Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Heart Macro! - A Surprise!

I'm Home!
What a wonderful surprise was waiting for me when I got home.
A volunteer sunflower grew next to the garage and was blooming when I got home.
What a joy and treat!
The center is so beautiful, I can imagine it as a bead!  Look at all those beautiful dots!
I Heart Macro!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Learning a Bit About PhotoShop Elements 9

One of the things that has bothered me for a very long time is that I haven't been able to make a proper sized banner for my Etsy Store.
I bought Photo Shop Elements 9 a long time ago,
and I tried to use it, 
but I really didn't understand it at all.
Jenny has been helping me to take baby steps,
and I have been practicing by making properly sized banners for my Etsy store.
I've made several.
Some I really like, and some I don't.
I won't use them all, and I do have my favorites.
Tell me,
which one(s) catch your eye.
This is the banner I am using right now.

I learned some fun things making this banner.

I finally found some photos of beads for this banner.

I love the colors in this banner.

I'm so glad I found some bead photos!  I thought I had lost them all!

This one is fun, too!

Now that I look at this again, I really like the fall colors!

The pink just has to be!

This one is just fun!!!

So tell me, please.
Which one(s) do you like?
What has eye appeal for you?
I really do value your opinions.  It helps me to make decisions.
Let me know!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way.

1) I'm home again!  This storm in my life is over, and I am so very grateful for that.  The outcome of the transplant was the best that it could be, but we all know that there will still be more challenging days ahead.  I was with Jenny for 2.5 months.  I'm so glad to be home!  I missed my home.  I missed torching.  I know that Jenny will be all right now.  We can all go on with our lives.  I look forward to the future.  I look forward to being normal again.  I'm ready for this!  I'm glad to be home!

2)  I took my first baby steps with PhotoShop Elements on Wednesday!  Jenny taught me how to make banners for my Etsy store!  For me, that was so exciting!  I even got brave and tried a few of the tools on my own.  Wow!  I feel really good about that!

3) The weather is your typical mid summer weather.  One day it's steam.  One day it's hot.  Then, one day this week, we had our first fall day!  I love fall!  I also love summer!  Time to start making some jellies and jams.  Time to make some salsa, too.  I can hardly wait to go to the farmer's market and shop!  These days are precious because they slip way too easily into the cold,snow, ice, and darkness of winter!  Time to walk Pixie..  I'm  grateful for that, too!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - Colorful

In Nature, we can see some of the most beautiful colors!
Add to that the Hipstamatic App for the IPhone,
and you have intense saturation with color accents.
Even as a child, I was drawn to pink.  I love the phlox in the garden.  There were such beautiful gardens on our walk.
The scent of lavender was intense as we passed this garden.  Even if the flowers are violet, they are 
close enough to pink for me!

No, this sunflower isn't pink, but it is one of my favorite late summer blooms.
You know when you see it, that cooler weather is on the way.
School will be starting faster than any kid wants it to start.
Baseball season is over, and football practice has begun.

This healing herb grows well in our climate.
Catching a cold?  Brew some tea from this echinacea plant.
Our great grandmothers and grandmothers nurtured these healing herbs in their gardens.
They used them to make their loved ones feel better and heal faster.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Have you seen the Pantone for Fall?

So what do you think?  I love the emberglow, honeysuckle, and phlox! 
All right, add to that bamboo and deep teal.
I can see making beads in those wonderful colors!
How will you use the new Pantone palette for fall?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Easy Peasy Tutorial - How to take a nap

Find your favorite blanket on the couch and claim your space.
Close your eyes and fall asleep.
When the human comes to take your picture,
keep your eyes closed and ignore the human.
When the said human moves to you to take your picture because you look so cute taking a nap,
only open one eye.   Let the human know you are not happy to be wakened up.
Turn your head.  Close your eyes.  Ignore the human.  Perhaps the human will move on to "It."  It doesn't care.
It hogs the bed anyway.
Make sure that no one else can get on the bed with you.  When the light is turned on, be sure to pretend you are asleep even if your eyes are open.  It's not the kitties, so who cares?  You have the bed and you don't have to share it with anyone.
When human is finally tired of taking "cute" pictures, wait until human is asleep.  Pounce with all your might on human.   If you can't sleep, then neither can the human.
That's how to take a nap!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spring Charm Exchange Hosted by Jennifer Cameron!

