Sunday, October 25, 2009

nature nurturing

Life has been pretty stressful lately. I grabbed a couple hours after work today for some soul-care. We're fortunate to live less than 10 miles from some wonderful parks, so I grabbed my camera and headed for one of my favorites. It's not a colorful park, but it's beautiful nonetheless. I could sit and stare at the oaks for hours....

The water is so soothing....

Even the clouds were cooperating to set just the right meditative mood...
A couple times I was so moved by the sights, sounds & smells, I nearly cried....
Then a squirrel came along and coaxed a big smile out of me....

Nature brings peace, balance & harmony to my life...

Please, my friends, take time for yourselves.

"We hear voices in solitude we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts we get under no other condition."
~ Amelia Barr

Sunday, October 18, 2009

experiment, practice, learn!

When you're creating, do you strictly follow product instructions and/or lessons learned in classes? I like to know the rules mostly so I can determine which ones I want to break.

I've been experimenting more with Friendly Plastic lately. Most of my efforts have been rather hideous, but eventually something worth saving results. This pendant is an example. It's FP on copper I added texture to then heated to warm the color. The entire piece is sealed with gloss glaze. The glaze is fine, but I'm going to the store today to buy some EnviroTex Lite and see if it will provide a nicer finish on future pieces. If you've used EnviroTex Lite and have any tips you'd like to share, I'd welcome them!

1.25" x 1.5" pendant
Friendly Plastic on textured, heated copper

Saturday, October 17, 2009

autumn postcards

Fighting a bug & laying low last weekend allowed me to start working on a postcard swap I signed up for with one of the groups I belong to. I hadn't done any paper crafting for awhile, and it felt surprisingly foreign at first, but it came back to me. I finished the five cards today, so will drop them in the mail Monday.

Now to grab some lunch & a nap before moving over to the other side of the studio..... I hope you're enjoying a good day too!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

clove & our first snow

I awoke this morning congested & with a sore throat. Boy, did that hit fast, as I felt great last night. Hopefully it'll pass as quickly as it came. To help in that regard, I cancelled today's plans and am laying low. I did some online research about which essentials oils are good for my condition and unfortunately, didn't find a lot of consistency amongst the various websites I visited. A couple mentioned clove, and since that's one of my favorites and I have it on hand, I chose it. If it doesn't work, at least I'll enjoy the aroma. It's such a warm fall scent.

I had another surprise when I awoke this morning ~ our first snow of the season. Large, fluffy flakes floated gently about, bringing a crisp freshness to the air. I took these photos early in the day, from our patio door. A little over an inch accumulated before it all melted away this afternoon. The photo below shows it on a cob web ~ interesting, huh?

Stay healthy out there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

postscript to virtual studio tour

I had a great time this past weekend visiting all the studios on the tour (at least I think I made it to all of them). What a visual treat to see such varied work spaces, each enabling those creative souls to express themselves and make this world a better place. My special thanks to those of you who visited my studio via my blog and especially those who left a kind comment. You truly brightened my day.

Speaking of comments, I received several comments about the metal strip at the bottom of one of the shelving units. I'd like to share a few more of these little niceties that make the area so functional. If you can take away a helpful idea from here, my mission is complete {smile}.

Drawer slides work great for printers that open on top for scanning and for other items that need to be opened from the top when used (like my Silhouette).

An eight-outlet electrical strip attached under the work surface makes getting power easy, without the inconvenience of cords draped across the work surface. A peel-n-stick ruler (this one is 48") attached to the work surface means there's one less item to get in the way.

Modular shelving made from inexpensive mdf (medium density fiberboard) allows for wonderful flexibility. The majority of the shelves in my area are like the one pictured above. They can be hung (see next photo) or stacked. The slots allow thin panels to be inserted either horizontally or vertically as needed.

The shelves can be hung any number of ways, but we found this method to be the most flexible. A wedge-shaped board is screwed to the back of the shelf and two boards, the top one also wedge-shaped, are screwed to the wall. The board attached to the shelves nestles into the top board on the wall while the bottom board on the wall keeps the entire shelving unit equal distance from the wall, top to bottom.

Last but not least, is handy parcel paper and gift wrap storage (please ignore the dust ~ I'd rather be creating than cleaning).

If you have any questions or tips you'd like to share, please post a comment or send an email to me. I welcome your input!

Friday, October 2, 2009

welcome to my studio

Welcome to my studio! Latin guitar is playing on the stereo & cedar incense is burning to sooth the senses. There are warm glows here & there from various little lamps, dragonfly lights, etc. Make yourself at home, be inspired, get paint/ink/clay/whatever on your hands & under your fingernails. Indulge & have fun!

This photo shows the room overall (the other half, behind me as I'm taking the picture, is the yoga/exercise area ~ a very important part of my life too). My very best four-legged friend and puppy soul mate is there in his bed.... with me wherever I go.

This side is set up for card making & painting (the easel is mostly cut off in the picture ~ off to the left with my denim apron hanging from it). Recently gessoed canvas frames are drying on the work surface, calling for me to express myself. If you're interested, you can click on the photo to see more detail.

As you can see, I have a weakness for stuffed animals ~ a weakness my wonderful husband indulges me in. There are several stuffed animals sprinkled about the room, helping to lighten the mood when needed, as well as giving me someone else to talk to when our dog stops listening {smile}.

Oh, and speaking of my husband, he's the talented individual who built this studio for me, to my exact specifications. I'm very blessed... and very grateful. He didn't miss a detail. For example, the bottom front edge of the shelf in the third photo has a metal strip, painted black, so I can easily use a magnet to hang instructions in front of me when I'm trying new techniques.

This area is set up for jewelry work, metals, sewing, UTEE, Friendly Plastic (the griddle is a few shelves under the stuffed animals in the last picture) and polymer clay (the oven is behind the butterfly photo on the upper shelf to the right). I don't really need two dremels, but my dad didn't use his anymore and offered it to me, so hey, why not? It's actually come in handy a few times.... having one with a sanding disk attached all the time and the other open for whatever attachment is needed has saved a little time.

Here is, unfortunately, where I am a lot of the time, instead of creating in the other work areas. There's just so much eye candy in blogland, that I get pulled in. Does this happen to you too? I now have a timer next to the keyboard, to help me manage my time better. Saturday, however, that's going out the window. I'm going to take my time and enjoy the Open Studios Virtual Tour. Come along with me, won't you?

The words on the lampshade, repeated in at least three other places in the room are a constant reminder to myself. BELIEVE.....

Thanks for visiting. If you'd like, leave a comment with your questions or feedback. As most bloggers will tell you, it's not why we blog, but it's a very nice fringe benefit!