Saturday, July 18, 2015

Long Hot Summer

Long Hot Summer

     So, it has been a while.  I have still been designing projects but since my studio does not have a/c, I have not been spending much time in there.

     May and June were hot and dry.  Even watering twice a day, I lost the garden.  Everything went crisp. The squash blooms would open in the morning and by evening they would be dried out and falling off.  Very disappointing.

     There were no wild flowers and the hummingbirds were trying to get nectar from the marigolds.  It was sad to see.   So, I made up a couple of wine bottle hummingbird feeders.  The four pair of birds we have here were battling the wild honey bees for the sugar water.  I tried to get some pictures but, my camera had dead batteries and my phone is old and does not take great action pictures.

Stormy sunset

     We are finally getting rain.  Every day we are getting big, loud thunderstorms.  

    One of the dogs spends more time in the bath tub than anyplace else.  I guess someone told her it was the safest place to be during a storm.

Stormy Sky

    I have been working out of town and will be next week, also.  When I get back I post some of the things I have designed over the past few weeks.  Until then, best to you all and stay safe.

Monday, May 4, 2015



Today is a housekeeping day.  You know, all that stuff that has to be done in the house that makes us look, feel and smell civilized. 

So, while I am waiting for the drier to finish, I will share with you.


Florida is full of fossils.  I find bits of fossilized bone while I am digging in the garden.

I do some contract fossil restoration.  Preparing the bones for exhibition and having seen the bones of these long extinct animals, it is no wonder that there are legends and myth about Dragons.

So, I decided to make something ancient looking with my pieces of fossilized bone.

                               I polished them just enough to take off the sharp edges.

I have never done any wire wrapping and decided to give it a try and thought that copper would work good for the look I wanted. 

I had this whole "fairy tale" going on in my mind that I was this ancient craft person creating a magical amulet for some heroic champion.  Something that bound him to his dragon.  (who needs television, I already have enough going on in my head)

                          This piece has a masculine look.  So, it obviously has to go to the hero.

And of course there has to be a magical amulet for the majestic lady.  I started out with an oval piece of sheet copper about two inches long, punched a few holes into it to anchor the wire and designed as I went.  I added a little bit of sparkle with some dark amber colored crystals and finished it off with some green patina to give it that aged look.

                                                    Royal "Dagonstone"  pendant

Since I had the wire out, I hammered some out flat and wrapped it around some embossed epoxy clay disks that I had made, painted the clay with some muted colors and metallic paint wash and came up with these.

                                                Somewhat primitive in appearance 

Well, the clothes in the drier are going to get all wrinkly if I don't get back to my chores. Unfortunately, I have all kinds of new ideas going around in my head but they will have to wait.

In case anyone is interested, I do sell my artwork and also, do custom work.  Really need to get that Etsy store set-up.  

Until next time, I hope your days are wonderful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Welcome Spring

Welcome Spring

So, March and the beginning of this month were rough for me.  Those familiar with me know that I am always fighting off depression, have sever allergies and arthritis.  Well I got brought down by all of them and then to top it off had a mild (thank the Lord) case of Shingles.  

I am back and productive again.

Pleasant Surprise

We have a nice flock of hens here and they are laying like crazy.  More eggs than we can use even after giving away many. 

part of the flock
So, we have a couple of "broody" hens.  They want to sit on the nest and incubate the eggs.  

I gave a pile of the eggs to one of the hens and let her have her way.
 She is a mean thing and very possessive of her eggs.   Left her alone for three weeks and peeked in on her to make sure she was still alive.

 Then one morning when I checked on her, this little surprise was waiting to say hello.

 And three more.  She hides them up under her wings carries them outside and taught them to scratch in the dirt for bugs and seeds.  They also have "chick starter" and water.  Momma hen has her dish of layer feed that is to large for the chicks to eat.

I just wanted to share this with you.  These cute little babies have helped to put me back in a positive mood and back to being creative and motivated.

There are lots of ideas spinning around in my head and have been productive the past few days, making some pendants.  Some are wire wrapped fossilized bone. Some are molded or carved epoxy.  Look for a preview of them in next post.  

Hope you are all having a wonderful spring.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Idea Avalanche

Idea Avalanche

Sometimes I am asked to do a project for someone that will "match" something they already have. Here is a quick little project I did for my cousin.  I can't post the picture of the piece she has without being able to give the creator credit.

The process

First thing I did was a quick sketch of the design I thought would "match" what she had and once she approved that I gathered my supplies.

I used the lined paper to save time measuring, it is much cheaper than graph paper.  These are drawn actual size and were used as the pattern to transfer to the sheet copper with carbon paper. 

Using metal shears the outline of the letters were cutout.  To cut out the centers, I punch a hole through so I could fit the tip of the blade through and carefully snipped out the inside.  Since this process stretched the copper and it was no longer flat, I used a "Ball" headed hammer and tapped the copper and made it lay flat with a slight bumpy texture.

