Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Class with Sharon Peters

Last week it was the Gathering and my class with Kim Edwards. This week I took a class with Sharon Peters and boy was it silly fun! Sharon is a warm, funny, giving instructor with a great sense of humor!

Sharon's work in not my usual style but I love taking classes. You just never know what you will learn. I picked up lots of great tips besides the techniques she was teaching and I WILL be making some silly style beads.......why not?

I thought I'd make some "silly" beads to give to students this year as rewards. Or, maybe I'll present them as auction items to raise money for the art room.......I'd love to get an Elmo to use in my room. Not the sesame street character, an Elmo is a document projector which can be used daily in the art room.

Sharon is the queen of silly beads. She makes dragons, goblins, chickens....all in a silly creative way. Can you see the start of Goblin eyes on the bead she is working on in the flame?

I'm waiting to pick up my beads so I have nothing really to show you of mine. 
On a side note: If you haven't, I'd recommend taking as many classes as you can. 
You just never know what cool, useful information you'll pick up!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gathering purchases

The Double Helix I purchased yesterday. This bundle was only 140.00! Typically I spend close to 300.00. I guess I'll have to get more today!

Overall I was really conservative in my purchasing. There really wasn't too many vendors and really I do have plenty of stuff already.

Now that I'm writing this, I WILL be picking up more Double Helix today. Its such an incredible glass if you can get it to do its thing. THATS the trick! I have not yet consistently mastered that!!

I'm working the Silent Auction table later today so if you are at the Gathering, please stop by and say hello.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Gathering

The International Society of Glass Beadmaking conference called the Gathering starts tomorrow right here in Rochester.  Hundreds of glass bead makers meet to learn the latest techniques, discover new tools, take classes and socialize.  The trade show begins later tomorrow and everyone races in there to get stocked up on glass and all the new must haves. Lots of fun. Lots of money being spent!

Today was the first day of a two day workshop I'm taking on making glass chain maille. What fun its been so far! I can really see how I might eventually use it in my work.

Here is our group of 10 crazy glass workers. Around us there were about 5 other classes going on too. Everyone was very focused!

On my lunch break I went around taking some pictures for a photography class I'm currently taking.

The class is on taking images with your phone and then apps are reviewed so you know what to expect from each. I love taking photos with my phone. So immediate and the apps you can get for manipulating your image are amazing.

I think this filter really gives a cool effect. 

If you get a chance, check out Kim Edwards work on easy. She does some amazing things with glass!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Glass + Paint = A Great Day!

I guess I'm kind of addicted to making these. Buttons or pendants??

My latest painting. It took me forever it seemed to finish this. I love all the colors....and all the places to look at. Some might say its busy but I say its rich!

Summer vacation means time to paint and make beads! I'm only a few feet from my studio and torch when I'm painting outdoors. So nice for someone with a little touch of ADD!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Something about Purple

Purple has been my color lately. 
Not necessarily a conscience choice either.
This is one of my Mandala pendants.
I really love this pendant.
Love the denim blues, the wonderful purples and the turquoise accents.
This pendant is changeable too.
Something about Purple.

Look here for some interesting facts on the color purple.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Running, Yoga and Vegan Lifestyle

Running and yoga have become my latest obsessions. Both make me feel good in different ways. Running pushes me in my endurance but is rather meditative. Yoga is stretching, balance, flexibility and very meditative! I take classes however I've recently become hooked on the Blissology dvd's that are amazing! Check out the link and explore the site.

I've been vegetarian for over 25 years and my sister very recently decided to jump on the wagon too. She has been doing more vegan recipes and then once I really thought about it, I'm considered vegan too. I don't necessarily like labels......I think people tend to flaunt them for some reason......but for those who like them, there you have it.

My sister shared one of her favorite blogs last night when we were there for the 4th. Great stuff!! Check out Food Doodle. I'm making these energy bites today.........they are awesome!

Energy Bites
makes approximately 2 dozen depending on size
  • 1/2 C nut butter(almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or any other nut or seed butter.  Anything will work here)
  • 1/3 C honey(I believe brown rice syrup would also work.  I’m not sure of thinner sweeteners such as maple syrup and agave though as they may not hold together as well)
  • 1 C old fashioned rolled oats(you can toast for a nuttier flavor at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes)
  • 1 C shredded unsweetened coconut(you can substitute any dry ingredients for this, wheat bran or germ, oat bran, some ground flax seed(I wouldn’t recommending using an entire cup!), any kind of ground nuts or seeds.  For a cookie dough type bite try adding a few tablespoon of your favorite whole grain flour)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt if using a natural nut butter with no added salt
  • 1-2 tsp your favorite spices or spice combinations(optional)
  • 1/2 C other addins(any kind of whole or roughly chopped nuts or seeds, dried fruit, good quality chocolate chips, etc)
In a large bowl add the nut butter, honey or other sweetener, vanilla and salt if needed.  Use less vanilla if yours is very strong or more if you really enjoy the vanilla flavor and don’t buy an alcohol based kind.  If all your ingredients are room temperature you should be able to stir to combine.  If this is difficult you can warm in the microwave for a few seconds or even place the bowl in an inch or two hot water for a few minutes to soften everything.  Once this is combined add the remaining ingredients.
In this case I used almond butter and for my addins I used equal parts sesame seeds, poppy seeds and mini chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Once it’s all combined place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Then remove from the fridge, scoop out some dough and roll into a ball.  I find it’s much easier, and works better to squeeze the handful together to compact it and then roll it into a ball.
If yours are too sticky you can considering adding more dry ingredients into them or rolling them in something like ground nuts, coconut, etc so they aren’t as sticky.  Place the balls in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer for quick and easy snacks.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Vacation Begins Today!

The school year has ended for teachers, the day camp I was teaching at is completed and now I am ready to begin my time of rest, relaxation and recovery from a busy year!

I love my day job as an art teacher but I don't believe many realize how draining it is to be with children  5 days a week in a scheduled "work" environment. No matter how fun and exciting teaching art is, there still is all the preparation of materials, record keeping, report cards, meetings and the high energy of young people. I love it but rest is great too!

I am finishing up one last order for Hearts for Hannah and will be reporting how much will be donated this year. It will be significantly less I am sure since it has become increasingly more difficult to keep all the balls in the air so to speak. Still, I think we will have a respectable amount to give in Hannah's memory.

Next year, I am working on revising my fundraising event. Yes, I am continuing to support Joining Hearts and Hands but I really need to find a more efficient way for me to do my creative part. I have plenty of time to think on this so no rush here.

I have many things planned for my summer break. I will be attending a glass conference in late July, taking a class with a master glass worker and, as always, prepping for my shows that start in August. Another plan for my summer is to continue my focus on my painting. It is a wonderfully free method of painting that I am currently doing and gives me  great joy. As of now, I do these paintings for myself. However, I am considering offering some of my work as prints and cards......who knows.

Here is my latest painting but still in process. The goal is to have it complete by the weekend!

Color, just like my beads, is a big part of all my creative endeavors. I still have work to do on this so check back to see how it turns out :)