Friday, November 14, 2014

A Challenge Completed

The art group I am in, Portland Art Collective , is having bi-monthly challenges this year.  For November, we were to grab a magazine, one with lots of pictures, close our eyes and flip through the pages stopping at a random page.  The page you landed on was the one you were to use for inspiration for a piece of art.  Ok...that's easy.  While in the basement organizing a few things, I saw a pile of National Geographics and decided to grab four and use them for my inspirations. 

Four, you say?  Yep, why make just one necklace when you can make four and have four times the beady fun.  I flipped through them, arbitrarily stopping to open the pages and see what I had picked.
Have you ever really noticed how much blue there is in the NatGeo pictures?  For my picks, there is a LOT of blue.  A challenge indeed.

I spent some time looking at them, trying to figure out how I wanted to use the pictures, finally coming up with idea of color and texture.  Then it was off to the bead room to see what I could find for the newly forming ideas for my necklaces.  I had most of the beads in inventory, but I did have to buy a few things, (oh my...having to buy beads, what a sacrifice...not!) 

Here are the inspiration pages, in the order they were picked, and the necklaces inspired by them -

November 1996
Pages 20-21
The picture was taken by Discovery of forest fires burning in Borneo as it flew overhead in September 1991.  You can barely make out the shoreline, the sea and land seem to blend together.  I chose Sodalite nuggets, glass pearls and three beautiful porcelain pendants to represent the sea, land and smoke.  Pretty blues and white for this three-in-one necklace.

July 1996
Pages 68-69
A kayaker making his way through the glacial ice off Greenland.  Sea and ice, ice and sea.  Where does all the ice come from?  Little, tiny snowflakes that fell many thousands of years ago.  Small glass crystal snowflakes, in blue and clear, dangle from a silver plated chain.

June 1996
Page 67
Climber Miguel Zdrate rescues an "Ice Maiden" mummy from a mountain top in Peru.  This picture fascinated and sadden me thinking of those poor, young girls who were sacrificed to the gods.  This necklace uses Labradorite clips and a teardrop pendant mixed with Mother-of-Pearl chips and small Coral beads.

September 1996
Pages 14-15
The Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis during the summer solstice.  Someone had a lovely bird-headed cape draped over one of the stones.  When I first saw these stones, they reminded me of Tiger-eye.  I was able to find a five piece set of rough chunks and mixed them with light blue crystals and Mother-of-Pearl beads. 

I'm happy with the way the pictures and necklaces came together and hope you like them too. Now, didn't I tell there was a lot of blue in these pictures?  ;)

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Lost Summer

Can you lose a summer?  I was busy and then I wasn't and then I was again.  It kept going like that all summer long.  Time has zipped past and now it's the middle of September!  Holy Cow!!!

I did get my garden planned and planted.  Because we have slugs, by the legion, we decided to do container gardening this year.  The containers, however, are 75 gal. water troughs.  Placed on pallets, they are just the right height and big enough to have quite a few plants in each. 


 Hardware screen, round rock and good composted soil, from Boring Bark, filled up four of the tubs and two round planters.  The planters got one Anaheim pepper and one Asian Pear tomato each.  They were the only two plants that I bought, the rest were all grown from seed.  Peas, carrots, two kinds of green beans and cucumbers and a summer squash filled up the four tubs.  After getting everything planted and growing, the deer paid a visit.  So...out came the horse panels and I corralled my garden.  Even with dog out, those little buggers are brazen.

Speaking of dog....this is what he did most of the summer.

He may look dead, more like dead to the world.  I can't blame him though, it's hot when you have to wear a perpetual fur coat.  A few rounds of ball and it's nap time in the shade!

I didn't get any more pictures of the garden until last week.  Since this way of gardening was so easy and less back breaking, I decided to expand it to four more tubs next year.  Here is the garden now with the current crops and the extended area.

I also moved the compost pile from behind the house over to the front of the garden, it makes it so much easier on this old girl.

Lots of little tomatoes waiting to get yellow.

These peppers are so tasty!

Second planting of peas.  The carrots are almost gone from this bed.

Beans in the foreground, cucs up high.  (Yes, that is a wooden clothes dryer upside down.)

These cucumbers are Pearl.  Lovely yellow and wonderfully tasty in my salads.

These summer squashes have been very prolific this year, although I've had to hand fertilize them all.
I didn't forget about the salad table.  This is my second planting of radishes and mustard.  The spinach, off to the right, is a great variety, it handled the hot weather just fine and keeps on producing no matter what.
For next year, I think I'll plant a couple of grape vines on the horse panels to add to the garden.  Then maybe add a few honeyberry bushes.  I still have more horse panels to keep the berries safe. 
Besides messing in the garden, getting in wood and pellets for the stoves, I also did some art.  At the Portland Art Collective regular art retreat we were able to take a class from one of our members.  Steph taught us about plaster, paint and cold wax.  What a fun time we had!  I started out with what I thought was ugly stuff that later turned into nebulas.  I'm now working on my 7th piece and I can't tell you have much fun it's been.
The first three are on 8"x8" cradled boards, the next three are 8"x8" canvas board and the last one is a little 5"x5" canvas board.  This is fun and messy and FUN!

These three are the first layer in process.  Just throwing on the paint.

The next three are after the plaster has been added, dried and sanded.  Then paint and carving, additions and more paint.
Nebula 3 - Hive 13

Nebula 1

 Nebula 2
Flower Cup Nebula

The River Nebula

The Ring Nebula

The Beginning
I have another small nebula in the works right now, but it's drying, so I'll have to finish it later.  I also played with my huge stash of beads and need to take pictures of the resulting jewelry.  Not only that, but I have a quilting project to finish for a PAC contribution, also MY quilt has yet to be quilted and a couple of beady things to finish that I started some time ago.
If I don't get back soon...have a lovely Autumn!  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What's in your garden?

Salad Table from last year

I'll have a small garden going this year.  Just the normal stuff, not using exotic seeds like this.

Don't forget to read the comments for tips on growing different varieties.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Quotes

Click to enlarge, only if you want to be disgusted with the bureaucracy.