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Archive for May, 2010

vegas baby!
We just got back from Vegas three months ago so I thought I’d share some pictures (I’m just a teensy bit behind!).

We stayed at the Encore, which is the sister hotel to the Wynn (the Wynn is the hotel in front).

A lot of the hotels had Chinese lanterns hanging to celebrate the Chinese New Year. These were in the Palazzo, which is the sister property to the Venetian (one of my favorite hotels). The Palazzo was quite nice – there was a gelatto shop. I had chocolate and hazelnut – yummy!
palazzo

This is the new City Center. I was not impressed. It’s a bunch of ugly gray buildings that do not fit in at all with the rest of the Strip. Do they look like fun? No!
city center

This is the Aria, part of the City Center. I believe this is the only building with a casino. The casino was beautiful – modern but chic and sophisticated as well.
aria

There was an art gallery next to the Aria that was showing the work of Dale Chihuly. His glasswork is incredible – you can see some of it in the Bellagio as well as the Borgata in Atlantic City. Just stunning.
dale chihuly

Another Dale Chihuly piece – isn’t this the coolest thing?
dale chihuly

Marc and I had one free night together – we spent it in Paris, of course, at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. We tried foie gras for the first time (let’s just say it was interesting), and I had the pheasant, which I’d never had before either. It was delicious. For dessert we each had the souffle – I forget what Marc had but I got the chocolate. I’d never had souffle before either, and I probably wouldn’t get it again. The flavor was yummy but the texture was not one that I enjoy. I was glad to try it though. Anyway, this is a picture of the Bellagio fountains from the restaurant (we had a table right at the window).
beloved fountains

The (Vegas) Eiffel Tower.
as close to paris as i can get right now

My beloved fountains. I think the fountains are my most favorite thing in Vegas. The way the water moves – it’s so graceful and beautiful. I never get tired of watching.
magical fountains

Our favorite restaurant – Mon Ami Gabi (in the Paris hotel). We went for lunch – I had a seared tuna salad which was incredibly delicious. I practically licked the plate clean.
mon ami

And finally, the fabulous view from our room. Ah, Vegas!
vegas at night

cherries=summer in fruit form

I was at Wegman’s yesterday and as soon as I walked in what did I see? Cherries! My most favorite fruit. From now until the end of the cherry season I will eat approximately 52.8 pounds of them. They are sooooo delicious! My fingers will be stained.

cherries

~toodles!

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spring
I got this darling little bird nest charm from Artbeads. I knew immediately that I wanted to make something sweet and lovely for spring – a fresh time, a time for renewal, time for the birds to come back. One of the first signs of spring is the sound of birds chirping. And they like to chirp very early in the morning, in the dark, as if a sign – it’s ok to get up, this is a beautiful day!

little birds

I also used some birdie connectors, glass beads, and freshwater pearls.

Of course I had to make a pair of earrings to go with. I decided to play with wire and do something a little different. I’m not sure how much they complement the necklace, but I think they turned out nicely.

dangles

Disclosure: I have received this product (bird nest charm) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said product and have not been paid to endorse said product.

speaking of beads
I had let my Bead & Button subscription lapse for an issue or two. Then I panicked and renewed it. The other day the June 2010 issue arrived and I breathed a sigh of relief. I was so happy to see it – like an old friend. I can’t be without my B&B. I wish I still had the time or the inclination to do this sort of intensive beadwork, but when Lily was born it seems that my artwork decided to go in a new direction. And that’s cool.

b&b

I still love my beads of course, but have turned toward using them in more simplified jewelry rather than beadweaving with seed beads (oh, the good old days, when I had the luxury of spending 30 hours on a bracelet!). I’m still very fond of B&B, and I love to see what other people are doing with their seed beads. Perhaps in the future…you never know. My beads and my John James needles are at the ready! And I’ve got a dish of beadwork projects sitting on my table – repairs mostly, but I’d really like to get to them. Someday!

i can if i think i can
I’ve been watching the latest season of Ruby (I’m a bit behind!). I think she is amazing, and so inspiring. I love her honesty, and she’s funny, flirty, and determined to enjoy life no matter what. She looks wonderful, and I’m so happy that she’s lost so much weight so far. I know she’ll reach her goal.

