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Monday, November 30, 2009

Sisters of all kinds

Sisters are a beautiful thing

My older sister just had a "biggey" birthday. It was important to me present her with something very special this year. She's had a hard year, like so many of us at this time. She's worked her tail off, taken classes to improve her opportunities in business (yes, even at her age), and driven huge amounts of miles all over the Los Angeles area for the opportunity to make a sale in the housing industry, which she is new at. In other words, I love her dearly and wanted to bring a smile to her face, and hopefully a laugh.

I was successful! After seeing the fabulous projects that a dear "art sister" of mine, Diane Cook, and a blogging friend of hers, Colette Copeland, put together for an article in the recent Winter 2010 Belle Armoire Jewelry, called the "The Art of Presentation": Sisterhood", I WAS HOOKED. The timing couldn't have been better for me to see this article. I knew I had to package my gift of a new cuff in some way special for this birthday. She deserved it! So I took the magazine over to a dear "art sister's" house, Diana Frey, and the two of us brainstormed some designs. I haven't been near a sewing machine since the 80's, really. But somehow, that all comes back to you, like riding a bike I guess. We took a high school picture of my sister's and put it on photo transfer paper for fabric, found at Michaels. I brought tidbits of fabrics and scraps I had, and Diana went to her magical drawers, pulling out some darling accents. Then I just whipped this baby up, in about four hours!! I know the next one will take an hour, but like I said, I haven't sewn in a million years, thus the time spent!

It was all worth it. My sister, Kami, held the little bundle of hand made paper, tied with a wide silk ribbon, and slowly began unwrapping. She held up the little fabric bag with her picture on the front, kind of squinted, asked "is that me?", then we handed her some reading glasses, and she started laughing! It was successful, my work here is done! She didn't remember the picture, and we got a big laugh out of that as well. Oh, she loved what was inside as well. So thank you to all my art sisters help on this one. Couldn't have done it without Colette, Diane and Diana.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

I am so thankful.

Today, I am thankful for so many things. For the beauty I can see, for the amazing sounds that fill my ears, for the love I am surrounded with daily by family and friends. I am so thankful.
I wish you a wonderful, happy day of celebrating with family and friends, and hopefully new friends.
And may all our odd uncles be on best behavior, and no one falls down and breaks anything!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Robin Dudley-Howes

A Cuff Class

Finally! I finished a class project and would like to share it with you. It is so easy to go to a class, get a project started, and not finish it after you bring it home. BUT, I did this time!

This cuff is a result of a wonderful class I took from a great teacher, Robin Dudley-Howes. When I was down in Orange County, CA over Halloween I took this great little one day class at a sweet venue called Piecemakers. It is a store, restaurant, class rooms and bead supply as well, all rolled in to one location! I have been trying to coordinate a class there with a trip down to see our kids in Orange county, and it finally worked. So, Robin was teaching a class to make this decorated cuff, and I thought it looked like great fun. These pictures are the result of that helpful class. There were four of us in the class, so it resulted in relaxed fun, and great conversational This method is a fun way to make a sweet cuff.

I put a LOT of bling on mine, felt girlie that day. You make a frame, then wire on beads as you go. Then you cut out a backing to glue on the backside. It really was a lot of fun to make. If you get the chance, take a class from Robin. She's a great teacher, and makes beautiful things as well. Look her up!

Thanks for looking everyone. What do you think, would you wear this little gem?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Amazing store!


Close your eyes, and imagine with me if you will, the most amazing notions store on the planet. You walk through the door of this little shop, step inside, and suddenly can't take another breath! The shop is packed floor to ceiling, with the most amazing assortment of EVERYTHING! And mostly vintage. There are hand made velvet flowers from the 20's, sequins of all kinds, and buttons...buttons...buttons.

Did I mention buttons? I have never seen so many. This little gem of a store is such eye candy. It is located in Morro Bay in Central Coast California. The owner buys huge inventory being closed out from manufacturers as far away as Paris.

She has owned this store for a zillion years. When I strolled in my first visit, my feet were planted. Then items started to focus, my heart raced, the earth moved. After minutes of just taking it all in, I could take another breath and actually move! I had been told this was the place to get some vintage ribbon...that is an understatement!

These treasures came home with me, all my pocketbook could part with on this journey. I chose some hand painted Czech glass buttons, vintage rhinestone buttons, rhinestones with backing, and some designer rhinestones sewn on to backing. Guess my "girlie" was speaking to me that day!

