Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider TwoTootsies

One of the fun things about doing the ArtFire Crazy Train - besides seeing all the cool stuff, is the shop names - love this one TwoTootsies! 
I love anklets so I decided to check out the anklet section first - and found this pretty Periwinkle Anklet - it's blue right- so of course I'll pick it!

and speaking of blue - this Deep Blue Agate Pendant is gorgeous

and might as well have some pretty Cobalt & Copper Earrings to finish off the trio, right!

So, go visit TwoTootsies for some cool jewelry, she has an awesome sea shell necklace - perfect for these summer days. And, very reasonably priced for handmade jewelry.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

HAF Featured Artist Gemlover

It is my pleasure to introduce you to John, creator of Gemlover. on ArtFire.
Johns states that he has a passion for rocks and rockhounding since was a small child.  After majoring in geology in college, he has been a Graduate Geologist for the past 40 years.

John's wife bought some gemstones and brought to him one day and asked what they were.  That started his journey into gemology, as well jewelry design & manufacture.  He became an Accredited Jewelry Professional in 2009, and is also a Jewelry Design and Repair Certificate.  John is also a retired paramedic and  resides in Easley, South Carolina.

It is easy to see that he not only loves what he does, he's very good at it.  I enjoy wearing matching stones, but not necessarily matching settings - and these are right up my alley - especially because these wonderful earrings are made with Lapis Lazuli - their blue!

I can see pairing those sweet earrings with this stunning Lapis Lazuli Pendant, I love the wrap design and that is one gorgeous stone he cut.

John certainly seems to know how to bring out the beauty of a rock,  or a gem.   This Snowfield Druzy Quartz Necklace is simply gorgeous.

I have loved quartz since I was a child, even dragging home a large quartz rock with me after my family went out Christmas tree hunting one year.   However, it was quite different than this lovely Honey Quartz Necklace, with it's unique sterling silver wire wrapping.  I love the emerald cut of this beautiful stone.

I highly recommend you pay a visit to John's shop, Gemlover on Artfire, or his blog Rasmussen Gems & Jewelry LLC where you can learn a little more about his work with these beautiful stones.   John also has a shop on the Handmade Artists Shop, as Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC

Thank you for visiting and have a great day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beauty In The World


 It is a little long - read - look at as much or as little as you want. 
 One of my favorite place on the web, is Creative Nachos, created by the very talented and supportive Natasha.  Each week she gives us a theme to create something based on that theme.    In some ways, this weeks theme Beauty In The World was the easiest and the hardest for me.  Easy because I knew immediately what I wanted to do, but it just kept expanding, and trying to pare it down was just not an option!
First and foremost, My Family with all it's imperfections, also gave me a lot of love, strength and an appreciation of many things in life.   There are a few people not included in this collage, only because I do not have a picture of them.
From top left: My paternal grandmother & her sister as young women.  My grandmother gave me a lot - a lot of love and many many lessons - she was a school teacher before you had to have a degree to teach school. She raised her 3 children, through the great depression years with some help of her parents after she & her husband divorced when my dad was about 8 years old.  She traveled to Colorado from Michigan with her dad in a wagon & then back to Michigan to get the rest of the family.
My maternal grandparents -  I believe this is their wedding photo.  All 3 of my grandparents were born in the late 1800's .  My grandfather was a farmer, he had a farm until the day he died.  I can remember many times that he would go out & get a watermelon and cut it up outside and we would gleefully sit and eat watermelon with it's delicious juices running down our chins.  My grandmother made the best blackberry pies from the blackberries in the yard that we would gladly pick!  I learned a lot about being  charitable from these special people.
3,4,5,6 My parents - just after WWII.   They met just before my dad went overseas, wrote a lot of letters and were married shortly after he returned. #4&5 were taken at his mother's house.
#7- My maternal grandmother approx 60 years old, getting her BA in education so she could keep teaching! with my sister before I was born.
#8 Me & my children about 12 years ago, with my beautiful intelligent daughter, and my nutty then 13 yr old son being himself.
3rd row, my wonderful grandson Kai @ 10 mos', 5 years, my daughter & her son @ 5 years, her daughter, Evie born Jan 2010 at about 4 days old - we laughed at this picture she looked sort of like a smurffette.  Miss Evie @ almost a year, sitting the same way her mom did.
Last row, Kai,  Evie & Spike.  My son's wife, Steph,  holding their just born daughter,  My son Alex holding his 4 day old daughter Namine' born March 27 2011,  & 4 day old Namine' w/her eyes finally open.  She had been asleep  the whole 2 hours we were together, opened her eyes about 5 minutes before we were leaving.  She has beautiful lavender blue eyes - hope they stay that color!

