Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Skillset Added To The Toolbox

All the way home, as I was driving, I would glance at this ring on my finger gripping the steering wheel and think " I can't believe I just made that!"

I am beyond thrilled at the results of my first attempt at a ring.

I owe this new skillset to this fabulous instructor, Richard Salley.
I have taken several classes of his over the past 3 years and have loved each one. My first foray into enameling was one of his classes, I have done other metalsmithing classes and found object jewelry classes with him, each one offered new techniques to add to my toolbox.He is such a knowledgable metalsmith and willing to share all that knowledge to help each student succeed.

It was a great class, filled with so many good friends.
Bette and I shared not only shared a table but an adventure the night before which I will post about later.

Carol and Dia (below) made everyone smile with their custom made aprons which sported a transfer that read "Salley Stalkers" with a silhouette of Richard in his cowboy hat.
It is hidden here by Carol's amazing rendition of a Floral cascade enameled necklace inspired by Barbara Lewis' book.

Dia showing her amazing ring. She puts her nose to the grindstone and does amazing work and I believe was the first one to complete her ring.

Melissa, Sandi and our amazing workshop hosts, Cindy and Jeanette. Cindy had taken Richard's class the previous day and made a beautiful pendant which I hope she will post on her blog.

Sally was also my tablemate and provided some comic relief just when it was needed most!

In the end, most of us left with a completed ring. Each one an original.
(I'm sorry if I haven't identified all the rings, wasn't sure of the rest)

It was a fantastic group and I can't thank Cindy, Jeanette, Richard and Martina enough for providing this wonderful opportunity for us to learn.
Artbliss really lives up to it's name!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Southwester Headed Our way

South West Rings, Saturday May 19th -SOLD OUT

I am on my way out West, to Artbliss to take the Richard Salley workshop, Southwest rings and visit with good friends, can't wait! See you in a few days!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Monkeying Around

Me + Monkey = Love at first sight!

Picmonkey that is.

OK so here's the thing. I have Photshop CS4, took classes in it in 2009, beginner, intermediate and advanced, got continuing education certificates for all 3.
Took several online classes to use it creatively.
Then got Elements 10 to simplify a little of the process.
Found Picnik and liked it for it's ease of use and instant gratification. 
Then Picnik left us. 
So this morning I decided to look into Picmonkey that I had heard a little about here on the blogs and I am so loving it!

I took just a couple of the pics from yesterday's post to play with , rather quickly just to take a test drive with the application, and see the results.

I can honestly say there is enough offered here to keep one busy for a long time playing.
As a matter of fact the Todd Rundgren song " Bang the drum all day" started playing in my head.

And this was with just a few clicks, not really taking any time , just doing a few comparisons.

As I got towards the end of my play session, I was really starting to hit my stride  and while I hated to quit, really did have to go to work.

I look forward to seeing how this develops ( pun absolutely intended)

For those of you looking for a quick fix and a replacement for Picnik, I would highly recommend this site.

The interface is really easy to navigate and use.

There is no album to save it to at this time, they do not keep your work on file you must save it to your own computer.

But Oh, the possibilities!

" I don't wanna work..."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Support Handmade

My Etsy shop is on vacation today in support of Handmade work by individual artisans.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Good Day For The Blues

Yesterday seemed to be a bluesday Tuesday.
It started out with birdwatching out my kitchen window as the tea and coffee brewed and I quickly grabbed my camera to go sit out on the pool deck to see if i could get some shots off.

Bluebirds are very skittish and so I was keeping my distance but they weren't to be fooled, they knew my every move. Notice the female watching her mate carefully from the inside of the birdbox.

When they make their way back to the box, they look all around first , making sure it is safe before  going in to feed their young.

"Honey, I'm home!"

Very rarely do they both leave the nest at one time for fear of predators, see that blackbird in the distance, I later witnessed him trying to get in the box and at the young.
But I think right now, she has her eyes on me.

So I turned my attention to another favorite blue, the color of the pool.
We opened it late monday night and had started to run the hose to bring the water level back to the top to start the filter.
I planted those rhodies 22 years ago, they were so little and ran along the side of our outbuilding before the pool arrived. Now they consume all the space along one length of the pool.

It was such a beautiful morning, the kind where you just want to be outside appreciating all the beauty nature has to offer.  So we decided to take a drive to a favorite spot for beachcombing.
The weather was forecasting some coastal flooding and winds out of the East but we went anyway.
At the end of the road where the old town meets the sea, was this abandoned house, built in 1915 as is shown on the foundation block.

Not only did it have that beautiful time worn blue ceiling on the front porch ( they used to paint porch ceilings blue to fool the wasps into thinking it was part of the sky and they wouldn't build nests there)
but it had very ornate stained glass panels in the double front doors that I would have loved to have been able to see from the inside. 
But since I'm not into breaking and entering, we continued on to our little spot.
The bright blue sky was reflected in the sea as it pounded the surf.
There was a lot of things arriving on shore as a result of the churning.
This particular piece was a collection of driftwood, shells and seaweed which reminded me of one of the creatures aboard Davy Jones' boat on Pirates of The Carribean.

There was different colors of seaweeds and grasses  from grays and greens to pink/reds.

