Monday, January 28, 2013

Back to Jewelry

What's this all about? 

Last summer I started this blog with the express purpose of joining the Bead Soup Blog Party and other blog hops and similar events. I was very immersed in my jewelry making, and I was soaking up styles, techniques and the work of amazing, talented, and generous people.  

I participated in a craft show last summer, and sold more than I ever have at that show, and had a fine time selling at work, as I usually do. I began setting up my long-promised Etsy shop, and I made jewelry as usual.  

And then around the first of the year, I stopped making jewelry. I have been exploring other art forms, but somehow I start very few jewelry projects, and haven't finished...anything. Hmmm. The Bead Soup Blog Party is coming along, and maybe that will get me going. In the meantime, I have been reviewing some things that I've made recently.  

These earrings are a small example of what I have created over the years.

Memory Wire Bracelets.  These are made out of left over beads from other projects.

Pendant Necklaces that have been sold.

 Pendant Necklaces that will be listed in my Etsy Shop.
There, now it looks like a jewelry blog!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Focus on : Making new art

...wherein I do the same scene three ways.

Sally Russick of Studio Sublime has challenged us to "Create Art." 

I took this opportunity to try my hand at watercolors for the first time in oh.... too many years. 

For a while, I have wanted to create art based on a sunrise or sunset. I have captured several sunrises with my camera, but that didn't quite portray the experience the way I wanted to. I wanted to show what was in my mind's eye, not the camera's eye. 

I played around with my photo.

But that was not quite what I wanted to do, I wanted to paint.

I tried colored pencil, because I couldn't find any watercolors. 

But I knew I had to do my final piece as a painting. Fortunately I knew I could borrow some watercolors from my daughter. 

But wait. Her watercolor set HAS NO BLACK!!!! 
Do you see my photo? Do you see my colored pencil sketch? 
After a bit of back and forth, I settled on using a dark blue instead of black. As I painted, I felt better and better about that choice. After all, I did not want a photographic representation. I wanted a painting!

In the end, I am pleased with my choice, and pleased with the medium. 

To see some of the other replies to this challenge, visit Sally's blog.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party!

It's coming!

Hard to believe, it's almost time to sign up for the Bead Soup Blog Party. This past summer was my first, and I am so excited to be participating in this year's event. If you are not familiar with it, the Bead Soup Blog Party is a chance for anyone who makes jewelry to be matched by the generous and tireless Lori Anderson with another jewelry artist from somewhere in the world, and trade beads, clasps, and a focal piece to be used to create jewelry. 

Next week the sign-ups begin. Click below to go over to Lori's Bead Soup page!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A little bit of life

[If you are looking for my Focus on Life post, it's here.]

My morning walk - with my pal.

In my last post I mentioned walking with Bebop, my dog, and today we did Grand Rounds, about a 3 mile loop, taking us over two bridges (one closed!) past several ponds, and up and down hills. 

Here's Bebop.

She was very busy. Did not want to pause for a photo op.

So here's a picture from this fall.

The floating head effect. I was photographing jewelry, and suddenly she showed up to check things out. 

And these are some of the things we saw. 
The bridge by our house

View of the Shawangunk Moutains
One of many ponds we passed

Bridge closed? Not to us!

View from one side of the closed bridge.

The other side of the bridge. Can you see the ducks? 
Oh, there they are!

So, that's how we spent our Sunday morning! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Focus on: Taking Time

Taking time ....literally

Ready for my closeup, Mr DeMille!

This week's prompt from Sally Russick at Studio Sublime is "Take Time."

I thought about how to portray this concept... taking time out of my busy life just for me. And I realized that it's not such an unusual thing for me to do. Because my kids are grown, and I don't have a physically active job, time for me might be taking a walk with  my dog, Bebop or in the warmer weather, joining my husband on a yard sale expedition. 

I got my inspiration for this week's prompt from one of the items I picked up last summer. 

We saw an ad on Craig's List for a variety of items including old construction and furniture remnants. And the farm holding the sale was right up the road from our house. I walk past it on my walks. 

Around back are some greenhouses, and in one of them, they had what was left from a relative's furniture restoration business. Ooo lala! French antiques! However the antiques looked more like the piece you see here, made into a pendant, than anything you could sit on.  

I did buy several of these pieces, but there was something much bigger calling to me from a dusty corner. I walked by it several times, and finally pulled it out to take a second and third look. Yup, just as I thought - completely useless. But I had to get it. I had to take TIME for me. 

This object, so rusty and dusty, just barely recognizable as a former time piece, was once part of a grandfather clock. Now it sits in my living room reminding me to TAKE TIME

Go visit Sally's blog and meet the rest of the photographers.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Focus on: Moving Forward!

My word for the year 2013

This is Week 2 of  Focus on Life, the photography challenge sponsored by Sally Russick of Studio Sublime. This week's prompt asks us to choose a word to guide us through the year. For a long time, I thought I would use "follow through" or just "follow." I certainly can use to remember to finish what I have started. 

But follow gave connotations of being a mindless follower, and I don't want to just blindly follow anything. Maybe "finish?" Not quite right either. And then it came to me. Forward! I had already taken a picture of a "one way" sign with some idea of using it to make a series of arrows. Or something.  

I decided to stay with the sign. but somehow did not want to have the arrow pointing left. Picmonkey to the rescue! I flipped the cropped sign photo upside down. Hmm, what's missing? I liked the sign upside down, but it really conjured up too many alternate meanings. Aha! Plaster the word "Forward" on it. 

Yeah it sounds lame, but I like it......

...  it's really just about taking something and making it MINE!
And going FORWARD.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Focusing on

Choosing a photo to represent myself was not easy..... I chose this one. 

But I liked this one too. 

These two shots don't seem to say a lot about my life, but rest assured, I can be seen here on the living room couch, whether I am watching television, reading a book or making jewelry. So I think they are proper self portraits.  

Be sure to visit the sponsoring website for more takes on self portraits The Studio Sublime.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Self Portrait

Seeing yourself as others see you

For some of us, myself included, looking in the mirror or seeing a picture of ourselves can be a painful experience. Whether it's wrinkles or weight, gray hair or frizz, we are often our own harshest critics. But hey, I thought when I received my first prompt for a photography challenge, I look the way I look, and if a self portrait is our assignment, that's what I'm going to do. Then, the question was, how much "work" do I do on the self portrait?  The answer was: as little as possible. 

I chose a familiar and comfortable spot ("my" corner of the couch) and set my timer. Got a great shot of one eye. After fooling around for a while, I got the shot framed and took a bunch of  trial shots. Then a few more on another day. Still working on which one to choose. Stay tuned tomorrow for the big debut!

The blog post that has inspired this new project: Focusing on life one photo a week .