Saturday, August 31, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge

Art Jewelry Elements

It's week 33 and 34 for the Art Jewelry Elements Blog year long earring challenge.  And what a challenge it was for me this week. These photos show how much I struggled with photographing just one pair of earrings.

These earrings are made with Scorched Earth green/brown dangles and those large 'honey colored' vintage balls. It was the vintage balls that gave me grief. First, they were too large to photograph laying flat so I put them on this pottery shard.  But look how orange they are!

Next I folded a piece of card stock and hung them. This is a bit better, but still doesn't show the wonderful honey color.

So I took them outside and put them on cinder blocks.  A bit better but still very orange.
Getting very frustrated by now

Outside on a black surface. All washed out but getting closer to the honey color.

Outside with the card stock stand. Still  a bit too orange no matter what editing I do!
Any Suggestions?  I have to admit I don't know my way around the camera. I usually shoot without flash and hope for the best.  

For my second pair:
'Double Trouble' 
Also with Scorched Earth beads along with Vintaj components.
Please head over to the AJE blog to see more earrings. And be sure to visit the AJE Pinterest Board to see more.

Challenge of Travel - Kansas

This year Erin suggested a stay cation as our theme for the 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel.
Kansas sometimes gets a bad rap for being boring, but I would bet if people slowed down and took a closer look instead of zooming on to their destination in another state, they might be surprised.

The state of Kansas is named after the Kansa Native American Tribe.  The tribe's name is often said to mean 'South Wind People'
The state motto is 'To the Stars Through Difficulties'
Nickname is the Sunflower State
After the Civil War large numbers of immigrants settled in Kansas, the largest being the Germans and Mennonites. The Czech's settled in as well and the town of Wilson became the home of the Czech Bohemians. Lindsborg in the Smoky Valley region was settled by Swedish immigrant pioneers. And the only remaining all black town west of the Mississippi of Nicodemus was established by freed slaves in 1877, and is now a historic site.
Kansas has many interesting cities where you can explore forts, rock formations, farms, museums, historical homes and so much more.
 But for now I'm focusing on the Tallgrass Prairie.

Tallgrass Prairie during the Symphony on the Prairie. The view goes on and on.

Tallgrass prairie once covered more than 140 million acres of the United States from Indiana to Kansas and from Canada to Texas.  Nearly all of it is gone, plowed under for agriculture.

Ranchers overlooking the trail posing with their trusty steeds.

Here ranchers lead cattle to water as the sun begins to set.

Covered wagons treat guests to a spin out on the prairie.

The perfect ending to a perfect day.

I made a necklace for this challenge to celebrate the state flower. The ceramic focal came from 
Slate Studio Supply. I didn't finish the piece because I completely ran out of the brass chain. I think you can picture what the end result will be.

Thank you for  letting me share my home state with you.  Please hop on over to Erin's blog to see more wonderful places.

Friday, August 30, 2013

52 Weeks Growth and Change

52 week badge
This week is all about growth and change.  
Kid's grow up so fast. And it has hit home with me this week watching our son pack and load the trailer.  This morning he left for college in Denver.  Our oldest daughter moved to North Carolina earlier this year, and in another year our youngest daughter will be graduating from high school and thinking about college.

Change is difficult for me, especially when it involves our kids leaving the nest.
But I couldn't be more proud of all of them for having the courage to go out on their own.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

52 Weeks

I'm coming in late on this assignment this week but better late than never. Our assignment was to change a current photo
This is the original photo from our summer vacation to the Blue Ridge Parkway an on to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

This is the same photo after editing. It was cropped to resemble a panoramic photo, and edited with the vignette tool in Picasa.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Failure - Almost

You might remember me sharing my excitement about my accidental pumpkin plants earlier this year. I call them accidental because I was too lazy to carry our Halloween pumpkins to the trash, and they sprouted  early this summer. This is what they looked like early spring.  But soon they took over the entire west side of the front garden.

