Thursday, May 30, 2013

Creative Ways Abound...

I often hear someone say they are not creative and I am hard pressed to remind them that being creative is all about so many different ways of doing things.  Recently Mr. C and I were enjoying some pretty hot summer days and working outside.  I love to watch cooking shows and one of my favorites is Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian.  She had made white gazpacho and it looked really good.  This is my version and I called it Springtime gazpacho because I made mine a lot less white with more of a green color.  While we were sipping our lunch treat Mr. C says, "this would be really good with some shrimp!"

And that is how creativity comes to be.  The second time I made this delicious refreshing Springtime gazpacho I combined it with shrimp for a more filling and refreshing Springtime Shrimp Cocktail Gazpacho!
This is light and very easy on the calories.  The white you see is Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt sprinkled with dill.   I hope you try your version and enjoy a refreshing lunch on the deck.

Here is Mr. C getting creative.  Living here is always a challenge with plants, weather and critters.  Deer especially.  Our lawn takes a real beating every year.  Last Fall Mr. C re-seeded the lawn and the little black headed birds ate all the seeds.  No new grass grew!  After all the work he did and to have no results was not  a good thing.

This time Mr. C got creative and carefully hid each and every seed just perfectly.  So far with fingers crossed no birds have eaten the seeds.  It only took several hours to do a small little patch of lawn.  He still has the entire rest of the lawn to re-seed.  If only the little birds would just eat their seeds I so generously give them!

And of course, my favorite way to be creative is with fabric, lace, ribbon and buttons.  My sewing machine and I made this little fabric envelope for a dear friend who is making a very big life-style change right now.  Theresa dear I hope this is your first official mail you receive in your new home.  Hugs to you...
Theresa does not have a blog but she does read them.  Her generous mail art with beautiful handmade cards and ATCs always brings a smile to my face and I am blessed to have "met" her through an ATC swap.  Thank you my friend.
Our weather has been cold and drizzly.  We welcome the moisture.  Yesterday was my very favorite blue sky with white puffy clouds.  So very beautiful.  Another way to be creative is to view the clouds and really see them and the shapes they form...just like when we were children and had very few cares or worries in our world.  I hope you take the time to relax and enjoy your ability to be creative...
After all...Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beads and Blossoms...

Beads.  Beads.  Glorious Beads.  I am definitely cash poor but bead wealthy.  In my sorting a while back I discovered lots of beads I had forgotten about.  I love the feel of beads.  I love the look of beads.  And...I love to create with beads.

Here are some of my more sorted beads by colors.  These tend to be considered "bead soup" as they are mixtures of all types and sizes.  This is a great way to keep leftover beads from projects when you just have a few remaining.  Pretty soon you have a nice assortment to either use separately or use together in a project.

This container looks a little messy however I have my methods.  My organizing skills are a constant exercise in organizing.  Hmmm...that rather sounds like something I said to Mr. C recently, "If I felt better, I would feel better."  To me it makes total and complete sense.
So back to my beads...I thought I should have some new simple jewelry pieces to fill in my options.

Here is a pair of earrings I just made to compliment my necklace you have seen before.  The necklace is also featured on my blog banner.  It is one of my forever favorites.  The green stones are Chalk Turquoise.  I paired them with small vintage black beads and my very best Swarovski bicones in crystal clear.  The Swarovski beads really add just the right touch of bling.

Then while my beads and jewelry tools were out and covering my work table I decided I needed a simple set to go with the black casual clothes I wear in summer.  Earrings and a necklace.  I used gemstone black agate rounds with my favorite Swarovski bicones in crystal clear.  The earthy cool of the agates and the sparkle of the bicones really compliment one another.

I kept the design very simple so as not to scream attention.  This necklace has my favorite magnetic clasp.  The length is known as "Princess" and is 18 inches in total.  It falls just below my collar bones and therefore does not draw any unnecessary eyes to my "turkey" throat that Mr. C so graciously points out all too often.
Simple is very much my clothing and in jewelry.  

