Sunday, December 30, 2012

Morning Dew

I was playing with Adobe Ideas on my iPad. Here is a sweet, light, spring collection called Morning Dew based on those sketches. I've uploaded the patterns to my Spoonflower shop. Need to order swatches to confirm colors and repeats are correct.

If you like this design, here is a free, downloadable card. You can print on your color printer. I recommend using heavy card stock. The card is 10.5" wide by 5.25" high.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bedding Collection

I have a niece who loves pink... so I designed a bedding collection for her. My other niece's favorite colors change, so I have to work on her collection a little later.

I've uploaded the designs to my Spoonflower shop. Now I need to order some swatches to check the color and design worked out correctly. This was fun!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Kansas Prairie Sunset

A prairie sunset. You really can't capture the beauty in photographs. Such a small sliver of the real beauty that is constantly changing in front of your eyes. The sun left it's final golden breath on the glowing harvest fields before collapsing into a transparent tangerine ball then dipping into inky darkness.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Council Grove Kansas

Since I don't get out much, I have to make the most of my day of adventure... well, a few hours of adventure.  The following are a few photographs from last week's excursion in the Flint Hills and to see the historic Council Grove, a stop along the Santa Fe Trail.

The Kaw house reconstruction and the main house were not open. The are constructed of the gorgeous native limestone. (By the way, I have started a new obsession about living in a Tiny house. This is my first time sharing this new obsession. I may chat about that some other time.)

I ate a lovely dinner at this restaurant. A stop along the Santa Fe Trail. Do historical sites fascinate  you and stir your imagination? History thrills me to imagine all that went on before I was ever there. I love it when elements are preserved for our appreciation and imagination today.

This barn is enormous! It really is A Big Barn. (It's listed that way on the brown scenic site sign.) The native limestone is simply breathtaking. It has been restored as a historical site.

And a bonus barn dog. Protecting the barn from varmints.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Polymer Play

I love custom mixing colors per Maggie Maggio's color smashing guidance. Turquoise is one of my all time favorite colors. I started mixing the turquoise from light to dark. The final results is this Color-ometry Necklace in polymer clay and brass.

The pendant is one of the fun things for me to form. I like just using various geometric pieces like squares, triangles, and circles to make a unique pendant. 

Explorer Earrings

These little earrings are such fun! They have a bohemian flair coral colors mixed with turquoise and greens. They make me feel like an explorer, a wanderer, a traveler... Hand-mixed polymer clay finished off with brass...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Clay Giveaway

I've starting playing with clay again. I just started working with ceramic clay after learning from Elizabeth Gonzalez' wonderful e-class on ceramic clay. This is a wonderful way to get started from the comfort of your home. Work in ceramic and polymer can blend some basic techniques, but the feel is much different. I really like the forgiveness and ease of working with ceramic. Here are some of the initial shaping experiments I have done. Now I have to get the nerve to fire the ceramics. I look forward to that! I can't wait to add color!

Polymer Experiments 

I haven't done a giveaway in ages! Well, I haven't been blogging much this year or last year and I'm trying to get my rhythm going again. It's been a bit hit-and-miss because of the migraines this year. Ah, well! I did some brooches a few years ago in polymer clay. I received some nice compliments on these funky brooches. So, I'm trying them out again. I love the geometric designs and the wild color combinations, so I'm calling this collection "Color-ometry." I still have some work on the details to improve, but I'm really happy with the initial results.

Color-ometry Pendant

This baby isn't ready for "the big time" yet (or to be given away). I need to figure out how to get the "pebble cascade" more stable. While the teeny pebbles popped off, the bigger ones have been staying put. I'm going to experiment with resin. I know I only need glue, but I think encasing the cascade in resin might add an interesting dimension.

Here is the Give-Away: The Color-ometry Brooch 

Interested in the above funky brooch? It is approximately 2" tall by 1.5" wide. I did a "test wearing" of it the other day to make sure it wasn't top-heavy and set right. It wore well! Please comment below to let me know if you're interested in the giveaway. Make sure I can contact you in some way!

Thanks for stopping by!

Kansas Prairie Adventure in the Flint Hills

There is nothing like getting off the anonymous conveyor belt of a highway. I paid the toll and turned onto the road to Council Grove, Kansas. As my car climbed the first flint hill, I felt the thrum of my heart increase with the thrill of re-discovering the beautiful prairie of Kansas.

Don't you love the romance of a ribbon of road rippling among the swells and troughs of the sea of rich soil?

Iron silhouettes installed on a hill... startlingly lifelike when you first see them...

Washes drizzled through the valleys where the hills meet. Soil eroded from heavy rain... just like I always imagined described in a Louis L'Amour novel.

A derelict home...

Big, beautiful prairie sky. The sweep of clouds was astonishing. I love photographs like this. It amazes me that I was able to capture a mere sliver of the grandeur. This is just how magnificent the sky was... no photoshop, no manipulation whatsoever.

And a glimpse of work yet to be done...

One my friends said she thought the prairie was "romantic..." after today's little adventure, I'm in full agreement! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Resident Adventurer

So, I miss telling stories. I LOVED living in Hong Kong because I got to tell stories of my every day adventures of living abroad. Coming back to the US, it was all "normal" and I lost some of the adventure of everyday living.

Then I moved to Kansas. I'm finding my humor is beginning to return. And the stories.

I had some pretty good critter stories in Hong Kong. It's sub-tropical, so how can you NOT have a critter story? I have critter stories in the south when I lived in Texas and South Carolina. But, they were the nasty fire ants. It's hard to tell a funny story about them.

Right now I have this fabulous "art cave" in the house I am renting. I spend a lot of my time there. It's a beautifully finished basement.

With basements come critters.

