Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lots of Yardwork...and a Pair of Earrings

I spent the morning working in the yard--cleaning the pool (something that never seems to end till after Labor Day), mowing, and other various chores.  Had a brief argument with the pool vacuum head and pole--the head refused to stay attached, and kept disappearing into the deep end of the pool. Found another pole in the barn, and that seemed to work. For now.  After a couple of hours doing battle with the pool, I came inside, and created another pair of earrings.  I have a bunch of mismatched beads and it seemed a shame not to use them. So I grabbed these and some copper wire and voila! 

I will be one of the exhibitors at a fundraiser August 6 at King Pin Lanes in Louisville (the Taylorsville Rd. location), 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.,  for God's House USA--a non-profit organization that serves as a sort of "Noah's Ark" for women/children in abusive relationships.  I will be bringing some of my jewelry and mini-paintings, notecards and maybe a print or two.  A percentage of any sales goes towards this worthy cause, so if you're free next Saturday night, come on by and say hello--you might find something nice to take home, too!

I'm still working on setting up my Etsy shop.  Look for the "grand opening" announcement soon. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

TGIF--and a Celtic Knot Pendant plus Earrings

So I'm up late, not really enough energy to go down to the studio to paint, but not sleepy enough for bed--so I decided to finish a necklace and earrings I started working on the other night. This one is made with brown jasper stones, antiqued pewter lace beads, and an antiqued pewter Celtic knot pendant.  I did a little experimenting--the figure eight links (near the top of the necklace) are made of aluminum wire--which is very flexible, even though I used 18 gauge wire.  It might actually be a little too soft--but it was fun playing around with it. 

Yesterday I received my John C. Campbell Folk School catalog, and oh how I wish I could attend one or more of their workshops. So much to choose from! I haven't given up hope--I'll be saving my pennies and maybe one day, I'll get to go!

Meanwhile, I've signed up to take an equine photography workshop in August, which I'm very excited about.  I love painting horses, and photography is my second what could be better?  I'll get to photograph some magnificent horses, and eventually paint them too!

On the painting front, I just received a commission to do another pet portrait--this one of two ultra cute Pekingese.  Can't wait to get started, and I'll post WIP photos when I do.

Looks like we might get some rain tonight. It would be great to have a break from this oppressive heat. I was about to do a rain dance!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Always after me Lucky Charms....

Hahaha...I used to love that commercial for Lucky Charms cereal. So tonight, I was too hot (after spending an hour or so cleaning the pool) to do much, but in keeping with my Celtic themed jewelry, I made these:  I call them my "Lucky Charm Earrings."  Not sure how lucky they'll be, but I like them and had fun making them.  These are green glass beads wrapped in copper wire. The ear hooks, 4-leaf clover and jump rings are also copper. 

I really like working with copper--it has a nice warm look to it.  I'll be adding a bracelet and necklace soon.

Meanwhile, check out my interview on the EBSQ blog!  EBSQ is a really nice website for self-represented artists.  They also have wonderful contests and I love their "artist of the week" feature.  Lots of wonderful art to look at, too.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Owl and the Daisy

I took a break from jewelry making today and worked on a couple of mini-paintings. I finished the little owl that I'd started last week, and then moved on to a daisy.  Whenever I see daisies, I am reminded of our beautiful Great Dane, Daisy, who moved on to the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. She was such a big part of our lives, though--just the word "daisy" makes me think of her!  Of course, we now have another dane who is just as big a part of our lives:  Max.  But I are the completed mini-paintings.

The purple coneflower is an older one--actually, until today, it was the only mini-painting I had left.  I'm not a big fan of making small paintings, mostly because it takes way more concentration and is definitely not good for the eyes!  But it satisfies my need for "instant gratification" whereas a larger painting takes me so much longer to complete!

The gallery where I show most of my work was HOTHOTHOT today.  Even with the a/c in the back and 2 fans running, the temp up front was 90 degrees! Yikes! Not very conducive for creativity, but if you're in town sometime, stop by and take a look at our art:  617 Main St., Shelbyville, KY.  Or check out our website, Shelby Artists on Main

On a side note, earlier this year I got hooked on CMT's Next Country Superstar, and the guy I was rooting for, Matt Mason, won.  Here's the video made the night he was announced the winner.  Keep an eye out--I think this guy is gonna be a hit!

Looks like the heat will continue here in Kentucky for a few more days...I hear the swimming pool calling!

Stay cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dragonblood Jasper...not as scary as it sounds!

I couldn't resist making yet another jewelry set--this one made of dragonblood jasper stones and sterling silver over copper wire celtic swirls.  I apologize for the poor lighting.  When I'm ready to sell my jewelry I will take better photos. But I was just so pleased with these pieces, I had to share.  The beads are a little more green/brown color than they look in the photos, and the bale on the pendant is plastic.  I was going to remove it and make one out of wire, but I was afraid I'd damage the stone--but at least the design of the bale matches the design theme of the rest of the set. I think my swirls are becoming more consistent--although I actually prefer the slight variations--I think that's what makes the pieces unique--they certainly don't look like they've been made on a production line.

