Wednesday, April 16

Worktable Wednesday - Sketching New Designs

So I can hit the ground creating when I re-open my studio April 28th, I've been sketching some new designs for some cabochon stones I purchased this past winter.

Kelp Forest will likely be one of my first after I get my garage studio set up for soldering.  I love the stone and in my head it turns out amazing!

Too big of a pendant?
I have an idea for making it work!

This sketching time is where I just have fun and don't have the pressure of trying to fill my shop or jump into making a project.  I know if I didn't have the discipline I wouldn't allow a design time to simmer.  Now is the time for designing and play.  Any idea that pops into my head I go with.  Case in point:

When I bought this piece of Fordite I knew I wanted to make it a guitar.  It looked like a rock guitar to me from the moment I saw it.  However, I wondered what would happen if I looked at it from a different angle.

Some will be bead embroidered while others will be set in silver.  I will likely combine the two in at least a couple of pieces, too.

This stone is not painted!
Once I saw the boy's shorts and foot with his dog
nippin' at his heels I couldn't see anything else!

Some will be altered slightly or transform entirely during the process.  I'll try to remember to post the original drawing with the completed piece.  The transformation might be interesting to both of us.

Inspired by Sea Star Wasting Syndrome which has been
affecting Sea Stars on the west coast from Alaska to San Diego.

Do you allow yourself time to play?  What benefits do you see when you allow yourself time to reflect and dream?

Monday, April 14

The Birds and the Bees are Back Doing It

Pride of Maderia Echium fastuosum

Spring arrived early here in northern California.  Daffodils started blooming in January and our flowering plum did, too.  However, it seemed some plants and the birds and the bees weren't all that confused by the weather and stuck to their annual schedule.  Here are some shots I took over the last couple of weeks that quite pleased me, some in sunshine and others in fog.

Bees Doing It

I was really tickled with the chestnut-backed chickadees.   They are not very afraid of me I guess because I've been putting out seed for them every winter for years.  There were two that have decided to check out the birdhouse this year which will thrill my Mom, as it does me.  She bought me the birdhouse when we were still living in Vancouver, Washington in maybe 1998.  We took a roadtrip to the Olympic Peninsula and bought it at what would become my favorite shop on the peninsula when we lived in Port Angeles:  Wild Birds Unlimited outside Sequim in Gardiner, WA.

"Is it going to leak?"

"Roof is lookin' good."


Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 2

Worktable Wednesday: Poppies go from the Ground to the Wall

After a recent share of my hooked poppy rug on Facebook, I heard a unanimous voice of "Don't even think of letting anyone put their paws on your new rug!"  

So although these kinds of wool hooked rugs last a very long time when used as rugs, I will listen to the masses and hang it somewhere in my home.  I do love all the bright colored poppies and will be able to admire it more frequently than if I relegate it to a guest bedroom.

You can still find antique hooked rugs in shops, but I do have to agree they are often pretty worn and stained.  I'm sure many of these hookers of yore were much quicker at the hooking and did their own dying of used woolens so the expense wasn't a top factor.  They needed some warm floor covering, too, to stop the cold draft coming up through the floorboards.

Designed by Sharon A. Smith
Hooked by Janet Bocciardi

(Boy do I need a pedicure!)

Tuesday, April 1

East Blends with West in Belgrade Architecture

Here's another post from our Danube cruise from Budapest to Bucharest.

Belgrade, Serbia is one of the oldest European cities and has been a crossroad for traffic between Eastern and Western Europe since ancient times.  Today about 1.6 million people call it home.

The architecture of its buildings reflect this confluence.  When we were visiting we had gray skies so I especially loved the color used on some of their more interesting buildings.

Hotel Moskva

Did you know that Belgrade played a pivotal part in the history of the Western world?  The fate of Christendom was likely determined in the summer of 1456 in the siege of Belgrade by the Turks (Ottoman Empire.)  The rise of the peasants in Hungary and Germany helped defend Belgrade against the Turks.  The Hungarian General Hunyadi led them to victory and has been honored since 1456 by the Catholic Church throughout the world by the ringing of the church bells at noon each day.

In 2009 when we visited Belgrade the predominantly Orthodox Christian population was in the process of building the Church of Saint Sava.  It is the largest Orthodox church in the world and ranks in the top 10 of the world's largest churches.

Saint Sava, Belgrade, Serbia
(from Wikipedia)

The massive openness and roundness of the interior as well as the artwork reminded me very much of the mosques we saw in Istanbul.  I was unable to get a good picture to show that, but here's some of the interior.

Marble pillars waiting to be erected.

Next stop Bulgaria!

Friday, March 14

Are You ever Too Old for Granny Boots?

Yeah, I think so.

I sure loved wearing mine, but these days I prefer boots I don't have to lace up.  They also are cutest with dresses or skirts anyway and I don't find myself wearing either all that much anymore, at least in the winter.  They remind me of when I worked in an office environment.  Although I loved it when I was doing it I do not miss the alarm clock nor the deciding what to wear.

Some of you may have wondered where my posts have been.  Well, my focus has been more on living than writing.

This past year I was hit up side of the head, or more accurately my hip, about my age.  For several years I told myself the pain I'd feel in my right hip doing some yoga poses or sitting cross-legged was just something I had to put up with getting older.  Then a year ago my leg started popping out of its socket creating a sudden weakness and pain before popping back in.  Not good.  During my annual physical I decided maybe I should bring it up.  I am so glad I did!  I will never tell myself again that pain is a given when getting older.

The realization was that many years of just doing aerobic activity was not enough.  My muscles had gotten weak to the point of no longer protecting me from injury.  In a very short amount of time I stopped the popping with strength and stretching exercises.  Pilates and regular massage are my present and future and something I actually look forward to every week.

So what to do with these boots whose name speaks of age?  They're getting donated in case there is some young lady that would like them, because they're not done making someone feel special.  

However, my favorite lace-up boots will stay in my closet for awhile longer.  They're a tall brown pair I found at Bon Marche in Paris on my husband's and my first visit many years ago.  They are so well made and the only thing I bought in Paris!  They're staying, because I see romance in them:  the romance my husband and I share, as well as the romance of where these boots have stomped.

For me I was too old to wear granny boots when I realized I could be called a granny.  Yikes!  That ain't going to happen!


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