Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BTW ~ Sweet Trade Treats

I dare you to try to say "sweet trade treats" more than once even without saying "sweet twade tweets"

Ok , so i'm cheating a little bit with my bead table wednesday this week. These are trades I made for Art and Soul and they were on my bead table until I packed them up to leave this morning.
The theme this year is In The Garden and so i followed up on my theme for the fatbook pages and created vintage image charms and czech glass flower charms and added them to silverplated bracelets and then attached pewter garden fairies. The one pictured here is mine, notice the word "Souvenir" above the birds? Had to have it!
Instead of creating some kind of package for them, this time I attached one of my cards with sentiment on the back and tied them to the flower lollipops I ordered. 
There are 32 in total, less than I normally make for trades but it'll have to do.
I even found a gift bag in lime green with a big pink flower that said BLOOM on it. Perfect to carry them in. If I don't see you there,  I'll see you here in a few days when I get back!

What's on your table today?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter ~ I Heart Macro

Lori over at Waterstone Jewelry hosts I heart macro/closeups every Sunday. This being Easter Sunday Ithought it fitting to share my Ukrainian eggs.  Hop on over and see what everyone else is sharing!

Every year I tell myself I am going to get out my kistkas and beeswax and make up a new batch of dyes and create some Ukrainian eggs for Easter/ Christmas and as i can see from the dates on these eggs, I have failed in that mission for a lot of years now. The latest date I can find on any of these is 1997!! Bad me!

I used to love to make these each year with the kids who were fairly young at the time. My son't first egg was when he was 4 and my daughter 9.

I went into the elementary school and taught my sons' second grade class to make these, yeah, what was I thinking, letting 7 year olds handle a traditional kistka with their own flame! But believe it or not, we only had one little girl get her finger burned and she was fooling around at the time.

I also taught my daughters' 5th grade classes, several art teachers and then ventured into the high school with newer kistkas ,for my children and nephews when they got there. I was pleasantly surprised to see the enthusiasm in the high school.

I asked my husband when I took these out, "How is it possible I had so much time back then to do all of this stuff and can't find the time now?" His wise reply, "You didn't have internet back then". So true. I guess it's no coincidence that we got internet around here in 1998 and the last date on the eggs is 1997!

I vow to do better. I may have missed Easter, but there's alway hope for Christmas! ( you can see in the pictures some have ornament caps attached for hanging on a tree)
Better get started now!
For anyone interested in learning this craft, I purchase all my supplies here. They also have a wonderful selection of cookbooks and books for the children.
This kit is a great starting point and has everything you'll need to make beautiful eggs.
P.S. I just found that they now offer an instructional DVD that would be a great place to start!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Heather over at Humblebeads sponsors a blog hop called Bead Table Wednesdays to showcase what's on your bead table each wednesday.
You can go to the Flickr group to see what everyone is doing.
Here's what's on my table today, luscious czech glass beads that have been arriving this week for an upcoming project that i probably won't get to finish until returning from Art and Soul.
I need to gather everything needed to go away and take classes next wednesday.
What's on your bead table today?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ode To Georgia

Lori over at Studio Waterstone is hosting a blog hop on Sundays called I Heart Macro/ I Heart Closeup which i am going to link up to with this closeup photo of my Earnhardt camellia blooming today.
I am a huge fan of the work of Georgia O'Keefe's flower series and love to try to capture those images with my camera. I don't have a macro lens but shot this with my telephoto.
Hop on over and join in the fun!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Buds, Blooms and Butterflies

The past 2 weeks have been a flurry of activity around here.
Our granddaughter was born with a hemangioma on her bottom lip.  In her first year they performed laser surgery on it to destroy the blood vessels feeding it knowing she would face surgery at around 5 years of age to remove it entirely. Well, as kids go, she became aware of it and started to bite at it making it worse lately so the Drs. decided to go ahead and do it now. My daughter took her across the bay to Kings Daughters hospital in Norfolk,  while my son in law stayed home with our grandsons, for what was to be simple outpatient surgery. Well  2 days and 3 surgeries later they both came home safe and sound.  Our granddaughter came straight here to stay with us while her parents worked and to help the healing process away from the rough and tumble of 2 brothers.
So first up on our best buds agenda was a trip to Michaels for some new craft supplies. She picked out spring sticker books and a huge pack of cardstock with every imaginable color for the purpose of playing with the new toy making flowers to paste and color creating a paper garden.
Then of course there was the paints we had to have in her favorite colors and apparently 35 pairs of shape scissors is not enough, we need the pink ones.

