Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Texture Studies, Eight Legged Mutants, Cupcake Award

Hello all,

Hoping everybody has been doing well as Autumn fades and Winter descends upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere.  The news just reported a high temperature of 6 degrees in Denver today.  Love the place but that's precisely why I'm from there.  For you guys in the Southern hemisphere...ENJOY!!

Some of our artist colleagues have experienced difficult times recently.  My heart goes out to those who have been struggling with personal heartbreaks and health issues.  I sincerely hope that wounds of all sorts will heal for those of you who are affected, as quickly as possible. 

My transition to the Mac has surprisingly, not been too terribly difficult.  I'm much slower to accomplish tasks as nothing is second nature yet.  I also need to devise a better sorting and storage method for photos and save myself the needless hunt for what file I've put certain pictures in.
Working with IPhoto is enough different than working with Adobe, that I have made a complete mess of my desktop. Time to put Adobe on the Mac, I think. 
Mr. Wonderful even picked up a book for me last time he was at the library entitled something like "Switching to a Mac-No Problem".  You know, basically the equivalent of "Mac for Dummies".  hahahahaha.  Very appropriate.

Bear with me, please.  Can't promise this post will make complete sense.  I've had a nasty bout of the flu and am seriously sleep deprived and feeling fairly miserable.  Even so, I'll do my best at amusing you.  Who knows, possibly this will improve my ramblings.

Just in case anyone is wondering what I've been up to since my last, long ago post,  I've got the typical epic amount of pictures rounded up and ready to share with you.

Ever since we moved to Texas, we've wanted to explore the Texas Hill Country.  We finally got there.  What a beautiful area!  Reminded us both of Central Florida in some respects, which was a total surprise.

Huge hollow tree

Heart shaped tree roots

Who Knew?!  Air plants!  In Texas!

 His expression has that "Who are you looking at?" glare, common to cows around here.
Guess I'd have an attitude too, if I was decked out like that.  LOL.

 Impressive, isn't it?
This was parked out in front of a little art gallery.
Austin is an artsy place.

 Yup, still Texas.
And this is why it's called Hill Country.

We've also had some company.....

 These two were just as sweet and as much fun as they look.

Ferocious Boyasaurus!

(Yup, their parents were fun too, in case you were wondering.
but we had the boys on our own for a week so their folks missed out on most of the fun)

While exploring Dinosaur World with these two, I couldn't help but notice 
all the wonderful textures that would look great on polymer and/or clay surfaces...

As is always true of visits from family and friends,
they go by too fast!

We had no time to mope around though, when the boys departed 
as our good friend Nikki came to see us.
Their visits overlapped for a couple of days so they even got to know each other a little bit.

Nikki is one of those people with enough energy for 10 people.
Needless to say, after playing with two energetic little guys for a week, 
I didn't even have the energy of one person left.
So we took it easy and had a nice, mellow visit.

Nikki and I go way back.
We figured it out-we've been friends for 33 years!
Yes, we met as babies.  Bwahahahaha
She's an amazing photographer.
So off we went in search of photo ops.

These are the pics I (not an amazing photographer) took...


 Yes, I have been all about textures lately.

Beautiful rust

And a bit of color to spice things up....

The patina on this doorknob was fantastic.
Sadly, it doesn't show up well here.

Notice Nikki's camera...

What professionals use.
It's fascinating to watch her work.
What catches her eye and how she frames her photos.

these are a couple of pictures she took....

Niiki Wright Photographer

Nikki Wright Photographer

She just randomly snapped these walking around my studio.  
My hand displays in a basket where I store them between photo shoots.
 And my forming stakes scattered on the workbench.
She has an eye for a good photo. 
 I'm convinced it's a gift you have or you don't.
A natural talent I don't posess.

Nikki took the picture that I use for my avatar.
I'm not particularly photogenic (another friend thinks it's because I have "soft features"  hahahaha  That's a polite way of putting it)
 but Nikki manages to get a good shot.
As my avatar photo is now 5 years old, we figured a new one wasn't a bad idea...

She even caught the hammering action.
How is that even possible?!
That crazy cool camera she has, maybe?
I think this will go into my "About" page when I figure out how to 
collage it with other pictures into the correct size.

Nikki does beautiful work, if you want to see more of it,  here's a link to her website

Remember I mentioned her energy level?
She went home and promptly won
Crowd Favorite
at a cupcake contest benefiting the charity
Dress For Success.


as much as we hated to see her go, it's probably a good thing she left when she did...
because a few days after she left, we discovered this scary tarantula close by 
to where we would sit on the back patio relaxing.
Not going to tell any embarrassing stories about how I know this,
 but let me just say,  
had Nikki (the epitome of a city-girl) seen this, 
our peaceful back patio days would have been over! 
Right Nikki?  
Or do I have the ok to tell the embarrassing stories about you and possible lurking critters?  


