Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays





Hoping everyone had a happy holidays. We had a house full of people for most of the day, but it was the least stressful Christmas we've had in a long time. We ate, visited, opened presents, ate, opened presents, ate and visited. What astonishes me is I still have a fridge and freezer FULL of food?

Hubby loved his gifts. He got night vision binoculars and spent about 15 min watching the horses out the window last night. I also gave him a new super duty battery charger with a timer on it so he doesn't boil his batteries anymore, and he got TONS of stocking stuffers. All in all I think I did good for him with gifts this year.

I got a COOL guillotine shear for cutting sheet metal, it'll cut up to a 1/4 inch thick sheet! I'm most excited about this gift, hubby also got me a system so I can listen to my Iphone music in my truck! He also gave me a small trail motorbike, which in all honesty I think was a gift more for him than me *snicker* I am really nervous on bikes and really not comfortable. But he had a blast zipping up and down the driveway on it!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with laughter and fun!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Luxe Box came today!



I've subscribed to Loose Buttons Luxe Box and I admit I adore it! It comes every month with samples of different beauty products and it's only 10 bucks a month! It was a treat to myself and I've felt pampered each time it's arrived. It came today, perfect timing as I was feeling really grumpy after hours of Christmas shopping, long line ups and lack of HO HO HO in general. It really doesn't feel Christmasy at all to me this year. And then.............I picked up my mail YIPPEE!


It comes packaged beautifully, with a card explaining each items uses and costs. I love the boxes they use, they slide out and are pretty sturdy. I'm saving mine for future uses, maybe storage in the studio!


So, my box had the following. DDF Firming Cream which I actually got to request. We had a choice of one product this month and I've been wanting to try some anti aging cream for a while so this was perfect timing. It retails for $2.90 a gram and I got a 48 gram sample size, a 40.00 value!

Yves Rocher Mandarin shower gel YUM! Lovely scent and everyone knows I adore anything scented. It retails for 3 cents a ml and the sample size was 400 ml so a $1.50 value.

Two samples of Paco Rabanne a mens (going in hubby's stocking) and a women's. The women's is a bit heady but now that I've had it one for a while I'm really liking it, a very rich scent that makes me feel decadent. Both samples total a $3.30 value.

I also got a FULL size Nyx eye liner, interesting because I was just thinking about eye liner the other day. I'm curious to try this as it's been forever since I used eye liner. It's a $4.00 value.

We also got adorable Loose Button chocolate coins, very cute.

So my total value for this months Luxe Box $48.00, pretty good I'd say. Plus shipping is included!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Focus

If you’ve lost focus, just sit down and be still.
Take the idea and rock it to and fro. Keep some
of it and throw some away, and it will renew itself.
You need do no more.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just don't give up


“Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.” - Ella Fitzgerald


It's been a quiet Christmas season here. When the winter Stinking Fish Studio Tour was cancelled I didn't replace it with anything else. I didn't book any craft shows, mainly because it was too late to get into any of the bigger ones. In hind sight maybe I should have done something. It's been lean this season, not many sales. Online sales are slow, I think the worst of this economy is finally in Canada.

I'm plugging ahead daily, trying to stick to my goal of a minimum of 5 days a week in the studio in preparation for Tucson at the end of January. Still working on pods and tiny boro beads, having a lot of fun with them. Hoping to have LOTS for Tucson.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

New boro!



I've change my torch set up and boy what a difference! I turned down my propane PSI and switched to my cricket torch. I am thrilled with the results. I've got new pods I am really happy with the finished product and lots of teeny tiny boro beads, all of which will be at Tucson Whole Bead Show.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shine

The divine spark is within you, know that it’s true and shine today!




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What really Matters

And the truth is that what really matters is what happens today - Rosanna O

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Make It Happen




"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance." - Bruce Barton

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Favorite Tool - Borosilicate Glass





My current favorite tool is more of a supply, it's boro glass *swoon*sigh*. I've been playing with it a lot this month and have fallen in love. It's got such etherial colors and something about it has just drawn me in. I stole the above photo from the Glass Alchemy website. I've been using their colors more than others, I like the consistency and I also like that's it's North American made. Plus the owners are just plain wonderful people!

How can you not love this glass? I adore the beads I'm getting with this glass. It reminds me of Double Helix but something bit different, I can't quite put my finger on it yet.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude

Often this time of year things get so busy we forget about the things we already have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for my friends and family, ever supportive and always caring.

I'm thankful for my studio, medium and craft. I don't know what I'd do if I had to go back to a "real" job.

