Saturday, November 21, 2015

After the Frost Before the Snow: Plants in Beautiful Decay

I have been wanting to share these pictures here with you since I took them in late October.  They are all  pictures of flowers in partial decay after a killing frost in October.   They are located in the King George Garden at Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York.  It was my first visit there and it was the last day they were open for the season.  What a treat to happen upon all this beauty.

I don't know the names of any of these flowers.  I was just so taken with the colors that had developed since the heavy frost.  Such gorgeous shades of brown and green, yellow and red.  Coincidentally we were recently given some bulbs to grow these flowers in the  picture above.  I look forward to watching them next summer.

                       Such perfect daisy heads amid the subdued shades of their summer colors.

                       These rosy tan leaves were on plants way over 6 feet tall.

                     Love the red orange flower amid these shades of tan and brown.

                                             Such a cascade of pink.
                                             And then the bright red.

                             And a black green silhouette.
    And a final dance before winter sets in.

I am just in time with this post as we are expecting our first snow of the season tonight.
What a sweet farewell to my favorite seasons.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

End of Summer Color Inspiration


Sky and Dark Brown Maple Lea ves

                                      Golden Rod and Drying Milk Weed

Garlic from my Garden Drying

Rose Hips from our Rosa Rugosa plants

                                                                  Maple Leaf

                                                 Carrot Flowers Gone to Seed

Friday, August 14, 2015

Gigantic Amazing Antique Show

This is a picture of the Madison Bouckville Week Long Antique show in New York state along Route 20

On a recent trip to the Finger Lakes we happened upon this amazing event.  It was fun to walk around and see all the cool pieces.  Luckily we did not have our truck with  us.  My only purchase was a very small ball pein hammer which I feel lucky to have found for just $6.00.  Below are some pictures I took with  my phone of a few of the displays.  Next year we will visit and be prepared to transport some treasures.

My husband found a long sought after piece for an antique latch for our guest room door at this very large booth of bit and pieces of antiques hardware and more.

Of course this was my favorite booth.  The owner  Cheri Moyer was very friendly and asked me if I was a jeweler when she spotted the small ball pein hammer I had bought.  I was  intrigued by her lovely displays, like the antique rakes she used to display necklaces and the wonderful umbrella she rescued and sewed lace on giving it a Boho Victorian look. See next picture) I would leave a link for her but she only sells out of shows.

Repurposed umbrella.  Love that Victorian look!!
If you live in New York state near Route 20 you are probably there right now.  It goes on through the 16th of August.
Thanks so for stopping by.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Swamplandia August Selection Inspired by Reading Book Club


Swamplandia by Karen Russell is the August selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club.  I read this book when it first came out. I was so engaged by Karen Russel's lyrical prose and lush descriptions of the flora and fauna of the Everglades that the book has remained a favorite of mine. I also found the story of grieving and survival compelling.  The book has been on my mind for some time and a way to capture the book and the setting in jewelry has been as well. So you could say I had a head start on being inspired by this month's selection.
Recently I made a series of toggle clasps inspired by this book and Karen Russel's phrase "A Sawtooth Age."  And since I have begun a series of copper beads on the same theme but they are not far enough along to photograph.
I also blogged about some of  these clasps on ArtBeadScene  Toggle clasps inspired by Swamplandia  and the phrase  "a sawtooth age."  by Karen Russell.

To see what the others made, please check out Andrew Thornton's post for today. And the list of participants below:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Art Bead Scene Editors Take The Challenge: July

                                        Still Life with Shells by Balthasar van der Aast  1640

Taking the challenge with the July Art Bead Scene painting, Still Life with Shells, has been a fun opportunity to beach comb like I did as a child, but this time the shells are made of ceramic clay!!  I used a shell I had on hand to help me make my imaginary sea creature homes into wearable beads.  I was inspired by the the yellow, browns and orange in Van der Aast's palette when it came time to add the glazes.
Here is a selection of what I made
                                        Bracelet bar or two hole pendant
                                                     Sea Shell Spiral Pendant
Beachcomber's Pendant