Times like this are when I really wish I had a camera with something
 a little more powerful than a 3x zoom.
I had to get too close for comfort to get these shots.
See the risks I take to entertain you?

Lucie, I thought of you when I saw this guy, knowing your love of spiders.  hahaha

There's been a bit of jewelry related activity going on as well....

Behold the Ancients
Roman glass, vintage glass teardrops, vintage brass in soldered frames.

Red Rose at Midnight
Vintage petit point roses in a lacy bezel with vintage glass teardrops,
rhinestones, hand dyed silk in soldered frames.

 Hand Forged Hair Adornment
Raw forged brass, soldered to a heavy hairpin.

To The Point
Mixed metal and stone assemblage earrings

 The Opulent Bohemian
Scorched Earth ceramic drops, vintage glass honey teardrops, glass beads
in raspberry, orchid, lilac, plum, purple and gold.

 Take Flight My heart
Vintage stone studded metal heart with hand made soldered chain links and
sweet clay birds

A Brilliant Adventure
The focal is a vintage France Depose brooch surrounded with carved
mother of pearl and carved bone birds and owls.
A vintage rhinestone necklace, book chain, large black glass pearls.
white freshwater pearls, vintage crystals, rhinestones and beads all wrapped up in sterling.

Bangle bracelet with lampwork bead by Bluhealer,
verdigris patina, twisted copper and an abundance of texture!

 The Brave Knight
Soldered frames surround eagle topped coat of arms that have been soldered to
up-cycled vintage English cookie-tin shields. Edgy and romantic.

 Footprints Upon The Forest Floor
Cherry creek jasper, etched agate beads, ceramic leaves by Scorched Earth,
a wee vintage birdhouse charm and
metalwork with hammer and heat techniques,
resembling the disappearing footprints and trails upon the forest floor
as Autumn fades to Winter,
when the activities of woodland animals quiet
and the remnants of their footprints shift and soften with the rains and snowfall
of the changing seasons.
The soldered wire frame above the pendant is meant to resemble
the swirling snows that fall gently in the mountain high country.

 The Ancients
Carved stone hands, vintage metal wire eyes
and fossil crinoids (fossilized sea lily stem fragments) in soldered wire frames.

 The Black Bird Under the Twinkling Sky
Cast metal bird, titanium silver coated crystals, tektites,
onyx, vintage chains, hand dyed silk and rhinestone chain.

Beauty Beneath the Rose Arbor
Vintage black cameos, metal roses, vintage brass and beads

 Kingman Turquoise and Metal Pod with Verdigris Patina
Waxed linen thread, etched agate, handmade ceramic beads combine
in this earthy, organic necklace.

 Wonders of the Deep
Roller printed copper and etched brass.

 Amber Dreams
Baltic amber, Tibetan amber, kuchi metalwork
and lampwork headpins by Havana Beads.

 Nature's Charm Bracelet
Citrine, flourite nugget, fossil ammonite with red iridescence,
African glass bead, apatite, tektite, Baltic amber and glass work by Havana Beads
on a hammered multi wire, soldered brass bracelet.

 Branch and carved coral
 with beautiful glass beads in soldered frames

Songbird in the Berry Patch
A Choricalcite specimen is featured with a vintage bird metal piece,
garnet nuggets, phrenite, agate and sterling.

Dance Along The Riverwalk
Vintage metal repousse work,  vintage glass beads with modern glass beads.

 Bangle bracelet set

Romance Afire
Polymer clay by At Logan Square, vintage filigree,
vintage black mother of pearl, rhinestones

 Ancient Modern
Carved bone hands, vintage black mother of pearl,
vintage filigree, vintage filigree and rhinestones.

 Under The Wisteria Arbor
Beautiful vintage micro mosaics in lovely lacy wire bezel settings,
stacked metal blossoms and metal hands.

 Under The Wisteria Arbor
Beautiful vintage micro mosaic set into a lovely lacy wire bezel setting,
a stacked metal blossom, repurposed vintage necklaces with a vintage metal hand glove clip
framed by a soldered and oxidized brass arbor.

Another view.

  Autumn's Splendor Lariat
Flame painted copper leaves with rayon ribbon snippets and
freshwater pearls.

