Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Around Our World

Today is a certain handsome hubby's birthday, so I have to make this quick.  So let's get this ball rolling!  I want to share a few simple things I treasure.  The first thing is old and a bit worn with love.  It is my awake asleep doll that I got for my 18th birthday from a friend in Germany.  She bought it in a little German Shop that had the coolest handmade items.  I love my little doll.

On one side she is awake and smiling and you turn her over and she is asleep and smiling.  The design is simple but brilliant.  She is made of wood.  Isn't she sweet?  I've had her for 22 years?!  I play with her all the time.  She loves my new trees.  She likes to get lost in the forest whenever she can.  The trees look so pretty, right?  I love the way they sparkle.  (You know I am obsessed and had to get the trees in here somehow.)

Next, I want to share my favorite tools.  I use these every day.  I know it seems odd to see heavy duty nail clippers, but they are the best at cutting the wire in tight spots, very sharp.  Don't worry, they were brand new before I added them to my tool box;).  The bent nose are great for grabbing and bending the wire with precision.  I bought them a few months ago, they were on sale for less than three dollars, I am still surprised about that.  Maybe they were discontinued or something; what ever the reason, it was an amazing deal. The round nose pliers help shape the wire without leaving marks.  I use the regular cutters for most cutting and the nail clippers only for the close cuts.  I got the round nose and the regular cutters in a tool box at a garage sale years ago.  I've seen other fancy and expensive tools, but I find that they duplicate the functions of the tools I already have.  I am super lucky to have these fine tools.

Ok.  Gotta go bake a cake!  Thanks for taking a look at a few things I L<3VE!

P.S.  I've been working on a few knot rings lately for Isabel and I.  Check this one out.  I'll share more about these on another day.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I Broke Up With Oprah and Moss Agate Stones

I used to love Oprah.  Through the years, I watched her show when I could and always enjoyed it.  I even had her magazine delivered years ago.  That's why when I got a free e-magazine subscription about six months ago, I chose O Magazine.  I have not even opened the last two.  What a waste.  The magazine just seems like it is recycling the same self help topics and taking new and more glossy photos.

I think it was the photos that finally did it.  I mean no disrespect, but Oprah is a husky woman, so I don't understand why so many photos in her magazine continue to be of super thin, unhealthy looking women.  I have a young daughter and understand how important body image can be.  Doesn't she have enough power to change the photos that are taken for the articles in her magazine?
Then there are the super glossy shots of all of the stuff Oprah likes that costs a fortune.  I admit some of the stuff is cool, but some of it is just not interesting.  Do I really need a humanely cultivated angora hair drink coaster in magenta?  A neon green gravy boat shaped like an owl? Or Moroccan lavender and coconut infused olive oil?

"Snap!"  That was the sound of the last straw.

So I took a look at the other e-magazines I could choose.  I had to consider where I am now and what I like looking at, the photos are very important since I don't get out much;).  National Geographic was listed and I had to take a look,  I remember loving the magazines as a child and looking through them at the library.  I checked it out and National Geographic did not disappoint.  It has amazing photos and a good variety of stories.  Stories that feel like they matter.

So you see where this is going?  I broke up with Oprah to go with National Geographic.

I was not going to tell anyone at first, but now I feel it might be important to let others know that it is OK to break up with Oprah.
So there you have it.  No hard feelings Oprah.

On to tiny tree making.  I made this new one last night with copper wire and moss green agate stone leaves.



I love the Moss Agate stone.  I am still working on a bonsai prototype, but can't resist making a few trees with semi precious stone leaves.  I will take better photos and share them in the next few days.

 I hope your day is Tree-rific!  (forgive me;).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Top Ten Movies - The Fifth Element

Last weekend was the first post of my Top Ten Movies.  I enjoyed it so much I am going to make it a regular weekend series.  
Top Ten Movies So Far:  
07/21/12  Coming to America
Photo Courtesy:  en.wikipedia.org
Next on my list, but in no particular Top Ten order, is The Fifth Element.  I did not get to see this movie in the theater, I don't remember why exactly, but I know I was busy with life in 1997.  My husband and I love Science Fiction movies (yea, total geeks).  The children love them too (semi geeks).  So at some point we decided to buy the video and boy did it make an impression.  The movie is visually stunning.  The world that Luc Besson dreamed up when he was 16 is breath taking.  Some of the sharpest critics agree that it is a beautifully made and visually entertaining film but they believe the story is weak.  What do they know? 

I am not going to detail the story or give a synopsis.  I will just say that the ride begins right away in the opening scenes of the movie and just doesn't stop.  The story is simple but definitely engaging and entertaining.  I read somewhere that John Paul Gaultier designed all of the costumes.  I am not surprised by that, the costumes are quirky and remarkable.  I am so glad Luc Besson became a filmmaker.  I think I've seen the movie a few dozen times by now.  Be aware that the movie is violent, lots of gunfire and explosions.  My kids are older so they can handle it, but I don't think it's appropriate for children under ten.   

All four of us just love this movie and can quote lines forever.

