Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Little Set for My Mom




My mom had seen my double spine bracelets and really liked them, so I made her one with (drum roll please) a pair of earrings to match. Why the drum roll? Well, I have a phobia of making earrings. I don't know why, I just get all nervous and jerky about making them. Silly, I know, but its just something that I feel like I just don't know what I'm doing and I feel really awkward while making them.












But thanks to my buds at Auntiesbeads.com, I got myself some nice new tools, so I am stepping outside my comfort zone and I am going to make myself some earrings. They have some great free earring patterns , which list everything you need and even videos to help guide the way. What more could a girl ask for? I have no excuse now!



Speaking of Auntiesbeads.com, the gorgeous swarovski button and the bicone swarovski crystals in this set I also got from them. The shipping is ultra-fast, which again, What more could a girl ask for?




I did two different colors - one side (above) is a matte olive green, and the other (below) is a sparkly crystal with just a subtle hint of blue. The triangle beads along the edges are Toho topaz/opaque emerald lined, but really look much more blue than emerald.




Of course, I didn't order enough of the 4mm bicones (I guess counting isn't my strong suit), so luckily I had some 4mm faceted rounds in a similar shade on hand, so I just alternated between the two. Here are the 2 sides together in an attempt to show the color variation.

The good news is that I am 'off' today, so I get to go to my mom's and give them to her right away!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Box musings

Thanks to Bobbi for putting me on the right path with my life box. Her comment on my last life box post got me thinking that I needed to actually 'plan' the design of this box. As I was walking to work that day, I realized I wanted the box (at least in part) to represent the love and respect I have for nature.













How I'm going to accomplish this; not sure. But I have faith it will work out.












(The pics are really bad, but I really wasn't planning on documenting anything, but I was in the moment, and didn't want to lose the ideas that were running through my brain)



Here are all the side pieces lay out end-to-end. (the above picture is the close up of the only section I have completed so far)









First I'm thinking the sides of the box will represent the land, water, and sky elements. I figure the leaves I've already started will be part of the sky elements, which will wrap around to the front of the box where butterflies will drift on the breezes, leading into a star studded sky. On the other side of the box, the water element will be represented as the turtles make their way toward dry land where they encounter a sweet little bunny.











Then for the top I really wanted to do a large tree and put all my 'stuff' among the branches. But then I just started playing and came up with this design.




I love flowers, so I think I'm going to save my tree idea for another piece (maybe that collar I keep toying with making.....) and make the top 'flowery'.


The right side flowers will be dripping fringe and loop-y things, because I love fringe and I thought it would be a fun element.


The coins will probably turn into a vine, with the coins being the flowers on the vine and the flattened penny being a large leaf.



Can you see that bee up in the left corner? I just love him - he's a pin I got from Anima Designs (cool stuff, you should check out that site when you get the chance)



Sabre's old ID tag will be the 'knob' since I'm going to mount it so one half will set off the top edge of the lid.


















I love this design for the top flower. The coin actually has a hole through the center, so I'm using this bone I found on the beach along Lake Ontario as the center anchor. There is also another weird bone I found on the top of the box too, next to the golf tee.





I have no idea yet how I will fill in the background. I'm sure it will just evolve as I work.



Now I'm ready to go.

I feel so much better with a plan to follow.

Hmm, kind of like life.

Funny.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finally :)


After a bit of an absence, one of my favorite Etsy Sellers, Pinks & Needles, is back open for business! What that girl can do with polymer clay is just amazing. I'm so happy my little collection of pins is growing again.
And how cute is her packaging?
Just look at those cute papers the pins arrive on.



Thanks Gigi for all your fabulous-ness!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mom to the Rescue



I was trying to come up with an idea for a thank you gift for the family my daughter went to visit over spring break down in Port Charlotte, Florida. Sometimes the obvious just escapes me. But not to worry, my mom came up with the perfect idea. A picture frame with a heron on it. Geez, why didn't I think of that? Considering one of the pictures my daughter took showed that the front doors to the house had two herons etched in it. Ya think maybe the light bulb would have went on? Nope. See, I still rely on my mom even at the age of 44!





The color is really off in the picture - the velvet is much more teal colored than this heavy green.





And a wee bit of progress on my life box.







