Saturday, May 31, 2014

Home Sweet Home.............

........Traveling really is a win/win situation isn't it? Your so happy and excited to be going and when its time to come home your so happy to walk thru your front door again...... win/win....

.........The Great 25th Anniversary Trip is over and we are (I am) digging ourselves out from under dirty clothes and getting things put away......getting groceries back in the house......Hubs is painting his garage......hhrumph.... thats okay... there are his jobs and there are my jobs and pssst... personally i'd rather do a load of dirty clothes than paint the garage..... :)  

.........i have so much to tell you! I can hardly contain myself...... so watch this space! Oh and we have the GiveAway drawing coming up next week.....  If your interested check it out here.....http://learningtojustbreathe.blogspot.com/2014/05/yogurt-cup-project-reveal.html.
Hugs!! deb

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yogurt Cup Project Reveal!!!!!

click to enlarge


........remember where we left off oh so long ago??.....So many trials and tribulations with these things..... 

click to enlarge


............but i learned so much along the way...... at some point i forgot how to crackle........ and i could not get anything to crackle for me......I enlisted the help of Eileen the crafting guru and we got my 'crackler' working again.  I was being a little too heavy handed with the application of the crackle medium. As soon as i lightened up a little the crackles came back. I used colored pencil and Gamsol to add a little shading to the blue and watered down black acrylic that i brushed into the cracks and wiped off to get the shading in the creases.......

click to enlarge
 THEN! ......... after all that i realize the holes i had drilled before i painted were not big enough......... believe me i had visions of totally messed up paint jobs ......but no.... the awl worked perfectly to enlarge those holes and did not 'mess' anything up.

click to enlarge

The final paint job on the beads...I painted them antique copper and brushed on watered down acrylic paint to get in all the cracks and crevices then wiped off. Then hit the high points like the nose and eyes and forehead with metallic rub. And to tie it in a little better with the cup i spritz on some of the blue paint . If you click on the pic it should enlarge for you to see better. Spritzing is a whole 'nother art form.... I did my best but i swear the paint wanted to go everywhere EXCEPT on the bead...LOL!
Out of the WHOLE project i'm loving these face beads the most. I'm sure you will see them in future projects. :)

click to enlarge

...........hanging at the very bottom is a 'found object' . Hubby says it is a gear.  I painted it again with the application of antique copper, bright copper and the water down black then rubbed off. Do you see the little 'dimple' there at the bottom?? Hubby tried to drill a hole for me to put the twine thru............um...not happening..... He ruined a couple drill bits trying an as you can see he barely made a dent.......so that was not happening.......What you see is the alternative......The copper wire was thin enough that i could still glue on my glass gems and have it look right. In fact besides the face beads this is my second favorite part of the project and i thought about using it as a necklace pendant instead of putting it on here. But in the end i did put it on the project.....

click to enlarge


So there i sat Sunday morning over coffee stringing my yogurt cups. And let me tell you stringing them was very nearly the most difficult part of the project...... I wanted to get them evenly spaced and i wanted the bead to be partially covered by the cup.....whew... lots of knots and lots of redos....  but finally its finished. I told hubby no matter what it looks like i'm hanging it up. After so much time and effort and work spent on it , it deserves a space in the house... lol.....

click to enlarge
When its all said and done i DO like how it turned out. Did i make yogurt cups not look like yogurt cups??? I don't think so .. LOL! :) To me they still look like yogurt cups... but now maybe they are pretty yogurt cups???  :)  

Giveaway Alert!  Now i have several cups and face beads left over.  Not quite sure what to do with them.  Then i thought i'd have a little GiveAway.... Though i'm not entirely sure anyone would be interested in my Yogurt Cup project.   So.... feel free to leave a comment....... if you would like to be in the GiveAway then say so somewhere in your comment. Your comment will NOT automatically enter you in the GiveAway.  You must tell me you WANT to be in the GiveAway and tell me exactly what you want to receive thru the GiveAway.....  Example.... Do you just want a face bead or two or do you want me to string a few cups and beads together for you like the one above??  Now please note i do NOT have another gear to put on the bottom...... It was a 'found object' after all and i only had the one.... 

GiveAway Rules.......

1. You must be a follower

2. Indicate somewhere in your comment that you want to entered in the GiveAway and what part of the project you would like to receive.... ie... just a couple beads or  some cups and beads strung together to hang up.......

3.Giveaway will run longer than usual as i have alot going on in the next couple weeks........... Lets say...... June 4th ... You have until Wednesday June 4th to leave a comment stating you wish to be entered in the drawing .  

4. I must have a way to contact you. I will do my best to contact you to let you know you have won. But ultimately it is up to you to come back here and check to see if you have won.  Once i draw the name and post it on the blog you will have 48 hours to contact me and give me your snail mail address......After that i will draw another name!  