This made me take a double look but it was just some type of ribbon or plastic twisted up with the grasses, but it is blue!

There was plenty of green and brown seaglass but alas , no blue today.

This peeler crab washed up, probably bait from one of the many crab pots anchored just offshore.

This mother of pearl coating on an oyster shell just glistened in the sun.

Along the broken concrete at one end of the shore, this little fiddler type crab saw me coming and scurried to find a crevasse big enough to hide in. Unfortunately it was already partially filled with shell bits and this is as far as he could get.
 It was a mexican standoff for awhile, with me pointing the camera at him not moving or blinking for fear of losing the shot, and him not moving or blinking for fear of losing his life I suppose. 
In the end, he proved more patient than I as i moved along the shore and upon my return he was nowhere to be seen.
There were remnants of last years' crabbing season around, old basket lids,

and empty baskets, both with the sea grasses growing through and around them making them a permanent part of the landscape.
In the end I only scavenged a few pieces of driftwood, some seaglass, the MOP shells, ( all collected in a blue plastic bag that I grabbed to take with me) a small perfectly preserved crab all bleached from the passing season, and some large dried sponges.

What a glorious Blue Day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane- Email Style

This is no fairy tale, there will be no pretty pictures as part of this post, just a good old fashioned, entertaining story.

A little over 2 weeks ago, right after returning from beadfest, I herniated a disc in my back. ( I'm OK, thank you)
But it involved a trip to the ER, then the primary Drs. for a referral, then for an MRI, then another Dr. then another Dr. you know the drill.

In the meantime, all the plans I had for coming home from the last of the roadtrips and scheduled events and getting down to some heavy duty spring cleaning, organizing and creating, have been waylaid.  For now.

So sitting here I decided, well, I could clean up my email, my inbox hasn't had a good clearing out in awhile.
I'd Say!
Apparently the last time I did it was in the fall of 2010, yup, a year and a half ago. Just where did THAT time go exactly?

As I started to scroll and click and scroll and click, occassionally an email would catch my eye and I would re-read it and smile. Oh yeah, i remember that now.
It was interesting to see the progression of things I had ordered, classes I had signed up for, reservations for hotels I would stay at for art gatherings, all the friendly emails for the networking that intensifies as such events get closer. All happy memories brought to mind.

Interspersed between all these fun things are all the daily notices we sign up for, jewelry making daily, beading daily, ceramics arts daily,  the thought for the day etc. Some of which we don't delete right away because while we don't have the time right now, there is something there we want to come back to. Problem is, by the time we get back to our computers again, a gazillion more have flooded our inbox, but we are eternally optimistic, so save on we go.

There are renewal notices for websites, accounts, subscriptions, all that need to be checked on before proceeding and deleting

Then there are the things we save that have sentimental value, thoughts from people we can't seem to part with and hit that delete button, not yet anyway.  The pictures that have been sent to us that we didn't have the time just then to save to a folder, still waiting. 
Links we have been sent for items of interest that we really need to go see, just not right now.

Then of course there are the business info emails with pertinent info we can't lose,  reset password confirmations that we're not sure we wrote down yet, pricelists, instructions, copies of invoices that we need to print and sometimes even after they've been printed we forget to delete the email.

We have the run of the mill order confirmation , shortly followed by the shipping confirmation email, occassionally followed by the delivery confirmation email all of which we keep until we get the item safely in our hot little hands and know it's finally Ok to delete all of the above, only trouble is, now all of the above is buried somewhere out of sight amidst a slew of other like emails, which, we just don't have the time to look for now, maybe later.

I have to admit, there were some funny moments as i scrolled and deleted, one of which was an email I received from a dear friend,( you know who you are) telling me how she had just returned from a metalsmithing class of a sort and the instructor had this cool small tabletop belt sander that they were able to use in the class and how she loved it, ordered one and said i needed one too. The next email below it was date stamped exactly 32 minutes later from Harbor freight, an order confirmation for one small tabletop belt sander. That made me laugh.

I was sad to see that I had ordered some supplies, clay, glazes, tools, a full year ago, that i needed for a burning project that I have yet been unable to get started with.

It was kind of interesting to go through the past year and a half through the emails, marking the time and sequence of events like some unintended journal.

I clicked for so long my wrist and forearm cramped several times and I had to pause but I was determined to get this done. At one point I thought "well, I must be getting down there by now" only to look and see I was still over 4000 messages. 
At another point I was deleting so quickly everything came to a halt and the toolbar on the top said "not responding" Oh no buster, if I can do it so can you !

After a little over 2 hours, I had finally pared it down to what you see above, 58 messages, of which I decided to keep a little while longer, you know, just in case.

And this is what the deleted file looked like- 7105 messages.

AAAhhhh, almost done,  hit the empty deleted items folder and get
"Are you sure you want to permanently empty the deleted items folder?"

Now if you're like me, this will give you pause, am I sure I really don't need anything in there?
What the hell, let's live dangerously, click.

I checked just to make sure it all went down and this is what greeted me. Isn't that lovely?
What was that noise??????

Oh never mind , my computer just burped.

Now go leave me a message so I have something to read!

Related Posts with Thumbnails