Monday, January 31, 2011

Got my soup

My bead soup arrived from the snowy north at the end of last week.  My partner K Hutchinson did a great job picking beads and I'm pretty excited about getting started.  K's blog Running on Ink is full of bright colors and family fun.  I was inspired just by the colors she uses in her collages, and am super happy to have a little pendant included in the soup pack with a butterfly collage.  Even though she tucked this in, along with a skeleton key, just for fun, I think I'm going to try to use them my piece.  Check out the photos below.
my partner sent some hot soup!
I think this butterfly will look great in the piece accented with some other blue
Here is my selection before I went wild and played. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

a little work

polymer and silver art clay from the same mold
silver art clay from my mold below
the mold
I made these pieces last week when I made the peacock pendant.  I have been carrying around the silver floral in my pocket all week as if it were a lucky charm.  I still haven't bedazzled it, but I think I know what I will do.  My mold and the polymer pieces are coated in some mineral powder.  Mostly this is for release purposes, but I also like the way it looks, which is not like these photos.  With super-macro they appear to be covered in powdered sugar, but in reality it is a bit more subtle.  I still want to get out the alcohol inks and play around.  They also need to be buffed a bit.  I have found that denim works the best for me.  Unfortunately, usually this means that I rub the polymer pieces against the leg of whatever jeans I am wearing at the moment.
the peacock in good light

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clay peacocks

I've been playing with polymer clay for the past few days.  I got out some clay straight from the package and made some molds.  This entailed walking around the house and looking for things I thought might make interesting impressions.  Two little dogs were very excited that we were on a treasure hunt. I didn't realize that simply roaming from room to room delighted them quite so much.

I baked quite a lot of polymer clay, but when I decided to finally pull out some silver art clay, I just made two impressions from my new molds.  I thought I would see how it worked out, then try some more after seeing what adjustments I needed to make. 
I'm still shooting indoors without a photo station.
This is a small pendant with a couple of random peacock feathers.  Yes, I noticed that the upside down one in the upper left rather looked like an ear, but I was so excited about my peacock feather mold I really didn't notice that I'd found Van Gogh's severed ear.  I made the mold (below - in positive and negative) from a plate I bought at a thrift store this summer.
I made my pendant into a necklace with a blue quartz coin, moonstone roundel, and tiny crystal.

I oxidized the sterling chain and the pendant, but didn't give the dangles any patina.  This wasn't a design strategy, I just didn't feel like going into the cold laundry room to mix up the patina gel when I finally sat down and decided to make the piece into a necklace.
my mold

here is a polyclay impression
side by side- negative and positive
 I made another silver pendant, but I didn't like these pics well enough to subject that one to the camera.  My second piece is a  floral which I made from the decorative part of a barrette that I think has been floating around my stash of hair-do bobs since I was in college.  I'm hoping it will stop raining long enough during the daylight hours for me to take a picture.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A few stitches

A tubular herringbone bangle from Ruby
My pink trefoil attempt
sterling, copper, silk, and vintage Czech glass earrings
tiny stars to test colorways
seven stars sewn together from Marcy Abney's Dec.2010 Beadwork piece
Dreadful photos that I just took inside, but I've been missing the daylight. I haven't been quite certain of my name for the past three days due to the creeping crud that is oozing around.  I coughed, sniffled, sweated, and almost begged for mercy, but started to feel better until I faced 5 AM this morning.  I thought I wouldn't make it through the workday.  I drove 40 min. through thick fog hoping that no one would say anything that would upset me and cause me to burst into tears.  Of course when I got in and had computer malfunctions on a day most of my lesson was dependent on technology, and had to switch gears while going down hill, I pulled it together.  It may not have been pretty, but I didn't crash.  So, I've got bad photos, oh well.  I just wanted to share that I have been doing something during the last month.

The trefoil is the darned thing full of ceylon Delicas that broke.  It looks a little squwishy because the beads decided to break as I was finishing.  It was intended to go to a mother-in-law, but I need to make another.  The earrings I made for the other MIL, and liked them so I made another pair for myself.  I still need to finish another two dozen or so tiny stars to put together my bracelet from Marcy's pattern.  And, yes, I wimped out on color and went with silver and gunmetal.  Finally is my fever dream herringbone bangle.  I have been wanting to try the pattern from Ruby's Beadwork.  I even took beads to Mexico, but never got going.  Saturday I made the bracelet.  Instead of finishing it with a magnet, I ran beading stringing wire through the tube and added a toggle.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Around Tulancingo

