Friday, April 29, 2011

Charm Necklaces

Usually around the winter, since my garage is not heated like in Alaska, I take a break from making glass and jewelry all together and try to spend time on other projects and art works or take classes online. This year I was unfortunately a bit unmotivated due to my lampwork artist being gone. He left me a couple sets to work with but it just didn't seem the same to finish it and not be able to share it with him. I dragged my laptop and table out of my art room into my room so I can hear the skype calls at 1am and put another table in there just to keep up with my other projects. My bead table, I left as is.

As March rolled around and I was busy with a painting class and visual journaling, I really wanted to finally make my charm necklaces. But I always found a way to put it to the side. Then the news of my Mother in law passing came and the the anxiety and nervousness of my husband making an emergency trip out of Afghanistan cost nights of no sleep. Well I couldn't really paint, well I could, but then I would be cleaning up a mess every 2am so I thought well I can quietly sit in my room and bead.

Since I make my own jewelry. I usually do not buy jewelry, but I could not pass up a sale in American Eagle of these long necklaces that mimic the charm necklaces I wanted to make. So I bought two of them with the chains I wanted and some pieces in the charms that I liked. I took it home, took it apart and then added my own flair to it. So I cannot really claim the whole necklace as mine since I didn't make the chain and some of the components but I did make it to a point that most of it was mine and that the pieces I incorporated into it meant so much to me.

So here they are:

My first one with charms of thing that remind me of what life is all about for me.

The elements that I incorporated were: The love life pendant, brass leaf, and antique key. The rest were already a part of the necklace.

This is the second necklace:

The elements that I incorporated in this necklace were: The Green Girls Studio pendant of strength with Swarovski crystals,Bo's organic blue glass bead with a sterling seahorse, sterling key, rock, coral beads, and my hand made imprinted dragonfly wing and sterling hoop from metalsmithing class in UAF. The only thing not mine is the chain.

I love how long the chains are and how they dangle and clink. Not a necklace you can wear ALL the time but I feel as if a part of how I express myself is always with me. :)You see all the nature elements and the sea that I long for and my keys. :)

It felt good to put my energy into creating with my hands rather than stressing as my husband made his travel home and all the other anxiety and worry that came with our news. This is when I realized how deeply my creations do affect me and how it will always be a part of my life. No more pushing it to the side because of how others view it as not "being a job". I worked enough my whole life from 11yrs old on. Now as I am given the opportunity to finally tap into what my passion really is and to take the time to raise my boys I will do so with my head up high and knowing that I love life more now, once I have finally dropped others expectations of what my life should be like.

Creating those pieces then gave me even more inspiration to start back up with my jewelry. I probably need to anyway and rotate out my jewelry from Woodland Gallery out for new ones. This summer will be busy for us so I am not sure if I will be doing any art shows or bazaars. We will see maybe an opportunity will pop up that I cannot pass up.

Before heading out of Biloxi, MS when we went down for the funeral, we had to pass by the Bead Shack in Gulfport. My brother in law told us of the place and how the owner makes her own lampwork beads too. So of course Bo had to check it out. :) Her beads are beautiful but larger. Bo likes the simplicity of our beads that look closer to rocks and organic to nature and ours are still different so he was satisfied that our beads are still ours in design. :)But of course I could not leave without some goodies. :)So I picked up some silver components and a beautiful string of blue gemstone beads. I have not made anything with it yet but I am itching to so hopefully I can make myself a Mother's day gift soon. :)

I know time will be ticking but we found out that my husband will not be coming home around the time frame we thought he would be headed back. So once again it is a waiting game for the date. I try to keep my spirits up with being busy with the boys and their activities and my online classes. I am also blessed to have such a supportive group of friends online and here in Kentucky that make sure we are doing okay. Thank you for your friendship. It is greatly appreciated by our whole family.

Well it looks like the sun is finally trying to come out and our half mowed lawn looks really awful now. But Bo kept on telling me to wait until the ground is dry or else I will tear the yard up. So hopefully it does dry so I can finally finish it up and tidy it sometime this weekend.

Have a great to a track meet I go this afternoon. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain, rain, Go Away!

Wow we have been bombarded a whole week now with severe weather. Night after night of rushing the kids and the dog (who also gets anxious) down to the basement as our tornado sirens go off. This Alaskan girl is not used to being freaked out by the weather like that. LOL! Last night was about the scariest for us when we found out a funnel cloud was spotted not too far from where we live and we watched the wall cloud and the rotation in it come through our back yard and made everything eerie, quiet, and dark until it unleashed its energy. SCARY! As I write this the wind is still kicking outside. We have had so much rain that the other half of our neighborhood is flooded and we have to find a different route to school. Yes you heard right the kids are still going to school and yet if an inch of snow falls they close it. We were on an hour delay today and they pushed testing for tomorrow. The boys have state testing this week then their AP exams next week.

No we do not have a creek out back, that is because of how much rain we have had. As you can see it pouring down.

Poor Kaiah all she wants to do is go play and she can't. The backyard is soaked, the mat she lays on is soaked and there is no sunshine for her to sunbathe in. :(

The rainy days though call for being at home. I do run my errands but I prioritize what is important, like picking up the kids. But if I really do not have to be out in it, I will not be, mostly after a scare of it coming down where you couldn't see in front of you to drive right and I was still far away from where the boys were. It can be depressing with no sun. You all know me, I love my sunshine. But I have put my energy into my arts. I really love the 21 Secrets workshop I am part of and I try to pace myself on what workshops to do first and try to finish projects before I start another but that isn't working too well. Laughing...I want to try all the different techniques that I have multiple projects going at once. LOL! But that is a good thing right? :)

Here are more Silent Messages Workshop projects made with paperclay. In these pictures they were just made and so I had them sitting out to dry.