Thanks so much to everyone for coming along on the Yogurt Cup rollercoaster ........  I'm so glad its finished...... and i DO like the outcome.   Hugs! deb

Thursday, May 15, 2014

To Paint or Not to Paint.......


.............that is a question i'll save for the end of the post.... :) Now it occurred to me that you might like to see the items i talked about in the last post........ the clay kitty above....... Isn't he wonderful?! He just HAD to come home with me..... 


I'm so sorry about the quality of these pics........the lighting was not very good but i really wanted to show you...... LOVE how the sun is hugging the moon!  Its laying on a table right now waiting to be put on the wall......waaay up high.. Well that was our purchases on our last adventure....... that pottery place had so many wonderful things... They had a chair shaped like a hand that i would have taken two home and put on my front porch. Wouldn't that be something ?? But i'd be afraid they'd get stolen and at $200+ each...um i don't think so........


......this is another bad picture (blurry) ...sigh... getting great shots with hubby's camera still escapes me but i'm getting better. I really think it was the low lighting here. But i think you can tell that's a ceramic horse head sitting on the shelves that hubby built.......Now comes the question from the title....To paint or not to paint.....?? I fully intended on painting this horse head. Its a ceramic piece that hubby and i poured a few years ago......Hubby brought it downstairs to see if it would fit in the cubby hole and it does... beautifully..... 

And now that i see it i kinda like the white against dark brown..... Otherwise i intended on painting it brown with a darker mane......but that would surely get lost on the shelves......I like the simpleness of the lines when its white.....I could just leave it as.... put a sealer on it or OR i could paint it a pearly white or just go ahead and do the brown..........Love to know what you think?? 

That was one heavy piece to pour , let me tell you...... It took both of us to lift it and pour the liquid slip out of it. I held my breath the whole time were were taking it out of the mold.....I think its the biggest piece we've ever poured except maybe a dragon or two..... 

Making 25th Anniversary plans!!!!  Things are finally coming together and reservations made.......OOoooooo I'm uber excited.... I want to tell you all about the plans we've made but for safety sake you'll have to wait until we come back. Did i ever think 25 years ago that our life would take us to the west coast??? Never in a million years......LOL...... what is ONE thing 25 years has taught me?? That you CAN change your fate...... it is not set in stone.... you just have to have faith....... faith in yourself..... Hugs! deb

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hello There Beautiful.............

............it took a week but i finally had a little visitor........ I THINK he is a Purple-headed Finch but i'm not really sure. Its really not a very good photo as it was almost dusk when i noticed him in there. I very nearly jumped for joy...but i contained myself... a little...... This was taken Saturday evening i believe and since then the word has spread.  Most are these purple guys and a few house wrens i think and i had one larger bird with blue on him..... I'm not sure if its  a blue bird or a type of jay...... scrub jay maybe? Anyway you know the saying 'If you build it they will come......' And they have! 

Did you have a fab Mother's Day weekend?? Hubs and i took off on another adventure.....this one not too far from the house... We never have explored some of the little towns near us.  We were out the door early Saturday morning with no clear plan...... don't you just love those kind of adventures........ Just see what the day holds...... Driving thru orchard after orchard...... olive trees and almond trees turned into a bazillion cherry trees all heavy with cherries...... 

A stop at a fruit stand to load up on cherries and peaches for the road.... A yard sale beckoned and then another........Scored some enamel paints for painting on tile and glass......never tried that and now i get to try for  $5... A huge HUGE pottery place......must have been lost in there for over an hour.... walked out with an adorable clay cat and a Sun hugging a Moon wall plaque. 

Came across a cheese factory.....cheeeessseeee.....The only type they made was Gouda..... Hubby and i both agree we have never had Gouda before. Must. try. Gouda....All different kinds of flavored Gouda. Lunch was a grilled ham and gouda sandwich sitting on a picnic bench tossing bread crusts into the Koi Pond. Beautiful sunny day, where the sun warms your back and a cool breeze blowing thru the trees keeps you from getting hot. 

Note to self........Be sure not to wait so long between adventures! 
Hugs! deb

Friday, May 9, 2014

I've dusted off.........

Click to enlarge

............the hobbit door painting again..... this time i tackled the basket weave. I didn't think i was EVER going to make it look right....even when i'm drawing in pencil my basket weave can get pretty 'wonky' pretty quickly... and those little line were so tedious i had to take breaks and then i couldn't match my colors perfectly each time... All in all when i stand back and look at it i think it is perfectly imperfect and i really like how it turned out. I have one more section of basket weave to do then i'm off to that blue section. ........