Jaz, my constant companion, now 11 1/2 years old. It amazes me what he can fit his  body into!

Beauty to me  is the simple things,  everyday things, an appreciation for this earth that was given to me by my mother.

After going to the dentist, a 20 minute walk, I spent almost an hour walking home with my camera in hand to take pictures for this project.  This is where it started really getting hard to pare it down!

Top row - Spanish Broom, a great bush in this desert climate,  a blooming Yucca by a turquoise wagon wheel, flowers growing where they weren't intended to grow - next to a fire hydrant
2nd row, flower buds,  A mulberry tree - reminded me of blackberries, Roses - my mother had at least 6 rose plants in the yard.
3rd row, another plant growing were it probably was not intended, a bridge, I envision a very different yard surrounding this bridge than the one that is there,  click on the picture to see the wonderful patterns in the leaves of this awesome succulent.

bright balloons dancing in the wind, steps surrounded by huge pine trees,
4th row, a leaning young evergreen,  a rock perfectly balanced on the bottom of a gate & the shadows of the gate,  wonderful sweet little yellow flowers.

My Flowers

The red rose bush isn't really mine - it's in front of my apartment, so I figure I get to take care of it.
The Christmas cactus was my father's "Christmas tree" while in the hospital shortly before he passed away.
The Easter Cactus belonged to my father in law, it was one of his joys & I felt very privileged to be able to have it after he passed away.
The Peace Rose is from my peace rose bush at my former apt - I could say a lot here - but I will leave it at this, my mother did instill in me a great appreciation of the earth.  Which I am sure came from her parents, as the earth provided for their family of 8 children.

If you have made it this far, Thank You!   I would also like to draw  your attention to something I just found out about - this is truly beautiful. There is a camp for children with chronic disease or health problems that they can attend for free, even their transportation is provided for.  Even if you can't go volunteer, there are ways we can help them out!  Victory Junction was founded in honor of Adam Petty, yes of the racing car  family!  Looks like a really cool place.

A few more additions

Morning Glories - they always remind me of my maternal grandmother, they always grew in a planter in front of her porch.

all birds, but especially hummingbirds

My  Uncle Conway (next to the sign, 1 of my mother's brothers.) taken during WWII, he always treated me like I was a very special person, he passed away when I was about 10, and  he was way too young,  

An interesting tidbit, my father was from Colorado, my mom was from North Carolina, they met in Washington DC just before he went overseas.  He did basic training and stayed at Fort Carson, Co for a while, then another base, then to FT. Bragg, NC.   After my parents were married, they lived in Denver until my dad finished his master's degree, my sister & brother were born in Denver. Then they  moved to Berwick, Pa.  where I was born & about 3 months later moved to Albuquerque New Mexico.
My mother went from NC, to Denver, Pa then Alb.
My daughter was born in Alb. after she got married, she moved to Ft. Bragg, NC, and then to Fort Carson, Co. She now lives in Colorado Springs. .
The Sandia Mountains, east side of Alb.  as a child I would often sit next to the sliding glass door and just gaze at these beautiful mountains.  There were a lot fewer trees and buildings in the way then.

My mother was the youngest in her family, my dad had a younger brother who died at the age of 2, so he basically was the youngest child, and I am the youngest child.

Have a beautiful day.  Remember to "stop & smell the roses"!

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider Inlet Images

And today's CrazyTrain rider is Inlet Images, with some gorgeous flowers, landscapes, some still life, and more............................
I love this Green Dragon on Black, it's an 11" x14"  print, at first I thought maybe the dragon was for sale, nope, the picture of this awesome dragon.
I probably couldn't afford the dragon anyway!

The photographer, Bill Barber also has some beautiful images of flowers like this gorgeous Bi-Color Rose 11" x 14" print.

This Bird of Pardise Orb - Gazing Ball 12" x 12" is pretty cool.

Bill also sells his prints in other sizes too, just send  him a message.   Inlet Images also has cards, bookmarks, wildlife, landscapes, and some very good prices too!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.  Please feel free to leave a comment - or just say Hi!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider Noveena

Do you love jewelry - especially cuffs madw with bright shiney beads??? Then you'll love Noveena's creations - there are 9 pages of cuffs - and then there are all her other beautiful creations.     

I love the bright colors n the Tropical Nights Beadwoven Cuff

and check out this stunning Chocolate Strawberries Beadwoven Collar Necklace

These Egyptian Lapis Strip Beadwoven Earrings are very cool

And, if you don't see just exactly what you want, send her a message, she will work with you to make something just for you! 

