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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

vintage sheet music

The assignment this week for Shades of Inspiration, is vintage paper. Oh, what a perfect theme to show you the finished piece of jewelry I worked on and posted about right after returning from our Christmas holiday. You may remember that the wrapped beads were inspired by Deryn Mentock's article in Belle Armoire Jewelry called Wrap It Up. Her online tutorial, further showing how to make these little jewels called wrapped links, was an excellent step by step for those of you who didn't get to buy the magazine!
I used vintage sheet music for some of my wraps, which I first covered with Golden gel medium. This will protect your precious vintage paper.
Last night I finished a pair of earrings to go along with Nancy's necklace, using smokey quartz briolettes and gorgeous czech crystals bought from Z Beads in the West University area of Houston. Don't they look like ice cream with a chocolate swirl and caramel? They actually have a vein of violet and tuquoise colors running thru them. They are scrumptious!

I took a few more pictures making a prop out of some vintage journal paper I had rolled and tied with vintage dupioni silk. It normally pokes out of an antique vase I have in our spare bedroom. I bought this paper more than a year ago from my now very good friend Colette Copeland. I have used it alot in my art. When I turned the charm over, I was totally surprised. I had forgotten I had also used vintage sheet music on the back! Oh, I couln't have planned it better than that. Life is good.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lost in the mail

In November I had posted about a new piece I had finished called "Cross my Heart". It was bought, by a very good blog friend, promptly shipped off and never made it. I was totally surprised. I could not believe it was lost in the mail. How could it be? It had never happened to me, and I've mailed alot of packages! I had purchased delivery confirmation and insurance, so I was covered, thankfully. After a couple of weeks, it became evident that it was stuck forever in limbo and was not going to be delivered. But, we remained optimistic. We waited another month, and still no package! I thought any day it would get to her. I just knew it would! I contacted her, and wanted to refund her money. She said, no. I could make another piece for her. The reason I didn't just make another one right away, was because I had bought only one of these beautiful crosses at the jewelry show. I would have bought more, but that was the only one I really liked! Now, I would have to wait till the next show, which would be January 16th. I looked online, other jewelry shops~none as nice as this one. So when January 16th came around I, of course, went to the International Gem & Jewelry Show. The very first piece I bought was another turquoise cross. Anyone who designs jewelry knows that no two pieces are ever alike. And, if you like a piece, you better buy it then, because you won't get a second chance. This cross is slightly smaller, so a refund is still in order. And, I bought more than one cross this time. I told her I would make it up to her in some way. I thought these might help. Thanks, Daryl for being so understanding. I hope you like what comes in the mail~this time I am using FedEx.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Memories at Six

"resting my eyes"
When I was 6 years old, I was old enough to go with my parents and older sister to the polka and waltz dances, held almost every weekend in a nearby community. There were dance halls, built in the late 1800's, in every little surrounding German and Czech community where I grew up. I couldn't find alot of information online about the history of German dancehalls built in Texas, but it is rich and it runs deep in my veins. I would run and play with my friends, both inside and outside of the hall. We would dance to the music of the German bands playing all our favorite songs. Right now it seems like forever ago. But once the dance ended, and we were on our way home, I would sit in the back seat of our car with my sister, fighting to keep my eyes open. I was determined not to fall asleep. But, I would, eventually give up and close my eyes. My father would always lean back and say to me, "Diane are you sleeping?" And, I would immediately say, "No, I'm just resting my eyes."
He would laugh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

new armoire

Look what I was gifted at Christmas by my husband.
Right before Thanksgiving I saw it in one of the local antique shops. I put it on hold, as I didn't have the space ready for it at home just yet. I knew that after the Christmas holidays, I would make a place for it in our spare bedroom to use for storing my art & some jewelry supplies.
I absolutely love it. It is working out just as I planned. I went to OfficeMax and bought the nifty stacking storage bins (made in the USA) you see inside. They are great, as they have easy side snap (which I keep unsnapped while in the armoire) lids AND handles. Now my supplies are ready to go with me anywhere~anytime!
I could use two more of these in my our office/my workspace. There is nothing like real wood storage, and I would rather buy a well~made antique. I fell in love with its color, which matched my Birdseye Maple antique bed in the bedroom.
The stuffed heart on the door knob came from a vendor at Nothing Ordinary Antiques & Oddities in Bellville.
Looking on top, you will see one of my favorite words Believe, which came from Books~A~Million. The stacking bins (top right) came from Target. The antique vase was bought from a vendor at Hearts & Hands, located on Mason Road, in Katy. And, can you see my newest purchase, leaning against the wall in back? It is the most beautiful 11"x14" vintage photograph of a little girl, still in its original frame. I bought it online thru a great Etsy seller, DonnaGrayce Vintage Treasures. This was not my first purchase from her, but because this was her 100th sale, she sent me a special gift~a beautiful pair of rhinestone earrings! What an unexpected blessing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

i have been organizing

And, it feels good. I have been busy reorganizing my workspace.
Rhinestones have become a huge part of my jewelry designs. I have had no time to really organize them like I've wanted. They have simply been stashed in every available open space. Since the beginning of this new year, I have been attempting to organize our office/my workspace. Since this is where I can be found almost every waking hour I'm home, I needed to do it. Disorganization drives me crazy. Really, it does!
This past year, while in San Antonio, my daughter and I had each purchased a jewelry organizer from The Container Store. It seemed like a great idea to use for storing my personal jewelry. But once home, I stashed it away in my closet, waiting to use it ~ someday. This past weekend I pulled it out, and hung it from the closet door in our office/my workspace. I used it to organize my vintage finds and rhinestones jewelry. All of which has been accumulated the last several months. It allows me to see everything I have. I really like it!

