Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow at Stillwaters

We got an unexpected surprise on Thursday evening. The weatherman said flurries with no accumulation but this is what happened.
Yes, I know it's snowing sideways. I'm just tickled because I finally got a video to upload. My digital camera takes short videos and I forgot that if I turn the camera sideways, I can't just flip the picture upright in Photoshop.


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This is the scene that we woke up to on Friday morning. I'm posting this on Saturday and some of it is still here however the temperature is going to be near 60 degrees tomorrow. So fickle is the weather in Tennessee.

I'm enjoying sitting in my warm basement by the woodstove with my laptop, looking out at what's left of the snow, having a conversation with you.
Here are some very non-wintery earrings that I've just recently posted in my Etsy shop.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Surprises In The Mail

Don't you just love to get surprises? I've gotten two lately. The first one was from Steph (aka Vladthebt) There was a lovely decorated box in my mailbox and I knew just who it was from when I saw it. The box was chock full of treasures large and small. There was a cool bracelet and lots of beads and a bag full of different kinds of crosses.I just noticed that the bracelet isn't in this picture because I immediately put it on my wrist. I had such fun looking at the present and planning what I would make with the items.This necklace was made using some of the beads that Steph sent in a previous gift, plus some of my own.The second surprise was from my cousin Sally. She called and said that she was mailing me a box of wool. She has two sheep, Moses and Pharaoh, so this wool was from them with some other types of wool mixed together. The colors are going to be fun to work with and there is some white for me to dye myself.
What a fun jump start that was to my creativity.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Candy and Sushi


My mind has apparently been on felt and food lately.
Here are a couple of my calorie free creations.

I got the idea from Felt Magazine.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Stuff

Well the title isn't very inspired, but it pretty much says it all. Here are some of the new things that I made for the sale at Silo Studios.
The photo above is a button maille bracelet that I got the idea for from a jewelry magazine that I flipped through at the craft store. I've always wanted to try chain maille but the directions seemed confusing. This looked simple enough, and it was fun.

A variety of earrings.

This is Prince Albert, made from a tobacco tin, a tin can lid, some resistors for his medals, and a vintage rhinestone button.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tag... I'm it!

Oh my! I've been tagged by Steph (Check out her blog, Vladthebatsattic). Now I have to think of 7 things about myself that someone else would find remotely interesting. I feel like such an ordinary person, that might take some stretching of my brain. Got to kick the left side into gear and give it a go.

1. I guess the one thing that I put the most energy into in my life is that I homeschooled my two sons all the way from kindergarten to graduation. That means that I taught all of those grades...twice. That seems like a lot to me, but I have one friend who has 11 children and plans to teach all of them the whole way, so I guess it's not such a huge thing. I learned more by teaching them than I ever learned in my whole education up to that point.

2. My husband says that I'm the geek of the family. He means it as a compliment. He doesn't do the computer at all and doesn't own a cell phone. I have to run the DVD player and any other electronic device in the house. He could do it if he wanted to, but just doesn't want to. I insisted that he learn how to use my cell phone. I made his website for his business, and I run the computer at church to put the words to the songs up on the screen. I love computers!

3. I've always wanted to be an artist. The only other thing I considered is archeology. I'd still like to do that. Maybe I could combine the two.

4. I've completed one half of a century and am almost a year into the second half century.

5. I can recite all of the presidents of the United States in 30 seconds.

6. I must have a twin or several twins because at least once a month some stranger says to me, "Do I know you?" or "I know someone who looks just like you." It's not just locally, it happens when I'm traveling too. I'm going to have to start asking them what my twin's name is so I'll know if it is the same person all the time.

7. I'm mostly vegetarian. Occasionally I do eat fish, but I don't eat land animals. Is there a different term for that? I do it for health reasons, not because I'm opposed to people eating meat. I just think it's better for you. My dad died of cancer and several of my aunts have had cancer so I'm just trying to improve my chances. I feel better too.
Well...that's a little bit of me. I'd pass this tag along but everyone I can think of has already been tagged.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fall Colors

There is a nip in the air and the smell of fallen leaves.
With technicolor skies and hills, fall has come to Stillwaters.
Frisky puppies play in the red leaves.


