Thursday, March 31, 2011

Soldered Charms Workshop/Class

This Saturday, I'm teaching another Workshop/Class at The Empty Nest! Let me give you the particulars! April 2, 2011 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You will make five different types of charms! You will learn; the copper foil method, how to cut and grind glass, and how to solder! {At least!} The Workshop fee {$100.00} includes the class {naturally}, all of your materials, and a delightfully delicious catered lunch! Tools are available for use in class! It is a good idea to bring your own soldering iron, however! There are two students who can't make it at the last minute, so there are open seats . . . just in case you need one of them. ;)
The Empty Nest (209) 847-9300

For a recent post about the last class, Click Here

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vintage Bird Collage

Do you mind terribly if I repost an old one? Currently, I am recreating this for a couple of really special people who have asked . . . :) I keep opening the photos to double check details, and am so enjoying the process all over again. I am ready to attach the doors . . . just need hinges. Having way too much fun over here! Thank you for indulging me.

Originally posted July 9, 2009

This project was such a blast! The theme for the swap at The Vintage Dragonfly Studio was, Vintage Bird. The size of the collage itself is 5"x 5". I haven't received the one that is being shipped to me, yet. But this one is my submission.

The glass window panes are a whopping 2 1/2 inches square.

The edge is a page from an ancient German language book. I did not deface the book! Honest! Someone just happened to give me the page, at a class. Isn't the font lovely? A pearl rests in the gold wire and antique print nest. The little silhouette is cut from the same text. It's positively ancient and very brittle. That's a vintage locket displaying a bit of quail egg set on green velvet. Les Memoires d'un Oiseau ~ loosely translated, The Bird's Memories

Once Upon a Time {reading challenge}

How's this for a bona fide grown up excuse to read the fun stuff!? A reading challenge, with these simple parameters: "Spring (March 21st to June 20th) . . . journey together into the magical lands of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore and mythology." Carl, of Stainless Steel Droppings fame is hosting this challenge for the fifth year running. I would like to know why this is the first time that I've heard! I'm saving you from the fate of waiting any longer, though! {You know that's my mission in life.} :)

Herein are the pertinent links and a little information . . . I'm not posting my Quest {level of commitment} until I've had a little time to think on it . . . but you are allowed to join the challenge if you intend to read only one book in the three month period! How hard could that be!? I'm thinking of reading The Hobbit or maybe A Wrinkle in Time, again . . . But I have Peter Pan on my to-be-read list . . .

I'll paste a bit from Carl's post about his challenge here:

Now, for the particulars:

The Once Upon a Time Challenge has a few rules:

Rule #1: Have fun.

Rule #2: Have fun.

Rule #3: Don’t keep the fun to yourself, share it with us, please!

Rule #4: Do not be put off by the word “challenge”.

If you have participated in any of the reading events hosted here at Stainless Steel Droppings then you will know that my goal is not to try to reach some preset number of books read. It is simply to take pleasure in what is read. By the same token, I do like setting personal goals for myself and I see the value in “challenging” myself not only to read regularly but also to get out of my comfort zone on occasion. We all have books that we want to read. On top of that some of us have books we are obligated to read, be that for school or commitments we have made, etc. The Once Upon a Time Challenge is not meant to be a burden, nor is it meant to coerce you into participating in something when you feel overwhelmed. That is why you will find that the Once Upon a Time Challenge is designed to cater to everyone–those that want to set a specific goal to reach and those who know that all they really have time for is to read one qualifying book and want to take part in the fellowship that springs up during this challenge.

Your challenge options are wide open . . . choose from The Journey {which is just One Book!},

Quest the First, Second, Third or Fourth, The Short Story Challenge, or Quest the Screen. The Quests aren't what I expected them to be {each more involved than the last} . . . rather they are different configurations . . . Options! He has given us completely doable options!

Do give it some thought, eh?

Friday, March 25, 2011


All of that wind and rain and hail couldn't dampen the spirit of my Grandma's violets. When it's time to bloom, it's time to bloom. Just makes me happy all over. :)

"Grandma." "Grandma." "Grandma."

photo courtesy cunningba on flickr

There was a reason that I happened to think of this little story just now . . . I have all kinds of correspondence pending, none has produced a response. It's timely, and it matters. I sometimes feel like the little girl trying to tell Grandma that the horses are out. Do you ever feel like that?

When I was pretty little, maybe {likely} four years old . . . my Mother and my Grandmother were enjoying a nice little visit at Grandma's house. I can picture it as if it were yesterday. The sofa still sits where it always was, although the house belongs to my Aunt now . . . Grandma has been gone for nearly 10 years . . . it's against the longest wall in the living room . . . Grandma sat on the end, my Mom near the middle . . . they were deeply involved in a conversation . . . I was playing outside.

{Imagine the days when a little girl could play alone outside near the horse pasture, under the fig trees. . . . sigh . . .} anyway, as I played, I noticed that the gate to the pasture stood open and my Grandpa's horses were grazing on the grass in the yard! Thinking this might be important, I toddled myself right in to the house, stood at Grandma's elbow and began my song . . . "Grandma? . . . Grandma? . . . Grandma? . . ." {This went on for some time, as I recall.} I think maybe I annoyed her ;) because eventually, after several choruses of this . . . she turned to me, and you know that exasperated voice? Not loud enough to be a shout, but firm enough that I knew I was in trouble? "WHAT, Debbi?!" My shy little four year old self standing there in my little plaid playdress barely managed an answer . . . "Are the horses supposed to be outside the fence?"
Grandma, "YES, Debbi!"
Oh. Okay. Adults are so odd. Off I skipped, back to play in the garden of my childhood.

