Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Treasure Hunt

Hey Guys...there's an

going on!
This year we are having a treasure hunt at Artful Gathering, 
and it is really simple to play along. 
This is the second week of the clues, 
which if you look just below, 
you will find the full description on how to find them.
Here's how you do it...
simply find the secret Big Red Square somewhere on my blog 
to get your second secret word! 
The word you're looking for is up at the top of the box, 
in quotation marks!
LOOK for a red block, on my side bar, it has a crown in it!
(If you missed last week's clue, just hop on over to my friend 
Riki Schumacher's blog for the answer!)
You can find out all you want to know


Be sure to go to:  
to read all about the rules and prizes.



There's some really great prizes that include:   
one full paid class of your choice, plus the corresponding class DVD.  
Along with some very cool runner-up prizes, 
that aren't so shabby either...
Jewelry, Vintage Goodies, Class Kits, Artists' Books 
and more!


My donation is a bit of vintage goodies, brass wing stampings, 
and a baby bundle of recycled sari silk.
 And, just in case you haven't seen what I'll be teaching this year,
you can see both class details 
in the Workshop Catalogue
here.
In Session One, I will be teaching a beautiful necklace 
called
Romantic Wrapped.
 It is for 6 weeks, beginning June 6-July 17th!
And,
in the Second Session, 
I will be teaching my cuff class called,
On a Wing.
It will also be for 6 weeks,
beginning July 16-August 26th!
If, you haven't pre-registered, you might want to go on over and do so now,
(which will also give you the ability to flip thru that wonderful class catalogue)!
as on May 1st the doors open for full registration.
That means you will be able to register for any of the instructor's classes,
offered in both Sessions One & Two.
Also, at that time, you will have access to our Etsy store links,
where most will be offering a limited number of class kits.
Here's wishing the best to you on your treasure hunting fun,
and
hope to see you in the classroom...very SOON!

Don't forget to pre-register here now:
(P.S.....if you leave a comment here
and/or share on Facebook and/or Twitter
I am having an EXTRA little drawing for a prize
on
Tuesday evening at 9pm CST!)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gratitude


I am not one to make New Year's resolutions.  
I don't wait that long.  If I need a change, 
or am due to begin something new....I just do it!
Mind you, I have not always been that way.
At the beginning of the year, 
I began to once again think of all the significant people that have been a part of my life;
ones I have met (or been born to) in my life.
Those who have changed me...for the better.  I don't think of, or remember any, 
who might have changed me in any other direction other than for "good".
But, that is just me.  I look for good.
I believe I search it out.
I will begin by giving due credit to my parents for that.
Both, actually, but I do think my mother a bit more so.
My mother came from a very poor family,
and her father, though he loved all 13 of his children,
drank. A lot.
 It had to be hard to be a child of an alcoholic.
Not only was my mother in constant mental turmoil,  
I know she felt deep humiliation for not having (her very own) shoes,
clothes and sometimes enough food to eat.  
What she did have was a loving mother who did what she had to do
to take care of her children, 
caring for them in a way that stuck with them thru thick & thin....
and made them feel rich, even though they were dirt poor.
Thankfully she also had older sisters & brothers who helped out the family~for most of my mother's younger life,
and for those siblings even before and most after her, 
in the birth order.
My mother never talked much about her childhood, and if she did, it was never in an ungrateful way.
How can that be?  Today, at the age of 56, 
I stand amazed by that, 
and HER.
My father came from somewhat of a different background.
He only had 2 brothers and 1 sister, and his family was one of the (somewhat) "well-off" ones in the small town that they both grew up in...as far as I can tell.
They had plenty of food, and owned a large parcel of land,
which my grandmother had inherited.
My grandfather was a farmer, and raised sweet potatoes on that land.  
My grandmother was a seamstress.
 My dad isn't even in this picture of his brothers & sisters above.
He came about 13 years after this was taken...
thus making him the REAL baby of the family.  
Perhaps, that is also why he became the mischief one.
A prankster of sorts.
He could really tell a good joke.  I kinda believe I get my quick wit from him.  
Can't tell a joke like he did, that's my oldest sister's talent, 
but I sure have a funny streak show up quite often....
and have known to be a bit mischievous myself.
(When I was much younger, of course...lol).

***********

For some wonderful reason, way beyond my control,
I believe that this year will be a good one.
Don't ask me how or why...I just know it.
And,
I say this with all humility,
as I truly have no idea what 2014 will bring.
I have several venues scheduled ahead, for teaching.
Some new, and some I've been to before...
with much delight!
Beginning in just a couple of weeks, I will be in Tucson, 
at
Art Retreat in the Desert
and then, I will travel along with my friend,
Deryn Mentock,
for a short teaching gig in the DC area, 
called
Boots & Bliss!
Yeeehawww, to that!
In the meantime, 
I am diligently working on my two online classes that I'll be a part of,
for the third year...
Artful Gathering 2014.
For the first time, I am traveling to Kentucky, to teach at
Ephemera Paducah 
in May! 
AND...
I will be in Phoenix, this summer,
to teach, once again, 
at Art Unraveled.

***********


So, for just one moment today, won't you consider who has made a difference in your life?
Say, if you possibly can,
a huge thank you for all that you have been given.
For those, both good and bad.
You (as I) have no earthly idea why you might have been given the life you are living,
and the hand you've been dealt.
I do believe it is by a design we will someday come to see.
Maybe that will be...
in 2014.


***********
 In the mean time, I hope to see you this year,
either in person, or on-line.
More specific details about my gigs can be found above,
under the Classes & On-line Classes tabs!
 
(I'll be sharing more persons who have influenced me along my way,
when I return from Tucson, so stay tuned!)

***********


Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Winner of My Book Blog Hop Giveaway

Here's my latest piece designed using Cindy's beautiful 
Double Infinity Links.
It was also one of my class samples for the class
Rhinestones to Infinity
I taught this past weekend
in Round Top, Texas
at
The class was a huge success, 
and this link was the star of the class! 
This was Kristina's finished piece.
Isn't is wonderful?
Just one of many...
*****
So, without further ado...
I'd like to announce the winner of the contest I had for the 
 It is:
Susan Marling
Congratulations Susan!  
I will send an email your way, 
to get your physical address, 
so I can mail some goodies to you!
Also,
don't forget to go back to Cindy's blog to see the 

diane
xo 

P.S.  I will be teaching this class, Rhinestones to Infinity
at Ephemera Paducah in Kentucky~May 2014.
More detail will be posted soon,
but why not sign up for their mailing list,
so you won't miss any of the class details when they come hot off the press! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's All About the Link

Today is my day
to give a shout out to a great friend,
Cindy Wimmer's new book, 
and is the next stop on 
the Book Blog Tour 
that began on Tuesday.
Yeee....haw, welcome to Texas!
It's hard to believe that it has actually been way more than a year since 
Cindy asked me to be a part of the design team for her upcoming book.  
How could I resist, 
as everything Cindy does it so meticulously wonderful
and top notch!
Her wire work is drop dead gorgeous, 
which you will certainly see for yourself, once you get your very own copy. 
But...
if you haven't ordered yours yet
I'd be so thrilled if you'd leave a comment here
as the publisher, Interweave
will be giving away a copy of Cindy's book from each of the 
blog hop stops.  
This means you have 6 chances to win!
 I have to tell you I felt a bit intimidated at first,
as wire links are not my main focus when designing jewelry.
I can wire wrap myself out of a barrel~blindfolded...
(well maybe not blindfolded)
...links...
well, that's another story.
But, if you know me at all, you know
I always love a good challenge.
So, this is how it began....
Cindy gave me, along with all the team designers,
the option to pick two of our favorite links out of the 30 she showcases in the book.
With these links, we were to design a piece of jewelry.
I chose two I thought would fit into my "style",
which was
Double Infinity
and 
Little Orbits
Green with Infinity
Found on pages 128-131 in the book,
showcases the Double Infinity link.
This picture was taken just before it was sent off to Cindy & the publisher.
I am going to play a little game with those of you who already have the book, 
or if not, 
you can also look here
as pictures from the book (where you will see a picture of my necklace) scroll across the slider window seen in the middle of the page.
This will kind of be like the game, what do you see different in the picture!
There has been a slight change in the ultimate design of my necklace =)
Just leave an answer here on my blog, 
in your comment, 
and
I will also have a drawing from those who left an answer, 
at the end of the hop.
The prize will be a (sur)prize!  
So, please leave your email address so I can contact you on October 21st, 
if I can't link back to you via your comment! 
The next link I chose,
was
Little Orbits.
Amber Skies 
showcases this link that Cindy places in the "easy" category.
This necklace, and how it's made, 
can be found on pages 100-103 in the book.
Another fun project, using some super fun links.
Cindy really did a superb job writing this book.
And,
the links are quite unique and exciting to master.
Thanks so much for stopping by and joining in on the hop.
Today you can also visit 
of Art Bead Scene.  She has joined us on the tour, 
and this gives you yet another opportunity to win 
Please hop on over to 
Christine Damm's blog tomorrow
to see what she has to share with us
regarding her
"missing link" journey.
Before you go...
one last recap of all the blog hop stops:
October 15-Cindy Wimmer (Sweet Bead Studio)
October 16-Tracy Statler (Make Bracelets)
October 17-Lori Anderson (Pretty Things)
October 18-Kerry Bogart (Kab's Concepts)
Today:  October 19 (along with me)-Heather Powers (Art Bead Scene)
October 20-Christine Damm (Stories They Tell)
then head back to Cindy's blog,
to see all the winners announced on
October 21st! 
There will be giveaways each day, but the winners will all be announced all at once on Cindy's blog on the final day - October 21st.  
She will be giving away additional prizes:  
a set of lampwork beads used in the book, wire, and her favorite coiling tool, 
just to name a few.
So, that's all for now....have FUN on the tour,
and I'll see you back here on October 21st!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's Antique Festival Time

If you've been with me for any amount of time, 
you know that twice a year I trek to Warrenton and Round Top
for the semi-annual Antiques Week.
It's HUGE and several trips are in order each & every time.
Yesterday was just my first for the Fall Show, and it was a bit early.
I like to slip in there way ahead of time...
which means some of the vendors haven't yet arrived.
I am fine with that.
I always go back, and then they are there.
I don't fret about missing something.
As,
I have decided that if I was meant to have it,
it will be there.
Whatever IT might be!
I must admit,
I had no intention of buying the vintage baby doll and compact you see above.
But, they called my name, and they came home with me.
The top drilled baroque stick pearls....
well that's another story.
I have an idea bouncing around that involves these beauties,
and I was looking for them.
 It always amazes me when I enter a booth that is stuffed full of stuff.
Yesterday, proved no different.
I always make an effort each show to visit Cathy, 
the lace lady from Oklahoma.
She has WAY more than lace in her booth, and I always make a point to visit her...
mainly for vintage lace, tulle, netting, and such.
This time I brought home one itty bitty bundle of lace,
a good group of vintage rhinestone buttons,
the crackled baby doll
&
and this dainty silver compact purse.
Inside was half of a ticket...
When I carried all my purchases up front to pay,
she said...."I almost kept this one for my compact collection".
Not only did this make me feel like I had picked up a winner of a piece,
but she had thoughtfully remembered it, 
mentioning she regretted parting with it.
I get that...
Each time I design a piece of jewelry,
then sell it...
it feels like I am getting rid of part of my family.

This batch of necklaces will definitely make 
me feel that way when they leave home.
  Kind of like letting your baby go...
maybe that's why this one came home with me.

Friday, September 20, 2013

No Hill for a Stepper

Melanie and I 
At the beginning of the trail,
about to climb 
Old Baldy,
in Garner State Park.
It's been almost a month since we returned home from our annual week long RV trip
to a great RV park situated on a bluff just above the clear crisp water of the Frio River.
It's nestled among beautiful gnarly live oak trees and several pretty high hills
(which are considered mountains by this Texan).
The trip is definitely one of the highlights of my year.
I think we have been going to this park for well over 8 years.
I went with one BIG goal in mind...
to once again climb, what is known as,
Old Baldy.
Mind you, it would not have been my first trip up to the top, 
as I have climbed it probably 3 or 4 other times.
But, not for awhile.
I was determined to do it this time....
a gift to me on my 56th birthday!
I, along with my daughter, Melanie, 
took out the very morning of my birthday to conquer 
"the mountain".
It is quite inspiring when you reach the the top, 
as there is a huge additional pile of rocks there...
with the United States flag flying high and mighty in the wind
(when it blows)! 

I have to tell you....it felt good.....going up,
but especially good coming down!

I have been traveling quite a bit this past year to teach.
Tucson, AZ., Houston, TX., Coronado, CA., Round Top, TX.
and
Phoenix, AZ.
I have one more teaching gig for the year, and it's next month, 
once again in Round Top,  
Art Retreat at The Prairie.
I am way excited, 
as I will be teaching three new classes.
 From Rhinestones to Infinity
 This is a fun new class for me.
I have incorporated a huge vintage rhinestone brooch into this design,
along with some beautiful links called Double Infinity links.
These links were designed, and came straight from my friend Cindy Wimmer's book, 
The Missing Link,
 which will be out next month.
I, along with many other wonderful jewelry artists, 
was thrilled to be one of her guest designers.
Cindy has a pre-order link for it 
here.
I'll also be teaching another new torch fired enamel class
Ruffled Poppies
Lots of fun techniques in this class!
Scroll down the page and read all about it here.
Last, but certainly not least,
I'll teach a fun bangle class on Sunday.
Birds of a Feather   
So, won't you come flock with us in Round Top? 
 I can't begin to tell you how much fun we have at this intimate setting.  
And, how can you not love anything Rachel Ashwell inspired?


~ diane~
xo

Friday, July 12, 2013

Heart Love

My Double Heart
(coming to Art Retreat in the Desert~February 2014)
(*edit....not coming to Art in the Desert in 2014!*) 
I admit, I am in a state of euphoria right now,
as we are fast approaching the end of Session I 
at
Artful Gathering, 2013.
It has been a great class, with many beautiful creations being born.
Makes a teacher proud, I tell you!
Drops of Crystal was the name of the class, 
which consisted of 3 of my favorite chandelier crystal creations.
In less than a week, the second session will begin.
This class really put me over the top,
as it is so in-depth, I just know it is my best one yet!
I put together a little trailer....just so you can see what I mean.
video
And, to top it off...
I am having a little giveaway in conjunction with the beginning of 
Window to My Heart!
 Share it on your social media site, whether it be Facebook or your blog,
or Twitter...
then let me know,
and I will put your name in the hat
to win one of my class kits.
 The winner will be chosen on
Monday, July 15th, at 3 pm CST.
I hope you can join me....
I would be ever so honored!