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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can I Make Up My Mind?

Apparently, the answer to that question is a big, fat NO.  I seem to vascillate between making jewelry, crocheting (I have two projects started), polymer clay and my clay flowers.  Today I flopped back to the flowers.  I do kind of wish I could pick something and stay with it -.but that'll never happen.  I've never been that way.  My mom couldn't cure it, my husband has tried and failed so I'll just assume the name Flip Flop and get on with it. 

Today I felt a bit tropical.  Probably because the sun came out after a long drown-a-thon.  I hear were getting another storm tomorrow so I may not feel so...tropical-y.  These are done in an acrylic glass that lights up in different colors in the base.  It was difficult to catch on film so what you see is only a small percentage of the amount of colored light emanating from the glass.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

No Matter What Life Brings...

I've been playing around with my polymer clay over the past few days between working my 'day' job.  I do medical transcription from home and I love the fact that I can do it in my jammies with a big window view.  The down side is that I'm physically close to my clay and I swear I can hear it calling my name while I'm trying to work.  This is my first bunny attempt. I think he turned out kinda cute. Before I continue on, I should take a moment and thank my husband, Steve, for being my always supportive muse. Because I named the bunny "Patches" (yeah, I know...very original) Steve immediately came up with this: "No matter what scrapes and breaks life brings, there's always a patch." Which I thought was pretty cute. And from which spawned further creative ideas. We decided I should continue the theme and make a whole Patch Critter Family. So look for more Patch creations to follow soon. I'm also considering making them in miniature but I'm putting that to a vote. (Please vote on the poll in the right colum!!) 
Next is is a porcelain face which I "dressed" with polymer clay.  I see her as sort of a Renaissance lady who lives in an old castle.  Her name is "Isolde" which in Welsh (Irish) means "beautiful lady".  She has a wire-wrapped bail and is ready for use as a pendant.

Yesterday yielded a nice surprise.  We went to the mall mainly to people watch, as I have a twisted sense of humor and enjoy watching the dynamics of human characteristics shopping on the day before Christmas.  In the meantime though, we popped into Anchor Blue who was having a huge sale.  Buy 2 get 2 free on entire store!  Steve got a couple of new shirts and I got a nice shirt as well.  But the best find of all was a $50 hoody on sale for $10!  Now I have a hoody that actually fits me.  Yippee!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Proof I Do Finish What I Start...Eventually

I know, it's been quite awhile since my last post. I've been working at my day job doing medical transcription and sometimes it just sucks the desire to to even look at the computer afterwards right out of me. But the length of this post should make up for it, lol.


Living in Southern CA means we're fairly close to Disneyland and hold annual passes. This means we can visit "The Happiest Place on Earth" whenever we choose and after about 4-5 trips, the passes more than pay for themselves. We happen to have the park hopper pass which allows us to visit both parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) at will. But I digress…

Part of the amusement park experience is having your picture snapped while riding one of the rollercoasters. CA Adventure has one of such coasters. After you exit the ride, the exit path dumps you right in front of viewing area which shows a frozen image of everyone in various stages of animation; abject terror, exhilaration, or for those who are familiar with where these cameras are located, a pose of some sort. Here is where the amusement part comes into play: Once you reach the viewing area, you're ensconced in a crowd of people pushing forward to peek at their unflattering photo while shrieks of laugher and pointing ring in your ears.

Now, after so many times of riding said ride you would think I'd be aware of when these nasty little cameras are going to freeze my image and display it to the other paying patrons. But I keep forgetting…



(In the photo on the left, I hadn’t positioned my safety bar very tightly (at my husband’s suggestion) because it allows for more of a thrill when you become airborne as this metal contraption flies over hills doing about 60 MPH. What he neglected to tell me is that it also allows lateral movement going around the curves. Which is displayed in this very attractive photo of me slamming my ear into the safety bar at the exact moment when my memoir of fun was being snapped.)  Here’s where the term "amusement" park comes into play. The charge is close to $20 to purchase this insult. Like you’d ever want to display these photos in your home. Ha ha. Very amusing.


