Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Breathe


I found these in my house!
I am breathing a sigh of relief!
They are dried up!

Monday, June 29, 2009

TriAthlon


This was our official start of the triathlon. Please meet Molly, our unofficial mascot, for the triathlon. She wore her shirt proudly until she went in for a swim. She had a great time in the lake after the other athletes were finished.






























The swimmers are heading into the cold water of Hiniker Pond. I heard it was very cold, but that didn't stop anyone!

















The first runner is taking off after the swim!

















The bikers are coming in. The race is almost over!

Now, what was I doing? I was helping these two lovely ladies cut fruit and bagels to supply for the athletes!

















Now, was this fun? You betcha'!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Gentle Giant - Spike

That's what a worker called Spike today when he saw him.
I had never thought of that.
Spike, the Gentle Giant.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nature's Sculptures -- Inspiration from my Garden

Sometimes, all you have to do is to look at that which is closest to you in a new light, a new moon, a new direction for inspiration.

And when your view changes, so does your idea or concept. With luck, your ideas have challenged the images in your mind, and creativity is enabled.
Closer or farther, the colors change, the ideas melt into new ideas for the blessings of the creative mind.
Let's choose to look beyond what we see and imagine what can be.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Look What Came in the Mail the Other Day!


My beads from Jennifer (Jangles) Heynen's class at the Bead and Button Show!

Jennifer, I don't think I'll be much competition for you in the art of ceramic beads, but thank you for the outstanding class!


I still have some clay and glaze, so I had better get in gear and practice this new craft. Maybe, someday, then, I'll come get closer to your level of design and skill!

If you have a chance to take a class from Jennifer, you will not regret it. Thanks, again,
Jennifer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spike Made it to Mulberry Season!


Well, I'm proud to say, that Spike made it to mulberry season again! For those of you who don't know, Spike is in the early stages of renal failure. I know it can go south at any time, but he's doing very well right now.

Anyway, Spike dearly loves mulberries. All I have to say to him, during this season, is, "Let's go get some mulberries," and he's right behind me demanding his fair share of the berries.

Since this will, most likely, be his last summer, he is getting pretty much everything he wants, including my mulberries. (I do sneak in a few for me.)



I did have a handful of mulberries in the seconds before I shot this picture. Look, there's only one left, and I didn't get it! Spike did enjoy his mulberries!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bees, Honeycombs, Circles, and Hexagons and Creative Challenges


I read a very interesting article in the newspaper today about bees and honeycombs and the shape of honeycombs.
Did you know that bees spit out wax for honeycombs while turning in a circle? Did you know that honeycombs are actually round and not shaped like a hexagon? Do these honeycombs look like a hexagon? Yes, they do. Do you know why?

When circles are pushed together and compressed, they become hexagons which is one of the most effective shapes for storing honey, except for circles. Bees spit out wax while spinning in a circle, remember?

Now, does that make sense? I think so.

Next, look at the colors here. Is there more than one color in the honey comb? How many colors do you see?

Now, for the creative challenge. Make a piece of art: a bead, a drawing, a painting, a vessel, a type of glass: You get the picture. Take a picture and send it to me. I'd love to see what you create. I'll feature you in my blog! Let me know. This could be interesting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We Interupt This Blog to Bring You Our Storm

Just thought you'd like to see the storm that just passed through our city.
The air is much less humid now.
The windows and doors are open again!


video

I just entered this


Into the monthly challenge at the Art Bead Scene Blog. Now, assuming I followed the directions correctly, and I think I did this month, I will be entered into a drawing on ABS.

The challenge this month was based on the art of Wassily Kadinsky "Farbstudie Quadrate (Color Study of Squares)." I chose to focus on the shapes in this study. I worked in very muted tones. (Something must be wrong with me!) rofl I love the study of shapes, and this bracelet just seemed to take shape independently of what I wanted to do!

Check out the Art Bead Scene Blog. There's a lot to be seen there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Now, this is my favorite bead! And the winner is...


I made, it, too! Thank you, Sara Sally LaGrand! I learned to make it in the class I took from Sara at the Bead and Button Show.
I combined black for the center bead and I streaked it with chalcedony. Then I built the pod around the base bead. I put a final edge on the glass of chalcedony.

Wow! I'm in awe, and it's mine!
rofl







I almost forgot! And the winner is.....................
Mona and the Gaffer Girls!
Oh, I used the Random Number Generator at Custom Random Generator since Jenny was busy!
I'll get the vessel out to you this week!
Ang, Sydney, and esdesigns, you will each get one of my ugly beads! I just need some addresses from you. Send me a convo on Etsy or on Artfire!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice 2009


Welcome Summer!
Today, is the Summer Solstice.

