Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Socks That Are Hot or just Too Hot For Socks

Tube-Flops ?  Why ?  They seem to defeat the whole purpose of wearing flip-flops in the first place.  When I think of sandals and flip-flops I think of hot, muggy summer days and the very thought of threading my legs into a pair of almost knee high socks makes me shudder.
When temps are in the 90's or sky rockets into the 100's one would think something like this would be hot and uncomfortable. They also look like something that is going to require frequent laundering and at about $29 a pair they aren't as economical as your everyday 4 or 5 dollar, age old, run of the mill, get-em-at your Dollar Store, flip-flops.

What were they thinking ?  Probably thinking that the youth of today will buy anything if they think it's trendy enough.  Hope they are wrong...but just in case you're dying for a pair of these you can purchase them through Zappo's.com $29.95 free shipping.  As for me, I'd rather go bare-footed thank you very much !
What are your thoughts ?  Is this the next big Fashion Flip or will it be a Fashion Flop ?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot and Hardy Plants

This summer is turning out to be a scorcher so the memories of this past, long and icy winter seems like ancient history.  For the last few months John and I have been trying to replace many of the plants that suffered either frost damage or were killed by the several, below 30 degree nights that they had to endure.
Photo above...the magnolia planter with it's ring of dead Lantana twigs. Though the Lantana did survive, both John and I felt it was too high maintenance with it's constant need for pruning during the hot, wet months of summer and babied during winter freezes.  In the end we opted to remove it and replant the circular planter with something more "user friendly". 

Photo above...45 bags of top soil to fill the planter with.  This is only half of the bags that were bought, the other half have already been emptied into the planter, plus we had to purchase an additional 30 bags to get the soil level up to where it needed to be.

Photo above...Work in progress (or process as I'm beginning to think the terminology is interchangeable).  We had to temporarily remove the irrigation system in order to add the much needed top soil.

Photos above and below...The finished planter with a circle of small, 3 gallon size, Schilling ilex (a type of holly that thrives in the heat of summer and survives the freeze of winter).

Photos above...Must admit it was a gorgeous day for photos, though very hot !

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mundane Monday Mystery ???

Monday ! Monday !
Back when I worked 9 to 5 I used to hum a tune by The Mamas and The Papas call "Monday, Monday.  However in my mind the words became "Mundane Monday, can't stand that day. Mundane Monday, wish it'd go away".
Though the day that follows Sunday is a difficult one to get acclimated to and ends up taking a lot of flak, the truth is that every week must start somewhere and Monday is as good a day as any.  This Monday I'm going to be a little different and I'm starting it off by presenting a mystery...a Mystery Monday.  I found these photos in my jpeg stash, they're odd, yet intriguing.   Can you guess what it is ?

Is it a UFO ?   Perhaps a strange sea creature ?

What's your guess ?  I bet all of you can figure it out.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Look...up in the sky...it's a bird...it's a plane...

The sky is always fascinating, it changes it's wardrobe throughout the day from sunrise to sunset.  It can be clear and blue or a hazy gray or even dark, foreboding and threatening.   There can be a scattering of small clouds or an abundance of huge billowy thunderheads.  The photos below were taken just before sunset in the backyard of my Bradenton, Florida home.

Photo above...strange down cloud.  At first I was concerned that it might be a funnel cloud, a harbinger of a tornado, but it didn't have the movement nor the smooth tubular appearance of a funnel cloud.
Photo below...It was a pre-sunset sky and the golds, pinks and lavenders were just making their appearance.

Photo below...another shot of the strange cloud.  Camera set at full zoom (all 3X of it LOL).

Photo below...I wondered if perhaps it was a trail caused by a weather station rocket, though they are usually not so big nor so vertical.

Any ideas as to what you think may have caused this strange cloud ?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

From Out Of The Rubble ...

Some of you may recall my post about too many inspirations coming from a cluttered tray of assorted beads and findings.  I promised to post about the resulting products and I did manage to blog about a pair of black and copper dangle earrings that turned out wonderfully...so much so that I ended up keeping the first pair made.  : )

Not all things work out as one envisions them and for the past few days I battled with an idea that just refused to come out the way that I saw it in my mind's eye.  I haven't abandoned the idea but I have put it aside and will attempt to create it at a later date, using a different method of construction. 

However even before this battle of wills with those reluctant beads, I did manage to complete a sweet little pair of fun and sassy earrings using 2 of my  handcrafted beaded beads.  

One strand of zircon blue briolettes had a few brios that had shorten tips to them (somewhere along the line in manufacturing the briolette tips had been chipped but then were honed and polished, so this truncation of the tips had been done before I acquired them).  By using my perky yellow beaded beads like bead caps to cover the shortened tips and with the addition of a crystal rondel  in citrine yellow and a firepolished Czech glass bead in the same zircon blue as the briolettes, I had created a pretty dangle...perfect for an earring. 
All that I needed was to craft a pair of sterling silver ear wires, to which I added another zircon blue firepolished beads and voila !

