Saturday, July 26, 2008

Finished Jewelry

Like many families across the country, we have been faced with rising expenses and static income. In an effort to save a little money, I committed myself "no new art supply purchases" this month. I haven't felt deprived yet as I went "shopping" in my stash instead, including looking over patterns and tutorials that were paid for and never attempted.

This Woven Cuff Bracelet is from a tutorial by Eni Oken, one of my favorite jewelry designers. All of the stones, charms, and wire -- every last one -- were left over from other projects. I bought the silver fish charms a looooong time ago to make earrings, but I could never get them to look right. It was so gratifying to finally find a project to put them in -- they weren't cheap! It is amazingly comfortable to wear, even for me, the "Queen of Those Who Fidget with their Bracelets".

Let's see... there's amethyst, amber, kyanite, rhodochrosite, jade, turquoise, denim lapis, pink quartz, carnelian, moonstone, peridot, citrine, aquamarine... it's a real show-stopper and goes with just about everything.

I bought the pattern for this Woven Hearts Necklace as soon as I saw on her blog that she had released it. The process is a little fussy, but it went together quickly. I was able to complete it in two evenings' work time. The focal stone is ametrine, a lovely blend of yellow and purple. I intend to thread it onto another chain eventually as this one is too heavy for the work, but in the meantime it's wearable as it is.

There are so many other design possibilities for this technique too! Until I can purchase some more wire, I will be sketching out some ideas of my own -- that ought to keep me busy for a while.

I have one more piece started (Eni's "Chaos Necklace"), but it's still in pieces and not ready for it's photo op yet. If it turns out as planned, it too is going to be a new favorite. Isn't Eni's stuff beautiful?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Distraction

I have been busy -- I have! -- but instead of photographing my finished objects, I have been enjoying a series of deliciously beautiful summer days. I promise to get some photos of my finished objects up soon, but in the meantime, these beautiful days are so precious and so few, it seems like a terrible waste to spend them inside.

We had some excitement here today -- a camera crew came to our farm to shoot a commercial featuring Jake and our creamery's products. It was very interesting as well as educational to watch them work, and I got a chance to play with my camera as well.

The shoot was originally scheduled for this morning, and Jake and I were up at an even more ungodly hour than usual, but the weather was cloudy for the first time in weeks and the light just wasn't good enough. The photographer and his crew came back this evening instead to take advantage of the afternoon sun.

While Jake is not stereotypically handsome, he is very photogenic and has a great presence. Even the cows were curious. After all, their quiet pasture is not often invaded by so many humans. (I'm practicing portraits this week -- I'm pretty sure that the book I'm working from sort of meant for me to work with humans, but I like this one anyway.)

For every picture I shot, the real photographer shot about 25. I could NOT believe the size of his camera nor the variety of his lenses! I'm not envious though -- I am barely smart enough to operate my own camera.

Eventually they got what they wanted and went away again. I look forward to see what comes out of all of this, but no matter what, it was SO much more fun than spending the evening watching TV!

Monday, July 07, 2008


I haven't gotten much done lately. I had a nice long 4-day holiday weekend, but it was filled with distractions, including this big one...

My granddaughter Annika is 4 months old already, and as far as I know, this is the first photo anyone has gotten of her smiling AT the camera. My son is holding her across one arm like a football, and I sat under his feet to snap this pic. I kind of got the feeling that he thought I was a little nuts, but I think catching this moment was worth a small loss of dignity.

I spent most of my play time with my continuing experiments in Photoshop Elements. I have just discovered Actions. Oh my!

It was nearly dark when I took this next photo, but not nearly dark enough to produce the image I had planned. I was experimenting with long exposure times, so here the sky looks as if it is still full daylight. Oh well... I'll try again next year.

My daughter snapped this photo of herself after having had her makeup professionally applied...

... and this is what I did with it.

I did some basic editing on my own, and then applied an action called "Gothic Glow" that I found at ATNCentral. Lots of fun toys for Photoshop there! They don't all work with Elements, but some of them do, and just looking around on the site was an education. It took me 3 days to figure it all out, so I guess that this counts as my latest "finished project", LOL.

I'm not done with this photo quite yet, but I wanted SOMETHING to post this week. Hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful 4th of July!