Saturday, November 15, 2008

Challenge

Carol of Beads and Birds issued a challenge on her blog for visitors to give a glimpse of the world around where they live. Well, I live in the desert of Kingman, Arizona. I am in the north western part of the state and live on 40 acres in pretty much the middle of nowhere.

The bunny was caught early in the morning just after the sun came up about 2 weeks ago. They are so cute but they eat everything we don't want them to including the wires in our cars. (We are getting ready to put in a garage to keep them out).

The roadrunner jumped up onto the window
air conditioner I have during the summer. I guess he was wondering what was going on. I was sitting right there working on my computer so I grabbed the camera quickly to catch him.

The next picture is of our big dog Sarah who went for a walk with my goats, my son and girlfriend and I this past summer. She runs pretty free here and will cover at least 10 miles a day chasing rabbits all over the place but this day was so hot even she was stopping for a rest in the shade.

The next picture shows the road on one side of
our property. It gets so seldom used that in the
spring, flowers grow in the road just fine. This is
a shot of another walk with the goats. As you can
see, we are pretty isolated. (Now you know why I treasure the internet and my internet friends).


The next pic shows the moon just two days ago. The sun was coming up while the moon had yet to go down over the mountains. If I knew how to use the manual stuff on my camera I'm sure I could have got a better shot but this is close enough. Sometimes it's not so nice here but at others, there is a real sense of peace and time.

The last shot is of a cow that has free range here. When we first moved here 6 years ago we found we wanted a fence around the house as the cows walked right up to it and had a snack of some palm trees we were going to plant. We figured they'd want the goat's hay too so now they have been fenced out! It's fun to watch them when they are grazing nearby and the dogs (all four of them) love to bark their heads off at them.

Well, this should give you an idea of what I see on any given morning. We are retired so there is no commute to work but it would be on a fairly
empty road for 12 miles to the edge of town.


Enjoy your day wherever it starts.


















Friday, November 14, 2008

Inchies

I got a little behind with my computer malfunctioning on me so I am posting last weeks inchy with this weeks.

Last week's theme was The 5th of November or Guy Fawkes Day. This is a holiday in the UK celebrating someone who tried to burn down the Parliament building. Fiona of Inchybyinch asked us to do a fireworks or glitter inchy to celebrate. Well, I have a little interference powder on the tea being poured from the cup. It doesn't show up really but that wasn't how I "celebrated" with her. I celebrated by a return to a protest in our country while it was still under King George and part of England. I am portraying the Boston Tea Party. A cup pouring out tea with a ship asea in the background is my take on joining in this week. This was done with Prismacolor pencils.

Hmmm, and now that it is done and posted, I see my horn is upside down! It was too tiny before and I didn't notice. Guess I'd better start using that magnifying glass. I am already using reading glasses!

This week's theme is music. Fiona is singing in a musical and decided to carry music over into our inchies. I used a stamped music background. My only musical instrument stamp was much too big so I put it in my new Elements and reduced it so it would fit and glued it on with some tiny script. I edged it with chalk ink and tada, one musical inchy!






Thursday, November 13, 2008

Notecards

I recently saw a picture on a blog that I really liked. Well, there were a lot I really liked but there was one that said "gotta have it for my daughter" so I inquired about it and was able to purchase the painting as notecards. I was really lucky because Monette who sells these from her shop on Etsy called Shiny Designs also sent with the packet of bunny cards, a couple of her wonderful birds on notecards. Doesn't she do lovely work. With Christmas coming up you might think about stopping in for some reasonably priced gifts most people would love.

I just sent one of the cards off with a package to my son. I
needed to enclose a note and he likes art and nature so I am hoping he'll appreciate this card too.

I just love that little bunny. You really did a great job Monette.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

I have seen a few blogs that have shared stories for Veteran's Day and thought I'd add a few of my own. Grace has an excellent story and some artifacts so I'd go over and check it out if I were you. Also check out pics and artifacts over at Margaret Ann's blog .

My family is mostly veteran's of one war or another or have served time in the military. My grandfather's were in WWI where one lost a lung due to mustard gas. The other served with Theodore Roosevelt and was in the Spanish American war riding up San Juan Hill with Teddy as cavalry soldiers back when the cavalry rode horses. They still have the cavalry soldiers, just not the horses.

My parents were both veterans of WWII. My mom was a truck driver for the marines and served at Miramar Air Base making roads. It was a man's job but the men were "over there" so the women filled in. Her biggest peeve over equality (which didn't exist) was when she waited for a train to come in to pick up marines and the Red Cross would not let her have a donut and coffee. It was only for the male soldiers!

My dad served in the army. He fought the Japanese over in all the islands of the Pacific with the most notable being Leyte in the Philippines. He had a tough time as he often had to skip gunfights for hand-to-hand combat. He said the Japanese would herd women and children in front of them for protection so the U.S. soldiers would wait for the women and children to pass and then fight with their bayonets. The (I think it was the 7th Infantry but I could be wrong) has a patch to this day that bears a bayonet on it in honor of their fighting. There was a time when he had to steal his own rations from the base camp as they didn't have the proper paper work for them (everyone with papers and most others kept getting killed off). He received a Purple Heart for a stab wound to the neck. He said the going mode of operandi was take no prisoners, and don't become one. Fighting to the death was the only kind he knew. At one time (my brother has the photo or I'd share it) the soldiers had to wear white patches on their backs. The reason was that anyone without white showing was a target for shooting and it eliminated anyone from turning around to retreat. My brother-in-law never believed dad's story saying the U.S. wouldn't shoot their own but then we found the picture and yep, they would. But to be fair, I think the fighting was so hellish, it was hard not to turn and run at times. When he came home, his sister said he showed up at the door looking like the people shown in the Aushwitz pictures. Dad was almost starved both by lack of rations and not being able to eat due to flies everywhere after a battle going from dead bodies to his food. He just could not eat it then. (Yes, war is hell! That's why I can't stomach the idea of a pre-emptive one).

