Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday (or Sunday) Smiles

On Saturday I share a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.  This week I'm late, so I guess this is really a Sunday Smile post. =)

1) Easter Egg Hunt 
Yesterday the girls and I, with a couple of neighborhood friends, spent the morning at church.  We had so much fun!  Our church puts together a large community event on the day before Easter.  We have egg hunts for each grade and other fun activities.  Deborah and Abigail each invited a friend, and I got to help out.
BONUS: I was expecting to hang out with Abigail because she is normally a clingy 7 year old.  This year she confidently played on her own and only required my presence for a couple of minutes!

When I read about this event I knew we had to go!  I wanted to meet the owls, and do the activities so much, while my girls weren't interested at all.  I decided to go with or without them, and they changed their mind at the last minute.  And they both ended up having a blast.  They were thrilled when we got there and had a lot of fun.
They dissected owl pellets. Abigail found a whole skull- bottom jaw and everything! (Deborah was actually kind of grossed out by this activity.)

They made the cutest little pine cone owls.

And they got to meet the most amazing owls.

This is Earl- He is a Great Grey Owl.

This is Gandalf.  He is a Great Horned Owl.

3) Our new scanner
Jake has wanted a photography scanner for a long time.  We finally took the plunge and found a high-tech/specialty one that allows him to scan his negatives and then turn them into prints. 
Here are a couple of the negatives he's scanned and turned into photos.

I love his photography- it has an interesting and stark architectural quality.  

Easter Sunday

Happy Resurrection Day!
May the hope and power of the empty tomb be yours throughout the year.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday I share a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) New Computer!
Okay, so this one is definitely a mixed blessing...
My lovely computer died a month or so ago, and we have been really sad.  My husband and I have been mooching off my sister and it has stunk.  When we got our tax refund we took our computer in for repairs, and discovered the problem was the motherboard.  Wuh-laa.
We could replace it, but it would have problems sooner rather than later...  blah-blah-blah.
So we made the decision to completely replace the computer, to the tune of a ridiculous amount of money.  But both of us depend on and require access to the computer- him for photography & Flickr (his photos and Flickr acct are HERE) and me for my jewelry & FB.
So new computer- YAY!  Learning a new computer and it's quirks- yuck.
Here's one of Jake's latest photos. I like bragging on my fella'.

2) My First Art Manicure
My sister is in the process of making a decision as to what her job will be for a while.  One of the options she is seriously considering is Nail Art.  She's done a lot of research, and has decided her next step is to practice.  And I got to be her guinea pig this last week!

I've got this thing for butterflies, so she painted the wing for me.  I'm delighted.  I'm also looking forward to getting to be her guinea pig in the future. =)

3) I discovered a new jewelry artist!
Her name is Daniela, and she is in Italy. Her business is Alkhymeia and she is utterly brilliant.  She combines wire-work and polymer clay into stunningly beautiful pieces.  She shared a piece of her jewelry to a Bead Group on  Facebook and I dropped my jaw when I first saw her work. Then I visited her FB page and was sucked in by her graceful wire shapes and detailed organic clay work.
I am going to share a few of my favorite pieces, but this does not even remotely cover all that she can do with polymer and wire.  I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Friday, March 15, 2013

An Extra Smile!

Hey!  I forgot!

I won some beads this week from Cyndi Lavin and the Best Beads Shop.  I'm pretty excited because each of the three packages contains beads I will actually use!  Woo-hoo!

 I was a little nervous that I'd end up with either really ugly beads, seed beads, or pony beads...  Not that I can't do anything with ugly beads, or seed beads or pony beads...  But the beads I won are lovely!

The ones that say they are yellow with pink and white are actually a lime green that I love.  Green is my favorite color, you know!  And I can already see them in a multi-strand bracelet.
The Garnet red ones are perfect for some of my flower wire-work pieces.
And the Ivory full coating ones- well, they are sparkly!  So they are guaranteed a place of honor.

I probably can't do anything with these beads right now, because I'm in the middle of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party, but I'm sure looking forward to working with them!

