Monday, July 30, 2012

Had Me a Blast!

So, when I signed up for Amybeads Summer Lovin Blog Hop, I knew it would be fun.  I saw the beads and I loved them right off.  When I received them, I was even happier.  They were just perfect, and rather dainty and elegant.

Now, for anyone who knows anything about me, knows I ain't elegant, and I ain't dainty, LOL!  So, this was a perfect challenge for me.  I love, love, love going outside my own zone.

I worked this necklace in Russian Spiral Weave, which is glorified peyote stitch, and very much a favorite, because I love all things spiral.  So without further verbosity, here it is, the result of Amy's very good influence on me!

Be sure to check Amy's blog for the list of other summer lovers, and hop around to all of them if you can!  Thanks, Amy, for your time and initiative in organizing this great little party.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Finally the Bead Soup Blog Party Has Returned to my House!

The very first thing I want to say is thank you, thank you, thank you to Lori Anderson for figuring out a way to include us all in the Bead Soup Blog Parties, and further thanks for hosting them!  I missed out on the last one, and I was so sad.  But no more,  doing the happy dance again!

When I sent my beads to Michelle Hardy, my erstwhile blog partner, I really did not know her at all, so I picked out a fun focal, and cued the colors of the associated items to that.  Here is Michelle's Blog, so you can see what magic she has done with my crazy collection.

Well, she did the same thing I did.  She sent varied, and yet somehow perfectly suited pieces, that are not my usual color palette, but really worked well together.  So, I am thrilled to be able to again go outside my "normal."

I first noticed the blue bead soup because it reminded me of the bayous in Louisiana, where I lived for 11 years until Hurricane Katrina.  So, I decided to go with the bayou theme.

The blue soup got combined with a sandy soup of my own and turned into a wild free form netting/peyote/who knows what the heck stitch necklace that I called  Bayou's Edge.  It also has one of Michelle's clasps, a big ol' brass clasp that I just loved!

Here's a close-up of the center detail.  It is still kind of hard to see because the sun/shadows kind of washed out the blue in the center, but I hope you can make it out.

Then, because I hadn't used any of the soupy focals, I decided I had to have some fun with the giant gold colored stamping.  I domed it slightly, patina-ed it, then I painted it with alcohol ink to enhance the plants and the darling dragonfly detail.  I added a tiny beaded edging, to give me a place to attach my ribbons and copper beads.  Then I put it on the bronze rolo chain from Michelle's bead soup, and added the Melinda Orr s-clasp to that.  I called this one Bayou Dance, because the ribbons look kind of like a tutu.  (Work with me here, as my hubby likes to say.)

Lastly, I had these two amazing Melinda Orr components from Michelle that were just crying to be used.  So, I combined them with some of the turquoise and faceted soup beads, and put them on earwires.  I had to call them Blue Bayou, because what bayou collection could ever exist without that?

So, use the Bead Soup Blog Party button at the top right to find the links to the blogs for everyone in Reveal #1.  Visit those blogs, leave party comments, and just have a good time.  I'm afraid you will have to wait a bit until the next reveal, but that's part of the fun.  The anticipation makes it so much better!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pretty Lacy

Well blogophiles, I promised you lacy earrings, and here they are!  I wanted you to see what I did with a little crochet thread and a few beads, and a light coat of fabric Mod Podge to just provide a little body to the earrings.  The first pair I did, the green ones, I think I was a little heavy-handed on the Mod Podge.  Note to self: do little amounts in layers.  I keep making that mistake both with Mod Podge and with resin.  I want to do it all at once because I crave instant gratification.  But that is a mistake.  With decoupage, as well as resin, I have to remember that slow and steady wins the race, just like bead work.  Anyway, check them out!

They look pretty good here

But here you can really see the Mod Podge in the middle

This pair came out better, for one thing, the lighter color masks the Mod Podge

Next time, I'll do better, but I love these anyway!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trying to Put Yesterday into the Past

If any of you read yesterday's post, you know how upset i was over the shootings in Colorado.  I guess I should explain, if some of you are used to seeing my work on the blog, and wondered if I was getting a little lost.  Well, since I don't sell my work, this is not a true artist blog.  I sometimes post about feelings or family or both, knowing that fellow artists and family and friends all read this blog.  So, it's kind of a two-fer.  You get both the professional and the personal in one blog.   Don't worry though, no naked pics or recipes will be forthcoming, LOL.

