Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Newest earrings

Spent the day trying to learn how to download and edit pictures on my new laptop.   I have been really hesitant to upgrade because the new Windows is such a pain to use, but my old standby is just getting to be too slow.

I took pictures of earrings I had made with from my newest beads, and spent the last several hours trying to figure out how to edit them.  That was after I cussed repeatedly at the computer because it also makes downloading from the camera so difficult. Old computer, I plugged in camera, turned it on and it downloaded automatically.  New computer, I have to find the "my computer" function and them manually move the pictures from the camera. Probably is an easier way, but have yet to find it .

Darn thing is even giving me problems as I type this ... the screen keeps changing it's resolution and I am doing nothing but typing.  Very frustrating  ,,,.. I foresee a large learning curve.

At the last Puyallup clay gathering, Kim showed me how to make a leaf cane.  I am not a caner. I don't seem to have the patience for it, but I was assured it was an easy one to make.  Still have a problem with keeping the form of the leaf when reducing, but am told that too comes with practice.

 
Here is an earring made from one of the multicolored spiral beads I showed yesterday.
 
 
 
While putting away old beads on my worktable, I came across a pair dragon egg beads that I had made several years ago.  Finally made them into earrings.
 


And for my final pair ....these are not polymer, but I fell in love with these seahorse beads at Michael's.  Bought the string and made up these for me and a pair for my scuba diving friend. Hope she likes the beads as much as I do.

 


Wow, as many postings in 2 days that I have done in 3 months. Maybe the greys have ended?
 
 
 



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Left overs

Some members of my guild (the NW Polymer Clay Guild) have been getting together for a day of claying around in the South Puget Sound area.  It is closer to home than the official Clay Days in Shoreline (north of Seattle).  We have had two gatherings so far and hope for more.

I had not played with clay all winter, so at my first gathering I got ambitious and tried for Mokume Gane.  I really did not like the look I got.  I forgot to add Julie Picarello's secret ecru blend that really make colors more harmonious. So, I had half a block of stacked clay left. What is so great about polymer clay, however, is the fact that (repeat after me) "there is no such thing as wasted clay"!.

I took the block home and it sat on my table for about a month, till I had some time to work in my studio.  I ended up cutting the stack into sections that I thought I could make a jelly roll out of. It wasn't wide enough however, so I ran it through my pasta machine at a thinner setting. This caused the lines to widen, but they were no longer straight.  They had waved a bit.
    I then took this wavy section, laid it on a thin layer of black clay and made a jelly roll.  When I sliced into the roll, I found that each slice had different colors meandering though the spiral.  Kinda neat.  I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but since I was just playing I had no idea that it would turn out cool.

Here are the beads that I made from the jelly roll.

I love how the colors blend and overlap in the spirals.

Catching up

I can't believe it has been two months since my last blog, and it wasn't even about beads.  To tell the truth, I was not feeling too creative this winter. Have been focusing on other things.  I had a birthday in January and had to get a new driver's license, with a new picture. I am no raving beauty, but that pix was HORRIBLE!   I am getting older, and with age comes certain changes in the body ... that I know I have to deal with.  And I have not been dealing with the changes too well.   However, that picture acted as a catalyst.

     I hauled our butts down to weight watchers the day after my birthday ... have been tracking and eating right now for the last several months.  Right away I noticed that I have more energy and some of the aches are gone.  I have lost 9 pounds and my hubby a bit over 20.  Sometimes it doesn't seem fair that he is losing it so fast, but he pointed out that he has a lot more to lose than I do.  He is also becoming a walking champ.  We bought fitbits, and he is determined to get in his 10,000 steps a day.  He has gone from couch potato to someone who is searching the Internet for walking trails. His best find is a lovely 2.5 mile trail in Des Moines that ends at the waterfront. An easy walk for me as it is mostly downhill.  I even bought a good pair of walking shoes!
Des Moines trail in February. Dig that blue sky

Des Moines Trail

Pier at Des Moines Waterfront

View at Des Moines Waterfront.  Vashon Island in the distance.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Catification

You know you have too many cats when you download 250 pictures from your camera, and they are ALL pix of your cats.

Maybe I should change the name of this blog to "Too Many Cats" ... ?

Quinn trying to find some space at the foot of the bed

How many cats can fit in one laundry basket?

Two is decidedly more comfortable.

Newest Underfeet (Domino and Beaker) helping Dad pay the bills.

Zinger and Quinn vying for a bit of winter sun.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back Yard View

Had to share.

We are currently looking for a new house.  Today's trip took us to Ocean Shores, Washington.  While looking at a possible new home, I happened to look out the back window and saw this:


Apparently the deer are very tame and wander freely all over the town.  We saw more as we were leaving.
     If we get a home there, I will have to figure out how to upcycle deer poop.  I once saw paper that was made from recycled Elephant poo .... I wonder .............

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Changes in the future?

There are changes afoot at the Penguin Float.  I have never been entirely happy with my house.  I outgrew it quickly, once I started exploring my artistic side.  What started as a tiny hobby in the corner of the garage is threatening to take over the entire house.  To be honest, it probably would have if Lord Opuson did not have such a strong foot.  As it is, I have a "studio" ( once was the second bedroom) full of shelves crammed with my "must have" art paraphernalia. And what does not fit on the shelves, has found a "temporary" home on the floor.
    And I have expanded into the bed room.  My excuse is that there is not enough light in the studio to bead (and there really isn't). I have 3 full shelves of books, 12 shoe boxes of beads (Opuson counted them this morning) and 3 tool cases of findings stacked against the wall at the foot of the bed.

I want to start exploring enameling and PMC, not to mention fused glass.  I have yet to use the kiln I won over a year ago - no real place to set up.

I NEED MORE ROOM.

OK, maybe need is a little too strong a word.  I would like more room. 
I am also looking at retirement in the not to distant future - several years away, but still needs to be planned for.
I do not want to retire in my current house.  So, this morning we visited the bank to start the whole process.  House hunting will begin in earnest. just have to decide WHERE I want to live.  Since I will no longer be tied to a job that limits my living area, the possibilities are wide open.  I am finally getting excited about retirement. 
   Of course, this means that I will probably not be able to pursue any creative outlets once we start the process in earnest.  Not only a new home to fix up, but we have major work to do here to get it ready to sell.  Busy times ahead.


Quinn's opinion of moving. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What's in a name?

Has anyone read Sage Bray's article in the latest issue of  "The Polymer Arts" Magazine?  The article about naming your work, that is.  Sage is a very prolific writer, so there are many articles she has authored.
    She makes several very valid points about the subject.  I know that as an artist, this is something that I should be doing .... but it is HARD. I tried doing it for some time back, and finally gave up as I ran out of descriptive words.
    Sage supplied some good advice on how to come up with names, so I proceeded to give them a try as I have been struggling to find a suitable word to call my newest obsession.  "Tile" earrings is really not a good name.  Tiles are more flat, these are shaped like little bricks (thank you, word association).
  The light bulb appeared over my head - hence "Bricka" Earrings are born.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks at work and around the domicile, so I have only created a few Bricka's.  Luckily this technique caters itself to working 10 minutes here and there .... there are a lot of steps that need drying time between them

Latest pictures also include a prop - trying to add a bit of interest to my pretty bla photos.  I have noticed that most of the pictures I pin on Pinterest have interesting backgrounds.

4 Hears

Waiting for Spring 

Full Circle

Poppy 

Morning Cuppa

Dots and Hearts

Sealed with xoxox