Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Heart Macro Sunday

Joining up with Lori Plyler over at Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro, here is my close-up shot for the week.

As I was taking some shots of all the flowers blooming this week, I came upon this shrub that was literally buzzing with activity (pun intended).  Bees were everywhere but catching them in the lens was a challenge. 

And finally this guy was probably the most persistent of all.

We are not sure what this flowering shrub is.  It looks like an azalea but blooms a couple of months earlier than all the other azaleas.  It has been here for probably 30 years or more and pre-dates me in the house.  I guess you don't have to know what it is to enjoy its early March lavendar blooms each year. 

studio waterstone

So take some time to smell the roses (or azaleas) and take some close-up shots while you are out there.  And then share, please.

Happy close-ups to you,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Organization Find

Here is a new-to-me cabinet obtained at an estate sale.  I was so excited to find it because I had been looking for a cabinet with shallow drawers for my jewelry making tools, beads and findings.  The cabinet appears to have belonged to a dentist at one time and then had become someone's tool chest.  I speak with some authority here because when cleaning it, I took out the drawers and all kinds of things had fallen down inside (sample floss packets, toothbrushes, drill bits, coins, keys, screws and washers).  Don't you just love to discover goodies left in thrift finds?  I was really hoping for some items to use in my jewelry but other than the keys, there wasn't much to inspire me. 

As you can see I have quite a bit of work to do on the outside, but surprisingly the inside is in very good condition.  One drawer has a little rust inside but several of the drawers had been lined with white contact paper.  This served to protect the paint inside. 

All of the drawer handles were intact when I bought it and somehow by the time I got home, one was broken.  How does that happen when it was lying on its back?  Grrrr!  Anyway, let's see what I can do to make this cabinet fabulous and then put it to good use.

So watch me organize while I create,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Can Never Have Too Many Earrings

The day before I left on vacation a special package arrived in the mail.  So this post is a little late but no less thankful for these darling earrings won from a giveaway on Earrings Everyday.  Several jewelry artists donated earrings and mine are from Marie Voyer-Cramp at Skye Jewels.  The link will take you to her Etsy shop for lots more goodies.  Thanks Marie.

I was surprised to see the lovely coral color because it exactly matches a knit top that I had just purchased.  What are the odds?

Keep creating,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Heart Macro

Spring has arrived early this year.  The daffodils appeared at the same time as the crocuses.  These hellebores are in full bloom and are such a soft yellow and white along with the dark green surrounding them.

The vincas on the slope behind the house are glowing their beautiful blue, although I got them in a little too much light so they look paler in the photo.

And even the hostas are popping up ready to leaf out.

So it is time to get out in the yard and flower gardens to do a little work.  I don't remember ever having to start yard work so early in the year.  I am not complaining though, because I will take yard work over housework any day of the year. 

studio waterstone

And if you want to see more photos or join in with some of your own, just click on the link above to go to Studio Waterstone.

Enjoying the warm weather,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Heart Macro

We are taking a short vacation in Hudson, Florida, this week.  Even though it has been a mild winter in Virginia, it is nice to experience these warm temperatures in the 80s.  These little creatures are plentiful here and will occasionally hold still for a photo shoot.

Sometimes the photographer has to get in to some precarious positions to get a good shot.  But it is worth the effort if you can hold still enough to focus.

If you have some close-up photos you would like share, join us at Studio Waterstone.

studio waterstone

Have a creative week,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party Begins

Just after midnight, nature's fireworks began with bright lights and noise to herald in the beginning of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party.  Very fitting , huh?!  So let the party begin!  As a reminder, here is what I received from Alice of Alice Dreaming.

I sorted and re-sorted to get inspiration.  Then I started pulling from my stash and when I pulled some of my turquoise lampwork beads into the mix, I suddenly saw the center of the ammonite shell light up.  It doesn't show up as much as I would like in the photo but the color is definitely there. 

Now this is probably not my usual color or metal scheme.  I am more bright colors and sterling silver, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate these colors and metals.  In fact, the bronze scrollwork at the top of the photo was in my stash waiting for just the right moment to come out.  The ammonite shell, bronze chain, clasp, and rhinestone beads are all from Alice.  When you look at the bead soup I received, did you think I would use this color combination - turquoise and browns?  Well, I didn't but that is what happens if you start with an open mind.

So put it all together and this is what I got.

I have also been working with the rest of the bead soup and will be showing the rest in the next few days.  But for now, check out the rest of the Bead Soup Blog Party.  Enjoy!

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs

32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)

41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)

76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting Organized or My Studio is a Mess and That's got to Change

Have you ever avoided your studio because it needed some serious cleaning and organizing?  I am very lucky to have a whole room with a built in closet and lots of windows.  But as this room is off to itself, it can become the repository for things that must be gotten out of the way.  So now I have to undo the messes that have been made.  Some areas of the room are so bad, I won't even show them till a little straightening is done first.  I am sure that never happens to all of you, but that is how I roll.  I am hoping that by blogging about my cleaning ventures, I will be forced to make progress. 
In the process of "hiding" things in this room, projects in mid-stream have gotten shoved aside and disorganized.  Beads, though grouped by color and size on mandrels, have taken over my desktop. Findings are laid aside and not put back in boxes or drawers.  All this chaos makes me very unproductive. 
I will apologize right now for the quality of these photos.  It is difficult to get the right lighting in every corner of my room.

Tools are usually the only thing I can find when I get ready to work.  My pliers, hammers and scissors have been stashed in this latest find, a turntable from Michaels.

Glass storage has been constructed with PVC tubes which are stacked in plastic milk crates.  This is essential if you are ever going to find the colors you need.

So those two areas look pretty good you say.   What's the problem here?  So here is the first area needing work - the torching area.  Believe me, this is one of the easy projects so I will start here to give my self a positive outlook to tackle the rest.

So I hope you will follow me as I get reorganized and make my studio back into the pleasant place I know it can be for creating wearable pieces of art.  I will share as many ideas as I can for creating order out of chaos, just in case there is anyone else out there with similar issues.

Cleaning and creating,


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