Oldies but Goodies - Ocean colors

"The "color" of the ocean is determined by the interactions of incident light with substances or particles present in the water. White light from the sun is made up of a combination of colors, which are broken apart by water droplets in a ‘rainbow’ spectrum. Large quantities of water, even in a swimming pool, would appear blue as well. When light hits the water surface, the different colors are absorbed, transmitted, scattered, or reflected in differing intensities by water molecules and other so-called optically-active constituents in suspension in the upper layer of the ocean."
Oops, hey, stop it, Wikipedia ... yes, there is more, head over there if you want to read more.

Now it's my turn for ocean moments
- my first time flying over the Atlantic
- my first time looking out and see the sun sparkle on the Pacific
- getting my feet wet on a Californian beach
- taking in the colors, the scent, and the light

And I'm not even that big a fan of the ocean, I am more of the lake type. It's funny, the ocean gives me a mixed feeling of "I love those beautiful colors, this is great" and "whoa, that's so huge, this is overwhelming, can you imagine what is down there".
The colors in the following items from the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge are beautiful, soothing, a breeze of fresh ocean air. I hope they will overwhelm you. In a good way.

1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 Violetmoon's Corner
3 RioRita
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Cat's Wire


Quote of the week

As we are getting closer and closer to Hallowe'en, I felt a horror movie would be a good choice for this week's quote.
Now I'm not a big fan of most horror movies - well, unless they are old classics or really bad and thus add to the fun of Saturday night family dinner - simply because I'm a wimp. There was this one dream when I was a kid, whoa. Only my brother coming into the room saved me from this one, I swear.
Humor helps, too. Of course you have to appreciate that kind of humor. I remember watching this movie together with my sister(s?) and a friend of my sister's, and he didn't quite get what we thought was so funny.
What's not funny about a vampire moving in next door from you? Don't tell me you would be scared.

Charley's new neighbor is a vampire, but no one will believe him. And then his Mom even invites Jerry Dandrige inside for a drink. Charley's only chance may be to call on vampire killer Peter Vincent, but unfortunately Mr. Vincent just played a vampire killer in movies - and doesn't believe him.
Charley's girlfriend Amy and his friend Ed visit Vincent who calls Dandrige to ask him if he would participate in a little charade and drink some "holy water" to convince Charley which he does. Well, drink, not convince.

Charley:  If he's not a vampire, have him touch this.
He holds up a cross.
Dandrige takes a step back, but Vincent takes the cross from Charley.
Vincent: Oh, Charley. You've made a fool of yourself once. There's no reason to compound the error.
Dandrige: Yes, Charley. You've already caused your friends quite enough pain. (slightly threatening) You wouldn't want to cause them any more, would you?
Charley (looking around): No. No, of course not.
Dandrige: Then you're finally convinced I'm not a vampire, either? Right?
Charley: Yes.
Dandrige: Well, I'm glad that's settled. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, Mr. Vincent. You've been a great help.
Everyone is walking towards the hallway except for Billy, Dandrige's friend, who stands in Charley's way smiling down at him.
Vincent: Not at all. Glad to be of service.
Dandrige: It was very nice meeting both of you. Please, please feel free to drop by anytime. You'll always be welcome.
Amy: I'd like that, Mr. Dandrige.
Dandrige: Please call me Jerry.
Vincent gets out a mirror to check his makeup and notices that he can see the whole group, but not Dandrige.
Charley: Let's get out of here.
Amy: Just a minute.
Dandrige: That goes for you too, Ed. I expect we have a lot of the same interests - you know, in horror movies and the occult.
Vincent is shocked and drops the mirror.
Dandrige: Something wrong, Mr. Vincent?

Oh yes, very, very wrong ...

Fright Night, USA, 1985


Tackle that stash - Wire knit necklace with beads, beads, beads

WIPs. We all have them. They lurk in drawers and in boxes and in our mind telling you to finish them or at least make your mind up about ripping them apart.
Sometimes it's not even about being stuck, but about patience or being bored with a piece. Heck, sometimes it is just a missing clasp!

A few years ago when I went on a stash busting mission from time to time, I created my "Pebbles in the Stream" necklaces. I mixed up leftover beads that went well together and added them to a wire knit base.

For this one I didn't use leftovers, though. I got all of those beads together in a mix and found it unnecessary to add more. The new JAC challenge being about ... oh, wait, I don't want to give anything away yet.
Do you want to know why this stayed a WIP for a while? The neckwire. That did take a while to weave through the stitches. Told you, sometimes it is just the little things.

This "Little Pebbles" necklace made it into my DaWanda shop now if you want to know more details.