Today, we have the most amount of light in a day, and we have the shortest night.
From today on, until the Winter Solstice,
We will begin to loose bits of our daylight each day.
It's still going to be warm.
It's still going to be light.
It's still going to be summer.
Let's welcome the gift of summer
with
love, peace and joy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This and That and Shamelss Self Promotion


Before I forget, since June 21st is the Summer Solstice, I will announce the winner of my blog give away on June 22nd. That means you have one more day to go to the article titled: There's incompatibility and there's just plain ugly to enter the blog give away! That's the prize!











Shameless Self Promotion!
Once in a while we all have to do this, well, we don't HAVE to do this, but I like to shamelessly self promote my items. So, that being said, take a look at these things:

In my Etsy store:
PMS or something I said?
Ever feel that way?















My Artfire Store:
Jeans Appeal Funky Fiber Earrings
















In my 1000Markets store:
Island Passion Handmade Coral Lampwork Bead Necklace

















Be good and have a fun weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Breathe


Some things take our breath away.
Some simply stop our breath for that precious few seconds.
Then we begin to breathe again.
Slowly
In
Slowly
Out
Breathe
To breathe
Means
There is life.
Stop.
Breathe.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

LazyTCrochet - Etsy Blogger of the Month



When you visit LazyTCrochet on Etsy, of course, you'll find the traditional items such as handmade dishcloths and pot holders. I do like this set!







When you look a bit farther, you'll also find some very funky and functional finds!















Look at this gorgeous hat! It almost, but I do mean almost, makes me want to be in the throes of winter!

















Look at this awesome cuff! Isn't this a great find? Make sure you visit LazyTcrochet on Etsy and her blog.







Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Table Top Garden is Growing

The experiment is on its way!
The fruits of the garden table are beginning to show!
Look at this!
Can you tell it's grown in spite of the cold spring?
Look at all the squash blossoms! It's zucchini!
Look at the small tomatoes! I can hardly wait until they ripen!
The basil is growing and the lavender is blooming!
The Moss Roses are blooming, too!
More to come later!
This is good!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Perfect Summer Day

It was 73 and sunny outside. Unlike the perfect storm, this was the perfect summer day! Take a look and see what I mean.
Snug as a bug in the run? No, snug as a lot of bugs on several warm rocks.
The tree is full and green. There's lots of wonderful shade!
Spike loves being by his tree!
The newly cut grass is full and fragrant.

The daisies are at their prime!
This sweet rose is open and leaning into the sun.
This rose bush hasn't bloomed since Jenny graduated from high school-- until today!
The hens and chick are henning and chickening!
This was truly the perfect summer day!
Finally!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chalcedony by Gaffer--I love this glass!

I've been working, much more successfully than the cracked lentil, with Chalcedony glass. I have mostly used stringers I pulled from glass I purchased from Gaffer Glass USA and shards that I purchased from Knattydreadz on Etsy. It doesn't seem to matter. The results are spectacular and easy to achieve. Take a look. If I can do it, anyone can.
I used bases of black, cobalt blue, medium red, and orange. These beads were made using shards and stringers. That reduces the possibility of incompatibility cracks. I am simply overwhelmed by the beauty of this glass! It's amazing! Here's another shot from a different angle.
There's not a bad one or a fugly one in the bunch. Amazing!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

There's Incompatibility and then there's Just Plain Ugly


There will be a test. Make sure you read the entire blog! Hmmmmmm!

Although I knew this to be true, I forgot the key to working with glass: Make sure the COE's (coefficient of expansion) are the same. All right, I was tired. I had gotten home the day before from the Bead and Button Show. I still had not yet recovered from the great time I had there. I decided to go back to the torch the next morning. I wanted to use some of my Gaffer Chalcedony glass. I made a core of clear then encased the clear with the Chalcedony. I pressed the glass into a lentil shape, struck the bead for color (heated and cooled), then, immediately put this stunning bead into the kiln to anneal (cool down properly) it. After the bead was cooled, I soaked it in water, then I began to use my Dremel to extract the bead release. What? The bead cracked in half--almost. I thought this was a thermal crack. It wasn't until the next day I realized, this wasn't a thermal crack. It was an issue of incompatibility. I had used a core of transparent clear 104. Chaldedony has a 96 COE. Dang it all! That was a beautiful bead! All right, lesson remembered. There is incompatibility. Watch your glass. Lesson relearned.

Is this the test? No not yet. Stay tuned.

Then there is just plain ugly. I found some glass that I had bought in a box of "shorts" (short rods of glass). I thought I would play with the glass. It wasn't the prettiest color I had seen, but I was hoping that when introduced to the flame, magic would happen. Well, it didn't. There really is just plain ugly! See what I mean.


















There was no magic. That color is just plain ugly. Luckily, I don't remember where I bought these shorts, but I hope not to buy them again. Oh, my.

Was that the test? No, not yet. Almost. So stay tuned.


















