Saturday, March 29, 2014

Focus On Life At Eye Level

For the last Saturday of March we are to check out what's going on at eye level.  From where we stand, sit, Kneel or lay: take a look around at your surroundings and capture what's at eye level.

I sit at my desk a lot. It's the hub of everything I do for  the business side of my jewelry business,all my volunteer work, catching up on email and blogs etc. And though you can't tell from the photo I have a great view out two double-hung windows. It's fun to see what's going on outside ,watching birds flit here and there, kids walking to and from the school bus, and people running or walking on a nice day.

You can see I have two monitors which is so handy for all the stuff I do.

Go check out Sally's blog to see more eye level photos.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Focus on Life With Expressions

This week it's all about expressions.

On a trip to Chicago we ate at a nice Italian Restaurant.
My older daughter (the one on the Left) loves making faces, and the younger daughter just puts up with it as you'll see in the next photo.

Check out Sally's Blog to see more expressions.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Earrings Everyday We're All Ears Monthly Challenge

Earrings Everyday is hosting a monthly earring challenge. 
Every First Friday of the month Erin posts the subject of our inspiration.


Pen and watercolor by Beatrix Potter
from The Tailor of Gloucester from the collection at the Tate Museum

So sweet is this watercolor and it has so many things to use as inspiration.
I chose the darling flowers on the blanket as my inspiration.

'The Little Garden"
Polymer Daisy Charms from Tree Wings Studios
Tiny bell flowers from The Curious Bead Shop
Copper headpins from Miss Fickle Media 
Vintaj Earwires

Be sure to check  the Earrings Every Day Blog on Friday see what everyone else made.
And if you enjoy making earrings, please consider joining the fun.

Thirty Words Thursday

A little sign of spring!
Branches reaching up to the sun
Tiny buds barely visible
Soon there will be leaves on this maple 
 A very welcome sign. Spring! Beautiful Spring!

Click on the photo to get a better look at these tiny buds.
Then go to Erin's blog to see other photos.

The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on my 30 Words Thursday post. 
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Have an Illness-Wanderlust

I have an illness and it's called wanderlust.
When the weather gets just a bit warmer as it has right now,
Or when I see commercials about getting off the couch and visit the forests,
I get a very bad case of wanderlust.

Just the other day I posted this photo for Sally's Weekly Focus on Life Challenge. 
and guess what: I got wanderlust.
I don't think there is a cure for this other than taking a road trip.
And since that is not possible right now I thought I would show you a few of the wonderful places we have been in our 32 years of marriage.

Navy Pier-Chicago

Estes Park During a flood.Our cabins were right on the river.
The Park was gorgeous though!

Washington DC- a  great place to visit. I had a hard time deciding which photo to share.

Blue Ridge Parkway.  A breathtaking place to visit.

San Antonio River Walk

Yellowstone is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit.

Starved Rock State Park-Illinois.

That all for now. Many of our photos were taken before the digital age.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Focus on Life Beauty All Around

Our assignment this week is to see the beauty all around. And really we should be doing this every day.
By now many of you know our family loves to travel...and take pictures....lots of pictures.
Here is one of my favorites.

'Double Arch'
This photo was taken at the Arches National Park in Utah.
The park is amazing with beautiful arches and rock formations and breathtaking views.
Honestly I think my jaw was locked open the entire time we were there.
If you look close enough you can see white dots. Those are people, which gives you an idea of how big this arch is. We stayed at this arch the longest, resting on the cool rocks and just enjoying the majestic view.

To see more beautiful photos check out  Sally's Blog

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thirty Words Thursday

The neighbors burning a large stand of grass
flames leaping
higher and higher
orange and yellow against the evening sky
smoke billowing 
and just like that the flames were gone.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge Making our own findings

Week four of Heather's Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge.
Our assignment is to make our own findings.

I rarely make my own findings other than the occasional basic eye pin.
So I decided to make a clasp 

And a chain from the Wire Style II by Denise Peck
The chain and clasp measure just over 13 inches so I plan to add a strand of beads to complete the necklace.

