Friday, December 24, 2010

I wish you a Merry Christmas

Seems we are having a white Christmas after all  - it has been furiously snowing for about three hours and everything is smothered in snow.

I would like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas. May your homes and your hearts be filled with peace, happiness and the blessings of the season.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Xmas vignette

This is what I have been doing. Baking cookies.
Well, some of what I have been doing. We put our tree up today. No pictures yet.  I have been playing with buttons. Tomorrow we will do last minute grocery shopping - and then - Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Beginnings of an ornament exchange

I think I have mentioned before that the reason I started blogging almost 2 years ago, was because I wanted to connect with people that shared my interests in art and jewelry; 'life, the universe and everything'.

That has happened in ways I couldn't have dreamed of  - and I am very thankful. Thankful for the connections, for the encouragement and support, for the love and the friendship.
Thank you - all of you!

I have been dreaming of finding a group of people here in Germany to connect with. For a number of reasons - maybe the most important is, to support each other in mixed media art and mixed media jewelry, which does not have such a widespread community here - yet.

The end of November I approached three ladies within Germany and asked it they would be interested in an ornament swap for Christmas. Unfortunately, Gaby of Colorful Adventures was not able to commit to an additional project at this time - but I hope she will join us in the future, as the two other talented ladies - Stefanie of Stefanies Sammelsurium and Janna of Schnitzkästchen (aka Palimpa Lim) - graciously accepted my 'invitation'. I deliberately only asked a couple of people, as it was already far into the season and I was sure it would be difficult to find time to make a large amount of ornaments (but I will definitely be expanding the group for next year - because it was so much fun! These girls are incredible!).

Okay, enough of the talking already, before I bore everyone to death. On with the pictures!

This week, we received all our respective ornaments - last night we unpacked! Was it ever exciting!

This cute little box is from Stefanie.

This was the wrapping for Janna's ornament.

Talk about suspense!

These are the ornaments I received. Aren't they gorgeous?

This is Stefanie's ornament - anyone who follows her blog will recognize her use of vibrant colours. Love the way she combines them and she always has some sari silk in her creations. Love the little cherub - a resin paper/wire creation. A gorgeous ornament! I can't wait to put the tree up tomorrow.

This is Janna's creation. Talk about mixed media! She used brass, copper, vintage lace and sari silk and I think the heart is resin paper... fantastic. Love it! And that little face! There is even a little sleigh bell dangling from the silk - sigh!

Thank you both, Stefanie and Janna, for taking the chance and playing along with me for this swap. I promise, it will not be the last. 
Please visit Janna's and Stefanie's blogs later today, as they will also be sharing their ornaments with us.

Once again, thank you to everyone - for enriching my life and expanding my horizons in so many ways!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday flea market - last time this year

This morning, after getting the fire going and putting out the daily two pounds of assorted bird seed, raisons and peanuts in the shell for my feathered friends, I scraped the frost off of my car windows and drove to the flea market on roads that went from snow covered to almost clear. This is most likely the last flea market I will see for a while - definitely the last in this year. By the time I got there, quite a bit of snow was coming down. The turn out was somewhat disappointing and who knows what treasures I missed, either because the tables were covered with plastic tarp to keep everything dry or everything was already covered by a layer of snow.

I did manage to find a few goodies, though.

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday - slow down and enjoy the season. Oh and - could somebody have a cup of eggnog for me?

Friday, December 17, 2010

...the weather outside is frightful...

 A few weeks ago, Diane of Rosa & Josie's kindly sent me some beautiful brass filigrees to play with, along with a copy of Artful Blogging that she was in, because she knew I didn't have access to the magazine here - thank you again, Diane - you sweet and thoughtful woman! I am sure most of you know Diane and her beautiful jewelry (if not, hop right over to her blog - she is also a very talented photographer).
Inspired by Diane's style - I decided to create a piece with one of the brass filigrees as a tribute to her. This is what I came up with.

The focal is layered with the brass filigree, silk rod, vintage lace, a vintage image and mica.

The necklace was created using brass chain, Czech glass, rhinestone rondelles, vintage chandelier crystals, more vintage lace and textile forget-me-nots. I created the clasp using a vintage glass cabochon and brass filigree.

I know I haven't been posting very regulary lately.I seem to be caught in an endless loop of waking up to find more fresh snow - which needs to be shoveled away. So that I can get my car onto the slippery road. Driving anywhere requires more time than usual. This is what my world looks like right about now. I will have to go out and shovel some more snow - second time today.

The birds are hungry, because the deep snow has buried everything edible. I even have to clear a space beneath the pear tree in the yard, so that the bird seed I put out does not just disappear.

Even a few thrushes (I think these - the grey ones with the lighter coloured belly - front, center and far right - are juniper thrushes) have joined the multitude that feed in my yard.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

more angel earrings

Here are the other angel earrings I finished yesterday.

A shot of the angel variations all together.Not much light for photography today either. Sorry about the slightly fuzzy pics. I will have to redo these when we get some light.
The earrings are listed in my shops.

