Sunday, August 30, 2009

fall jewelry set & discovering my purpose

I had high hopes going into this weekend to play with Friendly Plastic &/or polymer clay to make some unique jewelry pieces. Alas, it wasn't meant to be this weekend. I did, however, squeeze in some time last night to bead/wire a necklace & earring set for one of my favorite fall blouses.

Today I browsed through the fall calendar of local adult education classes. I seriously considered the precious metal clay class, but decided I have enough stuff to play with already, without adding something new just now. I want to play with what I've got first! I did, however, sign up for a class (almost always do... just can't resist). It's entitled, "Discover Your Purpose." My husband just smiled & laughed a little when I told him the two classes I'd considered & which one I chose, saying he knew it would be either arts/crafts or self-discovery/help. What can I say? {smile}...

How about you? What's the last class you signed up for?

Friday, August 28, 2009

getting arboreal: a nature collection

If you follow my blog, you know I have a thing for trees, so when I learned Julie over at The Land of Lost Luggage was teaming up with JeriAnn for their second annual photo excursion and the subject was trees, I grabbed my camera. Meet my tree....

This tree is one of two river birches my husband & I planted a couple of years ago. Isn't the bark interesting? And what a deal we got.... as part of a special program sponsored by our local energy company and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, we purchased them for only $25 each. What a bargain!

Be sure to come back around November 8-14 for a new photo or two, as each of us participating in the excursion will post a total of three times (the last being the week of April 4-10). In the meantime, act like a tree frog and hop (or click) on over to Julie's blog to see her tree, as well as links to all the other participant's photos.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I'm delighted to share that today my Friendly Plastic charm from my last post is featured on the Friendly Plastic blog. How fun is that?! Do a gal a favor and check it out, will ya? I'm betting you'll see something you like over there. It's full of inspiration, eye candy, techniques with step-by-step instructions and links to other fun, inspiring sites.

A special thanks to Linda Peterson of Linda Peterson Designs for reaching out to me for this opportunity. Every day holds something special in store!

"It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb." ~ Oprah Winfrey

Enjoy the journey.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

my first charm swap



This month I participated in a charm swap with the Yahoo group Altered Art of Visions and Dreams. Each of us created three charms no larger than 1-1/2", and each with a silver jump ring. I decided to use Friendly Plastic for mine. Considering this was only my second time using Friendly Plastic, there was some trial & error, but it was all fun. Instead of using a rubber stamp to create a recessed image, I used a broken broach of my Grandmother's. For the back, I cut a circle from the metal portion of an old floppy diskette (remember those?), hammered it to create texture, then applied metal ink to it. After attaching the front to the back, I dipped each charm in gloss glaze for protection along with a nice shine.

These charms were a lot of fun to make and I'm anxious to make more Friendly Plastic pieces, as a variety of ideas have been swimming in my head.

What about you? Have you played with Friendly Plastic? Do tell....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

renewed enthusiasm & goal setting

I enjoy photography. I am not educated in the craft, knowing next-to-nothing about aperture, shutter speed, etc., but I enjoy taking photos none-the-less.

Those of you that follow my blog know I submitted photos to the Iowa State Fair this year and none of them were accepted. While disappointing, it was really a gift in disguise (most disappointments are). We attended the Iowa State Fair on Friday and as we do every year, visited the Photography Salon first to see all the beautiful and inspiring photographs, paying particular attention to those on the wall with ribbons. Afterwards, I asked to retrieve my photos from the back room and was lucky enough to have the Superintendent of the event assist me. He asked if I'd like his feedback on my work. Did I ever?! He looked at each of my photos with me, telling me specifically what I could've done differently that most likely would've earned entrance into the show and even ribbons for a couple of them. He said it was clear I have a good eye and he knew if I worked at it, I'd be in the event next year, giving me all kinds of tips & suggestions. Now, obviously, he wants to grow the event (they broke records again this year) but he was so truly passionate and enthusiastic about photography and helping me learn & understand things, that I believe him. Spending 10-15 minutes with him was the highlight of my day! When we left the building, I sat down and made notes from everything he'd told me, so as not to forget a thing!

After that, and some fair food, we took in all the fantastic pieces at the Fine Arts event and then the Arts & Crafts area. Usually I gravitate to the mixed media pieces, but this year, it was a color-washed pen & ink drawing that caught my eye. The piece has so much going on in it I could look at it for hours. Most importantly, it stirred a feeling in me I cannot describe. That's what I someday want my art/photos/whatever to do. Tell a story ~ evoke emotions ~ transport the viewer somewhere.

At the working artist tent, I met the air brush artist my DH recently took classes from. What a talented & nice guy and wow, his work blew me away. What an inspirational morning it was! I just love our fair...

Today's task? I'm goal driven. If I don't have specific goals, I sway all over the place without purpose. Today I'm going to check the status of my 2009 goals and consider tweaking them. I was bad, putting them away a few months ago, which is a big no-no. Out of sight is out of mind for me. The year is more than half over already. Things change and need re-evaluated from time to time. There's no better day than today!

How about you? Do you have specific goals? I'm curious.... how often do you review and possibly modify them?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

shadows on layers

When I was photographing one of the backgrounds I made while taking Julie Prichard's Layer Lover class, I decided to play around with how shadows looked on the piece. Interesting...

What do you see in the shadows?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

forget tarot cards...

What do you think toenails say about a woman? Are perfectly tended feet & toenails a telling sign of something, and if so, what? Is she pampered, or just taking good care of herself? I don't wear polish on my finger nails as my art, yard-work, etc. make it too much effort to maintain. I do, however, indulge my feet. Lately, however, I've forgone luscious reds & oranges for clear polish. What does this mean? Am I being indecisive, or increasing my apparel options? One of life's mysteries, I guess.... {smile....}

So tell me, what color polish is on your toes right now?