Digital Elements in the blog header from Hidden Vintage Studios and Holliwood Studios @

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Things in Spring.....

I snapped this picture tonight of my asparagus! It's peeking through the soil. Yah! Love this stuff roasted. I have two beds of it, one green and the other purple. Another good thing of spring......Easter Bread from St. Anthony's in Youngstown, Ohio. Oh this sweet bread is so yummy toasted and the glaze on top with the sprinkles is de-lish!

Two new spring pendants............. SING, SING, SING of SPRING........

Soon the little humming birds will be returning. This pendant celebrates their tiny tenacity!

Better weather is coming our way, it's going to be 75 degrees on Friday! Here comes spring, finally!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kindess Matters......Leather.....Muse.....Toodee

Does kindness matter? Yes it does. Today I had a conversation with a colleague in which he told me that a mother and grandmother were telling their 3rd grade son/grandson that if he didn't behave in school he was going to grow up and go to prison. My colleague heard this and told them that they shouldn't say that to him because we often become what others say or think about us, in essence, a self-fulfilling prophecy. He told them that they should tell the little boy that he needs to behave so that he can learn, graduate high school and get a good job or go on to college. The mother looked ashamed and said, "you're right". My colleague knows that matters.

I've known many kind people in my life. Strangers that have become good friends just through their kindness and friends that have gone above and beyond with their acts of kindness. I hope to remember them all for as long as I live. I've learned a lot from them and I they've made me a better person. Recently I've had the opportunity to observe the kindness of a new found friend. I think she lives by the mantra "what comes around, goes around". When I see her I think of the word "kind". She was the inspiration for this spoon pendant. Yes, kindness does matters.

I suppose "love" goes with kindness because without one, you really can't have the other, right? Just another spoon pendant.

For the past few months my creative "muse" has left me. I haven't done much altered art or jewelry. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the time of year, maybe it was a lack of fiber.....whatever the case, inspiration was not there. But, over the weekend I started to get the creative spark. My muse has returned on gossamer wings! I started this leather bracelet last night and finished it tonight.

Now you are probably wondering, how in the heck did she do that? Meet my deconstructed leather jacket, circa 1994. The other night I was dancing around my studio (yes, I dance when I do art...I rarely sit) when my eyes landed on this jacket slated to go in the Goodwill bag. BOOM! Inspiration struck.....I said to myself , "self go get the big ass scissors and the seam ripper"!

This is really soft leather, so it was easy to cut into flower and leaf shapes. Next I painted them with Lumiere paint (3 coats) and trimmed them out with the Neopaque black paint. I love this paint! I then sewed the flowers and leaves to the leather band which I stained and painted with tendrills.

I made a few pink ones which I'm thinking about using in a necklace.

Lastly, I'm leaving you with a shot of Toodee the Studio Monster. He got into the gin again.....what more can I say other than he get's stupid when he drinks the gin!
Hey, I hope you all are having a great week, tomorrow is hump-day....yeah! Half way to the weekend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Pat's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! To all my blogland friends here's my favorite Irish toast to you:
"Always remember to forgot those that have been untrue,
but never forget to remember those that have stood by you".
I'm thinking about flowers already! I made these for a friend for her birthday tomorrow. I hope she likes them. I made these to go with my green sweater that I'm going to wear tomorrow.
May you smile a thousand smiles today!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Random Weekend Thoughts........

I painted these Bunny Pots today for my dear friend Audrea. They are for her grand kids. I've painted so many of these over the years that I'm sick of them although they really are cute filled with grass and Easter goodies..........I finally got to finish a page in my art journal. It's my homage to the human spirit. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall". That saying reminds me of the other saying "tough times never last but tough people do".

If you're a follower of this blog, you've heard me mention the Let It Bead Shop. Well, these are the Let It Bead girls. From your left to right is Kris- the owner of bead shop, Danielle, Me and Allison. We are "Unofficial Employees"! We laugh a lot on Saturdays, so much so that my face kind of hurts by Saturday night.
I hope you all had a great weekend. All of the snow has melted here and it looks like spring has finally arrived.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Magical Maple Syrup Time

Well it's that time of collecting time! I know that spring is just around the corner when I see the trees tapped and sap flowing. These old buckets have such character. The one bucket was overflowing so I tasted it and it had an almost indiscernable sweet taste. Gary and I always go out to this one grove of trees by Pymatuning Lake and take pictures of the trees.
I have this thing about taking pictures of these buckets. I just love the look of the texture of tree bark and the old fashioned look of these metal buckets.

I'm thinking that someday you won't see metal buckets as a lot of people tap trees with clear rubber tubing and running it into plastic bags.

A grove of maple trees tapped for sap!

Oh look, a big sap standing beside a tree!

Isn't this an interesting looking tree?

Another interesting tree.....

Maple Syrup 101: Facts to know just incase you get on Jeopardy!
1. There are three versions of Grade A maple syrup, including Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber. The lighter the color, the more subtle the flavor. There is also a Grade B.
2. It takes 40 to 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of pure maple sugar.
3. The outbuilding where the sap is boiled is known as "The Sugar Shack" or "Sugarhouse".
4. The sap flows for about 6 weeks.
5. The tap that is inserted into the tree is called a "spile".
6. Maple Sugar evaporators are designed to boil-off hundreds of gallons of water so that the syrup becomes concentrated.
7. Pure Maple Syrup is heart healthy as it contains natural antioxidants, zinc and manganese.
8. It is 3 times sweeter than cane sugar but has fewer calories.
9. One tap per tree 18 to 20 inches in diameter; 2 taps in trees in trees 19 to 25 inches in diameter.
10. On average one tree will produce 6 to 10 gallons of sap.

I hope all my friends in Blogland had a great weekend. I know we certainly enjoyed the sun here in Western, Pa. We've only had 6 days of sun in the past 30 days!