Monday, October 18, 2021

Support local artists


Ground floor artists will hold their second sale on November 6.  And Desert Dabbler will be there. If you're in the Surprise area, stop by and see us.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Mouse in the House!

    A few weeks ago I decided to make some stuffed toys. I had made a few years and years ago and had fun with them.  This time I wanted to make some with clothes, joints, and props.  I'm still gaining on the process, but here are my first ones.

     The large mouse on the left is from a pattern in a vintage magazine.  I made a few changes.  I added the flower in her hair and the felt shoes.  Little black beads became the eyes and nose. I made her tail out of leather instead of fabric, too.  

     The "gentleman" in the red jacket is a wolf doll made from a pattern I bought on Etsy. You can't see his tail in the picture, but it's a cute fabric one.  I made his clothes different than the pattern called for, but otherwire he's close to the pattern.  

      The small mouse that's seated is my first one that can be jointed.  Her pattern cam from a book, How to Sew Little Felt Animals, by Sue Quinn.  The mouse's  head moves, but I didn't have the right size "joints" for her arms and legs. Her tail is made out of leather, a deviation from the pattern but one that I like better.  I made a little pair of gold wire glasses for her, although they need more work.  But she sits on my art desk and seems very content with them.


   My next mouse, and the best so far, is going to be a gift for a gardening friend of mine.  


    This one has a turquoise leather tail to match the ears. The pink whiskers are an improvement on my earlier whiskers, but still not ideal.  But the best part is that the little mouse stands on its own! That was a surprise.  Tomorrow it's going off to its new home. I hope my friend likes it.  
 
     Have you made any stuffer toys?  Mice???  If so, let me know. I'd love to hear about your experience.

     I already have my next one in the planning process.  New, smaller joints are on order.  New plastic whiskers have already arrived.  I'm looking forward to making another, better little mouse.  Every house needs one.



  

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Art Challenge Update and End

      As you saw in my last post, I was invited by some friends to participate in a 10 day Art Challenge on Facebook.  It was a great experience. Lots of encouraging comments and views. Lots of practice posting. I posted more in 10 days than I usually do a year!  

       I had planned to update the photos here as the Challenge continued, but as usual I'm behind. But better late than never, here are the other pictures of my art:

                                     A leather and Tila bead loomed bracelet.



                                         Ceramic wolf with Turquoise


                                           A little Steampunk for a fun day.


                                         Shibori silk for elegant times.


     A joint project. Kent wove the scarf and I made the Jasper butterfly brooch.

 And my personal favorite - 
I bought the loom pattern. Changed it slightly to make it look more like Tikaan.  It's Ultrasuede with a leather cord.  

One photo got left out, I think, but it's time to move on to something else.  Hope you enjoyed seeing my part of the 10 Day Art Challenge. If you've done something like this, or have other art projects on your blog, let me know. I'd love to stop by and see them.





Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The 10 Day Art Challenge

   Day 1 of the 10 Day Art Challenge


      A group of my artist friends have been participating in a 10 day Art Challenge on Facebook.  The purpose is to promote positivity, passion, and attention to art.  

     I was nominated by Leslie Ready to show one image of my art, my life, my studio, or exhibition for 10 consecutive days. The rules were that no explanation was to be given.  You were also to nominate another Artist every day to do the same. So basically 10 days. 10 images, 10 nominations. 

      On the first day I posted a picture of the bracelet I entered in the Arizona State Fair a few years ago. It was the first (and so far only) time I have entered a juried contest.  I was accepted, but I didn't win any prize.  But my husband and I got to go to an Artist's Reception with my friend Leslie and her husband, both of whom had entered and won awards for their art. It was very exciting and a fun night.

Day 2

       


      My entry for Day 2 was my Owl Cell Phone Purse. The feather came from a Great Horned Owl that had been living in another friend's tree and frequently dropped feathers on the ground.  I was taking a class on color, and the first assignment was to make something using neutral colors.  I had the little owl face in my stash and the feather, too.  I modified a Simplicity pattern to make the little purse.

 Day 3 


      My choice for Day 3 was a necklace I made from a piece of Quartz with some Amethyst and possibly Citrine in it. My husband cut and polished it from a small slab we had found at a rock show.  I added Swarovski crystals and other beads to make the necklace.  One of my faves.  
 
