Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Bling for November

OK, I know it's already December, and I have a few excuses... time being the foremost, (or lack of it).  I have been in class, busy and having a ball. The earring is at the "almost finished" stage, and as soon as I have a moment, I'll take a photo of the final (I think) version. I've added some patina and antique finish to it, so the verdigris shows.   So far, they have been fun to wear.                                                       

The bracelet/cuff is the result of two classes at ARC.  The "color" is fused glass (dichroic) on silver/copper.   I am still fussing with it, and need to harden the metal a bit more.   

I'll post some more photos soon!. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mixed Media Collage Journal

Friday was a day made in my dreams. A group of creative, lively women gathered to make art, set in the rolling hills west of Santa Rosa, surrounded by vineyards and oak trees.  
In the beautiful studio of Anna Corba we created journals out of mixed media images, ate a lunch fit for the gods and had a marvelous time. Anna has all the paper images, stamps, ribbons and anything else one could desire to put together collages. 
This is a fantasy day for a creative soul.  It fed the feminine side of me, plus, her studio is what I lust for, wished for; and now I am in serious studio envy.  There are high ceilings, views out the windows of scenery fit for paintings, lots of work space AND she is organized so well, she makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur.   
The day had a serious side.  The woman who organized this outing has just lost her brother, and so several of the others were her family: sister, niece and her niece's mother. It was also her birthday, so it was a bittersweet celebration.   
I have to say, the day couldn't have been more beautiful, and I am grateful to have been included in the event.  I will be filling the pages of this journal with things that I want to remember, and pieces of my own history.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Red Gazing Ball is Finished

The red glass mosaic gazing ball is finished.  I promised I'd post it here when done, so  here it is.  What to do with your bowling balls?  Try this.  It's like doing a puzzle without a picture to see.  Very Zen. 

Meanwhile, I have a pot of chili cooking in the crock pot, there is a football game on the idiot box, and I have some fresh potatoes from the garden. Maybe bake the potatoes and pour chili over them?  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Plein Air at the Fair

This is a quick post, to share the results of my efforts at the California State Fair "Plein Air Paint-Out" .  It's a small (8x10) oil.  I found a good spot under a tree, and painted for a day. The next day was so hot, I decided to forgo the experience. It was, after all, July.  

A Hint in the Air

The newspaper claims that this week will still be hot: 92° all across the board. I think I can feel a change in the air. The early light that fills my bedroom window is softer, and the mornings have a welcome chill.

The Pine Nuts ladies gathered here to play with mosaic and gazing balls. Spent a day attaching glass tile and cut glass to the surface of bowling balls, with happy results. 
Donna's Ball
Here we have the close-up of one of the projects, using glass tiles instead of cut glass. When I finish mine, I will post the photo.  I found some sparkly red glass at a "estate sale" and fell in love with the color. 

The backyard garden continues to yield it's bounty, in spite of my neglect. The tiny pale eggplant are a variety called "Fairy Tales, and are a bite of yumm!  We have a fence full of Concord grapes, and unfortunately, they have lots of seeds. I have yet to find an easy way to crush them for juice, but the results of any efforts are a grape juice that has an aroma and taste that cannot be duplicated from a can or bottle. 

Classes have started for the fall, and I am involved in two: a metal fabrication (jewelry and small sculpture) class and Ceramic Tile/Murals.  I'm already having fun, and it should be a terrific semester, although it takes up the best part of 4 days a week. 

Monday, July 9, 2012


apricots vs. a quarter
Apricots, Plums and Figs, oh my.  This year's crop of apricots was lovely. I've never had such large, juicy fruit from these two trees, and it's been made into jam.  The crop luckily wasn't in the  overload numbers, so we are able to handle it, and almost as suddenly as it started, the crop is finished. Now we will handle the plums, and there are a LOT more plums on the trees, although they are smaller.  I think I have a couple of days rest before they come in.  The neighbors donated a flat of figs, so that is yummy as well.  
apricots in the kitchen

Standing over the sink, biting into ripe fruit is one of the blessings of summer. Some of the fruit didn't even make it into the kitchen, eaten while standing on the ladder and reaching high into the branches. Sun warmed apricots, tasting faintly of vanilla and magic, juice dripping. Oh yes, heaven.  

I have given up on apricots from the store. I pick one up, and sniff. It doesn't smell like fruit. I put it back, disappointed.  

I now have jars of apricot, apricot plum and apricot strawberry jam.  Tried the apricot plum on banana pancakes yesterday, even though the jam  hasn't set. (It takes a while for the jam to "jell").  I may have to open up another  jar soon.   Hmmmmmm.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mea Culpa

I confess, this blog has been low on my priority list lately. Since the last post, our grandson Mathew has moved in with us to escape his rather abusive mother, we've gone on a vacation to the coast (Pt. Arena) and the garden is bearing fruit and vegetables. We've harvested apricots and corn, and eaten many salads. Tiny cherry tomatoes are tasting like candy. I'll find some photos to post soon, probably this afternoon. 

