Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chalk It Up in Prescott AZ

Sunday my friend, Luanna, and I went to the ‘Chalk It Up’ event that was held in a parking lot here in Prescott.  I’m one of those people who save the pictures from chalk artists that friends send me in emails.  It amazes me how three dimensional those pictures are….you know, the ones that look like you could just walk into a hole in the street and you know it’s just a picture!
This was Prescott’s 4th annual ‘Chalk It Up’ event and I was ready to be impressed! Many of the artists (artists of all ages) started drawing on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon, the art was well underway.  It was a hot day and the artists were getting sun or were shaded by umbrellas and friends.  There was music, popcorn, sodas, and hoola hoops! Looked like everyone was enjoying themselves as we walked down all the aisles deciding which work of art would get our vote.
The idea was great!  Give the artists a free box of colored chalk, a patch of parking lot (ashalt) and let them draw.  So here are some of the masterpieces!







Friday, April 20, 2012

Waiting in Tucson

Some of you may have noticed I skipped last week's blogs.  Sometimes I just don’t know what part of my days I want to write about and sometimes I just can’t focus on writing.  If you have been following my posts, you know that my love, Peter, has two benign (the joy of hearing that word) growths on salivary glands.   One of the glands decided to cause a problem.  We ended up going to Tucson to the University Medical Center and having the surgeon, Dr. Gernon, look at the problem.  Peter was admitted to the hospital with a staph infection.  It is cleared up now and surgery will be in June.
While Peter was in the hospital, I made Viking Knit chain by his bedside.  As you can see, I was there quite a while!  But I’ve wanted to try combining wires for a striped or segmented effect.  I used copper, brass and steel wire. It was interesting to work with 3 metals of the same gauge and see the differences.  The steel was definitely the harder and the brass was the easiest to work with.   Looks like I can get 3 chains from this.
One morning I took a jewelry break and went to Starr Gems, a great store for tools and chains.  http://www.silversupplies.com/index.shtml
I also visited the bead store, Bead Holiday, and am sharing their website with you.  http://www.beadholiday.com/
I found several interesting beads to purchase (not hard for me to do!)  When I lived in Tucson for 25 years, I was not actively beading or making jewelry.  I did go to a couple of Gem Shows and stashed my purchased beads for future use.  But I had never been to Bead Holiday and was pleasantly surprised.  The owner toured me through the store pointing out the vintage beads, explaining the process of making the African beads, etc.  It was a nice break from the hospital!
I also took time for neighborhood walks at my friend Helen’s house and wanted to share with you. 


 




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One of My Favorite Walks

Sweetwater (Water Reclamation Ponds) in Tucson is one of my favorite places to visit and do some nature meditating.  Sometimes it smells a little foul; sometimes it doesn’t.  You just take your chances!  It is a popular site for birder’s as the 7 ponds (which might be full or not) draw a variety of birds.  On my recent visit to Tucson I just had to go see what birds were visiting and walk the trails.  It is so easy to regain a sense of peace in this place. 
Of course I had my trusty camera and am sharing what I saw with you

3 Turtles Sunning

Solitary Sandpiper -He's been here several months


Great Horned Owl

Beautiful Yellow Warbler

Great Egret at the top of a tall tree - searching for food in the water below.


Pie-billed Grebe - in reflection

A Surprise! 3 American White Pelicans

Red-winged Blackbird - if you've got it, flaunt it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Trying Out New Tools

My newest tools have been on the floor long enough!  The doming kit and the Swantrom Disc Cutter Set were getting dusty and I was getting anxious to try them out.  Out of the box and unwrapped!
Swantrom Disc Cutter Set
Remember my trip to the junk yard in a previous blog?  My friend, Kim, and I divided the scrap metal and the wire and it too was sitting on the floor.  Right!  I could hardly walk to the work bench.
I had a couple of polymer clay discs ready for something and I liked the blue copper (someone’s failed etching project) from the junk yard.  So I took the disc cutter and tried it out.  After a couple of tries with the mallet, I had a disc.  Wow! It works!  And a second disc and tiny holes in each of those.
I was careful to leave enough blue copper around the holes I cut so that I could use the leftover for another project I have in mind.
Next the doming kit…not as easy.  In fact, I watched a Beaducation video on YouTube about using it and I will practice.  I was a little intimidated by the process.  Funny! It was just a piece of metal and a mallet and I did not tap it enough.  But for my project, I did fine.  Next time I’ll be more aggressive.
Doming Kit
Got my 20 gauge copper wire out of the box and made head pins for the ear wires.  I wanted large heads so I coiled 4 turns of wire and torched that.  Nice size.  And then I made the ear wires and attached both the copper the polymer discs.  Tomorrow I will clear coat the wires and have a new pair of earrings! 




