Sunday, April 27, 2008

250 Posts and Metal Art

THIS IS MY 250TH POST!!!! I started this blog in January of 2006. It is hard to believe that I have posted 250 times. How could I possibly have that much to say? I have to say that this blog has been such a wonderful experience for me. It has been my outlet for venting, my place to share, my place to make new friends, and a place to explore my thirst for new and creative ideas. I have developed some awsome friendships through my blog and seriously, I don't know how I would have made it through the last 2 years without them and their support. We are so blessed to have this avenue of finding those with common interests. I just can't say enough about it.

That being said, I want to celebrate this moment (250 posts) by sponsoring a give away. I'm going to give one (random drawing) person a 20.00 gift certificate from Dick Blick art supplies. In order to participate you must;

  1. Post a comment here about one of my 2006 blog entries. You can find them by searching the dated posts on the side bar.
  2. Post a link to my blog on your site.

Now, let me tell you what I have been up to. I have been experimenting with metal and found objects to make jewelry. You would not think that this would be so difficult right? But, I have been learning so much about working with metals. It is amazing how what works with copper does not necessarily work with tin or brass or steel. It is nice to have a new media to work with. This is a found object bracelet I finished today. I think it is so cool that you can recycle metal objects to create something like this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Metal Art Jewelry

I have finished several more pieces. Here is one that I finished last night. I call this one "Treasures". The bottom part of the charm is an old medalian celebrating some banks anniversary. I don't know where I found that! The top part is an old watch piece I had. I created the art inside and used the ultra thick embossing powder inside to give it the glassy look. I purchased the chain and attached the connectors.

I have to tell you about my successful Saturday garage sale shopping. I went to five garage sales. I have not been in a long time. Me and my mom used to go all the time. Anyway, I got some great stuff. I found several tins to cut out for jewelry. I found two things of soldering tape for 50 cents. Wow! What a savings. The last garage sale I looked and looked an only found a couple of tin containers. Finally I asked her if she had any old jewelry. She pulls out two bags of jewelry. I found so much stuff to use in my jewelry making. I only paid 75 cents for a whole lot of stuff. So, I get home and discover a lot of it is sterling silver. One watch, to my great surprise is a Rolex! It is in good shape too. I'm gonna keep that for myself. Just gotta get a battery for it. I also found a tarnished silver looking necklace. I polished it and it is beautiful. I don't know what kind of metal it is but there is a tiny "made in Italy" engraved on the connection piece. I do believe I'm going to continue my garage sale adventures.

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Found Object Piece

I'm just intrigued with the found object jewelry. I like the idea of turning junk into treasures. I am going to call my new "line" (heehee) "Jonque A Tresor". That is "junk to treasure" in French. Don't you love that? Anyway, this is my first finished piece. I called it "Key to My Heart". This pic is not the greatest. You just gotta see it in person. I can't decide if I will list it on Etsy or try and get a bunch made and take to an Art show/fair or something. I also love my packaging. It was suggested by a friend to use tin boxes to keep with the rustic look. I did not want to spend a lot of time rusting tin boxes and preparing them so I purchased some at Michaels. You know the little gift card tins? Then, I sewed a little quilted padding out of vintage looking material for the box. I made some little cards with the "Jonque A Tresor" label.

Here is a pick of the packaging-also not a great pic. I need a better camera that takes nice close ups. My little Kodak easy share just does not do close ups. Sigh.
Cody finally called us Saturday night. It was very brief and sounded like he was reading from a script. He gave his address and was very stern like "could you please repeat that back to me". You could tell he was rushed and so basically all we got was his address and instructions about not sending packages and "bye mom I love you and Dad" CLICK! But, you know what? That did me a world of good. I just needed to hear his voice. Thanks again for all your kind words about Cody and your prayers. I pray for his success and that God will just wrap his loving arms around him. I also pray for angels to hold Cody's tongue so he don't smart off and get in trouble~! Happy Monday and hugs!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Found Object Jewelry

First of all I have to say a big thanks to all of you who commented about Cody's departure. I feel like printing all that out and sending it in Cody's first letter. He knows how I am about my blog friends. You are all precious to me and you don't know how much it helps to hear your comforting words. I'm doing better. Just kinda antsy to get our first call. I have paper and pen ready by the phone so we can get his address. They are not allowed to give it until they get there. Enough about that!

