Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Well, here it is...Ron gave me a new digital camera as an early Valentine's Day gift, and I have been playing around with it. I think I still need to play with it some more but this is the best shot so far of the Swarovski sequin 'splosion bracelet I've been telling you about. I think there is just too much "bling" on this bracelet to be able to capture it as nicely as I would like but you can at least get the gist...

There are a total of 250 Swarovski crystal sequins on this one! I've started another bracelet using sequin crystals in blues and purples. Hopefully, I will have it completed within the next few weeks, and will share a photo with you then.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I did finish the 2 crocheted scraves yesterday, and am going to be playing with my new digital camera and doing mostly household chores today so I don't have any artsy photos to share with you this time. I dug into my photo archives, though, and found some pictures of these rather odd little creatures who reside near Ron's work...

They are Nutria...mom and young-un. Wow! Look at those orange teeth! They look like a vague cousin of the beaver, don't they? We did some checking, and found that the word "nutria" means "otter" in Spanish, and that Nutria are native to portions of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay and are not indigenous to the State of Oregon.

Through more research, we found that hopeful investors started small captive colonies of Nutria in several locations in the United States, Canada, and many European countries in the 1930's. Even though the Nutria meat was low in cholesterol and high in protein and their fur abundant due to their size and high reproductive potential, the farms did not succeed. Do you think this was maybe because it was difficult for people to eat meat and/or use fur from an animal looking somewhat like a large rat? The animals either escaped or were intentionally released into the wild, which resulted in the wild populations present today in the U.S, Canada and Europe. And that is all I know about that! :~)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ron captured this beautiful rainbow yesterday on his way home from work...This is one of the many reasons I love living in Oregon!

I put some finishing touches on my little collaged heart pins that I made at Art House and told you about a week or so ago. ..Here they are!

These were so much fun and so very easy to make! I used some paper I had designed and created with dye inks and brayers on chiri Thai kozo paper to cover the first heart. I am thinking about creating a patina on the wings but haven't made up my mind yet. What do you think?

By the way, if you haven't used this wonderful paper yet, you might want to give it a try...Once decorated, you can use it for giftwrap, collage and modge-podging just about anything!

I used various colors of pastel tissue papers and bits of an old paper placemat on the second heart. The little doo-dads you see on both the first and second heart are different sizes of red Diamond Dots.

The third heart is covered with a multi-colored tissue-like paper that had a few dark brown Oriental-looking marks on it. I embellished it with some jewel-like doo dads that I found laying on my worktable waiting to find a new home.

I received a lovely surprise in the mail yesterday! My friend Gwen (you remember, the one who brought me the oh-so-pretty tulips when she came over for lunch last week) sent me one of her beautiful collaged greeting cards wishing Ron and I a great time in Mexico. See for yourself if you agree with me about how beautiful it is...

We will be in La Paz, Todo Santos and Loreto for 10 wonderful days of sea, sun and simplicity...and Ron surprised me tonight with an early Valentine's Day gift of a new digital camera so I can take lots of photos to share with you!

Well, I'm off to finish a couple of crocheted scarves I started last year thanks to my friend Carol showing me how while we were at the beach this past weekend. I am counting myself so very fortunate to have such artsy and sharing friends!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It snowed at our house while I was away at a mini beach retreat over the weekend, and it just melted yesterday...What a pretty site it was to come home Monday evening to a few inches of snow on the front and back lawns!

My friends and I had such a great time at our little retreat. It was one of those weekends where everything just fell into place! Loading the car was a breeze, we saw a beautiful rainbow from one end to the other on the drive over, the weather was in our favor the whole time we were there, our antique shopping was very rewarding and the abundance of food we took was all very delicious and easy to prepare.

We talked, laughed, cried, walked on the beach, shopped, played with our arts and crafts projects and enjoyed an impromtu vintage pin/pendant workshop led by Jennifer as we created very fond memories for years to come. Here is a photo of the piece I made from an antique spice tin...

This was so very fun and easy to make...I can see some things I would do different next time (like not put the faux rivets across the top of the lettering, and maybe put two rows underneath "Seattle" instead) but I am very happy with my first attempt! I just have to add a pin backing with a bale on it, and I will be able to wear it as a pin or a pendant. Jennifer is a very apt and patient instructor, and we felt very fortunate to have her offer to teach us this great project!

While I was away having a grand time with my gal pals at the beach, Ron was out and about taking some great photos in the snow. Here is one for your viewing pleasure...