Thursday, April 29, 2010

Collaborative Jewlery For the Patron's Show

Sea Foam Jewels (working title) will be the Expressions of Elizabeth/Brier Design contribution tot he upcoming Patron's Show at Liberty Town Art Galleries coming up on May 6. MAny of Fredericksburg's wonderful artists have donated works to this show which will be the major fundraiser for the year. Any interested customer is invited to attend, purchase a ticket and after the month of May, leave Liberty Town with an incredible piece of artwork. There will be tickets for sale beginning on May 6 and there will only be as many tickets as there are pieces of Art. After all tickets are sold, the names of the ticket holders will be drawn from a hat and then that ticket holder will have their choice of artworks. If last year's event is any indicator, the evening will be an amazing and exciting show for all!!
Leslie Brier and I collaborated to create this wonderful jewelry ensemble. I created the free form beadwork bracelet, below.

Leslie Brier of Brier Design created the Vintage Silver salt shaker pendant necklace, featuring a Green Girl sterling silver mermaid charm,

and the silver shell earrings.

We feel that this set will offer all sorts of verstility for the patron. It can be worn as a complete set, as individual elements or it could be split up and components given as gifts.

To see more pictures of my bracelet with a list of components, visit this post.
Leslie and I are quite excited to be participating in this event to support the vibrant arts community at Liberty Town ! We would really love to have you stop by on Friday evening, May 6 to see what all of the excitment is about. You will see all of the amazing art that will be available for all to see and purchase for the price of a Magic Ticket!!!!! (Admit it , there is a bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory dreamer in all of us!!!! <>

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beaded Cuff Class- Just a couple of openings left!!!!

I will be teaching a class to create Beaded Zipper Cuff Bracelets at the fabulous Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria , VA. Check out the website for the classes and the shop here and join me to elarn to create this surprisinly easy and ALWAYS SHOW STOPPING beaded cuff!!
The class will run from 10am to 12pm opn Saturday May 8 with another two hour session to be scheduled later. Come out and join us and discover all that Artistic Artifacts and the amazing craft of Bead Embroidery has to offer!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Flower Brooches, Tulips and Tassels

I have a very busy week ahead so I thought that I would share a quick smattering of things that I am working on finishing. First Friday Gallery Events are fast approaching and I am aiming to get new stock down to the Emporium at Liberty Town. It will also be the opening of the Annual Patron's Show for Liberty Town. ( I will have more info on this fun event in my next post.) These wool and cashmere posey pins need a few finishing touches, some stamens and pin backs and they will be ready for sale.
I am making a new batch of Muse Birds with my fabric/paper as these have sold very well for me and I have no stock left. I am changing the design of both the birds and the tassels as I have a very ahrd time making large multiples of anything- BORING!!!!!!!
Here I have made a large holed foiled fabric/paper bead and used it as my new tassel topper for my new birds. These colorful tassels will hang from the bottom of each of my birds and will provide lots of extra movement and color to each soaring bird.
THe question of the day: Do Tulip Poplar Trees really have tulips??? When we moved here to Virginia it was January. I loved the big trees but I had no idea what kind of trees they were. Spring arrived and I was busy getting everyone and everything settled in. Becca, then 9, was spending lots of time outside with her friends playing. When I asked what they were doing the answer was 'Making fairy houses and gardens with the octopus flowers." What the heck were octopus flowers??? Tulip Tree Tulips of course!! Well I had never seen them before. Once the trees start blooming , the blossoms start falling and the sap starts dripping. When standing under the leafy cover you might think that it was raining. Well, it is raining, raining tree sap! They really are quite pretty. Each of the stamens will in time become a seed for a new tree, hence lots of seedling pulling for me next season. I am in a constant state of awe and wonder at the magnificence of our natural world, especailly at this magical time of year!!

