Saturday, April 25, 2009

Projects and A Play Date

The weather in Ohio has turned from cool spring to hot summer over night. The first part of the week the highs were in the 40's and yesterday the high was 84 degrees. The trees are starting to bud and there are even some blooming. The lilacs are filling out but haven't opened.

I have been working on a couple beading projects. This one is a bracelet pattern by Julie Ann Smith and will be a gift for my daughter who will soon be finished with her Masters Degree in Education. It still needs a clasp, I haven't decided on what kind to use yet.

The second project is a Byzantine Chain Maille bracelet and earring set. This was a kit I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I wasn't sure how I would like this so I thought a kit would be the best way to find out. I have a small wrist so there were enough jump rings in the kit to make the bracelet and a pair of earrings to match. You should be able to click on all of the pictures and see the items close up.
Yesterday was an ART filled day. Marilyn came up and we worked on some projects. We had a wonderful time and actually accomplished several projects.

Marilyn is hard at work drawing a template for our metal leaf pendent.

This picture shows some of the supplies we were using to accomplish these very simple (?) projects. We took a lunch break around noon and I served a Spaghetti Frittata. It was a new recipe to me, but it was very good and we had Cheesecake Brownies and coffee for dessert before we started back to work.

When the time came for Marilyn to head for home we had some great stuff to show for our fun day.

The first project was a metal work pin that has copper and aluminum metal sheet stock and a Chinese coin. We stamped the copper with a rubber stamp, cut out the shape and attached to the background, then glued the coin on and the pin back. We also did a little wire lacing on the edge.

The picture shows my primitive metal working skills. But it was fun and will be worn.

The next two projects are made with thin metal sheet stock that is self adhesive. We stuck the pieces together, cut them out and drew the vain in the leaves. Then we coated the top with a clear air dry (1-2 hours) glaze called Glossy Accents by Ranger

The metal in this leaf was a gold with a green over color and I use some brown ink to tone it down. We also tried our had at a little wire work and there again I would call my skills on the primitive side.

The second sheet of metal was a bright gold and I toned it down with the brown ink and then added a little silver ink to one side.

We also tried our hand a making jump ring, which turned out to be easier and a lot more fun than I expected. We twisted some copper wire and made some larger rings and then use some brown wire that matched a chain I had to make some large and small rings.

We had a wonderful time, but didn't even get started on the second book of projects we wanted to work on so I'm sure we will need to schedule another Play Date very soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Art Work

When I had lunch with Marilyn we exchanged Christmas gifts. We had not been able to get together earlier with her treatments, my work schedule and my bout with bronchitis. Marilyn is an artist..... she draws, paints and works in mixed media.

Her gift to me was this wonderful Folk Art Snowman mixed media picture. It was matted, framed and ready to put on the wall. He is so cute and just the kind of thing Marilyn is so good at.

I tried to take a picture off center so that you could see the dimension. Beads, twigs, and even an orange toothpick for his nose. My gift to her was a bracelet, the flat spiral that took our bead group by storm during the holidays.

While I was cleaning today I dusted another picture that hangs in the guest bedroom. This one was made by my Mom several years before her death. She was in the nursing home for 12 years before she died in November 1994 and this was made before she went to the nursing home. The flowers are made of tiny sea shells that she collected on vacation in FL. I have another picture that is more a display of the different shells, not at all like this one, it is nice, but this is my favorite.

My Mom was a very talented crocheter too. She made dozens of the large round pineapple table cloths when I was very young. She also crocheted dresses for the small fashion dolls that are becoming popular again. I remember she and my grandmother would share patterns for the dresses.

I lived for over a year with my grandmother when I was six, while my parents built our house at the lake. Grandma was the one that taught me to crochet while I lived with her. She also taught me to read patterns and I think that was the most valuable part of the lessons. I have been able to read and create any crochet pattern that I found interesting, I even subscribed to a french crochet magazine in the 80's and followed the patterns from charts without translating the text.
All of this makes me a very poor student in quilt classes, I would much rather buy a book or pattern and learn the technique that way. I think it also makes me a good teacher since I love to draw patterns and write good clear instructions.