Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31st

Happy Halloween
This photo reminds me of me with my sisters.
I'm the one on the far left...of course having something very important to say.
Melinda is next...she's in la la land
Then Rhonda, she's listening
Then my sister Patsy, She's acting like she's listening, but laughing.
p.s.  it's not coffee or tea in them cups

What to do on a sunny perfect day...

I've been out riding my bicycle in the neighborhood.  Up to four miles.  It's not easy riding a single gear bike.  Thank goodness it's flat around here.  I've been challenged with a breeze almost every day!  But I'm not complaining at all.  It's a good way to get some much needed exercise.  I actually ride it to do some errands.  I'm going to the post office tomorrow.
When I get home from my rides the dogs are waiting and we water plants and rake the courtyard.  Then we all sit for a on my swing and them in the shade.  I close my eyes and listen to the birds .... not a bad morning.

I wish I had some photos to update my progress in the studio.  Still working on jewelry pieces.  Still fun, too.

Wedding things...

Jackie & Aaron's wedding is just around the corner.  Working on some last minute projects for them.  Next week will be busy seeing their families and finishing up on the final wedding touches.  I can't wait.  On Friday I get to meet up with Jackie to pick up her dress!  I'm so excited to see it, again.  She asked to have some photos taken as she goes for the final fitting.  It's hard to believe it's almost here.  Should be a great time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Metal workings going on around here

As you know, I've been hanging out in my studio. 
I wanted to make jewelry pieces not just a pendant or two.  I made bezels from scratch.  Believe me, I had no idea what I was in store for.  It's been a journey.  I'm in the studio daily!  Some days it's felt like I've made no progress. 
I had to cut the base pieces, round the corners and file the edges smooth.  Then make the bezels sides from metal strips, bending and cleaning up the edges. Finally, clean all the pieces free of grime and finger prints.

Next step, solder all the pieces together.  This was the funnest thing but believe me it was so time consuming.  I didn't want to stop but knew I'll never get to the next step if I don't quit.  I think I stopped after about 20 pieces!
The other night I decided to fill the round pieces with clay.  I haven't worked much with clay so this was a huge learning process for me. 
Once I filled the round bezels....oh...oh...wait...
I had to get the bezels ready.  I took copper pipe and cut it into rings.  I had to drill a hole and I'm telling you that turned out to be such a challenge.  But I got them done.  Next I wired them.
Now they were ready to fill with clay.  I decided to use some of my rubber stamps and metal letter stamps to make impressions in the clay.  Next step was to harden them by baking them.  I used my toaster oven...big mistake!  I don't know what I did wrong but it didn't work  out.  All the pieces were brown and overflowing.  Ugh!!!  I was able to dig the clay out and I'll redo them and follow the baking directions.  haha.

I moved on to working with the resin.  I got all the pendants ready.  Again, this was so time consuming.  Finding things to fill the bezels, backgrounds, words, and glitter!
Once I got most of them ready it was time to pour the resin.  A steady hand was needed.  Honestly, I made a mess!  Sticky mess.  Some of the bezels leaked and didn't work like I wanted.  Oh well... cleaned them up and will redo.

Once the resin settles little tiny bubbles form.  Here's a tip:  take a straw and blow lightly and the bubbles disappear!  Easy Easy Easy.  Only you need to check for the next hour for bubbles.

Not to bad, huh?  I got about half of the bezels done. 
This is a heart I designed from an idea a friend posted on Facebook.  I think it was a heart wall art piece.   I like it but I don't like how it hangs. It think I'm gonna drill another hole and hang it straight.  I have four more to finish.

That's a peek into my metal workings.  I have so many ideas and just can hardly wait to make a final necklace piece. 
Stay tuned............

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gabi & Me

 It was homecoming dance night.  I've been photographing Gabi since the day she was born.  I can't believe she's sixteen and a junior in high school.  She makes me so proud.

Friday, October 19, 2012

She will ....

... kiss some frogs on the path to finding her prince

Monday, October 15, 2012

What my day has in store for me.....