 The Resplendent Diversion
Vintage earrings with enameled roses and leaves,
pearls and rhinestones have been paired with soldered frames.

Fringe and Spike
Wonderful Spikes by Petra of Scorched Earth combine with multi wire
hoops and numerous bits of metal fringe.

Assemblage Bird Earrings
Forged leaves with verdigris patina, amethyst and mixed metals.

Mother of Pearl Bird Earrings
Mixed metal birds, mop, ceramic discs and
colorful polymer headpins by Beads by Earth Tones. 

 The above bird earrings were inspired by this vintage bird earring that I happened upon online.
I was completely intrigued by it's simplicity and character.

Love these components by Scorched Earth.
I've set them in simple hammered wire frames

 Green Calcite set in stamped-solder technique on brass.

 I call this
"Marcia Marcia Marcia"

Many of these beautiful treasures were generously gifted to me by
Marcia of 13Alternatives.
I'm betting Marcia was wondering if she was ever going to see me do anything with these.
I like to let my supplies "percolate" for awhile until I
figure out how best to use them.
Took me awhile but I love it!
As this used mostly gifted supplies, it's a keeper.
Thank you very Much Marcia!

This spinner ring uses an ancient Roman band as the "spinner".
I purchased it from Frank at

There are two more Aromatherapy scent bottle necklaces
finished up and available in Ellice's shop
EnlightenedLotus by EC

 Petra outdid herself with this beautiful bronze leafed scent bottle
in the yummiest shade of soft blue-green.
I've paired it with aquamarines, apatite, amazonite and sterling.

This one features her incredible raku.  The photo doesn't show the beautiful colors
in this raku scent bottle pendant.
I've paired it with titanium coated crystals, freshwater pearls, pyrite and sterling.
There are better photos of this in the listing here;


Worth taking a peak, especially if you're a fan of Petra's raku and aren't we all?

 Romance Abroad
Links from an antique English nurses belt, vintage glass teardrops
and modern glass beads.

 The Silent Woods

Hand forged leaves with verdigris patina, Baltic amber, vintage beads
and my signature multi-wire hoops.

 I reworked these, adding the embellishment to the center of the
up-cycled vintage tin.  Don't know why this didn't occur to me initially.
Looks much more finished now.

I also reworked these.  Added the spiny sea oyster discs
to the top of these earrings that also feature etched copper discs
and sherbet lampwork headpins by Numinosity beads.
The spiny sea oyster discs are attached with mismatched enameled headpins.
I wish the pictures showed the true colors of Kim's beautiful glass work.
A soft frosty hint of orange sherbet is the best way I can describe it.

I thought I'd see how my Faux Raku technique would look on air dry Polymer clay.
Jury's still out on the clay.

To me it seemed very soft.

It did take color nicely though.  I applied the colors right after forming the clay before it dried.

Some more works in progress...
Pendants with soldered bails....

They are all ready to be attached to necklaces.
Ideas are percolating.. hahahaha

And these next beauties have been supplied to me by a lovely client for a custom order.
Really magnificent carvings amongst this lot.
I am so excited to work with these incredible pieces.
Not only am I especially drawn to these motifs but I also adore these materials.
You'll be seeing these again.

Well I think that wraps things up for now.

Thanks much for stopping by.
 Hope you were amused or somewhat entertained
but never bored by seeing what's been going on around here.
My imaginary friend Kathy and her husband will be here for a visit soon
so hopefully there'll be something fantastic to share with you resulting from Kathy's antics.
Maybe even a photo so you'll quit thinking I made her up.  

Wishing you all the best till next time-

Further adventures of this spider in the next post!

Do' da da go hv i
(Goodby in Cherokee)


  1. That first tarantula photo is GORGEOUS!
    Good to catch up with you a bit,

    1. Hello other Janet, the Willow one. Thanks for stopping by. You like big scary spiders, eh? I'll privately convo you a picture with the front view of that spider. Scary but also intriguing.

  2. Wow wow wow so many beauties! what a feast! Love the Resplendent Diversion! And those with the little coral flowers!
    I choke over my breakfast at your tarantula and your personal comment made me laugh, you know that not later than yesterday a big spider fell from my hair while painting my door, I almost fainted with disgust blah! I have goosepimp just to imagine if it had been a tarantula.
    This black and white haul for a custom order is amazing! I'm looking forward to see the gorgeous pieces you'll make out of these.

    1. Thank you much, Lucie! Ack! A spider in my hair is a true fear of mine. Every time I walk under a tree, I'm acutely aware that if one did manage to get into my hair- with this curly mess, it would never find it's way back out! LOL.