Noveena's creations  look like they are well done, and they take time to make.  I used to do a lot of beadweaving it can be soothing, relaxing, & sometimes frustrating!  But it feels so good to finish a project and have it turn out very good. 

Have a great ride Noveena!

Friday, May 20, 2011

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider Baublezptoa

I apologize to anyone I've missed on the crazy train - but I have decided to not try  to catch up - I just get further behind that way - so I am going to do the studio for the day.
Yesterday & today's ArtFire CrazyTrain Rider is Baublezptoa who does some pretty cool things with precious metal clay.
REally like this Large Oval Cat Paw Print Pendant

although not made out of cool metal clay I really like these Fancy Variscite Dangle Earrings

Really really like this Mandala Medallion Silver & Brass

I love to play with clay - but most things I make look more like a 5 year old made them.  So, I truly admire anyone who can make something so cool as these pendants.  Baublezptoa has quite a variety of jewelry items, I highly recommend checking out these wonderful creations for you or a friend.

Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Frustration & Mistakes

A little frustration & some mistakes led to a much more creative piece.  As some of you know, I try to participate in the Thursday Sweet Treat at Creative Nachos hosted by the wonderfully sweet and supportive Natasha.  Each week, we are given a theme, this weeks was "beyond the reef."  Submissions are due Wed.

Ideas were just not happening! 
Monday - when I was out and about I saw a simple but nice wind chime with stair stepped dangles.  Ah ha!
With the idea of wavy cut glass in somewhat of a stair step design, would hopefully convey the ocean waves.   Due to some things that had to be done, I wasn't able to get going on it until late Tuesday afternoon.  I gathered up my blue glass pieces & set about creating wavy pieces of glass.  How to hang them? - I really wanted something circular - but the only rings I have on hand are smaller than I would like to use for this.....so maybe linear - with what? ah, a wavy white piece of glass  on top.  I left the room to get something and when I came back in I spotted a whale done for a previous theme, that I had been stripping the paint off of, off & on.  The glass paints I use are pretty durable so it really takes some work to get it off.  Cool - I could hang the white piece from the whale!!  Finished getting the paint off & started repainting. 1 coat done.
Wed - evening - strung all the glass together, the whale needs at least 1 or 2 more coats of paint. Realized that hanging the glass off the whale would probably pull the foil off the whale - but they still need to be together somehow.    I had accidentally drilled too many holes in the white piece & didn't want to start over, so I thought stringing some beads off the extras would be cool - I have a few nautical type beads & started looking for my shrinky dink sheets to make some little fish.  I set the glass on the floor, sort of tucked under the couch - and set about looking for the shrinky dink stuff & beads.   Didn't find the shrinky dink stuff.

Found the beads.  Sat back down and picked up the glass pieces - literally, the glass pieces - guess I had stepped on the white piece & it broke.  Ok, I don't have time to cut another piece & drill all the holes in it.  Super Glue to the rescue!  Then glued the aqua pieces on top of the break to add a little stability - and it looks pretty cool!      Added the little clam shaped beads under the aqua glass - where I had drilled an extra hole right top of another one! 
I'm pleased with the outcome - but will redo the white piece - Super Glue is pretty good stuff - but I don't think this would be a good way to send it out to someone.   And who knows, maybe I'll find the shrinky dink sheets!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider Crystal's Handmade Studio

Crystal's Handmade Studio has a variety of items from greeting cards, jewelry, mobile phone/handbag charms, and a couple of unique heart ornaments with Ganutell Flowers.

I've never heard of Ganutell Flowers, but have heard of items created with  wire, thread & beads - these look really pretty and delicate.  She has 2 of them in her studio right now and they are both on sale.
Here's the other Ganutell flower in a heart

Pretty aren't they!?

This Indian Bead Charm bracelet is pretty cool

and it's on sale too!

In fact everything in this studio is on sale - so this would be a great time to visit Crystals' Handmade Studio.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

HAF Spotlight Artist: Dalish Knits

This weeks Handmade Artists' Forum  blog ring featured artist is Dalish Knits.  Yummy knits! Gina resides in Jamestown ND and besides listening to some music while knitting, Gina also enjoys playing the piano & building with Legos with her kids.  I think her kids must inspire her knitted creations such as these adorable Amigurumi Baby Bees  

She also has some adorable  OOAK Knit Waldorf Baby Dolls such as this one in blue. 
Gina also makes a variety of these sweet Waldorf Clutching Toys, it looks so soft.