In and around Tulancingo, México
These pictures are from around town.  I stayed in the tiny town of San Lorenzo Sayala (actually it is larger than Q'town were I live) and made frequent trips down the mountain to or through Tulancingo.  Tulancingo was originally intended to be the capital of Hidalgo, but in the end Pachuca won out. I took many, many photos from the car as we drove around the states of Hidalgo, México, and Puebla.  Most of these were taken on December 30th, the last day I was visiting.  Inside cities all was concrete walls, usually brightly painted or sprayed with ads and announcements, outside the cities all was stone from fields.  Everywhere it appeared as if the entire country was simultaneously being torn down and built up before my eyes. 
View from the front of the house looking toward San Lorenzo Sayula
I really want to see the above view when the sunflowers are in bloom.  All those brown dots in the foreground are dried sunflowers.  Every where we went in this central area of México I saw sunflower seed heads.  It must be glorious when they are in flower.  Somewhere between the foreground and the houses in the background is a dry river bed.  In fact there is also one that runs in a gorge some distance from the back of the house.  One this particular bit of land is undeveloped so my mother-in-law has a nice view and doesn't look onto houses directly across the street.
Looking toward the church in San Lorenzo
We went to Mass on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve).  My husband didn't want to go, but his mother is quite devoted so I decided we had to take her.  Remi wanted to sit in the back row and his mother wanted to sit in the front row.  We ended up in the middle.  When Mass was over we spotted my father-in-law with his mother a few rows up.  Remi's parents split up nearly 25 years ago, but his is a one-church town and they all get along.

Remi in the kitchen with his grandfather and grandmother
Remi's paternal grandparents have 12 children, 11 of whom lived.  Despite the stern looks (and they are tough cookies!), their house was full of music during the holidays.  I caught his grandmother dancing around the kitchen with about four of her daughters.  She hid as soon as she saw me trying to take her picture.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I've been beading and a little Mexico

...not much.  Not too much beading, and none that has been in front of the camera.  Before the holidays I finished a commission piece (Hi Jordan - that was your piece) that I really love, I made earrings that I took to Mexico for some of the ladies in my husband's family, and I made Diane Fitzgerald's celtic trefoil for my mother-in-law, but had problems with beads breaking (I think I officially hate Delica's ceylon  bead).

None of this was photographed.  I'm not certain what I was thinking other than it was might cold in mid-December just before I left and I do not have an indoor photo booth set-up.  Maybe this is one of my resolutions/goals for the first part of this year.

When I returned home, I started playing around with Marcie Abney's pattern in the latest Beadwork.

Working with her contribution to the Simply Seeds column has gotten me thinking more about how I can combine small patterns into larger pieces.  Repetition.
What is out back behind the house in Mexico
The cacti don't look giant until you get someone in front of them. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads

The traveling bead box has cris-crossed the country.  I'm hoping it will stop in Georgia next, but you can through your hat in the ring at Cindy Gimbrone's Lampwork Diva site.

1. Heather Powers of Humble Beads- San Antonio, TX.
2. Mikki Ferrugiaro of MFD Beadwork Originals- UT.
3. Nancy Dale of NED Bead -Vermont.
4. Hannah Rosner of Good River Gallery- NM
5. Chris Neit of Good Quill Hunting-Maine
6. Sandy Spivey of Sandy’s Treasure- California
7. Katie Nelson of Katie’s Creations- TX
8. Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay- PA
9. Lorelei Eurto of Lorelei Eurto Jewelry- New York State
10. Becky Caldwell of The Gritty Bird- North Carolina
11.Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio - Virginia
12. Cindy Gimbrone of Lampwork Diva - NY

All rules are posted at Cindy's site.  You have until 6 PM today to get on over and enter.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

1 1/2 miles high

The view from the front porch of my father-in-law's house at about 7875 feet above sea level.
My father-in-law built this house, but is now building another in town because he is afraid the cliffs above will begin to fall on his house.  The sheep like to knock on the front door in the morning to be fed. 
Sheep coming to greet/beg for food.  Check out the brick work on the window sill and at the roof line; he did that himself.  All the timbers extend to the interior and across the ceilings inside.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back from Mexico, part 1

I just got back from Hidalgo, México where I visited with my in-laws for two weeks.  We did a bunch of touristy stuff like visiting Teotihuacan, Real del Monte, and a former hacienda in Santa Maria Regla and we visited and were visited by every living relative in Remi's family.  I have a mountain of mail and laundry to deal with, dogs to walk, and work tomorrow so this just a little glimpse at the trip.
At Teotihuacan at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun with the Pyramid of the Moon behind.   

Adding a rock

Feeling the power of the pyramid at the center of the top

We stayed until the end of the day
We ate and ate with the family.  Some nieces and a nephew, and in-laws.

church and ruins at the former hacienda in Santa Maria Regla
Father-in-law Roberto and Remi inspecting the stone work.  Roberto is a mason.
looking down on those barrel vaults with basalt prisms in the hills behind
looking up in Pahuatlan, Puebla
...and looking down
 And now Blogger and I are having some communication problems so I will rename this Back from Mexico, Part I.