Today, I took some photos of my courtyard and live plants....I mean I actually have a number of plants that I have kept alive over the hot hot hot summer.  I need to email the photos to my friend Cathy, in Michigan.  She has the greenest thumb of anyone I know and she's been a supporter of my attempts to keep plants around my house/yard.  She does however, keep it real with me, too.  I know it breaks her heart each time I have to share how this plant or that plant didn't make it.  Mostly due to my neglect of not watering or placing the plant in the wrong side of the yard.  But, today I'm feeling some pride in how I've been doing.  I know when she sees the photos she's gonna tell me to trim back.  I feel giving plants a "haircut" is hurting them haha.

The other fun thing.... I'm fixing a flat tire on my bike.  I have three bicycles and I need to ride them.  I have no excuses, weather is beautiful, I have time, I need to exercise, on & on & on.  After I fix the flat tire I will have two bikes in riding condition.  I really do love love love bike rides!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Studio time, way fun.

Here's a peek....
I'm gonna be working with resin and filling my bezels.  I also filled some of them with clay so who knows how they will turn out.  I have a million ideas rolling around in my head on the details of what will be going  into the bezels.....words, beads, rinestones, shells, pebbles, images, glitter....
I'm also starting on making soldered glass charms.  But, if you remember my soldering iron blew up.  I need to shop for a new one and boy they can be inexpensive/cheap to very nice/expensive.  I have not idea what I should buy. 
Yesterday, in my studio I was struggling to drill holds in some of the pieces...none of my drills were charged and the dremel was pissing me off.  I forgot I had a flexshaft attachment to my dremel...what a great alternative to the stupid hand drills!  Worked like a charm...haha charm get it? 

Sister's Thank You's

Finished my sister's wedding Thank You's note cards. 
I decided to use book pages as the background.  Added a coat of whitewash to distress the words.
I put my manual typewriter to use & typed the words... "thank you"
If I press too hard on the key it skips a space...ugh.
But I love my typewriter!
Crumpled up all the pages to get a worn look and feel.

Added a black & white photo of the happy couple.

Tada...40 done!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Football Saturday

Huskers have a biweek.  Better, yet.  Kansas on tv here.  My most favorite college player, Patrick Lewandowski #61.  I have to watch closely so I don't miss him on the field!
Oh no, lightning strike...rain delay.

(they loss, and I never saw #61!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Remember the coffee bags?

Meet Ottoman.
My two dogs in their puppy chew anything and everything stage attacked my ottoman.  I saved it thinking one day I'll redo it.  So when you have coffee bags galore why not put them to use.
Love, Love, Love
It wasn't as difficult as I thought and I'm happy with the results.
Love Love Love

My finished art piece

She doesn't have a name, yet. But, she is on display now.
It's hard to see the detail textures and overlays.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coolest photo ever

I  got the neatest photo of Gabi on Monday in you're thinking red rocks and all that.  But wait til you see's so close your eyes
Okay open them for now...I want to play with the photo in Photoshop. 
A friend needed a ride to Sedona to get her car from the shop.  She drove there over the weekend to do some hiking and enjoy the fall colors....then the damn glitchy monkey got in her radiator!
I offered to give her a ride and take advantage of a nice drive and head to Flagstaff to see Christine. 
Sedona was busy busy busy with people.  Forgot it was a holiday...Columbus Day.
When Tom & I first moved to Arizona we enjoyed Sedona so much....beautiful views, great weather, lots of hiking trails and no people.  But now all the views are blocked by buildings, and a lot of trails are paved and there's always lots of people roundabouts make driving crazy.  Even with all the changes, Sedona is beautiful and full of cosmic energy!  No fall colors,  probably too early.

Took Mr Pin with us...

Day trippin...

Now picture this...
One Mini
Two people
Three Dogs
One or so hour drive
Two hour best time ever hike
Four heart shaped rocks
Five butterflies following me
One wasp (no stings)
Two cactus needles on Maximus face (ouch)
One Great Day!