And even though my husband didn't like them and found it difficult to mow as they had crept out into the lawn, I wast still hopeful there would be pumpkins galore.

Fast forward to August when we arrived home from vacation to see a gray film on some of the the large leaves.  I could tell something was wrong though I still had hope that the healthier plants would produce.
But today I realized they were not going to survive, and I began the task of getting rid of them.

The pile in the photo looks much smaller than it really is. And there was even more to get rid of.

But it wasn't a total failure
I saw these little guys hidden among the vines.
So for now I plan to brush up on how to grow pumpkins (sorry Todd) and hope  next year is the year for pumpkins.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Favorite Broccoli Salad

Well as you can see I'm not much of a food photographer. Nevertheless I want to share the recipe for my favorite broccoli salad. It's perfect for any time of year. The sauce adds just a hint of sweetness, and if anyone likes a bit of sweet it's me.

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise (use the real thing instead of Miracle Whip, you'll be glad you did)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Ingredients for the salad:
2 bunches of broccoli, washed and using only the flower heads
8 slices of bacon cooked and cut into small pieces
1 small red onion chopped or sliced-your choice (I use about half of the onion)
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds -no hulls

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth and keep cool in the fridge.
Mix all the salad ingredients thoroughly, then pour in the sauce and mix well.  
Keep refrigerated until time to serve.
You can also add halved grapes or raisins.

I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge

Art Jewelry Elements

Today is the reveal day for weeks 31 & 32 of the Art Jewelry Elements year long earring challenge.

Today I'm featuring polymer clay beads from Kristi Bowman.

'Mulberry Wine'
Kristi's polymer beads, Czech beads, and Vintaj components.

'Southern Rose'
Kristi's polymer beads, lampwork spacers from Juli Cannon at Studio Juls, handmade earwires from Missficklemedia.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day. And please check out the AJE Blog to see more earrings.

Friday, August 16, 2013

52 Photos What's in Season

52 week badge

I missed a couple weeks because we were on vacation, but decided not to play catch-up. This week we are to show what's in season. We don't have any farmer's markets close by, or even good produce at our little grocery, and haven't gotten any more tomatoes from my father-in-law. And even though it didn't have to be fruits or veggies I really struggled for a subject. My husband actually helped me out as we were wondering what to do with some uncooked leftover ground pork and beef  mixture we normally use to make meatballs. Instead he grilled them like hamburgers.

They look a little charred but boy they were yummy!! I can't believe how much flavor the pork and seasoning made.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Oh the things you can see

Oh the things you can see if you




From our summer vacation to the Blue Ridge Parkway where we discovered lots wonderful things along the many trails we took.

At Wrightsville Beach on the East Coast of North Carolina

I took a few hundred photos and will be sharing more in the coming days. The parkway itself was beautiful with huge mountains, wonderful stone bridges, towering trees, glassy lakes, fog, and breathtaking views.
And just as beautiful were the trails we took which led to waterfalls, giant boulders, lush foliage, little streams, and even more breathtaking views.
I ruined a pair of shoes on these trails and it was totally worth it!

And since we live in Kansas, it's always feels good to see the ocean, to put our feet in the sand watch the surf rushing in.  Wrightsville Beach was beautiful, clean and amazing!

Friday, August 2, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge

So Sunday is week 29 and 30 of the Art Jewelry Elements year long earring challenge. I'm posting early as I won't be able to show up this weekend and I can't rely on the blogger schedule tool anymore.
Today I'm featuring beads from Heather Powers. She makes wonderful polymer pieces but my favorite are the smaller round beads which are so versatile.
'Soon Autumn Comes' made with Heather's brick red polymer beads, Czech beads from ArteBella Surplus, and Vintaj components.
'Persian Tea House' made with patina-ted sticks, and patina-ted metal beads from MissFicklemedia, Heather's gold patterned beads along with Vintaj components.
Please visit the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see more goodies. And don't forget to check Art Jewelry Elements Pinterest board for even more goodies!