I'm thankful for my health, I think at 42 I'm the fittest I've ever been!

I'm thankful for this season, as much as I often whine about the gray cold days I love snow! Winter is here and hopefully snow will be here soon.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ring Repair


I had a request to fix a ring that had gotten squashed in a move. I was about 50% sure I could fix it, and if not I figured I could re make it.

WELL it was simple thanks to my Jim Moore press!


Here is the poor little spinner ring, fairly well squashed.

I popped it into the bead press with my smallest die, ran the die through the ring. Moved up to a bigger die, repeat until rounded out!


Voila!! Fixed spinner ring!

Excuse the grainy photos, my point & shoot camera is not the best.




What................

What is your favorite craft project you've tackled lately? Care to share a link? Winter is here and there will be some dark nights perfect for crafting.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New beads and Tucson!



I've got a great little mixed set of floral beads in my Etsy! Lots of colors, tons of design options!

I've also got some exciting news!


I'll be sharing a table with Andrea Guarino Slemmons we'll be the first booth on the right as you walk in. It's sure to be a booth you will NOT want to miss!

I'm looking forward to finally getting to d the bead show, and sight seeing! Andrea promised we'd do a couple days of it, I've wanted to see the desert area for a very long time now and cannot wait!! I know we'll be tired after the show and SO appreciate her humoring my wanderlust wants!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fears

We all have fears, some logical. Some not so much. I have a fairly large fear of heights, and have for as long as I can remember. I have many not so fond memories of hanging Christmas lights, cleaning the archway we have over our driveway, bridges ............ I could go on and on.

When I was in Turkey a friend convinced me to go on a hot air ballon ride, I'll admit it was one of the most terrifying things I've ever done. But it was also one of the more special things. It was something she really wanted to do and I knew she wouldn't do it on her own. So along with a few tranquilizers up we went. How different everything looks from up in the sky, how quiet and peaceful. While I was terrified for a lot of it I did get a chance to appreciate the beauty. I think it's also helped me come to grips a bit with my fear of heights. I don't panic quite so much over bridges anymore and the thought of Christmas lights doesn't send me into a cold sweat!

What are your fears, rational or not.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Large Animal Rescue Course


Last weekend I participated in a large animal rescue course. It was hosted by Metchosin Firehall. There were firefights from Metchosin, Sooke and some members of the Metchosin Emergency Operations Center. The instructor was Jennifer Woods a pretty amazing lady I might add. She's worked with Temple Grandin and she sets up emergency response programs for large animals, pretty much all over the world.

Saturday was all classroom, it was a lot of information to take in. Lots of theory, pictures and video. I felt a bit overwhelmed at the end of the day but it was totally worth it.

Sunday was practical and HO boy was it a day!

We started out at Perry Bay Sheep Farm learning to handle (herd) sheep. I had no idea the little buggers were so fast! Nor did I know they jumped like they do! We were split into teams of 3 to try and herd and separate sheep, not an easy task!


We went to another farm to look at alpaca's and goats, sorry I didn't get pictures from that farm. Alpaca's have always made me a bit nervous, they move a bit odd and the whole "spitting at you when angry" thing just grosses me out! The goats were adorable!

Then we moved on to trailers, we looked at a straight haul and two angle hauls and it really made me think about my trailers and how easy or hard they'd be to remove an animal from in an accident.

Then onto horse handling.

First they wanted to learn to catch loose horses, I really thought my guys would just mill about making it easy for everyone. I don't know if it was the weather or what but they TOOK OFF and gave everyone a small challenge to catch them.


Then we did some knot tying, blindfolds and strapping systems. Who'd have thought a bra would make an awesome blindfold!

They wanted to try strapping and lifting a horse and I figured if they could do that with anyone it'd be Indy and he handled it really well. The backhoe couldn't get high enough to actually lift him but they got to work through how to attach strapping and the process of it all. I was really impressed with how they handled it, I stayed out of the way as it wouldn't be me strapping and lifting! It'd be a fire crew so they needed to work through it, and I think they did a great job. I was impressed with their skill and how concerned they were for Indy. Indy wasn't concerned at all and spent most of it asleep with one back leg resting. We had one spooky moment when the straps got dropped but everyone handled it really well and Indy settled down immediately and they strapped him up again!

All in all a pretty cool way to spend a weekend. I want to thank the firehall for letting me attend the course.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Studio Goodness


This set of ceramic bells is one of my favorite things in my metal studio. The wind almost always blows out here in Metchosin and these are often making a pretty noise in the window.


