Friday, June 28, 2013

Tansy, My Forest Girl


Tansy

Back of Pendant
After completing Christi Friesen’s polymer class last week, I wanted to make a pendant using some of her techniques.  I also wanted the pendant to be my style (whatever that is!).
The face of the girl in my creation was a bead given me by a friend and I knew someday she would call to be part of something.  I picked her up, held her, looked at my mix of clay and started creating.  It was fun to figure out how to place the polymer shapes to make her part of the forest and have personality. 
Many years ago, a close friend and I corresponded.  We wrote to each other in our imaginary forest girl’s personalities.  Mine was named ‘Tansy’ and I think Tansy may have infused some of her personality into this pendant.  I just had to share her.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Repetition with a Twist

Stitch Boutique
I had a great time looking and taking pictures of everything that caught my interest one overcast afternoon while walking in Boston.  Now that I’m home and looking through those pictures, I’m realizing that repetition is a common element in my photos.  The repetition might be boring unless there is a twist – like the dolls with different personality and the wood bookend that fans.  I thought you might enjoy looking at the photos also. 
I’d love to know what catches your interest too.

Great Museum of Sewing Machines in Clothing Store

Merimekko -repetition of color, line, fashion

pinky otto store - repetition of bears

Society of Arts and Crafts - wood bookends

Felted scarves in rose repetition
Society of Arts and Crafts

Anthropologie - repetition of shape, pattern and color

Friday, June 21, 2013

Inspiration from Architectural Details



Inspiration comes from many places.  I spent lots of time looking at buildings on my recent trip to Boston.  I keep a photo file of architectural details that inspire my jewelry designs. 


This file is titled ‘Borders and Repetition'
 
 
 

And this one is titled ‘Shapes’.


 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Visiting Boston's Back Bay - #1

Italian Harpsichord
This past week Peter and I flew to Boston for the Early Music Festival.  Attending the festival has been on Peter’s bucket list for many years and, of course, I was not going to miss it either. As usual we took lots of photos as we enjoyed the Back Bay area of Boston.    The weather was mostly rainy, overcast with only occasional sun.  I wore my ‘fitbit’ and at the end of 3 days realized I walked an average of 22,200 steps each day!  And yes, most of it was in rain!
The Public Garden founded in 1837 was one of our first stops.  There is a lovely ‘lake’ with swan boats that were picturesque and not working that day. 
Squirrels chased each other across grass and up trees. 
Mother Mallard had her ducklings in tow as they swam. 
The Globe Alliums looked like dancers in formation and the roses were in bloom. 
But the Dogwoods took center stage with all the trees just filled with blooms.  Even the locals said it was a spectacular year for the Dogwoods.
Our first concert was at Jordan Hall, the principal performance space of the New England Conservatory.  It seats 1019 people and I counted 36 empty seats!  It is considered one of the most perfect acoustical performing spaces in America.  The program, “Music of Wolfgang Amade Mozart on Mozart’s Original Instruments” was more than spell binding.  In fact, you could hear a pin drop as the music from the violin, viola, clarinet and fortepiano blended to fill the hall.  Until one hears Mozart’s music on the instruments of his time; the instruments he composed his music for, one cannot really understand the magic of his music.  That is true of all early music composers.  It is a completely different experience.  If you have not heard Mozart played on original instruments, please give yourself a gift and listen.










Friday, June 14, 2013

Fire and Wind Necklace

I'm experimenting with color and new techniques.  My ‘Wind and Fire’ necklace developed from combining colors I found in an inspiration fabric.  You know, the quarter and half yards of fabric we buy because we love something about the pattern or the colors – inspiration fabric!
I also wanted to experiment with the ‘feather’ or bargello pattern and this is what happened!
When I make a slab of patterned polymer, I want to use it all.  That means beads, earrings and anything else I can think of. 
 After I made the rectangles for the flared necklace, I made an 8” roll by wrapping a piece of the slab around the handle of an exacto knife.  It really turned out well.  I just have not decided if I want to saw it into shorter pieces or keep it long.  I might cut it into thirds and string it. 
After everything was cut, detailed and fired, I put it all into the tumbler that was lined with sandpaper.  That always makes me nervous but it always comes out smooth.  I sanded a little, buffed and thought!  How was I going to make this necklace?  My creations tend to come as I work on the pieces. 
The finished necklace lays beautifully, is lightweight and the colors of fire look like the wind just blew across them. 




