Saturday, March 22, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 12

Expression is the prompt for this week's challenge. Sally said in her prompt: "There are many definitions of expression and it doesn't have to be a capture of the face ..."  While she talks about human expression in her post, I couldn't help but select this picture for this week's prompt:

In our house we always talk about "what an expressive dog" Bingo is..and "have you ever seen a dog with so many facial expressions??!"  He has many expressions including mischievous, defiant, happy, nervous, content.  But this is definitely a love expression. Of course, because I'm bias, and I was there, I have no way of knowing if that translates to anyone else viewing this picture!  I often refer to Bingo as "that little monster"....but he is also as affectionate and loving as he is troublesome!

Check out the other Focus on Life participants below:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect and other beady goodness!

Every weekend, I try to set aside several hours to just bead.  Then I bead like crazy for a few hours, catch up on some of my Hulu shows.  I take pictures and have grand plans of blogging about my weekend.... then on Sunday night, I put together my to-do list for the week....Monday comes around and the train starts moving at full speed....then here we are on Friday afternoon and I"m finally finding a moment to pull those pictures off my phone and blog a little!!!

So, I shall backtrack to last weekend!  Sometimes I don't have a real plan for my bead time.  When that happens, I try to refresh my skills in areas that I want to improve.  This past weekend I decided to pull out Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork: Dimensional Jewelry with Peyote Stitch (Beadweaving Master Class Series), and work on dimensional peyote shapes.  Diane's book is a wonderful source for practicing these shapes.  For a long time I used to get stopped up right at this point, ready to add the second layer...

But after a bit of practice this weekend I am feeling more comfortable with creating these layered shapes!  Now I just have to decide what to do with them!

Thanks to a credit I had sitting in my Amazon account, this week I also treated myself Melinda Barta's new book:  Mastering Herringbone Stitch: The Complete Guide.   I came to herringbone stitch late in my beading life and could use some more instruction and guidance.  The projects in this book look fantastic and I can't wait to try them!!! 

In other news....there is a new issue of Creative Spark available.  ZNet challenged designers to create something spring-y and there is some great design inspiration in the issue!

See you tomorrow for Focus on Life Week 12!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 11

Week 11:  Beauty All Around

This week's topic for the Focus on Life weekly challenge is to "check out the beauty in the world.  The beauty  that is all around us, the beauty that we sometimes miss because we are busy with the daily activities we "need" to accomplish.  It week let's slow down and smell the roses, feel the sunshine and enjoy the beauty that abounds in our world! 

I was tempted to go outside to find this week's shot.  In fact, I am often taken with this scene right here as it is so lively all year round with a variety of of my favorite animals! And I just love the babbling brook at the bottom of the valley that will soon be roaring as the snow melts!

The scenery around here is not the prettiest, as the snow is melting, and there is a lot of dirt on top of the I looked inside...

This mandala image is from a wine label!

I didn't even notice how pretty the label was until I was about to open the bottle and I think it's just stunning! Then again I am a sucker for glitter.  And the wine is pretty delish too!

See below what the other participants photographed this week!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Bead Soup is Here!!!

Yay!  My bead soup is here!!!!

I didn't have very good light today to get the best of pictures (we're having a snow storm...yes, another snow storm....), but wanted to share anyway!

sent me an amazing bead soup!  I am swooning over this great mix of colors...soft greens, dark brass and all those gorgeous pinks - - - my favorite color!!  And this pink delica is positively my favorite shade of pink:

I am so enjoying the brass components, the super unique clasp, and this really neat stone focal.  It is a quartz geode...see the sparkle inside!!!??

And it has a hole in it, so there are tons of options here!!

I am really excited to get started on this project....the reveal feels so far away, but I am actually glad so I can take my time and savor all these "ingredients"!

Annita's package is on the way too!

I hope she enjoys her soup as much as I'm enjoying mine!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 10

Week 10 is The Big Picture!
This week was an easy choice for getting a wide shot!!  I just love this view.  It's one of the properties owned by the restaurant group I work for - on the right is the restaurant, and on the left is the event/banquet space.  Both are turn-of-the-century renovated barns and as lovely on the inside as they an the outside!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Beading, BSBP, and Quilling

I was delighted to receive the name of my Beads Soup Blog Party partner yesterday!!  It is Annita of AW Jewelry & Beadwork.  Another bonus, is she shares my love of seed beads!! Check out her blog or her Facebook page to see some of her beautiful work.  I have her focal picked out, now it's time to get the rest of the soup ingredients together!!

This past weekend, I finally finished my quilled seahorse!! I am so happy with it.  It took longer than I thought, but I really enjoy this craft and already have another project on deck!

This weekend didn't produce a lot of beadwork, but I did get these earrings done.  They are chenille stitch connected at the end of each tube.  I only did about 26-30 rounds, and connected the ends, and they ended up about the size of a quarter. 

I also had the pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger yesterday.  Moriah, from Fuzzy Slipper Designs, who lives near me and won some earrings from a recent drawing last month, met me for a cup of coffee.  She is so sweet, and also so talented.  She gifted me with these lovely cards!!
Enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 9

This week's assignment was to take a macro photograph.  When I read the assignment, I knew EXACTLY when I would be taking this macro photo...

The company I work for is opening a new restaurant this spring, and our chef began doing weekly menu tastings this week.  I spent all of Thursday afternoon taking pictures of things like this:

And when this item came out, I knew it was definitely perfect for my macro shot!

Are you ready for your close-up, steak tartare??

Check out the other Focus on Life participants below!