I love how some of the textures came out.

I experimented with putting it on canvas.

I cannot wait to paint and finish these pieces. Other than that I am working on other projects for the different workshops and just joined "Drawing Happy" and "Collage Paint and Soul".

I am so happy to be learning and creating. It puts me in such a positive mood no matter what challenges have risen throughout this deployment. Thank you to the artists and instructors who has given this opportunity to me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

21 Secrets projects

I am very thankful that we have artists that are so passionate of their craft that they cannot wait to share with the world. Living in the area that I do, I do not have much interaction with artists. Most of the workshops or classes would have to be a commute, and so with my hectic schedule with the boys and my hubby gone, I tend to immerse myself in books and magazines to inspire and motivate me to create. But lately I have taken online workshops where I have met others that share the same interests and also have learned different techniques without having to be in a traditional classroom.

My Get Your Paint on Workshop kicked off my hunger to learn and now I am part of 21 Secrets. I love how we have 21 artists sharing their secrets and teaching us different techniques and at the same time giving us the motivation to create and the confidence to be brave and just be ourselves. The way the workshops are set up you can have discussions and share your work and I think that is so valuable to have. So thank you Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio for your hard work in getting these classes going and to my fellow artist friend Rachel Whetzel for introducing the site to me. If you are interested please check it out. The classes are at your pace and lasts until August. So with that said let me share some of my work. :)

Playing with Patterns by Debra Cooper

These are patterned papers handmade with stamps and paint that will be a part of a handmade journal. Right now I am experimenting with different stamps and effects.

Silent Messages Workshop Rachel Whetzel

The beginning progression of my project with paperclay.

Abstract Adventures with Connie Hozvicka

My first Fearless painting. Painting with intuition and concentrating on the process and not the end result. It was a very fun and freeing experience and it felt so good to paint with no obligation to anything but my heart and soul. :)

And yes I recycle so these are some of the paper towels used to clean my brushes. They are being dried so I can use them in my journals and collages. I like how it looks dyed. :)

As you can see I have been busy in a happy way. :) Sorry it took so long to write this.
As of today I learned in wet nasty clay and grass to mow the lawn(this is Bo's realm not mine so I felt like a dummy). We have about an acre or so of land and with all our storms its made the grass and weeds grow out of control that they were taller than my ankles! So Nick did half of our front since we are on a slope and we kept on getting stuck in the mud, and I finally finished the back. It doesn't look as pretty as when Bo does it due to wet grass but I had to do while it wasn't raining since our forecast is to rain all week again! Well I just got done sweeping when the sirens for a tornado warning went off. Great! I am so tired of these storms.

I hope the sun will come out soon and dry up our yard so we can do the side of the house before it becomes a jungle of weeds. :(

I want to take a moment to say Happy Easter to everyone and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

21 Secrets

Been busy with a new workshop. :) If you want to know more about it here is the link

Will tell you more about it soon. I have been busy with the boys wrestling banquet, Nick's track meets and so forth and dodging all these horrid weather coming our way with storms that had us in our basement until 3am this morning. :(

I am sorry to have been gone from here. I think I needed to recoup after Bo left and our trip to MS. But will be back tonight to blog. So be watching out for my new entries. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another Goodbye....

Goodbye again my love....

Sorry I have not been around. I do check everyone's stuff just have not really been into blogging with all that has just hit our family these last weeks. We did try our hardest to spend every waking moment with Bo before his return to Afghanistan. Which brings about this blog.

Yes he left today. :( We drove to the airport and I held my composure as much as I could until our last hugs. Then had to straighten back up because I still had to drive out of Louisville and it was a busy Sunday on the interstates and highways. Thankfully the boys are old enough to help guide me through with the signs, so I didn't get lost. We got back into town even faster than when we left headed to the airport, but now I know what I did wrong that got me lost when we picked him up and this time I will be in a hurry to head there when he comes home for good. He has a long flight back, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers that he makes it back to his camp safely.

Here are today's pictures:

Right before the tears started flowing...

There was happy and creative moments while he was here. He always puts that fire and energy in me. I will share those soon. For now I have to get back into a routine. The boys go back to school tomorrow, this week was spring break but we took them out a week early due to the funeral so they have a lot of catching up to do and so do I. Hopefully with all the events before the end of the year the time will go by much more quickly than the first time Bo left.

0n a good note, it was a beautiful 86 degrees here today. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Peace

We are finally home. It was a long week. The up and down roller coaster ride of emotions getting my husband home from Afghanistan to a trip down to the Gulf Coast for his Mom's funeral. Everything worked out right and her service was beautiful but it still seems so surreal to me.

I find solace and calm in the sea, and thankfully our hotel was off the I-90 with a view of Biloxi Beach. Waking up in the morning and drinking my cup of coffee while staring off into the water put me at ease before tackling the day. It was gloomy that day which went with all our emotions.

I know Mom is at peace now and we left an angel at her site to watch over her. This Mother's day will be different and so will all the other holidays. I am not sure if I have mourned properly yet, I just feel like I am still in a daze. The excitement mixed with sadness in welcoming my husband home to seeing family on the coast we have not seen in years. Sad that everyone finally gets together on such an occasion. We should have always been together like this when she was alive. Then this week I will once again have to say goodbye to my husband for his return to Afghanistan.

The events this year that we have encountered has tested not only our strength but our love and our dedication to those we cherish and to ourselves. I hope that through these moments there is growth and acceptance that will make us stronger for the future. None of us ever thought we would be saying goodbye to a parent this soon. I know it shook us all but hopefully we can carry on what she would have been happy to see us accomplish.

We love you dearly Mom and even though we were not ready to say goodbye, I hope that you are surrounded by angels and are finally pain free and in peace.