Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Inspired By Reading Book Club Blog Hop Today

This month, for Andrew Thornton's Inspired By Reading Book Club we read The Bucolic Plague by Josh  Kilmer-Purcell  

It takes place in Sharon Springs, New York and is about two gentlemen farmers who have purchased and attempt to revitalize the Beekman Mansion and farm.  It is a delightful story, well told by Josh.  At times it seems a bit too focused on commercialization, but overall it is a great book with an important  message: preserve the past.  For me, that took the form of focusing on Josh's heirloom vegetable garden.  I even sent for the Landreth Seed Catalogue and purchased a package of Josh's  favorite heirloom tomato, Cherokee Purple.
                                   Landreth seed catalogue of HEIRLOOM veggie and flower seeds

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Josh, who was feeling down and overwhelmed on his 39th birthday sat in his garden alone and made a salad from all that was growing there.
"The bowel was brimming with every color imaginable and when I added a drizzle of olive oil, the colors seemed to magnify even more.  The salad was so bright and cheerful that it actually made me smile for the first time  in weeks.  It was my birthday party in a bowel." (add quotation)
Back to the necklace:
   About the same time I was thinking about what to make for the Book Club Reveal, I came across a notation in an Anthropologie ad that the model was wearing a Ladder Necklace.  I searched Anthropologie and found the necklace and it then became a kind of obsession that I would have to make a ladder necklace myself.  But once I got into figuring out the parts of the necklace, I realized that it was a bit more complicated that I was feeling I had time for so I tried to purchase some curved tubes but that didn't pan out either.  But I did find some nice arched bails at JoAnn Fabrics that perhaps would do the trick.
                                    Arched Bails JoAnn Fabrics--top one I was trying out some ideas

By then it was mid June and I was going to have to somehow meld my  ladder necklace obsession and the Bucolic Plague into one necklace, which is what I did.  I began to think about what a ladder could be related to a necklace concept of preservation and realized it could be a hierarchy or maybe a cross section of an idea.  So I proceeded in that fashion using a Tomato Flower pendant I had recently made as the central focus of my idea.

 I began to realize that the brown and black sticks I had wirewrapped and hung on one of the arched bails could be earth.

                                                   wire wrapped stones to represent fertile soil

And so it went on from there.  I finished the necklace this morning but do still have to add the clasp.

The third rung of the ladder was my heirloom vegetable seeds that I preserved in little glass bottles that I wire wrapped and hung from the top bail on the necklace.
Wire wrapped bottle with heirloom veggie seeds:  starting on the left:  Detroit Dark Red Beets, French Breakfast Radish, Mache Corn Salad, Lemon Basil, Kentucky Wonder pole beans, Carrots scarlet  Nantes, and Brandywine Tomato

All finished the necklace looks like this:

                                                   Preservation Necklace by Mary Harding

This was another great month in the Inspired by Reading Book Club. thank you Andrew for doing this. You can see what the others made HERE  I will add the links later today.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Updated Etsy Shop and Book Club Happenings

I have added these pieces to my Etsy shop this weekend

I have also been busy working on my necklace for Andrew Thornton's Inspired By Reading Book Club reveal which will be this Tuesday, June 25. Just come back to my blog and I will have the links posted.

I have totally enjoyed our book this month which is The Bucolic Plague by  Josh Kilmer-Purcell 

Its all about living in the country and getting back to basics.  Since it is gardening season right now, and much of my time lately has been spent planting and weeding this book fits right in with my life.  What fun!! I usually work on the piece I am making from very early morning until the dew dries in the garden and before it gets too hot.  I expect to put it all together tomorrow morning from 4:00 AM to 6:00AM.  Our cats faithfully wake me by scratching at our bedroom door beginning about 3:45AM.  Luckily I am most energetic in the early morning!!
                                                      Hope you have a great day today!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice

Here is a picture of breaking dawn yesterday at about 4:40AM EDT.  It  was a beautiful clear beginning.  Today is a bit overcast and here is my picture for the First Day of Summer--the beginning of my very favorite season.

                                  Breaking  Dawn  Summer Solstice  Taken at 4:39AM  EDT  June 21, 2012

I spent part of yesterday with my friend Isis enjoying the sun and her new miniature donkeys  and young ducks and geese.

I  purposely wore the necklace Isis designed for me last week  with my ceramic beads so she could see how
it looked strung it up.    I love this simple circle of bright colors around my neck.  Thank you so much Isis.

 I had to get my passport picture taken yesterday. By chance I was wearing the necklace.   Now it will be immortalized in my passport book for the next 10 years.  How cool is that?

                                                                 Happy Summer Solstice!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Art Jewelry Boot Camp: Wire Work Out Blog Hop!

Free form wire work earrings with New Jade stones

Today is the Wire Work Out Blog Hop presented by Art Jewelry Boot Camp.  I have been following along.  What really grabbed me was the post by Staci Louise of Free Form wire work.  I found that I just love working with 14 gauge copper wire.  So all of these pieces that follow were made with it.. After I free formed the wire, I put the pieces in a Liver of Sulfur solution and waited until they turned black.  Then I tumbled them and the black became shiny!!  I have rubbed off bits of the patina on some of the pieces to show the copper but I do love that black.  I did the same with the wire I wrapped the stones with but I didn't tumble it since it wouldn't fit in the tumbler--I make up quite a few feet at once. 

