Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014 Holiday Ornament Swap & Hop

Another fun and exciting blog hop is the Ornament Swap hosted by Sally Russick. I participated last year for the first time and it was lovely. Sally pairs up artists and we have to create an art ornament for each other.

Last year I was quite late with sending it out - and Canada Post was of no help either... I'm just glad it was made of metal, as it arrived in poor conditions to my partner, fellow Canadian Lori Finney.

You can read all about last year's adventures right here.

As for this year's adventures?


We'll have to wait aaaaaaall the way to December 20th to see what we all made. I hope you'll join me and the other ~20 artists in the group.

Until then, please stay safe and enjoy the Holidays. They are right around the corner :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Art Charm Exchange 2014 - and more news

Hello, hello! Yes, I am still alive and can't believe I haven't posted since... August... oh, dear, and even back then I was late with my post.

Life was full and busy, as you can imagine. Summer is our competition season and this past summer has been quite crazy, as we now have athletes competing in 2 different types of trapshooting (the North-American version, called ATA, and the Olympic-type)... which means double the training, the competition number, the effort. And yes, double the pride when they do well. They did this year incredible well: one of our juniors won the Canadian Championship (overall, not in juniors!) and a tons of other trophies. Other 2 juniors won Gold, Silver, and Bronze in both the Provincial Championships and National Championships (Olympic-style). There were many other accomplishments, not measured in titles or medals, but as precious for both the athletes, and their coach.

And of course, if the coach is busy, his office administrator (truly yours) is even busier. Add on top that said office admin really wanted to train too, and she added some extra competitions to the season... and she's still going full time to school (and loving every minute of it! or almost every one :) )... and that her mom visited for a month back in October... hopefully you'll forgive me :)

This is not about my summer (one day I might come back with details, it was a fun one), though, but about something else.

Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction: Nov. 24th - 25th, 2014 :: All Pretty Things

Yes, it's the time for a new Art Charm Exchange & Charity Auction! Just days away! save the date :)

What's that? you'll ask. And I'll answer: a wonderful charity event, hosted by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions, a swap, blog hop and charity auction to benefit the Beads of Courage. Jen took the herculean task to organize a number of component artists intro groups of 10. We each make 11 components: one for each member of our group, and an extra one to be auctioned, with the proceeds going to the Beads of Courage organization. I can rarely refrain from participating in a good charity event, and this one is absolutely adorable. Each year there is a theme.

In 2012, the theme was 'Laugh', and last year was 'Love'. You can see what we made in my previous posts:

Art Charm Exchange, 2012 - Laugh
Art Charm Exchange, 2013 - Love

This year, the theme is 'Soar' and you'll have to come back in just a few days to see how I managed it. In the meantime, I can show you what I made, a sneak peak, 'cause you've so patient and I know you won't tell Jen I spoiled all the fun:

Art Charm Exchange, 2014 - Beads Of Courage: SOAR! :: All Pretty Things

What? you thought I'll show them to you? :) No, can't do that to Jen, she's worked so hard!

But I'll invite you to come back on the 25th and you'll see all the charms, I promise! And remember, the Auction starts just the day before, on the 24th (so it will end on Cyber Monday). There will be lots of beautiful charms, trust me, I have 9 of them!


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists: Reveal #7 ~ featuring Emma Todd

Hello, hello - and welcome to the sixth reveal of the CC7A, the group of 7 friends crazy enough to accept to get together an work with each other's choices each month.

First, an apology for being a full week late ~ life caught up with me big time in July. I will post a couple of updates soon (God willing and the creek don't rise :) ).

Back to the CC7A: this month is hosted by Emma ~ the third Canadian in the group, and a polymer artist. Emma sent one of her polymer pendants, along with some fun beads... and I, being so crazy this month, have no pictures of the original package. I really need to revamp my organization skills...

I will start with her fun items: she sent the 'flower' spikes (how do you call those?!) and the fractured pink glass and while I knew what I wanted to make with them from the very beginning (I added some glass pearls and beads from 2 of last year's Lisa Lodge's challenges):

Funky sparkly bookmarks (glass pearls, lucite, silver-tone bookmark, silver plated wire) by All Pretty Things

Bookmarks! Sparkling and funky and very pink (I have the recipients in mind, William's 2 'cousins' - our best friends' girls). William had fun with them too - he's catching imaginary fish with the sparkly fishing rods :)

I kept the pendant for a very long time, wondering what to do with it. It is very light (like any polymer clay pendant) and I find it challenging to work with very light items. I bought some extra items to combine - just to figure out my piece is grey and pink and doesn't match with the green / turquoise pieces. That will teach me not to take the piece I want to match *with* me when I shop!

Back to the drawing board... I was still waiting for some inspiration and finally I decided it's time to stop waiting and start working (funny how that works each and every time!). I picked up all the left overs from Lisa's last year 'Seasons' blog hop (all pinks and purples), which were conveniently strung on some dark antique copper wire, plus everything else that was left from another of her challenges: the 'Holiday Floral' blog hop (the lucite leaves and flowers). I added a few other items (glass seed beads, the silver-coloured backdrop, the wire) and this is what happened:

Purple universe: lucite leaves, flowers, and petals, silver-plated oval links, wire wrapping, ooak necklace :: All Pretty Things

The Lucite petals, leaves and flowers were combined with silver-plated oval links...