       I tried hard to nominate other artist friends to participate, but I struck out. One person wanted to do it but was recovering from a serious illness that I had not known about. A couple of others had projects and activities going on and didn't think they could take time away from them.  Two people couldn't get Facebook to work for them.  After trying six or seven people, I gave up on that part of the challenge.  It's too bad. They are all good artists and it would have been great to see their work.

       In a few days I'll post more of the Challenge pictures. In the meantime, if you've been in a similar challenge or would like to do so, let me know. I'd love to hear about it.



Sunday, February 14, 2021

Is Impression Jasper Really Jasper????


    
     If you ask a geologist if Impression Jasper is really jasper, the answer will most likely be "no". But if you ask a buyer of beads and jewelry, the answer will probably be "yes".  Like many questions, the answer is not as easy as it seems it should be. 

     If you're not familiar with Impression Jasper, you're in for a treat if you like colorful stones. Impression Jasper is an opaque stone that comes in a variety of colors, often mixed together in geometric patters.  You can find blues, greens, reds, purples and more in many rock and bead shops. I found a beautiful set of 9 graduated tear drop purple Impression Jasper cabs at the Tucson Gem Show two years ago. Dakota Stones was selling them.  

    The stones were labeled as composite and dyed, as opposed to natural stones that are frequently only cut and polished. So I was curious about what composites go into Impression Jasper. I'm not sure I found the answer to that question, but I did find some interesting information. 

    The Gemsona Critique Hub website states that Impression Jasper is "actually a hydrated aluminium phosphate mineral called variscite."  On page 159 of Patti Polk's book, Collecting Rocks, Gems, and Minerals, there is a picture and information about Variscite. However, there isn't any information about it being used in this manner.  

     Other sources identify Impression Jasper as a composite, including Dakota Stone.  But it's still beautiful, and Impression Jasper rolls off the tongue easier and sounds much prettier than Variscite.  
               
    I usually like more natural stones, but I have to admit that Impression Jasper is colorful and striking. I finally made my set into a necklace a few days ago.  The set came with some 4mm Purple Impression Jasper beads, but I added more.  I also added some crystals and some gold spaces.   The clasp is a gold plated lobster claw that didn't make it into the picture.  It's big enough to be easy to use and very secure.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.


          The crystals are more sparkling than they appear in the picture. They also came from the Tucson Gem Show from a store called Queenly Global.  Queenly Global is one of my favorite shops, and I always make time to shop with them.  

    You might be wondering if Impression Jasper, being a composite, has any healing or metaphysical properties.  According to information found at the website of Crystal Life Technology, Inc. "Impression Jasper (Variscite) is a stone of tranquility and encouragement. This is a stone that unifies lives and reminds people to help one another. Impression Jasper absorbs negative energy, balances yin/yang energy, and aligns the body, mind, and spirit. It is useful for shamanic travel. This stone also aids quick thinking and restores energy after recovering from an illness."

      So if you like colorful jewelry, take a look at Impression Jasper. Ignore its origins if you like the look and feel of this colorful cabochon. 

      



Saturday, January 9, 2021

Blessings for All

     Blessing Bags or Amulet Bags have interested me for a long time. I have intricate patterns for peyote stitched bags with a Wolf, Eagle, or other wildlife totem on the front. I love to look at them, but I know it would take me months, maybe longer, to stitch even one.  

     I have a small leather bag that I bought somewhere, and another circular leather bag that I made.  Inside I have wolf fur and healing stones.   

     Blessing Bags have been around for centuries and are known by many names. Medicine bags and Possibles bags are the same, or are very similar, to what others call Amulet Bags or Blessing Bags. By any name the idea is the same: Create or acquire a small bag to carry precious, personally important sacred items.  In the case of Possibles, some early explorers and mountain men carried larger bags that could hold gun powder, knives, and other items they needed for survival.   

  This year, with all of the terrible events that are plaguing us, I decided to make a few Blessing Bags to give to special friends.  


    Since I wanted my friends to have their Blessings within this century, I started with Ultrasuede or ribbon.  From there I added beads, fringe, sequins, and whatever else caught my fancy.  I tucked a Moonstone heart into each one to start their collection of amulets.  

     If you're interested in making a Blessing Bag, you can find patterns and info on Pinterest and other sites.  Or write me a comment and I'll send you directions on how I made mine.  

     If you don't want to make your own, there are many Blessing or Amulet bags available on Etsy. I don't sell any in my shop, but there are many available in a wide range of price points.  

      Whether you make or buy one, consider acquiring one of your own. Now is the time when we all need a Blessing Bag.