Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

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*This is post was originally shared in November 2010 and is reposted as a reminder to myself on how to make the table look pretty.*

I was browsing You Tube this week looking for Thanksgiving crafts to do with my kids. In the process, I found this 4 minute video that not only gives you ideas for Thanksgiving centerpieces, but it also shows you how to fold the napkins. Hooray! (However I fully expect I'm going to need to fold the napkins while I'm in front of the computer screen with the video on slow motion.)

What do you usually do for your Thanksgiving table?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gainesville Art festival pictures

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It was a beautiful and busy time last weekend at the Downtown Festival and Art show!  I enjoyed talking with so many people and getting the opportunity to help people with their holiday gift giving needs.  Here are a few random pictures from the event:

I painted bulletin boards to be used as display pieces for the jewelry.  I used those this time because I could load them with jewelry the days before the show then just hang them in my tent once I got there.

This time, I included a table out front for people to easily sign up for my mailing list.   I also had a basket of jewelry for people to peruse.

Once again, I went without glass over the jewelry.  It felt like I was 'nekkid' as I had used it for so long, but I think customers really enjoyed being able to see the jewelry without waiting for assistance.

This show also marked the debut of the recycled bottle caps with resin.  These cute little caps are the perfect refrigerator accessory.

I had more colors of the resin and silver pewter jewelry to show off.  I've been going a bit crazy with the colors lately.

While the earrings looked great on the colored flower trees, I displayed the pendants on the table. The displays looked a bit too crowded hanging on the displays.

I'm working on a video of the event too, to give you the 'full effect' of the weekend.  Thanks to everyone who stopped and shopped! 

P.S.  I'll be a Linda Blondheim's loft studio at Paddiwhack this Friday evening, 5:30 PM to 9 PM and Saturday noon to 4 PM.  Come and enjoy art, jewelry and Christmas cake!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

From bulletin boards to jewelry displays

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I'm trying something new for my art jewelry booth this weekend at the Downtown Gainesville Festival and Art show.  Since I will be doing everything by myself this weekend (no hubby to help), I wanted something that I could easily set up myself.  Part of the plan involves repurposing bulletin boards that could become jewelry displays that I could prepare before the show and hang that morning.

I started with buying 4 el-cheapo bulletin boards.  These are 36 inches by 24 inches. I bought them online and got all four for under $100.

I got a garden variety off-white paint to coat the corkboard portion.  (Notice the small paintbrush in the lower left?  It is attached to a hand of a baby T-Rex dinosaur that insisted on helping me.)

This is what the board looked like after the first coat of paint.  When I came to check on it in a couple of hours though, the paint had soaked into the corkboard pretty well, so I needed a second coat.

You can see the difference here with a second coat of paint.  The lower left quadrant has had its second coat.

Once I let the paint dry, I put painters tape around the inside edge.  I sanded the frame so that it would soak up the paint better.

This is the orange frame after the second coat.

Unfortunately, when I removed the tape, it pulled a bit of the corkboard with it on one of the bulletin boards.  A little spackling compound and some more paint hopefully will keep anyone from noticing. 

This is a finished board.  I randomly put some squiggles on the board to give it more artistic interest.  The hardware will get applied tomorrow and I will take jewelry up Friday.  Then, all I have to do Saturday is to put up the boards.  This will save me a lot of time!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Random jewelry making pictures

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It's a little hodge podge of everything going on in the studio right now. I snapped some random pictures yesterday.

These bottle caps have had their magnets glued and are drying.  The magnets do look tiny, but these rare earth magnets can hold three pounds of weight.

(Future) resin scrabble tile pendants are drying.  I've applied the images and the glue sealant.  These are for a wholesale order.

Same wholesale customer, but these are finished pendants. 

These resin and pewter earrings and pendants are halfway through sanding.  They have three more grits of sandpaper to go.

These are some of the new pendants and earrings made from recycled gift cards.  I need to make earwires and jump rings for them.

I'm anxious to see how these do next weekend at the Downtown Festival and Art show.  That will be their first time available to the public.  (Hope to see you there!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Twitter, DVR, soap operas and snark

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We all have a guilty little seemingly insignificant pleasure.  I am no different.  Curious as to what it is?

It involves twitter, my DVR, and the afternoon soap "Bold and the Beautiful". 

I have to tell you that I have been a fan of the show since my college days, but since it was in the middle of the day, I didn't get to watch it much.  I still don't have time in the middle of the day to watch, but since the invention of the DVR, I can set the machine to automatically record it and watch it later.  Now throw in Twitter and some snarky remarks, and the entire combination makes for good entertainment.

Before I can watch a new episode I have to search twitter for the #BoldandBeautiful tag to see what people are saying.  People send out tweets describing the episode (and of course their opinions and interpretations).  It's like having the cheat sheet version on what to watch out for while I watch the episode.  My favorite so far have been the tweets exclaiming the confusion over what the character Ridge was wearing in Wednesday's show this week.  It was pure joy, entertainment and guilty pleasure all in of itself.  (By the way, what was up with him wearing the purple man scarf???)

Who knew I was that easy to entertain?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Visiting the Florida Aquarium

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Warning! There are going to be LOTS of pictures in this post.

