Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chemical Etching or Tumbler Etching?

When it comes to etching,
I'm a kind of take or leave it person.
However, after ruining my bathroom, and I do mean ruining it, with a chemical etchant that spilled,
I had to look at other ways to etch.
I belong to a wonderful forum called
There are many discussions there about a variety of topics.
I found several on non chemical etching.
So, here's what I did.
I realized I had what I needed on hand.
 I bought this at Harbor Freight.
I also needed some silicone carbide grit.
Surprise!
I had purchased a small amount years ago.
All you need is a teaspoon.
I was set.
I filled my tumbler with the end chunks of the murrini I make.
I added water, the silicone carbide grit, and a drop of dish washing liquid.
I added the beads.
(Oh, it really IS a good idea to count the beads before you put them in the tumbler.)
I tumbled them for an hour. 
Here are the results.
I was pleased.
I like the matte finish on these discs.

I didn't like these beads before I etched them, but now I do!!

These beads came out much better than I expected!
I like them now.

I like these discs now.

These discs look pitted to me, so I'm not sure on these.

Overall, I was very pleased with the etching.
I'm still not really excited about etching, but I did make some beads specifically for etching.
I'll take before and after photos and show them next week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Finally!!!

Last October, I won a bead from the 
AMAZING
glass artist,
As it always seems to happen,
it took me a bit to 
make some thing with the bead.
Now,
I want to show you what I made!!!!
I
LOVE
IT!!!

Thank you, Manuela!!!!!!!!

Don't you just love it?
I do!!!
So I also made a wind around bracelet,
which doubles as
Another strand on my necklace!!!

Then I made some new earrings!!!!

Don't you just love my new jewelry?
Thank you,
Manuela!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Me

Ten things you might not know about me

1)When I was in 3rd grade, I was the last hope for the 3rd grade to win the spelling bee at school.  I lost it all for the 3rd graders!  I misspelled citizen by adding an “e” at the end.  I hung my head in shame.

2)I had a dog name Rex.

3) I had a cat name Pinky.

4)I had invisible friends named:  Foo Foo, Kastrina,  and Drinkwater when I was 4.

5)I learned to read at age 4.  My much older next door neighbor taught me.  She was in the 2nd grade!

6)When we played school, I had to be the teacher even though all of my friends were older.

7)I used to play the piano very well.

8)When I was in 5th grade, I wanted to be a nun.

9) When I was in 6th grade, I discovered boys.  I no longer wanted to be a nun.

10) I had my first poem published in a high school anthology when I was in 5th grade.

A Photo Worth More than a Thousand Words

Isn't this photo beautiful?
Can you imagine the love they must share?
Do you see it in their faces?
Well, that would be hard to see no matter how hard you looked at this photo.
No, I did not take this photo. 
Cheri Lucas took this photo.
She has an eye for the simple drama of life.
Look at the texture in the stairs.
Look at the geometry of the train tracks against the texture of the stairs.
Look at the color of the background against the grays of the foreground.
The young couple who captures the eye of the viewer are beautiful and in love.
I wonder if their love will last as long as the love I see in the background?
Do you see that elderly couple by the trolley?
Do you see their love?
Hugs, kisses?
No.
They are climbing the stairs together, 
helping each other out.
This is the love I see.
This is love through the ages.
They don't even appear to be smiling,
but they are helping each other walk across time and up the stairs.
Love.
Love.
Love.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Hate, Loathe, Despise, Detest Black Beans, Except when fixed like this...

Don't they look wonderful?
These are my version of
Black Bean Brownies!
Very Good!!!!
I found a recipe for these on several different sites.
This was the easiest version.

Take 1 can of black beans.
Rinse.  Pour the beans back in the can. 
Add water to the top.
Pour the beans and water into a blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth.
Add 
1 box of brownie mix.
I used 1 box of Gluten Free Chocolate cake mix.
Bake according to package directions.

