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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stupor Times

Not much is going on creatively these days.  I am in the midst of my winter stupor.  Kinda like the bear (that Lord Opuson insists is my totem), I tend to hibernate during the greys.  I have gotten several new books that I have been reading and thinking VERY hard about, but the drive to actually DO something just isn't there. The SAD really has a grip on me hard this year.

A huge bright spot in my life these last couple of weeks,  has been the addition of the Mighty Little Quinn.  I know that I am already deemed the crazy cat lady, so what is one more?

She and the rest of her siblings were found under the house when DH crawled under there  to turn on the water for our new refrigerator (which started leaking yesterday, causing a mad scrabble back under the house - no new kittens this time, thank goodness).

Found homes for the 4 other babies, but this cutie I just couldn't resist (I know that I should say no to more, but when you see her pix, you will understand).  She gets along so well with the boys, she follows them around like a little sister (which was what we were calling her till I could find a good name).  According to the "name your cat" source I found on-line, Quinn is Celtic for "fifth".
Quinn bonding with Lord Opuson

Quinn and Zinger Looking down on us mere mortals from the lofty height
of their cat perch

This little face just melts my heart.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christi Class Day 2

The polymer classes were held during our "at sea" days.  That way, when we are in port, we can leave the ship and take an island tour, go have fun on a sailboat, snorkel or explore on our own.

The claydies (+ one gentleman) were divided into 3 groups.  Each group meet with a different teacher on class days.  I was in Group C, and my first class was with my favorite clay lady ... Christi Freisen.  I have been lucky enough to take numerous classes from her and she has never failed to entertain while instructing.  We had several people new to clay in our group, so it was great that they started their intro into the polymer world with someone who makes learning so easy.

      The first time I met her was on the 2009 Polymer cruise. I was having so much fun, that I hardly wanted to leave the classroom to go into port.  Lord Opuson talked me into it one morning, but it was sooo hot and humid, that we quickly went back the ship.  I went back to the classroom and my hubbie got bored without me. Christi  was in the classroom too and  she actually talked my husband into trying his hand at clay sculpt. First time out, he made a dolphin! So impressive, as my hubby is NOT physically artistic ... he can use words like a paint brush when he writes,  but give him a real paint brush, and all the paint will end up on him, the walls, the floors ...  anywhere but the canvas.
    I ramble, but the gist of what I am saying, is that if you want to learn clay and be successful the first time out ... take a class from Christi Freisen.

Christi's theme was aquatic life.  We made little underwater themes.  (I apologize for the picture quality - I have taken better pix now that I am home, but can not find my camera's download cable anywhere. These pix were taken in the classroom with room lighting)
Love this technigue for making jelly fish

Christi's instructions for Octopi are sooo good, I made this
cutie first tme out  

 The instructor's moved from table to table each night, so everyone would get a chance to eat with them.  This was Christi's night at our table.  If you look closely a my neckline, you can just make out my Leopold necklace that I made from her focal.

As I alluded to in previous posts, the ship was chocked full of art work.  I must have taken hundreds of pictures.  Ispiration everywhere! Doesn't this piece look like it was created from extruder cane?
And every night we would come back to the cabin to be greeted by the wimsey of Andrew, our steward....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Polymer Cruise Day 1

Sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.  A beautiful day for it.
 The boarding process went very well.  Hardly had to stand in line at all.  I have been on cruises before when I thought I would NEVER get on board. Royal Caribbean has it down to a fine art. 
  We originally were all to meet on the Lido deck, but since the Oasis does not have a Lido deck, it was decided to meet in the Windjammer Cafe.  Unfortunately for us, everyone else headed to the Windjammer too.  Several people tried to save spaces, but it was frowned on because there were so many people trying to get in and not enough seats for them all.  But so much food .... let the weight gain commence. Diet, what Diet????
The Windjammer one afternoon when the ship was in port.
Usually you can't see the food for all the people.
 There were soooo many good places to eat.  A lot of them were "free" - ie included in the cost of the cruise.  There were other specially restaurants that charged. I understand they were quite good.  There was even a Johnny Rocket's aboard.  They served breakfast at no charge, and during the rest of the day, you could have all you could eat for a minimal charge.  My only problem with that was that they were on the Boardwalk section of the ship, which was outside ( not air conditioned), so was too hot and muggy for me to be comfortable.
   Lord Opuson soon discovered the adult only section of the ship, and the Bistro there. Not as much food as the Windjammer, but a much more relaxed atmosphere and lots of seating. We ate there a lot, esp. in the morning.
All these plants are real.  The gardeners make constant rounds to
ensure that all plants are at their peak health.
 Central park was my favorite part of the ship.  A floating garden.  Spent a lot of time walking here, snapping pix of the flowers, sitting on the benches and enjoying the scenery. 