Got to run. You have all had your horticultural lesson for the day! Hope that I don't bore you all too much! Go on and create something wonderful wtih your day!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Good,The Bad, and The Sparkly

Yesterday, while scratching about in the garden and planting a few perenials I disturbed a very welcome garden inhabitant. All that I saw was a slight movement in the dried leave litter. Then I noticed an eye ball giving me an indignant look. I was very still and was rewarded by the emergence of a beautiful American Toad. He was a very large fellow and a bit cranky, but a very welcome sight for me.!!! A toad is a very welcome sight in an organic garden. Many gardeners often put out ocverturned pots to create homes for toads, but I ahve never had a toad take up residence in a so called Toad House. They take care of nasty crittters like slugs and grubs and other not so welcome squishy things. A toad is a wonderful indication of a healthy and well balenced environment. As I use no chemicals of any kind , he is surrounded by a bounty of goodies and is most welcome to dine on whatever he finds. If his food sources were not available he would not stick around and the use of chemicals would threaten his existence. I was one happy gardener!!!
More sorbet series pansies. I am so sorry that a dear friend who I grew up with on Cape Cod , cannot plant these beauties in their dry California gardens. I know what that feels like, having lived in the Pacific Northwest. One has to adjust to a whole new set of plants that tollerate the new environment and unfortunately pansies do not like it hot!!
My Solomon's Seal is putting on a nice showing this year and rewarding me with lots of bell shaped flowers. They love having a blanket of leaves left over them, and so do the toads.

The bees have been extra busy pollinating my old fashioned Columbine. I have a whole rainbow of color ways that are begining to pop in the garden. I adore the pinafore skirts that these gals so daintily display. ,

Now for the BAd news, SIGH!!! One of the reasons that we loved our house was the lot that it sat on. We back up on a field that is used as a large garden each year and we were assured that it would not be developed. Our lot is also graced by some beautiful large old trees. We have huge Sycamores, Pin Oaks, Red Maples, Wild Dogwoods and Tulip Poplars. Most of these trees are 31/2 to 5 feet around and tower at least 90 feet into the air.
Our Beautiful Red Maple that is thriving and has grown at least ten feet since we arrived.
We carved out this small shade garden which will soon explode with Ostrich Ferns surrounding the fountain, Fox Gloves, Daylilies, Columbine and Shade Lillies. Because of these glorious trees, we have glorious shade and a plethora of birds and other wildlife. Just this Spring I have noticed that one of the oldest Poplars was way behind in leafing out. At first glance it looked like there wer no leaves at all, but then I saw that it was valiantly trying to put out some leaves. It ahd also dropped lots of branches in our snow storms . I called on a local Arborist who had done some work for us before and he quickly determined that the tree was a goner. SO SAD!!!!! This tree is the tallest Tulip Poplar in the area and it must come down sooner rather than later.

This is one of the reasons, Borer Beetles and then some seriously compromized major roots. this root damage happened before our time here, and this weakening had caused a good deal of stress that was aggravated by drought and then the final asault of the Borer Beatles. You can see all of the holes on this shot of the trunk, there are literally hundreds of holes.

Matt of GoodFellar's told me that the tree would only be safe to climb for the next three months. He would not allow his crew to climb an unsafe tree and after that time it would have to come down by crane and would cost 5 times more than climbing and taking the tree down safely piece by piece. Besides he had no idea how we would even get a crane in there without taking down the neighbors fence and mucking up both yards. We ARE NOT GOINT THERE!!!!! So down it must come. Losing this tree will definately change the climate in the back yard. We will have much more exposure to the western sun and we will lose the wild and wonderful azaleas that surround the tree. I am not a huge fan of azaleas. In fact the only way that I like them is when they are left to grow on their own and become wild and natural within the landscape. One of the first thing that Goodfellar's did for us when we moved in, was to remove the square azalea hedge that surrounded the front porch!!! They did wonderful work for us then and they put up with my passionate organic gardening , anti-pesticide herbicide ways so They get any work that I need done!
Enough moaning about lost trees, on to something sparkly!!!!
Last week I made another batch fo fabric paper as I needed to replenish the Muse Bird stock at Liberty Town Emporium. This time I decided to add shavings of candy wrapper foils to the recipe for a bit of sparkly foiled bling.

