Monday, December 31, 2012

Home for the Holidays

 There is nothing like a ton of snow and being surrounded by family on the holidays.


Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Birds

Thank you everyone for visiting during the 2012 Challenge of Color: Earth as Art blog hop!!!

The last several weeks it has felt like a Hitchcock thriller in my neighborhood. (We must be in a migration path.)

The Birds

Friday, November 30, 2012

Earth as Art

Welcome to the Challenge of Color 2012 Blog Hop!

The Challenge

Hosted by Erin of Treasures Found in collaboration with Brandi of Brandy Girl Blog. The pictures Erin chose are from satellite photos of various places on the earth. Please go to Erin's wonderful post explaining these images. Brandi then created color palettes for each image. Participants were given two of the images/palettes to use as inspiration to create a piece of jewelry.

Of course, I did not start the project until the 11th hour. Fortunately, it wasn't from just pure procrastination. I also had to take an unexpected flight to see my family. This threw my schedule way off. It did, however, give me a chance to let my ideas percolate. Due to time issues I only used one of the palettes.

The Inspiration

Pinacate Volcano Field
  December 5, 2002
  • The pockmarked terrain of Pinacate National Park in Mexico's Sonora Province is evidence of a violent past. Among hundreds of volcanic vents and cinder cones are rare maar craters, formed when rising magma met underground water to create pockets of steam that blew nearly circular holes in the overlying crust.
Amazing isn't it! There was something about these colors that completely drew me in. The other image had colors that were more in my comfort zone, but I really wanted to challenge myself. I also chose to use only what I could find in my stash to create. This meant absolutely no purchasing of anything new ~ those of you that know me know how hard this is for me. I had to get really creative to get the yellow colors into my design. I didn't have one yellow bead. ~ Originally I had plans to get the torch fired up and create something out of glass. Alas, this did not come to pass. ~ I also have a very limited supply of yellow metals ~ brass and gold. I did however have an abundance of ammo casings. (Thanks to my trip this month!)

The Result

The components I used, listed in the same color order as the palette:

      *brass bullet casings
              ~ for the end caps and disks
              ~ I cut some casings up and punched the resulting
                 miniature sheets into tiny disks.
      *gold chain
      *lava beads
             ~seemed very fitting due to the location of the satellite
             ~my 5 yr old son actually picked these out for himself
               last month when I dragged him along to the store...
               What luck!
      *amethyst beads
            ~ for a pop of color and contrast at the
               top not an exact match but it was close ;)
      *sterling silver with a LOS patina




  Please leave a comment telling me what you think!

Thanks for visiting!

~Michelle :)

Here are links to all of the challenge participants. 
Happy hopping!

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker ---> you are here!
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Join me!

It's not to have until the end of the day to sign up and join me on this challenge.

something new

The month of November has become a month for me to make changes in my life. Forget waiting until January...there's no time like the present!

*I've hired a personal trainer to help me get back into shape and get me through the holiday season of comfort food and indoor inactivity.

*I seem to be having a hard time committing to keeping this blog updated. As a way to improve the situation I've decided to participate in a blog hop. (Details to follow.) This is way out of my comfort zone ~ I'm a bit nervous...even as I write this I want to delete this post and quit to a different room.

Alchemy96px Oh, and I'm in the process of completing another class by the wonderful and extremely talented Deryn Mentock.

The Alchemy of Objects


Purple Irises
Design Challenge 1: Symmetrical Balance

I started with one of my pics of my favorite flowers and pulled from that a color palette.


As an added challenge I wanted to use items that I already have ~ no trips to the bead store or anywhere else.  Using the color palette as inspiration I pulled items in that color range. I also decided to use something new ~ steel wire! I love the color and the fact that it will bring down the final cost if I decide to sell this piece.

In the final design I used one of my own flameworked focals and spacer beads, gray faceted pearls, amethyst beads, copper chain and steal wire. For more pics check out my Flickr photostream.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Coast to Coast

This move was our longest one to date. We left beautiful, temperate, San Diego and relocated to beautiful, not-so-temperate Virginia Beach. Being that this was also an end to an extremely long separation (military) from my husband, we turned the move into a family vacation/road trip. 

Amazingly the majority of the photos were taken using Hipstamatic on my iPhone. 

how in the world did i accumulate so much stuff?
saying "goodbye" to the pacific ocean
helicopter tour of the grand canyon

sight seeing at meteor crater
"the meteor made a BIG BIG hole"
camping in dinosaur park, texas

riding a pony at a rodeo in austin
saying "hello" to the atlantic ocean

Saturday, June 16, 2012

update...of sorts

Wow, where do I begin? Chronologically, or most recent? Or should I just focus on the now? Maybe I'll stay true to life and update in a completely unorganized fashion...

