Random Saturday - Cats, cows and a big smile

I'm sure I have told you about my Stairway to Nowhere before. If you don't know about it yet, however, here's the story behind it. These stairs are literally leading nowhere. Before my divorce it connected two flats. I loved my stairs and my cats loved them even more. When the flats were to be separated again, I said I wanted to keep the stairs if possible. My constructor had a look at it and said that shouldn't be a problem. Then he suddenly decided that it wasn't a good idea, I would lose a wall on which I could have cupboards or whatever, he talked to my soon-to-be ex, and then there were two men all over me trying to make me drop the idea.

Long story short, I didn't and I'm still perfectly happy with the decision. I can store stuff on the stairs, the cats love the little platform right underneath the ceiling - probably mostly because I have a hard time catching them there! ;-) - and my sister convinced me to put my desk under the stairs which is maybe the best part.
At first I had thought it may be too dark and I wouldn't fit everything in, but actually it worked out perfectly. A little table, my desk, my small vintage office cupboard with my printer on top and a few decorative chests on top of which I have my hole punch, my scales and other stuff.
My way of decorating my little nook has been called anything from "erm, unique" to "whimsical" or "creative". Doesn't everyone have a small collection of vintage hats over their desk? Or do you think they were talking about my collection of photos, drawings, wood burnings, sculptures and more?
This is memory lane. I love my things. In most cases I got to know the artists first and then fell in love with their work. Heather, Shannon, Denis, Sharon, Heidi, Kirsten, Dawn, thank you!

Today I added a new artist to the mix, Wiebke Rauers. I saw one of her cat drawings on Facebook, unfortunately without credit. While I was still trying to read the initials, a friend of mine had solved it already, then another friend sent me a message that she had ordered some postcard prints. What else could I do, but go ahead and get some myself?
It was so hard to limit myself to just a few. I went through Wiebke's Tumblr, but after a few pages only I already had a list of a million images! Well, almost. Today I saw I missed a black kitty, I guess I'll have to go back soon ...

Her illustrations put such a big smile on my face or even make me laugh out loud. Of course I also go awww a lot. I am so looking forward to giving some of the prints away for Christmas.
These are the ones on my walls now. Due to light and reflection these are not the best pictures, but that's okay because here's Wiebke's Facebook as well ... now go and have a look already! ;-)

All together now ... awww! I want to touch those tiny feet, so cute.

This one calls for a big smile. I'm sure he's up to something or maybe he hid the TV remote ...

I love bats. I really love this bat.

This is the one that got me into trouble (sorry about the reflection, but I couldn't get a good angle on this one without standing on my desk). You know I love black cats and the look on this face reminded me so much of Esme when I dared to whistle and she had to come running and give me a good scolding!
I actually got a big and a small one. The big one is over my desk, the small one is next to my apartment door to warn visitors that two fierce black cats are ruling this place :-D

If you want your own new wall decoration, head over to Wiebke's shop. She has something for everyone, no matter if you love dogs, wildlife or birds, and the prints are great quality.


Oldies but Goodies - Jewel Tones

My love of jewelry started early. When I was a kid, we had these plastic "flowers", interlocking disks that you can build things from. They are still sold today, in big boxes. We didn't have hundreds of them which limited us in our choice of sculptures.
So all I can remember making with them are tiaras and bangles, with "sapphires", "rubies", "emeralds", "diamonds" and I have no idea what we called the yellow ones, maybe it was our idea of gold?

The pieces from our Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge are not plastic, they shine in beautiful jewel tones. As much as I enjoyed my fantasy jewels as a child, these are so much better! ;-)

1/8/9/11 Cat's Wire
2/4/12 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3/5/13 MC Stoneworks
6/7/10 RioRita


Oldies but Goodies - Recent earrings

I struggle with making earrings. One problem is that I'm not very good at making two same things at a time, the other that I can obsess about mirror images. One dangly bead bigger than the other one, a pearl drop slightly different from the second one, a spiral not exactly the same? After tweaking and looking for alternatives I usually get over it, but gosh, it can be exhausting! ;-)

In today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge you see earrings our JAC artisans made recently. We've got everything from playful, elegant and unique to sweet and fun. What is your favorite style?

1/7/8/10 MC Stoneworks
2/5/6/9/11 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 Cat's Wire
4 RioRita


Oldies but Goodies - Aventurine

I'm a few days late for this new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, so without much ado I'll give you the collage for today's topic - aventurine, a translucent quartz with tiny inclusions that give it a shimmering look. Its most common color is green as you can in fact see in all of the entries, but it can have other colors as well, like blue, red, orange or yellow.

1 and 5 MC Stoneworks
2 and 4 and 7 Cat's Wire
3 and 6 RioRita


Oldies but Goodies - Carnelian

"Although now the more common term, "carnelian" is a 16th-century corruption of the 14th-century word "cornelian" (and its associated orthographies corneline and cornalyn). Cornelian, cognate with similar words in several Romance languages, comes from the Mediaeval Latin corneolus, itself derived from the Latin word cornum, the cornel cherry whose translucent red fruits resemble the stone. The Oxford English Dictionary calls "carnelian" a perversion of "cornelian", by subsequent analogy with the Latin word caro, carnis, flesh."
Huh. Thank you, Wikipedia, I have never read the word cornelian before. You never stop learning, do you?
What I do know, however, is that the warm orange-red of carnelian reminds of so many things. A warm fire, fall leaves, sunsets ... what do you associate with carnelian?

At any rate this is what the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is about, the warm colors of carnelian (and other stones from the entries, but honestly, would you have noticed? ;-)).

2 and 7 RioRita
3 and 4 MC Stoneworks
5 and 8 Cat's Wire


Oldies but Goodies - Edgy/Steampunk

Why two topics today, you ask? It's easy, yours truly doesn't do steampunk and our challenge mistress graciously added edgy, so I could play, too.
I think it makes for a fabulous mix of items in our Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge today, don't you?
We have it all, gears, eyes, an octopus, spikes, dangles, pendants, earrings, a great hat, something for everyone!

1 and 8 Cat's Wire
2 and 5 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 and 9 MC Stoneworks
4 and 7 RioRita
6 The Crafty Chimp


Oldies but Goodies - Oval

I don't have a story for you today, but a question. What is your favorite shape in jewelry? Do you prefer it rounded or rather with angles and points?
When I looked through my cab stash and thought about what appealed to me over the years, I found that I have always been very drawn to oval cabs. I'm not sure if that has to do with my jewelry making beginnings when an oval cab seemed to be the best choice for wire crochet bezels or if this is in fact my favorite shape. I'll let you know if I ever find out ;-)
Oval was the topic for the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, so here's this week's collage for you. Maybe there's a topic you'd like to see sometime? Let me know!

1 and 8 MC Stoneworks
2 and 6 RioRita
3 and 5 Cat's Wire
4 and 7 Jewelry Art by Dawn