I'll be taking a little break from jewelry over the weekend--time to get back to slinging paint.  And speaking of painting--I will be featured as a Blogger of the Week soon on EBSQ, so be on the lookout for that! As soon as I complete the interview, I'll post a link to the article. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Playing with Copper

I should have gone to bed early, but I was too excited about playing with the new wire I bought yesterday.  So here's what I created tonight:  a pair of 18 gauge copper wire flower earrings.  I made the earrings, the jump rings and the earring wire.  I was a little worried about making the jump rings--it's hard to make perfect circles, even using a mandrel--but I think I did pretty well.  I made two pairs of these, just because I liked them so much! I can't wait to try wrapping pendants, or maybe doing a focal piece out of copper.  Will post more pics when I do!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thunder, Lightning...and a Green Glass Necklace

The heat is excruciating, and now it's raining, so what better way to spend an evening than creating?  Whether it's a painting, a necklace, or a poem--each of us has something we like to do to relax--and for me, tonight, anyway, it was making more jewelry. I've noticed over the years that I tend to go in spurts--for awhile I might concentrate on writing. Then I'll move on to painting, or gardening, or reading.  It's impossible to do everything, although I'm sure there are people out there who manage to do just that. But me?  I tend to dabble, putting all my energy into one form of creativity and then moving on to another.  It used to bother me--trying to figure out how to find time to do all the things I love doing--painting, writing, gardening, photography--now making jewelry. I asked a fellow artist awhile back, who is a fantastic writer as well as a visual artist, how she handles the urges to paint one day, write the next--did she feel like she was neglecting one over the other?  She told me to "just go with the flow."  Whatever creative muse is pushing me at the moment, that's the one to follow, and don't worry about the others.  They'll get attention when it's time.  And so that's what I do now. If I feel like writing, I write. If the urge to paint is overwhelming, I paint. But I no longer feel guilty. Creative people just need to create, and I no longer feel I have to pick one and stick to it.  Maybe I'm not as good at one as I am the other, but does that really matter?  I think the point is to create, and be happy doing it.

So...tonight the urge to play with beads was greater, and since it was raining and of course I couldn't work outside--ta da!  The result? A new necklace and earrings.  This is from a pattern in one of the beading magazines I bought awhile back. I've made two versions:  one with turquoise teardrop stones and the other with green glass teardrops.  Easy to do.  I'm planning to make matching bracelets later.  Actually, I made a turquoise set several months ago, which my lovely daughter managed to confiscate.  One of the perks of being family, I guess...

I received an order from Fire Mountain Gems today, and can't wait to get started with the new beads and wire.  Lots of ideas, which I hope I can follow through on.  I'm still learning wire wrapping.

 I also bought some copper and galvanized steel wire--I love the warmth of the copper and I just wanted to experiment with the steel wire.  Should be interesting!

So here are the two sets of jewelry I made--same pattern, different stones.  Unfortunately, the photograph of the green bead necklace isn't as sharp as it needs to be. I need to work on better lighting.

Still working on mini-paintings, and several larger pieces to finish.  Peace!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Pair of Earrings and an Owl

Copper-colored wire flower
It's too hot to work outside today (and besides that, I don't feel like it), so I decided to get creative.  I'm getting some small pieces ready for a couple of shows coming up in August--will post more specific info when I have it.  Here are the earrings I made today.  I am still working on consistency with the wire wrapping and twisting, and I'm also teaching myself how to tie Celtic knots--which I plan to incorporate into my jewelry soon.  I'm excited about this new venture, and full of ideas. Look for the opening of my Etsy store soon!

2 x 3 acrylics
Here is the mini-painting I am working on--it's nearly finished.  I have several larger pieces in various stages of completion. I'm hoping to finish those soon.  Just not enough time for all these creative endeavors!  

I also need to get some sample pet portraits finished--I'll be doing a fundraiser  in September for Lifebridge for Animals and would like to have some new work to display.  Soooo.....back to the easel!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tea and Lemons, Please

I cannot believe I've missed the entire month of June! I guess time really does fly when you're having fun, though I can't say I've been having a lot of fun lately. Mostly I've been doing yard work, pulling those darn weeds that never seem to stop growing, even after soaking them in mega weedkiller! Ah well, it's just another challenge for us wannabe gardeners. 
The White Teacup
9 x 12
Acrylics on claybord

In addition to my never-ending battle with the weeds, I have managed to do some painting. Not as much as I'd like, but here's the most recent one--just finished a few days ago.  This is acrylics on Ampersand claybord. 

I've also been working on my jewelry.  Finished a couple of pairs of earrings and a necklace. I'm getting ready for a small fundraiser in August, where I'll be debuting my jewelry.  Right now most of the pieces are made with inexpensive beads and wire, since I'm still working on design elements, etc.  But I will soon make the switch to sterling silver and gemstones, so stay tuned!  Here are a few samples: 
 I'm still learning about twisting wire and playing around with different techniques and design elements, which is why I'm using the inexpensive materials right now.  But I'm definitely enjoying this new venue--I've actually made jewelry before, but really hadn't considered selling it.  I'm hoping to make my own beads and pendants at some point, too. I guess that's what happens with us creative types--always moving forward and trying new things. That's a good thing, though, isn't it? 

Well, it's time to move outside. The weeds are a-calling!  Later!