Hope you enjoy the pictures. The name of the store is Lina G. She has a store on ebay. If there is something specific you want, you could call her at 805-772-7759.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Playing with Vintaj pieces

New Vintaj pieces
Have you ever bought any Vintaj pieces before? They have such an array of eye candy, and I've been wanting them for such a long time. I wanted to buy them wholesale, so a friend and I put in an order together to make the minimum amount, ummm, okay, over that amount!

I was so excited to get the pieces. They have such a variety, and great quality. No, I'm not working for them, but you'd think so at this point, huh? The bird piece comes flat, I bent it around that amazing pearl.
And the circle scroll on the earrings came flat as well. I just love the way they turned out. I can see an assortment of these little guys with different stones, and gems. Can't wait to experiment. Guess I should send these pics to Vintaj! LOL. Hope you like them!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finale of workshop remodel

The Work is done, Playtime begins!

I am happy to report that WH has finished the job! There is one small thing that has to be worked on...we covered up the electrical outlet that works from the switch next to the door! Oops. Okay, so the huge cupboard has to come out, the back taken off, ect. But, WH is goin in!

I wanted to show you the darling mirror I bought while still on my little island in Washington before I left. Yes, WH hauled it all the way to California for me, he is truly and angel. It finally got hung yesterday. My friend, Diana Frey, and I were fighting over who gets to hang it in their workshop when we spotted it at a quaint store on the island called Robin's Nest. Thank goodness it wouldn't fit in her studio, so.....! I put an Ikea bar underneath to make the item a little more useful, instead of just a pretty face! It is at the spot I do a lot of metalsmithing, so will get a little saw, and a few more necessary things hung from it. The challenge will be to maintain lack of "ego clutter"!!
And here are more of those inexpensive bars from Ikea. Perfect for things like wire, cords, whatever. They are so dang reasonable, I think those were only $1.99! I mean you just can't beat that anywhere!
These are more shelves, from you guessed it, Ikea. And yes, I do confess WH gives me Direct TV, and cable, and I have my iPod in my studio as well. I'm totally spoiled, but boy am I happy! And as WH always says, "Happy wife, happy life"! Gotta love it.
That's all on the remodel for the time being. I want to get a little fabric valance up. Maybe some art work here and there, and I bought a little "bird thingy hang on the wall art deal" that I can attach pictures to. So thanks for looking, I wish you all "happy lives"! Now I get to begin playing and creating.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Workshop remodel!

The end is in sight!
For my workshop remodel that is! If you haven't ever bought cabinets from Ikea for any reason, take a look at them next time. I am so impressed with the quality for the money. And they have so many choices. (No, I don't work there or own stock!) We brought home a truckload of boxes, I mean a huge truckload, and WH was up to his eyeballs in drawer sides, pulls, counter tops, bookcases....well, you get the idea! He spent the entire day putting all these pieces together from Ikea instructions, that are just pictures. I couldn't make sense of them, kept turning them upside down, right side up. But WH worked through it all and made it happen. Here's a before, and after shot of the process. You'll recognize the difference!

Boy was I tired. Had to run to the kitchen for a zillion ice tea refills for WH (that's wonderful husband by the way). Made him lunch, kissed his feet a thousand times, and voila. I love have a handy guy as a husband!! My workshop is transformed. I still have some finishing touches, like some fun stuff for the walls. And we covered up the only electrical plug in connected to the light switch with a cabinet, oops. So there will be some tweaking. I can see the end in sight.
Go look at Ikea cabinets! Anyone else had the same experience? Any remodels you want to show off, or just plain great studios? I know you have one out there!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Picture yourself attending a wonderful workshop in a beautiful setting in the greater Los Angeles area, a home in Agoura Hills. Here there will be an airy, open room to take marvelous workshops with fun and talented instructors. Picture a roomy, great room complete with antique barn windows and a lovely wooded setting. This rustic retreat is complete with artisan charm and old world character, the perfect place for your creativity to flow!

I am so excited to bring you news of doing a team teaching class in May with Diana Frey. We just love the idea of going to such an inspirational place and being able to share our skills with you, in a two day retreat. This class will be called Friends of a Feather, and you will leave with a bird theme, designer necklace. You can read all about it if you click the Inspirational Retreat link above.

But the news just gets better! If you sign up for ANY class they are offering in 2010, BEFORE the end of the year, you will receive 10% off the class price, AND a free lunch for both days as a holiday gift. That is a great deal. So go to the website and check it out!! We would love to have you join us and learn some wonderful new techniques with pmc and wiring.
What do you think?