You may notice that the silvery wire on the dangle has been twisted, I did this as there wasn't enough space to use a substantial gauge wire and so 26 gauge was used. Since 26 gauge is rather fragile I doubled it all the way and created a twisted wire to form the loop and wrap with. I may decided to change this out as I can't decide if I like it or not. ?  What do you think ?  Should it stay or should I change it out and use a smoother look ?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Tulip by Any Other Name ?

Photo above...My Mother's Day Tulip Plant

On Mother's Day my daughter, Kathi, had presented me with a pretty potted tulip.  Tulips are lovely but unfortunately very short lived and in just a few days the fat flower buds had burst open, displayed their pretty tulip blossoms and then wilted into something less attractive.
Photo above...Tulip in full bloom.

Though the tulip was not at the stage that I could place it outside and out of mind, it was not the most joyous thing to look at either.  That's when I was struck with an idea.  It was a prime candidate for photo enhancement.  After taking a few snap shots and playing around with my very rudimentary photo editing program I came up with these photos.

Photo above...My first attempt at photo enhancement using saturated colors

Photos above and below...These two enhanced photos are my favorite, I think they have an oriental quality to them and look more like artwork than photography. I am tempted to have one printed out, matted and framed, only trouble is I can't decide which one. They are similar yet very different.

Friday, June 4, 2010

From Inspiration to Realization...

A few days ago I did a post on my pile of inspirations, granted it looked more like a hodge podge of assorted beads and findings but each pile was its own little inspiring idea awaiting creation.

I have completed a couple of these piles of ideas and am posting my first one, as promised.  These long dangle earrings are crafted from lead-safe copper wire and a mix of Czech glass beads and Swarovski crystals.  Not too fussy, not too ornate...simple, swingy and super fun.  Unfortunately these looked so good when I tried them on I decided to keep the first pair for myself and had to make another pair for my etsy shop.

Photo above...Combo of  black and red Czech glass beads along with Swarovski Fire-Opal crystals   are highlighted by the warm tones of my copper wire work.  The earring hooks are also my own handmade and bead embellished hooks.

Photo below...Just a part of my head to show my earring being worn...I should have worn a lighter top...no I should have gotten someone else to model them for me !

Photo below...Close up of the spiral wire work that I added to the black glass disc beads.

Since it looks like Etsy is going to take its sweet time to instigate a protocol that will allow us to have multiple shops under one email address or to be able to change our shop/user names, I will seriously have to start thinking about getting a second email address and opening another shop for my jewelry.  Not that my jewelry is flying off the shelves (oh how lovely that would be)  I just don't like mixing my supplies with my finished pieces. 
Aly of  AlyGatr'sEverywhere  I think you need to open an etsy banner shop as it looks like I may be needing another banner some time soon. : )

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bitten by BEDBUGGS...

photo above...A big eyedalater, maybe its looking for inspiration?

Inspiration is all around us and when Krista of the blog BedBuggs, wanted to do a feature blog on me, it was the rocket that launched my own inspiration to the highest pinnacles.  I admit that I had been rather down in the doldrums but from BedBuggs interest I was infused with that "spark" again...I actually began creating some jewelry and found myself hit with  idea after idea for new pieces.
Krista's blog is a lovely, eye-catching one filled with interesting features and posts.  Hey, check it out for yourself  and be sure to read her feature on Moi  : )

Krista's blog can be found at BedBuggs  or if you prefer :  http://www.bedbuggs.blogspot.com/
I also highly recommend a visit to her adorable etsy shop : http://www.etsy.com/shop/bedbuggs

But watch out you just might get bitten by the BUG...of inspiration. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Aspiring to be Inspiring

Photo above...Bead soup, or "Holy Moly, enough with the inspirations already !"

Is there such a thing as too much inspiration?

For the last couple of days I've been dabbling with my old love, crafting jewelry.
Trying not to get too involved and falling head over heels in love again, I began to look at a few of my "projects in waiting". Those are the things that I made but didn't quite like and so took apart to refashion at a later date. Picking up one project I found myself wrinkling my nose at the old ideas that had once filled my head; "What was I thinking? How drab!" Suddenly I was enveloped with inspiration...after inspiration...after inspiration and my small work tray soon looked like "Bead Soup".

Photo above...An idea for aqua and yellow on top with ideas for white opal and gold beads buried beneath them.

Obviously what I had dreaded happened, I was sick in love again and way in over my head. Perhaps when I get one or two of this forgotten projects done I will post them for your opinions and comments.
Photos above...Some black glass and my copper wire, stir with a pair of round nosed pliers, hm interesting.  And how about a lily sterling silver bead cap and a dangle of seed beads...only not in gold, how about using those gunmetal blue seed beads just above them ?  Oh and what if I.....
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