Saturday, August 30, 2014

Husker football + GuruHoney = fun times & good things!

It's that time of year.... Husker football, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska!
To all my family and friends who live in Lincoln and those of you who plan to travel to Lincoln for a game.
There's this really neat shop in Lincoln, it's not downtown or near the stadium, but it's worth the trip to North 48th Street. I'm challenging you to travel a little bit east and check it out!
I was fortunate to meet the owner, Andrea Watkins. Her shop is full of unique gifts, graphic t-s...hirts, framed art, home accents, baby wear, accessories and much more. It has my jewelry pieces for sale, too! 

Please hit the share button and share with all your Facebook friends and give me and GuruHoney a loud Husker spirited shout out!! Thank you so much.

2701 North 48th Street, Suite 2

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Some of my samples I previously did

A friend of mine asked about etching metal.  He has a project he would like to do.  It involves etching 1/2" strips with sayings.  He wants to make them into bracelets.  Today we did a trial run so he could see the steps it takes to finish one piece of brass.  He plans to make 50 bracelets.  I had the supplier cut my sheet of 24 gauge brass into 6"x1/2" strips.
Step 1:  rounding down the corner edge on the grinder
Step 2: find tune the edges with a fine hand file
Step 3:  clean up using a very fine steel wool
Step 4:  decide what design you want on the strip using a sharpie or use a rubber stamp     with permanent ink or both.
Step 5:  mount each strip on a piece of tape, we didn't have electrical tape so we used masking tape.  Each strip is mounted on the tape with the design side up.
Step 6:  using a glass pyrex dish pour the etching solution about 1/4 inch deep.
Step 7:  suspend each strip in the solution and set timer for 30 minutes.
Step 8:  check metal at 30 minute mark.  We liked the etching so we removed the metal strips.
Step 9:  nuetralize the strips using baking soda in a dish.
Step 10: rinse in cool water and clean using a rag.
Step 11:  polish up the strips using steel wool.  
Step 12: using a black patina solution brush it on and let set for a few minutes.
Step 13:  clean off the solution and rinse strip in cool water.
Step 14:  polish with steel wool and all the raised areas will polish up.
Done!  Oh no, we're not...we still need to make them into bracelets!  Remember he wants to make 50 of them!  Big job but he's very excited and happy with the results of our trial run.   We spent two hours in our trial run.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moving into the NAU dorm

Just over 18 years ago Gabi Buckley came into my life and I’ve been blessed to be a part of her life.  This week she moved into her dorm at NAU (Northern Arizona University) in Flagstaff.  We helped her move in and get her room somewhat organized.  

I made her a quilt using her Tshirts from city rec youth volleyball.  I've had them years and just wasn't sure what to do with them.  I sewed them up like a rag quilt.  It's not a full size quilt but it should work perfectly to snuggle on those cool nights in Flagstaff.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Handmade leather journals!

I have this love affair with journals.  I have many journals, handmade and purchased ones. I use one for house ideas, one for jewelry designs, one for painting, one for sketching, one for landscape & plants, one for daily doodles, one for inspirational sayings & thoughts, one for things to do, one for business to do things, one for nothing in particular, one for things that have moved me, things & places I've been, one for photos, one for ideas, on & on & on.
I came across the Midori leather journals and had to have one.  They're not overly expensive, $35 or so.  But all the inserts can add up $$$. I came across this blog, It belongs to Ray Blake.  He has all kinds of tutorials to help you make your own Midori Travel Notebook style journals and inserts.  
I remembered I had a leather garment bag I found in the garbage at my office years ago.  I got it out,  cut it up to salvage as much of the leather I could.  I was able to get a number good size pieces and all the hardware off of it.  I used leather cleaner to clean it all up.  

I had enough leather to make three full size and two passport sizes.  I also have enough left over for some leather bracelet cuffs!

On Ray Blake's blog he has a good tutorial how to make the journal, so if you want detailed instructions go to his blog site.  I'm just going to give some idea of how I made mine using his tutorials.  

I measured out and marked five holes along the center of my leather piece.  I used a punch to make holes.   I used elastic cord to weave through the holes to make the elastic holder for the notebook inserts.  Got the cord at craft store and had the hole punch.

A neat trick used to thread the cord is to use a piece of thread and make a loop and pull the cord through the hole.  Very clever!

This is what the inside looks like.

The notebook inserts are threaded through the elastic band and you add the notebooks using elastic rubber band things and there's instructions how to combine all the inserts.

You make a loop and thread it though the center hold and it's you elastic band to wrap around the journal.

I rounded the corners of the leather with a scissors to give it a soften look

I really like the way they turned out.  My next post will be how I made the paper inserts!