New Project Finished

I don't know if I'm alone in this issue or not, but I have a habit of starting a project and then not finishing it for awhile.  Sometimes it's just because I get bored with it.  Sometimes it's because it doesn't quite look right so I leave it awhile until some the inspiration finally hits.  Sometimes I just have no excuse at all.  The "Special Delivery" project was one I left alone because something wasn't right.  It stared at me from the top shelf for quite awhile.  Yesterday, it finally hit me what to do.  I'm happy to say it goes in the 'Finished' closet and off the "Hey, Finish Me Already!" shelf.




I also started crocheting a slouchy hat I thought might be cute.  In the process of digging through my yarn, I dug up a couple of things I made (and are now on my Artfire site)







Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cherry Blossoms, Etc

I've been sitting on this half-finished project for about 6 months.  I finally convinced myself to finish it recently.  It was a time consuming project, each blossom being handmade, the stamen inserted, then each stem was wrapped and assembled into a branch.  I normally don't mind working with floral tape, but for some reason the brown is extremely sticky to work with.  My scissors even stuck to my fingers!  But I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I absolutely love cherry blossoms and of course I couldn't resist adding the chopsticks to it.  I called it Sakura Blooms because that's the Japanese word for cherry blossoms.  It's for sale here.  



Research has provided the information that the popular colors this year for wedding flowers are bright and cheerful.  I guess with this economy, that's exactly what we need to see.  So today I started on some tropical flowers for a spray to be used on a cake or as home decor.  This time I won't wait six months to finish it.  Well, off to bed after I finish watching Survivor.  I haven't really slept in two nights.  This morning I finally fell asleep at 6:00 and got up at 8:30.  I don't what the deal is with this insomnia but I'll be taking out a contract on Mr. Sandman if he doesn't deliver tonight.  :)


Friday, October 8, 2010

The Tiger Lily

The flowers of the tiger lily can grow up to three inches wide and is also known as a Ditch Lily because it's often  found in and around ditches in large parts of America.  It probably gets it's name as the Tiger Lily because of the spots found on it's petals.

The Tiger Lily has a strong fragrance that is sweet and smells like....well... smells like a lily.  They do seem to have a distinctive fragrance.  Besides being a bright, beautiful flower, most parts of this plant are edible; petals, shoots and roots.  (However, keep this plant away from Kitty because it's very toxic to cats.  It will cause vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure and can even be fatal.)  These parts of the flowers tend to be a bit bitter but if you bake the bulb, it tastes somewhat similar to a potato - which I suppose could be handy if you run short of spuds.

Tiger Lily is often cultivated Tiger lillies are cultivated for its edible bulbs and can be found in Asian markets.  Look for soft buds but keep in mind that the bud has to be soaked in warm water for a half hour or so to make them soft before adding them to your food.  Remove the tough stem, unless you have a vendetta on your guests.  In addition to adding flavor to Asian dishes, they're used to enhance salads and even egg dishes


The Tiger Lily is usually orange or yellow but also can be , melon, peach, yellow, white, apricot, pink, rose, lavendar, purple or red.  The  flowers lasts from ten days to three weeks and bllom from early summer to early fall.  As with most flowers, there are ancient symbolisms attached and the Tiger Lily is though to signify wealth and pride.   It was also thought that sniffing this flower would give you freckles.

Medicinally the Tiger Lily is used for treating female reproductive problems and angina.  (This is informational only - see your doctor or holistic practioner before beginning any new regimen.)  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bead Shop Hop Weekend

We had the most fun yesterday!  We went on a Bead Shop Hop which was hosted by several bead shops throughout California.  We did the San Diego ones since that's the closest to us.  We brought another jewelry artist and friend, Michelle Loon, with us while my poor outnumbered husband chauffered us all over the county.  We "back-seat drove" for him and had great fun searching for these places and shouting out when we successfully found them (after a few U-turns and phone calls to the shops).  We got little free gifts at each of them and since we wanted to cover as many shops as we could, we tried to keep our oohing, aahhing and drooling to the bare minimum but, dang, that was hard!  Because we couldn't spend the requisite hour or so pouring over each of the treasures in each shop, Michelle and I took to furiously scribbling notes in our about the shop we'd just visited while trying to navigate Steve to the next shop. I tried to behave myself spending-wise but I did wind up with some stuff.  My favorite is a lampwork bead with a frog on it.
 We managed to cover 6 of the shops; going from Oceanside to Ocean Beach to Julian and everywhere in between.  We got to Julian just in time to have their famous pie & ice cream (Steve and I had Dutch Apple and Apple Peach respectively and Michelle had Boysenberry-YUM!) under the peaceful calm under the trees with a nearby bubbling fountain.  If you want the links to which shops we visited and read Steve prospective on the whole day, check out his blog!
 (PS.  Become a follower of his because he keeps track of great travel saving tips and ideas!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Attempt..And The End Result