The curly design behind the letters is made with salvaged copper wire, bent by hand.

The intention was to solder the pieces together but, my soldering gun was not working properly and I didn't have gas to use a torch.  So, used epoxy glue to attach the pieced to the back.  I wanted to get a good bond so I did this in a way that they would not have to be moved until they had cured.  When that step was complete I sprayed them with Rust-oleum Semi-gloss.

The Avalanche

Although the initial idea was not mine, the process of creating what my cousin wanted was a good stimulant. While I was doing the project I thought of all kinds of things that I could make using this same method and what other materials I could use.  

Look for the results of this avalanche in future posts and my soon to appear online store.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finished work

Finished work


I actually finished this a few days ago but, haven't taken the time to post it.  I guess I should have cropped it. This actually is not finished because I haven't sprayed a sealer on it.

So, I am dog sitting for a couple of days while my son and his family are out of town.  It is rainy and cold. Not good conditions to do what I need to in the studio.  Not that I will have any problem finding something productive to do.  Maybe make a couple of sample copper pieces for a potential customer. I think that is what I will concentrate on today and that will most likely be the topic of the next post.

I am glad that I was able to get the protective coating on this yesterday before the humidity was too high. You can see how it brightens the image.

The picture was also taken under better lighting.  I do not have a good photo editing program on this mini. Actually I am still having trouble uploading and remembering how I did it the last time. Mainly making sure the watermark copyright notice is there.

Until next time, I hope your days are filled with health and happiness.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Work in progress

Work In Progress

I know, it has been a while since I have posted anything new.  Sorry.  

Last posting I said I would try and show you some of my work.  Well, I got it in my head that I wanted to do a new colored pencil drawing of some kind of animal. While going through my reference pictures I came across a stack of photos I had taken when I was working for a bird breeder here in Florida. 

Art work doesn't always pay all the bills so, there have been lots of times that I took on other work and I try to take jobs that I am very good at or that I really enjoy.

I like animals and birds are my favorite and they are smarter than people give them credit.  I have about about 12 years of experience working with breeders of exotic animals and birds. 

There was this Cockatoo that came to the farm because his owners for some reason couldn't keep him anymore.  Probably the noise.  Cockatoos scream very loudly twice a day, morning and evening.  "Calling their flock."  Anyway, this guy was very sulky and sad.  I made it a point to take some extra time with him each day and after about three months he started talking to me.  

First words were "step up".  Step up is the first thing that you want to teach a companion bird and this boy knew what it meant.  He would reach his foot through the cage and try to step up on my hand.  Well, I ended up buying him and taking him home and for days tried to guess what his name had been.  Then one day as I was testing name on him he says "hello Sundance" like he figured out what I was doing.  His name was Sundance.    He talked like crazy and I found out he knew more cuss word than me.  

I was only able to keep him for three years because I moved to an area where the neighbors would not put up with his twice daily screaming.  So, he went back to the farm and was able to be introduced to a female and they accepted each other as mates.  He is happy.   

Colored Pencils

One of my favorite mediums to work in are colored pencils because of the detail that I can achieve. Prismacolor are what I use.  I like a soft waxy lead that I keep very sharp and blend the colors between layers with a very hard (6h or 8h) drawing pencil.

This is a drawing of a Macaw.

Next post will have the finished picture.  Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures but the battery needs to be replaced in my camera and I am taking these with my phone, emailing them to myself, downloading to my photo program to edit and watermark.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home Again

Home Again

I had been working out of town for eight days and got back home Sunday evening. It is so good to be back and into my own studio again.

First things first.

For those of you that don't know, I live with my son who works out of town and is only here on the weekends. It works for both of us. I help take care of his place and have a location for my studio.

He got us a replacement dishwasher for Christmas and started the installation but needed different fittings for the water intake and got them at Lowe's (and a new push lawn mower for me.)  He didn't have time to finish the hook-up before he had to leave for the work week.

So, I put on the fitting and hooked-up the water line.  Would have been very simple except, no plummer's tape.  Instead I used a thin coat of silicone mold making material I use.  If needed it will allow the fitting to come out but prevents leaks.  

Glad I thought of using that.  The dishwasher works great.

Next was to take a day and get the house clean and orderly again.

Catch Up

Of course I had to take some time to catch up on the email, Facebook, groups and the rest.  Doing that between loads of laundry.

Fun Stuff

Now I am working on a cute pillow design I am doing for someone to give as gifts to kidney donor and recipient. I will post a picture after the customer has received and seen them (next week.)

This afternoon I will put the handle on the new mower and start spring cleanup outside.

Some of you run, go to the gym or exercise class; I work outside in the yard or garden.  It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something while maintaining my health and it is something I love to do.

Time to get back to the sewing machine and get those pillows stuffed.

Will post again in a few days.  With some pictures of artwork I have done so you can get to know what I can do.

You all have a great day.