Thursday, July 29, 2010

Off to Portland

I decided to take a few days off and head to Portland to visit a friend. Hubby and the dogs are staying home this trip so this will be a girly weekend and I'm so looking forward to it. I'm taking my camera so I hope to get some great shots of the surroundings and other wonderful things. The one thing I want to do that I haven't done in a long time is visit the Rose Garden. They have the most amazing collection of roses I've ever seen. Maybe I'll get some new pictures that I can use as inspiration for painting.

I did want to try to find a store I read about but can't find the name now. It has lots of bits and pieces for the collage and mixed media artist, so I'm not sure if it is an antique store or how it is categorized so that I can find it since I can't remember the name or even where I read about it. Oh, well an excuse to make another trip once I find out. It's not like my shed in the back doesn't have a ton of vintage and antique stuff in it...(closed our antique mall space in December). I could just go shopping out there, but that wouldn't have the adventure in it that I'm longing for. I just want to find inspiration in odd places, so we shall see what we find this weekend.

I haven't gotten my July tutorial finished....humm not sure what to do this month anyway. Maybe this is a good time to get away.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Good to be Me

Sometimes I moan and groan about the messy remodeling house or the cold weather in the middle of Summer but I really do have a good life, good husband, family, dogs, friends and everything else I can think of. Then today I find out that my Art Bead Scene challenge piece was featured on their blog today. Yes, I am a happy camper.  The link to the blog is on the right of you can click it HERE

Since we are still in the remodeling phase I decided to do a little promoting of some of the local businesses that we purchased some of our supplies from. This one is the hand blown art glass pendant light. It was made by Tacoma Glassblowers Studio. They had so many to choose from but the green complimented the colors in our kitchen better than the rest.

They also offer glass blowing classes and another option for a group is the glass blowing experience. My husband and I have organized a couple of family outings to blow glass with an instructor and everyone had a great time and came away with a wonderful art glass piece. They are offering a new class on garden art in August that I may have to consider. Here is a picture of what they look like from inside their studio. What a colorful if my garden looked better this would be the perfect compliment.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week so far. I'm off to work on some artwork in the craft room.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good to be Home

Well last week we escaped the dust, noise and mess of the renovations and headed to the beach. We thought it was supposed to be a nice week but I don't think it ever got over 57 degrees and it's mid July.  We were turning on the heat at times just to get warm. It was not my idea of a fun filled beach trip. I did get several gem trees made during my boring hours since I couldn't work on my tan. We headed back on Friday to check on the progress of the house, take showers and then head off to Tenino for a gem and mineral show. When we got back to town it was warm, this didn't bode well for the gem and mineral show where some years it hit over 100. Way too hot. Usually we don't take the motor home to the Tenino show as it is only an hour away but with the mess at the house we decided to just stay there and dry camp. It was a good idea as we did get to relax a bit and not be on the highway twice a day but it was warm. On Saturday it reached 91 and today about 87. We did have a good show, sold some gem trees and gem tree kits, plus I was able to teach 4 kids how to make trees, which is what I really like to do.

Now back home. Kitchen is completely finished including all the trim work and the dining room hard wood floors have been fixed, sanded and varnished. Yes, it is good to be home.

Relaxing with the dogs in the motor home at the beach.

One of my favorite shots as the sun goes down.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Almost There

Yes, the remodeling of the kitchen is almost finished. We are really tired of living with the dining room in our living room and having to eat in the motor home. Thank heavens we had the motor home to fix meals in or we probably would have had to move out. So, just a little bit more trim work to do and then he moves onto the dining room next week. He'll be replacing some of the hard wood flooring, then sanding it all down and refinishing it. I think we will be out of the house for most of that work.

This side of the kitchen used to have a breakfast bar which we never used except as a catch all for junk. Now a wonderful new pantry and a beverage fridge.

New cabinets, canned lights and granite counter tops, I can't wait until I can get in here and start cooking.

The Dining room that still needs a lot of help.