I have dove into my found object box and started making some found object jewelry. This weekend, I learned how to drill metal, hammer it out if needed and make it have a faux patina. I played for several hours with many pieces like washers, watch parts, and all kinds of things I have found on the ground. Well, most of it I found. My husband finds little treasures for me as do some of my friends. It's funny because when they give me some little metal object they picked up off the ground, it is like receiving the finest gifts. I think it is so thoughtful of them to do this for me. Anywhoooo.......I know I babble. This piece started out with a crown but I could not get it to cooperate with the jump ring or the chain so I had to dethrown this queen. Sorry!

I made this dragonfly soldered charm necklace for my friend Kim. She loves dragonflies and she specifically requested a necklace with a dragonfly! So, I gave it to her yesterday and she said she really liked it. I'm experimenting with doing some new and different things with my soldered charms and when I finish a few pieces, I will share them. Well, must get ready for work...but Happy Hump Day and hope your Creative Juices are flowing! Hugs!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Newbie Blogger

Meet my new friend Carolyn. She just posted her first blog post. Let's reach out to her and help her get a start in this thrilling and sweet blog world. Here is her link: Eight Golden Paws . She is a teacher and a budding artist. Please go and see her first blog post and giver some cheers! Yay! Go girl! Hugs. Lesley

Clutter and Tears

It is a weird title huh? Let me explain. I have not blogged in a several days because I have been feeling blah! I kinda lost my mojo. I get this way every now and then and I think lots of people do. I have been struggling with the idea that my son will be leaving for boot camp tomorrow. Most of you know that he joined the Air Force and though this is what we wanted for him and we are very excited, we will miss him terribly. I have had a few teary moments but I think I'm done with that. Ha! I say that, he has not left yet. The other morning, I was washing dishes and it occurred to me that he will probably never live in Big Spring again. Duh, there are no airforce bases here. We used to have Webb Air force base but that closed in the 70's. I think the closest one is in Abilene. But, knowing Cody and his high aspirations, he will want to go some place exotic and far away. So that made me sad. But, at the same time....More Power To Him! Live your dreams little birdie and FLY.... but don't forget your Mom and Dad! That is the tears part of the title.
Now for the clutter part. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with clutter! Clutter in my house, clutter in my work car, clutter in my purse, clutter, clutter, clutter. There is even clutter in my brain and my calender is how you say it? "CLUTTERED"! I just need to do some major spring cleaning and dejunking. I feel like I'm constantly coming in my front door with more stuff and out the backdoor to the trashcan with discarded stuff! It is a vicious cycle. So, I think I will take a little time today to make a list and prioritize and start knocking out some of this clutter! So, wish me luck with OPERATION DE CLUTTERING!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Muse

I received the above piece of art from my dear friend Donna from Fort Worth. She and I have been conversing via email for a while now and we have become quite good friends. She made this collage by using a photo of me when I was a baby. Apparently, she swiped it from my Flickr. It is so cute and personal. Can you see her fingerprints throughout the piece? Thanks Ms. Donna. You are my friend and muse.

Another muse/friend of mine sent me a little special something last week. My friend Marah from California sent me this last week. I feel very spoiled and blessed with friends. I don't know what I would do without my friends. They influence and inspire me so much. Marah is the one that gave me the kick start to get to doing workshops and I have been so fulfilled in doing them. She saw something in me that I did not see. Plus, this is a personal gift because she knows I love my books. So, she sent me a bookmark ( a very special one at that) Thanks Marah! You are my friend and muse.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Mixed Media Workshop Update

Today was my mixed up mixed media workshop at Hobby Lobby. I had 7 lovely women attend and I feel like it went real good. Today, we learned about several different background techniques. I planned on teaching 10 different techniques but time got away from us and I only did about 6-7 techniques. I have a handout on the computer if any of you bloggers want a copy just drop me an email. It is just pictures. We went through everything pretty quickly and though I mentioned several resources, I felt that I should follow up by creating a list they could print out. So, I will be emailing this link to all who provided their email address.