Next generation - my brothers-in-law and my husband served during the Vietnam era. My husband (I didn't know him quite yet) helped load the big guns on the ship he was on and lost part of his hearing. One brother-in-law went up the rivers in a small boat as Senator Kerry did. One was in the marines and spent one tour on the ground over there. He was a truck driver (yep, like my mom) and said the vietnamese women would sometimes throw their babies under the tires in order to get money from the U.S. government. Before judging them, I would guess they didn't have food or money to care for the rest of their family so took this as hopefully, a last resort. One brother-in-law joined but wasn't called to serve in Vietnam but he served his 20 and finally retired. A cousin of mine was trained to de-arm bombs that didn't go off and just before we pulled out of the war, he ran out of his luck and is now buried in Fort Rosecrans Cemetery. Just after the war ended my sister followed my mom into the marines. My brother followed in my dad's footsteps and joined the army from which he is now retired.

I was set to join the army nursing corps but met my husband and that's the way that story ended. I mention this as you are probably wondering why I didn't serve!

Now, the latest generation is serving in Iraq. My nephew has had three tours in Iraq following one in Afghanistan. He's had three kids in between tours and is finally safe at home with them. He just got home and should be for a long time now as he will become an instructor at a Ranger school in Fort Benning Georgia. He received a bronze star in his second tour in Iraq and has lost some of his friends over there. My son also served in between the Gulf War and Iraq. He served 8 years in the navy in the nuclear power field aboard an aircraft carrier. I also had another nephew, the oldest of the bunch who served in the navy for 6 years aboard a non-nuclear sub.


I thank all who do their duty as veterans and unpopularly, I also salute those who resist war in a truly pacifist notion. Getting out of serving by going to college doesn't earn my respect. So many did this during Vietnam, especially the people with lots of money. No sir, I don't respect letting someone serve in your place because you have the money to avoid it (and that goes for President Bush who served where it was least likely to produce a trip to Vietnam). But real war protesters who are willing to leave their country or go to jail in protest I can understand because war is hell and should be avoided. Sometimes it can't and we have to do the best we can but choosing not to do all that was possible to win in Viet Nam and opting for a war we didn't have to have in Iraq are inexcusable reasons to have our soldiers killed and wounded.

Creativity

I saw this video as a link on another blog. I hope I can get it here. I really don't know how these things work so I just have to try it and see.



If this doesn't work then try this.

Good luck. If you can get to it it's funny and informative too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

ATC Swap

About a month ago Julie of Mixed Media blog asked me if I'd
like to trade ATC's. We settled on fabric as the basis. I made her the beaded moon ATC shown at right. The green fabric is hand dyed by Grace of Barnyard Chatter (I'd previously used some here.) I enjoyed making this for Julie but I think I got the best end of the stick! Look at what she sent me.

She sent me a note on handmade paper. That's always nice to feel and even to repurpose later.

Then she sent me a Celtic prayer. I really like those. Julie, my maiden name is O'Keefe and my grandfather was born in Ireland - came over to the U.S. as a baby.

Then she sent me a packet of buttons, beads and charms! I saw a couple of orange buttons in the packet that will find their way onto my November BJP page as orange is the color for this month.

And last but the best by far, much better than what I
sent her, is the ATC she sent. She titled it The Beach at St. Ives, Cornwall. Isn't it beautiful? Seashells and sea shards along with embroidery and beads, needle felting , or maybe it's what is called embellishing and rust-dyed fabric make up the surface. She used wire to wrap the shards to keep them on the surface. I just love this. I feel the ocean through this piece Julie. You really are an artist.

Well, Christmas may still be more than a month away but I felt like it showed up in my mailbox today! Thanks Julie.










An Award!



I have received an award from Cheryl of Scrappy Cat blog. I am supposed to pick four people now to forward the award to but as is my usual practice, I am not doing so. I really don't know who I would pick as ALL the blogs I go to are special - or I wouldn't go to them.

People who come to my blog will enjoy more Cheryl's blog. She does fiber arts, book reviews plus some other things as they come up. Drop by; I'm sure she'd love a visit.

Thank you Cheryl.

Monday, November 3, 2008

October BJP08


I've finished both versions of my October page, the larger one which I started first and found out was the wrong size and the newer, smaller one which is correct. I call them "On the Wild Side" as the frog, ladybug and square beads seem to suggest.
This month was yellow orange on my colorwheel theme. I used the square beads which I received from Grace of Gracebeading, a piece of sea glass on the larger page which is a gift from some litter bug and the sea, three medium size beads in the bugle part of the fans on the small page which were gifted by my grandchildren one Christmas and a frog bead.
The frog bead was made by myself out of a smashed bottle cap "gifted" by my husband, a piece of paper and an old, used, vinyl frog sticker. I glued the items on the cap and then coated them with a resin glaze by Deco Art. I punched holes in the two ends so I could stitch it down. Actually, the other side is the side I was trying to use as an experiment with the resin but this side worked for my page.
I used Robin's paper backing idea for stitching these and then glued some thick pellon to the back, folded and glued the fabric to the back side and also glued a piece of ultra suede to the back (not all the way to the edge so a needle could still get through) before adding the beaded edging.
I am happy with the way they both turned out. The big one looked a bit plain but after I added the cross stitching to "sew it all up" I was a lot happier.