Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
These are items I use for show displays and sometimes to hold a piece I am working on on.
They are clean and functional mow...but they weren't always that way.
I found them at a secondhand store and they were covered with lace, ribbons and pearls...very Victorian...which might have been fine if that was the style of jewelry I made. But it's not.
I liked the shape and the price was right so I decided to get them and try and make them work. They have great sturdy wood bases.
I removed all of the fabric and trim and was left was a really cool, smooth form. Then I covered them myself with some stretchy fabric and hot glue.
Voila'...new display busts.
Don't let the first impression turn you off...try and think what you might be able to remove or even add to make the item work for you!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
So there is no difference with faux flowers and natural materials.
I see things I like and I stock up.
Nowadays there is such a huge selection of beautiful, life-like natural items...flowers, twigs, leaves, etc...
I am like a kid in a candy store.
I like to find unusual uses for them...sometimes I take the flowers apart and use the petals on their own...layered, they can look like fish scales for a whimsical mermaid sculpture...or can be a great base for photographing small items like jewelry.
If you buy off season they can be very affordable too.
I try and go in with an open mind...not looking for anything too specific and just see what I find. It's like a surprise!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
One of our all time favorite restaurants is in the North End of Boston...
and believe it or not it is not Italian!
It is a raw and living foods restaurant called Grezzo owned by Alissa Cohen, Raw Foods Chef and Teacher.
Anyway, above is a shining example of the artful trickery...it looks like a beautiful piece of grilled salmon...but I don't like fish and I loved this.
What do you think it is?
It is papaya...and it's not grilled, in fact it isn't cooked at all!
It was yummy...as is everything there.
They have a "taster menu"...which lets you try many items...fun to get with a friend and share!
Visit their website and read about their mission and see the weekly menus.
Be sure to check out the desserts!
My mouth is watering...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We love to make our teacher gifts. These are from last year.
My dad is a singer, so we gave copies of his holiday CD to everyone with handmade CD case covers. Above are all of the different covers my son (Logan) made.
We have a small, intimate school, so we make gifts for all of the teachers...not just his.
He came up with the ideas, specific to each teacher and I helped him with some of the shapes. We used scraps of colorful paper left over from other projects.
He layered the simple shapes to create one-of-a-kind collages that we popped into the cases.
I thought they were so sweet and ultra personal.
I also like that he sees the value in creating something with his hands and mind.
A good life lesson, I think.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The colors, the shape, the detail...dramatic with no help from me.
We were on our way back from Canada and happened to stop at a State Park restroom...and there it was. What a treat. A natural work of art.
Something that could definitely be inspiration for other creative pursuits...jewelry, fabric patterns, painting...you just never know where a muse will appear!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We love to make smoothies!
Thick creamy ones...light fruity ones..."green" ones...we love them all.
They are super easy to make and I find it is an excellent way to get more veggies and greens in my kids...with less fight.
One thing I like to do is make a little extra and freeze some. It's nice to have a frozen treat for later!
The smoothie above is made with frozen bananas and tahini. It is thick and sweet. I stir in some vegan chocolate chips just before freezing for some added texture.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
When we can, we love to give handmade gifts to my son's teachers...who also happen to be my co-workers.
This year we decided to make edible gifts.
I really enjoy sharing our healthy treats...people NEVER know they have no wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, or refined sugars. They always think they are splurging and don't believe that our goodies are really healthy.
These were apple spice, pan bars...from a mix we use regularly. Really easy and soooo good!
Then my son, Logan went to work on the one-of-a-kind, handmade tags. He used materials and scraps we had saved from other projects.
At a national art and craft store, we found these sweet, little, ceramic loaf pans that said "Peace" for $1 each...they were perfect and we were able to bake right in them. They will also be able to be reused and won't contribute to more holiday waste!
We slipped the cooled loaf pans into plastic bags we found in the cake decorating isle and tied them with curling ribbon.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I called them "Treasure Chests".
They were filled an assortment of coordinated vintage beads and findings in two collections...one with a larger selection of materials suited for necklaces and bracelets and one with a smaller amount of materials, perfect for earrings.
They were really fun to make up...all while thinking about what someone might do with them...hoping they would be inspired. I also hoped that they would combine my items with some of their existing materials.
I really enjoyed being able to share some of my surplus supplies.
I think I may have some kits left...who knows, they may end up on Etsy someday soon!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I don't like the way they taste or smell.
In fact, it is sort of a standard statement from me when ordering in a restaurant ..."no onions or peppers, please"...just automatically.