Again, this is a rough view of how to make these type of journals, so check Ray Blake's blog to get the detailed instructions/tutorials.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Making earrings

I noticed I don't have very many pairs of earrings in my personal collection.  Not sure why, but I'm bound to change that.  I've been looking for inspiration for color combinations.  I shopped for beads and found I really gravitate to blues and turquoise shades.  I also pulled out all my seed beads and will be using them in my designs.  I need to get my designs on paper and outa my head.  Some days I find I can't sleep because I have so much creative visions in my head!  Actually, that's what's going on now....can't sleep.  I got my jewelry sketchbook out and pencil in hand!  Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Roosevelt Wall Art

Several months ago I was out looking for some interesting background wall art for senior photo ideas.  I remember noticing some cool stuff along Roosevelt Road, downtown Phoenix.  Here's a sample of what I found!

This was a huge painting along a side of a building.  Very colorful but not really my style.  Other than the design on the left side of this where the blues, pinks and orange are.

I like this, but again, not for photography background

I really like this and could see the feather section as a background.

Okay these next two photos are the same wall art.  I love love love this!!  I especially love the turquoise car hood with the birds!
This the rest of the same wall.  I just love it and you really have to study it to see all the elements.  This is in an alley way/parking area.  Let me tell you a little something about this wall/business.  It's called greenHAUS boutique + gallery, 222 e. roosevelt road.   Cole Reed is the owner/designer.  The gallery part of her building is full of art, gifts, vintage & antiques, furniture made from re-purposed metal finds, lots and lots of very interesting pieces, and so much too see.  I recommend a visit to her business.  She is the designer and builder of this wall of art!
This is the opposite wall of greenHAUS boutique/gallery.   This piece of wall art is by Lauren Lee, muralist/fine artist.  It's beautiful!  Love the colors, love the size, love everything about it.

This is close up of one of the birds!  It's so awesome.
Interesting tidbits of this particular building and area along Roosevelt Road.  Over 28 years ago we moved to Phoenix and the building next to greenHAUS was where my job began as a probation officer.  We called the building Chesterfield and it was a crazy place.The training department was housed in Chesterfield and I was introduced to Phoenix traffic, Phoenix heat, Phoenix monsoon season, Ridos tacos, and had no freaking idea what I got myself into....haha.  It turned out to be a great career.  Where greenHAUS is located used to be The 222 Bar.  This whole area was underdeveloped and not a fun place to hang out.  Now it's a really neat area, lots of art galleries, neat  and unusual shops, and the area is the center of Phoenix 1st Friday Art Walk.

Now see this freaking cool wall...see the no trespass warning sign!!  OMG this would be so perfect for a background.  But no way in to this area and believe me I drove all the way around it from every direction looking for a way in!  This building is next to greenHAUS and Cole Reed even took me into this building, it holds a coffee shop and gallery.  I didn't notice the wall until I drove away!!   You can bet I will ask about it the next time I stop in to greenHAUS.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Road Trip 2014 - Saints

While I was on my road trip I visited the cemetery my grandparents were buried at in Abilene, Texas. Years before on a trip to this cemetery I noticed the Saints.  They were worn and beautiful.  I have two unpainted Saints in my yard and have thought to paint them.  I'm inspired...

Bring such peace & calm

Love the wooden rosaries

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Swing pillows

 Ever since I can remember my Mom has had a porch swing and I love having one, too.  Only thing is, in Arizona porches don't really happen in house design.  That didn't stop me from getting one.  I currently have my swing on the patio near the pool.  I've had this swing for years and this year the swing cushion had to go.  The Arizona sun damages fabric so bad to the point is deteriorates and falls apart.  I had several inexpensive Ikea pillow forms and some colorful quilt fat squares. I sewed up five pillows and I love the vibrant color combination.  Way easy project.  I kept is simple, no zippers, no velcro, just sewed all the way around.  I'm so pleased with the outcome and the swing is more comfortable to sit in!  The next project will be to sew up the actual swing cushion, but in the meantime I'll enjoy using my swing.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My latest find...beads

I met up with a young friend and she mentioned a bead shop along Camelback Road & Central Ave.  I just happen to be in that area the following day so I stopped in.... a great find! 

Shannon MacLeod is the owner of this little shop along Camelback Road.  She has little bit of everything, she's an authentic bead store, not a bead store catering to the "what's the current fad" in beads.  She had a basket full of just what I was looking for, it was like finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow feeling.  Shannon is the owner and only employee at this time.  She's been at this location for five years.  She used to have classes but at this time she's reworking the classroom area, so nothing scheduled for now. She's on a very busy roadway but a little off the beaten path of that main intersection, she has a street sign which makes it easy to find.  Check it out if your in the area!

She recently changed the name of her business to
Beads & Findings International
You can find her Facebook page under her new name.