Thursday, November 25, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

On this Thanksgiving day and everyday, I count my blessings and try to practice an attitude of gratitude for all of the good in my life, of which there is so much.

On Sunday Nov. 14th I had a mini Thanksgiving dinner for my son Jesse before he left again for work in Norway as he won't be home for the holidays, a first for us. This Apple Pie that I baked for him shows a little of how I am feeling today, a little heartbroken that he is so far away from us as we will all gather together and share in this day. Our nephew and Godchild Danny is also not with us as he is still on ship, the USS Harry S Truman, in the gulf,  but should be home in time for Christmas.
To everyone out there in blogland and to all those of you who cannot be with family today,
Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Gift

4 Years ago yesterday we were given a most precious gift, our first grandchild, Savannah.

She loves to spend time with us doing anything we are doing and she loves to use my camera to take pictures, so it was a no brainer that this year she would receive her own for her birthday.
Now I know enough to know kids don't want a pink non breakable frustrating picture taking camera. They want one just like yours. I also wanted her to have a camera with a viewfinder, not just an LCD screen to learn with. Not easy to find in a 4 year old price range. So i decided on this one that she could grow with.

She stayed at work with us for awhile and after having lunch and ringing the big bell and having everyone sing her Happy Birthday, we went off on our first photo shoot.
We chose the Assateague Island wildlife refuge as it was a beautiful day and we hoped for some wild pony pictures.

We were not disappointed.

Her Great Grandfather, my Dad, was along for the ride and was a help for those difficult shots.

A very patient Great Blue Heron waited as she composed just the perfect picture ( this is my photo, we didn't have time yesterday to upload hers) 
Then we took a stroll up to the lighthouse for some closeups, she was hoping to see some deer but none were out yesterday, they must know it's hunting season!

I was taking some closeups of the wonderful textures for later use and turned to see that she was following my lead, can you just feel my pride and joy?

It was a great day enjoyed by all. Can you tell her 2 favorite colors are purple and lime green? A real artist in training! And she told her Mom that she wanted butterflies and dragonflies on her cake!

I don't know about her, but our wishes have definitely come true!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And the Winners Are...

My son and my husband each drew 3 names. They are listed in the order in which they were drawn,
1- pretty things- The Jeweler's Directory of Decorative Finishes
2-Denise Werkheiser-The Surface Designers Handbook
3-Summers Studio-Semiprecious Salvage
4-Carol-Creative paint Workshop
5-Kathy-please contact me, no email on your profile
6-Janice-will let you know as soon as I hear from Kathy

If you could just email me your mailing address and your choices 1-6 I will let you know which you won! Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home and Away (Giveaway That Is!)

As promised here is the follow up to yesterday's post ,of the studio at home. This came about last year when i was facing surgery and didn't know how long the recuperation was going to be, so I moved the jewelry components from my studio to home so as to be able to do something if I was stuck here for awhile. Fortunately all went well and I had a short recup but liked the ability to go to the worktable and put a little somethin somethin together while dinner was cooking or laundry was going , so here it has stayed.
This is one side of our enclosed front porch which faces East with a few North and South facing windows and has lovely light most of the day. There are 12 windows altogether. Being out here makes me happy, I love this space. This is where we usually drink our coffee/ tea in the mornings, listen to music and have a drink in the evenings and occassionally eat meals at the table and chairs on the other side.  It is very peaceful.
This is the worktable, again, NEVER looks this clean! See that beautiful roman glass? I can't wait to set that in a bezel and create something wonderful with it, if you remember I love everything glass! The necklace on the hand display was made by my grandaughter. The stacked white jewelry display trays hold seed beads by color groups.  Ok so I have a little latent OCD, not generally evident.

I take that back.... This is a bookcase which used to hold photo albums in the spare bedroom, now holds beads and gems and findings and vintage treasures. Organized for the most part guessed it, color.

This is the enclosed south facing side porch, AKA the laundry room. This is the original workbench i bought from Harbor Freight which was set up while taking the homesteaders metalsmithing class. This is where I will be doing all my metalsmithing now. I have the flex shaft, brake shear, anvils (notice the larger one on the floor to the left) and bench grinder attached (thanks Ray). I can hammer out here without disturbing the peace too much now. The plastic containers hold the metals and I'm thinking of sliding them beneath the workbench so as to put more of the tools in easy access ( the knife box from yesterday will help here) and out of the drawers. I had avoided that so as to be able to vacuum under there easily.

Now, don't ever think if you drop by this will ever look like this again! Like I said yesterday it's because nothing is happening right now. As soon as it gets started all bets are off!

Now for the Giveaway!

Here's one thing I found out while cleaning, I am not allowing myself to order a book from Amazon or go to Barnes and Noble for the latest magazine, BEFORE CHECKING THE STUDIO FIRST!!!
Remember that pile of books and magazines on the floor? Well, once excavated i found that I must not have realized a particular book or magazine that i wanted was in said pile so i bought one again! To the tune of 6 very nice books and 6 magazines.  Good for you though, I have paired one book with one magazine so there will be 6 giveaways! 

Very simply leave a comment on this post, anything at all (please be nice) and on Sunday evening I will draw 6 names , first one drawn gets first choice, second one drawn gets second choice etc. Last one drawn will get whatever remains.  If you feel like spreading the word on your blog that would be very nice but not necessary. 
Good Luck and thanks for sticking with me through the studio redo!

Monday, November 8, 2010

AAAhhhhh.....That's Better

Otherwise known as the Great Reveal!

