Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4th of July at Canton Marketplace

My friend Martha and I started the Netsy Arts and Craft Guild a while back. We have a booth at Canton Marketplace (C122) that is anchored by the two of us, with other members of the guild joining in every month. Canton 1st Monday Trade Days takes place on first Monday weekends. Our booth is open Friday through Sunday on the weekend. July first Monday falls on the 4th of July weekend.

The building we're in is air conditioned and open from 8 to 8. The rest of Canton is mostly in non air-conditioned sheds over a large portion of the city. It's supposed to be in the 90 + degree range this weekend, so if you go to Canton, come to our nice air conditioned building. We also have a winery in the building so you can sip wine while you shop.

Everyone is having sales for the weekend. Here are some cards for my sale earrings that I made up:

Independance Day large earring card

I'll punch the holes for the earrings at different heights. One will go in her left ear and the other under her hand.

I used a graphic from a WWI war bonds poster. The original had a line across the bust that I managed to soften in Photoshop Elements. I guess the original poster had faded.

I use a lot of old Victorian photos for my Treasure Box earrings. They are popular with customers and I get good comments about them. I try to pick pictures that are funny or interesting. The earring cards are packaged in clear cello envelopes. It gives them a professional look.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spring into Summer

One of my favorite things is taking nature pictures, particularly flowers and insects.

cactus flower

This is a cactus flower that I shot in the Lake Belton area of central Texas. I love the semi-translucence of the petals.

twisted cedars

These twisted cedars are from the same area.

robin's eggs

A robin sat these eggs at my friend Billye's house, but they never hatched.

wild flowers

Black-eyed Susan flowers on my parent's farm.


I had some good roses this year.

toad detail

Some visitors to the garden.


Lots of colorful flowers in the garden with insects. This little orange fly below is about 1/4 inch long. Click the photo to go to Flickr and view a detail shot.

day lily with orange fly

More visitors.

wasps on a flower

insect on a flower


And finally a favorite flower:

conehead flower

Raccoons, Snakes, and Adventures in the Garden

Every year I (mostly successfully) grow some tomatoes and a few other things in our garden. The garden consists of some raised beds at the edge of our yard along the road. Our yard is mostly trees, so only the edges near the road get enough sun.

One bed is a permanent bee, hummingbird, butterfly garden. This year I also have two beds of tomatoes with a few hot banana pepper plants, and a bed of zucchini. I used to plant snow peas but the grasshoppers cured me of that. One year they ate the pea plants down to nothing in about two hours. There were so many grasshoppers on each plant that they flattened them down to the ground while they munched away.

tomato cluster

I took these photos a while back so everything is lots bigger now.

hot banana peppers

You can't even see the zucchini bed now.


Last night some raccoons raided the tomato beds and generally made a mess while ruining several large tomatoes. These are likely the culprits. Mom raccoon brought them up in the middle of the day to munch on the cat food.

litter of three

Scrappy isn't nearly as afraid of them as he should be.

checking out the cat

I got some repellent spray and treated the wood on the beds with it. Hopefully that will work.

Stefan and I found this fellow in the yard and relocated him to the woods before Scrappy found him. He's a ringneck snake and was about ten inches long. He's in a yellow trash can which was the handiest thing to capture him in.

ringneck snake

Our turtle is back. I can tell he's the same one that's been around in previous years because of the scar on his shell. Here's he's escaping with some cat food in his mouth.

turtle stealing cat food

Here's Scrappy and the turtle in 2006. Note the turtle had cat food in his mouth that time, too.

Hey!  That's my cat food!

I've also had two very large snakes in the gold fish pond. I knew something was up because the fish weren't their usual happy, come-feed-me, selves. And then some of them disappeared.

The first snake was a 4.5 foot cottonmouth water moccasin. Unlike many water moccasins he wasn't territorial and wasn't aggressive toward me. He cleverly hid in a fold in the pond liner. My plan was to chase him around the pond so he would leave on his own. Mr. Snake foiled this plan by swimming into my net when I poked at him. I wasn't really expecting to catch him and wasn't prepared. The snake couldn't figure out how to get out of the net. I couldn't figure out how to get hold of anything to kill him with without him escaping.

I yelled for Stefan to bring a hoe. Obviously Stefan's practical education has been lacking because he couldn't figure out which tool was a hoe. Finally he brought me a four tined hard rake. I supposed if you could manage to hit a snake with one of the tines you could kill it, but hitting it would be a problem.

I carried the snake up the road to the big pond and let him go. Probably there are three dozen more just like him there. A few days later another big one got in the pond. Hubby was home this time and he shot it. I couldn't tell if it was a water moccasin or one of the look-alikes, but it was a shorter snake.

Click on any of the photos to go to my flickr page to see the photos in more detail.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wirework Pendant-Bird Nest

Here's a bird nest pendant I made recently. I have read a couple of tutorials on these, but I was going for a more organic look so I just did my own thing. The major part of the nest is one long wire, coiled, and twisted on itself at intervals.

copper & pearl birdsnest

The nest is about an inch in diameter. I used a tarnish resistant 20 gauge copper wire that I got from Bally Beads, and some 26 gauge Artistic Wire to hold the eggs in place. The eggs are pale pink pearls. Now I need to make some out of sterling silver, bare copper, and maybe brass wire. I have some antiqued brass wire that would look good. I think I could use some 24 gauge wire and do earrings.

Also at the Dallas Museum of Art (King Tut, Part 3)

I'm back! Life got a little busy and I took a break.

A while back we went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. While there, we also took in the Ancient America's exhibit. It was very enjoyable, and they let me take photos. Most of the photos were taken through the glass of the exhibit cases, so there's an odd reflection here and there. Click on the photos to go to my Flickr account where you can see larger, more detailed photos.

I was really impressed with some of the jewelry.


This set impressed me the most, in part for the excellent metal work, but also for the sheer size of some of the pieces. From top to bottom they are: headpiece, earspools, nose piece, large concave ear pendants, and a pectoral. The ear spools were probably about 2.75 inches in diameter and the large ear pendants must be five or so inches. I thought they were some sort of breast plate. They're the same size as the old fashioned breast plates I wore when I started fencing back in the 80's.

This set is all gold. The gold sheet appeared to be fairly thin, maybe about 24 gauge in places. Still, it's very difficult to imagine someone wearing those ear pendants.

There were some silver pieces, such as this one:


This is an outstanding piece:


Notice the mask face is "wearing" a smaller set of earspools.

Frogs seemed to be very popular, and there were several examples, ranging in size from some exquisite pieces about 3/8 of an inch to a couple of inches.


These are typical. The spiral at the frogs mouths represent bubbles.


There were also some figural jewelry pieces like this one:


This was Ralph's favorite piece:


This statue is about three feet high.



And lastly, here's a shot of me in the sculpture garden/courtyard.