Archive for September, 2011

So I decided to challenge myself (because somehow I have a few remaining brain cells left that I feel compelled to destroy!) by doing an inchie-a-day challenge for Halloween.

Starting October 1st I will make an inchie inspired by Halloween every day and of course post it here. Honestly I’m not sure I’ll be able to post every day. Or even make an inchie every day. I’m not sure I have that many ideas to be able to make a Halloween-inspired inchie every day for 31 days. Or the time to do it.

But I wanted to do something different and thought this would be fun, and also give me an opportunity to play and experiment on a small scale.

To make things easier on myself, I made inchie “blanks” that simply need adornment. One side is orange and the other is black. I’m sticking with those two colors pretty much. I pulled out a variety of papers, ribbons, crystals, stickers, rubber stamps, and other embellishments to work with. I also printed out two pages of Halloween-inspired words and phrases. And I’m setting a time limit of 20 minutes max.

So stay tuned for 31 days of Halloween!


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So my third soldering attempt is way better than the first two.

soldering attempt 3

Pretty good, just a few lumps and bumps that need to be filed smooth (and who doesn’t have a few lumps and bumps that need fixing?).

I’m still not quite there with the adding a bead of solder – I have a hard time getting a thick layer on there. And I’m still having issues with the jump rings; I just can’t seem to get them on securely. But practice, practice, practice, and I’m sure it will come.

I thought my soldering skills were decent enough to work on an actual project – how exciting! Here it is…

kooky & meticulous

kooky & meticulous

Not too bad. I will not add the jump rings however until I practice some more and can do it well.

Another project I have been working on is a “Beribboned Bulletin Board”, from the April/May/June issue of Somerset Life, by Amber Demien…

by amber demien

Isn’t that so pretty? I really wish I would have looked at the picture again before I started mine, instead of relying on my memory. Whatever was I thinking!

Here’s mine so far…

memo board project

Ummm, I’m not loving it. The colors are way too bright. Ugh. The only thing to do is throw more paint on top of it and see what happens.

Thanks for stopping by!


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A couple weeks ago I noticed the leaves were subtly changing color. They were not quite so green, not quite so vibrant anymore. And I knew fall was on its way. Of course to me it feels like it should still be July. But October – October! – lurks around the corner. And once October hits it’s a steady slide toward the big three – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I am simply not ready to deal with all that!

To ease into the coming onslaught of the cold weather and its accompanying festivities, I thought I would do a give-away, and offer a pretty piece of jewelry. After all, jewelry makes everything better, right? I think so.

So here is a bracelet I made. It is 7&3/8″ long including the clasp. The wire, chain, and clasp are sterling silver. The beads are Czech fire-polished glass and hematite. Each bead is attached to the chain with a wire-wrapped loop. This bracelet has a great feel and a nice weight to it.

wirework bracelet

wirework bracelet

Simply leave a comment on this post and you will be entered into the drawing. On October 15th I will randomly select a name, and that person will receive the bracelet. Good luck!


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photoshop friday.

I had some time this past Friday to work in Photoshop some more. Thought I would share some of my exercises…enjoy!

Here is the original photo.
my angel

Here I played with the transformation option…this was fun!
lily transformed

I used the ‘reduce noise’ filter on this photo. The changes are subtle compared to the original.
lily, noise reduced

This one was also fun to do – I used the lens distortion correction, but since my photo wasn’t distorted to begin with, I used the correction to make it distorted.
lily, lens corrected

I used the sponge tool which subtly changes the color saturation of an area of the photo. I made the grass background and her hair more saturated.
lily sponge

Enjoy your day!


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Finally, after many years of putting it off, I have picked up a soldering iron and melted some solder. I’ve been working on some mini collages to sandwich between glass, but I’ve been itchy to just try it out already. So I decided to do some practice pieces with microscope slides. And good thing. Because it’s a lot harder to do than I had anticipated.

My first attempt is a mess (top). Blobs of solder everywhere! My second attempt (bottom) is better, but still needs a lot of work.

poor microscope slides!

I can do the tinning ok, but adding a bead of solder is not going so well. Neither is adding a jump ring. On my first attempt the jump rings kept falling sideways! I’m sure with more practice though I’ll get the hang of it.

making it mine.
Somerset Studio has a new feature called Make It Your Own, by Michelle Ward. I love this idea, and am excited to see what topics Ms Ward covers.

