Wednesday, December 31, 2008

...knee at the beach

here is a picture of my knee at the beach.

....and here is a loose sketch of that very same knee.
...another exciting day in paradise.......

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Bit About My Month of December....

Besides needing to complete 2 Christmas exchanges and the black and white swap this December, I also made a lot of my Christmas presents! I made earrings and/or necklaces for my nieces, icicle mom dolls for my sisters and dad and I made a copper over wood frame for the balloon painting to give my niece in Philadelphia. i attempted to make 2 photo dolls for my grand nieces - but I botched these up so bad I am going to wait until go to Maui next week and can get to a real fabric store and buy some pink fleece! I wish I could show you picture - but of course I was so anxious to get everything finished and sent - I didn't take any. I did not send out any cards - but I hope to get some out this week for new years - but I did do my dad's cards for him.
During December, my wonderful friend Lorri Scott came to the island for a vacation. She has a gorgeous condo in Poipu, and on Tuesday night I went to dinner with her and then spent the night. The next morning we went for a long walk at the beach and then headed to Waimea to check out some ocean cottages for a possible future art retreat and to have lunch.

This is a picture of Lorri sipping her Pina Colada, with my Pina Colada in the foreground!

A banyon tree at Waimea Plantations....

....the beach in front of the cottages....the swimming pool is in the background where the lounges are.....
Then we headed for glass beach to look for beach finds ...

Lorri and I on glass beach...

Closer on the "sand" we are standing on....

...and closer still!
On Friday I met Lorri at our favorite lunch place "mermaids" where we had iced Chai tea made with coconut milk and ahi wraps with cucumber and avocado inside instead of rice. Way YUMMY!
It was raining........ miserably! We hoped to get together on Monday to visit the Hindu Temple, but we'd had a fierce rain storm the night before and we had tall ironwood trees that had fallen on the side fence and gate and had a huge yard pick up to do. ...and then it continued to storm and flood and rain....we even had a tornado warning!
So I will have to wait until February to see Lorri again when she comes back to the island again.
I sure had a good time with her!
It is still raining. We haven't mowed the lawns in 3 weeks. Everything is getting mildew smelling and it is very gloomy....the temperature is down to 60 at night!
Next Saturday my sister and her husband are flying to Maui for a week, and I am going to fly there and spend a few days with them! Woohoo! They are great fun!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eight Days of Chanukah

I was involved in a very special Holiday Exchange this year - The Eight Days of Chanukah. I am not Jewish - and I am embarrassed to say I knew very little of the Holiday - but a small group of very talented artist friends invited me to play with them!......I learned a lot ....and I received amazing presents, too!

Day One ...a beautiful and appropriate charm from the CHARM QUEEN herself - Amber Dawn!
Look at all the details she added - crystals, wirework, beautiful beads.....impeccably made to the highest standards that are Amber's trademark!

Day 2 a handmade, hand stitched and hand painted triangle doll from Fran Saperstein. Just look at that gorgeous face!....and all the embroidery! Fran says she is a pin cushion doll - but no pin is going to pierce my lovely doll! She will sit in a place of honor so I can see her and admire her everyday!

On Day 3 .... take a look at this stunning wayward threads shawl! Joanne Thieme Huffman dyed her own fabrics - a soft warm woolly flannel and a sheer silk - and dyed it herself in beautiful shades of blue - and then sewed it up all together into an airy but cozy shawl! I've already worn it into town and it is so warm and comfy and garnished lots of Oohs and Ahhs!!

Day 4 - Joyce Vance made this hand dyed, photo transferred and sewn sachet pillow filled with fragrant lavender, rose, and lemon verbena - GROWN FROM HER OWN FRESH HERB GARDEN! Oh, so lovely and it smells DIVINE!

This is the back!

On the 5th day of Chanukah Judy Streger gave to me this FANTABULOUS .....Pierrot Doll! I had listed my favorite colors as black, white and red, and Judy used those colors just for me! He has a porcelain face and hands and button hair and can stand up all by himself! ...and look at that cool ruffle around his neck!

