Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Time Out for Books: Big Magic

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Just started Big Magic this week and here is one of my favorite quotes so far:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

97 Days to Christmas!

I missed the 100 day count but better late than never. Yes, the holidays are right around the corner. And each year about this time, I start my annual ornament-fest. I try to find a particular pattern that lends itself to pretty fast work-up, buy my supplies and go to town. This year, I decided to take a slight departure from my normal beaded creations. I found this tutorial on Pinterest for making photo keepsakes using crystals and photos. Then I turned to eBay to track down the crystals and purchased 30 of this design that I liked even better than the style used in the tutorial. They are even on sale today! This link takes you directly to the seller's eBay shop if you are interested.

Then I had to figure out what photos I wanted to use and get them in the right shape to affix to the back of the crystal. To set up the photo shape, I scanned the crystal and then used Photoshop to fill in the shape to use as a mask. If you have not worked with Photoshop masks, you could just use your editing software to reduce your selected photos. Then make a template by tracing around your crystal and use the template to trace around your photos.

Here's what one of my photo sheets looked like.

And here's what a batch of my finished ornaments looks like!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Time Out for Books: Circling the Sun

Circling the SunCircling the Sun by Paula McLain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's amazing what you can accomplish when people around you aren't telling you what you should and shouldn't accomplish. Such is the life of Beryl Markham, raised alongside African tribe members as a child when her family moves to Kenya in the early 1900's. When her mother throws in the towel on the Kenyan experiment, Beryl is left with her father who is so distracted by the challenge of building a farm and finding a way to survive in their new home that young Beryl is left to her own devices about how she should spend her time. She is more or less adopted by the Kipsigis tribe and grows up alongside a young tribesman, Kibii, who becomes a life-long friend. Together they ride horses through the African savannas, throw spears and become acquainted with creatures that would frighten most adults. In short, Beryl becomes totally smitten with her new home. I was so completely enthralled with Beryl's story that I went in search of other facts about her and found a 1988 movie (A Shadow on the Sun) where Stephanie Powers played the renegade. What an amazing life and a fascinating woman!

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

JTV Rock Star Designer

Anyone watching this? I stumbled upon JTV Rock Star Designer in my YouTube surfing and am hooked. It's a reality series featuring jewelry artists competing for a contract with Jewelry Television to create and sell a jewelry line. Each week, the artists are given various materials and a limited amount of time to create pieces. They are then evaluated for design appeal, marketability and for each contestant's show-personship. The show started in July but all of the back episodes are on YouTube.

And in my own corner of the jewelry world, I have a new science experiment underway. Below is a photo of a prickly pear cactus berry. I thought it would  make a beautiful focal component preserved in resin. I inserted a cocktail straw through each berry as a channel for beading wire and to give it some support while the resin is drying. It's hardening as we speak and soon, I'll show a photo of the "resined" berry.

© Cave Creek Beads