Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beads, birds, and branches. where did the time go?

One copper clay, one bronze clay, one porcelain glaze kiln. One tray of beads left behind on the glaze table. Where, oh where, did the time go? I am tired. I have a cold. Not a bad cold, just enough of a cold to make my head feel fuzzy. Hence, the left behind tray of beads.
I'm off again on Monday to my daughter's home in Wichita. I haven't been up there on my own for a while. I'll being seeing her and my son who will be there on block leave from Ft Cambell. I'll meet his girl friend and her daughter for the first time. Very exciting! Except in the background of all of this is my son's deployment to Afghanistan in a month or so. It only seems a few days since he came back from Iraq. But such is life of a soldier and his family.
My beads will go with me. Both for shipping and for making things with. I've a show coming up in mid April. Life goes on no matter what is going on around you. That is for me, one of the most wonderful parts of waking up in the morning. No matter what your troubles or worries might be. life will go on.
Have a lovely rest of the weekend, all! I'll catch up when I can over the next week.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Experiment

So here's the results of yesterday's bronze experiment. Remember, a while back, I'd made some porcelain pieces that I wanted to make into toggel clasps? I just never got around to finding the inspiration for making the metal clay toggle bars. I was sitting in the sun on the deck, waiting for the spirit to move into a glazing mood. Actually, I wasn't waiting for anything at all. I was day dreaming and wasting time. Ms Alice brought me a stick. Ms Alice does not think that I should sit quietly and look at the sky. If we are outside we need to play. None of this sitting around stuff.

I looked at that stick and had one of those moments. A little cutting here, a bit of shaping there, a silicon mold, add bronze, and a toggle bar is born. I'm not sure how well it really works with the design of the porcelain pieces but I sort of like the little stick. Best part is it fits through the hole and doesn't slip out. A rather nice thing to have in a toggle clasp.
But there is a design issue. See that loop up there on the back? Well it is too big. I forgot to take into account that the bronze clay shrinks in all directions, not just length. Easy fix though (she says over confidently).

Just to make sure it works, I decided to make one of the toggles up into a bracelet. My thinking was that of all the pieces of jewelry you can wear, bracelets are the piece that get the roughest treatment. Well maybe some of you are more delicate than I am. I've had this on most of the afternoon and nothing has broken, the toggle has stayed toggled, and even though the loop is too long, it lays reasonably well. So now all I want to do is make toggle bars. But wait, is that a glaze jar I hear calling me? Nope, the glazing is still not done.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the high road to Taos

Santuario de Chimayo, one of our favourite places in the Santa Fe area. This adobe church was built in 1816. It snowed the evening before we went up and the grounds, roofs, and walls were blanketed in about 4 inches of snow. It was absolutely stunning. I think this may be the only time this year that I have been happy about snow.
I think my favourite part of the santuario is the bell tower. Every time I visit I snap many photos. This is my first one with snow. The snow was very fresh and didn’t really start melting off until later in the day.

I’ve always loved this headstone that is in the courtyard just in from of the Santurario. It seems so serene and quiet.
We had a lovely trip. Spent most of the time just relaxing. No rushing to see everything we could. Bead Fest was amazing and I came away quite over stimulated and not quite broke. We finally made the tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu home and studio. It is huge, 5,000 square feet. Her bedroom overlooks ‘the white place’ in her paintings. Oh to wake up to a view like that every morning.

I really wasn’t ready to come home. I never am. But Santa Fe is reasonably close and we’ll go back soon. It does feel good to get back to work. I have a bronze experiment firing right now. I have fresh clay from Albuquerque. There is nothing in the world like opening a bag of fresh clay! Except maybe going up to Chimayo.

Monday, March 15, 2010

On the way to Santa Fe

We are off on Wednesday for a holiday in Santa Fe and this little owl is going with me. I don't very often make anything special for me, which is a little sad isn't it? Santa Fe is just a wee bit over 5 hours from home. We haven't been for a couple of years. Which is also a little bit sad given that Santa Fe is a lovely city and one our favourites. We're staying a block off the plaza in an old heritage hotel. Everything is within walking distance including Bead Fest Santa Fe. Peter has told me time and again that he can't imagine anything more wonderful than spending a day bead shopping. Do you think he is just humouring me? Probably, but I'm still looking forward to it.
But best of all will be a trip up to the chapel in Chimayo. No trip to Santa Fe is complete without a day trip there. Built in the early 1800's, it is steeped in legend and mystery surrounding a cross and the healing power of the earth it is built on. It is magical and I love it.
I'm going completely computer free on this excursion. So, I'll be on a little blogger holiday over the next week. If I can remember my camera, I'll bring back some photos for you.
Have a lovely week everyone.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We have a winner!

