Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hitting the Road~ North to Alaska

It's that time of year again when we head back to our home in Alaska.
We're doing it a bit differently this year and driving to Washington and catching the ferry to Haines, AK
We have a truck with no AC in Arizona and one with in Alaska so we'll be swapping them out next fall.
It will be strange to reenter the colder climes and watch spring all over again.
It should take us about 10 days with some of our stops in Seattle area.

I'm not sure how much internet access will be available but I hope to keep the posts coming when I can.

It will be an interesting road trip in that I have been on a rather strict dietary regimen for the last couple of weeks. After my chiropractor/naturopath determined that my adrenals were overtaxed and that I'm not
digesting as I should  she put me on a no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no salt, no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no grain diet which may help with inflammation problems I've been having for awhile.

What's left you ask? Protein shakes, super greens,  flax seed, almond milk, whey, ( I guess that's some dairy) and loads of veggies, steamed and juiced and fruits and lots of blueberries and cranberries that we'd brought down here with us.
I really wanted to spare you the blow by blow details which seem to veer toward discussions of bodily functions but suffice it to say the first days were the toughest. 
Surprisingly I didn't/haven't missed the sugar, caffeine, meat or alcohol and the most difficult for me was giving up salt. Thankfully, Braggs amino acids have been added back and that seems to satisfy that craving.
It was doubly difficult at a birthday celebration across the border at a Mexican restaurant and I treated myself to some roasted green onions and peppers on a bed of lettuce while everyone else was eating carne asada and cheese.

Oh! that reminds me, I was going to post a picture of our friend Julio's 70th birthday present, an altered puzzle 
I lifted and printed some of his childhood photos off of facebook and decoupaged them to the puzzle pieces.
They were a little stark with the greys, black and blues so I spritzed them with some sunflower glimmer mist after a layer of matte mod podge to give then a bit of sepia character.
Look closely at the top piece and you can see Julio standing in from of an angel statuary.
This one was a gesso transfer that I learned from Caterina.

On the the bed of the puzzle I decoupaged this image of him an Lupita, his girlfriend from Mexico.
I happened to find this cigar label that I thought was fitting.

I am pleased to say that this present made him weep upon opening it.
My job is done!

Anyhow I'm also pleased to report that I'm feeling rather good and some niggling symptoms have been disappearing and my husband has been remarking that I look younger and less puffy and seem more calm, not to mention 4 or 5 lbs. that I've shed already in two weeks.
We'll see how it goes from here on out  but I'm feeling pretty motivated to continue as I can add  things slowly back to my diet. The Alaskan salmon sure tasted good the other night!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Postcards~ Two for One But Not Very Practical

I've been packing up some of my tools and supplies for the trip north but always need to leave and outlet for some creativity if the mood strikes.
I've been meaning to make up some postcards for mail art but I got a little carried away and decorated both sides making it a little difficult for any messages or addresses.
The good news is they can be flipped according to mood~
not very practical I know!

Side B


2 B




4 B









Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I think I Promised This~ Preview

I'm pretty sure that I may have mentioned a few posts ago that I would show you the lampwork gizmos I've been making.  Lots of headpins and a few baubles. They work for more than earrings though. I'm sure you all can find ways to work them into other mixed media and fiber. Here is a preview of what is available NOW
to any of you that are interested.
Each headpin is $2 and I'm selling them in the sets you see here.
I'm open to making other colors but that may have to wait until I get back to Alaska.

They are formed on either annealed steel wire or 18 gauge copper wire.

I'll be putting these up on Etsy slowly but I'm happy to make deals here thru Paypal and would love to get these out to my bloggy friends so I may have a chance to see what you DO with them!
These are double ended "baubles" that are $2.50 a piece
( the top ones I will sell separately)
and some paddle/mod tulip shaped ones for the same.

Pointy twists and frits, I have some on Etsy too now

rounds, twists and slightly flattened headpins

In which Kim futzes with the wayward silk ribbons so you can view them better.
I was trying to be all shabby and random before.

 Now for ease of identifying...twists with soft serve ice cream ends
I have these at a high res so click for more detail.

More roundy-like ends on these.

So we're at the tail end of our snowbird season in Arizona and in ten days we'll be driving north to catch a ferry from Bellingham, WA.
I'll get to meet one of my wonderful bloggy buddies on the way for a dinner stop in Las Vegas, meeting Ms. Leslie LimesNow from Ramblings From Yet Another Stranger on the Bus.
She was keen on having a visit from Candace the Traveling Doll who mysteriously and tragically has disappeared and hasn't been heard from in months.
We are so saddened by this development and not quite sure how we could have lost her but it involved being sent to the wrong person (someone that had already had a visit) and from there we haven't a clue.
So her consolation will have to be a visit from me and the huz.