So if you are looking for some quality handcrafted items for that adorable little one in your life, visit Gina's Dahlish Knits on Etsy  - and have a wonhderful day.

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider Many Horses Jewelry Supply

Past Artfire CrazyTrai Rider Many Horses Jewelry Supply has quite a collection of jewelry supply items such as hair sticks, ear wires, beads, bead caps,jump rings, shawl pins, stick pins.....and more along with some finished items.

This is cute Butterfly Love Hair stick Clip-on™ Purple Heart Butterfly

it says it's a hair stick clip on, but I can think of lots of other places to put it besides on a hair stick, like a purse ring, cell phone charm, light pull, and it would look really sweet as a hair stick charm too.
These sweet Cupcake Lapel Stick Pins would look so cute on a lapel, or a hat, maybe even a purse all sorts of possibilities.
This Rosewood & Bone Shawl Pin is really pretty, I keep wondering if it would also work in your hair.

If you are looking for some jewelry supplies where you will get more personal attention than you do through some of those major chain shops, Many Horses Jewelry Supply may just be the place to go.

Friday, May 13, 2011

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider On Pens & Needles

I missed one (well, at least one) So today I'm doing the previous one - and today's tomorrow.
We have On Pens & Needles, with a variety of items, wood items, baby blankets, reusable bags............
This is so cute Red, White & Blue Cat Pendant

and I really like this idea - Reusable Sandwich and Snack bags - in a variety of prints, and lined with a rip stop nylon so you can just wipe them out - or if really messy toss them in a washing machine & air dry.   How easy is that!

Oops I said baby blankets, well yes there are some adorable baby blankets - but I love this embroidered onesie I Love Grandma

and oh the pen part comes in because there are some wonderful wood covered pens -  something  for those special grads!

So, go check out On Pens & Needles for a wonderful assortment of quality handmade items perfect for the new baby, grads, you, birthdays, or just because!

Friday, May 6, 2011

ArtFire Crazy Train Rider VIA DELLA ROSA

I admit, I'm not getting back into the groove of doing this so well!   and I wanted to put my jacket redo on here so waited until today to do the crazytrain thing.

Via Della Rosa makes glass & wood tile jewelry along with some pretty rosaries.

I sort of fell love with this sweet little bird titled Spring 1

These are cute little scrabble tile magnets titled Three Gossip Girls and they do come in their own little tin.  Sweet.

And a wood tile pendant Antique No1

One of the cool things about finding things on ArtFire - you have everything from simple, elegant, fancy, all carefully handcrafted by a person who takes time to make it right, and adds some little touches such as a sweet little tin or little box.  Simple things often make life so much nicer.

Check out Via Della Rosa, you'll see.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cosmic - Old Friend

A few months ago I came across an Altered Couture magazine,  wow - I'm so inspired to try some of these alterations.  One of my favs is the altered jean jacket.  I love jean jackets, I think I have 4 of them now - well, technically, one of them is a blazer! Oops, I have 5.
Anyway - I have one that I wear more than the others, and it shows - it's getting pretty worn.

After visiting CreativeNachos I thought this would be perfect for the theme for this week - Cosmic. 
It's silly in a way - it's a jacket - but I was about to cut parts off - 1st the lower band - my hand was shaking as I started cutting my friend apart.  Now,  you have to understand, I live in an area that you just don't see altered couture, at least I haven't,  and I really don't wear lace - & I'm not sure how well this is going to work on me.  I'm not 25, or 28, add a few decades to that last number.  I'm not saying how many decades. lo

Then I cut 2, 3" wide strips of a black and white pin stripe suit material and pleated it, added some lace   ( I had 2" left over, whew!) and sewed it on the bottom of the jacket.

Fortunately I have a very large piece of lacy material that I cut a piece out of to bead - it will go across the top of the jacket.
Beading this has been a very tedious process, my eyes just don't quite work the same as they used to.   I recently had surgery on my right eye - and the near distance is different than my left eye, and as it turns out, I don't perceive colors correctly with my left eye, so in order to get the true color of something, I have to close my left eye! I wanted a little bit of color in the details, but not something real bright like bright reds or golds, the green beads are two different greens - that yes, were done on purpose. 

As of right now, this is what I have. After I finish beading the lace & sewing it on the jacket,  I'll cut the cuffs off next - I'll use the same pin strip material to make new cuffs, but with  different lace.   I haven't decided what to do with the collar yet, but it too will go - it's very frayed.
I haven't quite figured out how to do the front of the jacket - down the very front part where the button holes are - it's also very frayed.  It's definitely a work in progress.
I will continue to post pics of it as I go.