Yeah! As of 5pm we had 61 comments and the random number gernerator says, with absolute authority, that the winner is number 18.
Congrats, Sharon of Live Wire Jewelry! Sharon, please email me and I'll get your goodies right out to you. Thanks everyone for playing along. They'll be more opportunities next month.
Gotta, run. It's my first art market tomorrow and guess how ready I am.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I just couldn't say no

I promised myself that I would not sucomb to the pressure of pastel Easter bunny cuteness. No way, no how, no matter how much persuasion. But happened. I made a special teeny tiny little bunny for my friends 7 year old grand daughter. Her favourite colour is pink. Her name is Sarah. My daughter's name is Sarah and she also loves pink. How could I disappoint little Sarah. So there you have it one tiny little pink bunny, bursting with cuteness.
I'd like to blame it on the cold that I've had for a week. It put me in a weakened condition. My normal non-cute self would not do this. I must still have had a fever. But no, I have been out of bed for two days now. Unike my dogs who at this very moment are lying in my bed. Bad dogs.
I am feeling quite well. The secret is that lurking deep inside of me is a special fondess for sweet pink bunnies, especially when I know it will make a little girl smile. Shhh, don't tell I would not want the word to get out that I can embrace pastel for a good cause.

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Friday Freebie!

Yes siree, it's that time again! First Friday and I've got 2 bronze pieces and 2 copper pieces up for grabs. The larger pieces are just under 1", the lotus is a little over 1/2" and the little bronze button bitty has never been measured.
This is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. All you have to do is leave a comment. Spread the word if you like, in anyway you'd like, if you want extra chances. Just be sure to come back sometime and tell me what you did. I'll randomly select a winner next Friday so you've got an entire week to work out your winning strategy.
I am now off to the shower to get ready to see the opening of my friends exhibition. I have spent the last 2 days in bed with a terrible cold and that shower will be my salvation. Perhaps everyone elses as well. I slept 18 hours yesterday. I didn't know it was possible to sleep 18 hours. But I have been awake long enough to read all of your comments about the bunnies and your bunny stories. Thanks so much, it's been a bright spot for me!
Have a fantastic weekend!!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bun Bun

Bun Bun is what my daughter called rabbits when she was just a little tiny girl. This morning I woke up with this image of bunnies in my head. I had heaps of other things to do, but you know, sometimes you just have to go with what's there. These are little prototype bunny beads. They are in the bisque kiln right now. There's only a hand full so I can see what they glaze up like.

I love baby bunnies. They are one of my earliest happy memories. Seeing them hop through the grass at dusk was such an exciting thing. You had to be really quiet so that you wouldn't scare them off. That is not something so easy to do as a four year old. I loved those little grey furry plump bunnies. My mother was less than thrilled with them. The object of those little bunnies affection was my mothers garden. New pea sprouts, lettuce, spinach, not a the asparagus, but almost anything newly sprouting, was what they were after. Me, I think I'd like to plant a garden just to feed those little babies.

OK, now that I've lured you in here, hop on over to the Beads of Clay Blog. Joan Tucker of Off Center Productions is writing a monthly spot light feature of BOC members. This month it is me!!!! She's even made me sound somewhat interesting. Yippeeee.

Thanks, Joan!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I am in love!!!!!

With this bead and quite probably Kelley of Kelley’s Bead Studio. Last week, I asked Kelley if she ever sold mixed lots of her orphans. Well as a matter of fact she does. I’ve got my monthly market starting up in a couple of weeks and an art festival in April. I really wanted a little mix of beads that I could pair with some of my porcelain beads and bronze and copper pieces to make pendants. I said to Kelley, I love surprises.

Well I am awe struck, gob smacked, speechless, and speechless doesn’t happen all that often. This mixed lot came in the mail on Saturday. I couldn’t keep my hands off them. I kept holding them up to the light so I could see through them. I rolled them around in my fingers. I was supposed to be doing other things. But I couldn’t stop. I am obsessed with these beads. They are so beautiful. They are perfect and glass is just too hard for me to capture the intricate patterns and layers in these beads.

So what you should really do is go over to Kelley’s Etsy shop and buy some of these beads. Just so you can get your own really good look at them up close and personal. Kelley’s got some great mixed lots of orphans over there right now. And some beautiful sets and focals. I just know there is something there that you can’t resist.

Thanks Kelley!!!!