Oldies but goodies - Trees

This is one of my favorite trees at one of my favorite spots in my hometown. In summer I like to sit on the bench underneath it and read for a little while. There's another bench on the other side of the little square, but I like the one under the tree better.
What is it about trees that we like?
How about this quote from an article called "10 Amazing Legends of Mythological Trees" (check it out and you might be more careful around some trees)?
"Throughout history, we have attributed mythological stories and magical abilities to just about everything under the Sun. However, trees are perhaps one of the most logical things to ascribe such powers to. After all, trees are filled with vitality, live much longer than humans, and tower over nearly every living thing on Earth."
Huh. Sounds about right.

So this week the Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community was about trees and leaves that we could call wannabe trees ;-) All of them are beautiful and that's what counts.
I hope you will love them, too.

1 Cat's Wire
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 The Crafty Chimp
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Violetmoon's Corner
6 Echoes of Ela


Quote of the week

Today's quote is brought to you by the beautiful Esme. The reason is simple. She won't leave my lap and I have access to only four DVDs from here. Two of them I don't know yet and I hate watching a whole movie on my laptop. The third movie was used last week (yeah, I should put it away finally). That leaves just one which I happened to find at a one booth street fleamarket last week. Doesn't that sound exciting?

Imagine you have lost, no, not your mind, but your memory. How is it to have forgotten who you are, what kind of life you lead, who are your family and friends and where you belong?
Mike, an ex-cop who is now a private investigator, is trying to help a lady find her identity, and when she's down, he tries to cheer her up by reading tea bags.

Mike: If it makes you feel any better, I can read tea bags.
Lady: You're gonna tell me my future.
Mike: No, I'm gonna tell you your past. Okay?
Both are chuckling.
Mike: Let's see. Ah, now you ... you were born in Idaho. Your father was a potato farmer. Eh, you tell jokes real well. You're a great cook. Erm. You never get seasick, eh, except maybe for that one time on your honeymoon.
Lady: So I'm married?
Mike: Oh yeah. To Jim Tannenbaum, the Potato Prince.
Lady (laughing): The Potato Prince?
Mike: Yup.
Lady: So then I'm rich?
Mike: No, you're poor, but you have each other, so it doesn't matter. Your favorite color is red, your favorite flowers are roses.
Lady: So how'd I lose my memory?
Mike: Ah, well, once a month you take six homeless women bungee jumping off the roof of the Cal Fed building on Miracle Mile. And now, last week you bumped your head and ended up wandering around the Wilshire district until you finally ended up at St. Audrey's.
Lady: Bungee jumping?
Mike: Ooh. Yeah, you're a thrill seeker, you know.
Lady: So what's my name?
Mike: Aaah. (thinking) Grace.

Dead Again, USA, 1991


Tackle that stash - Fairy flower

It's so late already that I honestly didn't think I would make it today.
Just for fun I grabbed some wire and a lampwork bead and started looking for my 1.4 mm crochet hook. I have no idea how that had ended up in the waste paper basket, but I'm sure glad I found it. I hope my beloved 1.65 mm hook that has disappeared didn't take the same way at a former point in time.

I'll make this short. My first effort went into the basket my crochet hook had just found its way out of and the lampwork bead wandered back into the drawer.
I started over planning to make a wire knit ring. As you can tell, that did not quite happen. Instead the flower that started taking shape called for a different lampwork bead, a bigger one, and decided to be a pendant reminding of a sweet pea (I always loved sweet peas) ... or maybe a fairy flower after all?


Oldies but Goodies - Favorites

I have been guilty of that question myself. In the artist interviews on this blog I keep asking about what the artist's favorite is. Often the answer is that always the current project is definitely one favorite, but that it's rarely possible to really pick THE one favorite.
At the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge we were asked about our favorites. At least we weren't expected to pick just one.

Now for the collage I was supposed to pick just one of everyone's favorites. Have I ever told you how difficult that picking thing is? Have you wondered how I pick? Well, tough break. I won't tell you. I will give you this week's choices, however. Please enjoy.

1 Cat's Wire
2 The Crafty Chimp
3 Echoes of Ela
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 MC Stoneworks
6 Salara Jewelry


Interview with the artist - Lisa from Bottletree Pottery & Gifts

It has been a long time that I had an artist interview for you. Today I want you to meet Lisa who isn't just a cat friend of mine, but also a talented artist. I'm very happy to have her on my blog. Welcome, Lisa!

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

Well, I am an utterly native Alabaman. Born here, lived my whole life here. I do wish I could travel a lot more, but such is life for the other half.
But being so ingrained in Southern culture is not a bad thing. It's given me a steady foundation for my whole life. My artwork mostly reflects the world seen through those glasses.

Large bowl in shades of blue

What's your craft and how did you get to do it in the first place?

