Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Recent Creations

I've been creating jewelry for about 6 years now and my techniques and style have changed a lot since then.  Even my reasons for making jewelry have changed.  I used to have a shop with Etsy, but quickly realized that I much preferred to sell face to face, and almost always locally.  It is mainly for myself and my need to create, but also for the social aspect that I keep it up.  I've tried many different mediums and forms of art over the years, but this thing I have with wire keeps me coming back for more, and I just want to keep exploring and learning what it can do.  Here are four of my recent creations.
A nice big lava stone dressed up in copper and gunmetal colored wire.  A bit of a statement pendant.

I love hammering copper wire.  I get all my heavy gauge stuff from stripping electrical wire.  Far less
expensive than getting it from a craft store or jewelry supplier.

Coiling the fine gauge around a heavier gauge wire is something I've become quite good at, but my
fingers sure do get sore, so I don't do much of it in a day.

I created this little number with the help of a tutorial in a book I picked up.  I usually really hate following
patterns, but I learned so much about technique here that it was well worth it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumns Colors

Here are a few photos I had fun gathering a couple of days ago.  It all started with that mushroom, and since I already had the camera outside, I thought that I may as well take a stroll with it.
This is a Shaggy Mane that has almost reached the end of it's life.  It comes
out of the ground as a tight, white dome, and that is when it is good for
eating.  Then it quickly unfurls and it will only look like this for another
few hours before it's top flips up, blackening it completely. 
A pretty little feathery foxtail made for a nice contrast against the grass.
Our wild roses are the only thing that add a bit of red to our wild landscape.
Looking outside, I can't believe how many leaves have fallen since I took this photo 2 days ago.
A view from our yard into my neighbors hay field.  Bear and I walk there sometimes.  It is nice, because I don't have
to leash him there and it adds 1/2 mile one way.
A close-up of the beautiful texture on the Mrs. Wrinkles pumpkins I grew this year.  Nothing but
love for these beauties.  I hope they will carve well.
The sign was painted by me and the idea came from a recent issue of Country
Sampler magazine.  I just love the way my crow turned out.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Beauiful Day Off

It is the perfect day to get a lot of fall yard work done.  It is also the perfect day to do many other things.  Things that I don't often take the time to do. Go for an early morning stroll with my kids. Wander around the yard gathering interesting seed heads for an arrangement.  Read a book on the sunny deck with a coffee.  Finish up a cute pumpkin experiment which involved roaming around in the trees in the backyard looking for the perfect 'stem'.  Take lunch out to the wheat field and picnic with my husband on the back of the truck. I even snuck in a nap shortly after lunch which truly made it feel like my much needed day of rest.
With an old black and white enamel bucket, my daughter and I wandered around
the yard and picked anything that caught our eye.  I just love how it turned out.
It sure brought a lot of texture to my front porch!
These sunflowers that resemble 'Big Bird's" feathers are blooming in my daughter's garden right now.
Most of the sunflowers are done, but these are just getting started.  What a great and unexpected
finish to the flower beds!!!
This photo is not only to show you the impressive size, but also the gardener
who grew it and was generous enough to let me cut it and bring it in.
I just can't stop taking photos of this beautiful flower!  Here it is on my dining
table with a centerpiece using an old cabbage shredder as a base.
Here is a close up of the pumpkin I made out of old jeans.  I just cut the bottom 8 inches or so off, cinched
the bottom up, then stuffed it with bits of leftover material,  and cinched up the top.  Then I tied yarn
around to create the indentations and painted it with an outdoor latex paint.  Went hunting for the stem
this morning and made the tendrils with a bit of wire and some floral tape. I hot glued those bits on and stood
back to admire my handiwork.  I really love how it turned out, and it really suits my 'on the primitive side' décor.

I loved the way our little gecko 'Chocolate' was peeking over her stone this past evening.  Doesn't she
look saucy?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Quiet Stroll

It is very quiet outside today.  After yesterday's rain, the farm equipment is all parked, so there is little to no traffic.  The wind completely died back today, and there is hardly a breeze to rustle the leaves.  There is just myself, the dog and the birds, and even we aren't making our usual ruckus.  Everyone is enjoying the peaceful quiet of the day. 
This web made by a funnel spider collected the rain drops beautifully.

I'm not sure what type of birds these are, but they are usually very chatty.  Not today.  You  wouldn't
even know they were there if you didn't look up.

Bear usually gets pretty excited when I go out for a walk, and runs laps around me. 
But today he just sauntered along not too far from me, the entire time.

All the pumpkins have been harvested and are awaiting a few days of sunshine so they
can ripen up.

Leaves are starting to turn, and fall to the ground. 

The hops are covered in their blooms.  It is unbelievable how much they grow every season.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sunflowers and Bumblebees

We spent some time cleaning off the gardens today, but not everything is at its end.  These tall sunflowers are just getting started!  The blooms are huge, and they stand out so well against a blue sky.  The bumblebee flew by just in time.  What luck!

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Pretty Table Topper

Over the years, I've always admired any fall display with cotton in it.  I've seen it worked into wreaths, put into vases, and used as a bowl filler.  But alas, I do not have access to cotton plants.  What I do have though, are thistles and plenty of them. 
I'm not sure why it took me this long to figure out that they have a similar looking texture to cotton, but yesterday it struck me.  Unfortunately, the little seed heads are too delicate to work into a wreath, but they stay put in a vase. 
I used a few dead branches from an old caragana shrub, (I like the texture) to give the arrangement a focal point.  Then, I just went around snipping the seed heads into the vase, and Voila!, I've brought some of the Autumn beauty into my home.
I noticed a few other interesting seed heads forming out there.  I will have to start carrying my snippers around with me on all my strolls.
They look so pretty in the morning with the frost and dew on them.

The flowers and their follow-up fluff line fences around the acreage.

I thought it made for an interesting
addition to this corner display.

A close-up.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Autumn Days

I'm having a wonderful day.  The kids woke up happy and trotted off to school; the husband left for the field to get back into the harvest after the rain on the weekend and it froze again last night, thus truly putting an end to the majority of my gardens and answering the question of what I should I clean up next.

Yes, frost is a good thing, as I will get all my yard work done easily now before the snow flies.  Also, I noticed on my last 2 strolls around the country side that the mosquito population has significantly dropped, so now building a campfire is a much more welcomed thought.

The fall décor is out, the pumpkins are off the vine and the kids are talking about their Halloween costumes; I so love this time of year.  Oh, and I didn't mention that I had fresh bread for breakfast and a quiet cup of tea, (London Fog, my favorite).  Not a bad way to start the day at all.

Now maybe I should throw in a few photos, just for something pretty to look at and something to browse through over the winter and inspire for me for the upcoming Spring.

The marigolds just won't quit!  I can not believe how long the blooms are lasting, nor how huge the
plants are.

Hundreds of zinnias adorn my yard.  In the formal flower bed, in the vegetable garden and
even in planters.  They are fun and easy to grow.  They also make the most
fabulous bouquets!

Picking some gourds to add to my fall display both inside and out.

Let the fall decorating begin!

A close up of a striking orange zinnia bloom near the garden fence.