Monday, October 31, 2011

A Winner! ...or two

Well once again I have picked a winner and the winner is Lorna from Artymess.
We're both pretty sure this random number generator is rigged because it's the third or fourth time she's won a giveaway here.
I decided to pick another in addition to assuage our  collective guilt for her winning so often so my arctic sister/neighbor Kim Henkel  of Letting in the Light is the winner of another set of clips.
My husband could practically drop them off at her house as he's driving south next week.
She's a mere 500 miles away but lives off of the same highway as us in another country.

I was also a winner on my very special birthday.
I got this handmade pendant from my new Finnish friend Heidi that was taking metal-smithing at  the University of Alaska as an exchange student.

My friend Heather of Mountain Heather hats found this treasure trove of old nails in the Adirondack on her recent trip. My friends really know what I like!
You should check out her winter hats if you're in the market for a new warm hat this winter.
One of our friends was on a trip to France and spotted and recognized one of her hats on someone there so they're becoming international.

My other Finnish friend Reija put in an order with her mother back in Finland and I got a couple of pairs of toasty handmade socks.
Lucky me as it was below zero this morning!

I've been buttoning up... quite literally last minute projects before I fly south next week.
These are a design I came up with a few years back with antique buttons and silver. I made up a hefty batch of these.
Now it's time for emptying the fridge, packing up non freeze-ables from the studio and the house, figuring out which tools need to make the trip with me plus getting ready for one last show in Fairbanks.
Since it's a two day show I'm going to try out featuring my jewelry and lampwork one day and altered art the next since I don't have room  anymore for all of my creations on an 8 foot table anymore! 
These will be up in my Etsy shop after the middle of November.  Currently it's on vacation stop while I make the move south.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Didn't know I was at an Etsy wedding this summer!

I'm not usually a follower of the Etsy blog but my jaw nearly dropped when someone shared this link with me. It was as if someone had hacked my iphoto library but with a much better backstory. 
Some of you may recall my post about our trip to Dawson City Yukon and to a wedding in the remote village of Eagle. Well you ought to check out this article as it really shines a spotlight on "Weddingstock"

I had meant to post more photos of this beautiful wedding but time got away from me.
I did post a bit about the stunning road trip here
We were invited by Shyanne's dad, Bill who happened to be the one that introduced me to my husband.

This however, is not my husband but a fellow I met at the wedding who desired to have our photo taken together. What an interesting face!
(earrings by Fanciful Devices)
I'm happy to say too that our wedding gift was handmade by an Etsian although they probably didn't realize it as it was made by me.

Here I am with the former chief of Eagle, Isaac Juneby and his wife Sandy

Photo credits go to David Cory, my husband (more commonly known as Popparazzi)

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Day to Celebrate

I always enjoy finding ephemera with my birth date on it.
It sounds as if a bit of celebrating may have occurred almost 100 years ago.

I plan on celebrating with a bonfire and a big pot of moose chili
with dozens of friends that are going to brave the 100 mile trip to our place. (and just a spot of Irish whiskey may be figured in  just so I can honor this lovely ephemera) Breakfast tomorrow will be homemade crumpets that my son's girlfriend has perfected.
Yesterday we discovered that there was enough snow to cross country ski.
A perfect day for it.

And I started off my birthday soaking in the jacuzzi with epsom salts.
My dear husband just felt he HAD to document it.
Along with buying the satellite dish that allows me to enjoy internet out here now  he also found a really nice antique book from 1893 with loads of wonderful images and writings
I guess can forgive him for disturbing my relaxation in the tub!
He really is a sweetie!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Traveling Collage Box~ My Part

The rules are as follows:
Open the box and take out 12 snippets from it. Then use 12 from your own sources to put in.
Of course you can take also more than 12 (depending on the size, up to 20), but be sure to add the same number of snippets you have taken out.
After you have taken your snippets, you can start to make a collage (or any other artwork you like, mixed media, altered book, journal page, digital collage etc.), using your 12 pieces. You can of course use other materials, cut offs and snippets too, put please show us the 12 pieces (don’t forget to take pictures) and write in a few words, why you have choosen those.
 I found out about the Collage Box on LaWendula's blog 
One of the things about this sort of traveling swap is that you don't have anyway of knowing when it may actually reach you. My situation is especially complex with my moving back and forth every six months with a bit of travel thrown in between.
Of course the box reached me in Alaska while I was on vacation in Maine. I did my best to move it along upon my return.

I've even hosted my own traveling doll, Candace who sadly never made her way back to me with just one person left on the list. That one is still a mystery and neither the sender nor alleged receiver has ever notified me as to her whereabouts. I miss her flat square face and her wry smile, oh yes I do

These are the snippets I chose. I was drawn to the faces and textures and I'm always a fan of text in different languages.

These are the snippets I passed on

It's rather a tall piece so here it is in two installments
I really liked working with the glassine window on the envelope.
It was a fun project and a challenge to stick to most of the images I had chosen.

Remember if you haven't seen my giveaway please visit the preceding post.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday Blogversary Giveaway

It's time to celebrate two years of blogging in conjunction with the double 5 birthday for me.

I'm offering up this set of my lampwork paper clips set

or this collage if you prefer

Or this Mexican collage pack if you would rather make your own stuff.

