September 28, 2008

Finally got it done!

It's a gloomy, rainy day in New Hampshire and I'm sort of between projects. So, I bit the bullet and spent the afternoon changing my blog over to Blogger's new Templates. With lots of trial and errors, I've got it organized and sort of looking like I want it to be. Learning what they call things and getting them to work right has left my brain tired, but I guess it's things like this that keep me young.

Fall colors are really starting to show around the countryside. Here are some Mums that I saw last weekend when we went to watch Yankee Siege (a Trebuchet) fling pumpkins.

confessions of a glass bead snob

Once upon a time, I would only consider glass or gemstone beads for my work. Sometime late last year my opinion changed. Maybe its the weight of pieces or maybe it's the selection of beads in fantastic yummy colors, but I find I've changed my mind and now will consider a wider range of materials in my stash of beads.

The first material that I found was vintage Lucite - it sure isn't your kid's plastic beads! The detail is amazing. Combine that with a translucent quality in some of the items, add great subtle coloring and you have a medium that I fell in love with. I've been buying old earrings and necklaces for some of my stock and the rest comes from Beadin' Path up in Maine. I could spend hours (& $$'s) in that store.

The first lightweight piece I did was a finger woven bracelet with Lucite flowers and leaves. I paired the flowers with 6mm faceted roundels in semi-precious stones (citrine, amethyst, tourmaline, quartz, blue topaz) and topped them with red Delicas. This bracelet weighs less than an ounce compared to five ounces in the last one I did with glass beads. I actually think it's more striking than the full glass bead bracelets. It's easy on the wrist and gets noticed when I wear it.

When I was at the Tucson shows this February I grabbed a bunch of brightly dyed wood beads - not having a clue as to what I was going to use them for. I just liked the shapes and colors and the very low price. Seems like a lot of beads just follow me home that way. Some of the the wooden beads have now found a home in my current finger woven bracelet project.

This is sort of an, "I wonder what would happen if....?" bracelet. I had a packet of colored safety pins lying around - looked at the holes at one end and had to try them in a bracelet. I added some purple Lucite rings and liked the eclectic, wire look. Next, I added a bunch of the small purple propeller-like wood beads and ...WOW! I never imagined they'd sit up like that and nestle together so nicely. OK, I'll finish the safety pin bracelet, but I can't wait to try a whole piece with the propeller wood beads. See the aqua sticks at the top of my wood bead collection? That's another, "I wonder what would happen if....? idea for a funky bracelet.

I'm having fun exploring finger weaving with lightweight materials. It all seems to fit together and works well. I guess I've come to the realization that it's not the materials, but what you do with them that is important. Glass and gemstone beads are still 90% of my collection, but I've now made room for other materials.

September 6, 2008

Indiana Barns

We took a trip earlier this Summer from NH to a family reunion in Illinois. I fell in love with some of the seed signs along the side of the road. They have great graphics in bold, bright colors. I'd love to have a couple to hang on my studio walls.

While driving, I started noticing the doors on Indiana barns... Most of them had the door trim painted on them in an arch pattern. Indiana had red barns and Ohio had white barns. Wonder what local customs dictates the color of barns?

Some were realistic and others were just sort of a scalloped top edge.

A nicely done fresh coat of paint.

Even the little doors had painted arch trim.

This gem of an octagonal barn was just sitting in a field all by itself. What beautiful details.

September 5, 2008

House Hunting

I've been house hunting for larger summer quarters. Haven't found what I want, but I've run across a few places that I could have lived in. We're looking for a rural loft for 2 small businesses with smallish living quarters attached.

Anaconda MT has a 1920's building that was a drugstore and then a theater in the 40's. Loads of original interior things are still there. The price was right, but too far away from NH.

I like to travel, but there just wasn't enough space in this caboose converted to an efficiency apartment. The price included a rail move once a year.

This old firehouse just north of me in NH had great possibilities. It had the right open span space on the lower floor and a great apartment above. The drawback was that the building sat on a lot that was just 3' larger than the building... no septic system or well. I could deal with a chemical toilet, but finding a shower elsewhere was a real problem.

We drove by this old school building in Erie PA and had to stop and take another look. Sigh, again it wasn't in the right state. Wouldn't it make a great studio and home?

There are a lot of loft-type places out there, but the big problem is that they all seem to be in cities. I'm needing something in the country, or at least where I can look out at green growing things rather than buildings. Meanwhile, I thought some of you might enjoy some of the more intresting places that I've run across.