Saturday, March 31, 2012

Colors of Spring-Cockatoo

blog hop challenge-Colors of Spring

Today is the reveal day for Sally Russick's 'Colors of Spring' challenge. I chose Cockatoo. Our only requirement was to use the focal for the challenge. I received these lovely beads made by Sally.

This first piece is made with Sally's focal, along with a patinated metal focal component from Staci Louise, and Vintaj chain. I cheated and used the vintaj tin to represent the rest of the colors of the challenge. But sometimes I just love a simple piece.

This piece does not have any of Sally's beads in it but the colors fit the challenge. It includes Vintaj components, a sweet flowered polymer clay round from Too Aquarius, Czech beads from Lima Beads, coral Swarovski Pearls, and tiny lampwork spacers.

I had a design idea to use the white beads, along with an Industrial Chic focal, tangerine colored lampwork spacers, another flowered polymer clay bead from Too Aquarius (because I just love them) and vintaj components. Time got away from me and I didn't get to finish this one for the reveal.

Thanks, Sally for a fun challenge! Be sure to check out what the other participants created.

Host: Sally Russick
Therese Frank
Kim Bender
JLynn Jewels
Christine Altmiller
Cherrie Fick
Jenny Vidberg
Sabine Dittrich
Hope Smitherman
Nicole Rennell
Erin Fickert-Rowland
Patti Vanderbloemen
Kristi Bowman
Shannon Chomanczuk
Elisabeth Auld
Alice Peterson
Donna Bradley
Kristi Harrison
Cilla Watkins
Lesley Watt
Maryanne Gross
Susan Kennedy
Courtney White Breul

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Thousand Words

Napoleon Bonaparte once said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That's how I feel about my new header photo. My husband and I saw this gorgeous scene one day, but the camera battery was dead so we didn't get a picture. A couple days later my husband was on the same road and took this great photo. Even though these purple field flowers are really weeds, they are still lovely. One can't help but be awed by nature's artistry here. Spring has certainly arrived here in this beautiful countryside.

And speaking of words, I don't think I showed you this sweet sign that my oldest daughter made for me with tiny colorful shapes of art papers. It has my business name on it, and for now I have it on the wall of my work space. I just love the bright, cheery colors!

Below is a set of Venetian beads my cousin got from the tiny island of Murano years ago. They're the real deal!! Unfortunately the knotted threads broke and she asked me to repair it. It's a very long necklace and the beads are just gorgeous! The bad things is that I've never made anything using thread, and I'm not the best knotter around. I guess now is a good time to learn. Any suggestions?

Be sure to stop back on this Saturday for Sally Russick's 'Colors of Spring' challenge reveal. I have yet to finish my piece, but my fingers are crossed that I get it done today. Also, April 7th is Lorelei's 'Headpin Challenge' reveal.....and as you might have guessed, I do not even have a clue about what I'm going to make. Remind me not to sign up for challenges that are so close together.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Logical Nonsence

'The time has come, the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax
Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings.'
~Lewis Carroll

My grandfather was constantly quoting little ditties like this. He led a rather colorful life as a young man; orphaned at age 5 where he was then contracted out as a hired hand. He later worked as a carnival barker and a clown, just to name a couple. I believe he was also in the Navy, if that tatoo he had on his arm was any indication. I wish I could go back in time and ask him to tell me all about his life. He would tell the most interesting stories about being related to Daniel Boone, and being part Native Indian, but then again, he was a bit senile in his old age, so it's anyone's guess. I've been trying to track down his family history through for a few years now, and having a time of it. Seriously, searching geneaology sites can be both frustrating and rewarding, and it certainly takes a lot of time.

So the title of this post really tells it like it is; a bit of this and that.

First, let me share some goodies I received in the mail recently.

This is a set of beads I received from Sally Russick for the upcoming 'Colors of Spring' Blog hop on March 31st. The beads are sitting on my bead table waiting for inspiration to strike--which I hope happens soon, 'cause I'm running out of time.

This pile of goodies came from Linda Larson at Objects and Elements as part of her destash. Just look at all the goodies!

These lovely headpins came from Lorelei as part of a Headpin challenge--the reveal date is set for April 7th. The headpins were made by Gardanne. As you can see, they have a balled end opposite the glass bead end, which makes for a challenge all its own--at least for me.

I won these gorgeous enameled earrings from Melissa Memann as part of the recent
Earrings Everyday blog giveaway. I love the pretty pinkish lavender colors.

This amazing resin pendant was handcrafted by Lynn Davis, which I won in a recent giveaway. I love the gorgeous antique look of it!