Theses cool dangles are from Scorched Earth on Etsy

These are slightly mismatched stones that I wire wrapped to hang from the free form 

A group shot with one pair not quite finished ( that one was made with 16 gauge--quite a difference!!)

I also tried making  free form wire pendants which are such fun to do.  Here is a pic of one that I decorated with wrapped ceramic beads that I made. Wrapping onto the wire construct is such fun and has so much inspirational potential.  I can see this worked into one of my free form peyote necklaces.

Free form wire with wrapped ceramic beads and stone dangles

Thanks so much for stopping by and looking.  THANK YOU  Love My Art Jewelry for all your well thought out and inspirational  tutorials, videos and info.

I hope you will check out what others  made in their wire work out sessions.  You can get the links HERE

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Focus on Life: Green Week 24

This week our prompt from Sally is Green--so perfect for this Spring here in Northern New York.  We have been deluged with rain and everything keeps growing and growing and getting greener and greener.  I chose to post this photo of some blueberries on by blueberry bush because they are green with that beautiful hint of pink which will turn to blue later.  They look so tasty but sadly they are about all the berries there are for the three bushes I  planted 4 years ago.  I must be doing something wrong.  Any suggestions would be so appreciated!!
I hope you will check out what others have green in their lives HERE.  Thanks so much for stopping and for all of your comments.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New in my Etsy Shop SALE First Friday Art Walk Weekend

Handmade Rustic Porcelain Toggle Clasp Red Orange Leaves
Porcelain Toggle Clasp in Red Orange in my Etsy Shop

It is First Friday Art Walk Weekend on Etsy through Midnight Sunday June 9.  Use coupon code FirstFriday15  at checkout for a 15% discount in my Etsy shop.  Also please take a look at the other Etsy shops participating in this event HERE.
Lime and Coral Daisy Pendant here

Shamrock Pendant here

ART Toggle Clasp   here

Small Round Rustic Black Toggle Clasp with Sterling Silver Bar   HERE

Large Sun Rays Toggle clasp   HERE

Out of the Volcano Toggle Clasp  HERE

Tree Pendant Ceramic Stoneware  Rustic Black
Rustic Black Tree Pendant  HERE

Handmade Toggle Clasp Ceramic  Butterfly  in Blue Green
Butterfly Toggle clasp in Scarlet  HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  We are told we will have sun and warmth today.  Hopefully you will too!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inspired By Reading Book Club: A Rumor of Gems

A Rumor of Gems with Clasp from my necklace inspired by the book

Close up of double strand toggle clasp by Mary Harding

This month for Andrew Thornton's  Inspired by Reading Book Club we read A Rumor of Gems by Ellen Steiber.  This is a fantasy novel that is full of magic and the lore of gems.  I  was captivated by the setting and the incipient magic of the gems.  In the necklace I was inspired to make by this book I focused on the idea of captured power and magic in gems.  I used several beads that I made to convey the idea of fantasy and mystery.  

My starting point was some long Rosemary Herbal Totem sticks that I made recently.  I wanted to increase the raw gem like quality of these so I made some in porcelain clay. 

I was inspired to try dipping them into some Copper Clay slip by artist Petra Carpreau from Scorched Earth.  She makes beautiful rustic pieces using a technique of blending clay and bronze clay. You can check out her Etsy shop HERE.   Mine are quite different because of the way I did it and because of the copper clay being quite a different material than bronze clay.   The black color is from the copper clay slip and the gorgeous turquoise is a mid fire clay glaze.  I feel that the two together invoked the sense of the captured incipient power of the raw turquoise gemstone.

I further conveyed the talismatic feeling of mystery and captured or incipient power in making small copper clay charms and a fiber bead which I attached  to the tips of the peyote stitch strands.

 And to give the necklace more focus I made a large round focal bead from copper clay as the center energy point of the necklace.


                                 View of the entire free form peyote stitch talismatic pendant.

A view of necklace as it would look if worn

Since I loved the technique for the long porcelain beads, I made more of them and turned a pair of loosely matched totem sticks into a pair of captured gems earrings.

I wrapped  waxed linen around the tops of the earrings to increase the primitive talismatic look of the gem sticks.

As you can see, I had a wonderful time being inspired by the Rumor of Gems.  If you have an interest in the lore of gems, I highly encourage you to read the book and go to Ellen Steiber's website where she has an extensive list of books to read and information about gems.

But most of all, please  look at what the other readers were inspired to make by clicking on Andrew Thornton's blog for a complete list of those participating in today's blog hop.

or click on the list below

Mary K. McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Jenny Davies Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog/
Judy Campbell http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com/
Jeanne Billeci Steck
Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Terri Greenawalt http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/ 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 22 Foodie

Our prompt this week from Sally was to take a pic of food we love.  This picture above is a cheese plate my husband prepared for us last night.  It was so hot it was a "no cook" dinner.  I love the way the food looks on this plate and the parts I like best are the cheeses( Brie, Gouda and Swiss) and the fresh Italian bread.  The Schinken under the knives is a specialty deli meat that my husband loves. We are not able to get it locally so we buy it whenever we are near a Wegman's grocery store since they carry everything good in food.  But that is in a big city, not out here in the country.

My other food loves are salads, raw veggies, fruit and Mexican food, especially enchilladas which I make whenever my children visit.  In the category of foods that are not good for you, I especially love cheddar chips.

                                                               My  bad!!!

To see what everyone else loves to eat please click HERE