This is a photo of my Japanese Maple which is growing very slowly.  The dark purple is dramatic.  The bright green with the beautiful white blossoms is Mock Orange.  I originally planted six of these as a hedge but that never came to fruition as the deer eat the mock oranges down to tiny little sticks.  The plants are barely surviving from all the chomping year to year.  This one somehow was able to grow some tall shoots that the deer can no longer reach and that is why I am able to have these delicious orange scented blossoms for a few weeks each Spring.  I took this photo from the upper West side deck.
Prayers and Healing Hugs continue for Oklahoma and the devastation of such a massive tornado.
Our weather is once again much chillier here.  The sun is shining but the warmth is not being felt.  This year we have had so much more "Delta breeze" than I can ever remember.  I call it wind!  And it is cold!  I will try to save some up for when Summer is here and the temperatures are much in hot...the way I prefer it to be.  I am probably part lizard.  A nice warm rock to rest upon sounds pretty good to me.
Creative Bliss to each and every one.  Happy Hearts are Creative Hearts...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Inspiration Monday Thank You...

Not only is today Monday and the beginning of a brand new week (unless you begin with Sundays) it is known as Inspiration Monday on a wonderful blog I follow.  Lori of elviestudio is uber adorable and has the greatest talent for drawing and watercoloring.  I have linked to her inspiration that shows us how to make a journal.  I thought I would never make this but it is one of those little projects that keeps you awake at night until you actually make it!  And I don't even all.
So off to my local art supply store for the suggested paper.  The cost here was $9.99 for one sheet.

Lori made two videos showing just how to make this little journal.  Upon viewing it again I realized I will get two journals out of one sheet.  Hooray!

One half I tore and one half I cut with a rotary blade.  I wasn't quite certain I like the ragged torn edges so thought I would like to see the smooth cut edges as well.  The paper has a beautiful deckle edge made into it and my torn edges were not as beautiful.  This shows the first half prepped and the second half ready to fold.
Yes, I already owned my Martha Stewart scoring board.  I also own the original scoring board from Aleene "The Queen of Crafting".  If you remember Aleene you will know that Martha is nothing new or original.  Sorry Martha but you do not get all the credits.

Here is a view of my 5 x 7 watercolor journal finished with its 5-hole stitch.

Here is a view of the interesting folding pages that add lots of creative space for drawing and watercoloring.

Another view just to get you excited about making these for yourself or for gifts.  Because I am so not able to draw or watercolor I am making these as gifts.  It will be fun to add some coloring pencils and assorted items for those fortunate people who can draw.
THANK YOU LORI DEAR!!!  I am so happy that I was able to make your little journals and they look beautiful.  Your videos were perfect in showing and explaining just how and what to do.  I am always inspired by you!  Chocolate Hugs...

This is our view!  From our property and home this is our view!  Fifteen years ago this coming Memorial weekend we found this place and stood on the central landing of this home and I looked up to see my very favorite blue sky with white puffy clouds and knew I was home.

Cedars, Pines and Oak trees abound.  The air is fresh and clear.  Not like the brown smog I grew used to in Southern California for most of my life.  I am a native Californian.  My mother was a native Californian.

This is heaven here on earth.  I have been spending my time outdoors blissfully weeding and taking time to view my favorite sky and white puffy clouds.  Life is good and I am blessed.
Please share your little watercolor journals you make after watching Lori's videos.  I will be intrigued to see how you decorate them.  Oh and you will want to view Lori's newest themed journal of Downton Abbey she is drawing.  Oh Yeah!!
Happy Hearts are Creative Hearts and my heart is happily creating...
Prayers and Healing Hugs for all affected by such horrendous tornadoes throughout the midwest.

Monday, May 13, 2013

No Photos Woes...

My computer is having major issues.  I personally like to see photos on the blogs I read and follow.  However here I am unable to add any photos to my own blog.  Everyday I try and finally I consulted Mr. C who is MR. IT!!!  My computer is making him very disgruntled as it is not working no matter what he does to fix the glitch.

I do have lots of photos to share however not today.  I can't even draw a simple stick figure for you to look at, possibility admire or maybe laugh at and bring you some jest.

Thank you faithful followers for sending us some rain last week.  We had more rain in just three days than we had all of February.  Our Spring Pollen was at bay for a short time and is now back in full force.  Our trees and flora and fauna got some much needed moisture.  I was very grateful.  Last Sunday we drove to Lake Tahoe to meet friends for lunch on the lake.  It was very cold and on the drive home there was a huge hail storm.   Now back to the weeding.