Dancing Sea Creature Pendant

I have added some of these to my Etsy shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Here are the links to all the  participants in the blog hop:
Mary Harding
Claire Lockwood
Michelle Ann McCarthy
Heather Powers

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Louis Serafine: Inspired by her painting Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge

                                                 Feuilles by Louis Seraphine
Every time I look at this beautiful painting by Louis Seraphine I become inspired again and again.  I have been making leaves all my artistic life, but nothing like these beauties.  I had to see more of her work so I rented the movie, Seraphine,  Heather Powers mentioned earlier this month and watched it over the last several days.
                                            Seraphine, the movie, available on Netflix

  It has a slow start and you don't see much of  her work until about 30 minutes into the movie. But you do see her gathering flowers to make her paints from, and collecting wax from the votive candles in her church as she often painted late into the night by candle light. She may have also used the wax to mix in with the pigments she made.  (I have not been able to verify this idea) From then on there is a great deal to see and a story that is both heroic and sad.

When I first saw this month's  Art Bead Scene Challenge painting I was especially taken with the idea of making leaves within leaves and so that is what I did.

                                  Ceramic Leaf in Blue and Yellow by Mary Harding
Ceramic Leaf in Red and Teal by Mary Harding

Ceramic Leaf in Yellow and Red by Mary Harding

Ceramic Leaf in Red , Blue and Black by Mary Harding

Ceramic Leaf in Blue and Yellow Green by Mary Harding

I cut out leaf shapes from ceramic clay and while the clay was still soft enough I incised lines of leaves into the clay, cleaned these up and fired the pieces.  Then I began the painting. I did not stick consciously to a palette but chose bright colors that I like and used them together. I only made these few leaves and some are  in my Etsy Shop.
After I made these pieces, I took a look at quite a few of her paintings and noticed that there was much more going on than just leaves.

Paintings by Louis Serafine

 I made a collage of these for you so you could have the same wonderful experience of looking into her work.  At times, it almost seems as if the leaves are moving.  Her work is a gift to us.  I am sad that she did not have a happier life.
Thank you for stopping by.  Be sure to check out what Heather Powers  made.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge

Every morning for the past, at least 10 years, I have woken to this painting which hangs on a wall in our bedroom. I was fortunate to see it in the original when I traveled to The National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada for a major exhibition called Sol Y Vida Modern Mexican Art  1900-1950. That was in the Spring 2000.  We bought this giant poster at that time and sometime later my husband framed it.

                             When I think of Frida Kahlo, I think of big beads, big jewelry and flowers.

                Frida Kahlo, click for larger image
                                 Photograph of Frida Kahlo wearing some of her big bead jewelry

                      Photograph of Frida Kahlo wearing a necklace of big beads and large earrings

                         Photograph of Frida Kahlo with her jewelry and flowers in  her hair

Today the Art Bead Scene Editors are taking the Challenge and sharing with you some of their work inspired by Friday Kahlo and her paining Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. First I am going to  some very large beads I  made at least 10 years ago
      Frida Kahlo inspired beads by Mary Harding--each bead is a least 1 -1 1/2 inches long

              A necklace I made at about the same time using some of these very big beads

Slipping back into the present, I made a few very big flowers for this post:

                                         bisque fired ceramic big flower beads

     Large flower beads glazed and the final firing.  The two white ones have been tumbled to smooth out some of the edges .

When I thought very specifically about the painting, I  focused on the butterflies resting on Frida's hair and made several butterfly toggle clasps reflecting her use of  black and white -- in the painting they are made to look like lace.  I used some lace netting that I had to create the background for the black and white butterfly toggle clasps:

Butterfly Toggle Clasp inspired by Frida Kahlo's painting Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

I choose to combine the delicacy of the lacy butterfly with the rigid  toggle bar as a reference to her early bus accident that cause her life long pain and confined her to a metal corset for much of her life.

Now let's see what the others have made:

Raku Bead Video Part III