Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Heart Macro

Yesterday evening, as we were drivng home from the restaurant, I decided to stop and turn on the drip hoses that I had setup around the fledgling hibiscus plants that I recently planted at my studio. I inadvertantly turned on the sprinkler first in the front raised bed before correcting. As we drove away I spotted a web in between the hydrangeas that was glistening in the sunlight due to the little bit of water and hollered out " there's a HUGE black spider in the middle of that web!"  "I need to get my camera and get a shot of that for I heart macro sunday!"

So I got the camera and my husband and I walked back to the studio and sure enough, he was still there, busily wrapping some poor unfortunate critter.

I have no idea what type of spider this is but he is about 3 inches long with incredible color and markings.
My husband said growing up in North Carolina they called these ABC spiders because they could sometimes see a letter in the web.

W, X, Y Z maybe.
It will make me think twice about just hopping in the middle of that garden to move the sprinkler and weed I'll tell you!

Right next to the web, I have this beautiful plant blooming. I can't remember the name but will find out because I would like to plant one at my house. It is growing about 3 feet tall with thick wide burgundy and green leaves much like an amaryllis. The flowers come up on big thick stalks from the center and look like a pineapple before opening. From a distance all i used to see was white but upon close inspection they are full of color.

It has been so nice to focus on the beauty all around us, even this week with everything else that is going on, it did my heart good to change my perspective and go macro.
I would like to thank everyone for their comments and well wishes, i will respond individually as soon as I can and will hope to catch up with blog reading too.
I will try to post later today with the updates on the reno but things are definitely looking up and we hope to reopen this weds, Aug 3rd.

Now head on over to Studio waterstones to enjoy all the rest of the macro goodness in the world!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Wind Is Out Of My Sail

The wind is out of my sails this morning.

On Monday, somewhere around 3:30 in the afternoon I think, my husband called me from his boat to ask me to take a quick ride over to the restaurant ( which is closed Mon and Tues) as he had just received a call from the alarm company that the fire detectors were going off. 
I took off to go check figuring that with the extreme heat we have been having, it just got too hot in the kitchen with the exhaust fans off and tripped the temp on the alarm.
No such luck.
As I rounded the corner I could see smoke. I got there right ahead of the 5 fire companies that responded and when i opened the front door a thick black wall of smoke came out at me.

After all was said and done, the fire chief took me in to show me that the fire apparrently started with the beer keg cooler, that it had overheated and caught the bar on fire, being a resin topped bar it ignited and burned quickly.

Showing me the hottest area that burned

It seemed at the time manageable enough that we called a restoration company and we all rolled up our sleeeves and got started in the cleanup that night.  This is after all the busiest 2 weeks of our year. Today is the famous Pony swim and Pony Penning week on Chincoteague Island.

We are so grateful that the fire didn't destroy the buildng and that we have so much to be thankful for. No one was hurt and we have a building to work with.

It's hard to keep reminding yourself  of that when everything looks like this. The smoke went through the HVAC, all 4 units and left a coating of soot EVERYWHERE

We were optimistic to be opened this weekend until last night when we were informed that the HVAC units were shot, and  the ductwork can't be cleaned because they are insulated inside.
 I know we'll get through this like everything else in life, it's just a difficult time here lately.
There are so many to pray for these days and to keep in our thoughts but if you have a few to spare , we could sure use them.
Thank you and God Bless

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Heart Macro - The Blue Version

I feel like everytime I look up it's Sunday again, anyone else feel like that? This summer is flying by!
This is the underside of the wing of a black swallowtail butterfly that I chose for this week's I heart Macro over at Studio Waterstone.

In all fairness, i got this good shot because Mr Butterfly had a head on collision with a car and was rescued and brought to me by my Dad. He was still alive and we laid him in the sunshine and after a few minutes of shaking,  peacefully left us to just ponder his beauty.

The closeup of the wings look like draped tapestry

I was amazed to see that the tendril they drink with was curled up

Then my husband shared with us a rare sight, a flying fish that flew into his boat while he was about 100 miles offshore fishing at the Washington canyon. Reminds me of a dragonfly of sorts

Such beautiful blue coloring in him too

On friday morning I left work early to head over to the 24th annual blueberry festival held on Chincoteague Island. I had preordered a bulk box of 10 pounds of blueberries that had to be picked up and we thought we would beat the heat and crowds! HA!

We parked next to this wonderful trolley , named the Pied Piper, guess there are a few and they each have names but I was taken by the great colors and graphics.

I think I've had mail delivered by this one!

It was set up really nicely, vendors outside on all sides of the building and inside as well but it was far too hot already for most people to enjoy the outdoor activities. Even in the shade.

We made a quick pass through one side of vendors before giving in to the heat. i did purchase a few goodies from this vendor, the green iron hummingbird, those 2 chippy white wall flower baskets on the upper left and a green garden trellis which my husband had to come back for in his truck.
There was a lot of jewelry vendors, several doing fused dichroic glass and about 4-6 doing seaglass creations, one with handmade lampwork, no metalsmiths that i saw, so I felt there was a little too much overlapping for any of them to stand out. i did buy a pair of real butterfly wing earrings from one vendor outside.