Just leave me a comment with your preferred choice.
and as a little gift to me let me know why you like to follow this blog.

I'll be doing the random number generator drawing on Sunday October 30th at 6:00 PM Alaska time.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Heating Up in the Studio

 Just even hearing about the possibility that Michael deMeng may do a workshop in Bisbee was enough to send me out to the studio to make some demented unbeads at the torch. I can see adding these little numbers to some assemblage in the future. You see they only have one hole... (well actually you don't see because the hole is hidden) They are inverted vessels which may very likely have stems of some sort to attach to them.

"Time Waits for No Man"
An encaustic collage that I got around to finishing after half a day at the torch making headpins, paperclips and  some more torched hammered earring parts as well as a few experiments with torch fired enamel bead caps. It was a productive day.

I had some new ideas for postcards.
This one has pressed flowers from our wildflower patch sewn in with mica and bits of silk cord and brocade.

I got ahold of some very aged and overexposed photos during my adventure above the coin shop in Bangor. I tell you it was a treat to be digging around in a room of unpriced stuff.
Problem was when I  asked the owner for the prices he had long stories about the pieces including history and value that we had to come back another day just to finish  the purchase. (We had a lobster dinner to get to )
There was no story about these photos though  they were included in a batch deal we made.
The little fabric photo was courtesy of a swap with Lorna from Artymess

This one also has some of our wildflowers and copper mesh (also from Lorna) and a piece of an old fabric photo

This is what has driven me into the studio. Winter is really here now!
A view of our front yard. You may recall a photo of me mowing that earlier this summer.

And our back yard.
This is the shop that we never quite got going but it's all painted and cleaned out and housing  some very cool stuff now.

A few shots near Knik Arm outside of Anchorage on our way home from the Bead Arts Gala

And you've heard about Alaska's Giant cabbages of the Matanuska Valley
What about the marshmallows we grow here?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You've got the best handmade journals... What about paper clips?

I've been trying out an idea I had awhile ago since I've been playing a lot with lampwork and wire lately with my headpin components.
I had received a very nice handmade journal as a present that had some super duty decorative paper clips  which gave me the idea to make some of my own.

Using heavy gauge copper wire I bent and hammered into a paper clip shape  and then lampworked some lentil shapes onto the ends. So far they are one of a kind, I didn't do any sets yet.
I didn't realize that my efforts at tempering the wire into the stiff shape would come undone after annealing them in the kiln so I had to re-hammer them when they came out otherwise they would have been very noodle-ey clips

This is what they look like on pages

And this is how they look in one of my journals.
Question is how much someone would be willing to pay for  a set of clips?
For me to make it worthwhile for my efforts I figure I would need to charge $10 for each clip.
This seems to be the pricing dilemma I have with my handmade journals as well and why they end up being presents instead of inventory to sell.
Let me know what you think since you my friends, are pretty much my target audience for this type of item.

And another question... I am going to be hosting a giveaway to celebrate 2 years of blogging and my birthday. What would YOU want to win?
  Earrings or a collage? Lampwork headpins or these paper clips? Random beady supplies or ephemera?
 And thank you all for your many welcoming comments on my re-entry to the high speed!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blog Jam...Releasing!

Anyone who has followed my blog or  my Facebook knows that one of the only negatives about my seasonal life out here on the Alaska Highway is the lack of good internet access. I have certainly whined about the paleo- dialup aplenty. As sites have become more complex I was even less able to view the ones I needed to most. I couldn't access Etsy or the hotmail which would alert me to convos in one of my shops. I could see ribbons of partially loaded pictures on your blogs leaving me only the text as a teaser until I could make the trip to the library with my laptop to catch up with the rest of the post. Uploading pictures became a half hour affair, sometimes longer.  Forget about adding things to my Etsy shops. I would need to be hyper organized to have all of my photos ready and still put the time into my descriptions and all. By the time I was finished browsing your blogs an hour or so in my car at the library, (sometimes I'd go inside as well) I'd be worn out and itching to go home and make things in the studio instead. 

Well no more.... We took the plunge and signed up and hooked up to satellite internet so that I can have high speed access from the comfort of my home!!!! I am so happy about this I could just...just... spend hours catching up and utilizing the net as I wish. I even watched a music video on Palimpa-Lim's blog today!
I loaded a few items into my Etsy shops last night, Here and Here.
Today I am blogging after a long trip back East which probably could cover at least three posts. 

Thank you HughesNet!  Can't you just tell I'm happy about this?

I'm not sure where to start with my last several weeks so I may just give you some snippets of it all at once.
I was returning to my place of birth a place where a big part of my soul resides...

This was the primary reason for my trip... these lovely folks, Ray & Jay
Aren't they adorable? They spend hours picking crabmeat that our local lobsterman gives them.
My Mom's crabcakes are the best in the north!

I think she has less grey than me at age 83

Caught this precious sunset photo of my Dad. Yes.. that's a real halo I'm pretty sure
(and my nose)

Day drives with the folks

Lovely junk

A classy compost bin at the cottage

Lobster traps, I ate my share of some catches I must say.

Our shore where as a child I could run on the jagged rocks barefoot.

A view of Newberry Neck and Blue Hill across the bay.
We got a bit of kayaking in as long as my wrists held out.

This is today's taste until I get my pictures and stories sorted out from my other experiences.
So glad to be back!