Friday, August 29, 2008

Latest Projects (Knitting and Jewelry)

Well, just a week into my new "schedule" and i am liking it! I decided i needed to be more productive with my work and have decided that Mondays are jewelry making days, Wednesdays are fiber days, and Fridays are dedicated to painting. I wish this meant that i could lock myself up in my studio first thing in the morning and emerge hours later with a few new masterpieces on these days, but hey, i gotta save some time for life too! So i am making sure i dedicate at least one hour a day to these aspects of my creative life. It sounds like it should be easy, but...
Anyway, here is the latest in the jewelry and knitting department....

My newest serpentine bracelet nestles in Buddha's hand. The colors are deep and rich mossy greens, greys and ochers. The clasp is sterling silver

Here are a few pair of earrings. More chalcedony with sterling silver wires, and some green peacock fresh water pearls, and tiger iron beads, hung on gold filled lever back ear wires...

Mixed turquoise nuggets, some real rough and some more polished, are hand chained together and held with an oversized sterling silver lobster claw clasp.

More of those peacock green fresh water pearls strung with a sliced shell centerpiece, and sterling silver fish hook clasp. The necklace and matching earrings sit on a bed of amethyst...

here is a picture of the back of the centerpiece, which can be worn either way...

i really like the sheen on that piece of shell...

In the knitting department...LOOK WHAT I MADE! I still have to sew the seam together , but you can actually tell it is a baby hat! The wonderful world of knitting has opened up for me! And i could never have done this without my wonderful knitting teacher, Linda Lange, who teaches knitting classes at The Paper Sparrow This may not look like much to you, but it is the first time i have actually been able to read a pattern, and make something in knitting with needles other than a square or rectangle! Thank You Linda!

And for my latest project and one of my goals for the year...make a baby sweater. This one is all in garter stitch and is the easiest pasttern i could find on the internet. Once i get this one done and put together, i'm going to try to make a fancier sweater for Lola and then one for Seth. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flowers from Seth

picked especially for me on our walk yesterday, popped into a cup with some rooting coleus cuttings...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Paintings

I finally broke out my new acrylic paints and started playing with them today. Before this i was strictly a watercolor girl, but i find that acrylics can be used much the same way as watercolor and give a more textural effect. These paintings, done on special paper, are a little more abstract than i normally paint, but i had so much fun painting them...
Used to be Sedona

Fall Into Summer

Wind Swept The Trees

I have been away from painting so long...I am going to try to do a painting at least once a week, if not more... My Mom and i have a Mother-Daughter show at The Paper Sparrow in December/January, and it is high time i get started!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shampoo and a Shave

Well, it's that time again! Time for the boys to go and see their friend Chiloe at The Animal House and get groomed. And judging from these photos, they are not happy about this.....
Gipetto is game to do just about anything if you praise and adore him enough. But boy does he hate to get his picture taken..almost as much as getting groomed!

Geeps (with an attitude) before the haircut

And then there is Amos Moses..(aka - Grumpy)
Mosey does everything with a grunt or a groan....He hates getting his picture taken even more than Geeps....I'm sure the flash bothers his eyes, but if he would just stop creeping under furniture to avoid the photo, i wouldn't have to use the dang thing!

THERE! That wasn't so bad! The boys are sporting a new look. I asked Chiloe to take it easy on Mozie's ears as he has so much trouble with them. So she gently cleaned and trimmed them and left them alone. Geeps got the same trim. Once we left the groomers we had their yearly checkup at The Halfmoon Veterinary Clinic and our vet Dr. White, said they are both in remarkable health for their ages. Mozie is 13 and Gipetto is 14. So we are good to go for another year!
OH! Not to be outdone, Zinnia went to the groomer's too, and got her nails done...

(Sorry about the dark photos. If i use the flash on the old guys, their eyes glow like green orbs due to their cataracts...)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award!

I have been awarded the I Love Your Blog Award by my very talented, fellow blogger friend Stacy at My Artful Life . Click on the link for Stacy's blog and see why she is one of those people who inspires others to be more creative in their every day lives. Now, I am supposed to pick 7 other blogs that inspire me every day, but for me that would just be too hard! So i invite you to click on any of the blogs i have highlighted on my favorite blog lists...It always amazes me how much incredible talent there is out there. Clicking on any one of those links can really get your Creative and Spiritual juices flowing! Thank you Stacy, for naming my blog! (This blogging thing is SO much fun...)