Yep, I feel pretty lucky after winning all these goodies. My grandfather was a teeny part Irish (at least that's what says), and maybe I got a bit of Luck O' The Irish meself. Here's another ditty that grandpa used to recite. When I looked up the origin I was surprised to learn it was an old negro riddle. I'm guessing he probably worked with several negro slaves during his youth. I know he was shuffled around to many homes to work. See if you can figure out what item the riddle is referring to.

Round as a biscuit
Busy as a bee
Prettiest thing you ever did see

The answer is a watch. If you made it down this far, I commend you!

Friday, March 9, 2012

San Antonio Part Three-The Missions

First, I want to thank Lori Anderson for hosting the Bead Soup Blog Hop. It was the first time I've participated, and I enjoyed it very much. And thanks to all who stopped by my blog and left the sweetest comments. If you are still hopping, click here to see the post.

Earlier I showed you photos of my favorite Mission of San Antiono: Mission San Juan Jose. But there are actually five missions to see, and I'm sharing photos of three here(the last one will be in a separate post since it's the Alamo).

Mission Concepcion was dedicated in 1755--the oldest unrestored stone church in America. Missing are the colorful geometric designs that covered the surface.

The entrance to Mission Concepcion

A beautiful door tucked in the back.

Mission San Juan Capistrano. The entire mission was being repaired so we didn't get to go inside.

Mission Espada, built in 1690 and used against the Mexicans during Texas' struggle for independence. Ruins of the missions walls, granary, convento and bastion/fortified wall remain, along with the lime kilns that produced bricks.

The Church

Mission Espada Convento (Missionary Quarters)

Inside the Compound

Mission Edpada Bastion

Thanks for coming along with me to San Antonio. I have so many more photos to share with you, if you're up for it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party - The Reveal

Today is the day for Lori's 5th Bead Soup Blog Party, and I couldn't be more excited! I was paired up with Carol Dillman of Dillman's Dailies Blog. She sent me this wonderful bead soup below, and I was determined to use everything, and to use only items from my own stash rather than buying anything new. Unfortunately, I didn't end up using the amazing wire coils as my design just didn't work out. But I'm going to keep trying and hope to have something to show you next week.

Bead Soup I received from Carol Dillman: Her lovely handmade lampwork beads, a bag of accent beads, silver headpins, clasp, chain and beads, and three wire coils.

'Portside' - made with Carol's own lampwork beads, sterling beads, sterling clasp, and accent beads. I added a few of my own sterling spacer beads.

'Let's Go Fly A Kite' - made with Carol's own lampwork beads. The kite focal is from Jade Scott and Vintaj componets.

'Washed Ashore' made with Carol's starfish charm, a bit of chain, and one of her sweet lampwork beads. Also included are a glass disc bead from Twinstar, tumbled beach glass, a couple odd stones, and a plated silver ring.

'Tiny Bubbles' made with Carol's sterling beads (don't they just look like bubbles?). Red lampwork beads are from AlyDan.

'Morning Glory'-made with Carol's accent beads, earwires and headpins, plus my own silver-filled wire. The fifth time is the charm on this pair of earrings. The photo shown is the fourth try, and I noticed they were not quite right in regard to how the top blue beads are situated. It was very difficult to make the wires match, and the curves the same size etc, but I managed to get it to work.

Please check out the other participants listed below.

Hostess, Lori Anderson
Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1. Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)

2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)

3. Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)

4. Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman

7. Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu

15. Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)

16. Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

22. Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)

24. Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)

25. Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs

32. Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)

33. Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)

37. Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)

41. Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)

43. Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday

45. Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)

48. Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent

54. Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)

55. Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)

65. Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)

66. Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)

76. Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)

78. Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)

83. Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)

93. Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick

95. Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)

97. Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)

98. Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Friday, March 2, 2012

T.G.I.F. - Random Stuff

Kansas weather has been all over the place this week. Below is a photo from a tornado that hit Tuesday evening just miles from our town. Nearly half the little town of Harveyville was destroyed, and one person died when his house collapsed on him. In this economy it is difficult for little towns like this to recover.

Wednesday and Thursday were nice and sunny, and today it's snowing. Yes, snowing! I'm guessing the weather forecasters in Kansas are getting a run for their money this week.

A view from my house.

Are you up for a challenge? Join the Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge. Follow the link for details and to print off a calendar for daily challenges. Don't feel pressured to do them all, this is just a fun way to keep you creating and to share your creations on the Fusion Beads Facebook page.

And last but not least, tomorrow is Lori Anderson's 5th Bead Soup Blog Party! This is my first time to participate and I'm looking forward to the party tomorrow. Stop back by so you can enjoy the party and see what all the talented artists made.

Bead Soup Blog Party