I was quite pleased with the results till I started trying to manipulate the fabric. It seemed almost impossible to keep the foil glued down. I even added an extra coat of matte medium to the top to keep the foil affixed. I probably wont be making more of this although I do love the beads and birds (i'll share those later) that I created with the fabric/paper. Throughout the entire process I ahd to carefully reglue the foil slivers if I wnated them to stay put. AS the final step for the beads is two coats of heavy laquer, I was finally successful in literally burying the foil in the laquer shell!!!
Now to make a three strand necklace to add to my new wares to be deliverd to Liberty Town this week!!

I hope taht everyone has a great start to their work week. Thank you all so very much for all of the wonderful comments that you leave for me when you visit!!
I am of to make tassels for my new Muse Birds- you will be seeing them here, very soon!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Morning Walk in The Garden

Primroses with Guacamole Hosta

One of my favorite times in the garden is an early Spring morning. As I have to get up quite early to get everyone off to work and school, I often wrap up the busy routine with a stroll throught he garden with my last cup of coffee. It is always fun to see who is blooming and how fast all is growning at this wonderful season. Each day there is something new. There are always pansey blossoms to deadhead and a weed or two to pluck. the birds are visiting the feeders and the Bumble Bees are swarming the Holly bushes. the sweet honey fragrance form the tiny white blossoms is thick in the air and the hum of the busy bees is so reassuring. There will be lots of red berries again this year!
One of my very favorite little flowers are Pansies and Viola's. My grandmother always had them all thru her gardens and she would have them popping up all over the yard. I learned to care for most of my gardens at the hand of my Grandmother. I often spend time with her when I am in the garden, especially when I am tending my roses and pansies. I love the hot colors of the Creeping Jenny, the purple Viola's and the hot pink Diantus above.

This is a Pansey from the Sorbet Series.

Bleeding hearts amidst daylilly shoots.

Viola's and Creeping Phlox

My Stawberry plants are loaded with blossoms, if we can only beat the birds to the feast!!!

Now that we are enjoying more appropriate Spring temperatures (no more 90's for a while, PLEASE) my late Tulips are just glorious. These are new this year and the combination of the new Hosta leaves with the yellow and purple Tulips makes for a very happy display!!
The Bearded Iris are sending up buds and the Columbines are ready to dance in the breeze. I will keep taking pictures to share and I hope that you will continue to visit my garden with me!!
Happy Spring!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fredericksburg Academy Art Stars

This year I was very honored to be asked to return for a Teaching Slot as a Visiting Artist at Fredericksburg Academy. In 2009 I had spent a gloriously hectic and creative morning with two classes of fourth graders and two classes of fifth graders. We created book covers for their Artistic Experiences Journals using gelatin monoprinting and bubble wrap. Apparently, this project created quite a buzz about the campus and anticipation was high for my return. I had to top the gelatin and bubble wrap experience!!! For a refresher, you can read about that event here.

The wonderfully talented Art teacher and my Hostess for these classes, Mirinda Reynolds, and I came up with several new collage projects. With the Fouth Graders,we would be creating Affirmation Banners using painted baby wipes (which we renamed Art Wipes) and with the Fifth Graders we would be working on mixed media collage with clip boards as our suface substrate.

I don't seem to be able to locate a photo of my sample banner and I have left my sample with the class as my gift. We designed the simple banners based on Tibetian Prayer Flags with the painted Art Wipes serving as the flags and postive words of the kid's choosing, being added as affirmations .
I do have photos of the fifth grade project.

This was one sample clip board.

This was another sample, with front above and back, below.

We discussed layering and patterns and transparency and tranluesence. I provided all sorts of text pages from many different discarded tests, everything from maps, to dictionaries, to russian math texts.
Then came the glue and the overlaping to create the first layer.
We accomplished a first layer on front and back during my first visit.

The second trip (Friday April 16) involved adding the colored layer in either painted paper towels, colored tissue papers or decorative napkin tops. The kids had a messy and creative blast and so did I! Several times I found myself listening to the creative chatter in the room and I heard many exclamations of 'Look at this" and "Look at what happened when I put this on".
Music to a teacher and mentor's ears, don't you think??!!!

