Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sammy gets snow

First off I have to say that it IS SNOWING here in Central Ohio. This is our second big snow storm of the Fall.  I look out the windows watching the big flakes coming down and thinking to myself how pretty it is. That is until I leave for work at 10:30 PM and drive south on the Interstate 71 towards downtown Columbus with all the trucks zipping past me on ice covered pavement.  Thank goodness I have 4WD or else I would be a nervous wreck.  So I got to thinking to myself why are we getting so much snow so early this year.  Then I realized after looking at pictures of Sammy Doodle that it is his fault.

He has been dreaming of snow since the leaves began to fall.

And to make the Snow Fairies bring his wish, he sacrificed one of his stuffed toys scattering woobie guts all over the floor to appease the Fairies. 

He survived his first professional haircut over at Worthington Woods and was so pleased to prance around the neighborhood with his Da in tow.

But still, he dreams of Snow.  And who could resist this adorable face? 

He got his wish.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Old Friends

Long ago when I first started to get into beading, I found a newly started Yahoo Group called Ohio Beaders.  I joined and was just amazed at all the talented jewelry artist from all over the Great State of Ohio.  Now don't quote me on the date as I'm losing my ability to remember how long ago that was, but I'm thinking this all was somewhere in the 2002-2003 timeline.  They had get together all over the State where I got to met in person the people I exchange communications online with.  We realized that we all had something in common even though some of us like me fell under the thrall of seed beads, while others were drawn to metal.  Through this group, I met artist who encouraged me to develop my limited at the time skills and push the envelope.  Cassandra Graham was the first person who taught me how to do bead embroidery at a meeting somewhere in Eastern Ohio.  And then I met my very good friend Sharon Hessoun through a mishap with crystals and gravel in Waldo Ohio.  Each person made me laugh and ponder the meaning of taking the artist walk. 

Then around 2005-2006 when I changed jobs and was stuck working almost every weekend, I wasn't able to go to any get together. About this same time, I became enmeshed is doll making and all my time was absorbed in that too.  Little by little, I stopped reading digest from Ohio Beaders Yahoo Groups, then stopped beading anything in general as my life became more complicated due to my unhappiness with my job and other life's stones thrown on my road.  Imagine my surprise, when I found the Ohio Beader's Group on Yahoo.  I was intrigued to see if anyone I still might remember were there...and yes they were.  Mary & Kim & Diva Kim & Tanya & Helen & Cheryl and others I'd met at retreats and gatherings.  Kim was in charge of the Christamas Gathering which was to be in Columbus.  Now that I have every weekend off courtesy of my new employer, I decided to attend.  I hadn't attended anything since 2008-2009, but it was like coming home.  Instantly there was the warmth and friendship of long lost friends who welcome you back without a mention that you'd strayed.  It was a magical day filled with beads, mishaps, and just plain ole fun.  I'm so happy I stumbled back into the fold.  Hello old friends...nice to met you...again.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Time for more Sammy

It has been seven months since we brought Sammy home to live with us.  I still say this, but it feels like it has been years that our little boy stepped into our lives.  He is such a joy and comfort to both of us.  I think if it wasn't for his happy little self, we still couldn't cope with the grief of losing Frodo, Arwen, and Fiona.  He makes us smile.  He makes us laugh.  He makes us "walk the dog".  I bought a seat belt for him as most of what we had before is way too big for his 18 pound body.  He was so patient has I tried to figure out how to put the harness on him.  Then he sat perfectly still all the time in the car even when we were in the restaurant.

We got a new furnace this week, and we both were concerned that he would bark all the time the service people were here, but he gave a few woofs then settled down next to the bedroom door protecting me while I slept.  Oh yes, that is one of his jobs and he takes it very very seriously.  On my nights off, I sometimes hear him patrolling downstairs and then comes back up the stairs falling asleep (but still vigilant) on the stairs so he can be aware of everything.  He loves to jump and there is no toy he doesn't fall in love with. 

His bedroom is in the studio where he loves to go to bed 15 minutes before I leave for work.  In that room every morning are about 6 little stuffed dog toys surrounding his bed.  I have to chuckle as it reminds me of my sister Cheryl who while a little girl had to sleep with every single doll in her bed.  I bought a package of three little stuff toys from PetSmart for him and upon opening he decided that he wanted all three NOW!

He loves popcorn.  What dog doesn't?  He loves late night walking in the neighborhood making sure Mr. Skunk stays in his area.  He loves sitting at the back fence watching the elementary school children playing in the field.  He loves barking at the squirrels who like to hide their prizes under the grill cover.  He just loves everything. And we love him too. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dot's Bookcase: Metal Clay 101 for Beaders

Metal Clay 101 for Beaders
Create Custom Findings, Beads, Embellishments & Charms
Kristal Wick

When you were young, did your parents have you write out a Christmas wish list?  As soon as the Christmas catalogs started showing up in our mailbox, we’d start the scurry of looking them through each page trying to find THE THING that would make us so excited on Christmas morning.  My Mom would cut out different colored construction paper markers for each of us to use in the catalogs as place markers.  We were each allowed ten markers to choose ten possible things we wanted for Christmas.  Then we wrote down a wish list using the colorful place markers as reminders in our childish scrawl.  I would sometimes help my siblings that couldn’t write to compose their wish list getting just as excited as they were.  My Mom then would SEND our wish list to Santa with the confirmation that we’d be guaranteed at least one thing from our list from Santa.  You never knew which one it was but the anticipation and the hours of exploration kept six active kids busy from Thanksgiving on to the big day.  Now days, I don’t do wish lists as I pretty much buy what I need when I need it, but I actually have a semi-formal wish list for Santa to check out.  And what is it that I put on that wish list?

Well, after looking over Kristal Wick’s newest book published in October 2013, about creating ‘custom findings, beads, embellishments & charms’, I think I might want a kiln.  Metal Clay 101 for Beaders is another amazing book by Kristal Wick teaming full of temptations and ideas for the average Beaders to take their art work one step above by experimenting with Metal clay.  Not only does Kristal show fantastic closing to finish up your beadwork, but also she demonstrates techniques in sculpting and embellishing the Metal Clay.  I really enjoyed the how applied patinas give the whole piece a completely different look.  Who knew that hard-boiled eggs or Miracle Grow plant food could be used to create a unique appearance.

Sculpting, texturing, hammering and creating unique patterns and patinas will take Metal Clay from a lump to a startling piece of art jewelry with insights from Kristal’s book.  Throw in page after page of stunning projects with detailed instructions, experimentation, and a sprinkling of fun to cause you to hold your breath to see what comes out of the kiln.  
Puzzle Bracelet on page 55 uses texture plates to produce this amazing design.  Add semi precious chips to resin to make a stunning addition.

Wire Lace Crystal Netting bracelet has the most amazing toggle and clasp system.  If I could make unique pieces like this then this book definitely is a winner.  Santa, can I have that kiln?
 Lark has a wonderful interview with Kristal here.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.