Making and Making More

I promised my two youngest nieces that I would make each of them a new sweater for Christmas. That, of course never happened. So, instead, They each got a hat and an IOU. Now I am frantically trying to get two sweaters done before the intended recipients outgrow them or summer arrives. The problem is, that I make everything without a pattern, so my ideas have a way of growing and growing to the point where I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew, sometimes. Here is the youngest niece’s sweater….12654262_1118210181545667_6805026182586991575_n

The only problem is that it STILL isn’t finished. After this photo, I decided to add an under layer of yellow to the bottom hem and the when I had it all washed and pressed, I realized that I had moved the hem a full 2 inches off on one side. My husband said to send it any way but I can’t….so…….snip….snip…….sigh.

 

Drawings by Day

I joined one of those “100 drawings in 100 days” groups on Facebook. It was not until after I joined that I realized that most of the assignments were a bit juvenile and not something I would waste my time drawing. “Draw your favorite Pokemon” comes to mind…..I also was soon to discover that other than the moderator, I was the only other artist who took the bait. No thank you. I am, however, going ahead with the idea and using the list I was given as a template. So, drum foll please, the first assignment was to draw yourself….oh hell….no one like this one, but I guess it is best to get it over with. Here ya go.

10301940_10208795525628252_2664771367409869270_nIt got cropped kinda funny. I had to upload it from my phone to Facebook and then to my Chromebook, so you get what you get. The next drawing will be of my favorite animal!!!

Clean up and New Postings.

Happy New Year!!! Now that my shop is “up and running”, it is time to start clearing out old inventory and posting the new things that I am working on. Many of my older pieces will inevitably be scrapped as my skill level keeps improving and the materials I chose are of better quality. Some, like this bracelet, however, will be added to my shop and priced for what I hope is a quick sale.Turquoise chip bracelet

I have been working hard on solving some of the engineering issues for hanging raw crystals from used bullet casings. I had an “ah-ha!” moment the other day and now am buzzing right along. Those will be posted at a later date.

In the meantime, I am trying to create birthstone chain necklaces for each month of the year. So far, I have garnet for January complete and in the shop. Amethyst is almost finished as well.

Garnet chain necklace

This really is THE year that I hope to get this albatross up and flying, even if we don’t manage a great deal of altitude. Stay tuned!!

Happy New Year 2016

It is finally here. 2016 is the year that I crank everything into high gear and make my shop what I have always wanted it to be; successful!

I have set up my jewelry studio and am hard at work creating new pieces that will be posted to my Etsy shop at the beginning of the new year. I have made several new pieces that have been given as gifts this Christmas, just to make sure I am “up to snuff”. It is amazing how quickly your hands loose the dexterity needed to work with such tiny pieces, but it is equally amazing how quickly you can regain the skills.

Turquoise and fire agate

This turquoise and fire agate necklace is for a friend of mine who is going through a divorce. Her birthday is in December (turquoise) and she said she was oddly drawn to orange recently, so what better than a fire agate!

Quartz and brass triangle

Thus far, most of my work is simply compiling things from around my shop. I am not doing a lot of fabrication…..yet.

 

Brass and blue agate earrings

Copper and natural blue agate. I enjoy working with complimentary colors like blue and orange but hope to get to some contrasting combinations like blue and yellow.

Tribal bead and lemon quartz

Slowly Getting Ready to Get Back to Work

I have not been posting much content recently for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that I currently do not have a studio. We moved out to central Oregon permanently at the beginning of 2015. It took us several months to finally get my entire shop and my husbands wood shop packed up and moved. In fact, there are still odds and ends needing to be collected from our old house, which is going on the market this week.

In the meantime, I have been making do on our big front porch, piled up in yarn on our sofa and using an old card table in the laundry room as a place for the messier affairs. Most of my supplies are tucked up in an attic over our garage and I spend far too much time up there contorting myself to see what might be in a tote or digging through various boxes. It is not an ideal way to feed the creative monster and in fact, my productivity at least jewelry wise has all but screeched to a halt.

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We do not have the funds to build a full studio yet and with winter fast approaching in a very cold climate, we have simply run out of time to set a foundation this year. So, my husband is enclosing our back porch to give me a space that is out of the house but still small enough to heat economically. ┬áThe full studio will have a wood stove when it is built. This porch has a window that we can open to let the house heat (also wood stove) in….or is it out? Worst case scenario, we have a small electric heater for additional “oomph”.

Back to the Painting!

I worked on the painting in a series of two hour blocks and then took a photo. After I had blocked in the basic composition, I started to add the layers of color. I do this by squinting at my subject and trying to replicate on the large blocks of color that I see, ignoring the details.

Aspen tree image 2

Most painters apply layers and layers of paint and I am no exception. I use thin coats of paint so that, even though you might not notice, hints of the previous color affect the top coats. There is so much going on in this scene, color wise. that when you focus on it long enough, it becomes trance-like.

Aspen tree image 3

I adhere very strictly to the idea that you must paint what you see and if you are true to what you see, it will all come together accurately in the end. My daughter, who is a graphic artist told me she had no idea that painting took so much time or was done in so many stages. I guess, unless someone had taught me how to paint, it would never have occurred to me either

Aspen tree image 4

I have waited 20 years to paint again because for me, it is something that requires 100% of my brain. It is actually exhausting, which is why I try to work in two hour blocks. I could not find this kind of isolation while I was raising my family.

I hope to get this mostly finished this weekend while my husband goes pheasant hunting in Nebraska.

Jute Heads

For several months, I have been musing about the kind of display I would like for my creations. I tend to prefer scenes that are closely linked to nature, but at the same time, I like a little bit of class…..

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On my recent trip in to Portland and remembered that a favorite thrift store of mine always has a few styrofoam heads for sale as Halloween approaches. This year was no exception, in fact, they had hundreds. I ordered several spools of jute from Amazon and VIOALA! Jute heads!