Hopefully I can include some photos in my next post.  I have been busy visiting some local events.  Is your schedule in full swing?  Do you have more things to see and do than hours allow?  Hooray for this time of year.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Update:  Mr. C has worked very long and diligently to restore my photo capabilities.  This is a trial and so far we have success.    This photo is of some surprise iris that have bloomed from some bulbs my friend gave me last year.  So soft and fragile and beautiful.  Thank you Catherine Dear.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Birthday Charm Bracelet...

Everyday I am reminded of just how fortunate I am to be able to walk a few feet to enter my studio and be able to create something with my hands.  This time I have created a bracelet for a birthday gift.  I have a granddaughter who is turning 26 this week.  Her self-chosen nickname is Angel.  Luckily I found these charms in my stash when I sorted and organized my beading supplies.  I tend to buy things when I see them and that is how I have just what I need when I need it...usually.

 In my last post I told you about using magnetic clasps.  Here I have used one again but in a gold tone this time.  I had forgotten to mention my trusty source.  Fire Mountain Gems is a wonderful online source for all things creative in the beading, silver clay, polymer clay, jewelry display realm.  Just click the link to see magnetic clasps.  This will introduce you to an entire new world of supplies.  They are fast and affordable.  You can request a giant catalog for free and it has tons of ideas and how-to's.

Here is another view of this bracelet.  I am quite in love with this creation.  I added the small Swarovski crystals in clear and blue (my favorite color).  The bird chain represents flying which I believe Angels do a lot of.  Happy Birthday Amber Angel.  (I don't think she ever reads my blog so I am posting this early.  It is winging its way to her as we read.)
I like this bracelet so much I would wear it.  It fit me too.  No I won't make another one.  I like to do unique one-of-a-kind pieces.
My list of chores and want-to-makes is rather long.  This time of year there is so much celebrating with friends and family that the time just gets lost.  I am trying to just go-with-the-flow.
Today we are driving to South Lake Tahoe to visit with friends who are visiting there.  We shall enjoy the beautiful weather and brisk sunshine and visiting over lunch at Jakes on the Lake.
If you are still having rain please send it to California as so much of our state is suffering from severe fires.  So far we are spared but living here in the forest does not give me comfort.  Doing my rain dance...
Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Magnetic Bracelet Closure...

Here is a bracelet I bought several years ago.  Trouble is I could never wear it because I couldn't get it fastened without help.  I very much dislike closures that are not one hand friendly.  What do you prefer?

Here is the original clasp that is the lobster type.  No matter how much I tried or how much help I had the clasp was just difficult.  The other morning I wanted to wear it but got frustrated.  So...

Into the studio I went with just a few minutes to spare before I had to leave.  I got out my trusty jewelry tools and findings.  I selected split rings as they don't come apart easily.  I also selected one of my favorite magnetic clasps.  I used a silver toned because this bracelet has all mixtures of finishings.  Also I have yet to obtain any copper colored magnetic clasps.  In just a couple of minutes I had attached my new magnetic clasp and was able to wear my bracelet.  Super easy and now super one handed friendly.
I have used these clasps for lots of applications.  One of my dear friends who has a difficult time fastening a necklace with a tiny little closure was very happy when I easily replaced it with a magnetic clasp.  Now she can wear her necklace any time she wishes to.
Just a note:  Anyone with a pacemaker should not wear the magnetic clasps.
The magnet on these I like are pretty strong.  In fact, while at a restaurant one day I moved my arm and had a fork attached to the clasp.  Then a spoon and eventually the butter knife.  It really was quite funny and got lots of attention from the table next to us.  I also get attached to the handle of the grocery cart.  I have not yet lost a bracelet to any of these attachments so all is good.
What type of closure clasp do you prefer for your bracelets?  Inquiring minds want to know...
Lots of yard maintenance to do around here.  I am spending many hours on my hands and knees weeding.  Our Winter was so dry and mild that now we are already being warned of high fire danger.  That is my worst fear living in the forest.  We are also having lots of wind this year...more than ever before.  Not a good combo to be certain.  May we all stay safe and be spared.  For those of you still experiencing Winter with Snow and Rain...I will try to send you some of my sunshine.  In fact a trade would be ever so nice as we could use the moisture.
May has arrived all too quickly and my month is filling in to be quite a busy one.  What are you looking forward to this month?
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts and I do hope you are all getting to be very creative.  Sunshine Smiles...