Oh so many answers!
I started sketching as a kid, because that was the medium available to me. I was (and still am) completely enamoured of horses. So I drew horses. Lots and lots of horses. I tried to copy the sketches of da Vinci and Michangelo, but I had no real training until college. That's when I really found my legs. It offered me a variety of mediums I'd never had the opportunity to try before. First watercolors spoke to me. At the same time, I was taking history of modern art-something that had previously just flew by me. That class opened up my perception of art as a whole. Combined with an amazing painting teacher, my career in abstract art just took off. It's almost like being able to taste colors, it's so visceral.
I needed another fine arts elective, so I took ceramic hand building. Holy cow. There are times in your life when you recognize that things will never be the same again. That your grand passion has arrived. I threw myself into clay with a vengeance. Every fingerprint, every move. Every emotion. It all comes out in the clay. It's almost like a recording device. Feeling up one day? It's there in the clay. Blue? Right there for the world to see.

Is there a story behind your shop name?

I wanted to express my Southern roots without the same old, same old. No "old south" this or that. I'd seen bottle trees my whole life, but never understood the meaning behind them. (The color of the bottles hung from the tree attracts evil spirits which then become trapped in the bottles- a combination of European and African traditions ). When I learned, I knew that it was me. Tradition and quirk.

Gemstone studded vase

I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?

Oh Lordy. Where doesn't it come from? I love fairy tales and mythology and oral traditions. Those ways in which we have expressed our dreams and fears and histories throughout time. But also, I go- ooh! Shiny!

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

I have feet like Fred Flintstone. Seriously.

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?


Velvet ribbon bracelet with watchworks, jelly opal, and pearls

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

It's actually a pair of pieces. They are each a representation of Gaia- the original goddess and the embodiment of the earth. The painting is a 30 x 40 inch watercolor and gouache painting. There is not a square inch of it that is not covered with detail. The sculpture that goes with it is a 90 pound hand built ceramic statue of a woman's body from mid hip to right above the bust. It is carved all over with flora and fauna that one would find in Alabama, and colored with both fired and unfired pigments.

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you, artistically and/or for life? 

My watercolor painting teacher- Rick Mills. He gave me some of the biggest compliments of my life, and offered me a great deal of encouragement to continue to grad school. He also says the painting he owns of mine is one of his favorites. It doesn't get any better than that.

Pencil drawing "Deep Sea Charging Station"

If you had free choice of one supply you need for your work, no matter how expensive, what would it be?

Gold. Because I really want to learn to make jewelry.

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I'm on Etsy! Although I'm damned hard to find. It's Bottletree Pottery & Gifts. I'm also on Facebook as Bottletree Pottery.

Turquoise and crystals necklace

Famous last words ;-) Is there anything else you want to tell us?

Feel free to buy stuff from me. Lots of stuff. XD
I need to be able to support my clay habit.

Thank you for being here, Lisa :-)
I hope everyone will go and check out your pages now as there is so much to see!


Quote of the week

Robin Hood, the hero of my childhood. Along with Lancelot of course. We had these two books about the legends of Robin and King Arthur, and I swear I read them up and down and back again.
It's not the first time I am talking about Robin here, either. Remember this quote? And it won't be the last time, either. Now let's get to the point, though.

How would you feel if you just came home from the Crusades and saw people taking away your castle? And what if that wasn't all yet ...

Robin: Blinkin, listen to me. They've taken the castle!
Blinkin: I thought it felt a bit drafty. Grr. This never would have happened if your father was alive.
Robin: He's dead?
Blinkin: Yes.
Robin: And my mother?
Blinkin: She died of pneumonia whilst ... oh, you were away.
Robin: My brothers?
Blinkin: They were all killed by the plague.
Robin: My dog Pongo?
Blinkin: Run over by a carriage.
Robin: My goldfish Goldie?
Blinkin: Eaten by the cat.
Robin (whimpering): My cat?
Blinkin: Choked on the goldfish.
Robin is about to start sobbing.
Blinkin: Oh, it's good to be back home, ain't it, Master Robin?


Robin Hood: Men In Tights, USA, 1993


My Queen Meffi

Six years ago I wrote a blog post about my boy Merlin.
A little over a year ago I lost Merlin's great love Meffi. Until now I didn't even want to talk about it, it usually takes me a while, but now I have a very special reason to share some memories with you.

Meffi came to us a few months after we lost the cat that had started it all, White Dude, the foreign exchange kitty. We picked her up at a farm. Actually I didn't pick her. I was sitting in the hay cooing over a litter of mostly black kittens with some white spots when my ex shoved her in my face instead. How could I have resisted that cute little nose? She looked adorable!
In fact we didn't know it was a girl, though. Even then she hated to be picked up and she was like an eel with claws. We named her Mephisto because she was such a little devil. That day she kept her tail very firmly tucked in and we thought it would be best not to stress her out too much. The next day, however, that tail went up and we found we had a Mephista instead.

