Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Little Necklace Therapy

Working with my wonderful prize!

Recently the Art Elements Blog hosted a giveaway, and I won, I won, I won!!

Here is the wonderful pendant created in ceramic by Kristie Roeder.

The colors are so vivid, it was hard to capture them with my little camera, indoors, at night. 

Here is the necklace I created with the pendant, using a bunch of glass beads from my stash. 

I didn't want to get too fancy. Had to let the pendant be the star!

Oh, no, a thief!

My cat Merry trying to steal the necklace. 

Thank you to the folks at Art Elements for sponsoring the giveaway . Here are the other designers!

Guest Designers:
Sarajo Wentling
Lola Surwillo
Beti Horvath
Kate Kemp
Art Elements Team
Susan Kennedy
Lesley Watt
Claire Fabian
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jen Cameron

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Exploring the French Countryside

Hopping with Pine Ridge Treasures


Another Blog Hop from Pine Ridge Treasures. This time, I went literal and did some research on just what the French countryside looks like. I had been expecting a different color way from the selection of beads in this hop. Turns out, these are colors that fit very well with the theme.

Here is what Lisa Lodge sent us: 

Here are some of the images of the French Countryside that appealed to me:

And the jewelry that was inspired by those pictures:

Do you love these blue doors and shutters? 

They were a real surprise to me. They seem to turn up everywhere.  (Can you tell I have never been to France? ) I found some square blue beads, and this metal piece, which I blackened with some metal patina. I combined them with the black beads, crystals and elaborate toggle clasp from Lisa's bead collection, and voilĂ ! I love the blue and black. Little bead earrings complete the look.

Next, my little wine grape pendant. 

I love the little silver leaves, and they go well with the little "grape" amethyst beads I found. And I knew I was saving that cork for something!

But wait, there's more......

My salute to lavender. I even included a little picture of my late season lavender bush blooming. Dreamy green beads from the collection, and some blue beads from my stash, combined with some silver wire and chain, give this set a light and airy look. 

And finally, the earrings that inspired a necklace. 

I was fooling around with some beads from the collection to make a pair of earrings, and liked them so much, I made a necklace to match. These are all beads from Lisa, and are a reflection of all my French Countryside pictures. 

I can't wait to see what the others have made!

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Pine Ridge Treasures - Favorite Things

In which I choose my favorite favorites!

Another Blog Hop, from Pine Ridge Treasures. This one is entitled "Favorite Things." It's so hard to choose the beads from one of Lisa Lodge's hand picked collections... but it had to be done. 

I had thought I photographed this batch as they came in but, no such luck. So here are the pieces I came up with from a beautiful collection. You will just have to believe that I had some hard choices. 

I love black and white, so grabbed these geometric beads, added the black disks and some round white beads and some chain. the clasp included went perfectly with the geometric theme. 

I kind of get a fifties vibe from this necklace. 

In any challenge I have to sneak in some earrings. Aren't they cute? 

And these blue beads were begging to be made into a bracelet. A few tiny blue beads, those white rounds, string them up, add a magnetic clasp and....

How about visiting the other hoppers now?

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Farm in Decline: Part 2

Tracing the fall of the barn.

My last post was Part 1of the story of a nearby farm. I liked to take pictures of the barns and other buildings in different seasons, different weather, and different light. In the course of 5 years, it went from a struggling business, to a source of barn siding. Read a little more here

As I noticed the buildings falling, I actually thought of people I know who use barn wood for cabinetry and crafts, and wondered if someone would harvest the wood. One day, I noticed the process had started. 

Caution tape warned of work in  progress
Heavy equipment was on site, but you could see that the wood was removed to spare it much damage. 

Work in progress.

Down to the foundation where it had already collapsed. You can tell that the structure had been added to over time, judging
from the construction materials. 

The skeleton remains.

A few weeks later there was very little remaining. 

Silos always seem to be left behind.

Stones and blocks.

Wildflowers taking over.

A nice homey perch.....

High on the side of one of the remaining silos.

Farm house 2016

The barns are gone, but the farm remains. 

A Farm in Decline: Part 1

Tracing a nearby farm over five years.

This is a blog I have been wanting to write for a few months now. Wanting and dreading. Because purely by chance, it chronicles the decline of what was a working farm, years ago when I was a child, to the current situation:  farm house for sale, the barn and outbuilding gone, the greenhouses wire hoops in the back lot, the silos lonely against the sky. 

I started taking pictures of the buildings in 2011, when I got my new camera. I would walk the dog past the farm, and snap a few pics for this blog, or just because I liked the way the silos looked against the sky. At that time, the owners grew and sold plants and shrubs, grown in the greenhouses out back. At various times they sold cut flowers, pumpkins, did the hayride and bounce house thing, sold art, and way back, this was a dairy farm. 

I can't give you the entire history of the place, but I can share with you my appreciation and sadness as the old place has at last settled into being just a country house. It is for sale, and I hope someone buys it and lives there for a few more generations. 

A nice black and white shot of the barn, one of my first.  

People still lived here. You can just see the date 1770 over the door. 

Another older picture of the barn

Another view of the barn. Early 2015.
Love this sign. It was used when the farm was open for business selling plants.

I think it was after the place was put up for sale that the barn really started to cave in. 

You can see the main portion leaning in on the back. 

One of the greenhouses, with only the front plastic remaining.

From the time they had a butterfly themed nursery business. 

Beautiful wood barn siding.
It's been a week since I started this blog post, and I think it wants to be two posts. Part two, here

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hopping on a Sunny Day

Transferring Sunlight to Jewelry.

Another Pine Ridge Treasures blog hop is here! The participants ordered a surprise package of beads and coordinating metal pieces from Lisa Lodge, which portray the theme of "A Sunny Day." I actually managed to grab a pretty nice picture of the package contents when they arrived. 

Pretty nice, huh?

My first creation was this:

It's a sun. Or a flower. A pendant. Or a suncatcher. Look at the pretty green wire! I like it, but can't really figure out what to do with it. I'll put it aside, and think about it. 

Yellow earrings with green wire. 
These earrings came next. I again used the green wire, with the pretty yellow drops, and some flower shaped spacers from my stash. 

When I next picked up the beads, I started to understand that a lot of my sunny days were appreciated by looking at sunlight through the foliage that surrounds our home in the country. 

Sun filtered through the leaves. 

And the tiny little iridescent green beads in my kit really mimicked that sunshine-through-the-leaves effect.  I set to work designing a necklace with the delicate green pendant I made from some of the faux beach glass included. And those little green sunshine beads. 

Looks like a Sunny Day to me!

I strung the beads, then attached chain to the ends for an adjustable fit. A little butterfly charm finishes the clasp. 

Some earrings to go with the theme. 

First, a little beachy look, with seahorse charms, and wire that coordinates with the pretty blue beads. 

The seahorses aren't shown to their best advantage, but you get the idea. 
 These are meant to coordinate with the necklace, but look great on their own. 
More glass and little flower connectors. 
 The sun-through leaves theme again. Also meant to coordinate with the necklace. 
See how the little green beads catch the light? 

Thank you Lisa for hosting this Hop. Can't wait to see others' take on the Sunny Day!

Here's where to find the other blog hop participants:

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry  <<<---You are here
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Stephanie McGinley, TBD

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations