After a small surgical procedure last week (small, but with stitches that left my daughter telling me I looked like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, darling that she is), I found my "Brundlefly" self locked out of sight in my house, taking it easy in the evenings, and finishing up my very first attempt at a bead embroidered cuff bracelet. Same (only) daughter told me it had a "Frida-esque" feel to it, once done.
Sitting on the back of a tiny little Colima dog, of Mexican folk art/lore, this one is FILLED...once again, it kept growing and growing 'til it was what it is - extravagantly full and heavy! A 1940's celluloid face button was my starting point, surrounded by precious Bakelite, cut-steel, rhinestones, and various antique buttons. New beads, freshwater pearls, turquoise and coral were thrown in for good measure.
Above the head, to the left, is the tiniest (a mere 3/8" across) little gold and "pearl" encrusted pin - the number 27...my birth date and the number I always use for luck (recently, it has popped up more and more in my life - the day I finished this was actually Friday, the 27th - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM, ON THE 28th). Wish I knew the story behind this little treasure - it came to me in a "lot" of buttons - someones class pin from 1927, perhaps?
It was my daughter that suggested the red beads for the edging, as well as the Ultrasuede lining...she said if I had come that far, it needed to be finished boldly, so bold it is! I do imagine that Frida might just have sported this herself.
After painting the town red, Friday evening, I found myself painting the roses red, Saturday morning, with my "charm"ing little group of creative friends - the theme for this go-round was Alice in Wonderland....hosted at a local antique shop's tea house, it was "mad", indeed! Click on the pictures to view them in detail (it was a cloudy, rainy day here in the desert today - hence, no sunshine for pictures).
"Velvet" flocked/wire wrapped heart atop a beautiful handmade card ("Off With her Head" - from an original Tenniel illustration) from Jackie; a beaded Queen of Hearts charm and a handmade/soldered, tiny little box made from playing cards from our newcomer, Mariann; a resined Queen of Hearts from the old Disney movie from Pat; a handmade silver art clay tea cup from Colleen; a tiny little paper clay Mad Hatter's hat, complete with the infamous 10/6 tag, from Mandy; and a beautiful little copper Hatter's hat, with tiny little watch parts, from Jerry.
Alice's tiny cake and bottle from Betty; "A" is for Alice from Ronna.
A glazed ceramic playing card/Red Queen guard from our other newbie, Sophia; a quartz, carved rose in the process of being "painted red" (probably by that same guard), and crystal rose with leaf from June; and a red rose with crystal dew drop from Betty. Final photo is of two of my extra charms (front and back), sitting atop a photo of the "Alice" the stories were originally written for...Alice Pleasance Liddell. Thank you to all my charming friends - tea was delightful, and these will make a fabulous charm bracelet!
Taken from the title of the latest Meat Loaf album, "Hang Loose, Teddy Bear", I had just that kind of week, last week...a "hang loose" week with aging rockers that can STILL bring it, and a blue-eyed crooner on a Saturday evening, by the beautiful outside pool of The M Resort. With our ears still recovering from The Nuge the Saturday before, Jackie D. and I scored tickets to see Meat Loaf, this past Friday night, at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. What a GREAT show he put on (we had 10th row seats!) - unlike the Motor City Madman, I had never seen him in concert and am so glad I did, this time around. Another 62 year old rocker that put on one ("Bat Out of") hell of a show! Daughter, Pearl, was the opening act for her dad - the girl can sing...certainly a chip off the old block - and joined him onstage for the rockin' finale, after 2 hours of his greatest, and newest, hits!
Saturday morning found both of us, bleary eyed (go to Jackie's blog and ask her about our road trip through UNLV after Meat Loaf), and at the Charm Exchange, where we gave and received the latest round of creative little pieces...which I will post tomorrow...or sometime soon. A much needed nap was missed in lieu of some errands, and then it was on to The M for an evening with Jackie D., Erin, and CHRIS ISAAK...yes, it sounds a little kinky - a definite "Eye Candy Girls Night Out" (husbands would NEVER "do" at a Chris Isaak concert). The handsome, blue-eyed (yes, we were close enough to see them with our own special eyes), "rockabilly" crooner, made for a marvelous end to a week of incredible music - I am fairly certain there was no one else in the audience except for me that night...even those two that went with me...he was singing to me, girls, ME!
A quick shout out for Amy Stevens Originals at amystevensoriginals.etsy.com. I purchased this beautiful, little (the watch case itself is only 1-1/8") antique ladies pocket watch from her, for my daughter's birthday - Happy Birthday, Jaci - I know you heard it enough this past week, but here it is again! I can't believe it's been 22 wonderful years already! LOVE YOU!
Drop by Amy's online shop for some really incredible, tiny finds (beautiful watch pieces/parts, etc), perfect for use in your steampunk creations, etc...I purchased this thinking I would "gut it" and use the parts, while giving the shell to my daughter, but I think it will stay intact...it's going to look lovely on a chain, around her neck. Amy also has her own, handmade treasures for sale - check her out! amystevensoriginals
Friday the 13th found me dragging out old wool roving that I had squirrelled away from the last time I did felting, to do a project with Wendy. It's been awhile but, as long as moths don't get to it, the wool seems to keep just fine...it was years, I'm telling you...years! She gifted me with some creepy skeleton beads which served to set the tone for the entire, colorful morning. The wool bowl that I had planned in colors to match my living room, soon turned to the macabre and will now be used as a candy dish for Halloween.
For the time being, it looks fabulous setting next to one of my favorite "year round" (it's just too good to only bring out in October) treasures...a shadow box, made by Jackie D., for my birthday last year. Filled with, among other things, a vintage watch case; antique buttons; "Runs With Scissors"; and a 3-D witch in training - LOVE it! My friends know I have an affinity for Halloween - I am so lucky!
Last evening found Jackie, Erin and me at Stateline, taking in a very colorful Ted Nugent concert - definitely not for the "faint of heart" - a good, old fashioned, ear splittin', genuine rock concert...my ears were still ringing this morning! We had the BEST time, and it took me back some 30 (eh hem) years, to the first time I saw him, back home in Denver! The Motor City Madman STILL rocks...like Jackie said, on the way out..."ya' gotta' love a man with a guitar"! Lots of military personnel in the PACKED audience...a HUGE, heartfelt thanks to our men and women in uniform, for doing what they do so that you and I can continue to enjoy our freedoms, here in America! WE LOVE YOU!
Once again, a heartfelt thanks to The Boss for feeding my addiction. This is the sister to the "Peaches and Cream" cameo posted last week. This one will stay right here...complete with a vintage brass cherub; a large vintage rhinestone; and two of my small, treasured, butterscotch bakelite buttons (one of which was also a birthday gift from Colleen, last year). The beautiful vintage, rhinestone clip earrings (they say made in W. Germany on the back, but I don't know much more about them other than they are spectacular!) were a recent gift from Joleen, in CO...thank you, girl - am working on the necklace and waiting on some silver, but you'll have it soon, I promise!
And, in another creative frenzy, I decided that the cameo needed matching earrings - ala Heather French - unfinished as of today, but beautiful enough to string on a ribbon and share, just the same. A relaxful weekend to all, full of everything that you enjoy! I just snagged tickets to Ted Nugent for tomorrow night - ROCK ON!!!
It's all fun and games until someone beads a rock...
It gets expensive and life consuming from there on out...but oh, how many hours of creative enjoyment it's brought. As the latecomer to beading/jewelry making, I had missed out on every free-form beading class imaginable by then, but Colleen (aka The Boss...aka The Bead Metaler) re-taught a class just for me a few years back. Sadly (but actually SO lucky for me), I was the ONLY one to sign up to bead a rock that day - not a little rock, either, but a 4" X 3" X 1-1/2" rock...a throwing rock! What a wonderful canvas it provided and, should I ever really need to launch it at someone's head, the beads should soften the blow...at least aesthetically speaking!
"Choose an inspirational saying for the engraving", she told me...PROBABLY should have, but I hate the obvious, so "PROBABLY" it was. Yes, it is set in stone, forever.
"Bead", she said, so bead I did! Lots and lots of free-form techniques were learned that day - PROBABLY the best class I've taken because, in a "7 degrees of separation way", it all relates back to this very rock. GREAT teacher, my Boss....great FRIEND, my Colleen!
Last evening, she snagged 4 tickets to the Beatlemania Tribute Concert at the LV Hilton...as I had spent the morning with her (trying on tattoo sleeves amid purse shopping), it was a very "Bossy" day, indeed. Erin and I met her and Pat for dinner, drinks, and music at a pretty wonderful little concert (once again).
Beatles through the years...who couldn't love that (besides my husband)?! It is rare that I even have my camera with me at these shows, because most of them tend to want to take it away. I was able to snap two photos before everyone was seated...Erin warned me the picture had to be cropped from the shoulders up, and may complain that she looks like a "deer in headlights", because of my flash, but look at this pretty group of happy girls.
Singing, dancing, and some happy fellow behind us, who I didn't notice until this morning. Looks like he was enjoying himself, too.
Ah, it's good to have friends...friends who are "purging"...friends like The Boss, who gifted me with a pair of sisters a few weeks back - porcelain cameos...one in green/rust, and this beauty! Big girls, both - finished size is 2-3/4" X 2-1/4" She's destined for a necklace but, since I have no more concerts on the agenda for this week, I needed something to write about now.
Large, "older than vintage" crystal rhinestones; Swarovski crystals; freshwater pearls; and Czech glass flowers, sitting amongst and atop a double row of delica ruffles (one grey, one brown iris)...backed with the funky zebra print Ultrasuede for that "kick" factor.
Our beautiful "fire sunsets" have come to an end, for the time being...I ran to the top of the hill last evening, in hopes of catching something spectacular. Sadly, there were no clouds to be found (the clouds really reflect the colors), and showed nothing more than soft pinks, peaches and blues as I watched the sun fade. It does go hand in hand with the peachy girl here so, until California's next misfortune.................
"The Dream Police, they live inside of my head"...Cheap Trick
I was lucky enough to take in Cheap Trick's Sgt. Pepper Live show again, last night -this time at the Paris Hotel, here on the Las Vegas Strip - the first go round, over at the Hilton, was absolutely enchanting - an evening of the great 70's/80's band, performing the entire Beatle's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album ("they" said it could never be done live - yeah...what did "they" know?!), with a few special guests (Joan Osbourne, etc.). I waited for just one of Cheap Trick's own songs that night, and was disappointed that none materialized, though witnessed a fabulous concert, nonetheless- Robin Zander's voice was made for these songs!
My friend, Wendy, is in from NY and suggested another show last night, before we settled in on this...and I am SO glad we did. As we arrived at the theater, there were programs in front of our seats (with a set list of songs), which I didn't glance at, as I figured it was going to pretty much be a repeat of the same show I had already seen and loved. I think Wendy thought I had completely lost my mind when, 3/4 of the way through, they launched into "Dream Police", followed by a few new songs of theirs, and then "I Want You to Want Me", and "Surrender" - before finishing off the Beatles repertoire. I am so glad I didn't want to rummage through my purse, to find my glasses, to read that program. YES, I AM A HAPPY CAMPER THIS MORNING! If you live here or are just travelling through, your money would be well spent at this show! It's quite the sing-along event (did I mention we had 5th row, center stage tickets last evening?!)!
Another Maxfield Parrish sunset last evening...this one with blues, also. Tonight, I am heading for the hills, in hopes of getting a "full Vegas" shot of the valley, before the show is all over.
"We're all alright. We're all alright. We're all alright. We're all alright!"
When my kitchen suddenly "lit up" orange/pink tonight, I knew it was happening again - I ran and grabbed my camera in hopes that I could capture what I was talking about earlier, with our "fire sunsets".
We have the most incredible sunsets (beautiful and eerie, at the same time), here in Vegas, when CA is "on fire" - I don't know the technical aspects of it all, but it has to do with the layer of smoke we get here, 4 hours away, in NV...and it's spectacular - night after night, until the fires are out. It only ever lasts about 5-7 minutes, and I missed the first few of those tonight, but did manage to snap a couple before the show was over.
Oh, it's been a lazy week, in between Poppies and Lotus blossoms...must be the oppressive heat. We have been promised rain, for the past few days, that has failed to materialize - naturally! We have been "lucky" enough to get the humidity that goes along with it, however. The sunset was magnificent last evening though, unfortunately, it comes at the price that CA pays for it's wildfires. We witness the most beautiful orange and pink skies here, when the west coast is ablaze!
Creativity was at a low this week...working on odds and ends, and trying to finish up some UFOs. I did get a very "peaceful" bag made for a dear friend, who needed a gift for her daughter. Yoga and running are a big part of her life, so her Mom asked me for a bag that would accommodate a pair of sneakers, with a Lotus blossom somewhere in the design. Happy to oblige, what resulted was a hobo bag - big enough to house those running shoes and still look elegant...beautiful home dec tapestry/jacquard fabric (the strap detail picture is closer to the rich, true color of the fabric...one day, I really should take photo lessons), free-motion quilted; appliqued and quilted Lotus blossom on the front pocket; button detailing on the strap.
I managed to escape to the cool of the movie theater on Tuesday night, with Jackie (her husband joined us for dinner and then ditched us to spend the evening with Angelina Jolie). Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 was held last month, in Chicago, for the third year...an incredible lineup of some of the world's greatest blues guitar players (Clapton, Steve Winwood, B.B. King, ZZ Top, Sonny Landreth, John Mayer, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Jonny Lang, Ron Woods, etc., etc., etc.) - an all day concert that was filmed and released (parts of it) to movie theaters for one night only. An incredible two full hours (no previews of movies before, and no talking/breaks during the movie...JUST music) of blues song, after song - a peaceful, easy evening, for sure! Album comes out in November, and I will undoubtedly have it playing on my home stereo, the same day!