I took a day with my peeps last week to take them to the Florida Aquarium.  I had heard it was a super nice aquarium and the family was looking for a good day trip.  These are random pictures from the day.  (Disclaimer: I didn't take notes on what things were and I'm inept as a photographer.  Proceed with caution....)

A nice little 5 foot alligator.  (We're looking down on him.)

Blue crab.  He was up against the glass and was trying to get us with his pinchers.

A duck.  Not really sure what kind.  He wasn't the prettiest of the bunch, but was the only one that was cooperative in allowing me to take his picture.

One of the things I loved about the Florida Aquarium was the number of exhibits at "eye level".  My kids could get up next to glass and see the fish as you would expect to see them in nature.  (And no, these fish didn't have blazing yellow eyes, it's just how I had to capture the picture so the flash didn't reflect on the glass.)

I had super aquarium envy after seeing this salt water fish tank that was made to look like something that could easily go in your living room.  (except at my house -- we're out of room -- not kidding)

Big fish, natural habitat.  Hubby and I were tall enough to be able to look down over the top of the glass into the water.

I loved how the aquarium went to great lengths to create a natural setting inside a building in downtown Tampa.  There were lots of trees and natural light.

I love this goldfish.  He looks really smart with that orange brain thingy on his head.

Two lobsters.  Is it wrong to share that my first thought was, "Where's the butter?"

Barn owl.  I never got a good shot of him looking directly at us, but I wish I had.  He had that look on his face like he was trying to figure out which of kids to fly off with.

This little guy greeted us as soon as we got to the aquarium.

Pink bird.  (An ibis maybe??  I don't think it's a flamingo.)  Couldn't get her to look at the camera either.

Sea horse.  This one left my peeps a little disappointed.  I think they thought that sea horses were little ponies with scuba gear and lived in a pineapple under the sea.

SHARK!  (Upper left quadrant)  No visit to a body of water in Florida is ever complete without seeing a shark.

This starfish is actually prettier than the picture shows you.

This was the interactive area where you could actually touch a starfish or anenome.  (I don't think I spelled that correctly.)  This water was really cold.  Kids didn't keep their hands in there long.

This area was meant to look like a beach.  The keeper is feeding the sting rays and fish.

White bird.  An ibis I think.

One of my favorite parts of the day was getting to touch the stingrays.  I couldn't believe how social these girls were (I found out there were all girls in the tank.  Apparently they get along better than a group of guy stingrays.)  You could touch their wings, but couldn't feed them.  The peeps were a little skeptical, but I thought it was cool.  (Warning - you will smell like cheap cat food for a few hours after doing this activity.)

My little Chunky Monkey riding a fish.  (Not a real one silly.  Although he would have liked that too.)

All my peeps riding the surfboard on the playground.  (And just for the record, their father got them dressed that morning.)

So when I asked them what their favorite part of the day was, it would be this:

This was a play pirate ship that shot water out of the guns.  Too bad I didn't get a picture of them surprising their father and the subsequent midday wet jeans he had to contend with.

We've already made plans to go back sometime next summer.  Great way to spend the day with my family.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recycling gift cards into jewelry

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If you've been following me for a bit, you know earlier this year I asked you to save me your used up gift cards.

I finally had the opportunity to get the collection of gift cards out and being making them into jewelry.  I've been saving every and all plastic gift cards that I can find.

My hydraulic press will come in handy for me to make these.

I'm using my disc cutter to get perfect circles out of the cards.

Some cards are better than others when it comes to patterns.  The sets will never be "matchy-matchy" (in case you're looking for an exactly perfect match), but they will be complimentary.

This is one of the sets I got from a card.  (Ear wires and pendant jump ring have yet to be added.)

Another set, but this one is a bit more colorful.  I try not to include anything that identifies the company as to try to avoid copyright and trademark issues.

These will be available for purchase at the Downtown Festival and Art show, November 12 and 13!  If you would like a reminder about the show, be sure to sign up for my email list (sign up box on the right side of this page).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monkeys and chaos

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Sometimes my kids are up and active when I'm trying to make jewelry (as opposed to how I used to do it -- when they were napping -- but those days are seemingly long gone). I do my best to keep them occupied with something productive while also keeping an eagle eye on them. If you're a parent, you know how quickly things can go from perfect to pandemonium in a wee couple of minutes.

In my life, it happens when I'm on the phone.

Meet my youngest child.

A serious flirt.

And mischief maker.

And he eats....A LOT. In fact, if you ask him, he will tell you his name is Chunky Monkey.

His father and I are completely prepared to get the phone call from school one day that he has run his underwear up a flagpole.

(And is using his charm and good looks to get out of having to scrub the entire cafeteria floor as his punishment.)

Why am I worried about such things at such a young and sweet and tender age? Because of what he can do with a couple of markers in just three minutes.

Who knew that in the time it takes to take a phone order from a customer that you can paint your hands with a marker.

And if that wasn't enough, he wanted to show me his artistic talent and could use the complimentary color orange on his arms to set off the color purple on his hands. (If you're trying to calculate a score for this masterpiece, using two colors in under three minutes does increase the difficulty factor by 0.3).

So if you ever call to ask a question, place an order, or just otherwise chit-chat, remind me to check on Chunky Monkey and make sure I have all marking elements (including my collection of 64 different colors of Sharpies) in my possession.

(By the way, I can't wait to get a note from school today asking me to keep my child home until his fungus has resolved.)
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