Monday, July 19, 2010

I Miss The Foxes :(

Well, we have a foxy visitor that would come nap in our yard from time to time, and he first appeared a year ago. The cats would usually tip us off to his arrival in the back yard, with them scrambling to the top of the cat furniture at the window to catch a glance. We love seeing the fox in the back yard, and his presence keeps away other animals. Last year he was solitary, although it seemed like he might have a girlfriend from time to time. We couldn't get any proof, as he has the requisite fear of man, and we want it to stay that way for his own safety.  Here's the glass fox I made last year after his inspiration:

This year he brought three pups/kits with him, and it was really exciting to see them playing together in the yard. They got a little raucous at night time, and they hunted pretty often, but they were very cute and did a GREAT job keeping the rodents in check. I couldn't confirm where they were living, but it was nice having them visiting and catching the rats and ground squirrels in the neighborhood.

See how cute they are?

 I didn't get a lot of great shots of the daddy fox, but the boys are almost identical, just smaller.  Here's one of them up near the top retaining wall:

See he's not that big compared to the wall blocks, but very healthy looking with a wonderful coat.  I know they were eating well because we saw their successful hunting, and they left "evidence" of healthy digestion in some piles in the back yard too!

Well, one of our neighbors called to let us know there was a fox in the back yard, and that was pretty much the beginning of the end.  The neighbor has a small Yorkie dog, very sweet but tiny, and I'm sure they called Animal Control and had the foxes relocated.  I don't blame them, as they were just doing what's best for their dog, but Paul and I sure miss the foxes.  The past few nights, a skunk has come traipsing around and the stink got in the house from the open windows, something that didn't happen when the foxes were around.  Also, a rat has taken bold residence near the peach tree, and has been nibbling several peaches to see if they're ripe. 

The foxes were good entertainment and good pest control.  They shall be missed.  I hope wherever they are, their family is safe and happy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fire Divas July Jewelry Challenge!

Below are the great entries the Fire Divas received in this month's Jewelry Challenge. This is where artists and artisans use beads and components made by the Fire Divas, and enter their unique jewelry into the Challenge to win great Fire Divas prizes! Voting ends July 23. Each pieces has information from the jewelry artist on their inspiration and/or background on the piece.

Entry 1

Information about the beads: by Amy Hall
Description of the piece: Silver wire, chain, lampworked beads
Inspiration for the piece: The square tiles by Amy inspired something different, and the demi-necklace was born!

Entry 2

Necklace designed with Lampwork beads by Sonja of SilverRiverGlassWork and Copper. On a bright sunny summer day the sun hovers over the water, sending rays up through the clouds with rippled reflections in the rushing water below.

Entry 3

I commissioned Maybeads - to create a set of turtle beads for me to make into a bracelet.
I think this turtle must be from Tahiti, just look at her lovely lavender shell topped with a pink flower that has a lavender heart at it's center! I call her Tita, which in Tahitian means "The Fruit of the Sun". Her gorgeous green eyes, which match her head, legs and tail, will look happily up at you throughout the day. Believe me, I know from experience, you can't help smiling when you look down and see that little turtle looking up at you! Two matching lampwork beads accompany her, each bead has a pink flower on one side and a pink heart on the other, with green dots between the two sides.

The other beads on the bracelet are Swarovski crystal and glass. The bracelet is 7" long, and Tita the Turtle is about 1/4 wide and 1/2 inch long

Entry 4

This necklace was inspired by the fabulous focal bead made by Tera of Beadygirl Beads. I made some beaded beads (peace signs, and cellini spirals) in some of the same colors, and strung it all with swarovski crystals and sterling silver findings.

To vote:  The poll is on the right side of the Fire Divas Blog

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lizard Completed!

Since I mentioned the little fella was inspiring me in a previous post, I feel compelled to share him with you in all his glass lizard-goodness.  Here's my new favorite, my Dark Blue & Teal Striped Lizard Pendant:

Blue & Teal Lizard Pendant

And from a different angle:

I know, the toes seem a bit gangly, but honestly I just wanted people to know right off that he's a lizard, and not a gecko like my previous lizard that had short stubby toes :)

As with my typical glass art animals, if folks know what it is right away, I have done my job :P

So for the early cat sculpture that was mistaken for a kangaroo... sorry about that little guy.  At least you're in good company with the bunny-chihuaha:
He gets mistaken for a chihuahua too often, so I must make new ones someday :)  
I'm working on some great new animal designs, ones you haven't seen in glass before (or at least I've never seen them!), so stay tuned...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend Roundup: Farmer's Market!

