Saturday, July 24, 2010

{Echo} Week 18 - Stripes

  Photo Credits: © Diane Cook (left) © Laura Harrison (right)

Week 18 brings us to a new echo with Chrysti and Susan.
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Won't you join us?  You can post your pics in the Flickr group, and leave a link to your interpretation in the comment section of either Chrysti or Susan's blog posts.

Once again I turned to my fellow Texas friend, Laura of White Spray Paint, to send her interpretation of the echo, and just as before, she has such a sweet story to tell.
Laura says this:
So many things in my home are tied to memories of my mother.
These plantation shutters may as well be a doll propped on my bed, just as I did as a little girl; they are that memorable.
They remind me of my mother.
Why? Because she wanted these for me.
In her wonderful, eclectic, elegant, traditional way of bringing a house to life, she too dreamed of the day when I could have them too.
Aren't mothers that way?
And so, years ago when they were installed, and she was no longer here to physically stand next to me, I stood in the middle of the house with workmen all around, and I wept.

They were indeed so beautiful.

My picture comes with a story as well, but at the same time I thought I'd share a little more about where I have been for the last week. 
It will all tie together at the end!
  You see, my husband and I have been away on a mini RV trip to a nearby lake.  Big Creek Marina on Lake Sommerville to be exact.  
One of a couple of trips we take each summer with my BIL and SIL. 
We each have a RV,but my BIL and SIL have a beautiful '03 Airstream they bought from an older couple, which was and still is, in perfect condition.  They love it, and I love to take pictures of it, as the shiny metal exterior always puts a gleam in my eye! 

Each morning we rolled out of bed, poured our coffee into a stainless steel carafe and headed outside to sit and look at the water.  We'd sit there soaking in the fresh air, talking about our plans for the day.  Most mornings we were the only people stirring, so all we could hear was the clean sound of nature and a faint engine roar from fishermen heading out to fish somewhere in the distance across the lake.
 I can't tell you how relaxing it is, to not get up at before the crack of dawn, get dressed, catch the Metro bus to downtown Houston, and get to work by 6:30 a.m.  Early yes, but the great trade off for me is I get off work at 3:30 pm!
Ahhh, this was the best remedy to the fast everyday pace I live in.

Lake Sommerville proved to be the perfect place to 
watch children build sand castles.
 Watch people go by in fast moving boats.
 Watch birds looking for breakfast,
which included our state bird, 
(the mockingbird)

white egrets,
and my favorite,
(which should be our state bird =)
I haven't seen this many
scissortails since I was a little girl.   
Each day I would systematically try to count the number of scissortails I would see.  
I always lost count.

We actually did have one planned event each day.  
We would walk each morning around 9 o'clock.  This particular day we walked down around the park and past the boat ramp.  While passing by a large wild blooming shrub, I noticed all the butterflies
and bees, busily feeding on the bright white blooms.
Bees are quite elusive.  I didn't have the lens to capture it as closely as I wanted, 
but I actually can see all the pollen on its body in this shot!

So, here I am at the point of sharing my interpretation of 
  You see, my BIL and SIL always have a patriotic theme at their campsite.
It begins with their picnic table cover and their party lights, 
and now to a new set of river, or in this case,
lake chairs.
Yes, we use them while sitting in the water under an easy up tent!  
And, there are more stars and stripes there too!
Each day, right after we finished our walk (and breakfast), we would trek down to the water, where my DH and BIL would set up our tent.  Just shy of the water's edge, 
but fully in the water. 
You know this is how we cool off in Texas! 
In the summer.
If we can't go to a flowing river, we get in a nearby lake!
Talk about relaxing!
God Bless Texas!   

Monday, July 05, 2010

a series of firsts

This weekend was one of many firsts.
On Saturday I prepared bezels, and poured resin ~ ALL DAY! 
Worked on cuffs and pendants.
Poured and poured, watched for bubbles and poured some more.

Part of the "family tree" became a bezel, which is a piece of a future class proposal.
But, the best part of the weekend happened yesterday,
as our grandson (and his parents =) came over to eat barbecue and watch fireworks.  
Later in the evening we took our lawn chairs over to our 
church grounds to watch the fireworks across the freeway.
But, first Alton had to visit our church's 
playground where giant bugs reside.

And, a wonderful world of slides exist.
 At first he thought the best way to go down the slide was backwards!  Why not, that's the way 
he successfully scales the stairs at home.

There was climbing walls waiting to be conquered.

