Monday, August 24, 2009

Photo Monday and a Work-in-Progress

As a rule, sunsets here in the Valley are not very colorful. However, the farmers in the region are going full blast harvesting crops such as late beans, wheat, wildflowers, and hops, which throws up a lot of dust into the air. I know my little sunset can't compete with Mike's extravaganzas from Florida, but I still think it's pretty.

I have pressed on through the freeze that follows an "I can't do it" panic attack on my Ghost for the Retreat next month. I sculpted those darned hands and the foot. I feel a little silly about that foot because there is no way it is going to be visible in the finished piece, but at least I will know it's there. She is finally ready now for her draping. Her face will be attached last.

Why are white things so darned hard to photograph well?

Anyway, attaching her hair took most of Saturday afternoon. For one thing it was a major headache working around her foot (which is almost touching her scalp) and for another, the superfine silk yarn I chose is maddeningly tempermental. If I had known what I was letting myself in for I would never have chosen it; however, now that it is on, I am thrilled and it is going to do exactly what I want it to do once the Paverpol is applied. (Fingers crossed...)

If only I didn't have to go to work tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lydia's Dragon Tree

My oldest daughter Lydia is 20 years old and will be a junior in college this year. She went with me to Washington last weekend and this is what she made in Jean's class. I'm her mom, so of course I think she is amazing, but keep in mind that she has never ever sculpted before.

It was difficult to find a camera angle that shows this piece at its best, so I have included several views. From the back left...

... and facing full front. I love that dangle!

Right rear profile. Here you can see the perfect beads she chose for his eyes as he is gazing from under his wing.

And finally the right front profile.

I love the deliciously twisted way her brain works!

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Unexpected Pleasure

I found out late last week that Jean Bernard was scheduled to teach her Tree Woman class at a quilt shop in Auburn, WA this past weekend. I asked the shop owner if there were any spaces left and lo and behold there were 2! So on Friday afternoon, Lydia and I packed up for a weekend of creativity.

About 3 seconds after we got into the classroom, Lydia had already been nicknamed "Junior", LOL.

Over the next 2 days, we twisted wire, mixed up apoxie, sculpted, dipped, draped, painted, embellished, and bejeweled. No bills, no laundry, no INTERRUPTIONS - just fun. I could get used to this...

This is my tree. She is brown Aves Apoxie over a wire armature. Her face was provided by Jean. Please click on the photos to get a truer feel for how detailed she really is.

She is embellished with everything I could lay my hands on.

I know trees don't have butts usually, but she wanted one. As soon as I sculpted it, she came alive for me.

Can you spot the 4 other little faces embedded in her trunk?

I wish I could show you the incredible tree Lydia came up with, but she took it to a friend's house this morning to show it off. I can't say as how I blame her - I would be proud of it too! - but I wanted to photograph it first, doggone it! That's OK... I'll just put it up in a day or so. You won't want to miss this one.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

July's UFO - Finished, and oh WOW!

At long last, I have finally completed a white-on-white project that I am absolutely delighted with! I finished fringing and assembling the components of the White Collar the day after we came home from the Coast. (Well, I still need to get to a bead store and buy a suitable clasp for the end of the chain, but other than that it is FINISHED.)

Forgive me please for gloating, but I am so in love with this fringe.

On the other hand, I spent half of the afternoon today trying to get photos that show it off to its best, but this is the best I can do, even with a tripod and a timer. (Hmmmmm... perhaps it is time to clean my lens.) It looks fantastic with everything I have tried it on to wear it with, but I can't find a suitable background fabric that really lets it shine as it should in a photo, and I am getting frustrated. Anybody have some advice as to what do you think I need to do with this piece to get better photographs to upload on to Etsy?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Photo - Lincoln City, OR

Last Monday was our 25th wedding anniversary and to celebrate, Jake and I took the girls and ran away from home for a few days. The cool grey days on the Oregon Coast were a wonderful antidote to the crushing heat we had endured the week before.

We did have one nice sunny day while we were there. The Pacific Ocean is colder than cold on the Oregon coast no matter what time of year it is, but Jake and the girls decided to try some wave diving anyway. I stayed on the beach with my camera like a sensible person, LOL.

The waves look bigger than they actually were because I took the photo crouching in the sand at the edge of the waves. That's as far into that freezing water as I was going to go!

I couldn't believe it, but he actually dove in.

This pair of sea lions was cruising around much farther off the beach, but they were fun to watch nonetheless.

Tomorrow it's back to the ordinary routine.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Getting Ready for a Retreat

The Fall Retreat in Iowa with Jean Bernard and Sherry Goshon is getting closer and closer. There has been a flurry of chatter on the list this weekend as supply lists and teaser photos have been posted. My fees are paid, my plane ticket is booked and now I get to assemble some supplies -- I am so excited!

Because I can't take my whole studio with me (alas!) I am going to narrow down my color scheme so I at least have a place to start. This little bag of fiber has been in my stash for years, and I think it has finally called out to me to go into a project. I have never worked with yellow before so this should be interesting!

Isn't it pretty? It is a far cry from my usual blue/purple/green mode at any rate.

I have also undertaken a massive reorganization of my studio, as it was becoming impossible to work in there. This week's project was my beading desk. Nothing has ever really been sorted there (I usually just kind of add to the pile as I acquire things) so some organization was really necessary. When I came across this ammonite that I bought about a year ago I decided to take a break and wire it up with a technique based on a design by Nancy Wickman. I absolutely love it!

I admire her style, and one of these days I will purchase her "Victorian Key" design as well.

I will not be posting a Photo-of-the-Week this week as the family and I are leaving for a little vacation tomorrow. I hope everybody is having a wonderful summer!