Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Photos

Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day and Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing holiday and if you had to work, that it was a very slow day with lots of cookies and cupcakes (and nice customers, bosses, co-workers or what have you..).

Our little household was supposed to have been at my parents house Christmas Eve and not home until tomorrow, but the flu struck and I've mostly been prone in bed or lounging on the futon since a week ago. What timing... Anyway, we hadn't decorated much since we planned to be where there are much prettier decorations and quite a bit more room, but after the decision was made for me to stay home, we got out some things from storage and my husband found a wowser deal of a little tree for ten bucks at a mom and pop stand outside Richmond, and we had a very fine little Christmas of our own. Lucy, above on her roost, is excited about the presents. Yes, she thinks they are ALL for her.

Mango is entranced by his gift. Lucy looks on without enthusiasm. This gift obviously isn't for her...

Merry Christmas! Our tiny apartment is just that, but it's still a cozy space I always look forward to walking in the door...

I've been working on a project for a special someone that I will post soon as the item is delivered. Otherwise, in my recuperation I've been enjoying reading a gift from Michael-- Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. I haven't enjoyed such a voluminous book as this one in a very long time and I highly recommend it for those interested in Lincoln, life in the mid 1800's, anti-slavery issues. It's extremely engrossing.

Today we headed out for a bit to look over after Christmas sales. My coat closet is busting out with jackets and coats but all of them, without exception, are rather vintage and not in such a good way. My other coats are ones my dad gave me from his former working days, and while very warm, serviceable and well loved normally, are not the pinnacle of fashion. So, my husband, who has a better sense of what looks good on me that I do, picked out a lovely alpaca coat for me at a shop in Richmond. It's on hold until close tomorrow since I couldn't make up my mind to spend the money for it or not. I had no idea stylish coats were so very expensive so I'm reluctant with our trip less than a week and a half away. Anyway, I can't make up my mind.

Michael has made popcorn now, this is kind of a boring and unintended post anyway, so it's bedtime with good eats and tv, animals all snuggled in bed with us. Good night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Time Escaping

Due to time constraints, commitments and other pursuits, my blog is on hiatus indefinitely until my new life sorts itself out a bit and I figure out how to balance the load.  Everyone have a happy holiday and a healthy new year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Journals on Etsy

I've been making journals lately to put on Etsy and to take with me on my upcoming trip to Italy. Tired of purchasing journals, and drooling over the art papers in our local art shops as well as online, I took several classes a while ago and learned how to stitch coptic journals myself. This one I finished and pressed flat a few days ago.

It is spine reinforced with renewable Lokta fiber paper. The textblock is 70 pound white drawing paper and the interior covers are Lokta paper covered with natural Amate bark. It is a coptic style book that opens flat, bound with russet colored waxed linen thread.

Look for this beauty in my little etsy shop tomorrow.

The days are dwindling
down both until Christmas and our departure for Rome. I am freaking out with all there is left to be done for preparations for both events. We are traveling to visit my parents and their little dog on Christmas Eve day and then to stay a few days. I'm looking forward to it very much. My mom and dad always go all out with Christmas decorations, many of them have been in my family for generations. I love to look at all of them every year.

Speaking of our departure, I am soliciting ideas from anyone anywhere who has been to Rome and or Florence, as these are the two principle cities we will be staying in. We have all the tourist destinations in mind to visit for art viewing but I am sure there may be out of the way or tucked into the tiny corners shops someone may advise me on to visit for leather goods, paper for book making, and antique jewelry or trinket shopping. Also any fabulous cafe, please let me know your favorites so we can try them out. I know there are a few readers of my blog living in Italy, so give me a shout out either on comments or email. Many thanks!!

It's now 6:47 a.m. and I am still not tired. My thoughts race and my list of things to do doesn't seem to be getting any shorter. My dog got us up at 4 a.m. to go out this morning, followed by the cat at 5 a.m., wanting a bite of wet food to eat. After all that I couldn't get back to sleep, so I decided to get a very early start to the day.

And I have a start date for my job-- January 15. A little later than I figured, but at least it's there. Two days after we return from Italy. I wonder what shape I will be in? Hmmm..

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a wedding, a remembrance

Recently I received a commission for a pin from a woman whose daughter is marrying very soon in the new year. She said she wanted her late mother with her on her daughter's wedding day, and asked me to make a pin for her to wear on that special day. This is the result, still sort of curing for a day or two more...

It's quite different than anything I have made within this genre. Lots of hammering and soldering, bending the metal this way and that to get that perfect lineup of curve and straight lines. Because the requested sentiment on the reverse was too long for the picture, I compromised with a small slab of stamped silver submerged with the resin and the photo.
And also I could not get photoshop to lengthen the photo without a gap in the pendant...

This past weekend my husband, our dog Lucy and I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit friends. While there, we took in the museums and lingered over the exquisite traveling exhibit, Ornament as art - Avant-Garde Jewelry From the Helen Williams Drutt Collection, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Oh, my, was it wonderful. I could have stayed for days examining each piece. The design of this pin was influenced by several pins I saw at this exhibit by Eleanor H. Moty and William Harper. The fabulous book detailing this exhibit came home with me to study at leisure. Merry Christmas to me. =)

Here we are at the home of our hosts... December 5. I realize my hair desperately needs root coverup, pronto... dang gray hair anyway...

At home last night, Mango peacefully slept on the Ornament as Art book...

We spent Thanksgiving in the Laurel Highlands of Somerset, Pennsylvania. It was a Thanksgiving blizzard and very, very cold... After the roads were plowed and salted we managed to drive (slide) around the country roads, where we viewed the most breathtaking scenery and sunsets I've seen in quite a while.

Somerset County. This moment in early evening was stillness personified.
Beautiful and unforgettable...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Love Your Dog

In honor of the lovely lady who watched our dog Lucy, and since she is not only the occasional watcher of our dog but also a dog trainer and loving dog minder of several regular critters, I presented her with this necklace. The stones are Czech glass and red coral. Since I couldn't find a suitable stamp for the pendant, I drew one myself in the image of our Lucy and etched it. It's kind of a whimsical piece but I'm pleased with how it turned out. I probably couldn't draw another dog like that if I tried, so I traced it on paper in case I ever wanted to duplicate it. One never knows...

This morning I got up early to do what everyone is just dying to do at 9 a.m.-- be strapped down to a polygraph machine for two hours of pre-employment fun. After three previous polygraphs for various law enforcement jobs, one would think I would be relaxed about it, but no... not the case. The questions they ask... good grief. Don't worry, I passed and then flew over to a coffee shop to dunk a 24 ouncer french vanilla coffee with extra french vanilla creamer and sugar. That was the zinger I needed earlier.

All my background stuff, polygraph, drug test, all the usual stuff, should be wrapped up in a fat report by the weekend and a start date should soon be on my calendar. Hello, early mornings... again. I'm not used to them at all after eighteen months of not working a job "out there."

This is why I usually have to sit on the floor... what we do for our little animals, eh? Only usually Lucy, if she gets to it first, has a heating pad under a blanket turned on low when I am home. Spoiled little kids. Who could deny them anything when they are so cute?