Friday, December 26, 2014

Focus on Life: 'Tis the Season - Gathering

Focus on Life: The Final Episode

Two years ago, Sally Russick had an idea. She hosted a weekly photo event, and sent out prompts to inspire the participants to post better and more creative photos on their blogs. I really liked the idea, so I took my little relatively new camera and shot hundreds of pictures, Some good some pretty darned good, and some ...meh. 

Today, we were to represent "gathering." 

In an effort to be creative I went after a gathering of birds. Um. Easier said than done. 

I ended up with these guys. 

Santas in my neighbors' flower box. 

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you all. See you around! I'm going to try to post at least a few random photo projects, let's see how that works in 2015!

Thanks, Sally, for a great two years. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Focus on Life: 'Tis the Season - Ornate/Ornament

Those Big Red Flowers!

This week's Focus on Life prompt is all about Ornaments, bright baubles and handcrafted works of art. 

Since I have been trying out my new leaf and petal polymer clay mold and came up with some poinsettia flowers the fit the season to a "T," I decided to share them here. 

Now, the only question is, do I hang them on the tree.... or wear them!

Let's see if anyone else came up with some favorite flower ornamentation!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Focus on Life: 'Tis the Season - Lights

Oh, don't we love the light in winter!

Our Focus on Life Theme for January (oops! December!!) is 'Tis the Season. This week our prompt is "Lights!"

Hmmm. Christmas lights? 
 Reflected Light?

 Morning Light? 
 Muted Light? 
Simply, love light?

Love to see what others have found.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Focus on Life: Chaos!!!!!!!!

And out of Chaos.........

I'm one of those jewelry artists: I seem to thrive on chaos. Or maybe not thrive, but I certainly do tolerate a certain amount to chaos. So when Sally Russick gave us our Focus on Life theme for the week.......I knew that one of my many work areas would be the illustration for Chaos. 

This is where I mess with polymer clay, and the floor storage area, too. 

Fortunately, this is the result: 

Let's see what other chaos has been discovered.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Focus on Life: Blissful!

White fluffy stuff, but not what you might expect....

As we celebrated thanksgiving this week, I thought about our Focus on Life theme for the week, which was Bliss. Some people must have been blissful over seeing this for the first time this year: 

We had about four inches of snow...nearby places got even more.

Snow for Thanksgiving? No thanks, if you get my drift!

I prefer another blissful drift:

Home made pumpkin pie with a drift of whipped cream.


What did our friends find blissful this week? 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Focus on Life: Hopeful

Tucking in for the winter

Our Focus on Life prompt for this week is the word Hopeful.

This always brings out the hidden farmer in me! 

My hope is that this lovely rosemary plant will survive the winter. I will be covering it with more leaves and pushing it farther into the corner. I have brought these plants into the house for the winter in other years, but they really dry up in the heated winter air. 

So for this little guy...I have hope! 

I wish I could have taken a better picture, but I snapped this with my phone this morning with not a lot of time, or light!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Focus on Life: Faithful

Who is more faithful than my favorite walking companion?

This week's theme for Focus on Life is Faithful. My faithful companion every morning is Bebop, my Labrador-Chow mix. Winter, summer, rain or shine, and for part of the year, in the dark, we walk at least to the end of our long driveway, and usually farther. Bebop also has a special relationship with Pippin, one of our cats. 

What other examples of faithfulness have our friends uncovered?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Focus on Life: Grateful

Something I take for granted...but shouldn't.

This week's Focus on Life prompt? Grateful.

Sally cautioned that we didn't have to look very far for our subjects... Something simple but heartfelt would do. 
I've been toying with this idea for a while, when posting a thankful or grateful theme, I guess today is the day!

My evening medication
Lovely enameled plate found at a yard sale

Those of us who take daily medication for chronic conditions may not enjoy the process, but I for one, am pretty grateful to know they help me keep my metabolic syndrome (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) under control.

For all the criticism our pharmaceutical and medical industries take, we live in remarkable times - when we can live active lives with chronic illnesses that may have caused disability or early death to our ancestors. 

I threw in the picture of the little dish just because I like it, and I am so glad that you can pull up to someone's yard sale, and find a little gem like this 3 inch diameter enameled copper dish.  

Let's see what other gems folks have found to be grateful for.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Focus on Life: Ordinary Everyday Halloween.

Livin' it up on Halloween Night.

Through the years, Halloween was a big deal in our household. Girl Scout Pumpkin contests, family parties sponsored by my work, trick or treating...

Now that the kids are grown, My son is spending a quiet night at home, but daughter Sara makes and wears an elaborate costume every year. 

There was a bit of a mix-up about the posting date for this week's Focus on life, so this week we revisit last week's post if you like, and post about our ordinary life as this week's prompt. 

Friday being Halloween..... I present a couple of snaps from my phone. 

Sara in her green costume, with a couple of friends at Chipotle

My "costume" picture, taken from a bad angle in the car. 
Let's see what the others have shared. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Focus on Life: Color - My Favorite!

What IS my favorite Color? 

I have problems with any question that starts "What is your favorite ______?" So when Sally Russick prompted us to use our favorite colors to fulfill this week's Focus on Life challenge I said "But I don't have a favorite color!!!" 