 Yes, we did have ice cream before we left to see the fireworks.  
Would the Fourth of July be complete without it? 
I actually used our small Cuisinart ice cream maker
and made ice cream!  Hadn't done that in awhile.
Let me say, there is nothing like homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 2" piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add vanilla bean and heat until mixture almost boils, about 5-8 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Meanwhile beat yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl until light yellow and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add 4 tablespoons hot cream/milk mixture and stir until combined.  Gradually add egg yolk mixture to warm cream mixture, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling.  Cook over low heat until slightly thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes.  Cool completely.  When cool, scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to ice cream mixture.  Discard bean shell.  Stir until well combined.  Pour into freezer bowl, turn the machine ON and let mix until mixture thickens, about 20-30 minutes.  If desired, transfer ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer until firm, about 2 hours.  
So, now I want to share the winner of the giveaway.  
Alton drew the name for me right away.

Here is what I did with the metal lens rings I found last weekend.  
Yes, more resin work from Saturday! butterflies lost their lives by me, 
as I gathered these off my husband's truck grill after he returned home 
from South Texas one weekend!
Janet Bernasconi please contact me.  
If you do, you will have something coming in the mail!
You will likey =)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

{Echo} Week 17 - Market

 This time of the year brings images such as this!
I am jumping back in for the bi-weekly Echo prompt hosted by Susan Tuttle and Chrysti Hydek.  This time I reached out to fellow Texas blogging friend, Laura Harrison, of White Spray Paint, as I asked her to share a favorite market picture for the prompt.  She sent a gorgeous shot of a mound of yellow bell peppers on the right, and describes her photo as this (please click on collage to enlarge):
If given the choice between a market or store, I will pick market every single time.
This speaks pretty accurately not only of my preference, but also of my personality
I enjoy the simplicity of it all, including the people. I enjoy speaking Spanish to the vendors, as remedial as my Spanish may be.
In South Texas markets are an explosion of color, food, flowers, wares of all kinds, and music.  I took this photograph at La Pulga (translation:  the flea), a flea market in a small community near where I live.
On an early Saturday morning visit, you can find seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, Mexican candy, and freshly squeezed juices , and if you are interested in buying a goat, or cabrito, hay for your cattle, a cantera fountain, or a new rose bush, you can do that as well.
It is the simplest form of shopping pleasure for me.  I have on my baseball cap, no makeup, money and keys in my pocket, and a smile on my face. 

My picture is on the left, of freshly dug carrots sitting in a vendor's booth last May as we visited the Austin Farmer's Market.  It was a beautiful day as we went along with our daughter to meet one of her best friends, Laura =), who had just recently moved back to Texas, and now lives in Austin.  
We loved touching and smelling the beautiful produce and enjoyed talking with the vendors that sunny day.  What a sense of pride we felt from them, as they described the produce they had brought in to sell, displaying it in bountiful heaps on their tables.
What to join in?  Go here to see Susan's post and details on the Echo.
You can also peek in here to see all the pictures in the Flickr group.
You will likey =) more day before this little guy (who's coming to visit tomorrow)
picks a name for

 the drawing I am having here!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Adorn Me! 2011

The website is up and ready!
"Etched and Layered"
One of the classes I will be teaching on Wednesday, March 2nd,
at Adorn Me! 2011.  
I love designing these cuffs, and the more I design,
the more I love them.
If you saw the article in the latest issue of Belle Armoire, and you've wanted to learn more about etching and cold join attachments, you will love this class. 
Details on it can be found here.
"Etched and Layered"
I will share my technique of attaching vintage rhinestones, and layers of brass to your etched cuff.  
Layers upon layers of beautiful texture.
Then, on Thursday, March 3rd!
"Rhinestones and Rosaries"
In this class I will demonstrate ways of attaching
vintage ear bobs or clips to a gorgeous brass filigree focal piece.
But, the main focus will be incorporating a vintage rosary.
Often I will meet someone who has been given either their grandmother's, mother's or even an aunt's rosary.  This is a way to design it into a wearable piece of art, instead of having it sit in a dresser drawer.
The rosary doesn't have to be vintage,
but I do plan on having some vintage ones available prior to the class.
The brass focal piece found here is from
Brass Bouquet's connector collection.
 I love the postcard my friend,
Susie designed for this line of jewelry.

 Next, I will teach a 3-hour evening class
on Saturday, March 5th.
 "Romancing the Cuff"
The sky's the limit, as we will use layers and layers of
luscious vintage lace, ribbon, tulle,
or maybe even stamped fabric.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
For more details on the class, go here.
 And, of course, Friday, March 4th will be Vendor Night from 7-10 pm.
An event you won't want to miss.