It was still common then to let a cat get in heat once before having her spayed. Our boys were neutered, so the only problem would be to stand the noise and Meff rolling around on the floor.
I have never heard such a voice coming out of such a little cat. A cat in heat? It sounded more like a moose in heat! It was absolutely impossible to ignore her song, and Merlin went for it hook, line and sinker. With the whole show, too, neutered or not.
They stayed a pair until Merlin went over the Rainbow Bridge. Still with the whole show. Sometimes it was downright embarrassing to lie in bed when the lovebirds were there as well. Merlin was friends with all the others and they all loved him, but it was nothing compared to those two.

After Merlin was gone, things changed. Meffi didn't think highly of the others, especially not Ponder, no matter how much he was in love with her from the moment he entered our world. The Queen was not amused at his rowdy and childish behavior.
Then my husband left. As much as the boys had always been more attached to me, the girls had chosen him, but Meffi dealt with it easier than I had feared. She started to sleep on my head at night with my hand touching her fur. Not holding her, though. Meffi always needed the feeling of being able to get up and leave any moment. She was not a hugger like the boys, I already said that she had taught us from the very first day that she didn't appreciate to be picked up and held longer than a few seconds. It could turn her into a fierce furry octopus with thousands of claws. I have more than one fine scar to prove that and this is only from the occasions when there was no choice and I had to pick her up.
I also have a fine scar on my cheek from when she had been sleeping on me and Ponder suddenly decided he wanted to play. He jumped her, she jumped me, my glasses flew off my face, I spilled soup over myself and felt something warm running down my face. Never a boring moment here!

When Meffi got sick, the bond grew even stronger if possible. I would never have thought that I would be able to pill her and even give her sub q fluids every day. Not that she was apathic and sometimes she let me know very clearly that she wouldn't put up with my stupid ideas today, but in general we made a great team.
It is never an easy decision to let a beloved animal go and I'm not ashamed to say that once again I'm sitting here bawling. I miss her so much.

Of course I could go on and on and on, but now you may ask what that special reason of mine is to share all of this with you.
When I lost my Queen (a position she filled effortlessly here),  I knew that I wanted my friend Dawn to do what she already done when I lost Merlin.
Dawn's miniatures (click the link to see more) are amazing and beautiful. I asked her to make a miniature of Meffi, a necklace, and she did.
I can't express my feelings at the moment when I opened the parcel. I don't think I need to. Thank you, Dawn, thank you so much.



Tackle that stash - Cosmic spiral pendant

Don't ask me where the name comes from. Maybe I still had Donovan's Cosmic Wheels from my playlist on my mind or maybe the lampwork bead reminded me of a little planet with the pearl as one of its moons?
Fact is that the misty pink lampwork bubble bead has been an orphan in my drawer for too long and really needed to be made into something.

I haven't been working in wire for a while, so I set out to make a wire crochet rope and see where it would take me. Actually I wasn't even sure how far that spool of wire would get me. Would it be enough for a necklace? A bracelet?
Turns out that I didn't have to worry about that after the spiral idea popped into my head. I don't do asymmetry that often, but sometimes it's just appealing.

What do you see?


Oldies but Goodies - Lampwork

I can't be completely sure because one platform deleted my whole account once instead of just the shop part, but from looking through my files it looks as if I bought my very first lampwork beads in April 2010. I do remember, however, that I looked up where the name lampwork came from (in earlier times lamps were used to melt the glass).
Glass had always fascinated me, but I do have, erm, let's say huge respect for fire because it sounds less wimpy than saying I'm afraid of it although that is partially true.  Anyway, it is something I don't see in my own future, but why would I need it? There are fabulous lampworkers out there and I know I'm not the only one that is addicted to their products.
This week's Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community gives you just a small idea of who else can't resist the call of the glass ...


1 MC Stoneworks
2 Cat's Wire
3 Violetmoon's Corner
4 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 The Crafty Chimp

P.S. I know I've said it before, but I should really get back into my lampwork stash!


Quote of the week

Have you ever wondered how I pick the weekly quotes?
I mean, there are TV shows and movies you love, but to make others understand a quote from it, you practically have to tell them the whole scene, and there are others that are so full of quotes that you can almost grab them with your hand.
Although I try to bring you a new show or movie every time, I'm in such a hurry sometimes that I can't help picking one of my old favorites. Like today.
Who knows, maybe it's one of your favorites, too.

By the way, how easily are you convinced by someone?
Westley, Inigo, and Fezzik come to the castle to save Buttercup, Westley's true love.

Westley: Give us the gate key.
Yellin: I have no gate key.
Inigo: Fezzik, tear his arms off.
Yellin: Oh, you mean this gate key.

Well, that wasn't too difficult, was it?

The Princess Bride, USA, 1987