The Art of Closure was amazing! The class has given me tons of ideas for new closures for my jewelry. Deryn Mentock is truly a talented teacher and the fact that her on-line classes reflect this is a true accomplishment! I would highly recommend her to any and all interested in jewelry design. Amazingly, despite our move across country, I was able to find the time to complete the course. Here are some examples of my work from the class~ 

*everything was done using either copper or bronze keep the cost down as I'm keeping these for reference and won't be using them in jewelry.*

Deryn is currently offering a class that I've been wanting to take since I first laid eyes on her amazing jewelry~Boho Bliss, Hoops! (Yes, I'm taking this one also!) If you have the time and inclination join me!

Well, that's about all for today...I have a ton of things I want to accomplish while my dh has my biggest distraction, aka our son, out of the house. Later this week I'll finish the update with the following:

*our move across country w/ pics!
*pics of my new studio set-up
*before and after shots of our new/old furniture

of course the above is not necessarily the order in which each subject will be posted about ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

chaos ensues

Can I tell you how much I dislike moving? I'm a huge procrastinator and those bad habits have bit me in the rear again. In fact I'm procrastinating right now...instead of actually getting at least one of the millions of things checked off my list of things to do, I'm writing on my blog! I have till Thursday to get things organized for the movers that come on Friday. My house is completely turned upside down. Caleb returned home from Afghanistan last week, YEAH!!! So we are getting reacquainted and moving all at the same time. We are also in the process of finding someone to ship one of our vehicles across country. I really hope the stress of dealing with these brokers is worth it.

To add to this chaos I've signed up for a class! Yes, you heard me right. I'm going to be taking Deryn Mentock's on-line course "The Art of Closure." The class start's on April 1st. The same day we arrive in Virginia Beach. The same day we are supposed to start hunting for a house to rent. (We'll be staying in a vacation rental for the month.) My brilliant thinking is that I'll need something to do that's creative during this time as a sort of escape from reality. I hope I can make it work because the class looks like a lot of fun!

Ok, that's enough procrastinating... ;)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spring has sprung...

Remember those beads from my last post? Well here they are in all there finished glory. This turned out to be such a fun, light-hearted spring bracelet. It is going to someone who is living in a climate a little less sunny then the one I'm currently in. I wanted to send some spring in at least one form.

I know I should be packing up my studio for our move but I can't seem to do it. I have so many projects running through my head at the moment. I started to pack up and then stopped. This means that I have boxes and half-packed stuff lying everywhere. Which makes it hard to get anything done because I'm literally crawling over boxes to get to things. Oh well, at least I should be able to get some more pics posted before our move!

Monday, February 13, 2012

the best intentions...put off again

Eventually I'll get the hang of this "regular blog updating" thing. Again, a lot has happened since my last post, life has a way of filling up when you aren't looking.

So far the year is full of turning points. I just turned 39. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Part of me feels like I should have had a lot more accomplished before now. But then I look back on my life and realize that I have done and experienced more then a lot of people. I've lived in numerous states and have traveled the world. However, my job descriptions will better give you a snapshot of my life so far: babysitter, fast food, Disney World, occasional shop-worker in my dad's wood shop, cocktail waitress, bartender, US Navy as an electronic warfare tech, college student in fine art, numerous retail positions, volunteer, flame-worker and jewelry designer and, most importantly, wife/officer's spouse and mommy. 

I guess I'm right were I should be in my life :)

My next turning point is a little more tangible. We are moving in a month from lovely San Diego to Virginia Beach! I'm excited for the change of pace but I hate the actual act of moving. Plus I'm horrible at saying goodbye. We've had a great time in San Diego and have made some lifelong friends.

Our landlord has been nothing but a miracle. She has been a true friend who I'm going to miss an incredible amount. We were extremely fortunate to stumble onto her property while house hunting. Opting to rent was the best decision we could have made. Even though I'm looking forward to a bigger house in Virginia, nothing is going to compare to having her as a neighbor.

I'm also really going to miss my fellow flame-workers led by the wonderful and extremely talented Heather Trimlett. Since I've been in San Diego I've been a regular attendee of her intermediate classes. She has a wealth of knowledge and it has been a privilege to be able to pick her brain the last 3 years. If you are ever in the area and are interested in flame-working please take the time to take one of her classes. You won't regret it!!! She also sells some fabulous tools and tutorials. Heather's beads are pure eye-candy with their bright contrasting colors and extreme precision.

Heather Trimlett beads

Most recently I was able to take a class from the incredible Caitlin Hyde. She is another person I would highly recommend taking a class with. The class was titled "Making Faces." What I learned in her class was beyond the price of admission. It will only enhance what I've already learned from Heather. In contrast to Heather's beads, Caitlin works in a more subdued color palette with more focus on "drawing" on the beads. A lot of things "clicked" into place after this class.

Caitlin Hyde beads

some of my beads from Caitlin's class

Currently I'm working on a couple of pieces that are either gifts or commissions. Most are still a work in progress... as is my wonderful life.

earring and necklace set in fun summer-time colors

mascot purple husky pandora-style beads

yummy spring color-block beads soon to be turned into a...