I love learning how to use new tools!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lace and More Lace

Not long ago, I cleaned out one of my sewing drawers.  I had a lot of pieces of vintage lace.  At one time I was going to make wonderful Victorian accessories but that time has passed. 
Ashley Spicer is a friend who is so talented, the creativity just drips off her fingers!  She makes fabulous children’s clothes as well as ‘Elf Coats’ for grownups.    She just started making corsets and cuffs and uses recycled fabrics.  She was the perfect candidate for my laces. Check her out at http://www.etsy.com/people/beTwitterpated  
My cousin, Sally, lives in San Angelo and we share our love of art and living often.  When I told her I gave my laces to Ashley, she said, “You photographed them first didn’t you?”  Hmmm. Well NO I had not.  It seems Sally does a lot of digital scrapbooking and was drooling over what she thought I had given away with no record.  You never know …..
 The day I took photographs of Ashley in her ‘Elf Coats’ for her art submittal, I also picked up the laces along with a few of Ashley’s and brought them home to photograph.  Google has several interesting articles about photographing lace.  One of them suggested pinning the lace to a foam core board making sure it was stretched but not too tightly.  I tried that with black and with white background.  For the most part I really liked the black background best because the patterns showed up much better.  I also tried draping lace and stacking the lace. 






This turned out to be lots of fun and I think the photos will be really interesting as fronts of blank cards.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chalk It Up in Prescott AZ

Sunday my friend, Luanna, and I went to the ‘Chalk It Up’ event that was held in a parking lot here in Prescott.  I’m one of those people who save the pictures from chalk artists that friends send me in emails.  It amazes me how three dimensional those pictures are….you know, the ones that look like you could just walk into a hole in the street and you know it’s just a picture!
This was Prescott’s 4th annual ‘Chalk It Up’ event and I was ready to be impressed! Many of the artists (artists of all ages) started drawing on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon, the art was well underway.  It was a hot day and the artists were getting sun or were shaded by umbrellas and friends.  There was music, popcorn, sodas, and hoola hoops! Looked like everyone was enjoying themselves as we walked down all the aisles deciding which work of art would get our vote.
The idea was great!  Give the artists a free box of colored chalk, a patch of parking lot (ashalt) and let them draw.  So here are some of the masterpieces!







Friday, April 20, 2012

Waiting in Tucson

Some of you may have noticed I skipped last week's blogs.  Sometimes I just don’t know what part of my days I want to write about and sometimes I just can’t focus on writing.  If you have been following my posts, you know that my love, Peter, has two benign (the joy of hearing that word) growths on salivary glands.   One of the glands decided to cause a problem.  We ended up going to Tucson to the University Medical Center and having the surgeon, Dr. Gernon, look at the problem.  Peter was admitted to the hospital with a staph infection.  It is cleared up now and surgery will be in June.
While Peter was in the hospital, I made Viking Knit chain by his bedside.  As you can see, I was there quite a while!  But I’ve wanted to try combining wires for a striped or segmented effect.  I used copper, brass and steel wire. It was interesting to work with 3 metals of the same gauge and see the differences.  The steel was definitely the harder and the brass was the easiest to work with.   Looks like I can get 3 chains from this.
One morning I took a jewelry break and went to Starr Gems, a great store for tools and chains.  http://www.silversupplies.com/index.shtml
I also visited the bead store, Bead Holiday, and am sharing their website with you.  http://www.beadholiday.com/
I found several interesting beads to purchase (not hard for me to do!)  When I lived in Tucson for 25 years, I was not actively beading or making jewelry.  I did go to a couple of Gem Shows and stashed my purchased beads for future use.  But I had never been to Bead Holiday and was pleasantly surprised.  The owner toured me through the store pointing out the vintage beads, explaining the process of making the African beads, etc.  It was a nice break from the hospital!
I also took time for neighborhood walks at my friend Helen’s house and wanted to share with you. 