Click to enlarge
Believe it or not these guys are part of the yogurt cup project and i made a couple extra for another project. I had an epiphany while creating these guys.....Maybe you can't tell but they are beads...A wooden bead is the center with the clay around........i have a clay face mold that i'm using with polymer clay.... My original idea was just to make some faces and press them on the wooden bead... well i totally lost the roundness of the bead and my fingers no matter how careful really distorted the faces............ trust me it was a mess.. and i was really discouraged......

Then i had my epiphany......... It was like AAAaaahhhhhh!  I knew it would work before i even tried it...... I wrapped the wood bead entirely in clay ........poked the end of  a paint brush thru the holes to open them up. Then with the paint brush in the hole i pressed the clay covered bead into the face mold ........ holding onto the paintbrush and not the bead so i wouldn't distort anything...i did two sides of the bead....... worked like a CHARM!  Its one of the things i love about crafting...... figuring things out. I sure someone with more clay experience could have told me right away what to do.  Someone like my crafting guru Eileen who i go to when i'm absolutely stumped.  But it was such a wonderful feeling to figure this out on my own....... Hugs! deb

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Now i know..........

 ...........you think you've seen these pictures before but trust me...you haven't.....hubs and i spent this evening scanning these in and tweaking them... I cannot scan the whole drawing in because my scanner is not big enough...never thought of that when i started drawing on this paper.....


Now since you last laid eyes on these cuties i had no idea what i was gonna do about the water....Sure i colored it in but it had streaks and lines in it...no matter how careful i tried to be . It was just a huge expanse to try to color in with pencils...Then the lovely Violet stepped into my creative life and passed on the wisdom of Gamsol. 

 I still was not positive i could smooth everything out streak free...but guess what? It turned out just lovely.  Violet you are a lifesaver! Don't let anyone tell you any different. :)  Now when i colored this i was still using Crayola colored pencils  so it did not smooth as nicely as if i had been using Prismacolor .... but still ..... it looks awesome!


Getting decent prints ......... well now thats a different story. It makes me incredibly sad to see this vibrant, colorful image on the computer screen only to have it print out as a weak imitation of itself.........and hubs and i just can't figure it out.......We tried fiddling with the contrast and brightness.....and just nothing works...we usually end up making it worse.... We are beginning to think its our printer................?? Its a Kodak.... cheap Kodak.......Anyway enjoy the loveliness.......I wanted to offer a Giveaway of a couple prints but not if i can't get a nice print....sigh... 

PS Anyone know how to attract birds to a birdfeeder???   No birds yet.....Hugs! deb

Monday, May 5, 2014

HI! Hi! Hi! (waving madly)


.............Miss me??? I feel like i've been away on vacation or something........wait.. maybe i HAVE.... As a few of you mentioned maybe i just needed a break from blogging........and maybe you were right.......Wanna know what i missed? Sharing things with you...sharing bits and pieces of my life with you....I missed hearing from you.....like passing little notes back and forth in class....... lol.....
I thought just maybe you might like to see that infamous birdfeeder of mine FINALLY in service!  We but it up yesterday...who am i kidding ....hubby dug the hole and put in the pole and attached the feeder.....thats his 'job'....my 'job' was all those stinkin' shingles. :) On the very top thats copper.... hubs attached that too.....He always complains that somehow my hobby turns into his hobby.... i always totally disagree with him.... i tell him no waaaaayyy... your just helping me out a little.... lol ... and i tell him he's my hero...which he really truly is.........(secretly i know he's right and he might complain a little but i love it when we collaborate. :)

I KNOW the back yard looks terrible........ still just dirt...... cannot decide what we are going to do or not do to it........ We really don't have the money to do too much to it.  Its difficult to make ourselves sink money into it when we don't plan on staying..... we'll see.....If hubby's promotion comes to pass maybe we will.......


How about a little gardening meandering for a Monday?? Remember last year i planted some Agapanthus or Lily of the Nile?? Well this year they are blooming for the first time.... I'm so excited!!! These are truly one of my favorite flowers....I LOVE to watch the buds open... Its like opening a present . I have one more to sink in the ground this year......


Here's the alyssum ....They lasted alll summer for me last year and really they are just a spring plant...... They smell heavenly as you walk up to the door..........


And here's another pot i brought from Tx........ I didn't plant it last year but this year i decided to try some impatiens as i have shady spot on the porch........... I've never had impatiens before......So far so good........ they've probably doubled in size since i put them in there and still blooming! Yeah! 
I gave all my plants some fertilizer about a month ago and WOW! Some of them are thanking me very much!! I think you can click on any of these images and they will come up large.....

Lots of things in the crafting frying pan .... alot to share...... See you soon! Hugs! deb