Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Days are Numbered

I can't believe that it is almost November. Yes, our days are numbered, the holidays will arrive before we know it. I have been seriously thinking about what to do for gifts this year. Last year I made most everything from aprons and placemats to a daily planner. This year I'm kind of at a loss but if I'm going to be making things I best be getting started. I did make some cute decorations that I'm going to hang above our mantel this year.


I used acrylic paints vs. my normal watercolors that I'm used to but I think they turned out cute.

I did finish a couple of necklaces yesterday one for me and another one for a birthday present. Not saying who it is for in case they are reading this. I hand knotted each crystal with silk before adding the chain at the back. Not sure if I think it is finished but for now I like them the way they are.

So now I'm all about planning my next projects. I have lots of yarn so I may try my hand at some crochet scarfs for some of the ladies in the family. If they work out I'll post the link to the pattern and share my quick tutorial on a scarf pin. I still need ideas for the men so if you have any, leave me a comment.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Holiday Swaps

For the past week I've been having fun working on some art charm swaps first my Autumn Quick swap and now the Christmas Ornament swap. For the Autumn swap I made some wire leaves and some tree of life charms.

I had a hard time coming up with any ideas for a small ornament charm so I made three different styles. Then since this is beginning of the holiday season I painted some holiday tags to go with them. I love the tags so I'll probably make more to put on my packages this season.

The small tag charms are wood that I covered with holiday scrapbook paper, painted the edges, glued a metal sentiment on the front and sealed the whole thing with Glamour Glaze. The round balls are scrapbook paper rounds that I folded in half and then glued to shape a ball, then inserted a head pin with a small pearl and then sealed it. The third charms are swirls of gold tone wire with a large amber crystal in the middle. Now to put these all together and get them mailed to the swap hostess.

Hopefully everyone is having a great week so far. Today I had to take the little monster Leo to the vet to get his annual shots. He was such a good boy and now is crashed out on the pillow on the couch. He wasn't about to look at me so that I could take his picture...humm I think he might still be a little mad.

I'll leave you tonight with this great shot from our vacation of the locks at the Panama Canal. Hubby has really gotten into HDR photography and this is one of my favorites that he has altered.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Make and Takes?

Okay, I have a show coming up first weekend in November and I want to do something a little more interesting so I thought about having a Make and Take. Has anyone tried this and are they usually free or do you charge a little for them to cover the supplies? Here are some ideas I was trying out.

First is the wire wrapped beaded cocktail spoon. The spoons you can get for around $1.00 and then it is just adding some 20 gauge wire and beads, so not a lot of cost. The second is a wire pendant. Using copper in 14 gauge wire, I made a few curvy bends with a loop at the top and bottom then added a large gemstone as a drop. The real cost here was the stone as not much wire was used so about the same cost as the spoon but I could use cheaper stones. The third option is the key fob. The corks I have a ton of so no cost there, just the copper hardware, some 14 gauge copper wire and a few beads. I already had the copper washers but I could probably get the silver metal tone ones at the hardware store cheaper.

Which would you be more inclined to sit down and make? Any other ideas? I would love to have your opinion. Oh and thanks goes out to my good friend Glenda for the beaded spoon idea.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New on Kindle

Now you can buy my book "Gem Tree Sculptures" on the Kindle. I went out today and purchased one... now isn't that sad that I have to purchase my own book. If you have a Kindle and have been wanting to get a copy of my book this is the perfect way and it is only $9.99 vs. $17.99 for the paper copy. The book's photos and graphics are in B&W so they look just as good on the Kindle as the book. Here is the link to the Kindle edition.
Okay enough blatant advertising. How about a few more pictures from our trip through the Panama Canal. We took a 19 day cruise on Holland America from Vancouver, BC to Fort Lauderdale. So the last pictures I shared were of our stop in San Diego and next we went to Puerto Vallarta. We did a city highlights tour and I think the highlight for my hubby was when he took this picture. I really just wanted to pet the iguana and next thing I knew it was on my shoulder and a gecko was on my head.