Portfolio Water Soluble Oil Pastels: Just click on this link and it will take you to a great discount art supplier on-line. There is another brand called "CARAN D'ACHE"
and they may have them at Hobby Lobby. I think I have seen them there. They are skinny like a crayon and harder. They don't melt as easy but to me, they are not as smooth and messy like I prefer. If you are a neater artist, you might like these.

H20 shimmering watercolors: I found this site that sells them. Or you can do a search for "shimmering watercolors" or "twinkling watercolors". I have been getting them and the portfolio pastels on ebay.

Stazon Ink- I just prefer this brand of ink pad for the stamp and glaze technique. It is available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. It runs about 7.99 so take a coupon or wait till they are on sale and buy several. But, you can also get them at an on-line discount art supply like this one.

Collage Elements and Photos: You may have to join flickr to get these. All of the photos in this group are supposed to be copyright free. You can get tons of great vintage pictures here. You can also get all kinds of old advertisements and all kinds of ephemera. Here is that link. Remember that it is better to get photo copies not ink jet prints. These tend to run and fade with collage.

Great Magazines
Somerset Studios-They have several different publications and I love them all. You can pick these up at Barnes and Noble.

Cloth Paper Scissors- Always full of tutorials that are so helpful. You won't ever throw this magazine away. I have some that are so beat up from going over and over them.

I hope that helps. I enjoyed the class and look forward to you coming back to the collage class on April 26th same time. More about that later.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

More Etsy Stuff

Yesterday, I noticed I had about 10 new people who "hearted" me on Etsy. That has never happened in one day. I also sold the "Red Poppies" piece. So, I concluded that something must have happened. I must have been on front page or in the treasury. I contacted some of the people who hearted me and none of them could recall exactly what led them to my etsy. Durn! One person said she saw me in the same treasury she was in but I could not find whatever treasury list that was.

I started researching to see if I could do a search to see if I was in the treasury. After doing much looking, searching and research on the Etsy Forums, I have found that the only way you can know if you are on the treasury lists is if while you are checking out the list you see a gold star next to the title of each treasury list. I looked and looked but never saw a gold star. Maybe the list I was on (if I was on one) expired. That is another thing.....I can't ever get on etsy when the treasury lists are not full. I want to create a list! I did manage to create a couple of lists several months ago. So.....what is the secret? What time of morning do you have to get up to be in line to create a list?

I'm thinking if I can ever create a list, I'm going to promote my blog friends. What would be a cute title for that etsy list? Apparently, that is a good way to promote yourself. I sold something and got 10 new hearts in one day. Wow. I did not even think of that. I would like to ask my blog friends to help me figure out how to get a list on the treasury. Then, we need to commit to listing each other on the treasury list. Maybe we could title the list "Me and My Blog Buddies" or something like that? Please comment and join in on this marketing opportunity. I will keep a list of anyone who comments that they are interested in this so that if I ever get a list....I will post something of yours on etsy.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Creative Journaling

My creative journaling class for the young ladies is Wednesday....that is tomorrow~ I got my plans ready yesterday evening and I have all the supplies ready.

I came up with this list I wanted to share.

7 Good Reasons to do a Creative Journal
  1. It is a healthy means for expressing ones self. Example: Anger can be diffused through journaling before acting out in a negative way.
  2. It is a place to express hopes and dreams
  3. It is a means for exploring ideas and brainstorms. Most of my art starts in my journal as an idea.
  4. You can learn so much about yourself...if you do it long begin to see patterns.
  5. Creative journaling is a great way to relax and is a wonderful stress reliever
  6. You can increase your creative thinking through journaling. Creative thinking can help you in your job, education, and personal life.
  7. You can have a record of wonderful moments in your life to warm your heart later when you might need a little heart warming.