I have a new obsession. It involves taking paper mache mannequins like this one
and making them look like these, using a combination of craft paint and metal reactive patina paints.
The process is kind of messy, somewhat unpredictable and so much fun! Best of all, the result is that rusty, grungy chippy paint look that I love, and works perfectly with my jewelry style.
Since it doesn’t look like I’m gonna be able to stop making these (it’s too much fun!) I’ve started offering some for sale. If you’re local, you can see them, and some lilruby jewelry too – at Harrison House Market in Ozark!
Today is the reveal for the Art of Awareness blog hop, which was created by Lori Anderson of Bead Soup Blog Party fame. I love to participate in Lori’s blog hops and was intrigued by this one, in which we were instructed to think of a word or phrase that has special meaning and have a unique “word bean” created with it by Heather Millican of Swoondimples. (how cool is that?)
The phrase I chose was “faith is”, because to me faith is what it all comes down to. This has become especially clear to me during the past five years, which have been tumultuous to say the least! But although it’s been tough with challenges and losses of just about every kind, we’ve come through it all with the realization that what seems insurmountable can be handled with faith not only in God but in ourselves, too.
So for me, faith is the key.
This started out as a necklace, but since I often pray and reflect on my blessings while I’m driving to work I decided to hang it from my rear view mirror to remind me to keep the faith – and also to forget about the rear view (the past)!
Thanks so much for visiting – here’s the list of all the participants!
Apparently all babies love to play peekaboo – even equine babies! I was hoping to get some pictures of a couple of foals at a neighbor’s ranch, so I just sat on the ground with my camera and waited, hoping that curiosity would bring them close enough. The little guy here is a Missouri Foxtrotter, and he’s 3 weeks old.
His mama, bless her heart, brought him right to me – but he was shy and kept trying to hide behind her. At first he peeked at me through the cover of her tail-
Then he inched around her and peeked under her belly-
Finally, he got brave enough to come closer!
Have you ever seen such a sweet face – he’s so adorable!
But now the game was over, and with a saucy flip of his tail and what looked for all the world like a wink of his eye, he and his mama moved off to the far side of the pasture. I’ll have to stop by and see if he wants to play again in a few days!
A couple of months ago I accepted an invitation to “test drive” some of the delightful components made by Miriam from Joyful Muse. She asked that designers who accepted the challenge would use at least one of them in a jewelry design, and then share the results! Here are the components I used-
A pair of ribbed connectors painted a rich brick red.
And a very cool reversible spinner pendant!
Since I normally use darker colors and brick red happens to be one of my favorites, I tackled the ribbed connectors first. I layered them over some metal washers that I picked up at an antique show and wired on faceted turquoise blue Czech glass beads for a cool pair of earrings that have a retro yet steampunk look to them – I like ’em!
Now for the pendant – I will admit right off the bat that although the spinner pendant is an ingenious design and beautifully made, I don’t normally feel comfortable working with pastel colors so I struggled a bit with this! But after stewing about it a while I started digging through my bead stash and was able to put this necklace together using some Czech glass and crackle painted metal beads – I think it’ll be perfect for Spring!
I enjoyed using these well made components and want to thank Miriam for the opportunity to work with them! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop to see more – http://www.JoyfulMuse.etsy.com
Mother Nature gave us a gift today – a beautiful 60 degree day that seemed more like mid September than mid January! We decided to take advantage of it and get outside, and since we’re just minutes away from Arkansas we headed to the Buffalo River area which is endlessly beautiful. Missouri is gorgeous too, but when you get into the hills in northwestern Arkansas you really know you’re in the Ozarks! We ended up at Steel Creek, which is a state park we hadn’t visited yet.
When we got to the park at the bottom of a steep, winding road we were rewarded with views of huge bluffs decorated with frozen waterfalls like this one.
Below the bluff is the creek – quiet, shady and very cold at the area where the mountain blocks the sun, and bright and sunny just around the bend.
There’s a horse camp there also, and we saw a group of riders enjoying the trail and crossing the stream – what could be more fun than that!
Warm sun, clear skies and driving with my husband through the beautiful blue hills of the Ozarks equals a perfect day off and a great way to shake the mid -winter blues!
Way back in high school I read “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe. I don’t remember the specifics of the story ( it was a long time ago!) but I do remember being captivated by it, and I suddenly thought of it again as I fashioned this sweet little angel.
The antique doll used here is called a “frozen Charlotte”- these tiny ceramic dolls are dug up by the thousands from the ground by the German factories where they were once made. I was fortunate to receive several of them from my partner in the Bead Soup Blog Party a couple years ago ( thanks Gretchen!). It’s rare to find one that’s completely intact, but I don’t think the imperfections take away from their beauty – the missing arms just give opportunity for wings to sprout, and that’s exactly what happened here!
I used rusty black filigree pieces from B’Sue Boutiques to make these wings, and added some very old lace scraps along with what I believe to be the oldest (and my favorite) button in my collection. A little wire and some tiny rhinestone spacer beads are the finishing touch, and she’s strung on vintage cuckoo clock chain.
This little angel doesn’t need to look any further for her home – I’m keeping her with me!
It’s the reason why I’ve gotten into the habit of taking my camera everywhere I go – even if my only planned destination is Walmart or the gas station. I never know when something will catch my eye – the way the sunlight hits a leaf or a field of dandelions, the quiet dignity of an abandoned house or my favorite! – the glow of the plump full moon as it suddenly appears over the hills. I’ve come to think of it as looking for magic, and I never know when it’ll happen. When it does though, my heart beats faster, I jump out of the car and lose myself in trying to capture it.
I don’t have an expensive camera, and I have so much to learn about photography but now and then I manage to get a shot that sparks my imagination and gives me a little feeling of that magic. Here are a few of my favorites-
Weeds decorated with caps of frost.
Sunday morning sunlight bursting through the trees.
Just some cows in a field, but the sun and the mist give it the look of an old painting.
A suddenly bright sunset reflected in the rain slicked street right after a thunderstorm.
The sun rising through heavy lake mist, making it look more like a full moon.
The sunset lighting the window of an abandoned farmhouse, making it look lived in again, even if just for a moment.
Huge fluffy dandelions!
And the moon – always the moon!