Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Backbreak and Heartache

Hello hello....

Apologies to all who have treasured, convo'd or emailed me recently and didn't receive a timely reply.
I've been remiss as of late, I know.  I haven't intended to ignore your kindnesses, thoughtfulness or humor.

Here, let me explain where I've been ......

Saying so long to the temporary digs

a place where
 found treasures unite the past and present in delightful ways.
and where the first, second or third most interesting man in the world
continues to find interesting uses for empty plastic jugs........

yup, he's a keeper!
but why would that keep me from all of you and from
good ole blogger?
well, you see, there was also this....
I found myself
in a literal sea of boxes

and what else I've been doing, as you can see, is hanging by a thread.

this is or should I say "will be" my studio at the new place

Now imagine every room of the house looking pretty much like that.
Yeah, you guys have moved too.  You know the drill.

we had funny movers who left this for us in my studio

yes, exactly how I feel when looking at all of these boxes.
Only I wear clothes when parked in front of a window.
But I digress.

That's the backbreak part.
Sadly, there is a heartache part to this post as well.
The day after all of these boxes arrived,
my dear wonderful father passed away.
A man of true gentle compassion, wit, warmth and kindness.
A man liked by all who met him
and adored and loved by all who knew him.
As you can imagine, all of my pictures are in that sea somewhere.
So I can't share my favorite photo of my dad with you.
But there's this one that was shared by a family member....which captures that
beautiful and gracious smile
A deeply profound loss for so many.
My father lived his life and showed by example,
how to see the beauty and delight in each day.
To look for the best in people and the best in your circumstances.
To be grateful and content.
I would like to leave you with this thought,
that even in the midst of this mountain of stress and grief,
there are moments of joy to be seized and cherished,
when family and friends gather
to celebrate a life well lived.
This is but one of them.
Be well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Culture and We Aren't Talking Yoghurt!

Hello all,

I've got an exciting post planned for you!   There's more box lid jewels.  And lots of random stuff to show you, cuz you know you want to see it.....
this might be a bit like making you look at vacation pictures, everyone's favorite thing, I know.   I thought you might like to see the highlights.  Some as it turns out, are historic.....

The Festival Of Lights
or The Lantern Festival
or something like that.
Anyway, it was very pretty.

Where did we see something like that In the middle of Texas, you wonder...
At the Texas state fair of course!

Fabric over wire armatures.  Amazing.

Swan boats!

Texas Livestock on the march.  Blogger doesn't want to let me center my text.  Ok with me.
Oh btw, these pictures were taken on my phone.  Explains it, doesn't it?

Dinosaurs did roam these parts once upon a time.  I hope to find a fossil dino bone, all gemmy and ready to cab.  And why do I think that's even a remote possibility?  Stay tuned to find out.......

No, not here.  You'll see why a bit later.

Couldn't get a good shot of this.  Cuz of it being my phone.  Cuz you know, I always get good shots.  We've discussed that before.  Hence your helpful suggestions on how to take better pictures.  But I digress...For those of you who read my blog that are more interested in football than jewelry, critters or vacation pictures, (and there must be just dozens of you,right?)  this one is for you.  The cotton bowl game was scheduled for the next day.  Woohoo.  You didn't know you could see a game and dinos all at once didya? 

Butter.  All butter.  You've read about carved butter exhibitions, right?  Well I can now say I've seen one with my very own eyes.  And this picture is proof for those of you doubters who think I make this stuff up.  I mean who would make up a thing like people carved out of butter?!
Yes, I edited it.  Inserted the picture, removed it cuz it was sideways, re-edited it, re-inserted it, still sideways.  Said forget it and hope you don't mind tilting a bit.  Some of you are pretty tilted anyways, aren't you?  hmmm?

Then there were lots of arts and crafts entries....while I took many pictures, I'll show you just one,
my favorite, which needs no explanation.......

Notice the award ribbon.
And this next one, I didn't even bother to enlarge.  For obvious reasons.  Dinner on a stick.  Looks gross, actually pretty yummy if you like spicy sausage on a stick.

If you're gagging over the thought of our gourmet eats, this is a sampling of the other choices....

No, I don't know how they fry beer, but as you can see, it's a real thing.

Don't want to know.

Yup, if it's fried, you can get it here!  Sausage on a stick is sounding pretty good to you at this point, isn't it?  Fried gator is actually yummy but the line was way too long.  Oh yeah, there was also fried butter and fried cheescake.   We passed.

