Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Community Gardening

Long ago, when I was quite little, my mother would rent a plot of land in a hydro field somewhere in Scarborough to grow her vegetables. At the time, we lived in a town house with about 2 square feet of garden space. Just enough for maybe 2 tomato plants. The patio space wasn't much bigger, and basically fit our picnic table and hibachi barbeque. Container gardening on any decent scale wasn't really an option either. Now that I'm older and have my own house, with considerably more potential garden space, I'm still looking at the community garden model as an alternative. While my backyard isn't huge - it's not completely tiny either. We do have a pool though, and that pretty much takes up the entire backyard.

I've been talking with a few other mothers at my children's school - we're hoping to get enough like-minded folks together to organize a community garden somewhere within walking distance of the Whitby Shores community. What a wonderful opportunity for the local kids to learn about gardening/healthy eating/sustainable living/volunteer work.  This weekend, I'll be visiting the Ajax/Whitby community garden in the north end of Whitby. I'm hoping to put aside some time in the new year to volunteer over there at least once a week. I suspect that even if we are able to find the space and raise the funds necessary to start one here - it will be quite some time before we can get our hands dirty.

In other news, it'll be a while before I get a chance to post anything remotely beady - Maya, my oldest has come down with what I suspect is Pneumonia. :-( Tomorrow will be her second doctors appointment this week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lazy Sunday

                                                                                                     Source: None via Tara on Pinterest

I love these kinds of Sunday's. Nothing much going on. I'm caffenating myself, listing new resin pendants on etsy, and at some point we'll head out for a walk in the woods, a swim at the Y, play with the kids, and then head down to the studio to fire up the torch. Bliss.  I hope you enjoy your Sunday as well!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! This week is going far too quickly. Monday was a holiday, but I really could use the day back to complete everything that needs to be completed this week. I've got a whole whack of disorganized projects on my desk:

components I haven't figured out what to do with yet

pendants waiting for resin

And a bracelet that needs to be taken apart ... again (for the umpteenth time). Did you know that brass and copper wire  look VERY similar when you're working at 3am watching old television reruns, and the only light is the eerie glow from the TV? Of course, in the light of day - it's quite obvious that they are not. sigh. You can't see it in this pic, but it's very, very obvious under the clasp. Still needs lots more futzing. I may just give up, and rethink the whole design.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Heber Down on Thanksgiving Day

Can you believe it? Shorts and T-shirts on Thanksgiving! Maya, my 8 year old, and budding photographer took most of these shots. I gave her a brief lesson on how to use the macro setting on our little point and shoot camera. She's completely hooked. I think our weekends will be taken up finding interesting places for her to photograph.

I think Santa will be getting a request for a camera of her own this year. ;-)

studio waterstone

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I have this:

And this:

And this:

                                                               Copper Electroforming

And this as well:

                                                                   Copper Etching

Can you stand it? Ohhhh, the excitement. I'm ready to banish my family away for a weekend vacation without me - just so I can play.  I should mention, before you hate me too much - These aren't actually mine - meaning I can't keep them forever. I'm testing them for beadFX, and when done, I'll have to sadly return them. I have gone ahead and ordered my own copy of The Painting with Fire book, since it's fabulous. The other equipment I'll be ordering for myself at the first opportunity.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fast Fire Bronze Clay

I have a love/hate relationship with bronze and copper clays. I love the colours, the affordability, and especially the freedom to create larger pieces without restraint. (compared to silver metal clay) I do however have a hatred of the firing process. I have not been one of the lucky ones when it comes to firing this stuff. Sometimes it works, othertimes I get brittle pieces that crumble to dust. That outcome is always the most annoying, as a second firing is not an option at that point.

Lately, I've had success with Fast Fire Bronze. In fact, I've yet to have an unsuccessful firing! Still, I'm always a little on edge as my pieces are firing. The picture below shows 300 grams of unfired Fast Fire Bronze. Hedgehogs, acorns, clasp components, connector rings, and flowers which will hold resin in the centre. Fingers are crossed, the goodies are about to go in the kiln - although this will take at least a few firing sessions. I have the large pan, but I have not yet ever had successful firing in that one. It's cursed. ;-) So, the small pan it is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sneak Peek

Am I done? I'm not sure...I think I'll sit on this one for a bit. Maybe some patinated leaves?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

About to participate in my first challenge

I have long wanted to participate in the various challenges I've read about on other blogs. Especially the monthly challenges on Art Bead Scene. It's now October, the kids are in school full time, so I really have no excuse not to!

This months challenge is based on the work of artist Giovanna Garzoni

A Hedgehog in a Landscape, 1643-51 
9¼ x 15 in. 23.5 x 38 cm. bodycolor on vellum
by Giovanna Garzoni

                                              And the colour palette we need to work with.

Deadline for the challenge is October 26th, however, I'm hoping to finish up mine by the end of next week. This week I'll work on creating various beads and components out of glass, and metal clay. Next week, I'll work on the design.