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Squash Blossoms for Dinner

Our Farmer’s Market opened Saturday and on a whim I bought a bag of squash blossoms.  I’ve lived in the Southwest for 28 years and have never cooked (or eaten) squash blossoms!  Time to correct that!  Tonight I fixed beef burritos and a salad and realized that I better cook my blossoms.  Of course I went to the internet and googled ‘squash blossom’ and up came pictures of squash blossom necklaces – beautiful ones.  Then I forced myself to find some edible squash blossom recipes.  Most were more involved that I wanted.  Squash blossoms are blossoms from zucchini plants that are colorful and delicate.  I found this recipe in a blog, tried it and wow! These are good!  Sometime I’d like to try batter fried blossoms but not til I lose more weight! 
The helpful blog:  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2006/09/simple-baby-pattypan-squash-with.html  with lots of interesting information.  I emailed Alanna Kellogg
St Louis, Missouri for permission for highlight her post here!  As she did not reply, I’m giving her credit. 
SIMPLE BABY PATTYPAN SQUASH with SQUASH BLOSSOMS
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 6

1 quart baby pattypan squash with blossoms
1 tablespoon butter
[fresh thyme? recommended by my new friend Linda, who also brought home these very same squash blossoms!]
Good salt

Remove the blossoms from the pattypans.
Pattypans (inside the blossoms)
Wash the pattypans. Trim the stems close and cut in half lengthwise (optional). In a non-stick skillet large enough to hold a single layer of the squash, heat the butter til melted on MEDIUM.
Add the squash and cook, stirring frequently, til just beginning to brown. Transfer to a warm plate and cover.
Meanwhile, gently wash the blossoms and check the insides for critters. Drop into the hot skillet and cook for just a couple of seconds, just as beginning to wilt.
Transfer to plate.Sprinkle with good salt. Serve immediately.

 

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 29 Cal (57% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; NetCarb2; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 2 mg Sodium; 5 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 0 points (because of small portion









Friday, June 7, 2013

Really Looking at Rocks

The rocks captured my imagination on our recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park and I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures.  The scale of rocks -boulders to gravel, the repetition of the rock shapes – rounds after rounds or jags upon jags and the shapes that are made by wind, sand and water fascinate me.  Some of these natural images will influence my future jewelry designs.  Some will bring me peace and joy as I look at them. 


















Wednesday, June 5, 2013

People Helping People

Typical landscape at 2500ft
Joshua Tree National Monument
We just returned from a trip to San Diego by way of Joshua Tree National Park.  Usually we stay in the lower campgrounds but it was hot and we drove to the campgrounds in the higher elevations.  Not many people were touring the park and a few of the campgrounds were closed.  Thirty miles separate the first and last camping sites; we were very happy when we found the higher campground open!  The rocks between the two areas are strikingly different as the pictures show. 
Typical rock formations at higher altitude (approx 4000 ft)

On our way out of the park we stopped at Cottonwood Springs.  It is a beautiful area with native Fan-Palms that keep the area cool where birds and bees gather.  There is a sandy wash, interesting desert plants and lots of rock!
Fan-Tailed Palms at Cottonwood Spring
Thank goodness we noticed another couple driving up as we were leaving because our truck would not start!  This is an area that is arid, hot with a long walk to the ranger station and NO CELL SERVICE!  Fortunately, the other couple was nearby and were happy to help us jump start the truck.  They were from Los Angeles and we talked a few minutes before we drove out of the park to come home.
It was good to be reminded that technology is wonderful when it is available and works.  People helping people is much more important. 
A huge THANK YOU to the young couple from L. A. who helped the ‘older’ couple from Prescott!

