Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I did on my summer vacation....

I haven't taken a class in ages and I have always loved Deb Karash's work. Once she started teaching I never seemed to be able to fit in a class.  Well last January she posted a summer class and I jumped at it. I kept telling people that I was going to adult art camp in the mountains of North Carolina...and that is exactly what it was...and it was great. Of course...Cris came along for the adventure.

We flew into Asheville and stayed overnight on the Biltmore estate...8000 acres with the highlight being a 250 room French chateau. I'd love to be able to stay overnight in this place....I wonder if anyone gets to do that.  I suppose if you are rich enough you can do anything.

I couldn't figure out why I was seeing so many Rolls Royce's on the estate. The were having a Rolls Royce National Meet there. 
The flowers were beautiful and there were lots of gardens. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to see them. 

Vintage Rolls

Love the detail of the internal staircase

V is for Vanderbilt

One of the fountains just outside the house.
Another fountain on the grounds. 
And what house is complete without a lion....or two
It's an amazing place and I want to go back when I have more time to tour the house and see the gardens. I cannot even fathom having the amount of money that the Vanderbilt's had or what it was like to live in this mansion.

So...after a quick look around we headed up to Wild Acres. We went from sunny and warm in Asheville to foggy and rainy.  We also went from total connectivity to no TV and very sporadic internet. I didn't miss the TV but I have to admit that I missed the internet.
It was rainy and foggy a lot but I didn't mind. It made the place very magical and primeval
We were right in the middle of the forest. 

One of the lodges and a view down to the patio
We played hooky one afternoon and drove over to Penland School of Crafts. Such a beautiful place. I would love to take a class here some day. The run 1-week, 2-week and 8-week classes.  I asked Lou what I would have to do to take an 8 week class...his the Lottery. I'm working on it.

We stopped in the Gallery.  My favorite piece was a paper mache rabbit by Margaret Couch Cogswell

And a wonderful exhibit by Wendy Marayuma on The wildLIFE Project

Looking off the porch of the metals studio. 

View off the second floor balcony of the metals studio. 

The textile studio

It was all so lovely


Sam, Debbie, and Kathy

I love this building. 
 Back at Wild Acres...we did have some sunny days and could see the mountains off in the distance.

And butterflies and pretty flowers.

Loved the hand-made railing

You could see the storms coming in across the mountains. Not more than 10 minutes after taking this picture we got rain.

And it didn't just RAAAINED buckets!!


But I kinda liked it.  I'm not one for a hot weather and we have had that here in Cleveland.  The rain was a nice break. kept us in the studio.  One night we worked until close to midnight.  We came out to the fog.

This picture isn't blurry...this was the fog. It was thick and I kept blinking my eyes because it seem only logical that I should be able to clear my vision...but I couldn't.  
One night we went down to the firepit and had a bonfire.

The walk-way coming down from the lodge. 

This was the lodge we stayed in. 

A view out over the mountains.  As it got darker you could occasionally see headlights way off in the distance climbing up the mountain.

I absolutely loved being able to get up in the morning and concentrate on making jewelry all day budgets, no e-mails, no responsibility. Just working at the jeweler's bench all day and sometimes all night long.

I wasn't as prolific as some but I did finish two pieces. I learned new skills and brushed up on some old ones.  The piece on the right really challenged me because of the mistakes I made...but I also learned the most on that one. 
It was a great week with some wonderful women and great teacher.  It's funny how you come together and you don't know each other...but after 5 days together you hate to leave one another.

And what jewelry adventure would be complete without some picture that Cris didn't want me to take...and she will probably hurt me for posting really....she will...LOL

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Visit to the Farm

Went home yesterday to see Mom.  We went out to the farm to visit with my brother Ed.  The house is uninhabitable but Ed still maintains the barns and farms the land. I took a walk around.

The two large barns are original to the farm..or at least for as long as I can remember.
Black-eyed Susan....strange name if you think about it. We always had flowers on the farm. Mom planted flowers and there were lots of wild flowers in the woods. 
Back of the corn barn. I was eyeing up the siding...but its still a functional barn so I can't take any of it.
A weathered old gate by the milk house. Hmm...I might have to go back to get this wood.  I could make some cool jewelry displays from it .

The back of the milk house.  There used to be a very large barn next to it.  It doesn't take long for nature to take over. 

The back door into the milk house. I have the lock and glass door knob from the front door. 
Common Chicory..a weed..but pretty. 
The old combine. It's all gears and chain. I would love to be able to dismantle this. The gears are cool  I did manage to get some chain off it it. 
 It's nostalgic to go back to the farm.  I spent the first 16 years of my life there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stash from Bead and Button

It's been a while since I posted.  It's been a while since Bead and Button.  You get back to reality and time get sucked up with work and other responsibilities. These days I don't get much time for myself.

This year Bead and Button was a bit different.  We had more time to relax and do things other than teach.  One of the places we visited is Michael Alt's. He has a combination plant and antique/curio/junk store. I found some storage pieces, a couple architectural items, and sea beans.

Sea beans are seeds and pods that fall off trees into streams and rivers and then wash out into the sea. The currents can take them thousands of miles from where they grew. The large ones look like hearts and the smaller ones look like hamburgers. I'm going to polish them up and use them in my jewelry.

Sea Beans

We stopped into the Iron Horse Hotel for lunch. It's an old warehouse that they converted into a hotel. If I ever get up to Milwaukee other than B&B I'd like to stay here.  They lobby is really cool.

Iron Horse Lobby complete with motorcycle

The place is filled with industrial artifacts

Gears.  I have corn picker plates from the farm that are similar.

Love this picture and just in time for Independence Day

I didn't buy much at the show this year.  I look around my studio and see all the beads that I currently have there isn't much of a need for anything more....except the time to make new jewelry. That's a commodity that is in short supply.

You can never go by Gary Wilson's booth without picking something up

Brass Beads

Found a new chain vendor

Lots of etched agate and some turquoise
It all came and went too fast. But the fun things always do.