Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Remember The Alamo, Demise of Technology and the Lightning Tree

Hello everyone!

I say that as if anyone is still checking in on my blog after this lengthy pause. How's that for positive thinking?
It's been a fabulously busy summer.  Hope the same is true for all of you.

Of course, we all know, there are always a few hiccups along the way.
The biggest single contributor to my long absence is the sad demise of my trusty computer.  Egads!  If I may offer a bit of unsolicited advice...backup your computers an external hard drive.  Oh the headaches and angst I could have saved myself.
My computer had started acting a bit odd so I had everything ready and hooked up to do a major backup.  Too little too late.  Yikes!!
Of course, the plot thickens.  To make that mess even messier, I had been storing everything on my computer because the printer had also been acting up.  Definitely time to do a bit of tech tweaking, eh?  So our plan of action was to spend the first three weeks valiently trying to resurrect the computer.  I still haven't given up on that idea, as the Most Interesting Man in the World has a few more tricks up his sleeve.  But eventually I had to face the music, it was time... finally I broke down and had to buy a new computer.

 Some of you may remember how truly tech savvy I am.....
So somehow, and I really can't explain why exactly, I got the bright idea to switch to a Mac.  Being a former PC user exclusively, there's a bit of a learning curve, which for me is just loads of fun.  Long story semi-short....with a little help from my friends, and you know who you are (thank you Curtis and Tracy), I am almost a functioning and productive member of the computer literate society again.  Emphasis on almost.  Yeah, yeah, I can hear you guys snickering.  

So here goes.. my first post on the new machine.....I'm a bit dubious about the picture size.  I remember Fanci Marina adjusted the size of her pictures in her camera.  Well now I know why.  It's not easily ascertained what you've got with this program.  Not to me anyway.  Even though I've adjusted the pictures to the same size as I always did with my PC, they are sloooow loading.  I have a sneaking suspicion there's more to this story and that I am going to quickly burn through my allotted Blogger picture space.  You think that this just might be my first and last Mac post?  hmmm- maybe so.  LOL. Still so much to figure out.  Why yes, I most certainly welcome helpful pointers, how to's, suggestions and will even gladly set aside the jeers and mocking that may come with them.    

As always...I have lots of pictures to share with you.  Hold onto your hats, let's see how I do....

Waterfall in the Tropical Garden.

We had a visit from some very dear friends.
We all traipsed down to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden,
one of the places they hoped to see while in town.  
Quite lovely.
Of course it never rains in Fort Worth.
Except when friends come into town.

It poured buckets day after day!
Plans had to be adjusted.
Still, a good time was had by all...

Some highlights...

This looks like strand upon strand of luscious beads, doesn't it?
Love the colors.

HUGE Staghorn Fern.
Very fond of these from our days in Florida.

Turtle Island

Lovely views


It started to rain, oh about 10 minutes after I took this shot.
Did I say rain?  
I meant deluge, monsoon, torrential buckets of water falling from the sky.

The day before they arrived we also had a bit of pre-guest excitement.
A bad storm, a loud boom and an erie glowing bright sky.
Yeah, we thought possible alien invasion.
But no.  
Nothing so interesting.
A lightning strike.
The feared, see it on the news, smoldering house type of lightning strike.
It took out the internet, the cable and one tv.
Looked carefully around the house and saw no apparent damage in or out.
Got off easy.
But three days into their visit,
after three days of heavy rains we finally saw where the actual strike hit.
We knew it was close.
But not this close.
We have a gorgeous tree right by the front door.
Yup!  You got it!
When Mr. Wonderful saw the branch half on the tree
and half on the roof, we knew.

So in addition to being in a drought stricken state during the only rains
in a century, ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get my drift.
Our friends also got to help us get that tree limb separated from the tree
where it hung on by a thread, off the roof and cut into little pieces.
Actually, these friends know how to make the best of any situation,
horsing around and having fun no matter what they're doing...

(And you thought cutting down a tree on vacation wouldn't be fun.  HA!)

Removal of damaged remnants of the Lightning Tree.

Thanks so much you two!

You are the best!

Damon and Melissa
(of Melissa's Happy Feet fame)


One last summer adventure..

Mr. Wonderful and I just got back from a quick trip down the history highway.

Remember the Alamo?

Here's what it looks like currently on a holiday weekend when it's 137 degrees outside.
Yes, I sure did blur out the 8,974 people per square inch that were there along with us.
Note to self....
I am never leaving the house again on a holiday weekend.
"You can't make me, you can't make me." (Gilligan)

Considering what took place on this site,
I appreciated that it was treated with reverence and not just as a revenue boosting tourist destination.

Though there was a very well stocked gift shop with the usual offerings.

Fascinating architecture and stunningly beautiful grounds....

Glimpses of the past

I am captivated by this texture and color play on an old canon on the grounds.

A miniature bronze rendition of the Alamo


A bit closer to home...

we discovered some very odd looking caterpillars on our orange tree

Full on face view

um yeah...that's what they did when they felt threatened.

Initially we removed them because after researching what they were,
we learned that they were capable of stripping all the vegetation from the tree.
We felt bad for them and put them back.
After all, even ugly caterpillars have to eat.

