Friday, February 25, 2011

Today's Play Session

Today was a day when I FINISHED a bunch of stuff. The thing about the Vintaj pieces I do is that most of them require several steps, some of which may require a couple days wait time, to prepare all the components. This means things take a while and I might go a couple rounds with not too much to show for it. Well today was a day we FINISHED things. And so I'm bragging (as per the usual) because I finished:

5 Pairs of earrings
3 Rings
2 Bracelets
1 Necklace
+ more plotting and working on other focals etc

This first pic is of the necklace I did. I saw one with a center focal like this at Vintaj Earth when I was there for the 2 day workshop last fall. And I absolutely loved it but somebody else in the class got the purple one before I could get there. lol. SO this is my version of the necklace I loved, drooled over, and lost... It looks kinda funny to me on this form b/c this is just the first free necklace form I saw and its TINY, especially compared to the BIG one I've been using so it looks like the proportion is just MASSIVE and I swear its not. Its perfect really. :)

Here's the line up - 3 rings in the top row, you can ID the rest. The focal in progress is the random thing in the bottom left corner. BTW - I'm super proud of that white to pink gradient. Took me some pondering to figure out how if I could pull that off.

Just a sneak peak at things to come. These are some of the other focals in progress. I've been practicing my faux enamel and filigree wrapping techniques.

And this is a necklace I did last week and never got a picture of. I'm just stoked w/ how it turned out.
 And a bit closer.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If you thought I was good before

Check this baby out! This is my second attempt. I'll have you know the first attempt was a dismal failure. BUT perseverance pays off. Check out what I did today during nap time!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Patience of Job

Ya know I didn't make the connection at first until two separate people commented about how if everything that has happened to my mother had happened to them they would have just cursed God and died by now. And yet my mother continues in her attitude of grateful happiness to have been granted more time on this earth to raise her family and spend time with her grand children.

There's been much speculation about what my mother could possibly have done to deserve this ("whatever it was it must have been bad") or perhaps that she was being punished for sins committed in a past life. Because while she's definitely not perfect, she's also one of the very best people I've ever met and she has only continued to improve as she's aged.

I remember when I was younger and she still had things she was working through. Things she wasn't taught by her family growing up that she should have been taught. But I can give her no higher praise than this: any time it has been brought to her attention that something she does is hurtful or unkind, she apologizes and she never, ever does it again. I can only pray that I can become half the mother that she is.

For those unfamiliar with my family history, my Mom got cancer the first time when I was 8 years old. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She had chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. She just celebrated her 20th transplant anniversary this last August. :)

When I was 15 she was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma and had to have an outpatient surgery to remove it from her back. And when I was 20 she was diagnosed with Mucal Epidermoid Carcinoma, which is a tumor in a salivary gland in her neck caused by the radiation she was given 11 years prior to cure the Leukemia... She had to have surgery and a 6 week course of radiation to kill that one. As a result of issues from the radiation, Mom was left completely deaf in her left ear.

Life had largely normalized for Mom since then. My Dad was diagnosed with Non-small-cell Carcinoma in his right lung, when I was 23 and had to have the lower third of his right lung removed. But otherwise Mom has been doing very, very well. She's now a nurse in the clinic where she was a patient 20 years ago.

Then my folks came out to see me for Christmas... Somebody on their flight was sick with strep because 2 days after their flight both of my parents came down with strep. Mom's infection went to her ears, which caused her ear drum in her good ear to rupture and went so far as to infect her inner, middle and outter ears. She was stone deaf for weeks and her balance has been severely compromised.

She's been making great strides to regain her hearing and doing physical therapy to regain her balance.

And now this. She's sick again. She's been admitted to the hospital. They think its some rare variety of strep but they're not sure yet.

My Mother, the saint, with the patience of Job is once again in the hospital being poked and prodded. And I'm silently begging my Heavenly Father that she can be well again and soon.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lady Gaga

The woman I find fascinating and repellant all at the same time. On the one hand I have a serious case of hype aversion  with anything Lady Gaga related because well... its kinda "if I hear her name or see her picture ONE MORE TIME I may in fact vomit".