Some time later, half an hour, maybe a whole one, found me giving effort to climbing my Grandpa's orange tree {I'll bet Grandpa would have listened if he had been home.}. A young man in an open topped Jeep skidded to a stop, right there, under that orange tree, and hit the ground running! Spotting me as he runs, he yells, "Is your Grandpa home?!"
Me: "No."
Him: "Is your Grandma?!"
Me: "Yes."
Him: "I've got to talk to her! Their horses are all over downtown!"
Me: "Oh, she knows. She says it's okay."

He looks at me like I'm crazy, and proceeds to run into my Grandparents' house, anyway. :)
You can imagine the confusion and excitement that broke loose then! Every available man in our tiny rural town hopped their own horses and headed downtown to wrangle my Grandpa's horses. It took quite a bit of the afternoon {as I recall}.

Grandma should have listened to me. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soldered Charms Class

I've been kind of missing from these parts lately. . . I've posted very little this year . . . I apologize. I'm hoping to rectify that . . . I've just been so crazy busy!

A lot of it has been preparation for teaching this class . . . It's been in the talking stage for gosh . . . about a year . . . finally we decided to simply set a date and go for it! {Thanks to encouragement from my friend, Rhonda!} That's Rhonda in the photo above. Gamely trying her hand at soldered charms . . . she took my class, and I, her's. :) I loved it, too! She teaches Bee's Wax Coated Collage. {See previous post}

That worked, too . . . the "just going for it" . . . in no time at all I had the necessary supplies collected, contacted the interested students, the store made a classroom space, and Voila! It was all set! I can't thank the ladies who have taken my workshops enough for playing along! It is all such a blast!

The Empty Nest, in Oakdale, California is hosting these classes and workshops for Rhonda and I so far, but other instructors are beginning to line up!
I know {almost for certain} that there will soon be a Pearl Stringing Class. Classic, professional training. Really an exciting opportunity!
There is at least one other jewelry class in the talking stage.

Materials Kit
. . . this is filled with some of the neatest little supplies! Everything necessary to make five different types of soldered charms.

And lunch! I'm teaching two workshops, a half day and a full day . . . the full day workshop includes the yummiest catered lunch! That's my lunch in the photo above. Don't you love the way she did that!? Clever and delicious! The caterer and the printer are very special people to me. ;)

So you have some idea of what Ive been up to while I've been absent . . . I'm just having the best time over here! Sure hope you are, too! What have you been up to lately? I would love to know!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Collage Class

I have just taken a wonderful class with an especially talented instructor {and friend}, Rhonda. She's teaching a beeswax coated collage technique . . .
Her artistic guidance and skill, are lovingly and generously shared with her students . . .

Rhonda has other classes scheduled at The Empty Nest in Oakdale, California . . . just in case you can't resist, either . . . :)
My camera decided to take a mini vacation at exactly the same moment I decided to take photos during class yesterday . . . sigh . . . I'm happy that it's back on the job today, but I don't have photos of the other class projects to show you . . . only mine. I'm sorry about that. They are really beautiful.
This collage has a definite naturalist theme . . . based, as it is on one of my favorite childhood books {and still, though childhood is kind of long behind me}, Freckles, by Gene Stratton Porter. If you have ever read it, I just know you'll understand! Oh, and Rhonda hand-painted the trees/branches for me! An extra special touch, from an extra special friend. I really love it! I'm hoping you do!
The birds in nest image is courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.
I've linked to The Graphics Fairy Brag Monday, here. {sheepish grin}

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Send me deep

My son, Zacharia sharing a video with precious children in Haiti {of themselves} during his recent medical mission. I think they like it. :)

I shared with you when my son was on this mission in Haiti, a medical one, a few months ago. He will be returning this Fall {2011}. Zach has just set up a blog to share, inform and hopefully even assist in facilitating these continued missions.

Last year, on the Monday before he left Friday, I called to ask him whether he still had needs. And he did! Boy, did he still have needs! He needed scrubs, enough for a few changes a day. He needed blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes . . . and a few other items that escape me right this minute. My first thought was to write a check, followed immediately by God telling me to share the blessing {of helping} with others. I realize that the cynical among you will think I'm just being cheap, but others will know whereof I speak.

I called my other children, and posted his needs on Facebook. His siblings also posted his needs on Facebook. I called friends and relatives who had asked me to let them know what he might need. Several modest financial donations, from distant relatives, even from his sister's Grandma-in-law flowed in. :) Even a couple of not so modest donations. I know!
Friends, family members, distant acquaintances . . . people we had nearly, or mostly lost contact with, started calling, and writing! And dropping supplies off at my house, at his sister's house, at his!
A friend who works for a medical supply company dropped by with three boxes full of medical equipment, like gloves and wall mounted blood pressure cuffs for the hospital, and a promise for things that might be needed for the next trip {with more notice}.
A hospital 65 miles away donated scrubs! This, because the father of a woman in Sister's Bible Study group works there, and she called him.
Hospitals, and specifically nurses in the city where he works as a paramedic donated scrubs and stethoscopes.
Friends who work anywhere in the medical field came through with donations, not just of the known needs, but items that they felt he might need. {Next time he wants to take soccer balls, too.}
Just a couple of days before he left, he sent a message to me, "Thermometers! We need thermometers!" I was out of town, so I contacted his sister, who posted it on Facebook. :) A couple of hours later, I received this text, "We don't need any more thermometers!" I don't even know the details of how that need was filled. There were certainly a lot of people blessed! Tjose who gave, and those who received . . . even those of us who were witness to all of it . . . how we are blessed!
Maybe after reading this, he will refresh my memory of the other wonderful material blessings that were heaped upon the effort to supply this mission trip. It was a lesson in trusting God to provide. Always enough, always in time.
Read the post on his new blog as he prepares for a return this year. I think it will touch you. :)