Monday, August 26, 2013

Home Again via the Volcano Highway

First things first.......hope that you've all had a great August.  Vacations, school preparation, trying to escape the heat,  whatever you've been doing, I'm hoping it's been enjoyable.
 Since I wasn't able to respond to your comments on my last post individually, let me hit the highlights here....thank you all for taking the time to stop by the blog and share your kind, funny, hilarious and extremely unique thoughts with me.  I love hearing what you all have to say. 

Thanks Boot-C, I will boil the snake outside.  I've heard it's a stinky, nasty process.

Thanks to all of you who registered whether you like the descriptions or not.  I'll keep them in!

 Star of the East, I have a picture of a cute animal for you this time.  But I'm sorry to say, as there aren't many cute critters around here, the creepy ones will still take center stage. 

Helen,  I know you'll love my spider pictures even if they gross everyone else out. 

Bond Girl, really?!  You have a 12 foot gator in a lake near you?!  I'm so jealous.

Lucie, you can keep your yellow spiders...unless of course you want to share them with Helen.

Fanci, I cut my tin with snips or shears if I can because I don't really like to saw.  I have aluminum blackener.  Which I rarely use because it turns the aluminum an odd color when it's done. Remember the roller printed aluminum I sent you that you sanded the patina off of?  Yup, aluminum blackener.  I AM NOT RECOMMENDING YOU GUYS DO WHAT I fact, please don't.  I use Jax Pewter Black.  I'm pretty sure it's creating some kind of awful deadly gas because the smell it makes when applied to aluminum is terrible.  And the metal gets really hot really fast, so obviously it's not a good mix.   I quickly brush it on, then quickly rinse it off.  Really, not endorsing this in any way.  In fact I'll be trying a few new things soon and will let you know if they are better.

13,  hahahahaha. 

Luthien,  ack!  Pythons?  shiver.  Yes, lots of tangled foots.  Too funny.  You're right!  I hadn't thought of that!

You really are an entertaining bunch.  Did I mention how much I enjoy your thoughts?  I did? Well....Repetition for emphasis.  Thanks again!

I fear this will be another "epic" post.  So much has happened since the last post.  I won't bore you with anything other than the best epic-worthy stuff.  Really.  Well, mostly.
Ok who am I kidding?  It's the usual nonsense....

Mr. Wonderful had a short vacation from work so off we went for a quick trip back to my hometown.  A short trip is never enough when you go to Denver.  I love Denver.  I love Colorado.  Especially in the summer.  When it's 105 here and a cool 50 at night there.  Of course to get there we had to drive through some serious rainstorms and floods.  The town of Manitou Springs had some major flood damage.  Yes, that's the storm we drove through.  Scary but oh so worth it.   I don't mind driving through storms so much during the day, because you get to see this sort of thing....

This was the first of the double rainbows we saw on this trip.  A full arc-twice!  Beautiful!

A few hours after this is when it got scary.  But we arrived safe and sound and the very next day I attended a community dinner with my daughter where I saw this

 These cars were part of a drive across the country to draw attention to and educate people about GMO foods.  Didn't get the name of the artist who designed and created these but they certainly are attention getting, eh?
and this...

There were a couple cute critters hanging around, yes, Star, I had to drive all the way to Colorado to see cute critters.

A friendly goat and llama greeting the fishy corn car.
and just a few minutes later.....
the heavens opened and it was more rain

but we didn't mind, because we got treated to another double rainbow.

 notice that the colors are mirrored in each arc.

Interesting skies that day...

In spite of the weird weather,
 there's something very calming to me about going home.
 Reconnecting with family, seeing relatives I haven't seen in way too long.
 Familiar places.
Exploring new areas.
Experiencing the surprise of how much things have changed since I moved away.

When I was a young woman of 18, I moved up to the mountains west of Denver.
To a sleepy little mountain town.
 In fact it's the town I referenced in my latest Belle Armoire Jewelry article which I'll show you later on.
It's not sleepy anymore!
There was literally a traffic jam on the highway to the mountains!
The places I used to go for solitude are now "tourist destinations"!
That's crazy.
Took a bit longer to get there, but we arrived.  Wow!
The deserted lake where I used to go fishing with a friend once a week early in the morning was
so packed, we could barely find a spot to park.
Bittersweet moment of realization for me.
Good to see people appreciating the natural beauty of the place.
But oh so many people appreciating!!