Saturday night was opening ceremonies for the Polymer portion of the cruise.  We all met in the conference center (yeah, good lighting and open space!!!).  Meet and greet occurred, with lots of fun and laughs. 

Maureen Carlson opened the ceremonies by blowing a blast on a conch shell.
She is talented in so many ways, but who knew this was one of them!
We had been given our goodie bags at the hotel the night before.  Everything other than the pasta machine and work surface had been included.  We were told what items to bring to class in the morning.   Then there were awards - crowns for the polymer princesses who have cruised twice before, and lovely sterling pearl necklaces for those of us who have cruised 3 or more times with this generous group.

Then we were free to pursue other shipboard interests, or be like me and go to bed since the first class started at 0900.  I am not a morning person, so it was hard for me to adjust. I found I was getting up at the time I normally went to bed.  I find that even now that I am back at home, I am still waking early. Have to get back into the j.o.b. groove and stay up past 10 pm. LOL

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Polymer Paradise

I have been sadly neglecting my blogging of late.
First, I was cleaning and getting ready for my trip.  Having a house sitter coming in was great inspiration towards getting rid of all the dust and cobwebs that have accumulated over time. I am NOT a "good" housekeeper by any means. My mother was fastidious to the point of white glove clean, and as a result her children (being of creative natures) feel there are more important things to do in life than clean.  Needless to say, there were lots of nooks and crannies that had been ignored for a while.

Then, the second honeymoon and polymer clay cruise began.  Got back Thursday night. Spent Friday unpacking, and resting up. Vacations can be so tiring.  Today I was organising the over 900 pictures I took on our two week trip. My camera got a real work out.  If you had a chance to look at my photo album, though, you might wonder a bit about my subject matter.  Of course, I was taking pictures of the scenery, people, etc - the usual vacation pix. But, there are numerous photo of flowers, and trees, and houses, and textures, and artwork on the ship.  There was an historic cannon that I saw in San Francisco and my first thought was "ooooh, look at that PATINA!"
I wonder how I can duplicate this patina.....Swellegant, maybe???

For those who are not familiar, Lisa Pavelka and her business partner, Lisa Lambright, organise cruise vacations that also include classes.  In this instance, the classes were in polymer clay.  They invite great teachers to accompany them and a fun time is had by all. This was my third cruise with them, and so far the best, IMHO.  The instructors this time out were the marvelous Christi Freisen, the legendary Maureen Carlson and the lovely Lisa herself.

Our trip to Fort Lauderdale went better than I expected.  It was long, but there was only about 10 minutes of bumpiness on the whole plane ride there.

We were put up at the Spring Hill Suites.  
I always try to plan for the unexpected delay (the last time we flew for a cruise, we got stuck in Dallas overnight due to weather. We would have missed the ship if I hadn't given us an extra travel day).  Because we got in a day early, I was able to meet a few other of the early birds, including the energetic Lisa Lambright.  It was nice to get to know her a bit outside the hectic pace of the class room.  
Christi Freisen and Lisa Pavelka checking in.  

