Monday, December 31, 2007

one last thought

one last thought for the year before i set out on this evening's quest for pink champagne.

"living apart and at peace with myself, i came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. to refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another's way of life - so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. hands off!"
-henry miller


cluster pendants

a few snapshots of pendants. i made them before the holidays and never managed to photograph them until this afternoon.

my cluster pendants are simply a center pendant gathered together, on a small key ring style hoop, with a few smaller dangling embellishments.
amber sands cluster pendant
amber, freshwater pearls, flameworked focal bead and sterling silver all on a black leather braided cord.

gray winter cluster pendant
freshwater pearls, rock crystals, flameworked focal bead and sterling silver all on a black leather braided cord.

old rose cluster pendant
freshwater pearls, flameworked focal beads and sterling silver all on a black leather braided cord.

pink fairy cluster pendant
freshwater pearls, glass leaf, flameworked focal bead and sterling silver all on a black leather braided cord.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

dew drops

some pre-holiday earrings i never posted pictures of.
black dew drops
flameworked black, silver foil and clear glass dew drops beads with rock crystals and sterling silver findings.
dew flowers
flameworked yellow and blue glass, silver leaf and pale lavender dew drops beads, freshwater pearls and sterling silver findings.

it's a bummer to be posting stuff i made weeks ago - am itching to get back into my studio. all the holiday social demands are getting rather tiresome, i am way too solitary a creature for all this merriment. bah.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

pinot noir grapes II

the second pinot noir grapes painting.


something i like about this painting is that it almost looks like fabric.

below is the original photograph that the painting was worked from.

the underpainting and early sketching.

fully sketched in and ready to start blocking in the colors.

adding leaf shapes and other elements.

underpainting the grape bunches.

more paint.

and more paint.

almost done - this is my favorite part, the fiddling with details.


details from the finished painting.



next painting, coffee plants?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

pinot noir grapes

a new painting.
pinot noir grapes, acrylic on paper 24" x 36"


i thought it might be interesting to show how i work a painting.
so, as i painted on it i took photographs of my progress.

starting below with the original photograph i worked from, which was taken at casa larga vineyards just before harvest two years ago.

to start the painting - white arches heavy weight watercolor paper was underpainted a dark gray green and the composition was sketched in with pale violet colored pencil.

next the largest shapes were blocked it with flat color.

the underpainting for the grapes.

more blocking in of leaves.

starting work on the grapes and the background.

details were added.
my paintings are very difficult to photograph because i love metallic and pearlescent paints. the reflections off these paints can be very troublesome.

more detailing.

the finished painting.

some details from the finished painting.


i simultaneously worked on two pinot noir paintings, letting one dry while working on the other. making it almost as fast to create one as two.

the paintings were done as a commission, they went to a oenophile as a christmas gift.
i was so pleased to make them because they went to a wonderful home where i will get to see them regularly.

tomorrow i will post the pictures of the companion painting.

christmas & cake

we had ourselves a merry little christmas.

our home was bursting full of old and new friends, with singing and homemade music, sweets and fine foods, pink champagne and much merriment.

there was even a birthday cake for the christmas baby "frantic" frank. his mom always decorated his cake with the nativity scene.
my daughter and our friend spevak decked his cake out - they used what we had in the house and had to "improvise" some of the figurines.
my husband drew the smiling little peanut baby jesus - which frank ate before cutting the cake, to bring him luck in the coming year.
christmas was indeed a wee bit naughty and very nice this year.
wishing you sweet peace and golden tranquility in your coming year.

happy happy joy joy !

Sunday, December 23, 2007

as promised * more cake

i told you yesterday that i was going to make yet another cake today.
a dark chocolate coconut cake, with chocolate cream cheese frosting decorated with cocoa powder, coconut and tiny, tiny white nonpareils.

tomorrow i will make my holiday cake finale - frantic frank's christmas/birthday cake.
he once told me that when he was a boy his mom always decorated his cake with a nativity scene.

do you dare me?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

a cake a day

another day, another cake.
this time it's an eggnog cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting and candied walnuts.

is there anything better than a holiday cake?
there will be yet another one tomorrow
- a cake a day keeps the grinch at bay.
and i finished another wee stocking gift.
this one all done in space age materials. later tonight it will go to stylish friends who have a 50's vintage silver tree.
it should be a perfect hostess gift. it doesn't show very well in my photograph but that is a tiny bright purple jingle bell on the tip of the toe.
progress was made on our tree. i got out the pine cones that i glittered red and then painted the tips white. that was a year that i had a lot more time to fuss with christmas...

Friday, December 21, 2007

wall of paint

i have been working on a nice commission - which has left no time for beading.
the job is big fat holiday secret so i cannot post about it yet, except to say it involves my wall of acrylic paints...
i know, envious are you? aghast at the quantity of acrylic paints?

well, i got almost all of them, and the shelf, at an estate sale.
they were in the basement of an extreme hobbyist, stuff galore. i was charged $30.00 for the paint and another $5 for the shelf. it was a great day.

in hindsight i wish i had bought the wall of glitter too...
yes, i am still knitting tiny stockings while watching christmas movies late at night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


christmas is coming...
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we ritualistically killed a tree today and it was fun.

Monday, December 17, 2007


it's all about the sweets this time of year.
some covet glazed hams, giant roasts of beef or shrimp as big as kittens. others need clam dip or fat sugar cookies for it to feel like the holidays.
me, i love cake.
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so, for a fabulous dinner party tonight i offered to make dessert.
it's a double devilsfood cake with whipped peppermint frosting and sugared cherries.
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i may not be beading, but i am crafting like someone possessed.

merrily finishing up more christmas present potholders with embarrassing photographs.
this one has an image of my sister and i taken 20 odd years ago at her wedding.
we are not going to discuss that red dress she made me wear.
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and on the back, the two of us these days.
this potholder is, of course, going to my mom & dad.
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another potholder for my parents.
this one has pictures of them in their early twenties,
they have been married over 50 years - it's amazing, they are amazing.
and yes, they can still bicker with the best of them.
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these need to get boxed up and delivered to the post office tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

teeny weeny stockings

because i am not busy enough i decided to knit some stocking ornaments to give as gifts...
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the first two are ever so tasteful and homespun,
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the third is all liberace inspired christmas - my kinda christmas.
a holiday where nothing succeeds like excess.
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click here for the pattern compliments of littlecottonrabbits.

they are too cute, only about 3" long and they take about an hour to knit while watching cheesy christmas movies on nighttime tv.