My inspiration board is one of my favorite things in the glass studio. The clock would be a close second. I have two large inspiration boards that need to go up in the metal studio. I'm always printing, clipping and glueing things up to go on the boards. I have a large collection waiting for the metal studio.

Do you have a studio? If so what's your favorite bits of goodness in it?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Black Cat Halloween



Negative views of cats originated in the middle ages. In this period, people were more likely to believe in myths, fables, and legends about any subject. But much of the folklore surrounding black cats associated them with witches. Black cats were thought to be the "familiars" of witches, which means that they were the spirits of witches in animal form. Some people even thought these cats were reincarnations of witches from past lives.

I think black cats are magical, they often seem to be looking at you like they know what you are thinking.

I've got a few black cat penny charms in my etsy shop!
.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Penny Charms



I've added some great Halloween penny charms to me Etsy Shop!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Color


Color. As a glass artist I am blessed by color. The color palette to choose from in glass is endless. If you can find the exact color you want you can always mix it!

Purple has always been one of my favorite colors, I even painted the metal studio walls a rich violet.

What's your favorite color, why? Does it make you smile, sigh, laugh?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cashmere and Camo

I'm Cashmere and Camo's accessory crush of the week!

It's a great blog, I've really started to look forward to her posts. It's always something interesting! I'm thrilled to be featured on her blog, check it out!


Monday, October 3, 2011

14 K on my 42 nd birthday!

Today I ran 14K and it's my 42 birthday!!

I am fitter than I've ever been and it's a milestone event for me. I'd never in a million years had thought I could do it. 2 days left in my 10 weeks to 10 K running program and I'm already over 10K!! Never underestimate yourself!!!

Abundance


Abundance is not something you acquire, it's something you tune into. Wayne Dwyer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mountain Lake




These beads are spectacular! If I do say so myself. I am really enjoying my experiments with boro, I love the etherial look you can get with it. These beads have some gorgeous turquoise pools next to khaki and some crackling.



Monday, September 26, 2011

WWYD?

What new thing would you learn if you had the time and the money?

I’d learn larger functional metal working. I’ve been itching to try some larger pieces, maybe some forging. I watched some of the bowl forming at the MISSA class during the summer and I really yearn to try it. I’m hoping to take the class in 2012!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Featured Artist - Julie Van Ember


Julie Van Ember is another Canadian beadmaker. I adore her marbles! Check out her shop she has some stunning pieces. She lives in Alberta and I admit I am a tad jealous, if I could chose any place to be in Canada other than here it'd be Alberta.

How long have you been working in your medium?

I've been lampworking since 2004.

What drew you to this medium?

As with many other hot glass artists, I started out in stained glass. After several years of that, I took a beginner class at the torch.

What's your favorite piece?

Can't really say that I have one at the moment, usually it is my most current work.

What's the hardest piece you've ever made?

I think off mandrel sculptures and marbles are my most challenging pieces.

What’s the one favorite tool you cannot live without?

My brass stump shaper.

What’s your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?

What I really enjoy about my lampworking workspace, is the fact that it takes up so little space. Although a whole room or small building could be turned into a studio, my stainless steel table is really all the space I need. Having said that, my future plans once I move, is a full room with at least 3 torches set up so I can have friends over to play.

What is your other craft?

I still dabble in stained glass and stained glass mosaics. Lately, I've taken up knitting toques as a pass time during the long winter evenings. Crocheting with wire crochet while incorporating beads is another art form that I thoroughly enjoy.

Who or what inspires you? ( include links if you have them)

I've taken classes with well over a dozen renouned lampworkers, so I can't pick just one person that inspires me. But living on the bank of a river, the astounding excitement and beauty of the great outdoors is never far from my mind

What's your favorite inspirational saying?

Although I wouldn't necessarily call this inspirational, I pretty much go with 'go big or go home' for much of my work. I enjoy having a large canvass to decorate plus building beads/marbles from the inside out which in turn creates a large mass of glass.

What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?

Go to Australia. Even though my heart belongs in Italy (for the love of glass), Australia is on my list of things to do.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Drag racing


Yup, thats me driving a drag car! Who'd have thought! It's no secret my husband has a large car collection. It's also no secret it drives me crazy on a regular basis, our yard and shops are full beyond full. The clutter often makes me a bit grumpy.

When my husband asked if I wanted to give drag racing a try I first thought "are you INSANE!" no way, nope, nu uh, not ever. Then I went and watched him race, WELL it looked kinda fun. There were also a few girls racing. Cori, a friend of mine had raced years past and was talking about getting a car to race soon. That got me interested. Teresa, the girl who cares for our place when we are away racing round track. That got me even more interested. I mulled it over......