Saturday morning -  we were off, a short shuttle ride to the ship.  I had heard and read about the Oasis of the Seas. I knew in my mind that it was big, but did not really grasp just how HUGE it was till I saw it.  
   There is an ice skating rink, rock climbing walls, and a zip line.  Not to mention the usual pools, saunas, stages, food courts, gyms, bars, casino and other cruise ship amenities.  Right now, it is one of  the largest ships afloat, until next year when the Quantum of the Seas is launched.  
  This was the first time that the polymer cruise was going to be held on a Royal Caribbean ship.  It was nice to have one big room with good lighting set aside only for us.  No moving from room to room every day. 
Can you get an idea of just how BIG this sucker is??

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Production of another sort

I can't believe I did not write anything in September!  The month just flew by.

  Lord Opuson and I have semi-decided to move.  We have not been happy in our current home for some time, and when the neighbors got a pit bull puppy, it was kinda the final straw.  I am not a dog person (stems from dog attack in childhood), but usually they don't bother me that much as long as they are well trained and cared for. Those who follow my blog know I am the crazy lady with all the cats.  My babies are upset by the new addition next door.  Even though they are not letting her run free, it still freaks them out when she comes running up to the end of her chain, barking at them.  And she will only get bigger. So we are seriously thinking it is time to find new digs.
    In the prep to move, we decided to start boxing up that stuff we are not using.  If we move, we will be that much ahead.  And if we decide not to move, and find we don't need what is in the boxes ... off to the thrift store for someone else to find a place for.
   It had been occupying a lot of my time: between that and work, there is very little time for creative endeavors. The good thing is that I have found stuff I thought I lost a long time ago.  Currently typing this listening to my old MP3 player that I hadn't seen in 3 years. Lucky for me that the Beattles are timeless.
    I  did find time to finish up my charms for Lisa Pavelka's Polymer Clay Cruise.  I just have to get them into the baggies and am done.  Two weeks from now, I will be enjoying the sunshine at sea sailing on the Oasis of the Sea -  a cruise ship so big it has an ice skating rink!  Not only is this a poly cruise - it is my 20th wedding anniversary 2nd honeymoon cruise.  And I will have a clean house to come home too!!!

I can't believe the boys are almost full grown.
The little kitty that went to market and
the little kitty who stayed home. The
little kitty who ate roast beast can't get out of bed for the pix

Brothers bonded for life.

98, 99, 100 .... Ready or not .... Here I come!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Now this is wall art!!

I visited my home town of Ephrata, Washington last week.          My sister told me I just had to see the new mural painted on the side of the local movie theater.

I had no idea how great it would be.  It is quickly becoming a tourist attraction in this small community.

Apparently the artist is just out of high school.  A lot of talent for someone so young.

Pictures speak much better than words, so here you are ....

View of whole mural from across the street.

Left side with artist signature

Penguins and minions, oh my....

Incredible, isn't it

Not sure what movie the airplane is from.
Then, we we got home and unloaded some of my mother's things, the boys decided that the "new" chair was their personal property.  Our old girls just aren't welcome there.  Maybe because the blanket we put over it to protect it from kitty fur is a good camouflage?
You can't see me!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rustic Revisited

I think I might have a touch of OCD.  When I find a technique I like, I tend to focus on it to the exclusion of all others.  Earlier this spring it was controlled marbling, and now it is Rustic Beads.  I have been playing with different textures and a few different colors.  Making these beads is so much fun, I just don't want to stop (until Lynda Moseley's newest faux tut comes out, then I predict I will be focus on that for a while ... teehee).

While I am going to post pixs of lots of beads, keep in mind that I have been making these off and on for the last month.  I have thoughts of them being the beads for the PC charm trade on my upcoming Polymer Clay Cruise in October.

My Blue Period

Seem to gravitate to the greens.