I'm looking forward to rather big blocks of time to create when we return to Studio del Norte in the Garaj Mahal. What I don't look forward to is the painful return to miserable dial-up and with gas at over $4 a gallon there I may be making less trips to the library for wifi. 
.......this is where you may hear faint moans and weeping through  the interwebs........


Monday, April 11, 2011


We were so excited on our drive to the pottery village of Mata Ortiz 
when we saw this turtle on the road!

Upon closer inspection....

a turn of the century hacienda that is undergoing renovation.

It was explained that the bricklayers would leave symbols on the bricks they placed and were payed accordingly after they were counted.

Daveed striking a pose.

Wish we could have driven this truck home!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

S'posed to~ Should Be...but...but...Never mind, I'm retired

I get these crazy ideas of what I should be doing but in the end I end up really doing what I ought to be doing.  Yah , I know that doesn't make the most sense but I'll try and explain.
Problem is so many ideas and materials floating about  that when I'm focusing on one thing I get the nagging feeling that I should be doing t'other. 

I had a good run for a few days in the glass studio and even made jewelry from the elements I created and even shared them with you all....and then people start asking me, "how much?" "where can I buy?" and that's a good thing  but that means a whole other level of focus.....the marketing... the oh so perfectly perched jewelry shots... the pricing. I guess I'm so used to selling in person which seems easier to me somehow but I really should be ( there's those words again) ramping it up here to sell online...seamlessly and with ease for you and potential customers. I jest wanna show off  sometimes!

I do know I need to take breaks from the glass studio and the jewelry making because it taxes my pre-arthritic hands (at least I think that's what's going on) anyway they hurt if I do the same thing too many days in a row.

I had been doing triage for a bit, working on my most sale-able stuff that I know for sure will be flung out there to the Farmer's Market and shops and galleries. But then I got called back to playing with paper and doing mail art is so much fun and it justifies the heaps of STUFF I keep accumulating.

I did finish up my friend and neighbor's birthday present which I cannot reveal in the off chance that he'll see it. I know my blog shows up on his Facebook so I promise you I'll show it off later....It's so clever and my hus even sounded a little jealous of my efforts. He made me promise to make him a similar piece, so it really was a compliment, he's not really a jealous type, more covetous of cool stuff, really.

I have a backlog of blogs that I think I should have posted by now including our trip to Mata Ortiz but this is what you're getting today fresh off the table, a little Mod Podge Rogers stuff. I just saw a post today or yesterday from someone that was decorating old filing envelopes and I had been saving a couple for something. Now I just wish I could remember who inspired me....Sorry!

Front of Envelope File



Front of the second one



 And an envelope of sorts

I even lined the inside with images although you can't see that!

I did send some mail art to one of my less than picky friends that didn't mind receiving a pair of the prototype earrings from the last post  but I'll have to rely on her to put that up on her blog.

Anyway I'm happy with the results as a full day in the studio is a successful day no matter what I end up doing!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Marriage of Decoupage and Jewelry~ Ephemearrings

Well, it had to happen. The mixing of decoupage and my jewelry design. I'm sure it's been done a million different ways by other folks but this is what I was playing around with the other day. I've been so delighted with my disc cutter and my dapper... feeling kind of dapper about it.
These are the first tries and some good lessons were learned in the process.

I learned about letting the sealer dry before varnishing the other side on this.
I really didn't want that kind of shabby look.
Also my discs are unevenly cut. 
This makes them prototypical and probably a present for some
slightly un-picky friend type person

t'other side, see they're reversible!

Interior cutout from decoupaged tin disc
Spell check never likes this word
How about decoupage-ed?

Side B

Hey you woodchucks!

Side B of woodchucks
 taken from vintage children's book

Centers of course!

Now you're getting it!

 Another trial and error and somewhat of a fix.
Trying to see what my Metal Finishes magic stuff I bought last year would do.
Patina spray makes a greyish finish on the galvanized tin.
Then I painted the copper paint and sprayed it again.
I was pretty happy with it until I though I could seal it with some
varnish which gave it a forever sticky finish so I sanded most of it off.
Next time I'll leave it as is without the varnish.
Some more of my lampwork head pins  fastened to brass domes

Dangles anyone?
More Numinista head pins.
Did I tell you I'm selling head pins now in my Etsy Shop
more coming, I'll give first peek here and you guys can grab them hot off the press.
OK,  so I do have to let them cool....

I have more made up but I've run out of my preferred Vintaj or Trinity earwires
I've got a stash back in Alaska so since I'm taking them with me, they're gonna have to wait.