I finally made time to post some new jewelry. These are my fall leaves necklaces. They are made of crocheted yarn with felt and copper leaves. The closures are handmade polymer clay buttons.

These two pieces are made of aluminum wire. I got the idea for using aluminum at a craft show when I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago. It is light weight and doesn't tarnish, also it is easy on the hands when working with it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Costumed Kin

I don't do Halloween, but I can appreciate a hilarious costume. This is my next to newest nephew as Elvis. That is really his hair. He almost needed a haircut when he was born.

Another thing that is hard for me to pass up...the opportunity to paint on someone's face. For family and friends, guess the identity of the evil clown.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In Memory


I am sad to say that my brother-in-law, Donald Trader passed away last Saturday, October 11. He will be missed by all, especially by his wife and daughter. I thought I would post one of his paintings. He went through several prolific years of painting, but in recent years had stopped. I enjoyed his colorful, Picasso-like style. He also wrote stories and was an avid follower of politics and economics. He had lived in many places all over the world which gave him a unique perspective on life.

A couple of months ago, Don commissioned me to redo their bathroom because he knew that his health was failing and wanted to change their shower to one that was more easily accessible. As long as we were making changes, he decided that he wanted a mural of Poseidon in the shower. That has been the big project that I have been working on. It is complete except for some of the fixtures that will have to be done by a contractor. I thought I would go ahead and post it here. He did get to see it before he died, but did not get to use it since it is not quite complete.
These photos were taken before I grouted it. I think the colors show up better in the photo. They are done with vitreous glass tiles. The main mosiac took me 71 hours to complete. I've never spent that much time on any one project before. I just did it in 2 and 3 hour segments.

And I had to share this photo also. It is a shot of the full moon rising above our valley. I was just trying out my new camera.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthdays

Finally...a chance to do a little mixed media collage...not tile and grout, or metal and beads. It's nice to have a change now and then.
Love and happy birthday wishes to my sister Emily, my son Zach, my nephew Samuel, and my friend Susan. I hope you have a blessed day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Night Visitors

Can you see the glowing eye? This little owl and its friend landed on our steps the other night. My hubby came running in saying, "Get the camera!" Sorry the picture is a little blurry. I'm just getting used the my new camera, but I did manage to capture one of them on it. We've also been having flocks of little wood ducks fly in every evening to roost by our pond. It's funny to sit out at night and listen to them squeek; they don't quack like other ducks. They are too far away for me to get a good picture of them though. It's always a nature adventure around here.

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been working on the big mosaic project and just finished the main pieces and started installing them. I then have to tile the whole bathroom around them and paint the walls. I will definitely post pictures of it when I'm done.

Meanwhile, I have managed to make a little jewelry. Shawn at Silo Studios has requested that I make some colorful, funky pieces for the next show so that's what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm using some vintage junk as the focal pieces with some glass and fabric beads in some of the necklaces. I've been neglecting earrings...next I need to focus on that, and maybe some bracelets. Here are a few of the new ones.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Home Again


Vacation is fun, but it's good to be back home were I can create. I took some art materials with me on my trip but it's hard to find time to be creative with that much going on around me. I've managed to create a few pieces of jewelry since I've been back, but the bulk of my time has been spent working on a huge mosaic project that I'm doing for my sister and her husband. I'll post pictures of it when I'm done but I want the final piece to be a surprise.
Here is one of the necklaces that I've completed:



Also, before I left for my trip I was given this award by the wonderful Steph of Vladthebatsattic. I'm so excited! It's my first award. Here are the rules for this award:1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.2. Link to the person you received your award from.3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.4. Put links of those blogs on yours.5. Leave a message on the blogs you've nominated.6. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking every body's mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant!

So....I want to thank Step for nominating me for this award and for her encouraging comments that she always leaves, and all of the other people that visit and leave comments, and even the ones that just stop by and have a look. Most of all, I want to thank my Dear Hubby who allows me the freedom to stay at home and do what I do, and always encourages me, and is my best critic.