Love the contrast of yellow and rust.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shilo's Introduction to new home

Shilo is getting ready to move to her new home.  She was scheduled to move this last weekend, but since Jen and Ronda were in the process of tearing up the rugs in their new place, it was felt it would be too dangerous for a little puff like Shilo .... she might get crushed underfoot or run out the door and get lost in the new wooded surroundings. So she is going to be going over this coming weekend,

In preparation for the move, I took her over to meet her new moms.  At first she wasn't sure about the whole thing.  The first chance she got, she ran under a pickup where she thought she would be safe.  Oh, no,,, there was another cat under there!!!
    That was her first introduction to her new "aunt" Milly.  A little tail puffing and a hiss or two, but that was it. Looks like they might get along OK

After a while, Shilo calmed down and I knew when this picture was taken that she will be a very loving home.
Shilo asleep on Momma Rhonda's Lap
In case you are wondering, Rhonda's T-shirt says "If you don't teach your cat about catnip, who will?"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bead Hoarder's Reveal

I have a dirty little secret that I keep from my co-workers.  They all know that I make my own jewelery and some have even bought a few piecea from me here and there over the years...but what they don't see are the shoe boxes and bins full of strands of beads, beads and more beads. 

Why do I do it?!?!!  WHY!!!

 It wouldn't be so bad if I wouldn't buy them and store them away, waiting for inspiration to strike so I can make something "spectacular".  I haunt pinterest looking for ideas, getting lost there for hours, rather than using that time to design and make pieces of my own.  I need HELP!

That is why I jumped at the chance to join Lori Anderson's latest bead hop ... some incentive to actually do SOMETHING with some of the great beads and focals I have been hoarding. I did not buy one new item to make them! All from my stash. That is a win in my book. Earrings too!

First stop: my favorite medium, polymer clay. Among my favorite PC artists is Christi Friesen.  I first met this wonderful, down to earth lady on one of Lisa Pavelka's Polymer Clay cruises (out of New Orleans).  I bought some pieces from her then that have been living in see-though cases in my studio (for inspirational purposes, ya that's it).  Finally, I opened the case so Leopold could breath and get to see the whole new world outside my one little room.
   Since Leo is from the wilds, I thought to make him feel more at home by pairing him with wood and bone.  It was really hard to string the beads in an order I liked.  It took about a week of trying out various combos before I was happy with the results. What do you think?

I got up the courage to ask Christi if she would consider coming to my neck of the woods to teach. (remember, I had just met her and was still in awe shock).  About a year later (she is a very busy lady), I was able to host her for a weekend of classes in Edmonds.  She also connected with another lady in Everett and gave classes there too. During the Everett class, I made this Firebird that I finally got around to taking down from my inspiration shelf.  I had some copper chain left over from my first bead soup that went perfectly with design. Did some wire work on this set. I had some glass beads in my stash that were a perfect match.

My only trip to Tucson sveral years ago netted me some wonderful ceramic beads from Clay River Designs.  At the time, I had a budget so was not able to buy more.  I really wish I had.  I love the color and style of these gorgeous pieces. The photos do not do the color justice. They literally glow.  I am so happy that I got the companion beads to go with the focals.  Anything else would not have made as great an impact.
 I experimented with collage making to compress all my photos.Heaven knows that I am wordy enough already.  Don't need to load the posts down with tons of pix.  Also trying various backgrounds to shoot against.  Trying to be "artistic" is hard work.

Since I hardly make any pieces from all my beads, I found I have very few clasps in my stash.  I am not that happy with the closures I was forced to use on these pieces.  But I swore not to buy anything new so had to work with what I had.  I think my next bead show visit will focus on closures.

A great big {{{HUG}}} to Lori for thinking of this hop.  She has been having major health issues of  late and I don't know where she finds the strength to carry on.  She is one remarkable lady.  I am keeping her and her family in my thoughts and hope that her new doctor can help her to feel better soon.

Here is a list of all the other beaders who are participating in this marvelous hop. Enjoy!

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
  10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine's Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D'Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia's Unique Beaded Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda's Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou's time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 - For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine's Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings 'n' Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi's Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena's Beady Blog

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hoarder's Stash Bead Hop this weekend

I can't believe that I actually got my pieces done!  My j.o.b. has been so hectic lately that there was not much time left in the day for working on any projects.  But 5-10 minutes at a time over the last several weeks paid off.  Look for the reveal this Saturday, July 20th.

The "boys" are growing by leaps and bounds.  Zinger was the rut of the litter, so tiny and shy.  Now he is a moose! All muscle. Tofur, who we thought would be huge because his paws were so big, is much lighter (mostly fur). They finally finished up with all their shots and have forgiven us for their visits to the vet.
Zinger is just not sure about coming out of the cage
during this vet visit.