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Art Auction for the Animals

Here is the finished set i made for the Art Saves Animals Auction for the
Mohawk and Hudson River Animal Shelter. This animal shelter had blessed me with so many wonderful and loving animals to share my life with over the years, so this is the least i can do. The stones are faceted chalcedony, hand chained, with sterling silver clasps and wires. The little statue the jewelry rests on is Ganesh, who it is said, is the remover of all obstacles... He sits on my modest little altar next to Kwan Yin, Mother Mary, Jesus and Saint Francis...The altar is a little sacred space in the middle of our home. Hopefully the beads will soak up some sunshine and good energy before they are packed up and sent off to the shelter!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Early Morning at the Computer

Look who is perching on the back of my chair! I can't use a flash...He just won't stand for it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beautiful Art(ist) Part 2

Garden sculpture on my deck (store bought but cute!)

Well, i am just back from Sam's big sale and i am tired, but happy! I brought 2 more brand new sculptures home with me, and a long wish list! However, i forgot to bring the dang camera! I have a fresh head cold and the swollen sinuses must be cutting off circulation to the brain....There were so many wonderful things there that i couldn't possibly tell you enough about them. The sale took place at Sam's Mom's home, right on the river front. Some of Sam's sculptures were set up across the street, in the park near the river. I saw my first new sculpture there....

Here is a not so good picture of "Waterfall" (Sam names all his pieces) It is the best i can do for a picture for now, as it is stuck in the back of my car, flat on it's back, waiting for someone strong enough to pick it up and carry it to the shade garden. I pride myself as being strong as an ox, but honestly i cannot even stand this piece up on it's base to get a good hold on it!!! So i will have to wait on one of my son in laws.... It is a good sized piece-takes up the whole floor of my Ford Escape....Anyway, we then entered Sam's Mom's garden. Her name is Jackie Brickman, and she is a well known artist in this area also. Walking thru the garden gate, i felt as if i walked into the story book i loved as a girl "The Secret Garden". Lots of trees and greenery, with big old pots of flowers here and there. Sam had his sculptures tucked in along the walkway and in the back yard. He also had a few pieces on the deck. Jackie hand painted her stairs and deck with flowers and golden scroll work and tile like patterns, and i felt like i was walking up some special temple steps...Once back down in the yard, i spotted a tall, thin piece tucked on the ledge of the porch. I wasn't sure it was for sale, but something about it called to me. It reminded me of the little statues i keep on my altar, and it had some green moss growing on it...So i asked Sam about it. He said that one was called "Mary" after Jesus' Mother. And just like that, it was mine!

"Mary" from the front

"Mary" from the side

We then went up to see his glass pieces, which are fantastic! Some are hand sized pieces-disks and odd shapes of beautiful rich colored glass, that can easily be made into pendants or bracelets. But i was especially attracted to the wall pieces. They looked very "Planetary" to me, like brightly colored pieces of the Universe, suspended in glass and frames...I did not bring any glass home. My budget was already obliterated, and i really did come for sculpture for the back maybe next time... ;) Sam will be leaving for Europe in the coming week, but his things will be on display and available for sale at his Mom's place, until the right owner comes along! So many beautiful things....(Actually, i fell in love with one of Jackie's paintings of canaries in her hallway...I may have to speak to her about that....oh boy.... :)

To see a short video of Sam carving his sculpture, click here

Beautiful Artist-Beautiful Art

We have a young friend of the family (introduced to us by our daughters) who is quite the accomplished sculptor. His name is Samson Contompasis, and to look upon this fine young man is like looking at a finely chiseled work of art....
(I can hear my daughters groaning now...But hey! I may be old, but i can appreciate beauty in all it's forms! ;) And the nice thing about Sam is, he is as kind and sweet as he is perty! Anyway, Sam carves his sculptures out of found materials. I personally own three of his pieces, carved from the cast off sandstone pieces no longer needed by a local church, the Albany Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception...

This one, the smallest of the three, lives on my deck

This one stands at the front gate

"Full Moon Rising" by S. Contompasis

And this one, (my favorite) stands guard at the front steps.

"Contompasis" by you know who.

Sam had been living in Portland, where he dabbled in glass blowing, drawing and painting and jewelry making.... He returned home recently and went right to work on more stone sculpture. Anyway, he is having a big sale this weekend, in an attempt to make enough money to follow his heart and visit Europe, and then to set up roots in Los Angeles. (Ahh! Youth!) I am hoping to stop by his sale and pick up another sculpture for the shade garden in the back... Wish me luck! (I'll post pictures if i get something new...)