I wish these next few pictures had cooperated.  This was the first thing I saw when we walked through the gate.  Took a picture for unknown reasons.  Or maybe my reason was,  "sure glad I'm not up there"

Little did I know that a week later, this exact ride would malfunction and people would be stuck up there for hours.  Yikes!  I'd rather eat fried butter and fried beer.

Then there's this which made national news.......


The symbol of the TEXAS state fair...

A week after I took these pictures, BIG TEX burnt to the ground.  The same weekend as the ride malfunction.  That was not a good weekend at the state fair.

As if that's not enough excitement, there's even more to do in this here big state....just driving along and there's this......

I guess it means "just around the bend there might be a cow on the loose or cow on a walk about or cow jogging along roadway"
I don't know what it means.  "Alien cows landing".....Surely not "cow crossing" on the road we're driving on?!

We also went to see the dinosaur tracks.....

Yes, those are footprints.......

See?  And you thought I knew that just because I'm brilliant about all things dinosaur, eh?  hahahahahaha as if.

wanna see the foot of the first, second and possibly third most interesting man in the world?

He agreed to be a foot model for me so you all could see the relative size of the dino track.  Ack!  Looks like he tangled with something with sharp claws to scratch his leg up like that, eh?

This one was up under a ledge so it hasn't eroded like the others.  Lookit those crisp claw prints.

Here's the sign that explains it.  Cuz it's a state park.  That's why there's signs.  I've learned that Texas is very helpful that way.  And they have cool stuff like BIG TEX and fried cavier and dino tracks.
as far as someone else's vaca pics, those aren't too boring, right? 
The polite answer is "of course not.  Not bored at all (much)"
what's that you mumbled under your breath?
Since you're all geared up and utterly enjoying ancient type things,
here let me show you the box lid jewels.
no, I don't have dino earrings for you, but I do have some made with fossils...
that we got at a local fossil show!
Yes, they have actual fossil shows here!
or one a year at any rate. Enough for me. 
So here's one pair of fossil earrings.
Enough for you, no doubt.
How cool are these fossils?  Love that beautiful ochre color.
And that texture?  Swoon.
Mother of pearl, Kuchi stampings, gorgeous blue crystals and glass beads
Carved Mother of Pearl game counters paired with
Peruvian opals in the most delicious venetian blue hue,
accented with teeny tiny faceted stones, that I don't remember what they are.
They were pricy so I know they are nice stones. 
 You can pretend they are anything you want them to be, I guess.
Faceted bits of meteorites, fossilized dinosaur tears,
treasures from an expedition to the center of the earth,
whatever you want.
Another view.
The Ice Queen
Another pair with the vintage Mother of Pearl game counters, but this time paired with
scrumptious white druzy and faceted labradorite with blue flashes.
Cool and icy.
Keyhole Assemblage Earrings
featured in the
Autumn 2012 issue of
Belle Armoire Jewelry.
The one with pipnmolly on the cover.
I'll also be listing some of the Tribal Shield earrings that were featured in that same issue....
These have a wonderful, rich patina that developed naturally
as this metal weathered for years outdoors. 
This is the depth and color I try to duplicate with my applied patinas.
I've found that nothing mimics this patina like the real thing.
If you ever get a chance to acquire naturally patinated copper, go for it!
It's great stuff.
With sterling earwires and dimples.
Kingman turquoise, coral and
texture galore!
These have jasper, yes, I should remember the name of this jasper but my head cold is pushing all of my actual thoughts out of it with every sneeze, so anyway... the pretty jasper is wired onto
the raw silk and hammer textured copper shields.
Rustic texture, shaping and sterling earwires.
And finally these........
These earrings accompanied the necklaces in
"The Wave Assemblages"
article in that previously mentioned issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry. 
The plan is to get these all listed this week.
You know what they say about best laid plans.
While preparing a house to move into, with a cold.
We'll see.
So that's all folks!
Hoping you are all having a lovely autumn.
For those of you who may be dealing with the
aftermath of hurricane Sandy,
you have my most heartfelt sympathies.
I hope as quick a recovery as possible for you and yours.
Swimming with manatees.
Wot maber
("go well" in Acholi, spoken in Uganda and the Sudan)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Invisible Me

Hello all,

Hope the last two weeks have been kind to you.

