Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beading and Birding and Challenges

 I cannot tell a lie...I am super obsessed with taking a drive out to the shore and checking out snowy owls.  Went again this past weekend and only saw two - but boy this gal sure was a beauty - and huge too!!!

I have a feeling I'll be back again before they migrate back to the arctic!! Also stopped at Crane Estate/Castle Hill, which even in the winter, was quite spectacular. 

My son and girlfriend's son! How can you resist not running down this alley!

Over the last couple weeks I made a couple more of the shamrock earrings in the same style I made last year.  This time in a few different colors.

But then got inspired to pull out the polymer clay and make a few more.  I had a lot of false starts of an idea I had in mind, until I was finally able to come up with a design (and method!) that worked! 

After baking, I still had a few charms that went into the reject pile....but then I had fun making some cute St. Patrick's Day earrings. 

Sadly a couple weeks ago, my package of quilt squares I intended to send to B&B were stolen out of my car. :(  Very bummed and disappointed.  But in any case, I got back in the saddle and made some more. 

*Le sigh* I did it again....I have signed up for the Blogging from A-Z Challenge in April.  Am I crazy or something???  Well, I love it and hate it every year for the last three years.  I think however, I have to retire the craft and bead theme, I realized I was starting to repeat a lot of my subjects! I will very likely focus on food, which is another huge part of my life.

My photo for Focus on Life worked!!  After taking out the quilling papers to photograph, I was inspired to do some quilling!  My technique definitely needs some refining, but I am totally enjoying this new(to me) craft!  I ran out of colors I needed for the seahorse and promptly placed an order online for more paper.  (After searching locally with no luck!)

 A few weeks ago I participated in the "Grow Your Blog" blog hop.  I (finally) pulled the winners.  The bead soup winner is Emily of Callenders Creations.  She is a quilter!  The winner of the earrings is Moriah from Fuzzy Slippers Designs. She works with paper and stamping.  As a very happy coincidence I learned that Moriah lives just a few towns from me!  So I'll be delivering her prize when we meet in person next week for coffee!! 

I also signed up for the Bead Soup Blog Party.  One of the highlights of the year in my opinion.  I was just on the Bead Soup Cafe Facebook page and a little disturbed to learn that some people are actually complaining to Lori about the pace at which she's assigning partners.  Really???  C'mon people, it's a party.  A voluntary and free event!  If you don't like it, don't sign up!! Jeesh!!   In any case...I love every part of this event.  Meeting my new partner.  Selecting the bead soup I'll be sending.  Anxiously awaiting my soup.  Opening my soup! Dreaming up a design with the soup contents.  And of course, finally the big reveal!!  It's just too fun!!

Okay - next up on my 'to-do' list is to catch up on my blog reading....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 7 & 8

I am a week late in posting!!!! So this week I'll do both this week and last week.

For week 8, Sally's prompt was to "Capture Color." I'll be honest, my first thought when I read this, was "what color?"

 I feel like it's been snowing for two weeks. In fact the snow is nearly up to my waist in some places.  In the last few weeks, we have had three major snow storms!!! And a few small storms in between!  All I see is WHITE lately!!!

 But instead of thinking about outside, I thought where can I find some color inside...and I opened my craft closet and found these quilling papers.

I think it was these super thin pads of colorful paper that got me interested in quilling in the first place!!! I hope that pulling them out to photograph will get me inspired to start experimenting with it, finally!

For last week, the prompt was to make a "love collage". That was so easy....the only hard part was drilling it down...shown below is my family love collage....I wanted to make a friend love collage, a food-love collage, a nature-love collage, and extended-family love collage, people-who-are-like-family-love collage, etc.....
Top row left,  my husband and me, right, my son and two nieces, bottom row left, my dog Bingo, right, my son and my dog Molly!

I made the collage as soon as I saw the prompt, but somehow, I had such a crazy week, I never got around to doing the blog post!!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 6 • Cabin Fever

This week's instructions were to capture the quiet calm of live re-energizing around us.  We just got 14inches of snow here on Wednesday. While running around for work on Friday I came across this scene and was delighted to come upon these prints when I got a closer look.  Looks like a woodland creature was getting cabin fever too!  If you look about two thirds up the right side of the picture, you can just barely make out his prints, as the little fella' made it to the to the other side of the field! I just love the meandering path!
See! I told you I was obsessed with animal footprints in the snow!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beading and Snowy Owls

Although I haven't been posting a lot lately (except my Focus on Life photo posts!), I have been beading a lot!

 Some earrings to go with my Time to Stitch chenille stitch pendant...and a neutral piece to go with all the black and gray I've been wearing lately!

Also - I finished this UFO that I started, literally, years ago.  The cab was from a giveaway I won from Lori at Out of the Flames!  (And Kristen of My Bead Journey's Pop Up Pearls are always perfect for whipping up a quick pair of earrings!)

And last weekend I crossed something off my bucket list which was to see a snowy owl.  Over the years I've seen photos here or there of snowy owls along the coast, along with a blurb about how rare a sighting is below Canada.   So when I started reading about the snowy owl irruption I couldn't wait to go explore our beaches.

I went to Plum Island with my son last week and it was a bummer that we didn't see any.  So then I started doing some investigating on Instagram (just hashtag #snowyowl and you'll see all the clues), and found there seemed to be many spotted the next day in Plum Island, and even more along the beach just north of Plum Island, at Salisbury Beach. Determined, I signed my husband and I up for a tour of the PI refuge thinking the guide would surely have the inside scoop on where the owls were being spotted.  I was wrong...the guide was delightful, but he didn't know where the owls were any better than us folks on the tour.  Then just as we were about to leave the refuge, one of the folks on the tour spotted this beauty perched on a tree!

I practically tackled my husband getting out of the van.  He pretty cool about it.

As we left the refuge, we saw another perched on a house kind of far away.   I couldn't have been more excited that I finally got to see two snowy owls!!! Then we were thinking of heading home.  But I looked on my phone and saw the Salisbury was just a few miles up the road.  When we were at a crossroads, and I was about to take the left to go home and there was a sign with an arrow pointing right to Salisbury, my hubs said, nah....let's just go and take a quick look.

We were not disappointed!!!  Just approaching the entrance to the beach we saw this guy!

Then down the road we saw another perched on a house.  We stopped the car and watched him for a while when suddenly he flew just over head of our car (so neat, he was so close!!!) onto a tree close by.

AMAZING.  These creatures were just stunning. 

I see a telephoto zoom lens in my future!!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Focus on Life Week 5: Get Outside!

This week's subject matter (getting outside) was not difficult...I don't mind getting outside when it's cold...the hard part for me was deciding on a picture.

The truth is, I am positively obsessed with animal prints after a snow storm.  My phone and camera are riddled with them this time of year!!!  It is so delightful to see evidence of these creatures even if you don't actually see the creature itself!

Here are some photos from the last 10 days.

And speaking of obsessions, another one I've had of late is to see a snowy owl.  I took a field trip last week to Massachusetts' North Shore in search of them in a place they'd been commonly seen in the last week...but no luck.

We did see some turkeys though!

Today I've pre-scheduled this post and am headed back again!  Wish me luck!!
(lifted these from Instagram, of snowy owls that have been seen in the area I am headed to today!)