Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Chili Ristra and Laughing Through My Tears

Does anyone know how to rotate a picture once it's on here?
If you do, please let me know how to do it.
Now you may be wondering what the chili ristra ornament and laughing through my tears has to do with each other.
Well, it's like this. I was working on my pictures of this ornament when my grandson was telling me that he had tried to have a car wash. His price $11.25. He even made a sign.
His goal - to make $ so that he and his mom can come out here so he can see his Nonnie. Who happens to be me.
So, you see, I'm laughing through my tears.
God I love that kid. And I miss him. It's sort of like having a piece of my heart gone - I am so incredibly thankfull that they are all ok - it's just that they are like 1800 miles away. Her husband is in the Army - doesn't make a lot of money. And I don't have a lot of money.
They were here for almost 2 weeks this past Christmas. But, when you're used to seeing someone almost every day - it's hard when they are gone for a long time. We play games on the phone - I Spy, he reads to me, ( I love that), and he keeps trying to figure out a way for us to play Monopoly over the phone. Haven't told him that I have a Monopoly game. I might do that - except that I think he and mom have an ongoing game.................
yep - laughing because I love his creative ingenuity, and crying because I miss him, and it means a lot to me that he is going to such lengths to try to get to see me. There are other people here he wants to see - but mainly me. Kind of makes a person feel special.
Here's the link to my shop. Thanks and have a great day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I need to go to the store - but it's raining - well ok - I enjoy walking in a sprinkle - but it usually pours this time of day. It'll be over soon, and then I can walk to the store.
I was looking through a craft magazine the other day and there were these cool little ornaments made out of matchboxes. So, it got me to thinking about making some - but different - how to combine these wonderful glass paints and matchboxes!?
So, I tried gluing a few pieces of aluminum foil to a piece of cardboard and painted on them. Seems to work pretty good. How well the paint will stay on is another question. The only store close to me doesn't have match boxes, so maybe I'll make my own little box, and glue either aluminum foil on it or I also have some wrappers to a patch that have a foil type inner liner I may try that - already tried painting on it - nice effect.
I may be spending less time on the computer - I get sucked into the web - it's fun exploring different peoples blogs, taking trips around the world on flickr, and my space is well I'm not sure how to classify that one - interesting for sure.
So, I think I'll go create for a bit and then go to the store.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Christmas in July

When my children were born I decided to give them a special ornament every year, that way they would have their own ornaments when they were grown up and out on their own. With special ornaments to remind them of some of the wonderful but often simple Christmas days we had. Or the crazy Christmas eve's at my dad's with my step mother buying them tons of presents.
One year I couldn't find ornaments that I liked. And since I enjoy doing a variety of arts and crafts I decided to make some ornaments. I only have 2 children, but somehow the bug caught and ended up making a bunch of ornaments. These are just a few of the ornaments I made several years ago. I'm working on some new ones. And finishing up ones that I had started but not finished. I also have some glassware that I did. Candle holders and one vase out of almost a dozen that I did. I have 3 vases that I'm trying to get finished up. The process is really time consuming, and I can only paint little bits at a time - especially on the round items. The paint takes a little while to dry and since I have to hold them while painting them, they get painted in little bits. I always have to be careful with the rounded vases and ornaments because the paint will sag if it isn't left in just the right position. Most items have at least 2 coats of paint, some 3 or 4, and each layer has to be completely dry before adding another. It's not painted on with a brush, but gently squeezed from the bottle with a little metal tip on the end. I usually work on at least 6 items at a time - and rotate painting them. So, it's difficult to calculate how much time I spend on each one. I've tried keeping track of time spent on other endeavors - I usually lose the paper I have the time written on - or forget to write down when I started or ended................................silly things like that.
I'm not usually a red kind of person - but I love the way this red looks on the ornaments. Since I use regular ornaments with the silver paint inside - the light reflects back through the paint giving it some depth - most of the paints I use are transparent. I have some clear glass ornaments that as soon as I finish the ones I'm working on will get painted. I'm working on a large ornament right now that has poinsettias on it - it's almost done. I'm only doing one layer of paint on this one so it won't have quite the candy apple effect like the little one here does. But, it is exceptionally pretty.

Wishing everyone a great day.
If you'd like to see more you can go to

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christmas in July

What a wonderful idea - Christmas in July Sale.