So you can imagine my utter surprise when I fell completely in love with a recipe that has peppers as one of it's main ingredients!
I actually like it so much I took a break halfway through writing this blog post to go whip up a batch...can you say compulsive? It was worth it...and it was only my second time making it so I guess it was important to confirm that I did indeed love it and that it wasn't some initial fluke.
I can definitely say...I love it.
I stumbled upon the recipe online, a few nights ago. It intrigued me because I haven't been able to eat dairy products for almost a year due to newly discovered, mild food allergies.
It is called "Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce" and you would NEVER, EVER know that it has no dairy and is actually a raw-vegan recipe.
We dipped chips in it, poured it over rice and my son had it with chicken...at different meals. He actually packed it in his lunch himself!
The wonderful creator of this recipe is Kristen Suzanne, a Raw vegan chef, author and teacher. You can visit her website for more information. http://kristensraw.blogspot.com/
Check out her books too...amazing, live, healthy, positive ideas!
And please let me know what you think about this...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
What could be better than that?!
This is my son's color caddy...inspiring...accessible...colorful!
I like that he can always find his tools on his own as I think that it opens up the path to spontaneous creating.
It is functional and it's fun to look at...and I made it for him.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I didn't go to school to study nutrition
I am not a scientist
and I am not a doctor
I am your sister, mother, neighbor, friend, co-worker, girlfriend, wife...
So the information I share is from my experiences. It is not intended to be used as medical fact. What works for me, might be lethal for you.
What I have done on my journey is gather information that interested me and then followed my own path. I have experimented and studied, asked questions and consulted my own doctors. I am happy to share some of my findings, thoughts, feelings and tips...
Please take what you need and leave the rest...
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Artwork from El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert, California.
Striking, I think...love the repeated shape of the sculptures and the muted, desert colors.
I am also fond of the texture...almost like they are hand sculpted in clay. Makes you want to touch them.
This always catches my eye and I thought I would share it.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Got a big "thumbs up"!
I think this is a great recipe to start out with...tastes amazing and begins introducing you to the wonderful world of "raw foods". I can't remember which book some of this came out of..so I apologize that I can't give an accurate reference.
* 2 cups pecans (or any nuts you like)
* 2 cups dates pitted and soaked in water for 5-10 min.
* 2/3 cup raw cacao powder (available at Whole Foods or health foods stores)
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* pinch of sea salt
Blend dates in a food processor or high speed blender till a paste.
Separately grind nuts in a blender or chopper. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with your hands and press in a glass pan. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set up.
When set, cut into squares, remove from pan and place on a platter, top with the frosting below and drizzle with the chocolate syrup below.
The chocolate syrup turns into a shell when refrigerated! yum
“Pamela’s Products” Vanilla Frosting Mix (available at natural food stores or Whole Foods)
I use Earth Balance in place of the butter to eliminate the dairy.
Just follow the package directions.
½ cup Raw Cacao Powder (available at Whole Foods or health foods stores)
¼ cup Coconut Oil
¼ cup Agave syrup
mix by hand in a small bowl till smooth
* great on any dessert!
* Note: I did non create these individual recipes but I did combine them to make these yummy treats.
Friday, December 11, 2009
We have been lucky enough to see him with several visits and just came back from our last before he is home for good.
We shared an amazing European vacation including a cruise. We traveled for two weeks...Switzerland, Barcelona, Tunisia, Malta, Sicily, Rome, Genoa and Marseilles...
What a treat.
Now the countdown begins till Steve comes home for good.
We made our last calendar...and have already checked off almost two weeks!
Oh...and Happy Chanukkah!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Yea, I know it sounds weird...fruit and veggies...exciting?
I have always had an odd relationship with food...which I am sure I will write more about in the future...But, I never really had the same excitement as most people over food...unless it was something unhealthy and in big quantities...like desserts or cheese.
Over the last 7 years my relationship with food has changed and evolved into something that seems more closely aligned with my true self. This journey is something I feel I want to start sharing here in hopes of helping or inspiring others to listen to their bodies and to find their right life path.
For me and my family it has been small steps, simple changes and lots of fun and learning.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
All kinds of fabric.
I especially like this piece of fabric.
It was from a bolt I found several years ago at the fabric store and I thought the painted design was so pretty I had to buy it. It spoke to me. I didn't know what I was going to do with it but I got it anyway.
It is sheer and the design is big so that limited a bit what I could make with it. I thought about adding it to a duvet cover but that didn't feel right.
