Relaxing in the Rainforest-Ecuador

Relaxing in the Rainforest-Ecuador
Natalie and Grandma

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life of Pi

We saw a movie this weekend that was one of the most moving and visually stunning movies I've seen in a long time.  We saw "Life of Pi".  I have waited years after reading this book to see it done as a movie and I was not disappointed.  It was a wonderful and thought inspiring book and the movie did not disappoint.  The movie is so well done and does justice to the book.  We saw it in 3-D, and that did add to the movie, but it would be just as stunning in regular movie format.  The story picks you up and takes you away to places that you can only imagine.  The story is moving and though provoking.  It lead to days of discussion afterwards.  The music is equally as beautiful and I plan to buy the soundtrack as soon as possible.  I would recommend this movie to everyone, it is one of the best movies I've seen in a long, long time.
This scene in the movie had me crying.  It broke my heart to see how they were suffering and the moment that there was finally a sense of trust in Richard Parker.  I loved this movie.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm hoping that this Friday will be exciting.  I'm going to attend the Canyon Ridge High School tailgate party at the HS for their homecoming.  I've been asked to set up a table and sell jewelry there to benefit the Speech/Debate team.  They want me to set up 2 long tables with jewelry.  Sounds like fun!  Canyon Ridge High School

Friday, September 7, 2012

Well, the county fair is over and the leaves are starting to fall once again.  The grapes are ripening up on the vines and the flowers aren't drooping as much from the heat.   There is a plethora of squash and beans right now from the garden.  School has begun and we have made it through our first week of school.  Our refugees are from different parts of the world once again.  We have students from Nepal, Africa, South America, Thailand, and Mexico.  Quite a mix!  All with interesting stories and fun to work with.  Should be another interesting year.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nina Designs Blog Partnership Program

Recently Nina Designs contacted me about a jewelry blog partnership and I agreed to participate.  They sent me a goodie box with some fun pieces.

Here are some photos of the goodies that I received.  There was on piece of green silk ribbon, 4 earring pieces, some head pins, gold rings, 2 lotus flower charms, some connected flower petal charms, and one pendant piece that looked like leaves or flower petals.

I took everything out of the box and set it out for a day and just looked at the pieces and tried to decide what I would do with them all.  I didn't have to use all of them and I could use anything else that I had to make what ever I wanted.

To me there was an orient, lotus blossom theme.  The color of all the items was gold and the green, silk ribbon.  I ended up digging through all my beads and "stuff" to see if anything struck my fancy.  I found one piece of black metal with a lotus blossom, water lily theme, but it was all black.  I got out my perm ink stains and painted the flowers and lily pads with iridescent paints.  The problem was that there were a couple of places that one could slide a piece through to make it into a bracelet.  I found a metal dragonfly that set on the outside and covered one of the openings.  I didn't have anything for a pendant that was as gold colored and the gold pieces they sent.  I did have an antique gold pendant with the same petal shapes that the pendant they sent had.  I added some brighter gold to it and then put the black piece on top.  I then put a protective coating over the pieces to protect the stain. The petal/leaf piece that was in my goodie box was next.  I added it above the main pendant as a connector for the chain.  The leaf shape was a great match to the pendant.  From there I uses the blossom charms as connector pieces  to start the chain.

I found some pearl beads that were a close match to the stain I used on the flowers on the pendant and then a glass and gold bead.  I put these together and used a couple of the gold rings provided.  The rings didn't have an opening so I used some of my tiny rings to connect them to the beads.  I used the green silk ribbon by threading it through the top rings and doubling it so that it ties behind the neck.

I did have some help from my trusty companion during all this.  T.S. Eliot, my BIG helpful cat was there and got into the photos as well.
T. S. Eliot

He decided that he would just stretch out and get right in the middle of everything.  He has his own spot on my table.  (You can see it in the Messy Room Blog Hop photos)  Today he wanted the WHOLE table.
With this piece finished I moved on to some more of the pieces they sent.
I picked the teardrop/flower petal pieces to work with next.  I love the color orange and don't do a lot of jewelry with that color.  I'm a Leo and fire colors are my favorite.  This time I decided that orange and red were the colors to use.  I found 2 white beads with a similar lotus pattern in red and orange.  To those I added a gold bead at each end.  I also love dragonflies and found a gold finding that matched the gold.  What I did was turn the dragon fly over and noticed a groove in the back.  There was a hole at the top of the piece but not at the bottom.  I wanted to connect the dragonfly to the chain at both ends.  I took a tiny eye pin and laid it in the groove on the back and glued it in.  Now I had a ring at both ends!  I thought about wire wrapping the pin, but the glue seemed to hold it.
dragon fly with eye pin added to end