To read an article on Sam and his recent work, click here

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peace and Quiet (There's No Place Like Home)

Well, the major rehab work in the house is finally done! We have moved out of the Holiday Inn Express, which magically turned into the Ramada Inn literally overnight while we were staying there. And tho our three week stay there was, well, pleasant, there really is no place like home! This morning i grabbed my cup of coffee and went out on the deck to sit in the rare weekend sunshine and soak up the late Summer warmth...

I started taking a beginner's knitting class at The Paper Sparrow, and am amazed at how fast i am learning this new art. My Grandmother Mary taught me how to knit...just knit, when i was young but i never learned how to DO anything with the skill. ( I crochet and work all my knitting on the looms) My goal is to make a sweater for Lola before she is an adult, and Seth wants a sweater with an alien on it...Hmmm...that may take some time, but i will try! My next goal is to get good enough to make this:
I bought this pattern from Barbara from Fuzzy Mittens. You can find her Etsy shop here for more beautiful knitting patterns...After that-the sky is the limit! Before i sat down to do some serious knitting homework, i thought i would take some pictures of some of the things that caught my attention this morning...

Some hen and chicks i forgot to actually plant in the planter...Tho judging by the way they are flowering, they seem happy ....

The baby Japanese Maples

and the Japanese maples in training (pre bonsai) are starting to turn color already from all the rain we've had and the cool crisp night air....

One of our favorite pre bonsai, our Jacaranda tree, has fully recovered from an attack by aphids earlier this Summer....

And Bill spent some time sitting in the sun..something he loves to do and something we have just been too busy to take time for....

Yep...everything just seems so calm and peaceful...There really is no place like home....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Free Hugs

Once, while searching You Tube for videos on Amma, i found this beautiful video under "hugs". I absolutely LOVE it and wanted to share it with you. Every time i watch this i get emotional. Even the music is perfect. Anyone who knows me, knows i would be right out there getting and giving those free hugs with the best of them. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Long Morning Walk

Lola and i managed to get out for a long morning walk today. The Summer weather has been so stormy and unpredictable that when we found the sun still shining after she finished her breakfast, out we went. She is getting so big now. She leans and points at every little thing she sees on our walks. She wants to touch every flower, and watch every bunny and squirrel skitter by. It makes me look at the world with much younger eyes when i am with her. The neighbors are getting to know us better as i will stop for anyone who wants to admire her! But today on the way back home, the little one got very quiet and soon dropped off to sleep. I forgot to bring my camera but as soon as we got back i took these pictures. It is amazing how babies can sleep anywhere and in any position...

Progress Report-Master Bath

Well, we just extended our stay at the hotel three more days, and we still may have to make it an even three weeks staying there...I wish i could say it has been just like a vacation, but with all the running back and forth, it has been more like just plain old extra work... Still, it will be so good to be back home. It's times like this that make you realize how much you appreciate Home Sweet Home!

This is the master bedroom stripped down raw, with the bed barely covered and being used as a work table. I wonder how hard it will be to get all the plaster dust out of that mattress????

Most of the tile work is done and all we need now is some edging and grout.

This hole in the wall will hold a medicine cabinet, and the sink cabinet will be custom built beneath that, to fit Bill's wheelchair. Still there is a whole lot of work to be done. So Holiday Inn has not seen the last of us yet! More updates to come....

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Jewelry...(in between a rock and a hard place...)

Specifically, between staying at the hotel, and staying at home during the construction. We are here at home during the day, and then i pack everything up and off we go to the hotel for the night. Pokey, our contractor says he should be done with the bathroom by Friday, and then he will do some work in the master bedroom, which should take a few more days...Not sure if this means we can move back into the house for the night as of Saturday, but that is when we have the hotel room rented until.... So, in honor of that "hard place", all jewelry created so far this week has been photographed on some of my favorite native rocks that live out on my deck....

These are tiger iron beads, hand chained, and the center piece is soo joo jade. The carved piece has little animals running around the center circle...

The oval beads in this bracelet are called Raj jasper (i suspect they are just better quality rhyolite specimens) and the round beads are of my favorite stones...No matter how many pictures i took, i could not capture the richness of the color in these beads...

This bracelet is made of purple fluorite and amazonite...

And this necklace is made of jade and rhyolite, with a jade centerpiece carved into a gold fish...The matching earrings are jade too. I am almost finished chaining together a chalcedony faceted necklace with matching earrings, as a donation to The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society's Art Saves Animals Auction It was an honor to be asked to contribute to this cause as i have always supported this organization and have adopted many of the animals that have made my life happier and richer from this place. For more information visit their website here... I'll post a photo of the finished piece before i wrap it up and bring it to the shelter...Hope everyone is doing fine and being as creative as your surroundings allow you to be!