"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween

This beauty showed up on my timeline on Facebook, from a site called Diamonds in the Library. It is a Sante Muerta pendant by Lydia Courteille. I think it is awesome. And the next thought I had was, how do I get something like that on a T-shirt? Zom, an Internet friend, suggested a drawing printed on fabric, then beaded and stitched. All the little gray cells in my brain started dancing around in my skull with ideas, thinking of ways to make it happen. I will have to do some research on printing on cloth, as I have never done that, but wow, the possibilities are endless!

In the meantime...


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Crown Bolero Almost Done

I finally got the binding sewn on the Crown Bolero, which gets it pretty close to being done. Then again, I guess "pretty close" is a relative term, as I intend to bead the binding, and that usually takes quite a while. However, I won't start on that until next week, as I want to wear the bolero this weekend, and there is NO WAY I could bead all that in time, and I don't want to wear it with just one sleeve beaded, or half the front done. It will be fun taking it for a test spin and seeing how the double layer differs from my other boleros, which are all single layers.

So, here it is,  minus the binding beads, which will be the same small purple and gold ones used in the main body of the piece. I really liked the way this one turned out, and I like the heft of the doubled fabric, so I am sure I will make another one. These boleros are kind of addicting—little blank canvases to play on, and I can wear them with almost anything.

Crown Bolero: AC pattern, Goodwill T-shirts, stenciled, stitched all by hand, reverse appliqued, and beaded.

I will wear this over tank tops and skinny long-sleeved T-shirts, and with jeans. I don't go to that many fancy places, so all of these boleros get worn with my everyday wear. Otherwise they would all hang in my closet gathering dust.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Every Fall I go around our place and take photos of the turning leaves, even though here in southern Oregon we don't get the vibrant colors that those living on the east coast do. It's really fun to stand under an oak or ash and shoot straight up through the leaves, which end up looking like stained glass against the blue sky, since the sun is shinning through them instead of directly on them.

I have mixed feelings about fall. On the one hand I love the lingering warm weather and the change in the light. However, it also signals that winter is close at hand, which means four to five months of fog, gloom, rain, and snow. Winter makes Sharon a very crabby girl.

In the meantime, while the sun still shines, and the sky is still that beautiful electric blue, I hike around taking  pictures, wishing in my heart of hearts that the Fall weather would hang around until, say, Spring, and we could skip winter entirely. Probably piss off all the skiers, though. Ah well.

Looking up through the Madrone trees growing on the hill behind our house.

Ash tree leaves.


Oak leaves.


Oak branches covered in moss.


And one more of a native oak tree against that awesome sky.

Monday, October 14, 2013

In a Hermit Kind of Mood + Playing with Vintage Clip Earrings

All of September and the first of October were really busy weeks for me. In September I attended the first Gathering of the Amazon Mounted Archers, which took place at the Flying Duchess Ranch in Arlington, Washington (more about this event and the SCA one will be posted on my horse blog site, Equine Madness. The link is given above, on my header) After initially feeling completely overwhelmed by the caliber of women I was riding with, and after getting over a meltdown of insecurity one night, I pulled up my big-girl panties and got on with it. A nice pep-talk from two of the women certainly helped, but the bottom line was, I had ridden up with friends and was basically trapped until the meet was over. I had to either pull myself together, or stand aside while everyone else had a fabulous time riding and shooting.

This issue of being overwhelmed was not caused by anything any of the other women did or said. They were all great, and very supportive, but I am more of an introvert, and tend to be a bit overwhelmed when in a room of extroverts, all laughing and joking and having a great time, especially when I didn't know over half of them. They were all much better at mounted archery than I was, since I have only been doing it seriously for one summer. Some of these women compete internationally and have been doing mounted archery for years.

But I got over my feelings of being overwhelmed and outclassed. I told myself that I could still have fun, even if I was the worst archer there, which after the scores of the competition were toted up, I was, coming in dead last. But by that time it didn't matter. I had fun. I met a lot of wonderful women, and am looking forward to next year, when they all meet again here in Oregon. It will be even better for me, as I will have another summer of practice under my belt, be riding my own horse instead of a borrowed one, and will be riding on a course I am very familiar with, as it is the home course of the Rogue Mounted Archers, to which both my husband and I belong.

So for all you who bother to read this, here is what I do when I'm not doing some kind of artwork, making jewelry, or sewing. I ride a horse at a fast gallop and shoot arrows at targets.

Me and Jebe, my borrowed mount (he is wearing war paint), do a back shot. I love that the photographer timed it so that all four of Jebe's hooves are off the ground.

After getting back from the Amazon meet, I had about a month to prepare for an SCA event due up on Oct 4-6, that also included mounted archery. I was in charge of that part of the weekend activities, which included, along with regular target archer, a mile and a half hunt, where we shot at animal targets...all of them made and painted by me. Fortunately, all the targets I used last year and had stored in the attic above our garage were still good. But for me and Robert, it is a big job putting all these targets up, marking the course, and getting everything ready for the riders coming in from out of town, then going back and taking everything down again. I also got tangled up in some politics and personal issues with people over this event, which didn't make my life any easier. I am highly allergic to drama, but got sucked into it anyway.

So I jumped from one busy, emotional event to another. By the time the SCA event was over, I wanted to do...nothing. A big, fat nothing. I didn't want to ride, I didn't want to shoot, I didn't want to work outside, I didn't want to talk to anyone other than Robert. I wanted to sit on the couch with my cat and read a book while drinking copious amounts of tea. Part of that feeling lingers on, but I am slowly pulling out of it. Slowly. It was almost like I needed to detox, which sounds terrible, but that's exactly how I felt, and to a certain extent, still feel.  So, lots of tea, lots of reading, and lots of private time to myself.

Which brings me to playing around with vintage clip earrings. I have had a stash of them for quite awhile, picked up in bags of other stuff at thrift or antique stores. Some I used by cutting off the backs and adding them to beaded necklaces or bracelets. I recently acquired a few more pretty ones from an Internet friend. Most of the nicer clip-ons sit in a little bowl on top of my antique dressing table, looking very sparkly and fun, but I hadn't really decided what to do with them.

Here they are out on my deck, so they will show up better in the photo.

Here are a few of the ideas I came up with on how to use these little gems, which you can usually find quite cheap. The two sweaters are high-end, pure cotton ones I recently found at the Goodwill for $4.99 each.

I have already worn the taupe sweater with the little clips, and will take the purple sweater out for a spin soon. The next way I wore the clips was to help hold down the front of one of my hand-stitched and beaded boleros. They tend to flip open sometimes, so I clipped the fronts to the straps of my tank top and it worked beautifully and added a bit of sparkle.

Oh, and, um, apologies for the cat hair. It's impossible to get all of it off, so...sorry.

Lastly, I clipped one into the hat band on my old felt fedora. I think it looks great.

This particular earring (also shown on the purple sweater) belonged to Robert's grandmother. There is only one of them, the other having been lost who knows how long ago. I love the color and flash of these old rhinestones. 

So, there are my ideas on how you can play around with these fun old earrings. I'm sure I'll think of more ways to use these sparkly bits of eye-candy as time goes on.