And yet on the other hand she occasionally does something that makes me smirk.

For example the whole "meat dress" thing... If you live under a rock and don't know what I'm talking about you may google. I'll wait. ... So apparently at some point last year she wears fake fur. And of course the next day PETA is all "oh we love her! She's clearly speaking out about blah blah blah blah blah".

Right..... So a month later she comes out sporting a MEAT BIKINI. Thats right raw meat... bikini. And just in case that wasn't enough of an anti-PETA statement she wore a full on meat DRESS to a big awards show. *snigger* I believe one of her comments on the subject was something to the effect of "I'm not a piece of meat" or "I'm nobody's piece of meat". Something like that (if you want REAL quotes go read a journalist who gets PAID - aka NOT me).

So that made me like her kinda almost a little bit in spite of the obnoxious hype. Then I noted something else - she's really NOT that pretty. No offense. I'm not saying it to be mean but that means she's smarter than I initially gave her credit. She's got a rockin' body but her face leaves a lot to be desired - at least according to the societal norms.

So whats a girl who wants to be a rock star to do. She's got a good voice, great body and a ho-hum face? Cuz believe me in todays market they've got girls w/ voices, looks and bodies lined up around the block. How does she compensate: Fashion. All those FREAKY outfits that seem to be maddeningly designed to prevent  you from getting a look at the woman's face! I mean until recently it like NEVER happened.

So she's smart, recognizes and compensates for her weaknesses and she's not afraid to piss people off. This person may actually be almost acceptable except for the hype aversion issue.

So apparently she's become the new gay god. Not my words - hell I didn't know anything about it until I saw a headline in my news feed that she was like petitioning congress about the whole "Don't ask don't tell" business.

So now she's being idolized by a whole different group whose all "she loves us and she gets us and she stands up for our thing". And now she's come out with a new song "Born this way" that is apparently, nearly universally pissing them all the hell off.

Are you noting a trend yet? I even saw one where the fashionista people were griping about Lady Gaga's latest outfits and how horribly boring they are.

This woman likes to wow you and then tell you to suck it once you start applauding her and telling her you're "one of ours".

I think she probably has some issues she might need to deal with but I find her fascinating. And so I think I might keep tabs on the situation. Just because its got me morbidly fascinated in that "I'm not really watching b/c I suffer from hype aversion" kinda way...

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Latest Sparkly Objects

These earrings I made last week. The leaves are handmade Venetian glass to which I filigree wrapped the pair of Vintaj Natural Brass bead caps. Simple but very, very pretty. 

You might recognize the centerpiece of this necklace as the focal I made in the 2 Day Intensive Workshop at Vintaj last fall. I decided to finish what I started. I used venetian glass beads, Swarovski crystal and Vintaj components.

 And here is a close up of the focal. I love how the faux enameling looks!

And here's another piece I made last week. I love this necklace. Its made with venetian glass beads, Swarovski crystal and Vintaj Natural Brass components. 

This sterling silver wire ring pattern I learned from Dale Armstrong. She calls it the "All Wire Rosette" ring. I think I prefer to call this design the slightly more poetic title of "Wind". Each of these rings will have its own unique look to the center swirls due to the nature of the design. 

This classic wire jewelry design is the Pharaoh's ring. Mine is constructed of sterling silver wire with a Malachite cabochon. 

This ring is my version of Dale Armstrong's "Anything Cocktail Ring". Mine features Pale Pink Cubic Zirconia stones (they appear almost lavender in this picture), pink Swarovski Crystals and sterling silver beads and wire. I absolutely love this design. Every ring is unique and the colors are completely customizable. 

 My Twisted Wire Solitaire you first saw several months ago and since then I've worn it nearly full time. But I felt it deserved some pictures of a higher quality than the ones I took in my bathroom at 3 am so here she is again: