Friday, November 30, 2012

Challenge of Color - Rolling Down the River

Welcome to my little piece of the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color!  Y'all just grab a comfy place to settle in and come along.

Each participant was given two palettes derived from photos in the US Geological Services'  Earth As Art Gallery, which uses various satellite images, filtered to emphasize colors in the spectrum we normally don't perceive.  We were only required to use one palette, but of course I couldn't choose, so in typical "why just dive off the cliff when you can jump off backwards and throw in a few somersaults along the way" fashion, I did both.

And both of my palettes are rivers.  First, the Ghadamis River, an ancient riverbed in Libya:

Desert Riverbed Pendant of amazonite,  peruvian opal, strawberry quartz and seed beads
The Peruvian opals were the starting point here.  They matched the palette perfectly, and the striations of color in the gemstone mimic the natural striations of the landscape. I wanted to somehow capture the feathery effect of the landscape along with the colors.  The branched fringe I tried first was just fugly, so I settled on loopy fringe instead.

Here they are side by side:


The second palette is called Meandering Mississippi:

And here's my Mississippi Mud Romance necklace:

The cubes were the first thing I pulled out of the stash, because they were a perfect match for the olive green in the palette.  Then it occurred to me that I had the sterling silver squiggle in a pile of UFO's, where I had envisioned it as the starting point for a bracelet that never happened.  Throw in a little freeform peyote, some woven leather the color of rich Mississippi mud, a hand-forged sterling clasp, and there you've got it.

And the side by side:


And what does "Romance" have to do with Mississippi Mud?  On our first date, my husband and I shared a truly decadent chocolate miracle of the baker's craft called Mississippi Mud Pie.  Any man who would (a) order such a fantastic dessert and (b) share it with me was obviously a keeper.

Anyway, with great thanks to Erin and Brandi who organized this wonderful challenge (thanks, ladies!!), here are the other folks playing along with this challenge.  Thanks for stopping by, leave a comment if you like, and go check out the rest of the hoppers:

Rebecca Anderson
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Stephanie Buss
Cece Cormier
Janice Everett
Cherrie Fick
Denielle Hagerman
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Alicia Marinache
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Kashmira Patel
Bobbie Rafferty (yay - you're here!!!)
Nicole Rennell
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Renetha Stanziano
Melissa Trudinger
Shelley Graham Turner
Rachel Van-Walsk
Joan Williams

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Being Challenged

Friday is the reveal day for the Third Annual Challenge of Color blog hop, hosted by the amazing Erin of Treasures Found and Brandi of BrandigirlBlog.

There are beads all over my house, and I'm working hard to get the final work done and photographed in time for the reveal.  (Truth be told, there are usually beads all over my house -- I'm just using the convenient excuse of the challenge to justify it this week.)

Hope to see you back here on Friday to see the results!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Meteorological Discoveries for Today

Meteorological truism #37: Even if the wind has been dead calm for three weeks, the surest way to make it kick up again is for me to walk into the yard with a rake in hand.  And it will blow continuously for the rest of the day.  Guaranteed.

Meteorological truism #54: No matter where you're raking the leaves to, the wind will automatically change direction to blow them in exactly the opposite direction, generally as soon as you've gotten them neatly in a pile to be bagged.

Meteorological truism #67: The leaf bags will not stay in place (see truism #37), particularly when you are first trying to fill them.  Holding the bag open with your feet and trying to rake the leaves into it by sweeping them in through your legs is inefficient and only serves to amuse the neighbors.  (See also: futility)

And this, my friends, is why I was considering a glass of wine in the middle of the afternoon.  I settled for a slice of pecan pie and my bead tray.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Or What Happens After The Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are spending the day the way you wish.

In our house, the table is nearly set

The serving pieces are ready for the bird and the sides
even if the photo loaded sideways....
and after the pie (we're split evenly between pumpkin and pecan in our family), the dishes are washed (or at least piled artistically in the sink), and we're all sprawled like beached whales on the sofa watching football, here's what Mama will be doing:

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.  I am thankful for the joy, laughs, inspiration, and eye candy each of you have shared with me here through the past year.

Now, go eat some pie!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Last Show, New Table Drapes, and Ham Hocks

This past weekend was the last show in my fall season - six shows as opposed to the two or three that have been normal for the past few years.  Whew.

It was also the debut of my new table covers, necessitated by the realization a couple of weeks ago that my old covers were irredeemably ugly worn out.  Many of you were wonderful with your suggestions of new colors, and I thank you for your input.  My goal was to find fabric that was sturdy enough for repeated use (bed sheets would be too lightweight), somewhat neutral so as not to compete visually with the jewelry itself, but visually interesting enough to make my booth pop out among others (beige was out, unless I wanted to look like a booth full of oatmeal).  

I fell in love with some beautiful striped fabric in shades of soft teals and greens, but it was too similar to another local jewelry maker -- didn't want people to get confused.  So here's what I decided on (insert drum roll here...)

I'm pretty pleased with them! The show wouldn't allow my type of tent, so I had to use their pipe and drape instead of my regular curtains and sides -- normally the walls will all be beige.

And so where do the ham hocks come into the mix?  My sweet husband came with me to the show and took me out for dinner on Saturday night.  I hadn't eaten lunch during the show, and I was starving.  The menu had something called "Ham Hock Ragout" described as pork in a smoked tomato sauce.  I expected a modest serving of pork in a delicate smoky sauce.  What came out was a piece of meat that was larger than my first car.  Seriously.  It was a full-on medieval feast, Henry VIII moment.  And yes, I ate almost all of it.  Then I waddled back to the hotel...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How Do We Celebrate the End of The Fall Show Season?

By entering a blog challenge, of course!!

I'll be taking part of the Challenge of Color, revealed on November 30.  Read more about it here and here.

Woo hoo - one more show this weekend, then I can hole up in my bead room and create something for this hop.  Will you be hopping, too?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and the Weekend Show

This weekend was show #5 out of my six shows this fall/winter.  It was an indoor show featuring the members of the local artisans guild.

Here's the good -- I bought new lights for my new tent, and it really made a huge difference in the visibility of the work.  Sparkly goodness!

Bonus points - the lights were nice and warm.  Good in a cold venue!

Here's the bad -- these table covers have been worked hard for the past couple of years, and they're looking rough.  Wrinkly, saggy, puckered...I'd say they look like my butt and thighs, but bless their heart, they make my butt and thighs look good by comparison.  Time to replace them.  (The table covers, that is.)

No amount of ironing will salvage these babies.

And here's the ugly.  We can use our tents indoors, without the tops.  I was on the outer row, where the ceiling of the building slants down.  As I raised the tent, I heard a worrisome thud.  Thank goodness we didn't hit the sprinkler head, and thank goodness the acoustic panel dropped right back into place as the tent was lowered after the show.  Whew!

Oh, my, I was sweating this all weekend!
So before the next show I need to buy some fabric to make new table covers.  Any suggestions on color?  If I do a pattern, it has to be subtle, since the beadwork has so much going on visually on its own.  Yes, that will be me, wandering the aisles in Joann Fabrics tomorrow evening...