You know how exciting it is,
when the day comes to reveal a suprise.
Well, the day has come,
and now we get to reveal our bracelets from
with a twist!
What was the twist, you ask?
The twist was that each participant include an extra charm to be auctioned off for Beads of Courage,
where every bead tells a story of "strength, honor and hope."

Now, this "twist" made this exchange even more fun!
The list of participants in my group included:

. Jennifer Cameron: Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron
2. Sandi Lee James: Do Be Do Bead Do
3. Mallory Hoffman: For the Love of Beads
4. Sue Kennedy: Sue Beads
5. Sally Russick: Wireworked
6. Erin Prais-Hintz: Treasures Found

Be sure to blog hop a bit and look at their bracelets, too!
Now, for the revelation!
Ta! Da!

Isn't it great?  Don't  tell, but I've cheated, and worn it already.  I did received many compliments on it, too!
Thanks, Jen!
You did a great job organizing this exchange.
I hope there will be more in the future!

I almost forgot,
here are the links to the auction to benefit Beads of Courage.
Click here for link #1

Click here for link #2.
Remember, it's for a great cause!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Heart Macro! - This, That, and the Other!


Outside, the sun is HOT and the air is STEAMY.
Notice the reflection to the upper right of the sun.

An outside garden has erupted into a vision of fungus!
Truly beautiful!

Summer is maturing, and the thistle is beginning to bloom.

A leaf has become lace, destroyed by an unseen enemy, but the resulting skeleton, is a piece of lace.

Inside, Walter the ever curious cat, inspects the fabric from my photo tent.

All is well in the world right now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This month's Art Bead Monthly Challenge was based on the work of
Edoard Vuillard entitled
Morning in the Garden at Vaucresson.
Learn more HERE about this masterpiece and the artist.  

This was the suggested color palette.

Since I am still not able to torch and make my beads, I had to rely on my newbie skills with polymer clay.
My colors don't exactly match the color palette.  I'm not even sure they come close, however,
this project was fun to make. 
Each bead was made by me.
The colors, I felt, captured an early morning in the garden.
So, without further delay,
here is my entry in the July Art Bead Scene Challenge.

Sweet Morning is my entry for this month.
Next month I hope to be torching again and making all, or, at least, most of my beads, for the August Challenge.
To see the entries for this month, please look HERE.
Stick around for the blog hop, too!  I hope to participate this month!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Three Beautiful Things This Week - Happy Birthday, Nick!

I'm changing the format of Three Beautiful Things this Week, because today, July 22, is my son's birthday!

Happy 32nd birthday, Nick!
I love you!

Nick is one of the two most beautiful things to ever come into my life!
He was born at 1:38 AM.  I almost slept through it because I never stay up that late, but when he was born, and I held that 9 pound 12 oz baby in my arms, all I could think of is,
"His newborn clothes won't fit," and they didn't!
I had to send Dan home to scrounge up the larger sized clothes that we had, and, when we went home, 
he did have something to wear besides a diaper.

This is one of my favorite photos of Nick and our Basset Hound, Oliver.
Nick had a special relationship with that dog.
They were truly a boy and his dog.
One time when I came home from work,
Oliver came out of the family room, and he was soaking wet.
I asked him,
"Who did this to you?"
Oliver went back into the family room looking so very sad and sat next to Nick.
Nick had to give me his squirt gun, but Oliver and he were best friends again in a matter of minutes.
They truly loved each other!
Nick has always had an infectious smile!
He can make a room warm up when he grins!
The only concern I have is that I raised him to be a White Sox fan.
When he  moved back to Chicago,
he converted!
I don't know what I'll do with him!
That grin of his, though, makes me melt like butter!
Nick also has an amazing sense of humor.
Not only has he worn his "green man" costume for Halloween,
he also wore it to the reception in which he was a groomsman.
The bride just smiled.
I tell you, that his infectious smile saved the day!

Then there's Nick's relationship with his sister.
When she had her stem cell transplant, Nick took 3 weeks off of work to be with her and with me.
We both felt his strength, concern, and love as we navigated this storm again.
This picture was taken last year, a couple of weeks before Jenny was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Nick had invited her to Chicago for a weekend of fun with him and his friends.
The trip was a rousing success!

