Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Copper . . .

Copper, Swarovski crystals and coffee quartz.

Etched and domed copper, hand forged ear wires, rubies.

It's over so fast.

Christmas, that is. I wanted to share just a couple more photos so as to extend the joy for one more day. First, the lovely Linda McCabe (hey, isn't that one of my new leather cuff bracelets she's wearing?) and my lovely husband, Jim, relaxing during the chaos festivities.

Linda's lovely husband John brought delicious rumaki to accompany the many gourmet treats prepared by my sibling, Joy. Diet?? What diet??

A most awesome Scary Fairy ornament from Steve, Jen and Brittany. It's TOTALLY ME!!!

One of my most treasured ornaments ever -- made from Tom's handprint in preschool in 1980. That's his four-year-old hand in my significantly older one.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We've barely been home long enough to decorate the tree, but here it is. I've dug out all of my snowman ornaments including some I made years ago while living in Atlanta. I'd forgotten about those, so finding them was like a pre-Christmas gift.

Getting ready to leave for Chicago for the annual Christmas Eve festivities with the family and we're going to leave this wretched pointsettia home alone -- it can't get much worse, can it?


Also scored the last six-pack of O'Fallon's Cherry Chocolate beer in the city of Peoria. Six of us will be having a treat. To the rest, sorry -- maybe next year!

Miss P's ready to go!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm working on . . .

. . . something new. I saw a leather cuff bracelet some time ago that I really liked and wondered whether I'd be able to make one. We are lucky to have a Tandy Leather shop nearby and I had been in there a couple of times just looking around and thinking "I could never do this." The store manager is a delightful woman named Carmen who knows absolutely everything about working with leather. She set me up with the supplies I'd need for the bracelet and showed me the techniques required.

As I was leaving, I noticed a leather Christmas stocking hanging in the window. Carmen said they'd be having a class the following Saturday morning to learn to make one, so I signed up on the spot. I decided since I had long ago lost the stocking I made for little Tommy, it was high time for him to have a new model. Here's how it turned out:

And here are my first attempts at making bracelets:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Eeek! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In honor of Harry Potter . . .

. . . here's another one of my pieces featuring and eye. Not just any eye, an OWL eye.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Like the proverbial dirty shirt,

we're off. Jim and I are off on our trip to pick up our new RV in Fresno. This could seem trivial to many people, but I've not been further west of the Mississippi than Iowa. 

We boarded our flight to Dallas from Peoria, IL this morning around 7:00 am. American Airlines, small plane with one seat on one side of the aisle, two on the other. Very cozy. The flight was uneventful, probably because I was asleep for most of it.

After a two-hour layover in Dallas, we took off once again for Fresno. I'm told this is about a three-hour flight; I wasn't really watching the time since I was reading and napping. At some point, a particularly sharp elbow to the ribs jarred me awake and I checked out the view below. I have to say, probably for the first time of many on this trip, that I have never seen anything like this! I love it, I think it's beautiful, 

but I suppose it is considered wasteland by some.

Not too long after, an entirely different scene emerged -- the countless fields of California agriculture.

Crops soon gave way to an altogether different kind of growth.

Welcome to Fresno, California.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Did I mention . . .

. . . that in addition to her intelligence, compassion and wicked sense of humor my daughter Denise is my best non-furry friend?

And she cooks!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Have you ever wondered . . .

. . . what traveling artists do between shows? Here's a sampling of how they fill their time.

They hang out with their friends.

Make new friends.

Explore new places.

Play in the mud . . .

. . . or relax on the beach.

They catch up on the laundry . . .

. . . and their rest.

And at the end of the day, they return to their home away from home.

Rust Belt Market!!!

What trip to Michigan could be complete without a visit to the Rust Belt Market? Located in the very charming town of Ferndale, the Rust Belt Market is a super venue for the local art talent. If you're ever in the area, you owe it to yourself to stop in!

Visit the lovely Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood and take home some treasures! I did!

Check out this comfy lounger made of black rubber thingys normally used for toilet tank repairs!

Handmade doll amulets!

Snag some record album bowls for your chips and pretzels!

Stroll around this sweet little town and have a delicious lunch -- so many places to choose from!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ubiquitous . . .

. . . is a word I first heard long ago in my first Microbiology class. Roughly translated, it means "found everywhere." The lovely Janet Hill, owner of Free to Bead in Peoria Heights, Illinois, taught me to make this bracelet. Which I now find is "ubiquitous." A quick survey of  Etsy.com shows versions of this style available for $3, $390 (yes, that's THREE HUNDRED and change) and the entire range of prices between.

Still, it's a cute style and very "zen" to make. A couple of hours of weaving leather, silk and beads produces a nice little accessory. To do my part in continuing the ubiquitous-ness, I've got my friend Taylor making these as well.

Doing a great job, isn't she?

Here's Taylor with her BFF, Emily. And my BFF, Peanut. To know just how precious this photo is, you would have to been witness to Emily's previous terror of my furry friend. Looks like we've cured that fear, eh?