We spent a few hours at the lake.
Where I found this cool branch and a beautiful lichen covered rock.

I mostly took pictures of family there and forgot to ask if they minded making an appearance on my blog so I'll move on to show you where I first lived in the mountains.
I lived on Virginia Canyon otherwise known as
"The Oh My God Road".

For good reason too.
Though it's been improved considerably and there's now room for two cars to pass on the road
 in most places.
The sharp drop off is still there......

 Yeah, that's the guardrail....

Which is why it's called
The "Oh My God" Road.

Yes, this is the edge of the road.
Always fun to bring "flat-landers" for a ride along this road, and see their wide-eyed reactions.
You're all fascinated by this, right?
Please humor me.
Thank you.

a few more interesting shots...

notice the Century 21 sign.
My dream cabin in the woods...


 An old mill and a waterfall of mine tailings tumbling down the mountainside.

a little farther up the mountain.....

Brings us stunning views.

We had such a great time.

 Here's a tidbit some of you may not know.
Georgia is not the home of the best peaches in the world.
Nope!  Colorado is.
If you ever get a chance to have a western slope peach, don't let the opportunity pass you by.
Mr. Wonderful didn't believe me about that, having lived in Atlanta 
and having enjoyed many Georgia peaches.
Until he tasted a Colorado peach.
Now we look for them every time we visit.

On the way back to Texas we discovered something that was new to us,
 having never traveled this route before....

The Capulin Volcano!

Who knew?!

Apparently on a clear day you can see 3 or 4 states from the rim of the volcano.
Can't verify that as it started raining right after we arrived, so we didn't hike up to the rim.
Nice enough views from where we stood...

we need to go back and explore this further.

So much going on here at home....
Some Etsy news for those of you may have missed this and how could you miss this...

Look at this amazing vessel!
I am completely captivated by it!
Yes, it's by Tracy of Pipnmolly fame.
She's opened a new shop for larger pieces of work and gorgeous neckpieces.
Please check it out if you haven't already.
Full of inspiring eye candy, like only Tracy can do.


 Needless to say there's not much new jewelry in my shop.
Two pairs of earrings....

etched metal,hoop earrings,Orange Sherbet Cones,dangle, mixed metal,wire wrapped, Numinosity lampwork, earrings by Anvil Artifacts

These simple wire wrapped double hoop earrings are adorned with Sherbet Cone lampwork headpins by Numinosity Beads. The frosted sherbet cones are enhanced by discs of etched copper that have been oxidized and buffed to highlight the etched design in the metal.
Guys, these are the coolest headpins.
The pictures don't do them justice.
Love them!

Walk Along The Seashore, dangle, hoop, drop, scorched earth ceramic, aqua bronze, earrings by anvil artifacts
Walk Along the Seashore

These beautiful earrings combine gorgeous ceramic drops by Petra of Scorched Earth with simple, oxidized metal hoops. The soft light aqua color combined with the lustrous bronze glaze is both striking and subtle. I've dangled these ceramic drops from simple oval hoops, hung horizontally for a modern, sexy look.
Love these dangly drops of Petra's.

 My big news is I've finally finished and listed my first tutorial!
I've been working on this for months.

Some people (fanci) make it seem effortless to turn out tutorials.
Don't believe it.
It's alot of work.
You all know that I am severely lacking in the tech skills department, so my daughter of
Enlightened Lotus Wellness, did the editing for me.
Her mad skills reduced this tute from 125 pages to 85 and greatly improved the visual appeal.
Thank you, Ellice!
This tutorial started out as a magazine submission,
 but I quickly realized it would be too much information for a single article.

I appreciate your positive response to it and your generous feedback.
Tracy, thank you for the very kind mention on your blog.
Thank you all!

and here it is....

Faux Raku a PDF Coloring and Effects Tutorial by Janet Loomis of Anvil Artifacts

Here's the listing description to explain what it's all about....