I made 48 of these beautiful little cakes.
They are only 1 point each in Weight Watchers.
Now, remember,
there are no eggs or oil.
They are a little dry.
Eggs and oil would raise the points.
I also think using brownie mix would give these little cakes more moisture.
However, they sure do take care of a chocolate craving for me!!
If you have the extra points,
top each little cake with a Hershey kiss.
Pop in the microwave for 30 seconds.
O.M.G.
They are amazing!!!!
That's a total of 2 points per cake!!!
WOW!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Focusing on Life One Photo at a Time - Create Art

Focusing on Life 
One Photo at a Time
Week 4
Create Art





Friday, January 25, 2013

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)  After two hours in the dental chair, I am hoping the work is done, but I'm not sure.  Whatever, yesterday's session is over, and I. AM. GLAD!


2) I found success on my Weight Watcher's plan this week.  Another pound is gone!  I'm on my way!!!


3) I finally finished some jewelry that I have been wanting to make since November!!  More on that this week!!!!


4) Whew!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Hate Banana Bread!!!

But I LOVE these muffins!

So, I had two bananas that were getting way too ripe.
Since I am on Weight Watchers, I have to be careful about what I eat.
Bananas are great, but I really wanted some of the 
"forbidden" foods.
(Truthfully, there are none, but in my mind, there are some I would love to eat.)
Anyway,
I had found a recipe on Pinterest for 
Gluten Free
Banana Muffins.
Click 
for the recipe.
Like I said,
I HATE banana bread,
however, these are so good! and only 3 points per muffin.
I have mine bagged two to a bag because these muffins are half the size of a regular muffin.  Each one is only 1.5 point a piece!!!
Well,
as it turns out,
I only had 1 egg, and the recipe calls for 2 eggs.
I substituted a cup of unsweetened apple sauce for the extra egg.
Turns out that was okay,
and these muffins are 
Delicious!
While you read this, I will have already enjoyed them for breakfast!!!
Nummy!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Today is National Pie Day!!!!

Today is National Pie Day!!!!
Ok, I'm on Weight Watchers right now, but that doesn't change the fact that
I LOVE PIE!!!!!
If I had to choose which pie I love the best I think I'd choose:

Pecan Pie
Blueberry Pie
Sour Cream Raisin Pie
Perkins Chocolate Cake Pie
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Gooseberry Pie
Apple Pie
Cherry Pie
Chocolate Pie

So, if I want pie, I have to save up the points and enjoy a piece of pie.
It will be worth it!!!
Trust me on that one!!!

If you want to celebrate National Pie Day,
is a link with ideas on how to celebrate and practice
random acts of "pieness."

If you want to see more pie in my Etsy store,
click
and you will find more pie!!!

How are you going to celebrate National Pie Day?
I'm going to go on line and look at pieces of pie.
That's best for my Weight Watcher points!!

Oh, my motivation is that I lost 
ANOTHER
pound!!!!

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I love my new socks!!!!!!

I Love My New Socks!!!!!

They are warm.
They are cotton.
They breathe so nicely.
and
They don't match!!!
I love my new socks!
Check out

Monday, January 21, 2013

Back to Square Two

I suppose this is the time of year.
It tends to happen in January, February, 
well, it can happen at any time, 
but I think that in hook of winter doldrums,
I find that I lost my mojo because my muse is vacationing somewhere without me.
I am assuming she's in Mexico or somewhere that there is more warmth than in Minnesota in January.
Any hoooooo,
I have been on and off the torch since early January.
(Actually more off than on.)
That didn't seem to help much.
Then I got sick.
That didn't help at all.
It actually took a lot for me to return to the torch.
Good thing it's cold. 
I am much warmer when I torch.
Soooooooo,
what about my mojo?
What about my muse?
Well, neither one has returned, so I was forced to go back to Square two.
What is Square two?
Square one was learning to make a donut shaped bead.
Square two is using simple techniques to decorate a bead.
For the last two days, I have been making fritted beads.
Square two.
Take a look!


I kind of like these!!!

Maybe my mojo is coming back?
We'll see, but these were fun to make.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I Heart Macro - My New Socks!!!