I had piled art things on the floor until I found homes for them. I've shuffled the piles around several times. Then finally about a week and a half ago, I decided to get super organized. As I was picking up a blanket off the floor a shadow crawled under the couch. Heebie jeebie shiver. I have a small animal (large spider) living under my couch. Grrreeeat.

The next day I organized everything. OCD organized. The kind of organized where I go to sleep and remember something out of place and pop out of bed to put it in place. And go to bed and remember another thing. Over and over. (I don't live in between. It's all or nothing with me.)

So, I'm living in my art cave with the thought that "the animal" is living under my couch. About Wednesday of that week, I'm doodling and look up to the TV. And out of the corner of my eye "the animal" wanders into view. It kind of did a "deer in the headlights" frozen move. I think it was looking all over for the piles of junk to hide behind. It remained frozen. I'm pretty sure it was in shock with how clean the basement was and not having piles to hide behind. Which gave me time to "take care of it." (Big pad of paper, slap, jump up and down to be sure, careful watery disposal.)

I really don't want to have to tell TOO many stories like that. Really I don't. (Heebie jeebies.) But, an occasional story... well, that's okay.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A little over halfway through BSBP Hop!

So sorry, if I haven't made it to your blog yet, but I'm "pacing myself" so I can truly enjoy the inspiration and eye candy produced by all the talented designers in this hop. Thank you for stopping by and commenting and checking out my soup and final creations!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

BSBP Blog Hop Break

This has been SOOO much fun for me. I love seeing the talented designers out there taking items far from their comfort zone and making gorgeous jewelry. I've been working basically from the bottom up on the list with a few random ones in between. I need to take a break for tonight. I want to continue to make genuine comments and savor and read through the blogs. For all those who have stopped by my blog and Cynthia Abner's blog, thank you! It means a lot to have you looking and commenting on our creations. Check back in tomorrow!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Welcome to the Fifth Bead Soup Blog Hop! hosted by Lori Anderson

I'm so excited I got to participate in the 5tth Bead Soup Blog Party! My wonderful Bead Soup Sister, Cynthia Abner, sent me the prettiest soup! We seem to be sisters in loving green. I sent her a similar color palette. I think we're both dreaming of Spring. 

3/4/12 Edit: 
1) I saw my partner Cynthia's reveal and I am so excited with the gorgeous creation she put together. It's smashing!
2) Did anyone else find themselves giddy about the Reveal day? I stayed up last night to see Lori's post and didn't sleep out of excitement. Kind of like a kid before they go to Disney... I'm so silly...

And !Oila! Warm, mellow copper...peaceful, springy green...I played with a few layouts. Her soup was so generous I was planning to a multi-strand necklace and then ended up making four separate necklaces that could be stacked up on top of each other if you felt particularly blingy. 

Below, from left to right are the four necklaces. The beads were so pretty, I used copper chain I had in my stash to maximize being able to view the pretty beads.

And below, three sets of earrings. Cynthia sent four little ladybug charms. I irresistibly couldn't help putting them in earrings. They are so sweet and adorable!

Spring Green Ladybug Earrings

Mellow Peace Earrings

Mellow Ladybug Earrings

And now on to the juicy stuff! Glass, mixed with pretty crystal and copper daisy spacers. It has a vintage pattern (my mom gave me a vintage glass and crystal necklace she wanted me to remake into earrings). I modernized the design by adding a weathered copper chain for around the neck to highlight the pretty beads in front. All of these designs are my favorite, each for a different reason. I'm feeling rather attached to these pieces. 

Vintage style, modern feel necklace

This opera length necklace features green shell, crystals, with some wooden beads from my own stash hanging from a medium size copper chain. 

Opera Length Calm and Peace Necklace

Love this piece with new jade stones. Mixed in with cube crystals and copper rounds. The back of the necklace is a light chain. The centerpiece of this necklace is a little length of byzantine chain maille in weathered copper. I love how the chain maille weights the necklace and adds interest, while highlighting the pretty color beads on the side.

Byzantine Jade Necklace

And the Piece de Resistance! The main course...Cynthia sent a dreamy glass barrel in pale green with some goldstone floating beneath the surface. I had several ideas of how to make this the focal, but I ended up keeping it simple to keep the focus on the light, summery focal. It's complemented with copper chain, some of the first lamp work beads I ever bought from Grace Lampwork Beads, copper beads, and Cynthia's clasp. 

Spring Green Choker

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Please check out the rest of the BSBH at the links below. 

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs

32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)

41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)

76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Construction Mode

Ahhhh! I finally had time to construct my bead soup. But, this isn't the bead soup (no sneak peeks!). This is another necklace I made. I was contemplating using some of my own stash to complement the gorgeous soup Cynthia sent me, but her soup was so generous I ended up making multiple pieces! Can't wait to show you on Saturday.

In the meantime, you can enjoy this little beauty. The Amazonite landed next to the silver and just begged to be constructed. Already wore this to work! Love! It's Amazonite, Silver beads, Jen's Pind chain maille, and finished in a seed beads around the neck.

Matching earrings.

I have all these little snips of chain maille laying around my jewelry stash. I buy my rings from Urban Maille. They make beautiful, precision-cut rings that close seamlessly. I just learned Jen's Pind last year and created several small chains in different gauges. I get a little bored of making everything in all chain maille, but it included a length of the chain as the centerpiece of the necklace. Chain maille is so mesmerizing. I love the Jen's Pind weave as it looks like braided silver. This weave is captivating in it's flexibility like metal fabric and complexity of weave. 

Necklace: $125
Earrings $25

Email me if you're interested in either one. Thanks!

Oh, and don't forget to stop back by on Saturday for the Bead Soup Blog Hop and see what we all created with our bead soups.