Whenever I bead improvisationally (is that even a word???), I tend to change stitches too much and it gets too busy. So I'm trying really hard to fill in with flat stitches to emphasize the larger stones and shells, etc., that I'll be putting on the box. I have no drawing or plan for the design, I'm just letting the beads show me the way. Let's hope they know where they want to go!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I love my mom!


It's so great to have my mom and dad still living in the area. A lot of Western New Yorkers tend to retire to warmer climates and my parents did indeed contemplate such a move, but in the end, decided to stay close by.










Anyhow, my mom is very creative and fun and for mother's day gave me and my two sisters the coolest boxes (you know how I love boxes). In the chaos of the day, I didn't photograph my sisters' boxes, but trust me -- they are just as nifty.










My mom had them all wrapped up beautifully and we were able to choose whichever package we wanted. My sister Lisa joked about how would we know we are picking the 'right' one. My dad told her as long as its got the right initial on it, it was the right one. Ok, none of us "got" what he was talking about.....until we opened them and saw each box had our initial on it. Duh, hello! All of our names begin with "L" so no matter which box we chose, it had the right initial on it! Too Funny!!!








I filled mine with all sorts of momentos - concert ticket stubs, some old letters, a tiny little gingko tree leaf I picked up on my daily walk to work, a few photos. I'm planning on adding to it throughout the year and then on Mother's Day next year go through and see what's in it.


I just had to share with you all my 'squirrel proof' feeder. I just hope he (she?) doesn't eat so much he gets stuck inside one of these times! I never see him get in or out. I am shocked he can squeeze himself through the openings. Even the bottom is caged in. Cheeky little devil!


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Its been awhile......

Gosh, since my last post I have been fun-busy. With Spring arriving in Western New York, I spend less and less time indoors. My garden is bursting with forget-me-nots, tulips, lily of the valley, bleeding hearts, ferns, hosta, etc., etc. I love the new-ness of the garden in spring. Cleaning out all the winter debris from the beds, and watching new shoots emerge daily is one of my simple pleasures.....



My husband and I have been out hiking and canoeing (more on that on my other blog, if you are interested in that sort of thing) and I've had some fun girlfriend dates too -- golfing, victorian tea, concerts, art gallery visits and the like. Add to that my knitting addiction, and well, its a wonder I remember to go to my day job!





With all that, I've still managed to get some beading done. Most of which needs to be kept under wraps until the end of July, but I do have a few things to show-n-tell.





My friend Pat shared a new bracelet pattern with me and me being the bracelet junkie that I am, I just had to make a couple. Although they are not the most photogenic pieces, they are fluid and soft on my wrist. Since I wear a lot of black, I made one black and one a reversible 2-tone gray. One side is a frosted gray and the other side is colorlined rainbow luster. They look great together. The best part is they made up quite quickly (plus I have a small wrist which helps) which is surprising because they are made using size 15 seed beads. And it just so happened that I had all those 15s I got from the Artbeads.com $1 sale!


These are the beads for the gray one - I wound up using the vintage round button for the closure. The contrast of the 2 different sides is much more noticeable in person.






When I was looking for props to lay the bracelet on, I used my sunglass case that I made a few years ago, so I thought I'd show you that too. I am still amazed it is in perfect shape-it's been squished between the front seat of my car, tossed around in my purse, thrown in the glove box and yet it has basically no signs of wear and tear.

I used 15s on this too.



I started on my life box, although I haven't gotten all that far.

I keep accummulating stuff to use. It's become a hobby in and of itself! I keep taking all the little what-nots out and laying them on the pieces, and then I put them all back in the bags. I don't know why I'm kind of dragging my feet on this. Keep in mind, that this pic just shows the top layer of doo-dads.........I have all the pieces cut out and covered with the cotton velvet and just started the one side piece yesterday. I picked up the large cabachon at last year's gem and fossil show. The size 6 beads on the base of peyote surround are the prettiest color! Believe it or not they actually have a blueish tint to them, but why they don't show in the picture, I'm clueless. I even tried taking a shot of just the cluster of beads on my table, and still the color doesn't show right. Anyhow, they are from Artbeads.com and the color is called Matte Natural Picasso.


I'm itching to get back to it, but I've got other 'life' things to take care of. Hmm, I hope by calling this my life box, it doesn't take a lifetime to finish! tee hee