I love my new socks!!




I love my new socks!!!!!

I Heart Macro!!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So, what should I do with these?

I decided to play with some polymer clay and get rid of the scraps.
I had no idea what would be born,
and
this is what happened.

River Rocks!

Textured
Not Textured.

So what are your suggestions, please?
What should I make with these?

Friday, January 18, 2013

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 have the nicest garbage man in the whole wide world.  We are limited in the amount of garbage we are allowed to put out on the curb on garbage day.   With the new floor, there were many, many bags over the amount.  I had planned to put the extra garbage out over a few weeks, but when our garbage man saw all the bags in the garage he said to bring them out so that he could take them.  What a nice man!!!  He didn't have to do that!!!

2) Speaking of the floor!!!  I love my new floor!!!! It really looks nice!!!!

3) Today, our high is expected to be 42!!!!  Unheard of for January!!!  It's been a good week!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First things first, ignore the old, ugly, sagging neck

I learned a trick for keeping warm from my California friends.  Eileen said, "Wear a scarf in the house.  It will keep you warm."  You know what, it did!!!

Since we are looking at some sub zero temps coming up next week where our highs might get up to zero, and that's not sure yet, I decided that I needed to make some scarves to wear. 

I made this one last night.  I found the pattern
HERE.  It's easy and very quick to make. 

Well, this led me to peruse the internet for other crocheted scarf patterns.  I'm all thumbs when it comes to knitting.   I was told once when I thought I was knitting that I was "crocheting with knitting needles!"  Go figure.

Anyway, here's a photo from my treasure hunt today.

I can hardly wait to get started!
I'm going to make a cowl or two.  I'll show these later.
And, if you're interested in getting some snippets of my yarns,
Check HERE!

Here's a sample of my snippets!
More later!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Good news, the floor, getting caught up - This That and the Other

The new floor will be finished tomorrow!!!!!!


I got started on getting caught up with my earrings.
These are the ones I made with my polymer clay components.

At Sharon's suggestion, I added beads!
I like this so much better!
I can hardly wait for a patina to develop!!

Good News!!!
I. LOST. 7. POUNDS!
Yahooooooooooo!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm late to the party, but I'm going anyway!!!

I don't know how I missed the original post, but
I did.
So now, I'm late to the party, but
I'm going anyway!!!
Art Jewlery Elements is having an 
The challenge is broken into 13 week segments, and the goal is to make a pair of earrings a week.
Now, I'm a bit behind, so, I better get caught up.
I made some components.
Not all of them are ready to be made into earrings yet, but they will be soon.
I'm thinking spring!!
These will be, obviously, hoops!!!

Bacon and eggs anyone?
These need a patina before they are ready.

Instead of candy, how about asymmetrical hearts?

These need some sanding and a patina.
Soon.  Soon!

The symbol of hope.
The Ghinko!

Puppy love!!!

Fantasy birds!!!
 
We'll see how many of these sets become earrings.
I'll show them when they are finished!!!
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Polymer Clay, Religious Art, and Me

Sunday is usually my play day with clay.
So, after going to my neighbor's and watering their plants,
I went upstairs and pulled out he clay.
I decided to practice with some religious art.
Oh,  I also worked with wire a bit, too.

The Cross is always a religious symbol I love.
I added some texture and some silver leaf to the clay.
I like the wooden look, but I do need to add a patina. 
I'll show these pieces after they are finished.
Here are some closeups of the texture in these crosses.

I used a strip tool to add the texture.

I tried different textures.
Which texture do you like best?

This heart symbolizes the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 
It is influenced by Mexican artists.
Again, a patina is needed.
The roses on the edge of the heart are roses to represent
Mary, the Mother of God.

I made this cross from copper wire. 
I think it needs more work, but I'm not sure what I will add.
Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Heart Macro - Glorious Glass

Glorious Glass!

Glass with silvered ivory

Glass with swirled frit.

Glass with silver droplets.

Glass with enamel.

Simple blown glass!

I Heart Macro!!!