Judy loves making dolls and I love collecting them! for this exchange Judy made all of the dolls different. My doll, of course, is my FAVORITE!

On Day 6, Kara Kline made me an art book all about the "Joys" of Chanukah. It is so fabulous that I have pictures of all the various fabric and paper pages. It has lots of free motion sewing, stamping and embellishments. What a work of art! I also learned all about the Holiday in Kara's typical unique and humorous way!

Day 7 was my day. I made forged copper necklaces, that as Joanne says, were forged, folded,riveted and wired. They had little cyclone bird nests with a real turquoise stone egg and black polymer birds and copper wire with "drops" hanging out from a copper cone to simulate rain. I called them "sheleter from the rain". I only took this one picture (figures, huh?) but here it is:

On Day 8, the final day, (BOO HOO!) I received this spectacular collage painting ornament from Sandee Hyde. The background is multiple layers overglazed to look aged, yet very lovely. Atop this was a "dancing princess" butterfly hanging from the moon over a cloud. The back of the collage hanging was just as intricately and artistically embellished and - get this -Sandee cleverly created this stunning Chanukah ornament over a dimensional ribbon spool!

Alpha Stamps Giveaway
Alpha Stamps is one of my favorite online stores, and they are having a daily give away thru Jan 4th. All you have to do is comment daily on their blog. I am in no way associated with them, other than I have spent a lot of money there! They have amazing ribbons (bees, hearts, etc) and assorted weird embellishments and charms and doo dads. Their shipping cost is minimal and they have great stamps too, although this is not what I usually buy from them. Between them, "anima designs" and 'beads and charms" I am cash poor! So, just click on the picture logo or the link to go there.

Monday, December 08, 2008

12 days of Christmas...UPDATED....

I have been participating in a 12 Days of Christmas Swap with the Altered Art Divas....
This Swap has been a blast- HERE ARE ALL OF THE PHOTOS!!!!.......and a HUGE GARGANTUAN THANK YOU to all my Diva Friends who participated in this Swap - it was great fun and I miss the excitement of opening a wonderful new surprise each morning!

Day 1

Angela Hoffmann made this adorable flower pin with vintage fabric and a cheery matching button! It is hand sewn and embroidered to a felt backing. Angela packaged the brooch in a darling mini stocking. I can wear this fun brooch all year round!

Day 2

On Day 2 Christy Grant made this gorgeous photo album.....

This is ONE OPENED page of the Photo Album book...and it is a whole book full of pages that open like this- all different with various papers and illustrations! What a huge amount of work Christy put into this - and it is made absolutely perfect and precise...a real work of art!

Day 3

Andi Hinkle made a festive pin ornament ...but look - the pin comes off ......and you can wear it!

Here's a close-up - Look at the all the Christmas found elements Andi beautifully put together
to make this Christmas pin! Isn't it marvelous!

Day 4

This is the box that held Day's 4 treasure.

Jean Carter made incredible spoon ornaments......and then she handpainted this whimsical snowman scene! ...I am using mine as a necklace........

Day 5

Darlene Rolls made this dainty and delicate button and star ornament with a vintage photo and glittery snow! Perfect for my Victorian tree!

Day 6

Di Gilligan made this clever and unique tree ornament out of recycled laminate samples, with a jingly bell and white buttons. It was hung from a string of sparkly green and red glass beads. Di also made a fabulous art card announcing her terrific day 6 Gift!

Day 7

Peggy Gatto, the ornament Queen, made me this charming tiny gingerbread man ornament, all decorated with tiny yummy decorations. You can't see it in the picture, but the edges have just a perfect bit of sparkly glitter. The gingerbread man is mounted on a mini frame. The ornament came in this precious teddy bear tin, and Peggy included a vintage victorian stocking card. Just precious!

Day 8 - Today everyone opened MY gift. I made Icicle Angel Dolls. I stole everyone's photo from their blog and used those as the faces of the angels. here are some pics:

They are about 7 inches tall, with feather wings and beads around the faces.

Day 9

For Day 9 Kari Holbrook-McKnight took heavy canvas aprons with a big work pocket and embroidered our groups name inside a Christmas Star!