We found some more stray kittens in the blackberry vines a couple of weeks ago.  This cutie was so adorable that I was not willing to take her to the Humane Society. She is finding a home with my good friend Jen.  We are kitty sitting till she moves into her new home at the end of the month.
I would keep her if I could, but 6 is too many already.  I swear there is a beacon over our house written in Catese,,,, it say "Here live Suckers"  (they will pet you and love you and feed you and call you George)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop is coming

I have a lot of beads.
Not only do I make my own beads but can't seem to resist buying more.
Never meet a bead show or store I did not like.
I bring the beads home, oh and ah over them and then store them away to do "something special" with at some nebulous time in the future....that never seems to come.
It really is a form of addiction.  Heaven knows my husband thinks it is (and yah, when was the last time you used that mitre saw you just HAD to have, hummm?)

With this thought in mind, the lovely Lori Anderson is hosting another blog hop devoted to delving into the stash to actually MAKE something.

OK ... Delving I did go.  First stop, a Christi Friesen piece that I have been keeping the plastic container it came in since I bought it on my first polymer clay cruise at least  5 years ago!  It took a while to figure out how to get it out of the box, as it was wired in for display purposes.
Now I am trying to string using bone and wooden beads from my stash.  I have tried numerous combinations and still not settled on one I am happy with.
I do a lot of beading in bed. It has the best light in the house.
When I was in Tuscon several years ago, I found these gorgeous ceramic beads at the Clay River Design booth.  Time for them to become my next masterpiece.

Wish I had bought more of these!
Have to wait and see, if I can get these beaded and ready by the 20th. There is so much stuff going on outside bead studio this time of year. Hoping that I can, and that I can work up even more of my stash.  The weather has been so warm it is really hard to do any polymer work ... this hop is a great inducement to keep the Muse Alive while waiting for cooler temps.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rustic Reloaded

As I wrote in my last blog, I wanted to attempt using darker colors when making Rustic Beads. This time I tried a dark blue.  
 I found out quickly that dark colors just aren't my thing. At least, this shade of blue it not.

 So, back to the lighter colors I gravitate towards.
Only textured on one side.  Will have to make post earrings
out of them, I suppose

 The yellow/green combo is one that really speaks to me

 Close ups of my favorite beads of the group.

 A little darker this time.  I also tried a bit of a different distressing technique on these pairs.  The finished look is more scratched up and worn that I was able to achieve before.  Kinda like the result and want to play some more with the idea.

 I saw a quick demo on  how to make lava beads at clay camp, but did not win the tool needed to create them.  Found it in my local neighborhood hardware store (this is a great place to wander the aisles, they are an older store with lots of goodies tucked away just waiting to be discovered). These were colored using the same technique as the rustic beads, but I did not distress them.  They have problems enough of their own without my beating on them.

A big thanks to Ginger Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree for her Rustic Bead tut.  I am having so much fun with it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I finally overcame my obsession with Controlled Marbling long enough to try out a new tutorial: Rustic Beads by Ginger Davis Allman at The Blue Bottle Tree.

My first attempts aren't as Rustic as hers, but then she wrote the book, so to speak.
On the first try, the beads came out way too thick and not battered enough.

So, after reducing the amount of clay and purchasing a "rustic tool" that Ginger recommended in the tut, these were the result.  Not quite what I expected, but I am not unhappy.  They aren't as, well for lack of a better term, rustic as those Ginger makes. I think that is because I tend to gravitate towards brighter, lighter colors.  I am going to try darker colors next time.

Kitten update:  I can't really call them kittens any more.  They are 5 months old and almost full grown.  Zinger had his "operation" last week and it did not go as well as Tofur's.  He apparently wiggled and twisted and squirmed around so much, he bumped his hinny against the cage and gave himself a nasty hematoma at the surgical site.  He has to wear a cone to prevent further damage. 
Sleeping off the effects of the day

Worming my way into Daddy's heart??