We did go to the city center and see Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. There were so many visitors but the church was definitely at the heart. The pictures we took of the church didn't turn out as well as we would have liked due to the sun being in the wrong position.

There was lots of shopping to be expected and I would say aggressive vendors but not as bad as other places. We just had to learn to walk away if it wasn't the price we were willing to pay.

Here is one of the vendor shops located right at the port.

Lots of colorful wares but we held back and didn't buy anything..... at least not at this port.

Stay tuned .... more vacation photos coming.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today's Collection of Artists

Today's collection of ArtFire artists are from all around the Pacific Northwest. So, the message is buy local and buy handmade. Click on any of the pictures to view that artists shop.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back from Vacation

I'm sure most of you didn't even miss me but we went on a 19 day cruise through the Panama Canal. It was fantastic. If you ever get the chance you really don't want to miss it. Along with stopping in San Diego we stopped in several ports in Mexico then Guatemala and Columbia. We were not able to stop in Panama City to get off the boat but cruising the locks was the highlight of the trip.

I think we took almost 2,000 pictures and we are now just trying to process all of them, get them edited and then will be able to post a few to share with others.

I'm sure I will be referencing this trip here for quite awhile. We invited my mother along for the ride so she shared the room with us. We have done this for our other cruises and it works out great for her but she does have to sleep on the couch. We were able to upgrade to a Deluxe Suite which makes it easier to have more than 2 in a room and boy are we spoiled. Huge balcony, laundry done for us as well as our own lounge with espresso coffee, lunch with the captain and so many other perks. Here is what our room looked like before we messed it all up.

This is the large balcony that had a table with 4 chairs and 2 lounge chairs. They did come in handy for a little private sunning. If you can't tell, this is my mother and I.

Our our first stop on the cruise was in San Diego (we got on in Vancouver, B.C.). We took a tour of the city as I had never been to San Diego before and now I really want to go back. So many things to do and see. We went into the Old Town and I fell in love with the gourd art. Here is one picture of some ornaments made of gourds. We didn't have room to purchase a lot of stuff or I would have bought several. Really works of art.

One of the other highlights of San Diego was Balboa Park. This place is absolutely amazing. All kinds of attractions including museums and performing arts, parks, gardens and more. You could spend a week there and still not see it all. The park has 1200 acres and was started in 1892 with Kate Sessions donating and planting 100 trees a year. Can you imagine! The architecture alone is worth seeing.

Okay, enough for today. There is so much more to share. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm off to finish up putting away all the laundry I did today.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Essential Oils, Do They Work?

I've started getting back into essential oils and adding them to my own lotion and base oils. I love the smell of the natural oils vs. all the perfumes and other stuff you find out there. I used to make my own lotion and really should start again but I digress. Do the oils work? I think on some level they probably work better. Hubby tends to get cold sores on his lip and just fights with it for a week or more, so I made him a blend of oils to use then I also got a small tube of Abreva which he wanted to try. In this case, he felt that the oils were more of a benefit than the Abreva. We will soon find out if the sore heals faster than if he didn't use it. The last time the sore lasted 7 days and right now we are on day 2. If you suffer from cold sores I would recommend you try the oils. There might be a blend out there already but if not you can make your own. These are the combination of oils and amounts that I used.

8 drops of Tea Tree
3 drops of Lemon
5 drops of Lavender
8 drops of Geranium
6 drops of Chamomile

Blend in a small dark bottle. Apply one drop to a cotton swap or cotton ball that you have wet with water and apply directly to the sore.

There are some really good brands of essential oils and I try to find the ones that are organic. Check a local health food store as they will probably have a good selection.

If you want to have a good reference book, my favorite is The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood.

I'll let you know how the cold sore therapy goes and if the time frame decreases. Now to work on a blend for tendinitis.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Collection for the Day

Thought I would share this cute batty ArtFire collection with you today. Enjoy and if you want to check out any of the items, just click on them.


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