We had several more inches of snow overnight and this morning we had sleet and rain. By Monday, the temps will drop beneath freezing for a longer period of time, they say.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A winters day - in a deep and dark December

I am starting to think this is going to be a winter that will be remembered. Not fondly, no. But it will carve itself into memory. After we had all that snow, the temps went up and it rained. Which caused flooding - because the ground was still frozen and the snow was melting and all that water just didn't have anywhere to go. We aren't affected, as we live on somewhat higher ground, thank goodness.
Last night, the snow set in again. We had about 15 cm by late morning today. It will snow heavily again tonight. And on the weekend, it might rain. And it is only December. We usually have a light snowfall in November, which disappears long before Christmas. The real stuff usually comes in January and February. This year is definitely different. This is what I was looking at this morning.

Sorry about the quality of the photo - it wasn't really light when I took this. Later on, after shovelling snow for over an hour, I didn't really want to take pictures.

Do you realize that Christmas is a mere 2 weeks away? I have been making some angel earrings, but as it has been getting dark rather early, I was only able to take pictures of these two pairs before daylight disappeared (and I don't take pictures of jewelry with the flash):

I want to take a moment to thank you for stopping by and leaving comments on these last posts - you all mean so much to me. Thank you for your continuing support.

I am off to the studio again. There are several ideas in my head that are demanding to be let out.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday flea market not available due to...

this! Just wanted to show you what it looks like here. Hey, I heard that! I heard you say it was beautiful.

Well, I will get it all loaded on to a few trucks and have it sent over to you. No, no need to thank me. My pleasure...

If only I could get rid of it that easy. It was minus 10°C this morning. And since there was no really interesting flea market scheduled today, I decided to keep my toes warm and stay in the house. I mean, even one of my cats came in from outside this morning and almost wiped out going around the corner, in his hurry to get to the litter box. So it apparently too cold to take care of business outside. Hmmm. It must be colder than I thought.

I am feeding the birds, as I do every winter. This little guy is a robin. Very different from the American robin. This is sort of the original thing. Tiny little bird. But so cute.

It is hard to get a decent picture through the kitchen window. And for some strange reason, they refuse to all come round and peck at the seeds when I am standing outside. I wonder why? I have a multitude of sparrows, chickadees, titmice (is that the plural of titmouse? I wonder), finches, blackbirds, thrushes and other birds that I don't know the English names of .

 Today, I borrowed my husband's camera to try to get some decent pictures of some of the birds. My camera just can't do it. This is a woodpecker in the pear tree. He likes peanuts.
I am still waiting for the partridge to turn up. We had a pheasant two years ago. Does that count?

Several of these large jay-like birds come to the feeders - they are also fond of the peanuts. They are called Eichelhäher - which could be (kinda-sorta) translated to acorn jay. A very shy bird, slightly smaller than a crow, and this is the first photo I have been able to shoot that wasn't just a blur.

They are predicting more s-word this afternoon and tomorrow. Maybe I should hibernate?

Hope you are all having a lovely Sunday, with or without the s word.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Challenge of Color - reveal and blog hop

A few weeks ago, Erin of Treasures Found - TesoriTrovati, issued a challenge by color. She had issued challenges in the past - and really interesting challenges - which I had not been able to respond to. This time, I wanted to be a part of the challenge. We were to email her and select a colour preference - she would then send or email us a paint chip colour palette, and we were to create a piece of jewelry based on the colour palette she sent.

So far, so good. I chose purple. A colour not totally out of my comfort zone, but one that I don't use too often (anyone that has been stopping by regularly knows that green is my favorite colour to use...), so I thought this would inspire me. This is the colour palette I received from Erin:

That red did rock the boat a bit! Red has always been a bit of a problem for me. I do use it in jewelry occaisonally, but I will not wear it myself. Unless it is more of a rust colour. Or maybe a dark burgundy, verging on purple. But no real reds. Well, you get the idea - it is not my colour. So this was a challenge outside of my comfort zone - which I welcomed. That was the whole idea, really, wasn't it?

Erin also suggested that we use the names on the paint chip palette to name our piece. The name of that pale lavender spoke to me - loudly and clearly. Sanctuary. What a wonderful word. The implications. The associations. Sanctuary.

So, this is my piece. It is called Sanctuary.

I had this vision of a protected place - where delicate things were protected from harm and could thrive according to their nature. So a fence or gate came to mind - which I proceeded to build from heavy gauge copper wire, which was wire wrapped and soldered. Then I added flowers in glass and lucite, to represent the delicate things which need protection to flourish - in purple, lavender and red. I admit, I added some green (just couldn't help myself...). A couple of birds - more delicate things.

So - there were many participants for this fantastic challenge - Thank You again, Erin! - so please hop on over to see the magic created!

The participants:

Round Robin Giveaway Winner!

And we have a winner. I used the Random Org Generator and this is what it came up with:

No. 20 was Cat Kerr of In the Light of the Moon. Congratulations, Cat! Please send me an email with your address. Thank you to everyone that commented on our Round Robin adventure. I was so touched and inspired. It is this unbelievably supportive blogging community that made the Round Robin adventure possible. I thank you all for being there and being a part of this community. It is all about the connections.

Stop by later today - I will be joining Erin of TesoriTrovati for the Challenge of Color blog hop. I am sure there will be lots of eye candy and inspiration.