Friday, March 30, 2012

Camera Play ~ Macro Practise

I got home this afternoon and decided to go take pics in my mom's back yard. She decided she was going to plant some new flowers today and I practised my camera work on her flora (the fauna kept going in and out the doggie door, wondering why these two crazy women were outside when there was a nice, comfortable couch INside for him to laze on as we skritched his ears ~ha!~)

Anyway, here's some of what I shot:

Mom has these bottles just because
they look neat!

Columbine, seen from above

Columbine, side view (I had fun with this one on PicMonkey,
maybe I'll show those later! hehehee)

New buds on the lemon tree

This bud is starting to break open

The first bloom on the Lemon Tree!

Pacific Redwood ~ close-up of it's needles and new growth

I think this is a Calla Lily
You're looking straight down it's throat

Lovely Pansies

Purple Daisies ~ Saner Sister loves daisies!

In the daisy family, but not sure what kind
(didn't look at the tag)
Fauna we happen to be "baby" sitting
for a little while. She peered thru the
gate, wondering what we were up to
(crazy humans)
That's her eye & nose you see as dark spots
 And that's it. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oh, How Beauti-mous!

I showed you a few posts back that a beading buddy of mine was making me a bracelet.  Said beading buddy works with seed beads and does beautiful work.  Well, same-said buddy sent me the bracelet a couple of days ago and I'm almost afraid to wear it, it's that gorgeous.  I showed my dad and he says the same thing. It's a work of art!  Here are a few shots I took with my iPhone. Yes, sorry, that is my wrist in there.  Yes, I have freckles. It's what happens when you're a fair-skinned (used-to-be) red head.  Anyway, enjoy the pics of her gorgeous art work:

Love the Plume Agate: can't really tell from
this shot, but that "warp" to the right? Yeah,
those have faint blue inclusions in them.
I loved that when she let me pick the stone.

She picked the Blue Lace Agate to compliment
the blue in the Plume Agate. Love it! :)

Didn't I tell you? Art work! This is even
prettier in real life. The work is so delicate
looking yet the stones and size give it
enough weight to not look silly on my wrist.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hardware Can Be Beautiful

So, I was in Lowe's a few days ago, looking for copper wire and copper tubing (don't ask, I'll show you when it's done!) and I found these sweet little brass mirror holders.  My immediate thought was "HEY! I can make these into jewelry somehow!"  (y'all have been a really baaaaaaad influence on me!)  Anyway, I'm still contemplating what I'm going to do. Any ideas from you?

hard to tell the silver color from the brass
color in this shot, eh?

And, don't forget, my March Contest will be over this Saturday and I'll be drawing two winners shortly thereafter.  Go here if you still want a chance to get in on the contest.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pantone Spring ~ Copper Candy Twist

I only had a little time to play with my beads and wires this weekend and that was on Friday night.  And that wasn't even until late in the evening!  Oh, well, I got to play!  Anyway,  I decided to play with two of the colors in Patone's list of what's going to be "hot" this spring and to use copper wire to bring it all together. I don't know why copper wire except the beads themselves seemed to just beg for it.  They whispered insistently in my head that copper wire was the way to go! (don't look at me like that! you know you ALL have beady little voices whispering to you, too, or you wouldn't be here!)

ANYway, this is what I made Friday night in a fit of creativity: (and, yes, I decided to keep these for myself. LOVE the color mix more than I tho't I would and it's my first real wire work of any kind! eeeeeesoproudpatsselfonback)

Copper Candy Twist ~ the light orange
beads are a tiger's eye sort of bead (not
real tiger's eye, but that sort of "movement"
in the bead) It's a little richer than the lighting
makes it look.

Played with the copper wire (also a deeper tone
than the lighting makes it seem) and did some
(semi-) serious twisting. This is the back of it. I
like that I can still see the beads if the necklace
gets twisted around this way.

The front ~ (do I have to mention the lighting
again? plus, it's taken with an iPhone)

connector between the dangle/focal and
the necklace. (honest! the colors are a little
richer than this!)
I kept the same colors (the tubes were a dark
orange) and pattern throughout

Matching earrings

close-up of one

Friday, March 23, 2012

Twice In One Day!?!?

Yes, I have another tho't roaming in my head that is begging to be let out in the blog-o-sphere.  And, for you with slightly masochistic tendencies, here it is (okay, okay, the idea isn't masochistic! y'all are for coming back for a 2nd helping of my tho'ts ~ ~ such as they are! HA!)