Here are some of my favorite bloggers to whom I'd like to give this award:
Julie at Is There A Shadow
Lindsay at Serendipity
Deryn at
Something Sublime
Gina at Maxanimation
Cynthia at Art for Housewives
Judy at Red Velvet

Check them out!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Evading Gustav



I just got back from a family reunion at Gulf Shores, Alabama at 1:00 this morning. There was a mandatory evacuation because of Hurricane Gustav. We were supposed to leave today but had to cut it short. The trip was a blast in spite of the evacuation. There were 45 of us in one huge house! What an amazing gathering of people! I will post more later, but I wanted to tell about the coolest thing that happened there. On Saturday night the ocean was glowing! There is a phenomenon called bioluminescence.Here is an explanation taken from http://mips.stanford.edu/public/abstracts/hastings.pdf

“Ocean “phosphorescence”, commonly seen at night when the water is disturbed, is largely due to the dinoflagellates; they occur ubiquitously in the oceans as planktonic forms, responding to mechanical stimulation when the water is disturbed by emitting brief bright light. Light emission may be seen in the wake of a large ship for some 20 miles. About 20% of marine species are bioluminescent and many are photosynthetic. “ Red tides” are transient blooms of individual dinoflagellate species. Phosphorescent bays (e.g., in Puerto Rico, Jamaica) are persistent blooms of this type.

Since dinoflagellates are stimulated to emit light when predators (e.g., crustaceans) are active, predators on the crustaceans might thereby be alerted to feed on crustaceans, resulting in a reduced predation on dinoflagellates generally. Predation on dinoflagellates may also be impeded more directly; the flash could startle or divert a predator, allowing that cell to escape predation. The response time to stimulation (msec) is certainly fast enough to have this effect.”

I tried to take pictures of it but couldn't capture it, but I did find a Youtube video that shows what happens when you splash in the water. All of us ran down to the ocean and started swimming and splashing with the kids. I have always wanted to see this phenomenon but thought it only happened in tropical places but apparently it is fairly common.
I was so thrilled to finally experience it. That was one of those "bucket list" experiences.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Leaves



Even though summer isn't over, the leaves are starting to fall and make me think of autumn. I think I'll call this my autumn leaves collection.
Materials: copper, brass, and jasper

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Etsy Treasury

Hurray! I got in my first Etsy Treasury! I'd put a picture of it but I'm not sure how.
Thanks to NewHopeBeads for featuring me. A portion of her proceeds goes to benefit the In Partners With God Food Pantry.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

City, Stream, and Stones

Our family excursion last weekend to East Tennessee was a blast! Fun was had by all. Our first stop was Chattanooga on Saturday where we went on a walking tour of the riverfront area. If you haven't been , you should consider a trip there. It is a beautiful area with plenty to do for all types of interests. My main interest, of course, was the arts district. We began our walk near the Hunter Museum of American Art. We didn't go in this time, I'll save that for the next visit. They have recently opened a walking bridge across the Tennessee River and that was our route to the arts district...amazing views all the way across.


This is the path coming down from the Hunter Museum

This is part of the Renaissance Park on the NorthShore. There is much more to it, such as a huge carousel and a fountain that has animals that spout water and water that comes from the ground and children and grown-ups play in it.
Hubby and meAll along the street, there are brass footprints with dance steps labeled.
The next one is called "The Kiss."


Hubby and I had to try it out.


This is a small art market that is a part of Art 'til Dark which is on every first and third Saturday, March through November.
This is the Winder-Binder Folk Art-Outsider Art Gallery


We spent the night in Etowah and then the next day we went to the Hiwassee River to go kayaking. It was a three and a half hour trip and the rapids are up to a class 2, which is not too dangerous but just challenging enough to be exciting.
Windsor in the rapids
Hubby in a calm part
Christina coming through the white water

Me, taking a break to look for stones, which I promptly brought home and made into jewelry.
Stones and textured copper
The rocks will cry out.
Sticks and stones

Here is a little finale...Windsor taking the hard way down into the water.

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