I'm enjoying Heather's Weekly Challenges. If you need a little nudge you can play along too.
Head on over to Heather's blog to see what everyone made.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Focus on Life the Big Picture

Our assignment this week is to get the big picture.

This photo was taken in San Diego. This huge ship is just one of many sitting in the harbor.

Jewely Making Mojo Challenge Back To School

Our challenge this week is to learn something new. I mostly do stringing in my jewelry designs but have been wanting to try other things like making metal shapes.
Last week Hope and I were chatting about how we didn't really like the heart shape as it has been overused and a bit saccharine, though we both agreed we like the rusty crusty hearts.
But this is supposed to be a challenge so I decided to make a heart.
I've also been wanting to do more in the way of texture and purchased this texture hammer with my Christmas money. I have to confess I haven't used it until now. Sometimes when I get a new tool I let it sit for a while, kind of like I need some time to get acquainted with it before I use it. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that!

So I cut out a heart shape on brass sheet and filed, and filed, and filed and finished of the rough edges with sand paper.
Next I use the texture hammer-this is the front side

This is the back side which I like much better.

My Rusty Heart
I used the Ranger Cinnabar Patina and then the Clay Patina from the'Rusted Hardware' kit and sanded with a Vintaj Reliefing Block.

I'm not sure I like the color and might fiddle around a bit more, but I had a lot of fun experimenting.
Thanks for stopping by.
Please visit Heather's blog to see what the other artists have made.
And if you are in a slump and need a kick start join Heather's Challenge.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

30 Words Thursday

The family that shoots together...
Our son and daughter and her friend.
We found this place on a trip to Missouri.
We all enjoyed this as it was something different.

The shooting range also had an impressive collection of antique and unusual guns.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pasta Primavera Alfredo

Yes I still have the 1980's Country Blue dinner plates-don't judge me.
I found this recipe in a magazine and I just had to share it with you.
It's easy to make and you can customize it to your own taste by adding different veggies.

What you need:
3/4 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
3 cups small broccoli florets
3 carrots cut into thin slices
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Cook spaghetti in a large pan, adding the vegetables to the boiling water the last 5 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the Cream Cheese, milk, Parmesam Cheese, butter and garlic powder in a sauce pan on medium heat until the Cream Cheese is blended well, stirring occasionally. 
Drain spaghetti mixture and return to pan.  Add Sauce an toss to coat.

My notes:
I add cooked chicken chunks in the sauce and  use  8 oz Cream Cheese
I also add red  and yellow peppers into the spaghetti water with the rest of  the veggies.
And sometimes I use a garlic clove rather than garlic powder.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Focus on Life Macro

Sally says Spring is a good time for checking out and exploring the world around us.
Our challenge is to do a macro photo.

I love chocolate, so I decided to take a photo of the inside of a bite size Snickers.
And it was quickly eaten after it's photo shoot.

Check out Sally's blog to see more photos

The Challenge of Music

I always enjoy Erin's challenges and she comes up with great ideas to stretch our minds and creativity.
Having been born in the early 1960's  with so many great songs in the '60's and '70's (the best two decades for music in my opinion) it was difficult to choose just one song.

So I started looking at the bands in these two decades.
The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hindrix, The Who, The Doors, Led Zepplin, The Eagles, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd and so many more. Still too many to choose from. In fact it makes my head spin.

Then I remembered the Coca-Cola Song I heard so often as a child and did a little research.
In 1971 the song was born one foggy day in London and ended with 500 people from around the world singing the song on a hilltop in Italy.
You can read more about the makings of the commercial and hear the song by clicking the link below.

My piece was inspired by the people of different lands, different colors ,different religions and ideals who stood together on that hill all brought together with a simple bottle of Coca-Cola.

The world would be a better place if we could just love more and hate less.
'Perfect Harmony'
Lava beads, ancient carnelian, red jasper, carved bone bead, ceramic beads by Eclectic Prairie
Lampwork beads by Lynda Bead Dreams and Twinstar and one wood bead.

Check out Erin's blog to see what the other participants made.