I also completed one piece of a collaboration this weekend~using some vintage rhinestones of course! Now, that really feels good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

sometimes we forget

The new year has brought new ideas. I am beginning a new project. I can't share it with you just yet.
I did learn how to layer today. Thanks to Abby Lanes, as she posted the instructions in the discussion section of the group, Shades of Inspiration.
If you would like to send me a link to your layered picture, I would love to see what you design!
Just who was your angel today?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Vintage Word~Integrity

Today vintage seems to be the buzz word we are all using. May I propose a new one? One that meant everything to our parents and grandparents.....Integrity.
My good friend, Diana Frey, as well as another inspiring artist, Nina Bagley, prompted this post. However, I have been dealing with this word since the end of last year. And, maybe even before then. It seems appropriate to write about it now, in the wake of all that is happening around us.
What exactly is integrity?
Wikepedia defines it as such.....Integrity comprises perceived consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles. A value system's abstraction depth and range of applicable interaction are also significant factors in determining integrity due to their congruence with empirical observation. A value system may evolve over time while retaining integrity if those who espouse the values account for and resolve inconsistencies.
Integrity may be seen as the quality
of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions.
How do we test integrity?
One can test a value system's accountability
1. subjectively~by a person's individual measures or
2. objectively~via the scientific method o
r via a standardized mathematical measure.
I suggest we start today, myself included.
We make art using vintage pieces. Perhaps as an artist, this is our way to reach back to where we truly felt happy, and belonged. A space in time where we valued integrity. Perhaps we can use all of our creative energy to bring integrity back into our hearts and minds; and into our world. It is time. It is right. And, most of all it is the best legacy we can leave for our children.
The picture above was taken of my daughter and I at The Cove in San Antonio. She brought us to this resturant because of what they, and she, believes. They operate as a good example of accountability and thoughfulness we all need today. They know that healthy eating results in healthy living. They feel a responsiblity to our earth and the people who are living around us.
My daughter is a constant reminder of what I know is right and beautiful about this world. She is my hope. She holds all my dreams. A load like this is heavy to carry. I pray she will know it is not her strength that will carry her through this world, but the proven integrity of the Spirit; and the One she believes in.

Monday, January 05, 2009

it was great

After being on holiday for eleven days it was tough to return to the real world. We always host a fun and food-filled Christmas Eve party at our home for our children. We usually leave on Christmas Day headed west to San Antonio, and then turn south towards the Mexican border. It is there we love to play. We drive around in my husband's lease jeep, my hair blowing with little or no make-up on; looking at beautiful wildlife that can only be seen in this part of Texas. My husband and I are part of a 6,000 acre deer lease; where all we see is the wide open blue skies of Texas~known as South Texas. We see large whitetail deer, javalina, coyotes, bobcats, quail, rabbits, hogs, armadillos, roadrunners and birds of all kinds. There is one in particular I am always trying to capture~the Green Jay. I actually got a shot close enough to post. They are the most illusive birds!
The beginning of the week, we always take a day to play golf with my brother and sister-in-law. The golf course in nearby Carizzo Springs, is quite unique; as it winds around a very small airport. One of the signs on the course says, "Do not hit golf balls when planes are taking off or landing." We always get a huge laugh out of reading that sign, even after 12 years of reading it.
This is one of the huge palm trees on the course. I find it unusual standing among the mesquite trees that are so common in this part of Texas. And, it is huge!

Each morning, the guys take their turn cooking breakfast! We have an outside quad area that includes a free standing stove with oven, a prep area consisting of a butcher block (non-working) dishwasher; and a most recently added microwave. There is also a long table where we all sit down to eat together~which usually totals about 10 people or more on any given weekend. This quad area is covered by a large tin roof, which keeps our heads dry when it rains; and cool from the normally very hot sun. My husband usually cooks the most often, and on this particular morning his menu included eggs over-easy, bacon, sausage and sweet potato pancakes. I am not the biggest pancake fan, but these were~YUMMY! His brother had given him a new tilt griddle for Christmas, and he was trying it out this particular morning; in anticipation of our summer RV trips.

You must know, these were made from a mix called Bruce's Sweet Potato Pancake Mix. Very easy and delicious. Trust me~they are wonderful!

This year we returned home one day earlier than usual, coming home on Saturday instead of Sunday. We stopped in San Antonio to eat lunch with my daughter. My husband had heard of a resturant that Guy Fieri had visited on one of the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Shows. The resturant is called The Cove. One word describes it perfectly~FRESH.
I had the Veggie Burger with Organic Sweet Pototo Fries.
Melanie had the lunch special of Spicy Chicken Poblano Soup and her choice of sandwich~she chose the Grilled Cheese with Spinach.

Allen had the Seafood Sampler~look a salad with heart!

Oh, yes, I did work on some jewelry while away~
I was so excited to see Deryn's wrapped links in the Winter 2009 Belle Armoire Jewlery issue. So, while "resting" in South Texas, I decided to try making a few of my own. The article is called Wrap it Up, and is wonderfully illustrated (as always by BAJ).
I used vintage Italian ribbon, bought at the International Quilt Festival, for a couple; and vintage sheet music, for the others. Fun!
I made the pendant before Christmas for a friend~shhhhh.....I don't want her to know about it!
Deryn also so graciously has posted a tutorial on how to make these beautiful wire wrapped links on her blog, Something Sublime. Go here to see it!