I know the law well that says everything takes longer than you think/hope it will. I live it. Last week I had high hopes of finishing the reorganization of my studio but was under the weather for most of the week and then had to play catchup at work. So this weekend I finally completed it. Bear witness, it may never look this good again!
Remember, you can click on the pictures to enlarge it and then do it a second time for a really BIG look see!
Standing once again at the front door looking straight ahead. The little flames you see near the rocking chair is the fire going in the gas fireplace, it got cold here the past few days. Some things didn't change, the redware pottery samples stayed until i decide what i want to do with them. The small bookcase and the large display case remain the same.

Standing at the front door looking to the right. You can actually see the top of the 8' display case now! That will never last. I tend to work on this as it is a very comfortable height. I like to stand when I work unless it's a job I have to sit for.

Again, standing at the front door looking towards the left. This area had the most changes. I moved the slate top science table to the front after taking out the sideboard. It now holds the bead and enameling kilns and a drill press. In it's place I put the new worktable from Harbor Freight that several of you may remember me mentioning before. I purchased one and set it up at home on my side porch when I was getting ready for my online class with Stephanie Lee, Homesteader's Metalsmithing.  Well, my husband really liked it so i ordered one for him. It has been sitting in the box because he really didn't have a spot to put it yet so i asked if i could have that one and we'd replace it when he is ready. Sooo... This one will be used for torch firing enamels and some metalsmithiing, the majority of the metal work will still be done at home on that bench. You can also see the top of the light table which I have lit. Another surface that disappears quickly!

Slate top table with the kilns. I have the very heavy t shirt press on a rolling dolly and the PMC kiln along with containers of glass molds, kiln supplies and torch firing supplies stored beneath. The paper is shelf paper for firing glass.

Looking down the corridor, I solved the problem of the book storage by removing the catalogued magazines and placing them beneath the light table, freeing up much needed shelf space in the bookcase to the right.

Paints, glues, glitters, resins, soldering supplies, scrimshaw supplies, alcohol inks, paper clay, sculpey supplies, paintbrushes , leather paints, and various other supplies reorganized.

Standing at the shells case looking towards the front door. As you can tell i have tried to reproduce the sequence of the first set of before pix to compare the progress. Then i took a few more up close this time around.

Hot glass worktable. Note the carriers on the floor to the right, one is filled with opaque enamels, the other transparents. The cookie sheets on the table have ceramic ramekins washed and ready to be filled with said enamels. My lampworking torch still isn't hooked up but all in due time my pretties! I would like to keep this table empty so as to be able to cover in damp newspaper to catch the enamel dust and removed after each session. The white basket is for the newspaper. Torch for enameling and the bead pulling station all set up and ready to go! Fire extinguisher at the ready!
Standing by the glass rods looking back across the front of the room. The rolling mill was purchased after coming home from Artbliss and taking my class with Melissa Manley. I used birthday money from my parents to aquire that new toy! Thanks Mom and Dad!

I took a picture of these desks before covering them up to share with you. The large oak desk is an old office desk that my Dad brought home from work many years ago when they were getting rid of the old and replacing, probably with metal. Anyway, i refinished that desk and it has been my best worktable ever! I love it. It has seen many quilts and sewing projects, handmade paper, jewelry, photography you name it. Best friends,  desk and I. The other is an old library table, it has 6 drawers, 2 on each side and 1 on each end. The carving and decorative spindles are what drew me to it years ago in an antique store. I will set it up with the little sewing machine for my grandaughter to use.

This jelly cupboard now holds all of my rug hooking supplies. Extra cutting mats stand against the wall.

The pie safe houses all my sewing supplies. Trades from the past 2 years at Art and Soul are in containers beneath the pie safe.

I forgot to open the doors but this green cupboard holds most of the same as before with a few new additions like vintage clay poker chips, cobalt glass for crushing, additional plates and glass for mosaics. The vintage suitcase rests atop. I WILL get the figureheads done!
Sewing area now.

Bookcase number one, to the right of the fireplace, holds books on pottery, ceramics, redware, collectibles, glass, lampworking, mosaics , soapmaking etc. Magazines are stacked in the bottom.

Bookcase number two holds books on quilts, sewing, fiber arts, dolls, mixed media, painting, paper arts. Dover design books and magazines are in the bottom.

Shells for sailor's valentines. Don't they look pretty?

Bookcase number three holds books on jewelry and creativity. Catalogs are stored beneath.

Workbench with light table. Small glass kiln stored beneath, lampworking tools organized in a commercial silverware bus tray. I ordered a smaller annealing pan for use at home so will use this one here.  Glass cutting system stored beneath light table. Extra dremel setup, toaster oven for polymer clay stored beneath worktable. Tumbler is on light table for the time being.

Paper mache body parts from vintage doll molds waiting to be brought to life but they make me smile just like they are. I'm rethinking the knife box, may take that home for tools. HHHmmmm....

Vintage sewing items, I don't collect these, really,  it just sort of happened to become a mini collection. The bird pincushion is sterling.

A few of my favorite things. Betty was my first dress form, won her on Ebay and had to pick her up in Pennsylvania. The thread case is a treasured win at a local auction as is the glass biscuit case . The childs mannequin head was a find at a local antiques gallery.  The small Santos figure was also my first.

Ok so we all know that none of this will last. The reason is because it's totally unrealistic! It looks good because there's nothing going on in here yet. Once a creative spark hits and you have to drag everything out and spread everything around for inspiration it'll be much better, don't you think? I love to LOOK at all of this now, but I can't WORK in this.  It is kinda nice to have in pictures for all posterity though!  Plus it proves I CAN be organized, I just find most times it gets in the way of creativity!

Next i will post pictures from the studio spaces at home. Stay tuned, there may even be a surprise at the end!

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