Monday, July 13, 2015

Traveling Again!

It seems that the hubby and I have a bit of wanderlust these days.  Actually, I think things

have been so intense for him with upcoming plans for a 30th year teaching kungfu anniversary that he needs to clear out of town each chance he gets.  This time, we escaped to a favorite spot in the mountains ...good ol' Asheville!  My pockets were kind of empty and so I did almost no hunting for precious bits to add into jewelry, but I couldn't resist a table that was set up in the town park square by the local mineral society.  ...Imagine rough Australian opals in deep purples and turquoises and magenta winking seductively, begging to come home with me.  How could I resist?  Then, imagine me early Sunday morning, wading in ankle deep water, foraging for shiny pebbles in a local creek!  Of course I filled my pockets!  I am so excited about all the raw stones I brought home with me.

My Sweetie scored too, as he made a connection with a long-time acquaintance that lives up there and they are planning to meet frequently and do some training together.  LOL!!!  ...Next time we go, I bring my mesh beach shoes and some more money!


I just finished another piece that was done as a commission.  Another stone lover wanted to wear one in a necklace and impress her grand-babies.  Her beautifully colored stone has a pattern in it that resembles a face.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Traveling!

After 7 years, my Sweetie and I were finally able to get away on a real vacation.  We headed out to the San Francisco Bay area for a week and a half of R&R to include shopping Chinatown, eating lots of great Chinese, Mexican, Indian, and bistro food.  My hubby teaches kung fu, and he met with his teacher each day for training.  I so wish I could say that it was our greatest trip ever, but I fell victim to a seriously bad head cold (I get one EVERY time I fly to California!!!) I coined a new descriptive as I lay drowning in post-nasal drip on the hotel bed:  "Fly-squash."   Yup, I felt like fly-squash. 

We did manage to do Chinatown one time, but neither of us had a heart for it.  It is high tourist time there, and prices were high and products were very junkie.  Most of our favorite shops have disappeared, with the exception of Vital Leaf Tea.  We stocked up on lots of Puer, a very earthy, aged tea, green and ginseng teas.  It has always been our delight to pause there for tea tasting and enjoy the knowledge and showmanship of the sales personnel.  I found some really good quality old Chinese coins to incorporate into "lucky  coin" jewelry.  I wanted to go back and get more goodies, but fly-squash doesn't fly.

We were happy to see that Sunnyvale downtown has been in a huge revival and is quite the interesting place to find many delicious restaurants with sidewalk seating.  Here I am after a hard day of being touristy at the Winchester Mystery House taking the "Behind the Scenes" and gardens tour, while we wait for a pizza....



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Been Bee-zy!

My mostly anonymous sister, of Wreckorated, was putting lots of bees on her Pinterest boards a while back, and since she is something of a muse to me, I borrowed the idea and made a focal and nature bracelet based on bee.  I was makng it for her, but she informed me she doesn't like to wear copper tones so I get to keep it for me.  I think I will be happy with that.

Bee~zy is now hot off the production line and waiting for a few finishing touches.  I couldn't wait to share.  It features real leather, hand-forged copper, hand-made wooded bead branch slices and hand-made soldered beads.  Metals are copper and steel.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Quickie

My brain has been going in so many directions recently that I craved a quickie project to just feel accomplished.  So, I made a beaded necklace to layer with the long turquoise necklaces I have been making. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Yard Art

It's Spring!  With all the wild things blooming and joyful. I want to get outside and enjoy it too.  I have been incubating a yard project for months and months, and driving my Sweetie crazy collecting his wine bottles.  His creative vision is very different than my own, and doesn't take up nearly as much space as mine do or require collections of stuff. 

I saw these images on Pinterest a year ago and have been collecting ever since.



I think the path paved with bottles could be hazardously slippery, and after all, who would want to dig in that far to plant bottles or risk broken glass under foot?  I really love the look of the bottles used for edging.  There is just one issue, and that is pesky mosquitoes.  We have a pond a yard away, and in warm weather, I have to spray the yard and we run from house to car or barbeque grill.  My Delicious Sweetie is a gourmet treat for those critters, and he can't get more than a few feet before swarms of them attack. So, what to do about those concave bottoms inviting water to collect and offer breeding spots for more critters?  I then thought of this image that I also love and blogger cathgrace has kindly given us a DIY for.

http://cathgrace.com/2011/08/garden-balls/
I am going to try a few before I commit to dozens, so I bought some small hard toy balls at the Dollar Store.  With stones added, they should fit right into the bottoms of the bottles and prevent water build up.  I think I may leave a few without balls, as I have read that small puddles of water this size are attractive to butterflies.  I have no clue how they will do in changing weather, so I am going to keep my fingers crossed on this one.  I also bought a few bags of glass pebbles.  I have adhesive and grout and sealer on hand already.

There is another issue.  My yard has lots of old oak and gum trees.  Our yard is lower than the others and years of rain run-off has left little workable topsoil.  Anywhere I dig is an impenetrable mass of tree roots.  I don't intend to fight nature, so I plan to wabi-sabi and do imperfect edging here and there, wherever I can dig a bottles in.



...Those balls I bought at the Dollar Store!  I had the bag on the floor and the Sweetie happened to bump it with his foot and an amazing thing happened.  Please pardon the blurry photo.....




...So, I examined it more closely and realized it is filled with a liquid that will probably break the ball in freezing weather.  I will have to go back for other balls, but isn't that just the coolest?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

In a Pink Mood

I can't believe I didn't share this with y'all.  About a month ago when it was still cold here in the deep south, I had to find a new winter jacket.  My old one was literally "loved to death."  I found one I liked and the fit was right, but PINK.  I don;t usually do pastel pink, but this wasn't half-bad, marked down and stylish.  So it came home with me.  Without a collar, my sensitive neck was needing a cowl and I do love a cowl.  Just happening to have the perfect yarns and colors to combine, I followed Jane Thornley's Once Upon a Cowl pattern, shortening it up to suit our not-so-frigid temps. 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Fever

Hyacinths, daffodils, forsythia, yellow jessamine, honeysuckle, and now the azaleas are all bursting into bloom.  It means our short Spring has arrived.  For the next two weeks, warmer temperatures and that longing to throw windows and doors open has to be ignored.  All the flowers and pine trees are filling the air with clouds of fine yellow pollen that piles up
everywhere, and makes my nose itch and sneeze and I have to bathe my burning eyes several times a day.

Going out is risky business, so now that I am stuck indoors, and sorta-kinda done with taxes, I took a break and got creative today.  Out came strings of turquoise beads and silvered chains and wire and anything that looked remotely good with turquoise.  I didn't get any serious tools or torches out today and just enjoyed the ease of beading.  This is a long necklace with dyed howlite or magnesite beads, carved turquoise beads, old "silver" trade beads, a sterling Hamsa hand, and a tiny Tibetan prayer box charm.  The tassel is hand-dyed silk.

This next necklace also has turquoise nuggets, tiny carved bone beads and dragon, and antique bronze metal with a hand-dyed silk cord and tassel.  I squeezed that in about three weeks ago.