  3. lovely photos and gorgeous jewelry! We have been to Texas some many time but there is so much to see that I feel we just scratched the surface. I hope you get over that bug soon!

    1. Hi Alice, Thank you so much for your kind words. Texas is so big and diverse, I wonder if it's possible to see everything it has to offer. Sure is fun to explore, isn't it?

  4. Wow I've got to make me an indoor picnic and take my time working through all your gorgeous images. Your mate's cakes look yummy and Fern would go nuts in the dinosaur park. I'm so glad you could use some of my stuff and the necklace looks amazing. ~On the subject of spiders my eldest Heather hates them. She's never got over finding one crawling out over her boobs and she stripped off all her clothes and curled up on the floor, sobbing for an hour! I don't think she'd last long in Texas...

    1. Hey Marcia Marcia Marcia er I mean Marcia. Thank you again for the beautiful goodies. It was such a pleasure working with your thoughtful gift. Poor Heather! Nope, she probably wouldn't last long here at all. There's an amazing amount of spiders here, BIG spiders. Everywhere. Shivers.

  5. PICTURES - wonderful pictures - and I can see them ALL!!! Whooppeeeeeee!!! Another jam packed post of the most extraordinary wonders!!! Love the cow, but that hairy legger???!!!!! AAAArrrgghghghhg - and you got SO close to it!!! No, no, noooooooo, ugh, it's making my blood run cold! Ha haaaa, Marcia told me that Heather story when we met up - yep, my idea of a nightmare!!!
    Such a wealth of new beauties here - all those wonderful shapes and textures - such a feast!! As always, thank you sooo much for making my tiddlers look so good, bless you. That tassel necklace makes me go giddy!! Ooooh, and a spinner ring - I have SUCH a thing for those. Well, now that I know you're capable of making such a thing .......hmmmmm.
    But, dearest Janet, without doubt, THE most beautiful thing here - is your lovely face - what a treat. Not photogenic indeed - HA!
    I soo hope you'll be feeling better soon, and will be able to enjoy your time with Kathy. I'll eagerly await the next instalment!

    1. Oh Petra, you are such a sweety! Thank you for your kind and generous compliments. But no, you've got it backwards, it's your work that makes our work look good. Trust me on this one....even the guy at the drivers license place offered me a second picture because the first one was so bad. He's like "this is for 6 years. I think you want to redo this". Bwahahahaha. They never let you redo pictures! But you just keep thinking what you want and I'll keep asking Nikki to work wonders and it's all good. Lol.

  6. I'm just breathless probably cos it's so bloody hot here. Kept going through your soooooothing green pics. Tarantulas look similar to our Funnel Web spiders but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less venomous. And all those lovely makies! will have to come back for a few more visiet

    1. Hi Greer, thanks for stopping in. I wish I could share some of our 15 degree wind chill temps with you this morning. If we could both have a balmy 72 year round, that would be just about perfect, eh? My understanding of Australia is that EVERYTHING can kill you. Every spider, snake, bug....dust, flower blossoms, get the idea. I have obviously watched too many episodes of "Australia's deadliest". Lol. Hoping you have far less funnel web spiders hanging around your yard than we have spiders here in Texas. Find yourself a nice cool (critter free) spot to relax in that beautiful new home of yours!

  7. OH man oh man oh man oh man! I have missed you so and this is like a full feature length blog of every reason why! The Hill country, I was just there too in early November! your jewelry is knocking me out , inspiring and exciting me, I just cant say enough. the fibery necklace is incredible and the spiny discs and wow, There were my headpins!. What a great post to jump into now that I have wifi and have the luxury of surfing on my laptop from my bed, so decadent! I hope the that you get the hang of the mac and get to enjoy its plusses.

    1. We missed each other by mere miles! Well, quite alot of miles but just right around the corner compared to Alaska or Arizona! Thank you so much Kim, for such a wonderfully encouraging and kind comment! Enjoy your decadent luxury!

  8. HI AA - Well I just about had to go and bring my dinner to the computer - I had been hanging out for a post of yours and of course there it was a big catch up of life, texture and creations. So good to read through it all; and love the photo of the creator at work; and the cornucopia of offerings at the end. You have been busy. Go well and enjoy the Christmas period - and stay warm - it looks like a bad winter over your way. Peace. B

    1. Thanks so much, Barry! You keeping up with my adventures and your always kind words are truly appreciated. I've just been over to your recent blog about Miss V's foray into your studio. What a wonderful post! Sounds like that was a special day for all.


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