Monday, June 27, 2011

From a Blue Day to a Glue Day

It's been pretty quiet out here with the out of town schedule my husband's been keeping.
The first two weeks were glorious in the long sunny days with plenty of time to catch up on all of my stocking of inventory in various shops for the summer season.
Time for lawn mowing and feeding myself on my diet change, eating when I am hungry instead of "meal time" and watching Netflix series that I know would put him to sleep.
I'm getting to eat all those things that he would turn his nose up upon such as curries and eggplant, tempeh and okra. ( please no comments about the okra!...I know it's not the most popular vegetable but I am on a serious okra kick if you can believe it)

The next round has bee a little more lonesome. It hasn't helped that it rained for days on end. That seems to be when I desire the caffeine I have sworn off for my anti-inflammation, detox and general well being goal.
Sneaking little bits of those tiny Starbucks Via packets into my dandelion root brew.

I do get a dose of the public once a week at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays in Fairbanks 100 miles away.
It had been sweatingly hot at the market and a trip to the Chena Lakes brought on the impending thunder storm and wind.
I awoke to pouring rain next morning and no incentive for much except putting on my yoga pants thinking that it might propel me into actually doing some yoga.
Indulged myself in some Netflix in the morning and perhaps that's what threw me further into a funk.
Too rainy to walk to the paper.
Somehow I pulled myself out of it enough and went to the studio to play with glue & paper.
Mail art, a glue book and journal.
It had been a long time since I had approached the paper stash and collage-able goodies, I had been so focused on the beads and head pins and all of my jewelry making.

Getting started is the hardest for me so my first piece was to cover a big packing envelope for some mail art. If you look on the map you can see that it's heading to a certain studio in Massachusetts as soon as I figure out what to put in it.

Then I decided to fill up some pages in my moleskine.
I just recently heard the term gluebook. I'm wondering if both sides of every page are filled.
so far I'm only collaging one side. It helps with the drying of course too.

I finally got to use some more of my vintage Japanese business correspondence for collaging.
There's more available on Etsy right here

Just about all of my imagery is vintage from books and thrift shops .
That would be over 20 years old technically  but most is even older.

Make sure to click on this one I like the names on the map in the middle.

Then there was this journal that I started a couple of years ago.
It was an old cookbook from the 30's from Fellows Balls...ahem... Bellows Falls, Vermont
( although it looks as if this dude's have shriveled a tad)
This is the front cover

and this is the back. 
I discovered recently the joy of painting with bubble wrap.
Did you know that glimmer mist on watercolor paper with large bubble bubble wrap pressed against it comes out looking like roses. Of course you all knew that but I DISCOVERED IT on my own! proud...

This book had a masonite cover with binder rings.
i thought if I gessoed the pages I would have  a great surface to paint or draw on.
Well, gesso on thin sheets of paper curl up like some 1st grade science experiment so I sewed several pages together and then gessoed them. They've been waiting for me now for 2 years.

faces aren't my strong suit just yet!

I found this lovely stretchy tie dye tube stuff at the Saturday market in bangkok years ago. They had the best colors, Sure wish I could find some more of this sort of thing. It's part of my supply hoard that I only let go in small pieces because when I'm out, that's it!

I do dabble in stamps once in awhile but try to come up with combinations that aren't too homogenous with a certain ubiquitous look that I've come to know.
(ooh, did that sound snobby?....sorry)

As soon as I get away from the straight on collage, things begin to get messy.
Oh OK, things are pretty damn messy with just paper and glue, I admit.

So the funk has lifted and I'm happy once again
( but don't get me going about my computer issues!)
My update to Snow Leopard means that my scanner driver for my Canon no longer communicates.
Ever try to download anything with dial-up?
Now I've got to haul my desktop computer somewhere that has wifi just to download another driver.
Ooops, I guess I got myself started on that one.

And today I got a package of ephemera from Crystal Neubauer over at Other People's Flowers.
You can follow her blog to her Esty shop to see the good closeout deals she's offering in ephemera.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Soulsticitude... Just me and the squirrels and a moose

It's been mighty quiet out here lately. This moose kept me company right outside my bedroom window the other night. I think it was about 11:30 just to give you an idea of the lightness and how it really isn't a problem sleeping as many who are not from the far north seem to think.

I found a wonderful person to do some trading with. We had over 25 squirrel tails from last year's nuisances. They rip into our shed and made a heck of a mess with insulation and stashing their winter supplies. Since we've been working on turning it into a shop of sorts we had to act aggressively in their abatement.
I found a site in my internet wanderings that trades tails for handmade brushes!
Linda Stauffer at
She did a handsome trade with me Don't you think?...considering that my huz did all the 'hunting'
These brushes are made for pottery slip but I'm hoping that they'll work for my walnut gall ink that my friend Pammie from The Naturalist's Notebook made.

The two on the left are my squirrels and the middle one is an east coast gray squirrel,
then a badger and the mondo one is moose hair.
So wonderfully crafted and I forgot to photograph Linda's extra touch of a litttle embellishment at the end of each bamboo piece.

I know I mentioned making some cuff or was in the planning stages awhile back.
These are my first attempts using muslin and old lace and sari pieces and vintage buttons along with some fused fabric pieces that Lorna from Artymess had traded with me.

