Just look what she gifted me!! How can you not have the up most respect for the artists that were able to create these incredibly beautiful laces from a mere piece of cotton string???
BUT that's not all because underneath everything, folded and tied with a ribbon was this pristine white cotton, embroidered, lace European pillow scam!!!! How cool is that?? Unlike the rectangular pillows and shams that we are use to in the States, many of the European ( German&Scandinavian) countries use big square pillows and shams. Oh my but I fell instantly in love the moment I untied it!!!!!
But finding a big square pillow here is a more then an impossible task, and it won't be something I can stuff in LW's suitcase when we go to the Northlands next month. I also could not bring myself to putting it away and not being able to enjoy this wonderful gift from Renate. Soooooo my solution is to use it as a small table dressing.
 Look even the buttons on the back are amazing!!!
You know I can honestly say that not a day goes by that I don't count my blessings, and the gift of being part of this incredible Bloglandian "Our Gang" it's one of my most priceless gifts!!!!

Have a most audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.  p;)
PS. Do you guys remember the horrifying pictures of the little orange room?? Remember the one that was going to be my "girly girl" room?? Well it's finally done!! All that is left if a shelf that LW needs to hang. Sooooo I will have pictures to post in a day or so!!!! You won't believeeeeee. how different it looks! ;)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Two New Pieces & The Sniffles

Somewhere along the line I must let my guard down and a cold snuck up and got me. :( I'd love to give it away if there is anyone out there that would like it. Yeah well... I'm thinking I could be waiting a long time for a taker on that offer!!

I did make 2 new pieces for the April art walk. Things have been selling pretty slow during the winter months. Helena did tell me that over the years she has noticed that during the winter the jewelry sales really slow down. But as soon as it's starts to warm up the sales pick up. I was a bit sceptical but low and behold already this month I've sold more then I did all of last month!! And it's only the 8th. So I guess that means I better be planning on spending the next week increasing the inventory. With the last 2&1/2 months of the dry season to go, and the increase in the population of mouths (birds) to feed and water we are going to be buying more food and ordering more water delivered.

I've noticed in a lot of the Spring catalogs & adds like Anthropologie,
Sundance, and even Tiffany's, necklaces of simple sterling chains with a few stones strung on them. So I thought I'd try a couple of ideas out. I was also thinking that I could make some pieces that were less complicated (translate-fewer components) and labor intensive. By doing that I could charge less money and maybe fill that little nitch along with my earrings. Kinda like the way we buy a new color lipstick because we can't afford to by a whole new outfit. Most people have $200mx, $20us in their pocket when they are out shopping. So maybe they don't have enough for that necklace they just fell in love with but they could justify those really cute earrings, or simple bracelet.

So with that in mind. I made this little sterling silver necklace.
I started out with a vintage 16inch sterling chain. Wire wrapped 20gage sterling wire  to add a nice chunk of garnet and amethyst and a center stone of Chiapas amber.
Course even if I'm scaling down and simplifying I still can't just leave the clasp alone and unadorned, now can I?? So I added a little heart milagro, a couple of tiny amethyst and garnet beads and a little tie of silk just so you know I make it.
Simple, clean and must have filled a nitch cuz it disappeared the first weekend after the walk. :)
The other piece I made was a little bracelet out of vintage scrap. I wire wrapped with copper a couple of square moss agates and round unakite beads. I had a pair of vintage brass earrings with some great natural patina on them.
For the centerpiece I used and vintage lady's watch case. In place of the watch works glued a piece of dark green cotton lace. Then placed 3 tiny stones of garnet and aquamarine to roll around lose in the case. Out of an old dictionary I used the words NO Time Reversal. Since the watch pins were no longer with the watch I had to make a couple out of 20gage copper, in order to wire the earrings and stones to the case.
To give it a bit more finished look I tied a couple of strips of sari silk, on each side of the watch face.
I guess this little bracelet found a nitch also cuz it was gone by the first of the week. :) Funny thing is I made this because I wanted to. You know how sometimes you just get an idea (doesn't have to be earth shattering) in your mind and you aren't happy till you make it?? Well that was what this was. I found the earrings while I was sorting & adding to my stash (more about that with my next post). I even told LW that I would be surprised if it ever sold. Seems that when I tend to stray into a bit of imaginative, funky or a bit off center creating, the pieces sit for a very long time before someone "gets it" and falls in love. But this one went right away, sooooo maybe there's hope yet???

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