Since I still have some ornaments that I painted I thought this would be a great idea. I made some of my little 6 sided gift boxes to go with some of them to be sold as a set. I'm also listing some without the boxes, but giving people the option of buying one to go with it.

I admit I have a hard time coming up with prices. Especially for something that I haven't really been able to find something similar to it. I go back and forth thinking I'm charging too much to thinking I'm not charging enough. Especially when I start figuring in the time spent taking pictures of each ornament. At least 5 pictures per ornament. And then there's the sorting through the pictures, cropping, resizing, and then of course posting. I'm pretty much copying similar descriptions from one ornament to another.
The ornaments are quite a process. Since most of the ornaments are "found" or from a thrift store and have the original paint on them - I have to get that paint off. I soak them in a solution trying to keep it out of the inside - then rinse them off and gently scrape any remaining paint off.

Then dry them. Hand drying them is a necessity with our hard water. Then go over them with a glass conditioner. The fun part is deciding on a design. Some of them are a free form abstract style, some have an abstract flower, or a specific flower. A few have SW style designs. I'm not Native American and I don't claim that they are painted by a Native American, but I'm definitely influenced by their art. I've lived here most of my life and I love the designs and the meaning of many of the designs.
I use a glass paint - not the acrylic kind that you bake on - that stuff does come off. The paint I use is pretty durable. I can't attest to just how durable - but I do have some glassware that I painted that I've used for 3+ years that gets washed in the dishwasher at least monthly and the paint still looks as good as the day I painted it.
I've been trying to finish up a few that I left unfinished. I've also started a few new pieces. But it seems like I have spent so much time taking pictures, sorting and resizing etc I haven't had much time to paint. Some of the ornaments have been really tricky to get good pics of. The sun glares off of them - I try it on a coudy day and the shadows are too dark. I think I'll try making a light screen somehow. Something lightweight almost sheer and see how that works.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wonderful Paper Art

I really love flickr. There are so many photos on there, from people all over the world. And some wonderful art.

It's inspiring.
and so this is a short blog with a link to a person who does some amazing things with paper.

He has a lot of photos on there - take a few minutes - check it out - bookmark it - go back and look at some more! He has pictures of his work and other artists, and some different places around the world.

I love working with paper - and had a few ideas - but this has given me even more ideas!
and so I'm off to play.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Friends, Blogspost, Etsy and Others

The top picture is "A Rose for Lily"
The middle picture is "Myrrh Rose"
and the bottom one is "Cheryl's Rose"

I decided to put links to people who I've met outside of etsy that have etsy shops. Some of the links are to the etsy shops, some are to their blogspot pages.
They aren't in any particular order. Some of the people I'm getting to know better. I've been having so much fun on the computer conversing with people I haven't gotten much creating done! But that's ok.
If you happen upon my blog and the link is to your blog and you'd rather it be to etsy or vice versa - just let me know and I'll change it! Now that I figured out how to do all that! lololo it's so much easier than I thought. I failed to put the web page name in the 1st time I tried doing the links list - doesn't work that way! I even tried going in and editing the html - that worked but not quite the way I wanted it to.
Funny - getting everyone on the list - some I met through flickr, some through myspace, and oh yeah a couple through etsy - I didn't realize I'd been in contact with so many people in the past few months. And there are a few others that I don't have on the list yet that I will probably put there.

And now that I'm getting a little more used to blogspot I will probably be back more often!

Monday, July 7, 2008

New Friends, New Items, New.....................

I have found so many nice people through different sites - and am making new friends all the time! I tend to forget about blogspot - I think I spend more time on the computer than I like as it is. But, I'm going to try to update this more, post more photos, and link with some of the wonderful people and artists I've met.

Getting better with the camera - finally figured out that I can't shove the lens into the flower - it's not a macro lens - but have figured out that by pulling back a little more and setting the aperture differently I can accomplish just about what I want. I still want a macro lens though! I want to be able to get really really close to those flowers.
I've been making little boxes to put ornaments in that I painted a few years ago. I pick out the paper to go with the ornament. I'm going to try selling them as a set - I may list a few ornaments with out the boxes - but I think the boxes just make them more special. I will hopefully have a few pictures of them soon!