Joshua Tree

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tansy, My Forest Girl


Tansy

Back of Pendant
After completing Christi Friesen’s polymer class last week, I wanted to make a pendant using some of her techniques.  I also wanted the pendant to be my style (whatever that is!).
The face of the girl in my creation was a bead given me by a friend and I knew someday she would call to be part of something.  I picked her up, held her, looked at my mix of clay and started creating.  It was fun to figure out how to place the polymer shapes to make her part of the forest and have personality. 
Many years ago, a close friend and I corresponded.  We wrote to each other in our imaginary forest girl’s personalities.  Mine was named ‘Tansy’ and I think Tansy may have infused some of her personality into this pendant.  I just had to share her.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Repetition with a Twist

Stitch Boutique
I had a great time looking and taking pictures of everything that caught my interest one overcast afternoon while walking in Boston.  Now that I’m home and looking through those pictures, I’m realizing that repetition is a common element in my photos.  The repetition might be boring unless there is a twist – like the dolls with different personality and the wood bookend that fans.  I thought you might enjoy looking at the photos also. 
I’d love to know what catches your interest too.

Great Museum of Sewing Machines in Clothing Store

Merimekko -repetition of color, line, fashion

pinky otto store - repetition of bears

Society of Arts and Crafts - wood bookends

Felted scarves in rose repetition
Society of Arts and Crafts

Anthropologie - repetition of shape, pattern and color

Friday, June 21, 2013

Inspiration from Architectural Details



Inspiration comes from many places.  I spent lots of time looking at buildings on my recent trip to Boston.  I keep a photo file of architectural details that inspire my jewelry designs. 


This file is titled ‘Borders and Repetition'
 
 
 

And this one is titled ‘Shapes’.


 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Visiting Boston's Back Bay - #1

Italian Harpsichord
This past week Peter and I flew to Boston for the Early Music Festival.  Attending the festival has been on Peter’s bucket list for many years and, of course, I was not going to miss it either. As usual we took lots of photos as we enjoyed the Back Bay area of Boston.    The weather was mostly rainy, overcast with only occasional sun.  I wore my ‘fitbit’ and at the end of 3 days realized I walked an average of 22,200 steps each day!  And yes, most of it was in rain!
The Public Garden founded in 1837 was one of our first stops.  There is a lovely ‘lake’ with swan boats that were picturesque and not working that day. 
Squirrels chased each other across grass and up trees. 
Mother Mallard had her ducklings in tow as they swam. 
The Globe Alliums looked like dancers in formation and the roses were in bloom. 
But the Dogwoods took center stage with all the trees just filled with blooms.  Even the locals said it was a spectacular year for the Dogwoods.
Our first concert was at Jordan Hall, the principal performance space of the New England Conservatory.  It seats 1019 people and I counted 36 empty seats!  It is considered one of the most perfect acoustical performing spaces in America.  The program, “Music of Wolfgang Amade Mozart on Mozart’s Original Instruments” was more than spell binding.  In fact, you could hear a pin drop as the music from the violin, viola, clarinet and fortepiano blended to fill the hall.  Until one hears Mozart’s music on the instruments of his time; the instruments he composed his music for, one cannot really understand the magic of his music.  That is true of all early music composers.  It is a completely different experience.  If you have not heard Mozart played on original instruments, please give yourself a gift and listen.










Friday, June 14, 2013

Fire and Wind Necklace

I'm experimenting with color and new techniques.  My ‘Wind and Fire’ necklace developed from combining colors I found in an inspiration fabric.  You know, the quarter and half yards of fabric we buy because we love something about the pattern or the colors – inspiration fabric!
I also wanted to experiment with the ‘feather’ or bargello pattern and this is what happened!
When I make a slab of patterned polymer, I want to use it all.  That means beads, earrings and anything else I can think of. 
 After I made the rectangles for the flared necklace, I made an 8” roll by wrapping a piece of the slab around the handle of an exacto knife.  It really turned out well.  I just have not decided if I want to saw it into shorter pieces or keep it long.  I might cut it into thirds and string it. 
After everything was cut, detailed and fired, I put it all into the tumbler that was lined with sandpaper.  That always makes me nervous but it always comes out smooth.  I sanded a little, buffed and thought!  How was I going to make this necklace?  My creations tend to come as I work on the pieces. 
The finished necklace lays beautifully, is lightweight and the colors of fire look like the wind just blew across them. 