This week has been my week to get my Bellevue Teachers submission into the Bead Factory. After last weeks successful teaching gig at the Puget Sound Bead Festival, I decided to try for three classes at the Bellevue Bead show. I should know by the end of the week if I get in.

Here is a peak of my newest tree design. It is called the Tree of Hope and Life.

I had a lot of fun making these.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just a Little Shopping

Today was my day. I spent the afternoon at the Bead show and purchased a few more beads. Since I already had so many gemstones and pearls I concentrated on art beads (glass, fiber, etc.) and found some cool ones.

Here are the fiber art pendants by Meg Hannan. These are so much better in person. They look like millifiori or fabric mosaics. I think I bought four of them and can't wait to do something with them.

These are the laser etched shell pendents/charms by Lillypilly Designs. Really different.

Then of course I had to buy some more LOOT (See yesterday's post) and some lamp work glass beads.

I didn't do too bad for three hours and my goal was to get some really different stuff which I did.

I would like to really make my own beads which I tried painting on some wood and it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I like the idea of using wood as it is a sustainable product but now I'm thinking some fiber might be really cool and I have a lot of scraps. I'll keep trying.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Simply Amazing

I had the best time last night teaching 10 wonderful people how to make gem trees. Everyone finished their tree (although it wasn't dry from gluing it on the base) and I think they all enjoyed themselves. Here is a picture of all their wonderful creations.

So, if you want to learn how to make these wonderful trees, you might just get your chance at the Bellevue Bead Show in November. I'll let you know how that turns out.

I did have a chance to visit the bead show yesterday before class and was able to find the focal bead for the necklace I designed for the July ABS Challenge. It's the orange disk if you couldn't tell. Isn't it great?

These great disk beads are made out of recycled art glass that would have landed in the land fill. Now you want to know where you can get your own LOOT?  Okay, okay I'll tell you. The name of the company is called LOOT. Genevieve Church is the artist that reclaims all the broken art glass and uses it to create these great little treasures. If you are interested here is here e-mail:

Aren't all these beads yummy! That's all for now peeps. Have a great rest of your weekend.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Teachers Showcase

Well the Teachers Showcase turned out to be quite fun after I cooled off. It was really hot yesterday and I don't think I drank enough water. I'll drink more to make up for it today. Here are a few pics I took with my cell phone, not the best quality.

My table set up


Teacher Lynn Krestel who teaches Creating Memento Resin Charms and her sister Jill (seated)
Lynn has some very cool charms made with old photos and bits and pieces of old letters. Anything that you might want to keep as a memento. If you want to check out Lynn's blog visit her HERE or her Etsy shop HERE.

Lots of great classes being offered this weekend. My class is tonight and it sold out yesterday (I had one last spot to fill). It's going to be a hectic 3 hours with 12 students.  I'll be sure to take my camera today and get some shots of the great art bead vendors for all you ABS enthusiasts and some of my class of students. What fun!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Busy, Busy Bees

Yes, we were very busy today. Worked in the yard with hubby and grandson and actually got quite a bit accomplished. It still has a long way to go, but it did get us out in this wonderful weather. We did quit about 3 as it just got too hot. The record set back in '53 was 88 degrees but today it reached 90 and it appears that it will stay in the 90's for a couple more days. Now is the time to be grateful for air conditioning.

I printed all my instruction booklets for my teaching gig this afternoon and started hole punching them to secure the pages. I couldn't find any cute ideas on how to bind them since they are just 3 folded pages, so I came up with my own idea.

I hole punched 2 holes near the top and 2 near the bottom, wrapped some wire through each set and then wrapped beads. Kind of cute if I say so myself.

As you can see I have several more to finish up but I broke my hole punch so now I have to find another one around the house or just go buy a heavy duty one.

I have the teachers showcase tomorrow where I can sell my book and kits and try to fill that one last spot in my class. If you are interested here is the info for the Puget Sound Bead Festival.

I'll try to take some photos of the class and the festival so stay tuned.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Gem Tree Gone Wild

Today was just one of those days. I don't feel that I accomplished anything. I do have everything organized for the class I'm teaching later this week, but it isn't packed yet. I still have time. Oh wait, I think I said that yesterday. Okay tomorrow everything will get packed.