I am excited to offer you this new 85 page step by step tutorial on producing your own Faux Raku effects. This tutorial is complete with 115 full color photos. This is an easy technique to master whether you are a beginner or an experienced craftsperson. Stunning results can be achieved quickly and reliably with readily available materials that you may already have on hand.

In addition to learning how to replicate the vibrant effects of Raku fired glazes, you will also learn the basics of making your own customized molds using two part silicone putty.
I will also show you how to mold, form and texturize air dry clay into headpins, beads and jewelry components. The creations you transform with the Faux Raku technique will be truly one-of-a-kind, uniquely your own.

This coloring and enhancement technique is equally effective on kiln fired clay, polymer clay, wood, fabric (used with textile medium) or textured metal. Your versatile, personalized molds can be used with all types of clay and resins for stunning results.

A materials list, coloring "recipes", tips and suppliers are included. Examples of how your finished pieces can be used in jewelry are shown as well.

Faux Raku technique on Polymer clay

Faux Raku technique on air dry clay.

A compilation of finished Faux Raku example pieces.

Examples of silicone molds, both made by me (yellow molds)
and commercially available molds (blue molds) and a texture sheet.

 Using the molds to texturize clay headpins.

Forming a clay headpin in a mold made from an octopus tentacle.

Earrings made with my finished Faux Raku clay pieces.

And another pair....

Made with Faux Raku headpins.

I am having so much fun with this technique and sincerely hope that you will too!

Here's the new magazine article I mentioned earlier

Inspired by the beautiful waterfalls in that mountain town I moved to at 18.

This explains my inspiration for the article.

Petra's pierced ceramic bowls and waterfalls...

Petra's wonderful components never fail to inspire me.
Always something new.
In fact her latest listings have new rock slabs creations that remind me of wonderful
 rare Fordite cabachons.
I snapped up some of those before they were all gone.

This article will be on newstands in early September in the new Belle Armoire Jewelry issue- Autumn 2013.

Looks like a fabulous issue 
chock full of great techniques by a wide variety of talented artists!
Keum-Boo, Books and Lockets, Enamel, Maggie Zee, Staci Louise Smith......
a not-to-be-missed issue.

When we were in Colorado we picked up my anniversary present... new torch.
All set up and ready to go.
Notice my fancy ventilation system behind the torch...
hahahaha, yes- an open window.

Hopefully on my next post, I'll have lots of new soldered pieces to share with you.
But if we keep having 100+ weather, maybe not.

And here, last but not least, our latest animal visitors....

 I took a bunch of pictures of this amazing iridescent bug and couldn't capture
how breathtaking his coloring was.  Really spectacular.

This feisty fellow appears to be sticking his tongue out at me, doesn't he?

and Star, this cute critter is for you

Hope you all have a wonderful time till the next post!



  1. I am going to have show my little one the veggie cars, she will get such a kick out of them! Thank you for sharing photos of your beautiful trip home, I've been to Colorado once, and it is a gorgeous place. Never had a peach there though, that sounds so good. Your double rainbows are magical, such happy omens, and I'm so impressed with your Raku tutorial. The iridescence and colors you achieve are stunning. You never cease to amaze... love the seashore earrings. :)

  2. So jealous of that duckie floating in that beautiful water! You have me missing Colorado and the mountains. Those road shots bring back many memories.
    Have fun with your new torch toy !!

  3. Your Denver photos are just beautiful! And I love the critter cars--so cute!!! Yes I have eaten peaches from beyond the Western slope--can't remember the name of the little town but they were heavenly!

    This weekend we will be moving my son to Denver where he will be getting his masters degree at Denver University. It will be a sad weekend for us.

  4. The Denver photos are gorgeous! The volcano really peaked my interest... can't wait to see photos when you get to return to explore.

    Your Raku tute looks amazing. Echoing Wildthorne, 'the iridescence and colors you achieve are stunning'.

    Google *12 foot gator Lake Brantley* to see photos.

  5. p.s.

    Happy Anniversary!

    Love your gift... I love getting tools and hardware for my birthday and anniversary!

  6. Beautiful vacation pics! Reminds me that it is totally okay to move away from the bench once in a while!!

    Love the simplicity of those scorchedearth earrings!