 I found an orange, red and gold flower that has a gem in the center and made it the main pendant.  Nina Designs sent me 2 of the connected, 3 petal/drop pieces so I used them as part of the chain to connect the glass beads to the pendant and dragonfly.  After that I used some red and orange glass beads with some small red beads to finish the chain up.  I added some gold chain that the whole piece hangs from. 
finished necklace
 Now, I don't make a lot of earrings.  They just aren't big sellers for me in my etsy shop so I don't have many listed.  I do make them and sell them in a little coffee shop that sells my jewelry.  But, having said that I had some really nice earring pieces to work with from Nina Designs.
Sticking with the red color theme I found some red glass eye shaped beads.  I took gold wire and made a loop to hang them from.  I used the larger earrings pieces and then took the 4  remaining rings that were sent and put them on the front and back of the bead.  I really did like the look of them.  And as Brenda Sue from B'sue Boutiques says, "easy peasy!"

I made another pair of earrings with the last earring pieces that were enclosed.  They were some very nice hammered front pieces.  I used, once again, a glass, flat sided, red bead and attached them to the earring back.  I used the last 2 gold rings and dangled them from the bottom of the red bead.

It was a real challenge for me to come up with something from "given" stuff.  This is the first time I've done this.  I hope that there will be more in the future.  I really enjoyed making these pieces.  The only thing that I didn't use were the gold head pins.  They would make beautiful flower centers sometime in the future.  Big thanks to Nina Designs for asking me to participate in the blog partnership.

Legal stuff: The materials above were provided as part of the Nina Designs blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.Yadda, Yadda. :0)


Monday, April 30, 2012

New Jewelry and alcohol inks

I've been playing with alcohol inks lately and been having fun.  I use metal, polymer clay, dominoes and glass to ink stain.  They give an almost tye dyed effect to the items.  In between each addition of color I heat the piece to set the ink, let it cool and add more ink.  It is fun to watch the colors blend, boil and mix.  I have added a coating of resin over the top to help protect the ink.  If they were to be sprayed with perfume, cologne, or anything containing alcohol, they would remix or disappear.  The first piece here is a necktie piece from B'sue Boutiques that I stained and added a couple of gears and put resin over.  Not too sure about the glass beads.  I don't know if they are too much for the necklace. But I went ahead and used them.  I can always re-do the necklace if need be.

The next piece is an example of what can be done with dominoes and the ink.  This is a regular domino and I used different colors of blue on the domino.  Resin over the top again and I added a metal evil eye finding and a silver metal swirl.

The ink is a little pricey, it runs $3-4 for a tiny little bottle.  It doesn't take much to
do the jewelry so it does last a long time.  There are so many combinations of
colors that it is so much fun to work with.

I also use the ink with tiny paint brushes to paint the swirls on this piece.
The main red/pink color is dropped on the metal and I use a small square of felt
to dab the ink and move it around.  After letting it cool I used a very tiny paint brush and put a drop on my
cutting board and dip the paint brush to paint the swirls on the heart.

Using the ink is fun, but it is permanent and will stain anything.  I use the Tim Holtz bottles of ink.  Pick up a couple and give it a try!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

After the Mess

Beauty amid chaos
Well, the blog hop is over and was it ever fun.  This is the first blog hop that I had participated in.  I got to see into 50 other crafter's spaces and learn from them.  I learned that many of us have cats!  Some that even look just like Eliot.  I learned that all our spaces look pretty much the same even if it is a spot in the living room or an entire basement.  We all love our spaces and treasure the time we get to spend in them.  We have pretty tolerant families who understand the "mess" and sometimes participate in making the mess.  Now none of us feel like our craft rooms have to be the show places that we all see and drool over in the magazines.  If it isn't messy, there isn't any creating being done. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Messy Blog hop

This blog is all about my messy craft room.  It is for B'sue Boutiques blog hop.  I will have a listing of other blogs to hop to that are all about messy craft rooms.
I have added notes on the photos to guide you through the mess.  Hopefully you won't get lost!
Here is the opening shot of my craft room.  As you can see it is very messy and crowded.  I have shelves and shelves of stuff. 
 This is one corner of my craft room.  I found that if I take the wheels off the stacking drawers I can stack them up.  I can't move them, but there really isn't anywhere for them to go.  They are filled with craft supplies, sewing thread and scrapbook paper.  My shelves are mostly taken up with scrapbook paper and supplies.

I had to put shelves up this fall to hold more things.  I saved the sugar and flour bins from my grandmother and also found one at a thrift store.  The boxes that look like books have the die cut pieces for my Sissix machine.  They fit pretty nicely inside them.  I inherited tons of ribbon and braid from my grandmother and mom and they are stored in drawer bins all over the top of things.