Stephanie Lee On-line class

My on-line class is done, but I get to have access for the next several months.  Loved this class and got some great ideas and learned some pretty cool chain making.  This is the third class I've taken with her and it's great inspiration in the right direction to make it my own.
Stephaine Lee

Studio time...having way too much fun here

Here's a peek at what I'm making.  I'm making jewelry pieces and I have so many ideas my head is about to explode!  I had to make a trip to Home Depot to purchase a grinder cuz my hands were so tired from using a file to smooth out the edges.  Love Love Love the grinder! 
On Monday I made a trip to Flagstaff (more on that later) and was so excited to stop in Thunderbird Supply.  I bought metal, wire, tweezers, polishing cloth, liver of sulphur and oh by the way that shit smells awful!  But I'm excited to try out a new way of patina-ing my pieces. 
Today I'm etching more metal to use as background pieces or additional adornments.  A timely process but great results.  I'm having fun using all my tools that were collecting dust... haha.  A circle metal cutter, a dapping tool, and new metal stamp.  Last night my soldering iron went's sparked and then there was a little smoke and then a smell!  Yikes, Tom keeps telling to get a fire extinguisher for the studio, he may be right!  All's well, but need a new soldering iron  :(  That damn glitchy monkey is back!  Think positive, right.  I'm having way too much fun to worry about a broken soldering iron.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Aunt Viola

Tom's Aunt Viola passed away yesterday.  She was 88 years old.  She was full of smiles and energy.  I always loved seeing her & she was the most welcoming person to the huge Arens family.  Her & Tom always enjoyed visiting with each other. 
Rest in peace Aunt Viola, we will miss you.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leaving Denver

In a small plane!  It was a long walk in DIA to the end of Terminal A and I mean the end, down the steps to the tarmac level.  Walked up to the plane, wild.  I did this before but forgot how small the planes are.

There were maybe eight passengers.  Three woman sat near me and when I say near me, I mean near me...they were quite friendly with each other, but not at all with me.  Kinda sucked, so I said a prayer and closed my eyes pretending I had wings and I could fly.  Before I knew it , I was home with my sisters.

While in Denver....

You have to experience the Rocky Mountains!  My friends, Kevin & Amy asked me what I wanted to do while I was visiting.  I asked if all possible could we go to the mountains so I could see the trees.  I miss tall trees living in Arizona.  They were nice enough to take me on a scenic drive through the mountains.  The fall colors were just beginning.  The weather was sunny and perfect.  Notice Amy's scarf?  We both found the coolest scarves and decided we'll share them.  Wear them for a bit and then exchange with each other.  We all met in college nearly 30 years ago and have kept in touch over the years.  I kept telling them they're our new bestest friends.  Love them!

While in Denver

Headed to Boulder for a street fair/beerfest.  Check out these garden planter/table bowl, so organic.  I remember having a recipe to make something similar to these...might have to hunt for it.

I found my recipe .... I think it will work... I'll let you know.  In the meantime, feel free to try it out yourself.

Hypertufa Mix
Polypropylene fibers have been added to this  mix to help reduce shrinkage cracks and to add tensile strength.  If you use a 1 gallon container as your “part” measurement, 1/3 cup of fibers, lightly packed, straight out of the bag, is recommended.  Separate the fibers before adding them to the mix or they will remain in clumps.
1 part cement
1 ½ parts peat moss*
1 ½ parts perlite*
Polypropylene fibers
*Plain potting soil, without fertilizers, can be substituted for the peat moss/perlite combination.

Neat bird houses

We walked into this cool hardware shop along Broadway in Denver and they had this paper packaging stand....loved it!  Not for Sale!!!  I would love to have it, maybe have to start a hunt for one.

My sister, Melinda is always looking for a cash register and I saw this one at another antique shop...this shop was expensive overall.  This was nearly $900.

They had so many cool garden items, but like I said it was so expensive.  Might be the reason for so many things.

Chain samples

Look what I got done today.  This is the start of something really good.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Look...hummm

Made some changes to the blog.  Not sure if I'm done, though.  I do need to update the title photo.  I'll work on a collage style photo.

Inspiration coming my way

Taking a on-line class ... making chains for jewelry.  Loving it, so I'm gonna spend the afternoon in my studio making chain. 

Blog overhaul?

I want to overhaul the look of my blog....but I really don't know what I'm doing.  Just spent a few minutes reviewing some options in templates, fonts, text colors, margin widths, etc.  I want to be able to links posts together get photos to look uniform, etc....but I need to research how to do this before I feel confident enough to improve the look and function of my blog.  I would also like to know how come I rarely get comments. Anyways, I have so many things to post and feeling of "where do I begin".  I think I'm just tired from all the busy-ness of the past several months.  October is here, finally.  Cooler weather is also here, finally.  No major projects, finally.  Just fun stuff, finally.
overhaul blog
make jewelry
walking, again
more photos