Mom got the homemade blueberry pie from Sugarbakers Bakery

Dad and i got the homemade blueberry ice cream which was delicious from the Island Creamery vendor.

When we got home this was the reading on my outdoor thermometer which is set on the north side of our pool deck in the shade. We were told by us the heat index hit 118 and 2 towns away it was 122. so the next blue we saw was the water of the swimming pool!
I'm sure we would have enjoyed the show more had it not been so hot. Maybe next year.

Now head on over to Lori's at studio Waterstone to see what everyone else is loving this week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We Have a Winner!!

As someone who never wins anything myself, I can only imagine how fun it would be to see your name chosen.  LOIS MOON, you have won the double flush cutters! Send me your mailing address so I can get these babies off to you so you can start having fun with them!

Thank you to everyone else who joined in the fun and left comments and spread the word. I only wish I could afford a pair for each and every one of you! Thank you again for the love and support during my first year! (((Hugs)))

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Heart Macro and Enameling

This is a macro shot of my favorite enameled bead that I made yesterday.
It reminds me of a reflecting pool and was made using a few new techniques with powdered and liquid enamels and torch fired.
I stole away a little time and headed out to Annapolis to attend an enameling workshop being given by Barbara Lewis at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts with a great group friends.

This is another example using fired on decals.

Barbara started us off with a quick refresher course before teaching us some new tricks out of her  soon to be released book "Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry, a Workshop in Painting With Fire"

Jenn made a beautiful nature inspired pendant

I got to meet Elizabeth and really enjoyed talking with her, the little time we all had to talk that is.

Melissa and Bette hard at work

Barbara and Wendy at the torches with Anne and Carol sharing in the background.
One of the nicest thing about this group and taking classes with Barbara is the sharing of help and information. Things like "Oh how did you do that, it's beautiful" to "What colors did you use?" or "How do I fix this?" There is plenty of support and encouragement and learning.

Wendy and Belle

Bette was also celebrating a special birthday yesterday so we marked the occassion with cake for our dessert after lunch.

Anne, Carol, Mike, Bette, Me, Melissa, Jenn, Jim (AKA Mr. PWF),Elizabeth and Barbara.
Not pictured Wendy and Belle.
I miss you all already!

Now head on over to Lori's at Studio waterstone to see who else heart's macro!
 Better yet, join us won't you?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Where Bloggers Create 2011

Karen Valentine over at My Desert Cottage is hosting Where Blogger's Create again this year and I am happy to be a part of it!

You can head over there and see her beautiful spaces and then there is an alphabetical list of all the participants along the right sidebar. Have fun looking at all the beautiful studios and workspaces of so many talented women! I think at last count there were over 300 so it may take me awhile to visit them all but i will!

As for me, not much has changed since my great studio reveal at the end of 2010 but for those who are new to my blog i am going to repost those photos here for you to see.

My main studio is housed in an old turn of the century store than my husband and I renovated. But lately I have been doing most of my work in my home studio spaces.
Standing at the front door looking straight ahead. The little flames you see near the rocking chair is the fire going in the gas fireplace.

Looking to the right

Looking to the left. The slate top science table holds the bead and enameling kilns and a drill press. The wooden workbench is for torch firing enamels and some metalsmithing. The light table is next to the workbench.

Slate top table with the kilns. I have the 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 there are catalogued magazines beneath the light table freeing up much needed space in the bookcase.

Paints, glues, glitters, resins, soldering supplies, alcohol inks, paper clay, sculpey supplies, paintbrushes, leather paints, and various other supplies in this bookcase.

Standing at the shells looking towards the front door.

Hot glass worktable. The carriers to the right on the floor hold the containers of enamels, one for opaques one for transparents. The cookie sheets on the table hold the ramekins ready to be filled with the enamels for use. My lampworking torch still isn't completely hooked up.

Standing by the glass rods looking back across the front of the room.

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. I refinished the 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.  Yes, desk and I are best friends!
The other is an old library table, it has 6 drawers, 2 on each side and 1 on each end. The carving and the decorative spindles are what drew me to it years ago in an antique store. It is now set up with a little sewing machine for my granddaughter to use.

The 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 past years at Art and Soul are in containers beneath the pie safe.

The green cupboard holds vintage clay poker chips, cobalt glass for crushing, additional plates and glass for mosaics along with ephemera and sealing wax.

Sewing area now

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

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

Shells for Sailor's valentines.

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 tray.  Glass cutting system stored beneath the light table. Extra dremel setup, toater oven for polymer clay also stored beneath. Tumbler is on the light table. Rolling mill and various supplies on top.

Paper mache body parts from vintage doll molds waiting to be brought to life but they make me smile jut like they are.

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.

 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. I love this space.
This is the main work area for me. It is a kitchen farm table covered with a sheet of acrylic for protection.The necklace on the hand display was made by my granddaughter. The stacked white jewelry display trays hold seed beads by color groups.

This bookcase holds beads, gems findings and vintage parts. 
This is the enclosed south facing side porch, AKA the laundry room. I bought the workbench from Harbor Freight and it is setup for metalsmithing.  I have the flexshaft, brake shear, anvils and bench grinder attached. I can hammer out here without disturbing the peace too much. The plastic containers hold the metals.

Thanks for visiting and have fun peeking at all the other studios!
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