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I share a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

Before sharing my smiles, I want you to know, dear reader, that I am only able to use my I-Phone camera right now.  My computer is still down so I am still borrowing my sister's computer, and my camera is packed full with pictures I can't delete but can't PUT anywhere.  So my photos are not pleasing to me right now.  Please believe that I would have chosen fabulously wonderful photos to share with you if I could!

1) My Bead Soup!
I got my bead soup from my partner, Michelle.  And it's beautiful!!!  I can't wait to work with all these wonderful beads.  And look at the focal she made!  It reminds me of a turtle shell, yet it has a glowy iridescence that turtle shells just don't have.  It's polymer clay and just lovely.

2)Spring Break
My girls and I have enjoyed a week off from school.  We've slept, played, hung out and been as lazy as we possibly could be in only 9 days. One of the best things we've done this week is participate in a Gymnastics, Inc. Play Date with the kids from church.
 All the kids playing a "Simon Says" style pirate game doing the submarine move 
Deborah is on the far left wearing a green shirt 
Abigail is smack in the middle of the picture in a pink shirt & shorts

Abigail on the long trampoline

Deborah bouncing on the spring board

All the kids playing a limbo style game

3) Ice Park
We finally got to go to the Ice Park.  I borrowed my sister's camera, but the battery died after we'd been there for less than 30 minutes.  Boo, Hiss!  So I'll have to wait til Jake's photos are developed and scanned to share our trip.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday I write about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) My sister comes home tomorrow!
She's been gone for about three weeks, and I get to go pick her up tomorrow morning!  YAY!  I'm very excited.

2) Spring Break

Next week is Spring Break, and I'm thrilled.  No school!  No work for me!  No teachers for the girls!  We hang out and play around for most of this week.
I love this week off- the snow is starting to melt and everything is starting to get dirty and wet.  I LOVE it!  Summer is my favorite season, but Spring break-up is a close second.  Melt, snow, melt!!!

3) Painting
My painting teacher, Miss Vicki, is back from a trip outside (the lower 48 contiguous states, for those of you NOT in Alaska).  Which means I get to go back to painting!  Which makes me very happy.  I'm hoping to finish up my butterfly painting, and start on something new.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) My partner for Lori's Bead Soup Blog Party
Michelle is awesome!  And she seems like somebody I would enjoy getting to know.
I am delighted with her polymer clay pieces, and impressed by her willingness to explore many kinds of crafts.  I like a couple of other things, but don't have time to get good at them.  Michelle is good at a LOT of different things- paper crafting, beading, polymer clay.  Very cool things.
I want to show you some of my favorite pieces from her blog...

Her pieces are so beautiful!  I love her floral motifs, and the way she uses paint and color.  So pretty.  I'm looking forward to seeing what shows up!  And I'm nervous about what I'm sending...

2) New Shoes
I've got new Merrell shoes!  I haven't purchased new shoes in forever, partly because of how well my old Merrell's have lasted. I love how they feel, and how I feel wearing them.  They've got fabulous traction on ice, and they are so comfy.
I've got some serious weird feet, and as I've gotten older they have given me more and more problems.  I can't wear pretty shoes, probably ever, unless I get a surgery to correct the weirdness of my left foot.  Anyway, these shoes keep me more comfortable than any other pair I've ever have, and I'm delighted with some of the ways they've changed these shoes and made them better.  I'm thinking seriously of buying another pair in a different color...

3) The book Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I thoroughly enjoyed this book- the dark fantasy style, the quirky characters, the rich texture of language, and the intriguing setting. It's rather a modern, adult version of Alice in Wonderland with a mystery to solve and a bumbling hero.  I fell into this book quickly, and was swept away with the story line.  I really wasn't ready for it to be over...
Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her--and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.
Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his hundred rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.
For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family's slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door's entourage in their determined--and possibly fatal--quest.
For the dread journey ever-downward--through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time--is Richard's final hope, his last road back to a "real" world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.
If Tim Burton reimagined The Phantom of the Opera, if Jack Finney let his dark side take over, if you rolled the best work of Clive Barker, Peter Straub and Caleb Carr into one, you still would have something that fell far short of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. It is a masterful debut novel of darkly hypnotic power, and one of the most absorbing reads to come along in years.