So I decided to hang it from a decorative curtain rod like a piece of art. It is in our bedroom and I think the colorful design really stands out against our cream walls. It also looks a little like I could have painted it.
I attached a strip of black and while plaid ribbon across the top for stability and then sewed sheer red ribbon pieces, embellished with a variety of vintage buttons.
Tied to the rod it became a unique, affordable piece of art.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
I found it helps to attach a section of a dressmakers tape to the front edge of your work table.
I just used decorative upholstery tacks to pin it up. Now when I need to measure the length of a jewelry piece I am working on, I can just hold it up to that.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Always more drawn to metals and stone.
But as I grow older I have come to appreciate the natural beauty of wood and the art of carving.
This section is from a set of beautiful antique captain's chairs that my parents gave us.
The carving is so thick and textural...almost makes me want to take up carving myself!
I love the placement of the flowers...how they look natural facing both directions.
The scrolls are fluid and romantic.
Plus they have such personal meaning...being a gift from my parents.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
...and it is at those times I think I can take a sharp picture, up close, by holding my breath and willing myself not to move the camera.
Truth is...I can't.
It is next to impossible to not move even a little bit when you snap a picture. Normally it doesn't matter for everyday pictures but for pictures where you are on your macro setting or need detail up close it is always wise to use a tripod AND set your camera timer.
Anyway, just a tip for better pictures...speaking from experience.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
It's been hanging on my laundry room door and I have been resistant to store it.
Seeing that it is November and I live in New England, I think it is safe to say there are no more beach days left this year.
I snapped this photo because I thought the angles of the bag looked cool and I liked the tones of white and gray. An everyday item but it looked artistic to me.
So long...until next year!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Not expensive or big...but small art made by locals.
This was a little pin made from driftwood that we purchased from an artist on a special trip to Aruba.
When I got home I framed it with the artist's tag intact...I just thought the tiny handwritten tag was so cute!
The shadow box gave it importance on our wall.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This is just a reminder to keep you mind and eyes open for unexpected inspiration...even if people look at you like you are crazy for taking pictures of unusual items!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Take this little guy. Not something you would want on every cabinet...but with a single one on a lone cabinet it is just the right fit. A special accent...and one that makes me smile.
The other point to make is often artisan accessories like this can be cost prohibitive so only having to buy one or two isn't so painful!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This was a project my son and I did for my husband one Father's Day many years ago.
I used the sole of one of his shoes to make the black impression and then did Logan's (then) little foot to print on top...once the black was dry.
I loved how it shows the difference in size at the time.
I wrote around the images...
"Daddy, I have big shoes to fill..."
Matted and framed, it is a treasure.
It makes me happy everytime I see it hanging on the wall outside of our home office/studio.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
When I took this picture I had just cleaned and organized it and had incorporated my PMC (Metal Clay) tools...as you can see from the mug warmers and playing cards.
I find that every so often, I need to overhaul my surroundings. Clean, rework, edit.
My work table is actually a little different right now and moved up against a wall. A lot of the same components but more refined in how they are arranged.
Just because you have something set up a certain way now doesn't mean you have to keep it that way. Try to add new containers, trays, and even regular household items like a lazy Susan...like the one above under the round tray.
I keep a small space in a storage area to hold on to items I really find useful. That way if I decided to switch them out I can work them back in at a later date. It doesn't feel so final that way. I have a hard time getting rid of things.
(but that is a topic for a whole other blog post!)
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
They were in separate places and I thought it would be interesting to show the progression together.
I wish I knew where my original sketches are...that would have been cool to see with this.
Now that I thing of it, I actually think they may be in a very early post on here.
Found it... http://creativepotentialblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/birth-of-custom-jewelry-design-giraffe.html
Anyway, this design for a client went like this....
* I did a series of quick, ink sketches inspired by my client wanting a giraffe logo.
* Then I passed my sketches on to my friend who is a designer that was going to create a website and "brand" for this client.
* She played with my sketches and sent a logo idea back to me.
* Then I created this card stock template from that design.
* I used the template to make a couple of charms in Metal Clay to show my client.
* Once it was approved, I sculpted the charm in clay to give to my pewter casting guy.
* He used my mold to create a cast and made multiple charms in lead-free pewter.
* Then I had the charms gold and silver plated.
* Once done I added the split rings and the charms were attached to either a key ring or stick pin.
* They were packaged with a custom designed display card and slipped into a protective sleeve.
So, there you have it...from start to finish!