I was in a quandary as to how I wanted to connect  the cuffs and tried some little nylon loops for the prototype. I knew I needed some stretchyness to allow for some size differential
These loops I made seemed to be a littly too fussy to connect so I've decided that velcro closures may work better and allow for some leeway for sizes. One of the problems I have is I end up designing for my own size which runs to the thin wristed side.  Maybe these will appeal to the younger gals anyway...someone, I hope!

 So the buttons will end up being decoration only instead of functional in the end.

I was eschewing straight lines as you can see!

 They were fun to do and a nice break from the torch for a change.

My days have been sooo quiet since the huz has been on his 12 on four off schedule.
Each morning I face my age old slowtogetup (or is it old age, rather?) and seem to be drawn to something physical first off in the morning rather than creative. dishes, walk to get the paper, stretching, lawn mowing or laundry just to get the parts lubed and moving. Sometime after 10:30 I may enter the studio and apply myself to soem sort of focus. Lately it's been production of headpins and yesterday bead sets.
I can only take about an hour at the torch for a sitting and  feed myself or wander to the garden or check emails in between before resuming. My only high speed access is a 14 mile round trip to the library whic takes a chunk out of my day but it feed my need for some sort of socialization and plus there might just be another disc of 'In Treatment' waiting for me from Netflix at the PO.
I've never been the type to hit the studio after dinnertime but quite often make jewelry in front of the tube  if the Chair of Doom hasn't done me in with it's it's reclining magic.

I really feel the need to apologize once again fro my lack of reciprocity in commenting on your blogs. By the time I have skimmed through somedays sitting in my car in the parking lot I just can't seem to focus enough on making the comments I'd like to. Somehow with the leisurely home viewing I have with my high speed in Arizona I am much more in a commenting mode.
This doesn't mean I don't appreciate you all!
This last week my dial-up even failed and I've been working on getting that up and going which for the time being is working better on my 2007 Imac for some reason... I can actually see your photos now! but still can't comment. I've had reports that commenting has been an ongoing problem with blooger lately too so I do hope you'll forgive me. (tsss...I said blooger!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It Was a Business Trip... Really! Chickenstock Music Festival

Rather than manning my usual booth at the Farmers' market I decided to attend a little music festival out in the Alaskan boonies. Chickenstock Music Festival in Chicken, Alaska.

Chicken is an old gold mining town from the early 1900's
The old dredge site made for some picturesque camping.
I had been approached last summer by the proprietor of the Chicken Gold Camp in regards to selling  my jewelry in their gift shop. Lots of adventurous tourists pour through the town on their way to and from Canada on the Top of the World Highway and the Taylor Highway.
I saw it as an excellent excuse to personally deliver the goods.

They constructed this nice & funky stage for the performers.

This massive chicken sculpture was delivered to the site all the way from Homer, Alaska, 100's of miles away. I heard they could only drive 20 miles an hour with the load. that's 616 miles or 991 km!

more of the stage and a sculpture

It got fairly warm during the day but I sure missed the huz in my little teardrop trailer when it dropped down to 40 degrees at night (5 C)
Some of the revelers nearby my parking spot... a very Alaskan scene

View from the Teardrop trailer...a gal's got to nap a bit to keep up with the younger folk.
I'm wild about that barkcloth fabric that I got in Tucson... so retro
What 'rustafarian" wouldn't like these chickens?

I actually made some sales out of my trailer too that ended up paying for my gas and ticket, making it a very worthwhile trip for sure

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tribal In Paradise

This is what happens on a drizmal day that I decide to do some sewing for a change. 
Although I have been nattering on about junkyards and  music festivals the truth is I have been hard at it in the studio for the a good bit since I have a large block of time to myself.
The huz is off doing archaeology field work which takes him away a couple of weeks at a time. They've been finding paleo sites along with historic gold mining camps.

I've been relishing hours of uninterrupted time to catch up with stocking my own booth and galleries and shops hoping to place myself in a few new ones as well.

So what happens is rather than heading out to the studio I suddenly find a table full of supplies in front of me and a warming cup of tea and inspiration.
Yesterday I had spent several hours trying to produce headpins that had been requested.
I found that my glass acted strangely. I'd noticed it before with some of the CIM brand "messy colors"
They have some wonderful opalescent milky clear glass which inexplicably to me anyway will go opaque depending on which color you lay over it. I was going for a white stripe twisty on an opalescent base. I ended up with some subtle two tone neutral whites.
Of course my time was not wasted and instead of stocking up my Etsy shop
because for some other inexplicable reason will not even load with my dial-up lately,
I went at it and used my own supplies. Not fair, right?

I pulled out some bins of beads that I've recently designated for a more tribal look.


Those are vintage buttons strung between African copper spacers.

These kind of scanned a little wonky but I'm showing you how I beefed up some previous earrings that didn't seem to move well sales -wise (the little coil-y dudes)
Vermeil wires and findings with brass nuggets.

Now here are the opalescent headpins. I really like the way these came out with an experiment with double headpins. 
S O L D - to a lovely blogger in Denmark!


Apatite and Thai silver

Vintage buttons and copper beads and spacers
Sunstone with copper spacers and Thai silver

Amethyst & Thai silver

You can click on the photo for a closer look.

This is what I have left of  yesterday's batch of headpins.
I'm open to suggestions for color combinations on the pointy twists.
Rounds, $2 each
twisties $2.50  each
Discounts given on larger orders.

I am accepting Paypal payments if you have an interest in owning any of these pieces.
You can deal with me directly with any transactions.
I'm having too much trouble getting my Etsy shop to come up on my dial-up connection lately.