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Thursday, September 4, 2008
As summer draws to a close, I find myself snapping pictures of colors and textures in the garden to sustain me during the rain-filled days ahead. This lovely hydrangea certainly fills the bill with its infinite shades of turquoise blues and greens. In keeping with that lovely palette, I’ve included a partial view of one of my favorite studio cabinet shelves. I’ve kept several top cabinet shelves for use as “inspiration vignettes”, with some of my favorite new and vintage items arranged by color – silk fabrics, vintage beads, trims and millinery, along with a few crafted items and experiments. After a year or so of having all of my items boxed and labeled, I realized that I need some space dedicated for these visual feasts…and have been much happier since allowing myself that indulgence.
I spent some time last week experimenting with various patinas on raw brass stampings. Some of the best results were obtained by applying a first coat of Novacan Black Patina solution, then a subsequent coat of one of Sophisticated Finishes’ Rust or Bronze patinas. I originally intended this dolphin stamping to be used as an ornament on the Waterhouse Mermaid beveled glass piece shown here, but the patina did as patinas do and surprised me with a beautiful shade of green, not quite suited for this particular piece.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
My mother found a beautiful little feather on our front porch a few days ago, and I promptly snatched it up and scurried on down to the studio. A 1”x3” necklace charm seemed like a fitting way to honor this lovely little treasure.
Fledge was created for Randy, of “A Place 2 Fledge”, using a few of his Conures’ feathers. He and his wife are in the midst of relocating their exotic bird rescue, and in spite of their busy schedule Randy generously presented me with a bag of beautiful parrot feathers before their departure. He lovingly collects dropped feathers from their many birds and provides schoolchildren (and artists!) with these wondrous treasures, along with inspiration and education. To learn more about their rescue, visit http://www.aplace2fledge.com/
We watch our resident birds with joy and passion, recording their behavior, noting each new bird in our logbook. Relatively rare sightings always cause excitement, but it’s the resident Anna’s and Rufous hummingbirds that continue to take my breath away. Upon each observation, I find myself frozen, transfixed on their every move. I recently took some time in the garden, quietly waiting and hoping to capture a few images. It turned out to be an exciting afternoon as a fledgling loudly pleaded to be fed and subsequently took short little naps in between pestering the adults. A pair of adults fed silently together and then raucous chattering broke out as two males squabbled for garden territory. These scenarios repeated several times, leaving me to contemplate the rich existence that transpires in the garden while I’m caught up in the business of everyday life.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I’ve been experimenting with soldering beveled glass lately and am quite taken with house and shrine shapes. The Enchanted Garden triptych artwork was fun to design, although I’ll admit getting it stabilized after soldering was a challenge. (Some copper wire soldered into the channels on the back did the trick.) What better way to brighten some of our rainy Pacific Northwest winter days than with a few enchanting pansies and bunnies?
Sometimes it’s fun to have a few favorite things out on the studio table. I have a little shelf clustered with such treasures – an old beaded lampshade that will someday be an art doll, an old metal tree, a fossil shark’s tooth, rocks and geodes, beach glass, pebbles and shells, birds nests rescued from downed trees and bushes, paper wasp nests (don’t ask!), buttons, feathers and the loveliest bronze baby shoe with the most beautiful patina… colors and textures that inspire me.