I STARTED Early--Took my Dog--And visited the Sea--
The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me
--Emily Dickinson

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Production mode...

I'm gearing up to make ornaments for the upcoming Christmas season.  Here's some canes I made for my "Tertiary Trees" ornaments:

I'm both excited and not excited at the same time to begin the process.  I love my ornaments, but I do get tired of making the same thing over and over again....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lotus flower

Zen Garden.  Ack!  I'm about as far away from Zen as you could get (or even want to get).  Luckily, we can use any number of components associated with it.  I picked the Lotus flower, since I'm on a flower kick these days.  I had a rather different idea in mind, but it didn't work out.  So, I just went with what I've been enjoying lately:

I put the symbol for "faith" on one side of the ring...

...and "beauty" on the other side...

I like the way the colors look together--it's a nice ring to wear.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Love....

It occurs to me, as I look over my blog, that most of what I've posted is side stuff.  I mean, most of my output over the years has been canes, canes, and MORE canes.  Quilt canes to be specific:
It's been kind of nice focusing on different things--first at Clay Camp, and then during these last few challenge weeks.  I've been growing just a wee bit tired of working with clay; I'd been in a rut.  So changing things up has given me an opportunity to indulge my creativity and have a lot of fun, too!
That's not to say I've left canes behind.  Even though I've had the worst time trying to figure out what to do with completed canes, I still love making them.  Lately, I've been making beads, buttons, and rings.  It seems like there should be something else to do with them, though.  

Heh.  Some of these quilt canes have been around over ten years.  I can't seem to stop!


When I get a chance, I'll post some of the stuff I've been making with these.  

Huh.  I just realized--I don't have any of my snowflake canes represented here.  Probably because they are used up as soon as I make them.  I'll post them (and my snowflakes) a little later.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ring #5

This is the fifth ring I ever made (the less said about ring #4, the better!).  So far, it is my absolute favorite.  It's pretty out there, isn't it?  But I love it.  The construction was a bit tricky and a little sloppy, but it holds together very well.

Except for the swan.  Oh the swan!  I made the perfect swan.  Put the ring in the oven and baked it.  Then the swan chipped off.  Drat!  I set it aside in a safe place while I finished the ring.  When it was completely done, I went to glue the swan on the pond and...yeah, a safe place. *roll-eyes*  So I made another one.  My workspace is in my living room and I transported the little critter on my baking tile into the kitchen to bake.  Riiiight.  It fell off the baking tile.  Take a look at the picture.  Go ahead, I'll wait.  The silly thing is about 1/4" big.  My kitchen linoleum is in tones of white, beige, and brown.  I couldn't find it.  *sigh*  So round number three.  The swan turned out okay and I got it attached to the ring.  It wasn't perfect, but nobody but me would notice.

Several days later, I was showing it off to someone and I chipped it off again (and lost it, of course)!  DRAT!!  But wait!  Oh happy fortune!  I found the original swan (which is the best of the three I must admit).  This time I drilled the tiniest hole in the bottom of the swan and a corresponding tiny hole in the pond.  I put a bit of wire in the holes and super-glued the thing and now it's perfectly secure.  Whew!  Anyway, a side view:

I totally love the bear! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm so very sad today...

...my landlord and his wife moved to Iowa this morning.  They are the BEST LANDLORDS EVER!  They've been such good friends, too and I'm going to miss them terribly.  I've had so much joy lately, sharing my creations with Marlene--she is so encouraging and has such nice things to say about them.  So, last week I decided I would make a going away present for her.  I've been working on it all week and finally finished it and gave it to her last night:

I took a class a couple of years ago from Christi Friesen.  I used that class, her inspiration, and her techniques in making this piece.  Here are some close-up detail pics....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dragonfly Pond

I think this has been my hardest challenge yet.  How hard could it be, really?  Dragonflies are beautiful creatures and they are everywhere in jewelry these days.  I don't want to copy other people, though.  So, I thought a LOT about it and came up with this:

I was going for a swampy, pond-y, dragonfly wallow type of thing.  You know, kind of dark water, with muddy banks and cattails and green, reedy stuff; with a few flowers thrown in for color; and blue sky with wispy clouds to top it all off.  I'm not sure I achieved it.  I'm not sure I like it.  It's better than the forest floor challenge, but...I don't know....

I did really enjoy going through the beads and swapping them around on the bead board.  It took several hours, but it was a strangely soothing experience.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ring #3

This is the third ring I ever made (we won't talk about ring number two...).  I don't normally like the warmer colors, but I love the way this red orange and yellow orange look with white.  The colors are leftovers from my "Tertiary Tree" canes (more on that later).  I just sort of noodled around with it and came up with this ring.  It's the ring I wear most often--it looks great on my thumb....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Columbia Lily ring (Tiger Lilies challenge)

After I finished last week's challenge, I knew right away what I was going to do for the Tiger Lilies challenge (Heather was kind enough to post the upcoming challenges--it's a good thing too, because I have NO clue what I'm going to do for most of them).  Here it is:

It doesn't quite top last week's entry as my favorite, but it's close....