Much to our surprise, a few weeks later...

Mr. Wonderful (otherwise known as Ole Eagle Eyes)
spotted this beauty emerging from it's chrysalis.

It was gently misting rain. 
It took a while for his wings to dry enough for him to fly.

Moments after this, fly he did.


I have a few things to follow up on from my last post...

Remember my amber fail?
Here's my second attempt...

Lookit there!  
Not only success with the polishing but a fantastic surprise inside.
A bug!
Legs and wings clearly visible.
I absolutely adore amber.
You notice this isn't drilled.  
I'm going to notch it and wire wrap a bail around the top.
Not taking any chances with this piece.
Next one, I'll drill before I polish.

I also introduced you all to Ellice's new Etsy shop 

I told you that she had a couple of surprises in store for you.
Here are a few of them...

Aromatherapy Necklaces!

Featuring Petra's amazing ceramics.
Here Petra has custom designed vining leaf bottles with stoppers to hold the essential oils.
Her choice of colors and glazes is perfection.
These bottle necklaces will soon be joining the following ones, 
which are already listed in Ellice's shop.

Ellice has designed how she wants the necklaces to look, 
and I put them together for her, using Petra's custom pendants.
A wonderful collaboration.

Ellice's tastes run a bit simpler than my usual fare as you can see from the following...

Each pendant has a portion that has been left unglazed, for applying the essential oils.

Look at these gorgeous raku Lotus Blossom pendants Petra made.
So beautiful!!
I really wanted one of these.
The colors are amazing,
but I opted for one like this instead....

I can't resist that platinum glaze.

How clever!
Enlightened Lotus pendants.
Shop namesakes.

These aromatherapy necklaces are available in Ellice's shop- Enlightened Lotus by EC


There's a few new things in my shop as well.

I've recently listed a necklace I made with one of the Anasazi pottery shards 
I showed you in the last post.

It looks so different against the varied backgrounds.

Our Artist Ancestors

I used colors of the earth for this necklace...
Ancient pottery shard, kiln fired silver clay, sterling silver, fossil ammonite, matte moakite beads,
citrine, horn, agate, jasper.

I haven't figured out how to copy and paste listing descriptions into my blog yet, 
so you'll be spared the lengthy descriptions.

Druzy bangle bracelet


Aragonite assemblage bracelet.

I've jazzed up this bracelet with 
a stone crystal cluster, stacked metal flower blossom, inviting textiles
and pops of color!

Crinoid fossil cabochons, watermelon agate, tektites, sterling.

Treasures of the Riverbed

bronzite, agate slabs, phrenite

Red Bird Soars

Vintage assemblage bracelet

The Whispering Forest

Forged metal leaves hang delicately from the etched brass arches as leaves hang in the forest before they fall quietly as a whisper onto the earth.

Baltic amber, etched brass.

Tropical Garden

Roller printed metal with verdigris patina,
carved coral blossoms, chrysophrase nuggets.

Forged and patinated copper with titanium beads.

Summer Berries Summer Skies

The Elegant Nomad

Amazonite, agate slabs, matte agate

Boho Hoops

Assemblage hoops comprised of vintage components.

Birds of a Feather

Mermaid's Delight

Lily of the Valley hair Adornment

carved stone blossoms soldered to a sturdy hairpin,
adorned with hand dyed silk ribbon.

Her Healing Touch

Carved bone hand and carved flower blossom,
faceted ruby, tourmalinated quartz, amazonite, black spinel, 
rainbow moonstone, onyx, kuchi and links from vintage English nurse belts.

Druzy Tribal Shield

Earth Hues

Agate with druzy windows, amazonite, hand dyed silk ribbon, multi wire hoops.

Party at Dusk

Rustic Elegance

Andulasite, chrysophrase, sterling silver

Treasure of the Ancients

Roman glass, aquamarine, amazonite, enamel headpins

Forest Glen

this blue glaze is unbelievably vibrant.
Petra, please oh please make more of these.

Gator texture, raku lime green with turquoise discs.

Shores of Bimini

Coral reef

and last but not least...

The Southern Biscuit Company
Assemblage Bracelet.

Baltic amber, vintage tin, vintage text, rhinestones,
vintage flower cluster, stones, sparkles, one of Pipnmolly"s beautiful tin beads and
my favorite part of this bracelet...
a tiny little metal perfume bottle 
adorned with mother of pearl and art deco style handles, 
in perfect working order.

Phew.  Ok, now I'm officially tired.  

There's also a fabulous bracelet 
that I was so excited to find while treasure hunting awhile back.
 It's listed in the Attic

In all it's fabulous glory...

Casa Maya "The Kiss"

Well known and highly sought after.
This bracelet graces the cover of the book entitled 
"Casa Maya Mexico Jewelry"
an Informational Guide
Sandy Hargrove.
(2011 Lulu Press)

I was so tickled to find it,
overcame my very strong temptation to keep it
and reluctantly am offering it for sale.

It's a very cool piece.

Well that does it for the jewelry tour this time.

I I know this is quickly becoming another EPIC post so I'm going to save the rest 
for next time.