Purple Universe: Emma Todd pendant, glass, lucite, pearls Czech beads, wire wrapping :: All Pretty Things

The main part of the necklace is hard to take a picture of: there are beads of all sorts strung on ring-sized memory wire (the middle part); Emma's pendant received a metal background for balance, and the 'bail' is a piece of silver wire wrapped with the 'kitchen sink' copper wire.

Purple Universe: Emma Todd pendant, ooak necklace, glass, lucite, pearls Czech beads, wire wrapping :: All Pretty Things

And all together - a purple 'avalanche' :) While none of its parts made much sense, somehow together they all work... I hope Emma likes what her pendant became!

This is our last 'meeting' of the year ~ and I would like to thank again each of my artist friends for their participation (while I apologize for being late a couple of times!). It has been a fun time and I hope you all enjoyed as much as I did! I am a bit sad, as I was looking forward each month to seeing what everybody created. I'll have to think of a follow-up :)

Thank you, my visitor, for stopping by ~ I know time is precious and I appreciate each moment (and comment) you spend 'listening' to my stories. Now with fall almost here I'll get back into being more visible on the blog.

Please make sure you visit everybody in the group! I'll go there right now, since I'm quite late to the party :)

Emma Todd (July host)
Monique Urquhart (January host)
Christine Altmiller (February host)
Sally Russick (March host)
Therese Frank (April host)
Alicia Marinache (May host) <- you are here
Cynthia Macatha (June host)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists: Reveal #6 ~ featuring Cynthia Macatha

Hello, hello - and welcome to the sixth reveal of the CC7A, the group of 7 friends crazy enough to accept to get together an work with each other's choices each month.

This month is hosted by Cynthia ~ a lovely lady I never met in person (I haven't met any of the other 6 in person, we are online friends), and who seems my soul sister from all the stories we've shared!

It is June and Cynthia chose the eternal bridal theme: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I mentioned before this: hubby and I have eloped! That is not something you do in my culture, we are Romanic at the base of everything cultural (including language) and we do those big, crazy weddings, with traditions and what not. Would we had go that route, I would have ended up neurotic, I am sure, so we decided on a very simple visit to the City Hall: I do, I do, sign here, congratulations! and off we went our way. We didn't even have our wedding band - on our walk from the City Hall to the park we passed a big jewelry store in the heart of the city, we looked at each other and we asked ourselves: should we get some?! We got them ~ and we still share a good laugh about the day. And good memories. And a strong marriage of 18 years and 30 days (today :) ).

That being said - we don't have the something... saying either, and I didn't wear blue or white that day (I went with red and pale yellow) so Cynthia's choice came as a surprise. It's an 18 years later reminder of a lovely start to a great journey.

I did not take pictures of the package, but from Cynthia's original post you might know it's about something old (reclaimed sari silk), something new (imperial jasper), something borrowed (several remaining leaf toggles from a ZnetShows hop) and something blue (apatite rounds). I added my own something vintage in here (the flower connectors, from a recent package from my mom) and here is what happened:

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists: Reveal #6 ~ featuring Cynthia Macatha: sari silk, imperial jasper, leaf toggle, apatite rounds

I think I like where this is going... let's see if I can deliver!

One note about the pictures: we are traveling right now and I took the unfinished necklace with me... I have no props for the necklace, so I used the bird calendar we have in the trailer :) hence the curious colourful stares!
The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists: Reveal #6 ~ featuring Cynthia Macatha: sari silk, imperial jasper, leaf toggle, apatite rounds, wire working, ooak necklace, June Dream :: All Pretty Things

The sari silk, along with blue suede went around the neck, as usual.

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists: Reveal #6 ~ featuring Cynthia Macatha: sari silk, imperial jasper, leaf toggle, apatite rounds, wire working, ooak necklace, June Dream :: All Pretty Things

The flower connectors with the apatite rounds make the necklace, and the leaf toggle ended up as a focal, along the imperial jasper. The wire on the jasper is a dark blue by, err... design :) nope, by lack of thinking ~ when I left I put all sorts of copper wire in my bag, but none of the silver. How I thought I will finish a silver necklace without silver, I cannot tell you!

The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists: Reveal #6 ~ featuring Cynthia Macatha: sari silk, imperial jasper, leaf toggle, apatite rounds, wire working, ooak necklace, June Dream :: All Pretty Things

I was thinking to add some of the sari silk and suede as tassel 'fringes' on the bottom of the leaf (between the jasper), but that will have to wait until I get back home and in the possession of some silver wire.

This is it: my 'June Dream' ~ a lovely piece with beautiful components that worked very well together. I wore it yesterday, to test it and I had the mom of one of our young athletes (we are in Ohio, training with the Junior team for upcoming competitions) commenting "You have very intriguing necklaces - a new one every day and I've never seen designs like this, with the fabric around the neck". It felt very good :) I told her I'm making them and she then said "That explains it!"

Thank you for visiting today and staying for a cup of memories :) and please visit the group ~ it promises to be an interesting get-together, apparently the ladies all have something intriguing to share!

Cynthia Macatha (June host)
Emma Todd
Monique Urquhart (January host)
Christine Altmiller (February host)
Sally Russick (March host)
Therese Frank (April host)
Alicia Marinache (May host) <- you are here