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Squash Blossoms for Dinner

Our Farmer’s Market opened Saturday and on a whim I bought a bag of squash blossoms.  I’ve lived in the Southwest for 28 years and have never cooked (or eaten) squash blossoms!  Time to correct that!  Tonight I fixed beef burritos and a salad and realized that I better cook my blossoms.  Of course I went to the internet and googled ‘squash blossom’ and up came pictures of squash blossom necklaces – beautiful ones.  Then I forced myself to find some edible squash blossom recipes.  Most were more involved that I wanted.  Squash blossoms are blossoms from zucchini plants that are colorful and delicate.  I found this recipe in a blog, tried it and wow! These are good!  Sometime I’d like to try batter fried blossoms but not til I lose more weight! 
The helpful blog:  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2006/09/simple-baby-pattypan-squash-with.html  with lots of interesting information.  I emailed Alanna Kellogg
St Louis, Missouri for permission for highlight her post here!  As she did not reply, I’m giving her credit. 
SIMPLE BABY PATTYPAN SQUASH with SQUASH BLOSSOMS
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 6

1 quart baby pattypan squash with blossoms
1 tablespoon butter
[fresh thyme? recommended by my new friend Linda, who also brought home these very same squash blossoms!]
Good salt

Remove the blossoms from the pattypans.
Pattypans (inside the blossoms)
Wash the pattypans. Trim the stems close and cut in half lengthwise (optional). In a non-stick skillet large enough to hold a single layer of the squash, heat the butter til melted on MEDIUM.
Add the squash and cook, stirring frequently, til just beginning to brown. Transfer to a warm plate and cover.
Meanwhile, gently wash the blossoms and check the insides for critters. Drop into the hot skillet and cook for just a couple of seconds, just as beginning to wilt.
Transfer to plate.Sprinkle with good salt. Serve immediately.

 

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 29 Cal (57% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; NetCarb2; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 2 mg Sodium; 5 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 0 points (because of small portion









Friday, June 7, 2013

Really Looking at Rocks

The rocks captured my imagination on our recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park and I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures.  The scale of rocks -boulders to gravel, the repetition of the rock shapes – rounds after rounds or jags upon jags and the shapes that are made by wind, sand and water fascinate me.  Some of these natural images will influence my future jewelry designs.  Some will bring me peace and joy as I look at them. 


















Wednesday, June 5, 2013

People Helping People

Typical landscape at 2500ft
Joshua Tree National Monument
We just returned from a trip to San Diego by way of Joshua Tree National Park.  Usually we stay in the lower campgrounds but it was hot and we drove to the campgrounds in the higher elevations.  Not many people were touring the park and a few of the campgrounds were closed.  Thirty miles separate the first and last camping sites; we were very happy when we found the higher campground open!  The rocks between the two areas are strikingly different as the pictures show. 
Typical rock formations at higher altitude (approx 4000 ft)

On our way out of the park we stopped at Cottonwood Springs.  It is a beautiful area with native Fan-Palms that keep the area cool where birds and bees gather.  There is a sandy wash, interesting desert plants and lots of rock!
Fan-Tailed Palms at Cottonwood Spring
Thank goodness we noticed another couple driving up as we were leaving because our truck would not start!  This is an area that is arid, hot with a long walk to the ranger station and NO CELL SERVICE!  Fortunately, the other couple was nearby and were happy to help us jump start the truck.  They were from Los Angeles and we talked a few minutes before we drove out of the park to come home.
It was good to be reminded that technology is wonderful when it is available and works.  People helping people is much more important. 
A huge THANK YOU to the young couple from L. A. who helped the ‘older’ couple from Prescott!

Joshua Tree