I'm trying to organize another get-together with my basket ladies, and want to see if I can get a bowling ball project to happen. Summer is upon us, and the time is evaporating like water on a hot sidewalk. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April is Speeding Past

Raised bed garden box.
We have just finished putting together a planter box and have retreated inside out of the heat. April has turned into a hot mudder, and if this is a harbinger of the summer, we are in for a bit of trouble. The spring garden is started, and we are adding our 1-box-a-year to the collection. Our neighbors inspired and assisted us (by cutting the dado grooves in the corner pieces) so we assembled it today.  What you see is upside down, and it's only 3'x3' or so.  There is room to add another row of panels if I want it higher.  Otherwise, the legs go into the ground. Not sure why it's recommended to do that, unless it's to prevent the squirrels from carrying it away. 
Have also been working diligently in class, working on glass pretties. Ordered findings online  so I could finish some of the pieces.  
No time to be bored, no time to waste. If I can manage to register for the metals class next Fall, 
I'll continue learning about metal working for jewelry making.
This is fascinating, and I enjoy it, although it's taking away from painting time. What a dilemma.  So much to do, and time just slides past.  

The garden needs attention, although it's already giving back. Last night we ate a large salad that had fresh arugula, baby lettuces, tiny snow peas, scallion blossoms and basil from the garden.  Happy dinner! Perhaps later, when there is more shade. Right now, it's hot hot HOT out there!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kitchen Faucet Cha-Cha

That pesky faucet needed repairing urgently. Been dripping (running) every time it was used, and we'd been looking at new faucets (Home Depot, Costco).  One evening a week or so ago, it finally quit, and my fairy godmother was looking after me, since it just stopped, instead of sending a geyser of water at the ceiling.  (Yes, I am thankful for small favors.) Since Jim didn't want to just buy the one we originally spied at Costco, there was no replacement ready to go. That one was VERY reasonably priced... of course.  
Back to Costco. No "last of the bunch" pricing. Too cranky to start the search over, so just looked at the two or three on hand, and picked the one that had a $50 rebate.  Handsgrohe... or some fancy German name. 

At home, I removed all of the cleaning supplies out from under the sink, and contorted my body to fit under to take a look at what needed to be done. Twenty years ago, I'd have just grabbed the wrenches and done it. Not so now. The attachments were in places I couldn't reach without breaking an arm and there were so many lines snaking around that it would have been a cluster. 

I got smart. Called a plumber, and had him do it. Of course it was a great amount of money, but we changed out the shutoff valves, removed the water filtration system (been meaning to replace it for two years), and it's done. 

Plumber did his share of grunting and mumbling, (much nicer than I would have been), checked all the faucets in the house, tightened up the one in the shower that was dripping, and voila' it's done.  Jim mentioned yesterday that he liked the new one, which is unusual, because he doesn't usually say anything, and I love it. 

So, yes, I suppose I could have done it, or WE could have done the work, but the cost of the chiropractor's visits over several weeks to repair the tweeked backs would have run through the checkbook just as fast. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A bump in the road.. or a major pothole?

Not a great deal to say, have been dealing with medical issues, health, hospitals, fitness, therapy and such things. We started the year with great intentions: signed up with a gym and began going 3x a week. My regular docs decided to have me go to therapy, OT for my hands and PT for back and knees.  Thus, I have been very busy with appointments, and sessions at the gym.  My dear husband was going to work out as well.  

A couple of weeks ago, Jim had an event... horrible bleeding ulcer that put him into the hospital for 4 days.  ICU, blood transfusions (6 units) and it was scary as hell. We are getting back to our normal life, (slowly) and such, but it gives me much to think about, and some changes that have to be made.  I am thankful for much, and have "giving blood" on my list of things to do soon. Six other people gave theirs for my honey, so I need to give back.  If you think about it, give some too.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cats and Mushrooms, not necessarily related

This time of year I am thinking about the things I enjoy having in my life, and these little bits (well, the cats are no longer "little") are part of the mix.  The mushrooms are Maitaki and Truffles, and both are a rare treat at our house. I'm still enjoying the truffles, having made truffle salt, and then squirreled away two tiny little pieces for the future. The maitaki was sauteed in butter and olive oil and added to a risotto. 

These two are in their favorite place, smack in the middle of the feather comforter on our bed. Houdini (the ginger) has this "dead cat" pose that makes me laugh every time I see it. He also seems to want to drape himself over Marley, so those back paws are touching her. The smiles and grins are worth the price of catfood!
I will add more favorites as the days go by, but this was a short little entry before I dash off to the gym to work off the butter that was in the risotto!. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Three Paintings in the VOX Exhibit

This is a small oil painting (9x12) "Point Arena Cliffs"
 I just put up this quick posting of some of the paintings that were shown at a local venue on Saturday.  There are two more landscapes that I will post after I photograph them. Somehow I managed to frame and wire them, totally forgetting to document the images.
"Magnolia Leaf  (8x10)"

"Plums" (8x10)