In my quest to get all the gem tree supplies and kits ready for the class I went to a major fabric store today....yes it is a bit of an obsession and I do go there more than once a week, but I just couldn't help myself. So, while I was waiting on my number to be called to get some interfacing cut, I wandered the store. 30 minutes later and my number wasn't even close to being called but I found myself in the scrapbook area. I love looking for unusual items to use in my jewelry or on my gem trees or in this case you could call it a wire tree sculpture. So to give my students a look at what they can create with something not a gemstone, I used these little metal tags. They were even on sale for .99 a pack so I bought several. It definitely makes a different little tree. A little black wire and some crystals and it has a little bling, just my kind of tree.

I've really started thinking about joining in on the monthly ABS (Art Bead Scene) Challenge. This month the challenge is to create a piece based on a sculpture by Alexander Calder called Blue Feather circa 1948.

Humm, do you see a resemblance between the swing arm and my tree branches? I'm thinking some beautiful teardrop briolettes dangling from one side and dark pearls or maybe some black onyx rondells at the top. Now I just have to figure out how to bring in the other elements of the structure into a necklace design. It's very futuristic with hard edges and geometric shapes.

Check out the ABS blog for some of the prizes that could be won and rules to joining.

Have a great week.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Today is our Independence Day and I'm sure most of you will be spending it grilling hot dogs and visiting with family and friends. We will be doing the same only a little bit later this afternoon. This morning I have to declare independence to my craft room. What a mess.

Yesterday I decided that I had better get all my class kits and additional supplies ready. I'm teaching gem tree sculptures at the Puget Sound Bead Festival and the teachers showcase is Thurs. and I teach on Friday. I'm looking forward to the teaching part but the organizing part just takes so much time. I realized that I had all these orphan trees (gem trees without a base) and decided to glue them hence all the trees and glue on my tabletop. Then I found some 4mm crystals and pearls that would be great enhancer beads on the trees so I packaged some of those up to offer for sale. It's not like I didn't have thousands of them...yes, thousands.

Then all the gemstone chip strands had to be found and marked, had to buy more glue and a couple more wire cutters and I still have to make it down to Harbor Freight to buy some mini clamps and take inventory of all the wire to make sure I have enough for students as well as those who want to buy extra. I think I'm going to need a bigger box, better yet, I'll probably put it all in a rolling scrappers case so that it will be easier to transport. Rocks do get heavy.

Kitchen Remodel Update

Here is what out kitchen looks like so far. A far cry from finished but the new windows go in on Monday, the plumber comes on Tuesday and in between some of this I'm hoping the slate floor gets finished.

I'll take a picture on Monday after the new windows get installed. It should be brighter in there. You can see a little bit on the upper left of the photo where the wall isn't finished under the window. The new windows are about 6" or more taller.

That's it for me today. It's time for a shower and then to tackle the craft room.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I Thought It Would Be Easier

Yes, I'm talking about granite installation. It is now 6:18 pm and they have been here since 10:30 am. Thank heavens most of the cutting, grinding and polishing was done outside. They had to do the sink cut out in the kitchen with the granite in place. Can you hear me coughing now? Dust, dust everywhere and we had it blocked off with plastic and doors closed. They are so close to being finished, then I get to clean all the dust off the new cabinets. Yea. Then maybe I'll get some dinner tonight.

Well, since I've been locked up in my craft room all day I had a chance to make and finish my diary pages for the Diary 2011 Project. Here is a picture of them. I chose two dates as they will be on the same page.

I have three others that I decided not to use but I will include them in my art journal so they won't go to waste.  The other three are mixed media and really didn't reflect least not yet. The watercolor painting that these two are designed after is one of mine. The pages had to be in grey scale so I had to find something that would work with the various shades of grey and the painting worked perfectly.

If you are interested in participating in this project, there are still dates open. Click the link at the right for Diary 2011 Project. I'll let you know when the diary's are available for sale. I know I'm going to get one and I'm sure I'll be getting some for friends and family for holiday presents.


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