Here's a close-up. .....But wait - there was more! She also made a nifty business card holder out of the yummiest textured paper! Woohooo! Sp pretty I don't want to use it and get it all grungy with my shop mess! Sooo useful and just gorgeous!

Day 10

Lou McCulloch, for Day 10 made 2 presents! A darling stuffed and hand sewn bird ornament trimmed with beads and baubles, AND a Victorian ornament doll festooned in Christmas Ribbons! She presented her gifts in a matching red dot bag.

Day 11

Day 11's gift was made by Santa Torres. Santa took beautiful textured papers, a vintage photograph and crocheted lace and designed it into a one of a kind - and gorgeous! - journal. She personalized the journal with my initial! ...I have already begun to write in this beauty!

Day 12

On Day 12, the final day (Boo Hoo!) Terry Ross made this fantastic PMC Charm. She hand- carved the mold for the dove and filled the dove frame with resin and perfect pearls. Here's a close up...

Pretty amazing - isn't it!

...and this last gem of a gift was given to me by my dear friend Joanne Thieme Huffman.
Joanne was in a different 12 day swap Group than me, but we traded gifts anyway!

It's a Michigan Mermaid and she is a wonder! I already have her hanging on my bookcase where i can see her everyday!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Blackbird Giveaway Winner!

The random number generator has chosen:
Wilmafernsgirl as the winner! please send me your address so I can send the earrings to you!
...and thank you everyone who participated in this giveaway....

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Projects, Christmas blog giveaway.

I have been busy working on Christmas projects - I can't believe Christmas is in 3 weeks! Of course, I am not ready, as usual. I promised myself I would start early and get everything done with ample time so I could enjoy the holidays...but alas - I am woefully behind and feeling the pressure I swore I wouldn't let myself feel.
I am involved in 2 Christmas Swaps - "the 12 days of Christmas", which I have finished, but I can't post any pics until everyone opens their present from me on Dec 8th .
...and the "8 Days of Chanukah", which I haven't quite finished yet.
I did however, finish one more hand - this was the hand for my blog winner Fran - she requested a hand in has a cuff made of turquoise chips.

I also finished my charms for a Black and White swap hosted by Amber Dawn.
I am incredibly neurotic about by artwork. First I decided to use some seashells I had gathered. They weren't quite black and white enough, so I enhanced the contrast with some paint. Then I resined the outside to make them more durable and then I put a layer of resin inside the shells so I could adhere a picture to a level surface, with the intention of then filling the shell with more clear resin and maybe some silver and white micro beads. I couldn't get the pics to fit right and I just didn't like them.

This is as far as I got with the seashell idea before I lost patience with them....
Then I got the idea to take tiny clothespins (1") and paint them white, decoupage words on them, dip them in microbeads (what's with my sudden obsession with those dumb beads) and then seal them with a varnish.
Way, way junky.

...lousy picture, but they look worse in person.....
...and then I decided to do something simple, my old stand by. Birds! I made some polymer black birds. The first batch i painted with white to fill in the carved designs - they looked kind of barnwashed. But the waterbased varnish "made for polymer clay" dried a bit tacky feeling and they felt ugly..

Scummy rejected blackbirds
So....I made a 2nd batch. These I left black except for the eyes. I wanted them matte with shiny beaks, but after a lot of experimentation (wet sand them with fine grit sandpaper and then buff to a natural shine with your muslin buff attached to your dremel - yeah, right - they looked way dull) I just put a single coat of varathane on them (it always works!) and made them into little charms.

Blackbirds drying on a line in my spotless shop....

Finished Charms...thank you, God.
So, because I made extra birds, I'm giving away a pair of bird earrings....for you, or to give as a gift, or to take apart for your own creations!

Cernit Polymer bird, swarovski crystals, glass polka dot bead, sterling rondell on sterling earwires (not shown)
Just leave a comment to this blog post - and tell me how you're dealing with the joyous season of Christmas (which I love) and the stress of underachieving overachievement! I'll randomly draw one name next Sunday Dec 7th.