Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures... Five Fabulous Finds

In shades of warm, autumn copper and browns... five of my favorite items and/or sellers... follow the link to visit their Etsy shops!

A felted brooch by ginnyhuber

A beautiful ginger cloche hat by baboom

A gorgeous handmade wooden comb by ArzuMusa

A sweet squirrel wrist pouch by scatterboxoriginals

And an oh-so-fun VW SurfDudes print by edart

Hope you enjoy these fabulous finds! Until next week's edition of Tuesday's Treasures, remember... shop handmade... shop Etsy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Musings... Grey Skies Turn Blue

Yesterday morning I woke up again to grey skies, but finally around mid-morning the beautiful autumn blue came 'round. It was a perfect day with a slight wind and temps in the low 70s! I hurried on down to the studio and availed myself of the gorgeous natural light that flooded through the windows and the open door! I relished the warm air, my busy hands, the scent of the oils, the bird song, my cat who came in to nap in the sun, even the insects who floated in and out, their little wings buzzing and echoing through the space. Everything seems better when the sun comes out after two weeks of rain and fog! Here is my latest painting in progress... Waxwing Memory...

Here's a couple other photos that I shot last Thursday during a very brief period of pale sunlight... This fence lizard was a tiny little guy... probably about 4 inches from top of head to tip of tail... so precious!

And this beauty is an okra blossom... simply exquisite!

There is so much beauty around us and sometimes we neglect to see it, or are simply too busy and rushed... all the intricate patterns of nature, the comings and goings of the seasons, and yes, even in the grey days there is beauty. Here's a link to a treasury I posted last night on Etsy... a tribute to the misty mornings...

Here are a couple others in which my work is featured...

by theBeadAerie... in the Pink WOO HOO... THIS ONE MADE FRONT PAGE ON MONDAY NIGHT!!

by cherrylippedroses... He loves me

by JulieWebb... Pretty Pinks for a Dreary Day

by monarchdancer... cream and cocoa

by ilashdesign... oh, baby, baby

Enjoy your Monday... and whatever weather you have where you live! Go share a smile, offer a hand, create something beautiful, sing a song, breathe deeply...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grey Skies and Custom Knives

Looks like we'll be having rain again for the weekend. Old news. But when I look hard, I find beautiful things in the grey... subtle shapes of colors against the pale sky, misty fog in the morning, and of course those mornings are good for sleeping in! I'll be doing some of that, I think, this weekend, and also eating popcorn for supper... my sweetie left bright and early this morning for a weekend knife show in Pennsylvania.

I thought I'd show a few of his custom knives here... in hopes that he has a good show and comes home inspired and motivated to create more of his wood and steel goodies. He does all of this work by his own hand, from cutting the blade, shaping and grinding it, to the wood handles to the engraving and silver wire work. Some of these have Damascus blades which are made by forging together hundreds of layers of steel (a day-long process over a hot forge involving heating and hammering the steel til you think your arm will fall off!) to create a beautiful pattern. Lots of people think these blades are etched, but they are not. The pattern goes all the way through the steel. Sometimes I help with the design... you may be able to pick out which ones I designed for him, and sometimes I help in other ways with beads. He's a very talented man, my husband!

This is his newest knife... a D-Guard Bowie with silver-wire inlay on the handle, copper accents on the guard, and a mirror finish on the ATS-34 steel blade...

This is a dagger with a French Ivory handle adorned with a blue faceted topaz and a Damascus blade...

Here's a Gentleman's Bowie with Damascus blade...

And arrrghhh... a pirate's knife... Captain Jack with mirror finish blade and bone handle

The Autumn Skinner with accents of copper and amber...

The Arizona Hunter with accents of brass and turquoise...

Copper Hill with beautiful olive wood and Damascus blade...

And one final photo... an engraved tomahawk with maple handle... guess who did the beadwork?

You can see more of his knives and learn further details at his website here... and of course, a custom handmade knife is an excellent gift for the man in your life!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Hey, the sun came out today after 8 straight days of grey, rainy weather, perhaps to gloriously celebrate the birthday of my son!! On the cusp of Virgo and Libra... my son is foremost a very balanced young man, but also creative and passionate. He's a photographer and has always had a good eye for things, and he's a lover of VWs. He makes a habit of collecting them, trading them, fixing them, selling them, driving them. In honor of his 24th birthday, here's a few of his personal photos... these are NOT ones he would sell... I'll leave that to him to post.. but they are still kinda cool!

This is his current ride...

This is a bus that he pulled out of the woods at our friend's farm, fixed, and drove to Florida for a VW show.

And one final unique shot... from the farm...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Thousand Invisible Threads

This 24 x 48 original oil painting is currently hanging in my home. It's listed on my website, but for now it is gracing my walls with beautiful color on these dark, dreary, grey days we've been having. I love its quilted look of vibrant squares, and I added my favorite quotes within it to make my statement of the connection of ALL life, of the value of respect, of the importance of each creature and being on this planet.