 This is what is under the shelves.  I have a small folding table under the shelves.  I want to use it for scrapbooking, but right now it is stacked with stuff.  I have more storage drawers on each side of the table and some under the table.  I keep everything from blank journal books to my printer ink in the drawers.  The 3 tiered piece Cliff got me to take to shows to help display my jewelry on.  My sign says "I am a material girl.  Want to see my fabric collection?"  My fabric is stored in 2 hallway closets outside of this room.  I inherited my fabric from my mom and grandmother.  I have my Dracula memorabilia hanging on my wall.  Some friends of my parents brought them back from their trip to Romania. My gargoyle collection is finally in the living room where it should be.  My ex hated my gargoyles and made me keep them out of the living room.  I have lots of extras of everything, because when my mom and grandmother passed away I got double and triple of everything. 
 As you can see I am not only a jewelry maker, but I love scrapbooking.  That has taken a sideline for a bit while I make jewelry but I can't seem to stop buying paper.  What I usually do is buy the big pads of paper and split it with my daughter and daugher-in-law so all three of us get to have some of the paper and I don't need 3 copies of each pattern! 
 I ran out of shelf space of course.  I do plan to purge and clean this summer.  My favorite thing in my craft room are my new wireless speakers that Cliff gave me for Christmas.  I plug in a device in the living room and my music is wirelessly broadcast back to my speakers in the craft room.  This way I don't have to tune up my stereo in the living room and blast out the neighbors.  I need to stack and re-stack some of the things in front of my shelves.  I have about 3 or 4 regular sewing machines and 2 sergers.  I inherited them from gram and my mom.  I also have tons of photos to scrapbook.  Cliff also bought me a negative scanner so that I can scan my old negatives and print the photos to scrapbook. 
 I finally found something that works for my finished jewelry.  I bought the peg boards at Michael's at 50% off and I hang my finished products on them.  This way I can see them at a glance and they aren't just laying around somewhere.  I do have a lot of stock.  I plan to reorganize some of the drawers this summer so that they are more efficient. 
 Now for my jewelry making stuff!  This is all between the 2 tables that I use.  I have a rolling chair that I use that sits in this area.  Unfortunately there is carpet in this room so I put down those plastic office mats.  They help some, but want to have wood floors eventually.  I found these large bins in Joann's on sale and put more of my scrapbook paper in them and stack them against the wall.  Cliff gave me some tupperware containers for some of my jewelry supplies.  I separated my different colors of chain and put them each in bins that I got very cheap at Walmart.
 This is my working area on my table.  I got a large acrylic cutting board to do my jewelry work on.  You can find them used at the thrift store and then throw them away when they get trashed.  I also find large ceramic floor tiles at the thrift store for 50 cents and I solder on them and do some gluing on them as well.  I love the thrift store and get teacups and sugar/creamer pieces that are vintage pieces and put things in them on my table.  They are handy, pretty and usually cost 50 cents there.  I got the white lazy susan at Michael's on sale and I keep my scissors and things in it on my table.  T. S. Eliot has decided that I work best while he lays on his blanket on my table.  The only thing I hate is the cat hair. 
More of my table:
I have my heat tool and dremel tool on my table all the time ready to use.  I also re-purposed an old spice holder and containers from Tupperware.  The lazy susan has all the containers neatly contained on it and they are semi transparent.  They are great and can probably be found at yard sales and thrift stores.  I found some pretty glass bottles that were missing the tops at Real Deals one day.  They were 75% off and I put my paint brushes in them.

 My "extra" table that I planned to do scrapbooking on.  Right now is piled with boxes of jewelry making stuff.  I buy the pretty boxes at Michaels when they are 60% off and put small containers inside them to store my beads and findings.  A note about Michael's  They offer a discount for teachers that is for your entire purchase.  Teachers just have to show some sort of ID.  Joann's does an educator discount as well as Barnes and Noble.   I also bought a small suitcase at Real Deals with a coupon and use it to take my jewelry to shows.  I decorated the outside and when not in use at the show I use it for containing some of the jewelry I'm selling.  I turn it up on end so it looks like a steamer trunk and hang necklaces down from the end of the suitcase.  This is one of the areas I plan to redo and make more accessible in the future.  I used to have my sewing machine cabinet here, but it was way too hard to sew there.

Here are my current favs for listening to while I work.  I'm pretty much a rebel without a clue and I love hard rock.  Ozzy is my favorite singer.  That is why I have to have the wireless speakers, the neighbors would complain if I had to tune them up to hear my music in the back of the house. :)
 And here is my constant companion Mr. T. S. Eliot.  He is my big black cat (with orange toes).  He thinks he is such a help.  The gets bored and will reach over and knock things off the table.  So far he has not been scared off by the heat tool running nor the Dremel tool.  The vacuum cleaner is another story.  He hisses at it and runs.  He also takes up a lot of room when he lays down on the table and stretches out.