~sweet dreams~

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getting it together
I started reading The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole. It’s really good. I have especially enjoyed the chapter Motivation, which encourages writing an artistic vision and determining long- and short-term goals. I took the time to write my own artistic vision and goals.

Some of my long-term goals (over the next 2 to 5 years) include participating in art retreats and classes, learning to solder (perenially on my to-do list), submitting my work to various magazines, creating mixed media jewelry, and further exploration of digital art.

My short-term goals (from now through July) include submitting a couple things to magazines, spending a half-hour per week on digital art, updating my sadly-neglected flickr page, and making a scrapbook for my son.

The other chapter that I’ve really enjoyed is the one called Planning, in which Miss Cole describes the art action plan. Basically you take your short-term goals and break them down into individual steps. You then plan for the coming week which steps you will do each day, taking into consideration how much time you have. So I made an art action plan for the past week….and failed utterly at accomplishing pretty much everything that was on my plan. The only things I got done were a blog post and some things for Mother’s Day. The blog post took way longer than I was expecting. I am hopeful however that my art action plan for this week will fair better.

prom time!
So yesterday was my son’s girlfriend’s senior prom, and today is his. He decided to go with an all-white tux with a blue vest and bowtie to match her dress. They make a lovely couple, don’t they? She is very sweet. I have to say these pictures don’t do them justice.

This is yesterday, at her house.
prom

Also yesterday, at her house.
prom

This is from earlier today, at our house.
prom

and finally
I did manage to fit in a little digital play this past week, with this photo that I took of Lily. She’s wearing her new favorite Disney princess nightgown and a pair of my shoes.

lily

I played with the color a bit and applied a filter to get the “drawing” look. I think it turned out very nicely!

~toodles!

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beads galore
So here are my latest offerings from Artbeads. The theme was summer, so I tried to choose some summery pendants (the antiqued-brass kind, which are just so beautiful), as well as some glass beads in the form of gorgeous Czech beads to go with.

Let’s start with the pendants.

Merlot or cabernet?

le vin

This is a lovely Art Deco-style pendant featuring two bunches of grapes. I love the bottom loop – an opportunity to use more beads! This is a good-sized pendant, especially with the addition of a dangle from the bottom loop. It’s lightweight, with lovely detail on the front. If you enjoy wine, celebrate it by making a necklace with this pendant.

Next up we have a scarab pendant – funny, because I don’t like bugs, yet I’ve always had a thing for scarabs. Must be because of my fascination with ancient Egypt.

scarab

I love the detail on the legs. I think this little scarab will look great with the turquoise- and stone-look glass beads I got.

And finally my favorite pendant, this amazing dragonfly.

dragonfly

I love the detail on the wings – there are flowers and leaves, and even some maize (or so it looks to me). It’s just gorgeous!

beads glorious beads

And now for the glass beads – I chose Czech beads, which are one of my most absolute favorite beads. There’s something about them – the way they sparkle, the colors, the feel – there’s nothing like them. Sure, you can get Swarovski crystal beads, which are utterly gorgeous in their own right, but there’s something earthy about Czech beads that I love. Even Czech seed beads, which are notoriously uneven in size and have very small holes, I love them. dearly.

And now for some Czech bead love:

my lovely beads

Starting from the top left, we have turquoise with picasso ovals, garnet with full picasso rondelles, sea mix with full picasso rondelles, and opaque turquoise with half picasso rondelles.

beads!

And here we have opaline alexandrite with picasso rondelles (forming the circle) and inside tourmaline green/purple and amethyst/light amethyst rondelles. Yummy!

See, aren’t Czech beads the most wonderful of all? totally gorgeous.

Disclosure: I have received these products (above pendants and beads) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

~nighty night!

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