The quotes are:
"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." ~Herman Melville

"When on tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world." ~John Muir

"Walk in harmony with the universe." ~Native American quote

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Five Things I Love

I have decided that Tuesdays will be the day that I feature five art items that I love and want to share.... so here's the first edition of this column... birds in harvest colors.

The Raven Harvest Moon Bowl by loveartworks

Bloo Birdys Friend art print by Mwilson

Rustic Shabby Cottage Birdhouse by baconsquarefarm

All Life is an Experiment art print by blendastudio

Hawk Music Switch Plate Cover by peaceofpi

Monday, September 21, 2009

Treasury Monday

If you're not familiar with Etsy, you may not understand the concept of treasuries. There are many of us who are addicted to creating them. They are curated collections of the work of other Etsy artists, and they showcase fabulous talent and items! Treasuries typically are online for only two or three days, and I am thrilled to have jewelry and paintings currently included in a few. Just follow the links for a view of my work and that of other artists; if the link is broken, it means the treasury is no longer on line, so check soon!

by Monicaj...

by gayeertel...

by creativelytangled...

by barefootweaver...

by midnightcoiler...

and here's the link to the treasury I posted this morning...

New Bracelets!

I have completed the photos for these new bracelets, the first that I will list on Etsy. Most are gemstones, a couple are glass... so there's a variety of pricing which is important in Etsy shops.

My personal favorite... Winter Roses... a bracelet and earring set featuring carved agate roses, petrified jasper, pearls, sterling silver, and more:

Presenting Harvest Song, featuring a lovely fossil coral focal bead... very chunky and eye-catching!

Twilight... with Picasso Jasper, Onyx, and Sesame Jasper... for the larger sized wrist...

Another of my favorites... in the rich, warm, earthy colors of fall... November Woods:

And two bracelets with only glass beads... lampworked, cat's eye, seed beads, and more... First, Spring Waters, second, Blue Stars...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life at Our Home

Rain rain rain... our home, built by our hands and those of our fathers, in the fog and the rain

Beautiful flowers from a veggie plant in the garden...

Our oldest baby, still at home... Abby (all the human ones are on their own!)

Middle baby... Scout... she loves to help out in the garden!

Youngest baby... Bruschi... we love all 90 pounds of him!

And a misty morning view from behind our home...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Art for the Animals

I have spent a good portion of the week on designs for the upcoming Art Unleased 2010 fundraiser for the Forsyth County Humane Society. This event connects artists with the organization and the local community as a way to raise money to support the Humane Society, its programs, and the care of the animals who reside there while they wait for a new home. My daughter volunteers there once a week; she visits with the cats and she walks the dogs. She keeps me posted on all the sweeties and when they find homes. Though I live in a neighboring county now, I used to live there, 45 minutes away, and of course I have always supported this organization and others who work so hard as advocates to neglected or homeless animals.

I first got involved with Art Unleashed during their 2007/2008 event when my design was selected. There were approximately 60 designs chosen out of about 280, I believe. Each artist received a cat or dog fiberglass form to paint, decorate, or enhance in whatever way their design called for. It was amazing to see the beautiful work that came from the project and how each artist had such a different vision. Each artist and his/her dog and cat had a sponsor and the forms decorated various locations within the city during the summer months, many sitting outside the front door, some sitting inside. After being a part of our home and sitting at the table (where I painted him) for three months, my dog, "Dogwood", graced the floor at Windsor Jewelers, an upclass jewelry store. You do get somewhat attached to your critter, and it was hard to let Dogwood go, but he had a mission to accomplish! At the end of the summer, an auction was held for supporters and community members to bid on the animals... both a silent and live auction. What a fantastic night that was... about $58,000 raised... and so much fun!

This year will be a little different. Only 10 dog forms and 10 cat forms will be created, but artists are encouraged to submit designs for original art, such as a painting, collage, 3-D work, and whatever else they can think of. I'm sure there will be some fabulous work made! I will be submitting a dog form design and a cat form design. The deadline is coming soon, and notification will be towards the end of the year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of my designs will be chosen, but I know that Forsyth County and surrounding areas house amazing artists, so competition will be stiff. And whoever gets chosen... well, it's of course the animals who benefit!

Dogwood now belongs to a wonderful husband and wife eye-doctor team. To create the base, I thought about my own dogs and how they are so faithful and loving, such wonderful companions in all seasons of life. So they inspired the words I wrote and painted around the base of the sculpture: "I will fetch the sticks you throw into blue-dream skies. I'll carry your cares, sing them to the moon, lay among dogwood petals, waiting patiently at your feet."

And here's a photo of Dogwood at the kick-off parade...