 Crafts Are Cheaper Than Therapy!
This is my collection area.  I collect Ozzy Osbourne stuff.  So I have one shelf just for that stuff.  I also Love the pictures of Lady of Shallot and that is why she is on my business cards and my Etsy page.  My daughter Rachel gave me this print of the Lady one year for Christmas.  The drawers all have beads in them separated by color.  I keep my resin and inks in the brown drawers in little baskets to pull out when I need them.  
 This is a cabinet/shelf that I found at a yard sale last summer.  I LOVE it.  I put it at the end of my table and it fit perfectly.  I also have old bottles that I have found over time.  I have mason jars of old wooden spools of thread that my grandmother and mom had.  This is also where I use teacups and sugar bowls for odds and ends.  My pencils are on the window sill in cups and other containers.  I found the little suitcase at the thrift store and decoupaged over the outside and have my shipping/packaging supplies in it.

 I got these three drawer things at Office Max on sale.  I put my beads in them sorted by color.  Some of the beads are in baggies some are in containers.
 This is my Super Uber fancy resin station.  It is an old cookie sheet with wax paper over it.  It is sitting on top of my 3 drawer bead holder.  Not fancy but cheap!  The cookie sheets can be purchased at the dollar store and than recycled!

 I found these big containers on sale at Office Max.  They had matching little boxes that fit inside the bigger boxes.  I put a lot of my metal findings and specific pieces in the little boxes with labels on top.  For example one containers has sun, stars, moons.  One has keys, etc.  The little square ones have transparent covers on them.  The big boxes stack really well on top of each other.

The square containers are pretty handy.  I can move them around and stack them up on each other.  They were not expensive at Office Max and I used a coupon to buy them.
Some of the containers inside are Tupperware, some are bought at the dollar store and others are from the same company that the big boxes are from.  They snap closed and the lids lock on very nicely.

I store a lot of stuff under this table.  It is against the wall and I have crates with my magazines and books in them.  I have one shelf in the closet that has books on it.  It is full.  I bought some closet hangers that hang on the rods and put them in the closet.  They are like mini shelves inside the closet.  Now, if I could get the closet doors opened......
The little rolling cart can be pulled out (on a good day) and it has my glass tiles, scrabble tiles, stamp pads, microscope slides etc. in the drawers.  I have my stamps in a bag on the floor for the time being.  I need to re-arrange and find somewhere else to store them.
I bought one of these white see into drawers at Michael's when they had their storage stuff on sale.  They are really easy to put together and store a lot.  They have see into fronts and are deep drawers.  I bought several different types of little containers to store beads in.  These are all beads in these 2 drawers.

This is another set of drawers that stack that are from Michael's.  I have my glitter, resin and Alcohol inks in these drawers.  There is a shelf at the top of the first one and it has some paints and other things on it.

I found the magnetic strips things at the dollar store and hung them on the wall.  I went to Cost Plus and found the spice holders with magnetic pieces on the bottom.  They work great as long as I don't knock them off the wall.  The silver ones are from Michael's, again on sale.  The are divided into 4 parts and hold on the strips as well.

These are the peg boards that I bought to hang my finished pieces on.  They help me keep track of my stock.
This is the end of my work table.  The drawers fit under without the wheels on it.  The drawers are nice and deep and hold a lot of scrapbook stuff, my Dremel tool (when I put it away), Soldering gun, and some of my rubber stamps.  My newer magazines are on the top as well.  This summer I plan to get everything up off the floor and find some place to put it all.

Well, this is my Messy Work Space and I would love to hear any ideas of what I could do differently.  I don't want to get rid of stuff, just find a way to store it all better.  I love my craft room, it is well lit (it was an office for the previous owner) and has florescent lights and a large window.  I love spending time in there even when it is as messy as it is right now.  When school gets out I plan to do some work on re-arranging and picking up.  Let me know what you all think!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne
Robin Delargy:
Kim at Cianci Blue
Jennifer Jazwick-Smith
Mary Shannon Hicks
Tracy Swartz
Jacqueline Marchant
Lynnea Perry Bennett
Terry Matusyk
Laurel Steven
Dr. Brassy Steamington
Pamela Takeshige
Kris Lanae Binsfeld
Outre Art
Linzi Alford
Deb Davis
Tamara Jones
Harry Wood
Gerry Nickerson
Elizabeth Owens-Dwy
Georgene Lockwood
Charisa Sloper
Jennifer Justman
Mary Deis
Cheri Reed
Sondra Kolner
Sonya Ingersoll-Stille
Lori Anderson
Sandra McGriff
Shelly Joyce
Joan Williams
Kashmira Patel
Deb Beechy
Ginger Bishop
Kelli Jacobson
Natalie McKenna
Andrew Thornton
Mary Govaars
Kate Mulligan
Lisa Lodge
Tami Luchini
Monique Lula
Lee Koopman
Jayne Capps
Susan Lloyd
Cynthia Wainscott
Stephanie Amanti
Alicia Marinache
Sam Hamp
Lennis Carrier