Recently, I decided to try making gum paste flowers for cakes. In my excitement over it, I thought, "Hey, I make clay flowers, how much different can it be?" Boy, was I surprised. I bumbled around at first using the same techniques I use for my clay flowers...but gumpaste has decidedly different characterisitics than the clay I'm used to. I watched videos on YouTube and got some idea on the technique but my biggest issue was making the silly petals stick where they're supposed to. The gumpaste makes for heavy flowers and as it turns out, is way more fragile than the clay ones. I have a new admiration for gumpaste artists. Of which I'm not. So I turned my attention back to my favorite medium and made a spray of flowers which can be used on a cake...and/or used as a decoration on a shelf, etc. The great thing is these are very lightweight and much less fragile that gumpaste. This one has sweet peas, roses, hydrangeas and stephanotis which I've highlighted and shadowed for realism. It's now listed in my Etsy shop however may soon be going up for sale in a cake shop (a new venture for me).




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding- Psst...I Made Her Flowers!

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting picture of my dear friend, Amanda's, wedding.  In case you're new to my blog, she's an Australian artists who makes gorgeous sculptures from polymer clay.  She's also working on a website where she is sharing tutorials on how to make your own sculptures...absolutely free. 


Anyway, Amanda got married a few weeks ago and she asked me to make her flowers for her (from air dry clay).  I was thrilled to do this and here's the photos of my beautiful friend (and her flowers) on her special day:
This is the corsage she is wearing on her wrist.Grooms corsage. 

I'm so into wire lately...I made a pendant that started out to be simple earrings, but turned into a dragonfly.  I'm not sure how....I also started another necklace (also wire wrapped) but I went to look for the pendant and it seems to have grown legs and walked off!  I'll be spending the better part of tomorrow looking for it... grrr

Monday, August 30, 2010

What is Heather Hiding?

Heather is not one of the flowers we immediately think of when we think about going to the nursery (or the nearest Target store) for flowers to plant. But heather is hiding secrets.


Heather ranges anywhere from white to pink, purple and red in color. The flowers are native to Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia and northern North America but are especially synonymous with Scotland. Why? Because it's used in beer! Scotland relies on the heather's nectar for flavor and to aid in the fermentation instead of using malt and hops (which don't grow there). The leaves are used to flavor the beer as well.


HEALTH BENEFITS

Heather flowers contain properties that stop the production of inflammatory hormones and because of this is found in lots of herbal formulas. For what?

It used for kidney and lower urinary tract health - helps prevent stone ailments (kidney and gall stones)-

-gastrointestinal problems - liver disease - gout and arthritis

-respiratory tract disorders - sleep disorders - calms the nerves

-is used as an eye bath for inflamed eyes - fever - wound treatment

-diaphoretic (profuse sweating) - dandruff - depression. Who knew?!

(Oh, and it can produce a yellow dye….if you're greatly in need of that for some reason.)



On another note….today was so beautiful. We went out to the Irvine Spectrum and enjoyed walking in the outside mall. People and dog watching can be so entertaining! If you want to see pics (or get travel tips) check out this blog.



I've taken a bit of a break on the flowers as I've been overwhelmed with the desire to go back to my jewelry making. I've been holding onto this fire agate for who knows how long and I decided at long last to wire wrap it. I think this just might end up in my private collection…

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Crafting has always been a passion for me. I have yet to stick with any particular medium, as I love to switch it out and try new things. This blog is sort of a testament to that fact. Hope you enjoy...

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