Happy Sunday!  Today I'd like to share with you a few of the fantastic sights at my local Farmer's Market in Riverside.  It's been around for over 25 years, and is one of the longest running farmer's markets in the state of California :)  It's well-run by two smart women who know how to keep vendors and customers happy, so no wonder it was voted the #1 Farmer's Market in the Inland Empire!

Truth be told, I never frequented the farmer's markets before we became vendors (save for one time in LA and one time in Riverside with a girlfriend who wanted some fresh veggies).  Now I'm hooked.  The tomatoes are fresher than any store, and a better price also.  They have fresh heirloom tomatoes for $2.50/lb. at the booth right near us, and other delicious varieties of large and cherry tomatoes for $1.50-$2/lb throughout the market.  All of my salsa supplies can be found there, though jalapenos just became available after being out of season for a few months.  Beautiful cilantro, bunches of green onions, multicolored carrots, eggs, potatoes, berries of several sorts, citrus booths, it's really quite nice to have a fully-stocked Farmer's Market this close to home that I come to 2x a month anyway.  Plus there's fresh jalapeno/cheese bread, which goes great as a breakfast bread...

As we are somewhat of an island at the market (thanks Management!), we have good exposure from all sides.  Here's a shot of the aisle to the East of our booth: 
Yes, there are flowers at the end (you can see a woman with sunflowers on the left), and corn is right on that table in front of us :)

While I was mostly tending the booth, Paul was studying for an engineer-position exam next week:

In addition to the lovely fruits and veggies (and bread, avocado oil, eggs, etc.) found at the market, you have other artists and crafters displaying their treasures.  One such vendor is a nice jewelry artist, Susie from Moonflower Jewelry.  Her designs are very unique, and she does her own silversmithing and some rock cutting and finishing.  This, as I imagine, doubly ensures that her designs remain her own :)  Here's her azurite necklace I've been drooling over because of the fantastic cab loaded with blues and greens:
This link has a better photo of it on its home listing on Etsy.

Here's a photo of Susie at the market Friday, as she was kind enough to let me photograph her and her jewelry for my blog today :)
Her style is very eclectic and unique, which is really refreshing in today's scene where everybody seems to want to make the same designs. 

Well this is a long blog post for me and I didn't even get to mention all the goodies I saw!  Next time I'll have to tell you about the lovely soap that is also sold there... this means you'll have to come back :)  Have a great week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Burnt Finger and new Seahorses!

Ok, so I've successfully avoided any real burns for four years (almost boasting that my worst burn is from the toaster oven in retrieving french fries prematurely).  Well, not so lucky this past week, as I only had my finger in the flame for a split second, but that's all it takes at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.  Here's what my finger looked like 5 minutes later:

My favorite nurse at work examined it in a meeting and told me "You should keep an eye on that."  Since it's my middle finger, I definitely will, and may offer other cohorts to keep an eye on it too  :P

After the burn (received while making a blue crab sculpture), I quickly went to the sink to run it under cold water for a minute, then into the house to photograph it.  It hurt after that, but I had to put a glove and bandaid on and sally forth.  If you fall off the horse and don't try to ride again soon, you might get scared, and I cannot let that happen with glass, my lady love!

So... Here are two of the three fancy items I made after the burn with a glove on (and off, it was harder to turn the glass with the glove) before Paul got back home from his morning's work:

Amber and Cream Striped Seahorse Pendant

Blue, Green & Teal Striped Seahorse, Dragon-Style

To all you who get back on that horse when you get bucked off: Flame on!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday: Showing Off!

 Pink and Red Pointy Wicked Flower Pendant

Well, since my lovely rainbow seahorse and the beautiful one I made after him and didn't photograph have been sold, I need to make more seahorses... but for now, please enjoy two of our own Wicked Flower series pendants!  It is just about my favorite design because I love vines and tentacles, and this is the best of both worlds :) This design has been a delight to my customers for a while now, so I hope you enjoy them as I keep tweaking my style on them each time.  Today's are both pointed-petals, though I have made lots with rounded petals that look a bit sweeter (and less wicked!). 

Another wicked flower:

The vine actually wraps around the cord several times.  It is a unique design by myself after making so many flower and octopi that the two designs became conjoined...
 Blue Wicked Flower

Since it's the 4th of July, I should throw in my patriotic bead set still up for grabs:

Hope you're having a great weekend, and have a safe and happy 4th of July.
Happy Independence Day!