 




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One of My Favorite Walks

Sweetwater (Water Reclamation Ponds) in Tucson is one of my favorite places to visit and do some nature meditating.  Sometimes it smells a little foul; sometimes it doesn’t.  You just take your chances!  It is a popular site for birder’s as the 7 ponds (which might be full or not) draw a variety of birds.  On my recent visit to Tucson I just had to go see what birds were visiting and walk the trails.  It is so easy to regain a sense of peace in this place. 
Of course I had my trusty camera and am sharing what I saw with you

3 Turtles Sunning

Solitary Sandpiper -He's been here several months


Great Horned Owl

Beautiful Yellow Warbler

Great Egret at the top of a tall tree - searching for food in the water below.


Pie-billed Grebe - in reflection

A Surprise! 3 American White Pelicans

Red-winged Blackbird - if you've got it, flaunt it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Trying Out New Tools

My newest tools have been on the floor long enough!  The doming kit and the Swantrom Disc Cutter Set were getting dusty and I was getting anxious to try them out.  Out of the box and unwrapped!
Swantrom Disc Cutter Set
Remember my trip to the junk yard in a previous blog?  My friend, Kim, and I divided the scrap metal and the wire and it too was sitting on the floor.  Right!  I could hardly walk to the work bench.
I had a couple of polymer clay discs ready for something and I liked the blue copper (someone’s failed etching project) from the junk yard.  So I took the disc cutter and tried it out.  After a couple of tries with the mallet, I had a disc.  Wow! It works!  And a second disc and tiny holes in each of those.
I was careful to leave enough blue copper around the holes I cut so that I could use the leftover for another project I have in mind.
Next the doming kit…not as easy.  In fact, I watched a Beaducation video on YouTube about using it and I will practice.  I was a little intimidated by the process.  Funny! It was just a piece of metal and a mallet and I did not tap it enough.  But for my project, I did fine.  Next time I’ll be more aggressive.
Doming Kit
Got my 20 gauge copper wire out of the box and made head pins for the ear wires.  I wanted large heads so I coiled 4 turns of wire and torched that.  Nice size.  And then I made the ear wires and attached both the copper the polymer discs.  Tomorrow I will clear coat the wires and have a new pair of earrings! 




I love learning how to use new tools!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lace and More Lace

Not long ago, I cleaned out one of my sewing drawers.  I had a lot of pieces of vintage lace.  At one time I was going to make wonderful Victorian accessories but that time has passed. 
Ashley Spicer is a friend who is so talented, the creativity just drips off her fingers!  She makes fabulous children’s clothes as well as ‘Elf Coats’ for grownups.    She just started making corsets and cuffs and uses recycled fabrics.  She was the perfect candidate for my laces. Check her out at http://www.etsy.com/people/beTwitterpated  
My cousin, Sally, lives in San Angelo and we share our love of art and living often.  When I told her I gave my laces to Ashley, she said, “You photographed them first didn’t you?”  Hmmm. Well NO I had not.  It seems Sally does a lot of digital scrapbooking and was drooling over what she thought I had given away with no record.  You never know …..
 The day I took photographs of Ashley in her ‘Elf Coats’ for her art submittal, I also picked up the laces along with a few of Ashley’s and brought them home to photograph.  Google has several interesting articles about photographing lace.  One of them suggested pinning the lace to a foam core board making sure it was stretched but not too tightly.  I tried that with black and with white background.  For the most part I really liked the black background best because the patterns showed up much better.  I also tried draping lace and stacking the lace. 






This turned out to be lots of fun and I think the photos will be really interesting as fronts of blank cards.  What do you think?