In the inaugural article she discusses some differences between art and craft. I enjoyed her take on it: “We have heard the question asked, “What is the difference between art and craft?” I think one answer might be that when you make it your own, it’s art. When you follow directions, as you would a recipe or copy a project from a magazine, then that is craft. Personalizing, interpreting, and then processing through your own filters is art.” (Somerset Studio, July/August).

I think it makes perfect sense to put your spin on things – as Ms Ward said, it’s perfectly fine to use purchased embellishments or papers in your work. But paint them, stamp them, cut them, add glitter glue, scuff them – make it look like they’ve been through your hands. I can’t wait to start applying this principal more often in my own work.

Thanks for visiting!


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I finished reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I loved it.

I thought the ending sentence was a bit odd though…”Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate; and among the merits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be ranked as the least considerable, that though sisters, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands.”

So the two sisters got along, not that there was any question in my mind that they ever wouldn’t. And their husbands got along too. And everyone lived happily ever after!

To me, “sense” represents common sense, and “sensibility” represents the expectations of society and culture, and perhaps emotions as well. Or maybe emotions are part of “sense”. I’m not sure. I don’t have time to look into it right now either. Anyone out there have any thoughts on the subject? I would love to hear them!

I adore Miss Austen’s sense of humor – she can be quite hilarious. I very much enjoyed whenever she wrote about Mrs. Ferrars…”Though it is not to be supposed that Mrs. Ferrars can have the smallest satisfaction in knowing that her son has money enough to live upon…” Miss Austen has a very good understanding of the motives behind human actions.

I was so happy that Elinor and Edward finally got together. I just love Elinor! I think she is wonderful, and would like to be more like her myself.

I liked Marianne as well – her impetuousness, her emotional honesty – she was quite the drama queen! But she was also fun, and felt things deeply. And had no problem letting everyone around her know!

Now I’m reading Pride and Prejudice . I’m enjoying it, but not as much as Sense and Sensibility. There are a lot of unlikable characters (Miss Bing, Mrs. Hurst, Lady Catherine, Mrs. Bennett, who might be the most unlikable – wait a minute – why are these all women?) and I’m not really sure where the story is going. I like Elizabeth but she’s a bit of a weird one too. I like Jane very much, and Mary too although she is a minor character.

I can’t believe I’m doing this again
Here is a picture of Lily on her first day of school on Tuesday. It’s going well so far. I’m drowning in the usual first-week-of-school paperwork. Lily is happy and enthusiastic about school and getting to ride a bus.

ready for education

Thanks for stopping by!


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sea and crabs and doughnuts – oh my!

We were in Ocean City MD over the weekend. This was our fourth year there.

Because Lily started kindergarten on Tuesday, we only stayed from Saturday to Monday.

We did decide, however, that we will never leave on Labor Day again, because instead of the usual 3-hour ride, it took 5 hours. Five long – very long! – hours. Five hours in a car + a 5-year old = a meltdown for all involved.

It was a good time though. Hurricane Irene seemed to have left little damage. I thought the beach was a bit chilly – the wind was relentless! My one disappointment was that there were no shells to be found. I managed to gather a few fragments, but that was it.

We ate at Harrison’s Harbor Watch on Saturday night and then “walked the boards” as my mother-in-law says. I forget what restaurant we ate at on Sunday, but it was very good. We took Lily to the Jolly Roger amusement park after.

And what has quickly become a new tradition, we had to get doughnuts from the Fractured Prune. Delicious! Freshly-made, hot, with a variety of glazes and toppings to choose from – I highly recommend them!

My husband and I always go for a walk along the beach at night. It’s an interesting experience – mesmerizing, disorienting, and mysterious. When it’s really dark, you can see so many more stars than we can see at home (I remember when I was little I could see the Milky Way, just at home. It’s so built up now, you’re lucky you can see 20 stars at night.)

Jupiter was in full force again, as it was last year – so big and bright! It’s amazing, how a planet so far away from us, can be so bright and beautiful.

The ocean is so fascinating. The rhythm, the colors, the smell. I love it all.

It’s like a dream that we were even there.

But here are some photos to prove it.

Lily was really into digging.
let's dig!

On Monday we spent a short time at the beach, so that we could fly Lily’s kite and say good-bye to the ocean.
let's fly!

Lily, flying her kite. That lasted a few minutes. She was more interested in the water.
let's fly!

And of course the ocean.
to the sea

Thanks for stopping by!


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