Carrying on, I am going to post pics of my latest work.  The first, and a real favorite, is the Moon and Stars Cuff.  I haven't done much bead embroidery, so I decided there was no time like the present to work on my skills, and dove right in.  After completing the cuff, I know there are a few things I should have done differently.  Mainly, I didn't leave enough edge on the piece, so adding the border was a real challenge.  I wanted to ensure that it was a real edge, connecting the Ultrasuede lining to the embroidered front, but in some places it took some real doing to accomplish that.  Lesson learned there, but I still was able to complete it to my picky satisfaction.  Also, some of the embroidery is a little crowded.  I will learn to space the rows a little better the more I embroider.  However, all that said, it came out great, and I love it!  See what you think!

The front, with a moonscape (from Bead Stalker just a hint of the star

The left side, with the druzy star (from Heart of Stone, also a flat black pearl and some other cabs and beads.

The right side, with a vintage red cab ringed nebula and a blue planet (both from Splendor in the Glass

I'll post more work tomorrow.  Stay tuned for lacy earrings!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


The killings in Colorado (the state where I was born and lived for 40 some odd years) are very difficult for me to accept.  I remember Colorado as a granola-fed live-and-let-live open green happy wild strawberries kind of place.  After Columbine, I was shocked, but thought it was a one-time-only weirdity.  But now, my confidence and innocence have been shattered about the home state that I love.  So, I have been meditating on peaceful thoughts for the families of the victims, as well as the family of the obviously deeply disturbed young man who carried out this terrible deed.

Now, I've lived quite awhile.  I remember terrible American tragedies, the Kennedy assassination, the Texas clock tower shootings, Bundy, Gacy, Son of Sam, the Boston Strangler, Lucas, Gein, Zodiac, all those serial killers, Manson, Natural Born Killers Starkweather and Fugate, In Cold Blood Clutter killers, Columbine, the DC snipers, Jared Loughner, Bin Ladin, and many, many more.

It's not the killers themselves that have held my attention, but the terrible senseless mind-numbing drift of people into murdering madness.  Some say they were born to it.  Some say they were made into killers by terrible circumstance.  It's not important, I guess, somehow, people who might be in the car next to you on the freeway, in the line ahead of you at the grocery store, standing in a movie ticket line beside you, feel the need to kill, to destroy, to wreak havoc, to instill fear, to see blood, to turn the national and world-wide attention to themselves.  They are bent on getting their 15 minutes of fame in a spray of bullets, crazed photos of themselves all thrust into our collective consciousness and drowning our hearts in an ocean of blood.  We sometimes become jaded.  When I lived in New Orleans, sometimes during  Mardi Gras we would hear bullets being fired.  The first time we just stood there wondering what on earth?  The second time we ducked, like all the street-wise people.  The third time we just carried on while a woman died not a block from us.  We heard the shots.  They didn't hit anyone in our group.  Party on.

I'm not proud of my jaded heart, but there it is.  There have been so many killings, for no reason, for crazy reasons, for idiotic reasons.  We don't even need to go to war to see death around us.  When we do go to war, we come back senselessly damaged, the mental scars worse sometimes than the physical.  Video games and movies spray blood like it is nothing abnormal.  Like flying paint.  Like water spraying.  We become "comfortably numb."

I want to scream today.  To wake myself.  To wake my neighbors.  To wake the world.  To save the world.  To make it stop.  But I know I would just be howling in the wind.  My heart is broken today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welcome Oz Folk!

When I started this Oz journey, I thought of all kinds of things to do, ruby slippers, Munchkins, scary forests, Scarecrows, Tin Men, Lions, poppy fields and Witches good and bad (I read several of the Oz books, and it's still on my grown-up to-do list to read all the others.)  Then I decided to listen to my muse, and she almost always tells me to make jewelry.  So, I made a Yellow Brick Road, ruby slippers, Emerald City, Wicked Witch's castle, out of Kansas, Rasta (unintentional) choker.  The ceramic donut is courtesy of the amazing Marla James, and it reminded me of the center square in Munchkinland where Dorothy landed, and of the various stages of the journey, Munchkinland/Yellow Brick Road, Emerald City, the dark passage to the Witch's lair, and finally the Ruby Slippers.