I've been reading recently about keeping a sketch book handy for when you have ideas for jewelry so you can either record it because you're not near your craft corner or because it helps to sketch/draw/doodle it first to work out the design.  Not all of us work this way.  I, myself, am a grab-the-beads-and-dump-em-together-til-it-works type. I might have an idea, but I usually just wing it.

Still, there are times I see something that makes me go "Oh! That would make a GREAT necklace/bracelet/set of earrings/whatever!" and I forget it again in the next five minutes. THAT'S when that sketch book/pad comes in handy, whether it's the size of a novel (like mine), larger or even smaller.  But, sometimes, for various and sundry reasons, we don't have our sketch pad in our purses.  Maybe we changed purses. Maybe we took it out to work on those ideas and left it in our craft corner or on a bookshelf.  Whatever the reason, the next time an idea strikes us we reach into our purse and, D'OH! it's not there. 

the basic is free, the one
with all the bells & whistles
is $1.00... worth it, I think!
 If you happen to have an iPhone (I'm sure other "smart" phones have this type of app, too, just check) you can get what's called "Mobile Sketch."  It's great in that it allows you to at least get the gist of what you're thinking down.  Now, it won't be perfect (unless you have these tiny little, pencil-like fingers... I don't care what they show you that "others have drawn" ~phssh!) but you can get the main points down and worry about the rest later. 

Yes, not a great sketch, but you're
using a finger to draw on a screen
that's about 3"x2" with a finger that's
(much) bigger than most pencils.
 This really is a handy app to have and I highly recommend it to all of you.  If any guys are reading this, it's great for you because (I hope) none of you carry purses and would look a bit funny wandering around with a notebook of some type in your hands.  Plus, we all set things down and forget where, eh?  So, there's my $.02c worth for carrying a sketch pad for your ideas (as well as some show-n-tell on how it could work).  What ideas do you have for recording your tho'ts and ideas?

AFTER ~ when I got to my sketch pad
and was able to get the (very!) rough
idea down. iPhone helped me remember
what I was aiming for.

Seed Bead Phobia

I have a friend at work who also makes jewelry, but she uses the seed beads where I use the larger glass or stone beads (or, soon I hope, made-em-myself polymer clay beads).  She has made numerous creations in the last few years that I've known her and I just feel my jaw unhinge every time she shares a photo of what she's working on or has entered in this fair or that contest.  Dorothy is just so creative. And WAY more patient than I am. I just don't believe I have it in me to sit down and work with those teeeeeny tiiiiiiny seed beads the way she does (and can). I just know myself well enough to know I'd get frustrated in a short amount of time and I'm not sure where the seed beads would end up, but it wouldn't be my table or a design (lol).

Anyway!  Dorothy is in the process of making me a bracelet and I tho't I'd share it with all of you and brag on her abilities just a little bit.

She tells me the main focal stone is plume agate and the side
stones are blue lace agate. Isn't this just GORgeous!?!?!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Having Fun!

To participate in my March Contest, go here.

I've been playing with PicMonkey for the last couple of weeks (whenever I had the chance) and managed to make some cool adjustments. SO fun!

SO much fun and SO many great effects to play with.  Go visit and play around!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Don't Forget ... Personal March Madness! :)

Don't forget, folks, I have a contest going on for the month of March. You only have two weeks left to participate then I'm drawing the winners.  Go here to join in and be entered in the drawing!
Click on the above link to see what this might be...... :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

What I'm Up To... Not Much

It's been busy at work this week (got a new system being rolled out) plus our church choir is starting practice for our Easter cantata.  Too tired at the end of the day to do more than flip on a light and look at my table before flipping the light back out.  Still, I have time to wander through the blogs I stalk follow and get ideas. 
They make my fingers itch because I want to try them out!

In fact, I saw one earlier this week where a lady had made a pair of earrings where she'd looped the wires in an interesting way.  I can't, for the life of me, find that blog now (and, if I do later, I'll link to it!) so I can't show you what she did (darn it!) but I can show you a little of the influence she had on me.  I went home last night and played a bit with my copper wire.  Made a couple pairs of earrings and something else I'm pondering making into a necklace focal... we'll see... we'll see...