See what I mean,
he's an amazing man!
Happy Birthday, Nick!
I love you very much!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge - HOT

As I write this, we are in the midst of one HOT streak of weather.
You look out in the mornings,
and the windows are covered with mist and the door handles are slick to the touch.
It wasn't raining.
It was just HOT and very HUMID!

The sun rose with a fiery passion to warm everything up.
It did more than warm.
It built up the searing heat like an explosive fire raging through an open field of dry grasses.

Stepping into the car, I made a notation of the temperature as we began our drive.
It was so HOT that day!
I didn't think it was possible, but by the time we got to the Steepery, a local tea house,
the temperature had risen even more.
By the end of the day,
we had hit the 100 degree mark!
That was a HOT day.
When we got home, imagine my surprise when this tumbled out of the freezer!
I love those New Mexico chiles!
However, that wasn't what we had for dinner that night.
See the ice cream next to the chiles?
That was our main course!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Mermaid's Song - July Art Spark Challenge

Each Month
presents its readers with a challenge.
This month's Art Spark was to be
inspired by nature.
The true challenge was to be inspired and produce a piece of jewelry 
that was unique in every sense of the word.
Forget the butterflies and dragonflies.
Experience nature and let that guide you in your creation.
My challenge was there.
Lately, it's just been way too hot here to do anything to appreciate nature in its rawest and true form.
We really are having a tropical heat wave.
My mind raced back to my childhood.  I grew up in New Mexico.  It's a land of desert and dryness.  It was HOT there, too.  However,
some of my favorite memories were when we packed up the car and headed to visit aunts, uncles and cousins in California.
I remember playing while the "old people" enjoyed themselves sitting outside and telling stories of their childhood exeriences.
Then came the day we were all waiting for.
We headed for the beach for the day.
I remember how HOT and crowded the beach was.
I remember racing towards the water, jumping over the really little kids, and hitting that water with a loud, hard splash.
We picked up whatever shells we could find.  There were thousands and thousands of tiny nautilus shells,
and if we ever found a whole shell, we would try to pry it open to find a real pearl inside.
 We didn't care what kind of shell it was.  To us, it might contain a real pearl!
Then, there was that evening, when we were heading home,
tired and sunburned after playing all day in the sand and surf,
I heard a silken cry.
I thought I saw a mermaid's tail splash in the water near the setting sun.
I was too little to have a camera.
I never heard that sound again.
I really think I saw a mermaid that day.
Now, if you like, click
to see all the entries for July!
Will you be inspired by nature?
You still have time to enter.
Take a breath, and off you go!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Art is Everywhere!

This beautiful woman is a member of the church that I have been attending since I have been at Jenny's.  I've seen her there, and I finally asked her about her art.
Isn't her head dress amazing?  Although we didn't talk for very long, I found out that she folds her head dress herself.  I am amazed as I look at that work of wearable art, and see all the folds and tucks.  Each one supports the other so that, in the end, she has created an amazing head dress that stands alone.

How she does that, I don't know, but her work is truly art in every sense of the word.  She looks beautiful!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kelley's Bead Studio a real Etsy Treasure!

When I "shop" Kelley's Bead Studio, I love everything I see!!!  If I didn't make lampwork beads myself,
 I know 
where I'd be shopping!!!!  Wow!  I love Kelley's work!
I had the privilege to meet Kelley once in Atlanta.  Her smile will light up a room!  Her great talent warms the heart.  Look at some of the items from her Etsy shop, and see what I mean!!!
Look at these headpins that Kelley has featured in her store.  Aren't they fun?  Think of all the pieces of wearable art that you could make with them!  Wow!  The design possibilities are tremendous!  I love the colors and the look of the eyes in each headpin..
Before I forget, they are called
Aren't they fun?

 These nuggets look delicious!!!!
I love what Kelley does with the swirls.
They look good enough to lick, and I might.
Love, love, love these!!!!

Perfect for your summer beading,
in Kelley's store.
Aren't they pretty? I just love them.  My beading mind is racing with design possibilities.

You can't leave Kelley's store without looking at one of her fun focals.
Isn't this one gorgeous?
It's called
I wubs Kelley's beads!
Be sure to visit her Etsy store for more great beads!
You won't be sorry you did!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Heart Macro! - Things

 I Heart Macro

 A fan

 A bracelet

My Rosary

Small Pebbles

Grout work

My IPhone

Where are your macro shots?  Let's see them!