Tuesday, December 29, 2009

DonorsChoose.org: Gift certificates

I just donated to my third donorschoose.org project. It's called "Change with Time" and the teacher describes it here.  I gave my family gift certificates for Christmas and we had fun searching for projects that were of interest to them.
  • My brother likes Chess so he helped a teacher buy Chess strategy books for his students. 
  • My mom wears a pedometer every day and is fanatical about getting her steps. She donated to a project to get pedometers for the students who would gather information while burning calories and learn about charting and analyzing data. 
  • Rob works in energy conversion so he donated to a solar project.
  • Rich is a retired teacher and farmer so he donated to an agriculture class learning about landscape design and soil testing.
  • All DonorsChoose.org projects are submitted by public school teachers who seek resources essential to their students' success.
Check it out, it's fun! Best of all, I can pay for donations with Paypal. That makes it easy to contribute some of my bead proceeds to a good cause.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ByTheBead: Earrings galore!

If you are in the market for pretty earrings for yourself or a friend, I recommend bythebead on etsy. If you can't find something you like there, you're just not trying. I had to give up on earrings about 8 years ago...no matter what I wore, I was afflicted with red, inflamed earlobes. But if I was still an "earringer," I'd be buying from Nancy!

For some reason, I find this pair particularly appealing. Hmm...I wonder why that is? :o)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Artist: Nathan Fowkes

I found Nathan Fowkes' blogs tonight. I don't even have the words to describe how fantastic all his stuff is.
The charcoal of the woman at left is stunning. I love the way the hair changes from realistic at the top to stylized at the bottom.
Click on these links to see some of my favorites...
Charcoal woman
Landscape (watercolor)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Tradition: Gift Clues

My family has a tradition regarding gift tags on presents. You don't just write To: Name and From: Name. You have to write a clue about what's inside and as we take turns opening gifts, the recipient has to read the clue out loud and try to guess what it is. My brother also has a "tradition" of wrapping gifts in whatever store circulars are in his local paper.
So for his birthday this year, one of his gifts was a book. I found a Target ad that showed a woman on a couch reading a book and I wrote, "What? Some people actually do this?" He reads a lot and every time I mention a book, he interjects with "You know, you're not a strong reader," in a mock condescending tone. This is because I'm in a book club and until I discovered audible.com, I rarely ever finished the book. The problem with reading is, you can't draw or make beads at the same time!

DSfDF: Original photos with Artworks

More on the "Different Strokes" challenge: If you want to see the original photos and artworks together, here's a video.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Different Strokes Portrait Challenge

This portrait of Karen Hargett is part of the Different Strokes for Different Folks end of year portrait challenge. This may be one of my most favorite pictures ever (see the rest of my pastels here.) I sometimes do "loose" images, but when it's a portrait I try to make it really look like THAT person, not just A person. I'm not good enough (yet!) to do a portrait with a less controllable medium than the pastel pencils. There are a few angles that could be tweaked to make it resemble her more but I didn't want to keep working it to the point of ruining the surface.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

100 sales!

I was hoping to hit the 100 sales mark before the end of the year and as of tonight, I did. The Chinoiserie set shown below was in the order that put me over the century mark. I knew I loved those beads!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

B. Dennis: simple, beautiful sketches

I love love love this watercolor and ink sketch by Bill Dennis. A small section of it is shown here but be sure to click to see the full image.
In fact, go look at all the nice pictures on his flickr page.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sketchbook: Candy Wrappers

I should be drawing instead of adding to my blog!
I'm a bit behind schedule on my book!

Brings to mind a painted Chinese Screen, hence the name

These are my current favorite from my recent clay sessions. I called them Chinoiserie.
(Definition: a French term, signifying "Chinese-esque." Refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Build a Necklace Workshop at my house

I have to return to work tomorrow after 9 days off. Sad. But I got to make many new beads and they are all on etsy awaiting buyers. (My new favorites are in the next post so look up!)
On one day, my friend Julie who was also off, came over for a bead workshop. I taught her how to make a simple flower cane and we formed beads, baked them, and mixed them with other beads to make a double-stranded necklace that she wore home at 4:30 pm. 
We accomplished all that in 5.5 hours while drinking Tequila Bloody Marys and pausing for a quick lunch of chili and Tostitos with guacamole.

Food: Olive and Caper Spaghetti Sauce

I had company on Saturday and made lasagna using a new spaghetti sauce I found at the store. It was "Good Housekeeping" brand Olive and Caper flavor. It was delicious. I tried to find an image of it online but can barely find any evidence that it exists except for this.

Anyway, if you like green olives and see the sauce at your store, buy it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Necklace -- created with beads from three etsians

I finally had time to put my felted wool necklace together and it turned out pretty nice.
Best of all, it matches one of my jackets perfectly! The only downside that I didn't anticipate is (and I don't know why I didn't) that the wool beads are just a tiny bit itchy if I wear them on my bare skin.

The felted beads came from DramaOfGiftedChild
The yellow glass disks came from Outwest
The burgundy glass disks came from SkullyB


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