Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teaching at Gilding the Lily!

Well, at the encouragement of family, and many sweet friends like you :) I'm getting back to teaching. I'm so excited! This July 17th I'll be teaching a new class called a Fairy's Haven, at Gilding the Lily in Fullerton and we already have sign-ups! I'm hoping to fill the class, which I 'm thinking should only be about 7-8 students. I'll talk about how to safely deal with the tiny African peyote gourds I love to use, I'll share my knot-less netting, various other cold connection techniques and more.
It should be lots of fun. My goal is that everyone goes home with a finished piece all their own. I'm working on collecting supplies for my little kits and am taking a trip out to the Welburn Gourd Festival in Fallbrook this weekend for another stash of the unique little gourd beauties. The hunt for just the right ones are always such a big part of the fun. Oh that reminds me! If you happen to be going this weekend to the festival you have to check out my dear friend Barbara. She's a multi-talented artist, who does some fantastic work with gourds.Here's just a couple of my personal little pieces, but to really see her work check out her blog, she paints, sculpts and carves and will be offering her highly collectible, award winning wares this weekend at the Welburn Festival and did I mention that she just finished recording her first CD? Yep, she's good... :) Stop by her blog if you get a chance. Well I better be going, I've got some shortbread cookies in the oven screaming to be dunked in some leftover ganche. I'll let you know how they come out. Ciao, for now!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer Beads Past

As many of you already know, years ago, in what seems like another life, I was a high school Religion teacher. I adored that job and my students. Even though my subjects were often Church History, Morality or Social Justice I usually was always able to sneak in a fair amount of “Art”… just couldn’t help it. One of my favorite classes was an elective class I was able to teach on Prayer. For one of our lessons I talked about how in many cultures and religions some form of prayer or meditation beads are often used. After studying a number of these various religions and cultures, I thought it would be fun to have the class make our own strand of prayer beads. I gave each student a block of clay and split each block into four sections, so they could trade colors with a few others if they wanted to. We had about 30 girls in class so each student created about 30 similar beads. I dimmed the lights, played soft music and had them create in silence. I asked them to think about what intentions they might add to each bead as it was created. Their work and quiet meditation was amazing. After at least two class periods their beads were complete, I brought the trays and trays of miniature works of art to the Home Ec. Kitchen and baked them (this was of course before I knew you were NEVER supposed to bake polymer in your regular oven!)After they were done we had a beautiful prayer service in the Chapel, where each girl traded one of her beads with everyone else in class, we then knotted and strung them on waxed linen cord. Every student had a strand of prayer beads from her Senior religion class. It was really cool. As I thought about teaching again, I was reminded of the small silver tin

I used to keep my own prayer beads in. As the teacher I never really was able to complete my own strand for some reason.

Aren’t they pretty? I think maybe now after all these years, these beads deserve to be strung and placed somewhere special.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Look what came in my Mail...

Every now and then I decide I need some "new"which often ends up being some"old" craft-object inspiration. Often times when I do, my compulsion to acquire every last one in existence seems to take over. Yes, it happened with my teeny,tiny Charlottes, which inspired my Querido pendants, my slew of empty watch cases which became and still do become my tiny watch case collages,

and now there's these very cool vintage skelton keys...any ideas? I've got a few... :)