    And congratulations on finishing the tutorial! The pictures are quite inspiring!

  7. Gorgeous photos ! the 'OhMyGod road' would kill me... I can't even look at someone on a tall ladder, and escalators and elevators make my knees tremble... and viewing towers...OMG >.< I was silly enough to climb a small one once... the stairs were inside so I was alright.. until I came out on the top and I SWEAR you could feel the tower MOVING in the wind!! I was outta there! lol I'd make it up that mountain only if I kept my eyes closed any time we ere on a road like that >.< LOL

    As for your tutorial... that sounds like two or three different tutes in one! And I WANT!!

  8. AA - what an experience filled trip - and gorgeous rainbows to light your way; the cabin looks like a castle to be; congrats on the tutorial; and I love your new toy. Go well. B

  9. Another honker of a post!! Thank you for the photos of your trip back home - it looks so beautiful, you must miss it.
    Ha, wouldn't hurt me to take my head out the mud once in a while either - so I wouldn't have missed noticing Tracy's extraordinary new shop - GOOD GRIEF!!
    LOVE how you used those danglers - the black metalwork is gorgeous, and HUGE thanks for featuring my bowls in your article, and for the stunning way you've used them! Fantastico!
    BIg congratulations on finishing your tute - it sounds HUGE!! Such stunning results too - they all look so gorgeous. I think this is one for me!!!
    Hope you're having big fun with your new toy, can't wait to see the results.
    xoxo <3 :O)

  10. What a nice trip you had to Colorado...we're planning a trip for the fall colors & I can't wait. RE: Capulin Volcano: I knew! We take that road every time we go to CO. :) We drove to the top once, but didn't climb to the rim either..only because they didn't want our cute shih tzu to go.

    Congrats on the tute - it looks amazing! Well done. AND on the new BAJ article. You're one busy lady.

    Whoa, L@@K at that torch tank! LOL@your ventilation system.

    I don't know where you lived in CO, but much of the area in your pics looks like the area around South Fork. I guess a lot of it looks the same...and I'm sure you miss it.

    BEAUTIFUL rainbows and love those cars! :)

  11. Gorgeous photos! I'm road tripping this weekend and all week on the east coast...starting in Harwichport MA and north to Boston and Portsmouth NH...I SOOOOOOOneed this vacation.
    Are you selling your Faux Raku tut on your etsy page? They look amazing!
    Belle Armoire Jewelry mag has lately replaced Art Jewely as my feels more fun and seems to have more creative freedom. Can't wait to read your article. I've been using lots of chain in my earrings...I'll post more pics on my blog.
    Great post...informative and entertaining!

  12. O.K, I'm convinced, Texans don't do cute, since the best you could come with is a plastic duck:))
    But is the thought that counts, isn't it?

    I really enjoyed again your travel log, you are a great narrator!

  13. Love the GM cars and it's really important to fight against it. Great scenic photos and I've got my copy of your fantastic tute and I can't wait to have a go : )

  14. I've nearly missed this post! Thank you for sharing the road trip to Colorado! Are the Colorado peaches better than the French Provence ones? It's been ages I haven't eaten a very good peach...drooling...
    and bravo for this tutorial ! I don't doubt a second that it's a lot of work, my god how many pages you said? 85 pages, pfew! and congratulations too for this article in Belle Armoire, I must get myself a copy of both!
    Happy belated birthday I'm sure you'll love your new toy!

  15. Fun filled post... Super busy lady!
    The raku tute looks like it may be something I thought I just invented!!! By accident of couse, but now my curisoity is piqued...of course i want to get the tute regardless..even though now i feel a bit deflated that i am not the great genius i thought i was..ha ha..
    Hope all is well Janet... You lead a fasinating life...
    I am taking metalsmithing at junior college and i am with you.. I hate sawing and can't imagine doing it for anything.. Hard on the hands, eyes and oh so time consuming..i'll stick with my wire and beads... At least now i hope fire and torch will become my friend
    Sorry for spelling ipad isn't letting me correct... Congrats on BAJ article... You seem to be their fave go to gal...xxcynthia


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