I'll leave you with this....

A baby praying mantis

and a farewell to summertime fun...

Thank you for stopping by.
Hoping you all have a wonderful Autumn.

Till next time....



  1. love love love. especially the assemblage bracelet. xoxo

    1. Thank you! We both tend to assemble an interesting array of things into a single piece, don't we? Enjoy!

  2. Welcome to MacLand, Otherjanet!
    Those "Whispering Forest" earrings are pretty much to-die-for, BTW. So nice to have another post, its been a really long while and I'm glad to hear all is going well. Keep doing what you do, so very well, and I hope the next installment doesn't take quite so long.
    xo j

    1. Hi OtherJanet. Thanks much! So you're a Mac user, as well, eh? Compared to a PC, it is a dream. Mostly. Lol. I've already got enough material for another post so shouldn't be quite as long unless. :O!!!!!

  3. I see the bug now. Awesome pictures & of course your work. As ever.
    Can't judge a bug by the ugg eh? Snake tongue antennae creepy. Brilliant.
    You guys are wonderful funny. Oh no!! ....Let's put them back !!

    1. Ok now that you mention it... Guess it is pretty hilarious. Poor little ugly things looked so pitiful. Hmmmm think this explains my fascination and adoration of little pug faces? Hahahaha. Thanks Tracy!

  4. Wow, I don't know what to comment on without writing a book! Your photography is sublime, and your pieces are gorgeous!!! And some of the ways you use Petra's pieces really are stunning, ways I didn't expect. You really are fabulous <3 xoxo

    1. Oh my, Juliette! Could you be any kinder?! Thank you very much for your generous compliments. Next time I'm second guessing the direction I'm going with a piece, I'm going to let your words "ways I didn't expect" play in my head. Thank you! :D

  5. Hi AA - well you certainly made up for the absence - and you seem to have made the transition to the Mac - well done you. And I did pick up all the references as I read through the post. And of course love your productivity - and the leaf form earrings are delightful. May you continue to create and be well. B

    1. Thanks so much, Barry. I'm always inspired by your amazing photos. If I can do half as well as you do with your i phone photos, I'll be a happy camper indeed. That's high praise coming from the "leaf master". Thank you!

  6. Changing computers is up there with moving house...traumatic and stressful as hours of your life are wasted trying to find a particular file. I had to update mine too, but it is a lot quicker now. Loving your travel photos and turtle island sounds sweet. I'm such a Petra fan girl and it's great to see those new pieces for your daughter and your cool collection too.

    1. You've got that right! Hadn't equated it with moving, but yesiree, that's exactly it! And you know how I love to move! Lol. Thank you, Marcia. Kind of you. I'm laughing as I think of my turtle island picture compared to your recent magnificent travel photos.

  7. soooo much eye candy!!! qwert[oherg;jlvasdjvfg my reaction is just basic keyboard mash!...
    love it all.... love your stories. never knew the alamo was so cool. so sorry about your computer, I'm still transitioning into my pad but i have to go back to the ol' 'puter for some things and its soooo slooooowwww!!
    (also thanks for the recent drill press help. ordered and awaited.)

    1. Thanks, Fanci. Well my computer is certainly slow. But I think that's complete operator error. Lol. Uhoh. I was giving you pointers on a flex shaft. Hoping you aren't expecting a drill press when it arrives. :O. So you're very welcome, especially if it's what you thought you were purchasing. Egads!

  8. I'm a mac girl too, couldn't manage with a PC ;-) last year my Macbook crashed and I hadn't made regularly back ups so I have a little idea of what you went through
    You seem to had adventurous holidays! Beautiful pictures!
    Amazing beauties, I'm drooling in front of so many colors, I love the way you mix bright colors such as in summer berries or Southern biscuits bracelet or Carnival, love these!

    1. All of you Mac people give me hope. Thank you, Lucie for your kind compliments about the riot of color in my recent work. Sometimes I can't help myself. Lol.

    2. Oops also meant to say...don't the Macs do an automatic backup every 90 minutes or something? Did I just dream that? Lol

  9. Oh, I despair! Can any of you clever people tell me why I can't see a SINGLE picture on ANY blog???? NOT fair!! All these comments about wonderful colours and beautiful pictures, and I can't see them - any of them! Yowdle owdle owdle. But I just KNOW that they're fabulous, and that you've done some stunning things with my tiddlers in your own magical way!!

    1. I'm sorry Petra, and here, you the star of the show! Maybe a different browser? Thanks for stopping in.

  10. As always so many great pics of awesome creations!!!
    And just WOW on Casa Maya the kiss. I don't think I would be able to part with that one.
    Guess what ? My hubby got me a Mac a while back, and after years of pc using I thought I would
    jump off a cliff after about a week. But kept trying , and googling how to, and working completely backwards :) and now am in love .

    1. Thank you Shari! I really appreciate the encouragement. Especially as I just spent the day redoing an entire blog post that I somehow managed to make disappear. Jumping off a cliff sounded very good a few hours ago. Lol. Appreciate you stopping in and taking the time to write such kind words.


I love to hear what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.