We successfully kept the stitches intact and healing for 5 days before she went back home.
One of the MANY books we read is an old family favorite which i read to my children when they were young, Thundercake. We had a perfect day and storm to read it in and she wanted to make the cake, the recipe of which was in the back of the book.  We had just the pan to bake it in too!

We went out and took pictures around the yard with our cameras of all the spring flowers.

Our flowering magnolia has the most blooms on it this year.

There's just something about loads of pink blooms against a  green background that screams "SPRING IS HERE"

After she went home, I have to admit i did nothing for about a day and a half.
But this past week my husband and i started working on the garden and one thing led to another and before you know it we had 32 new blueberry and raspberry bushes planted at the far corner of our yard.
The raised beds need to be rebuilt as they have settled but we decided we will get one more year out of them before tackling that job.

I have become a fan of raised bed and container gardening over the past several years and this year have planted a few with strawberries that don't have lots of runners to see how they do. I also planted lavender in the smaller pots.

In what used to be the sandbox when the kids were younger we used to have an herb garden, but it was getting overgrown and we decided to remove the plants, refresh the bed and plant strawberry plants. I put about 60 in there this week. .

The containers got severely damaged last winter with the ice and snow banked around them. We have never had that happen before and I think i will try to get some galvanized pans from the farm center to place underneath to be able to salvage them this year. They too have a few strawberries in them. Then we built a new bed between the purple martin house poles and planted blackeyed peas and 2 varieties of green beans. We covered the beds with screening just until the seeds get a good start and to keep any stray animals out.

These pots have sugar snap peas and snow peas, a favorite of ours. I decided a few years ago to try them in pots with large tomato cages as the trellis and they work great. The grandkids come over and pick them and eat them on their way to the pool all summer!
The bed behind them is all iris and daylillies.
Now all we need is some sunshine and warmer weather!
And rest.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting To Know You

Getting to know all about you....Getting to like you.....

Ok I'll stop singing now.

Here's what I know about myself- I may have creative ADD meaning I may go from project to project or medium to medium but i NEVER do more than one thing at a time.  If I have a project or deadline looming overhead, I'm almost paralyzed to do anything else until that thing is done and off my shoulders.  It is the main reason I had stopped taking custom orders years ago, I would find myself procrastinating to get an order done and wouldn't be able to do anything else until it got done. See the dilemma?

It's my own personal order out of chaos.
My mind goes like this-
Get the taxes done then I can-
Get the fatbook pages done then I can-
Work on the trades and when they're finished i can-
Ok you get the idea.
Well, I have been trying in the background to learn my camera and lens and all the nuances of both.
I had signed up for a class which i never did one thing for, sooo I decided right now with everything off my plate at the moment to finish the books I was reading and spend some time getting to know my camera better.

Our weeping cherry tree is in full bloom and I was very happy to see today that it survived the awful weather we had for the past few days without getting beat to pieces.  With the sun shining and the blue skies, it made for the perfect subject to work with.

I knew I was a better photographer and the camera was more capable (or the camera was better and the photographer more capable) than what the evidence of pictures was showing me.  I feel the fault was with relying solely on Auto.
I know the best way to learn something is just to do it. Play with the settings and dials and buttons until it gets really familiar and then try to strike a balance between the aperture, the ISO and shutter speed until you get the results you are looking for. Refer to the manual. Again. And again.

Really look at something. Really see.  Then frame it up in the camera.
Change direction,  perspective,  capture the light in different ways.

I have decided that choosing the ISO and shooting in aperture priority mode is what works best for me to give me the feeling I used to have shooting 35mm.

These pictures are as shot, no post processing with photoshop, that is another whole subject. 
I think if you get the fundamentals down of good photography, then photoshop is a wonderful tool to use for creative embellishment, but one thing at a time, remember?
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