I want to thank all of you for your input with the blogger issues.  Don't know if I'll still be invisible with this post, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be.  A special thank you to the very kind Tracy of pipnmolly for mentioning my illusive blog post on her blog.  Really appreciate it!

I've had a lull in the craziness and found a bit of time for making some more box lid jewelry.  woohoo!  How exciting is that?!  I know, actual box lid jewelry.  Doesn't get much better than that, eh? 
First how about a little local wildlife?
Cuz you know I love showing you the critters.

They let the newly promoted most interesting man in the world get pretty close.  But as that picture is dark, here's a better one from a little farther away.

We saw these guys, well gals and babies to be precise,
 at a local park a few minutes from where our new house will be.
And this weird little show is at our temporary abode
Your eyes are not deceiving you.
The bird is just hanging out on the rock wall.
There were four of them but I wasn't quick enough
with the camera to catch all of them.
So there are birds in Texas to make good use of my
trusty old birdbath, which by the way,
developed a very cool patina.
Snapped those before it got packed up.
Speaking of birds, check this out.....
For a broader perspective.....
No idea what the draw was.
Yes, we did feel like we were in "The Birds"
Since we're still on the subject of living things,
lookit what the orange tree is up to....
We're not the only ones enjoying the sunshine here.
What about the little baby oranges, you wonder?
Pretty soon all of those blossoms will be little bitty oranges too.  yay! 
Those blossoms smelled so incredibly good.
Ok, now you want to see some box lid jewelry, eh?
These Turkoman Goes Modern earrings had a good start back in Illinois
 before everything got packed up.
The tin had been cut and texturized and oxidized.
I just had to do some assembling....
Turkoman Goes Modern-Eye of the White Tiger
The connectors are a bit different on this pair.
I used Blue 'eye' headpins
and thick twisty wires for added texture.
Turkoman Goes Modern- Aspens Ablaze
These have curled headpins instead of the usual balled headpins.
Because I forgot to pack any of my balled headpins,
even tho I made a ton of them before the move
 just so that I would have them in temp housing. 
And because I don't have access to a torch.
Wasn't sure how I would like these, but turns out, I like them ALOT!
These are currently titled "Long Cones"
hahahaha, yes, I know.
Decoupaged, aged and waxed long metal cones with bumpy hollow
black and clear blown glass beads with clear and black eye headpins.
Yup, had the cones all  ready to go before the move too.
Nailed hoops featuring venetian blue headpins by numinosity beads
and ceramic nails by Scorched Earth On Etsy 
Already spoken for.
Kuchi buttons with beadcaps by Scorched Earth.
I loooove these!
Simple blue-eyed nailed hoops.
Lace and nails with itty bitty ivory seed beads
and headpins by havana beads 
Just finished these up.  Liking very much.
I also made a couple of bracelets......
Bezel set white druzy, kuchi bells, a venetian blue bead, vintage buttons,
lampworked beads by Numinosity,
 a cloisone (yes, I'm sure I spelled it wrong) cone from Numinosity's vintage shop,
a lovely white stick pearl and a freshwater pearl.
"My Love"
This one has upcycled tin as the scalloped focal piece.  Adorned with a copper charm that I've stamped with the Italian words for 'my love', a black horn charm,
 fossil mammoth bone beads,  two strands of black gemstone chip chain
and a faux bone scrimshaw piece I made.  I carved it (if I can call it carving after seeing what Pipnmolly carves.  Ok I can't)  er, I cut it out, incised the design on it, aged it, then broke it.
I repaired it, so that it looks like a found and reclaimed treasure from long ago. Yes that was done before the move too.  But the coolest thing is the clasp....
An antique cufflink.  To take it off and on, you
simply rotate the small part of the cufflink and either insert it or remove
it from the twisted link. 
and I finally finished this one....
decoupaged, aged, with type letters from Pipnmolly,
another of those I can't spell cones from Numinosity
and a bumpy headpin from Havana Beads. 
A bit of silk sari fabric and wooden beads and there you have it!
It doesn't seem like so much on here, but it took all
I could muster to get these things completed.  I really don't
love my boxlid workbench. 
The countdown continues until I have an actual studio again.
I'm waiting with baited breath....
and I'm also holding my breath hoping someone can actually see this once I hit publish....
and if you can, thank you for visiting!
Please don't forget.....
 there's a giveaway to win a personal wellness package through the end of the year over at
Wishing you all a wonderful week.