I hope you all enjoy, and I am SOOOOO excited to see all of your art!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's in a Name?

First and foremost, I have to thank our bloggie hop sponsor, Shelley Graham Turner, for organizing and conceiving of this fun event!  Happy Birthday, Shelley!

When I learned of this blog hop, I thought, "How perfect for me!" because the name of my blog is kind of odd.  It comes from a long time ago, in my childhood.  Prior to this story, I have to talk about my maternal aunt.  Aunt Julie had remarried, having divorced her first husband long before.  Her new huband was Art Wermuth.  He was a major war hero in the Philippines during WWII, he even has a Wikipedia page.  Needless to say, she was besotted with this dynamo of a man.  

I was 9 or 10, when Aunt Julie was getting ready to marry Uncle Art, as we called him.  She had a small house in Denver, and was preparing to move into Art's home after the wedding.  She had solid mahogany doors in her house, and was selling the house.  She decided to keep the fabulous mahogany doors, and replace them with doors that were not quite so expensive, as the house was really modest, and didn't need fancy doors.  Besides, let's face it, she wanted to keep those doors.

She put most of them into her new home, but had one door left.  She decided to make it into a coffee table, cutting it down slightly to make it a more useful size, as well as removing the hardware holes.  She then had wrought iron legs put on, and added a large piece of glass on the top.  The table was large and absolutely exquisite in a late 1960's modern style.

Well, the love story, as many love stories do, became a bit complicated.  Early in their relationship, Uncle Art was elected Sheriff of Jefferson County, Colorado.  During his tenure as Sheriff, he apparently used prison resources to get Aunt Julie's house painted prior to the sale.  Fast forward a couple of years, Uncle Art was accused of embezzlement for his misuse of the county resources in this painting project, and was politely asked to step down as Sheriff, and to leave the Sheriff's residence immediately.  (Okay, it wasn't so polite, and he was tried and convicted.)  Needless to say, my beautiful Aunt, who looked like Lana Turner, had to go on the lam with Uncle Art.  When they moved, she couldn't bear to let the table go to strangers, so she gifted my mother, Margie, with the table, saying we could keep it for her until she came back.  My mom loved the table, but we all missed Aunt Julie terribly.

Now, my mother also loved canaries, and she always had one in the house.  We lived in the basement of a duplex, while my paternal grandparents occupied the upstairs.  My mom was ill, she had severe, uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes, and a grave heart condition.  So, we lived with the grandparents so they could help out with me and later my brother, in case my mom had to go on one of her many hospital stays.  I loved most of the canaries my mom kept, but there was one, Petey, who just hated me.  In our downstairs apartment, we had windows that were at ground level, for sun and to be able to pass food out to the patio for summer dining.  I loved to sit on the end of our sofa, where the light came in, so I could read books.  I have always been a bookworm, and our big overstuffed sofa was the perfect place to get all curled up with a book. However, then Mommy decided to put Petey's cage directly over the place I used to sit, so he got some light, too.  Lord knows, we didn't want a depressed, evil canary in the house.  So, every time I sat down to read, Petey decided it was bath time.  He would splish and splash and make a terrible racket, and send water flying everywhere.  (I told you he hated me.)

So, I started to move away from the bird bath zone, and I would lay stretched out on the glass of the mahogany door-table, and feel its coolness and look at the reflection of the sky from the window.  And if I concentrated very hard, I felt as though I were falling into the sky.  Hence the name of my blog.  It was my first sense of free-falling into a wonderful place, where there were no worries about a sick mother, no problems at school and certainly no damned canaries.

To read more exciting stories of blog names, check out all the folks on this hop!

Shannon Hicks of Falling Into The Sky <----------YOU ARE HERE   


 Blog Host/Birthday Girl! - Shelley Graham Turner of Tori Sophia