And truthfully, I love lots of colors, and combinations of colors. So I decided to go with turquoise (or maybe it's aqua). I do love this color that also is the name of a gem stone that is not always the color we recognize as turquoise. I happen to gravitate to this color to wear, both in clothes and in jewelry. And I am perfectly okay with the fact that much of the jewelry made with stones colored turquoise is dyed. As long as it looks good, and the color does not fade, I'm good with it.   

Everywhere I look, there is a piece of my wardrobe, looking good in my favorite color. 

And on my crafting table....

Polymer clay, commercial plastic, and dyed howlite.

I love all colors, so I am excited to see what the other participants have chosen. Join me? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Do-Over Time!

A tiny bracelet becomes a necklace and some earrings. 

Several weeks ago, I received this bracelet, made with pink dyed shell buttons, seed beads, and some tiny multicolored beads including some turquoise ones. Jeannie Dukic of JKD Studios and Whee! The People sends these pieces to us so that we can change her older vision to our current vision. 

This bracelet was tiny, and I spent quite some time trying to figure out something new and different I could do with it. 

I used the pink buttons with some tear drop shaped seed beads, and the tiny cream colored seed beads from the original design.  The pendant and the tear drops came from a strange, unfinished looking necklace that I bought at a yard sale. The seed beads at the back of the necklace just happened to match very well. 

And then, there are these earrings: 

You can see the turquoise beads and the yellow beads from the ends of the bracelet, which complement the big wooden fish, from another old necklace. I beg to be forgiven for originally thinking the fish were hedgehogs. 

This was probably my hardest Do Over challenge. It was just so darn small. I could see the earrings right away, but the rest, I had to really use my brain, to avoid making the same piece over again. I hope that you all like my work as much as I do in the end. 

Here are the rest of the participants in this year's challenge:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Focus on Life: Color - Twilight Time!

Looking around to find how colors change as the light fades. 

Our prompt this week for the October Color theme, is "The Color of Evening, or the Golden Hour."

I took a ride, going the "long way" to pick up my daughter from work. 

Here is what I found. 

What looks like a heavy industrial area is really just the roadside next to a transformer station. Interesting silhouette. 
I love the look of the evening sky on the still water of this pond.
A church in the fading light.

Detail of th light over the church door, the color boosted a bit in PicMonkey.

What have the others found while waiting for the light to fade? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Focus on Life: Color - Macro photographs!

Finding the real colors and textures around us....

This week, our Focus on Life prompt is to find interesting macro shots to share with you. 

Fall creates many changes around us, and many are small things we just walk right by.

I just looked around the fading garden pots by my door step.

A late broccoli sprout.

Cinnamon basil.

Flower of pink stonecrop sedum.

Center of a rudbeckia flower - I didn't even see the web until I got this on the computer.

Another rudbeckia, from the top this time. 

Sempervivum. This live-forever plant was almost killed by our cold winter last year!

I loved discovering the details we usually miss as the weather has it's way with our plants. What else do we have to look forward to? 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Focus on Life: Color - Color Photography

Sampling the colors of fall.

October is here! Hardly seems possible, but the trees are turning, and color rules the day. But before the obligatory leaf peeper shots (and they are magnificent) take a look at the cauliflower I got at the farmer's market.

Our theme for October is Color!  It's everywhere this week, but I was particularly impressed by the maples, and this wonderful vegetable!

Purple Cauliflower
It never looks better than this!

I love the leaves in mid-change!

Luminous color.

Outside the u-pick place, the apples aren't the only red around!

What other colors have our friends discovered?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Focus on Life:Simplicity - Hands

I win, Hands down!

Here I am at the computer for the first time in a few days, happy to feel the motivation to post this. A little later than I usually do a Focus on Life... but I'm here. 

So our prompt was "hands" which was great, since I was suffering from a fever, and was feeling so bad I couldn't go out and find a photo to feature here. But my hand you get to see. 

Hope you can tell I am feeling better. Not 100% yet, but good enough for this. 

Can't wait to see what other people hand us!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Focus on Life: Simplicity - One

When one is the essence of simplicity.

The Focus on Life monthly theme of "Simplicity" is carried on by this week's prompt "One." 

Of course, while I like the idea of using a picture of one of something...I couldn't seem to choose only one picture, so here are my three choices. 

The tree is growing out of the chimney of one of the old factory buildings featured here last week. That makes it one thing, right?

One tree coming out of one chimney

Queen Ann's Lace. One blossom. Or... well, this close up, it certainly looks like the compound flower it is!

One Queen Ann's Lace...or is it? 

One pontoon boat sitting in a field. 

One boat. Looking a bit lost. 

Let's see what others have found.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


One fabulous pendant and a Do-over challenge. 

This first piece is  pendant necklace special ordered by a customer at a craft show, who wanted something to go with a new pair of hand crafted earrings she had bought elsewhere. 

This is what I came up with. 

Final piece
Full necklace before
adding the Hope charm

Closeup of original pendant

My customer thought it looked great, save for one little thing. "In a perfect world," it would include the word "hope," somewhere. 

I got in touch with Amanda from RococoRiche, and she made the lovely little charm you see in the first picture. I think it turned out to be a great addition. 

As for the Do-over, Jeannie Dukic is having her Eighth Do-over Challenge. She sends the participants a piece of jewelry she made years ago, and we play with the components to see if we can make something more pleasing. 

 This bracelet is my challenge for this round. Tiny beads and these cute pink buttons. October 18th, a completely new piece will debut here!