You can get a glimpse of the fabulous Mirinda Reynolds there in the top right corner of the shot, above.
Several students opted to add bits of torn tuille netting as the third layer fo their collage clip boards. Once the glue dries the netting will add a wonderful texture to the finished piece. Here is just one example of the wonderful work done by all of the fifth graders.
Didn't she do a fabulous job???? Look at that beautiful, happy face!!! I plan to return to the classroom later in the month to help finish off the clip boards. We will add sealing coats of Matte Medium and edge the boards with a Gold Krylon pen. I will have more pictures with more of our Fifth garde artists, to share with you then!!
Now back to the Fourth Grade Affirmation Banners. The truth is that the painting and stamping of the Art Wipes was so fast and hectic that I did not have a chance to snap pictures till the kid's had left the room. I did manage to get some shots of the Art Wipes as they were laid out to dry.

On the second visit, we matched the painted wipes back to back and cut the piece into three triangles. Then the task was to glue the shapes on either side of cording to create the banner.

All were happy glueing and creating till it came time to pick it all up to move to the drying area. Disaster averted and all left anticipating dry banners ready for addition of affirmations and possibly streamers for a colorful finish. Upon my return I will be sure to snap some shots of the finsihed banners!!! Don't despair Fourth Graders, you will star in your very own post, here on my blog!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Under Sea Fantasy with Wool, Thread Scraps and Beads

As the White Rabbit says, "I am late. I am late!!" But now I can say that I am done with my Bead Journal Project for March!! As April 1st came and went I was emmeshed in several other projects and really had no clue where I wanted to go with this months project. I was working on some needle felting and using my embellisher so I decided to start a small piece and see what it said to me. On a blue rectangle of sythetic felt I laid out pieces of roving in shades of blue and green and added bits of this and that. I oput down bits of silk velvet and some trims , then some bits of thread trash and a circle of red silk. I took it off themachine and sat and looked at it. What was it saying???? I felt like I was looking for hidden pictures, like those favorite pages in old Highlight's magazines.
After leaving it to make dinner and other chores ,I returned and immediately saw a red Jelly Fish looking up at me. We ahve been watching the fabulous LIFE series on Discovery and perhaps I was influenced by the Deep Sea episode we had just watched. Not usre, I just know that I knew where I was going and the rest would be easy!!

I really enjoyed embellishing the felted piece. I did stitch in the majority of the red tentacles to make the Jelly Fish really come to life. Then I added bits of quahog shell found on Nauset Beach last summer and drill shells and perwinkle shells also from my stash of holey shells! I used tiny flower shaped sequins in shades of orange, as they look like anenomies and glass donut beads from Tanzania with strands of purple beads spewing from the centers like sea urchins. There are also several colors of fresh water pearls as well as several forms of mother of pearl beads.

Considering that I was floudering about and undecided about what to create for this month's project I am quite pleased with how this project evolved!!!
What to do for april's project- has to be something with leaves and my favorite spring flower- now that I ahve located a pattern for creating beaded leaves, I will definately be including foliage!! Stay tuned!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yearning to Carve

I have been longing to carve some new stamps for quite a time now and I have finally just gone and DONE IT!!!!! Sometimes that is what it takes- to heck with other things that are half done or undone, one must follow the inner artistic voice!!!
I am in process of creating another Traveling Pages swap and it needed a tree, so this is what I made for this page. Below you see the stamping on a sheet of my fabric paper, done in Bronze Lumiere paint- Yum!!!

This is the beginning- so obviously you will be seeing it again soon!
Now to share a bit of glorious Virginia springtime with you!

This ancient Pink Dogwood lives outside my chiropractor's office in Fredericksburg. Every year it puts on a simply stunning display of beauty. The trunk of this tree is at least a foot in diameter, truely a glorious old soul.

This dripping Wisteria lives on the property of Belmont, a Southern mansion in Fredericksburg, once the home of the artist Gari Melcher. I pulled over to take pictures and as soon as I left the car I was met with the most intoxicating fragrance and the humming activity of a million Bumbly Bees!!! Spring is such an amzing treasure chest of wonderful experiences.


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