These are not incompatible glasses, it's just the colors. I used a bright orange for the lip and handle (What was I thinking?) and Chalcedony for the vessel. It's not a perfect vessel. I was trying to get the little blob of hot glass to strike and I didn't blow the vessel enough. Again, lesson learned. I think this falls in between both categories of incompatible and just plain ugly.

Now, finally, here's the test. Oh, did I forget to mention there will be a give away? Hmmmmmm. All you need to do is to comment on this blog, and I will draw a number to choose a winner. You have until next Sunday, June 21st. I will pick a winner then for this vessel. Please leave a way for me to get in touch with you if you should win. If no one comments, well, I guess I get to keep this little vessel.

Now, that wasn't a hard test, was it? I think it's easy. Let me hear from you!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes Insomnia Has a Purpose

Isn't this amazing?
No need to say another word.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Maggie Roschyk - Blogging for the Bead and Button


I met Maggie Roschyk at the Bead and Button Show. Where else? Maggie and I manned the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) table for 3 hours. We gave out information about the ISGB. We helped those who wanted to join the ISGB. We gave directions. I think you get the picture. More than that, I learned a lot about the passion of an awesome seed beader. In addition to being an avid seed beader, Maggie is also the blogger for the Bead and Button Magazine. Maggie's column is called: "Maggie's Musings." It's a great column, so be sure to check it out. There is a lot of interesting and helpful information in Maggie's column.



However, more importantly than her column, I wanted to show you some of Maggie's outstanding seed bead work. Maggie is one of those talented artists who makes the difficult look easy. Just wait until you see her work!

This year, the ISGB and the Bead and Button Magazine, co sponsored "Convergence," a meeting of minds and talent using glass beads. Maggie and Kristen Frantzen Orr entered "Tidal Pools Reflecting Prometheus." I remember looking at this piece of amazing wearable art and thinking, "This really does look like tidal pools." I didn't know Maggie at the time. This work of art is truly amazing! Kristen made the glass beads, and Maggie wove the seed beads in this magnificent piece. Take a look.


















My photo does not do this piece of wearable art justice. It's lovely. I only wish I had been able to count all the seed beads in this necklace. Wow! And it really does look like tide pools.

Just as amazing is this sign:



















In my wildest dreams, I could never do this! Can you imagine how many hours and seed beads there are in this sign. Amazing! Thanks, Maggie for letting me show your work! It is truly amazing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eight Things


Eight Things

The rules are:
1. Mention the name of the person who tagged you.
2. Do the lists of 8.
3. Tag 8 bloggers of your choice.
4. Let them know that they have been tagged!

I was tagged by Kelly of Kelly's Bead Studio.

Here we go....This tag is the eights:

Eight things I am looking forward to:

1. Getting home from the Bead and Button Show.
2. Picking up Spike
3. Torching again and applying what I learned at the Bead and Button Show
4. Getting ready for a show this week
5. Seeing my children again
6. Sleeping in my own bed
7. Watching Dr. Phil
8. Unpacking

Eight things I did yesterday:

1. Flew to the Twin Cities from Milwaukee
2. Had supper with my children
3. Played with Jenny's cat
4. Slept well
5. Showed off what I bought at the Bead and Button Show
6. Showed the kids my photos from the Bead and Button Show
7. Had a great talk with my kids
8. Watched TV

Eight things I wish I could do:

1. Melt glass without a pinched nerve
2. Make beads off mandrel
3. Get a cat
4. Eat without thinking of what I ate--the calories, carbs, and amounts
5. Walk every day
6. Go back to Medjugorje
7. Become and exceptional artitst
8. Support myself on my bead work (rofl)

Eight Shows I watch:
1. Scrubs
2. Dancing with the Stars
3. House
4. Dr. Phil
5. Oprah
6. The Closer
7. That's it!

Eight Blogs I'm going to Tag:
I'm not going to tag anyone. You have to tag yourself!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back to Beads: Some Inspiration!


What is it?

Make a bead or another form of art for our non glass readers,
and I'll post it in another blog.

Go ahead,
You know you can do it!
Let's see your creations!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm Home! Memories from the Bead and Button Show.

Friends I knew but had not yet met:















Robin and the Gaffer Girls!


















Dora Schubert: My facebook friend!


















Isis Ray: A new friend



















Bernadette Fuentes: A sweet and dear friend.

















Sara Sally LaGrand: My email buddy in the lobby.


















Samma and Trish: My WC friends



















Sylvie Lansdowne and her boys. (Thank you, Sylvie, for Fairy Princess Mallory!)

















Two very real fairy princesses: Sharon Driscoll and, you've seen her before, Bernadette Fuentes!

Wow! These are just a few of the people! How could anyone be more blessed to have come in contact with these fabulous people!

The Bead and Button Show was a success!