Why not try it!? I went a couple weekends ago for the first time and boy was I nervous. There is a lot to remember and a lot to do! I wasn't all that hooked at first. Then I did a burnout ............ WELL what fun is that!

I'm still trying to remember everything and the shifting is still a bit of a challenge for me, but so far it's been a positive experience. A bit of a bucket list kinda thing!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A challenge


I’ve been struggling this year with one thing consistently, finishing the metal studio. I got the walls filled, sanded and painted with great gusto. Found a work bench and some cabinets. Set up my soldering bench and some cork boards.

And, then, there it is. I’ve been working in it but haven’t managed to get the rest done.

I have plumbing to connect. The sink and pipes are there and ready but the plumber needs to come do the connections, and he really doesn’t seem t understand how badly I want to get this finished! Once the sink is in I can get the cabinets hung and get the machining bench set up. This is something I’ve been dying to do! I want all my heavy tools bolted to a bench, and they’ll stay there! Ready to use when I need them. I’ve also got three more inspiration boards I’d like to hang and a couple pieces of art that need to go up on the walls.

I wonder why this seems to be taking me so long?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Craft Project

What craft project have you started lately? Care to share a link?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My week vacation


I spent the last week at a glass get away with friends in Chinook. Of course being the terrible blogger I am I took about three photos total, sorry!

I had a wonderful time! I flew into Seattle and met up with Kari. Spent the night with her and her wonderful family, what a fun bunch!

We headed out for Chinook the next day and spent all weekend playing with glass, PMC, clay, beads oh the fun!

I find living on an Island lonely and treasure time like this. We even had a small pit fire and made smores one night! I laughed every day, heck I think I laughed every hour of every day! I truly love each and every one of my wonderful (and patient!) friends!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Family and Friends


Being an artist isn’t easy. I often hear “You are so lucky to be an artist”. Or “How nice to be able to dabble in this”.

I am lucky, but luck didn’t get me here. The support of many family and friends helped me keep moving forward even when I wondered “Can I do this?”. I’d like to think talent comes into it too! Without the support of my husband I’m not have the wonderful studio space I work in. Without the support of friends I’d have nothing. Really in a crunch it’s our friends who keep us going. Who we sound ideas off, who tell us the truth when we ask opinions. Who support us when we fail. Friends can make or break you, mine make me!

I’d also like to think I don’t dabble. I’m a “GO FOR IT!” kinda girl. I dive in with both feet, sink or swim. I figure why do things ½ way?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Have a close look



Have a close look at this piece, the colors are they something you like or do they seem to bright?

This is a copper pierced piece with a heat patina. Personally I love the look of the heat patina but I have heard a few comments that it’s too much, too bright. Do you think the birds get lost in the color or does it make them stand out?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brass Tools


While I was at MISSA a couple weeks ago I learnt how to do hot twisting (forging) and boy was I hooked! I was excited to be able to make some of my own tools! I’ve been wanting to work on some more functional pieces and this seems to be a good was to ease into it.

The tools are fabricated out of 360 bronze stock. They make wonderful tools for moving and poking hot glass. A nice feel in the hand makes them great burnishers as well. I hope to slowly add some different end shapes to them, and am always open to ideas.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Coastal Expressions

I have a Coast Collective show coming up Nov 10-20th. Coastal Expressions features many local artist in several different mediums. Featured Artists include the following.

Nicole Valentine Rimmer

Lisa Riehl

Jim Jenkins

Deborah Czernecky

Bev Petow

Debbie Jensen

Kees Luchs

This promises to be a dynamic and interesting show!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tutorials



Tutorials for daisy beads/garden bracelets and spinner rings in my Etsy shop!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Favorite Tools - Sharpie

One of the most often used tools in my studio is my Sharpie pen. I love the new colors! I probably have over 20 pens at the moment, and lust for several more.

I’ve been doing some copper etching and the fine tipped sharpies make a nice resist. I need to experiment with the different colors and see if any work better than others. The fatter tips makes a slightly better resist but are hard to get any kind of detail with.

A good pen in a happy color can bring a childlike grin to my face!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Packaging


I have to admit packaging is one of those areas I feel a bit slack in. I see so many people who make hand crafted boxes and envelopes for their orders. Sometimes I see cute little brown boxes embellished with stamps and paper.

Alas it’s not my string point I use simple plastic Ziploc baggies with a card and the item ordered. That gets wrapped with a few layers of bubble wrap and shipped in a bubble envelope.

Items purchased in the studio get wrapped in tissue and slipped into a box. Simple but pretty.

I’m always hoping a paper person will trade me beads for some interesting packaging!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Originality


What makes us original? A commonly asked question but not so easily answered when you direct it at yourself. I’ve been mulling this question over this morning with tea in hand, then another cup and yet another.

Then it came to me, I think what makes me original is my lack of direction (or the attention span of a turnip) as some say. While it may not make me unique I feel it makes me and my work original.

I get bored easily so I find myself looking for new ideas and techniques often. Which means my work is often changing and evolving.

This spring I learnt piercing and that’s been my current “new technique”. I find the most exciting part of it is looking for images I can pierce in one complete piece, so I can save the relief image for use on another piece.

The only limits are, as always those of vision.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jump

“Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.”

Hugh Allen

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sooke Fine Arts and Stinking Fish Tour

The Sooke Fine Arts Show and the Stinking Fish Studio tour are on!

I am really thrilled to be a part of both. Last night we went to the Artist Celebration at Sooke Fine Arts and what a show it is! Well displayed and a lot of different mediums. I highly recommend it!

Stinking Fish Studio Tour runs through until August 1st and I am at the School House Studio from 10-5 all days!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

MISSA


I was at MISSA all week taking a couple classes. I started last weekend with a metal etching class with Crys Harse. What a exciting class it was! We etched copper and brass, she brought a endless supply of different resist mediums so it was really fun to try them all out. I see some larger pieces in my future as a result of this class!

While I was there I really enjoyed the fact that there was NO cell phone reception anywhere, so from 9-5 every day I had time to learn, think and grow. I am going to try and implement this into my studio routine as a monday to friday work plan, no phones or internet from 10-4. Think I can do it?

I also enjoyed meeting other artists in the many many other mediums running classes. So much so that I decided I wanted to see if there was a class during the week I could take. As it turned out there was room in Julia Lowthers shoe box studio class. So I figured why not?



Class was in the boat house, a wonderful setting. We saw otters, a heron and loads of starfish on our walks in and out of the workshop. The class was a lot of fun. Julia works very differently from me and I had several ah haaaaa moments. I highly recommend her, the best class notes and kit provided ever!

My favorite technique was learning how to make these twisted brass pieces. Most people made theirs into bangles but I saw tools! I see many more of these in my future if I can find the square rod stock for it.


One last photo of Pedder Bay, it was such a joy to spend time is such a serene setting.



Explore

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens]

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lofty Goals Take Two


After snowmobiling to a cabin this winter I'd met a lofty goal of mine, spending some time in a remote cabin in the snow. Granted it was a short stay, just lunch but it was a life moment for me. So it's time to add a new goal. This one is a little more daunting for me.

It involves, running and groups EEKKK!!

I'd like to try and run a 10K, yikes! Did I type that for real? My running program is coming along pretty well and I'm thinking running a 10K is something I could potentially do, right?

I am not a fan of sweating in public, nor am I a fan of public embarrassment (ie; failure) so I'll need to make sure I am more than ready when/if I do actually run one.

SO! My new lofty goal = run a 10K

Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's summer



It's summer, at least it better finally be! Spring has felt so long and dreary. I'm dying to be picking veggies from the garden. But alas mine is slow and there isn't much to pick yet. I had visions of it looking like the picture above by now, but things are slow to grow.

The flower beds are much more prolific, I've had poppies blooming, a few lilies some peonies and even a water lily. I'd like to add another water feature but I don't think that's in the works this year. Maybe next. I envision a small planter with a miniature lily floating in it and a trickle of water flowing into it. Beside my hammock, with a good book........maybe the cat taking a nap. I think you see where I am going with this?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who write poems?

“It is the formidable character of the species to routinely seek the improbable, the difficult, even the impossible, as a source of pleasure and self-justification. Who would try to write poems, or novels, or paint pictures unless he is an optimist?” - Lionel Tiger

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Organization or not



It seems I struggle with creativity and in an effort to try and keep on track I've been organizing a creativity board...........or not.

I truly had a wonderful cork board in mind with loads of inspiring images, and quotes. But instead I have piles of this. Well not quite this bad but mess, and I am not a fan of mess.

So my goal this month (July) is to try and get the machining room completed in the metal studio and get the cabinets hung, mess cleared out and inspiration boards hung up!

Think I can get my husband on board? He needs to get the water finished in the studio and hang cabinets, all in all maybe a 3 hour job.