Now, the copper wire I used isn't craft wire. Oh, no! This is bought-it-at-Lowe's 18gauge copper wire! It's all bright and shiny and just as easy to work with as the stuff you buy in the craft store. Like I said, I made a couple of pairs of earrings but, because I'm at work and only have my iPhone right now, I only have the pair I decided to wear today (I'm keeping these for myself).  Here's a couple of pics.  Yeah, I left the wire shiny but that's because I don't play with the stuff all you amazing wire and metal smiths play with.  I've read about a couple of ways to patina that don't involve liver of sulfer so I may try that on a later set of wires. Until then, :)

Decided to use the Pantone suggested tangerine. It's a
"see-thru" bead so the color doesn't photograph as
bright as it really is. Very nice.

See? Looks more red than tangerine, but I swear it's tangerine!

Silver & copper... I dunno, but I don't have any copper
ear wires.  Guess I'll have to buy that Renaissance wax
to use on future copper wire jobs.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Challenge by Michelle Mach

To Enter My March Contest, go HERE:

Well, I joined Michelle's challenge again. Maybe it's because I suddenly like blue. Or maybe I just can't resist the shiny (I've mentioned my ADOS before).  Whatever the reason, I bought the bracelet she dared us to remake.  As always, I forgot to take the before picture, so I went back to her site and stole the original pic from her:

I had no real trouble using the crystals but, for some reason, couldn't come up with a way to use the silver spacers so they're tucked into my stash to await the perfect reworked job.  Until then, here are my two contributions to the challenge:

I started with a lanyard (instead of a regular necklace)
It's titled "Hot Spring" and is for sale in my Etsy store

I used the yellow dyed agate for Spina Bifida Awareness
and the cross to remind us to have faith in God's plans for our lives

Red glass beads, red & yellow millifiore glass rectangles and
black lampwork with white and purple dots accent the blue
crystal rondelles from Michelle's challenge.

This one I used gunmetal links and wire as well as yellow
fritted lampwork beads and green dyed agate that reminded
me of a Japanese painting whose colors ran together.
Yellow dyed agate finishes the bracelet
at either end. This piece isn't titled, yet,
but will be in my shop soon also under
the Spina Bifida line.

And here are the others participating in the hop.  Don't forget to check out what they've done, too!
Michelle - Beads & Books [Hostess]

Andrew - The Writing & Art of Andrew Thornton

Christa - Adventures of One Beady Woman

Dita - Alankarshilpa

Donetta - Simply Gorgeous

Erin - Erin Siegel Jewelry

Heather - As I Bead It

Jean - Snap Out of It Jean - There's Beading to Be Done!

Karen - Over the Moon Design

Kate - We Can Make That At Home

Kay - Palm Coast Art

Kim - CianciBlue

Kristina - Wild Roses and Blackberries

Linda - Lindy's Designs

Lisa - Pine Ridge Treasures

Marlene - Amazing Designs by Marlene

Michelle - Reverie & Revival

Pam - The Crazy Creative Corner  ~ you are here

Pamela - Someday Beads
Renetha - Lamplight Crafts

Sharyl - Catchenthesun

Terry - Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

Therese - Therese's Treasures

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Playing In Mom's Back Yard

(to enter my March Contest go HERE:)

I love my new camera (the one mentioned right after Christmas?).  I took it when we went with our school to the Ronald Reagan Library and, while you can take pics in the Library, you can't use flash.  I have a setting for this on my new Canon Tsi Rebel.  It gathers whatever ambient light there is and enhances it. Take a short peek:
In the hallway outside the reproduction of the Oval Office
I loved ol' Reagan. (very, very dim light.)

A sobering reminder (even tho' it was after Regan)
Never, ever forget.
Guess what this portrait is made from?
Hint: Reagan *loved* them!
That's right, 10,000 Jelly Bellys!
And now, some pics from my mother's back yard: (I used the bigger lens from the patio):

Lemon Tree Birdhouse
Rustic Pedestal
only glad this rooster doesn't crow!
So, that's it for today.  I'll be back later with my pics for Michelle Mach's Blog Hop this Tuesday. She challenged us to reuse a bead bracelet of beautiful teal crystal rondelles and crystal spacers.  I managed to use the rondelles but not the spacers. I'll be saving those for something else.

Have a great rest of the weekend.

Oh, p.s., go here to read Cindy of Sweet Bead Studio's blog about a new pic-editing web-site called PicMonkey (heee... monkeys!)  Anyway, I loved it.  Between it and Windows Live Photo Editing I'm going to have a lot of fun with my pictures.