"Aziz, Light!"

"Big bada boom."

"Chick-can",  "Auto wash", "multipass", "I protect you."  

"The stones are in me."  "Is it ok if I try to negotiate?"  "I am very disappointed."  "Gimme the Kash."

"So tomorrow from five to seven will you please act like you have more than a two word vo-cab-u-lar-yee! It must be green!"

 "I didn't come here to play pumbaa on the radio. So tomorrow from five to seven your gonna give yourself a hand, green?"

"And they can grow up and have teeny tiny children of their own."

"LeeLoo Dallas Multi Pass." 
Photo Courtesy:  onthisdayinfashion.com
Photo Courtesy:  ew.com
Photo Courtesy:   moesrealm.com
Photo courtesy:   fanpop.com
Photo Courtesy:  cinekatz.com

The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is a 1997 French science fiction film directed, co-written, and based on a story by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich. Wikipedia
Release dateMay 9, 1997 (USA)
DVD release dateDecember 9, 1997
LanguagesEnglish, German, Swedish
Gary Oldman (Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg)
Gary Oldman
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg
Chris Tucker (Ruby Rhod)
Chris Tucker
Ruby Rhod
Bruce Willis (Korben Dallas)
Bruce Willis
Korben Dallas
Maïwenn (Diva Plavalaguna)
Diva Plavalaguna

You should also consider the talented actors in the movie.  I have always liked Bruce Willis, he has had a great career.  I also love Gary Oldman and I think he steals the show in some ways.  He is so interestingly creepy as Zorg.  And Chris Tucker!?!  I think this is by far his funniest role.

I celebrate this visually stunning and funny movie today.  If you haven't seen it, it's worth your time.  

I hope your weekend is "Super Green."

Photo courtesy:   earlsmoviepicks.blogspot.com

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tiny Tree Parade

Happy Friday!  I want to share the tiny tree of life sculptures I've been working on the last few days.  I now have four trees that I really think are interesting.  They are all similar, so my next step is to branch out a bit; get it-branch out?  I am a bit goofy, I've had too much coffee this morning.  I had a photo shoot and had so many tree photos that collegeing them was the only answer.  So here they are, in the order they were made:  Tiny Trees!

I adore the tiny pink tree, it was my first mini and my first vivid color.  The base helps balance the tree and I love that it looks like a flower.  Just pretty.

I was not sure the white tree would look as good as the pink.  I think it worked out, the white tree definitely has it's own charm.  

I think this silver one is my favorite.  The clear glass sparkles, even in subdued light.  This one is slightly bigger than the pink and white ones.  It stands approx. one and three fourths inches tall and around.

I totally love this green and silver version too.  Maybe they are all my favorite;).  I stayed up too late taking photos, and ended up with way too many of this one.  This green one is the biggest, almost two inches tall and around!  It is just slightly larger than the silver and clear tree.

Here they are all together:

So a few of my family members think that my branches are too heavy with leaves.  I understand what they mean, I've seen other tree sculptures and they have fewer leaves.  I just like this look.  It makes me think of real trees.  I do plan on trying leaner trees, more like bonsai.  We'll see how today's experiments turn out.

Thanks for checking out my Tiny Trees.

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tiny Pink Tree of Life

Here is my first try at a free standing small wire tree with green wire and rose quartz stones.  I like it, but wanted to try a slightly different style.

First Try Tiny Tree 
Second Tiny Tree - Photo 1

I love the way the pink one turned out, it is only about an inch and a half tall.  The photos are not great, it was hard to capture something so small with so much detail.  I am going to try a few more photos today in better light.  I also tried a white tree with white stones and am working on a new one.  I will take more photos and share in the next day or so.  I am having a great time working on these.  I am still in practice mode as I try different colors and styles.  
Second Tiny Tree - Photo 2

Have a fantastic Thursday!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Books and New Leaves

I just rushed over from the library.  Not just any old library, The Greater Phoenix Digital Library.  I've posted before about it, it's almost as good as chocolate (Isabel thinks that is crazy talk-nothing comes close to chocolate goodness:).

I checked out "A Guide to Color Symbolism" by Jill Morton and "Art Journey, American Landscapes-89 Painters' Perspectives" edited by Kathryn Kipp.  I am excited to look at all of the landscape paintings.  I am also studying a bit more about color and what it means.  I think color theory is so interesting, and the color wheel is always helpful for inspiration.  I can't wait to look at both of my new library books.

Now on to fun crafty stuff.  I was able to get some new stones for tree leaves yesterday.  
I have to say that JoAnn's has done a great job of expanding their jewelry and beading sections.  The selection is great and the sales can add up to really make a difference.  Yesterday the beads were 50% off and I had a coupon for an additional 20% off including sale items.  When we checked out the nice lady and I were joking about how it feels good to save more money than you spend.  Even she was amazed at my savings.  I know it's not polite to talk about prices or money, I just get a kick out of a great deal.  Tale a look at some of my new leaves:

I like all of them, but the moss agate stone is my favorite.  The deep green definitely draws the eye.  I am using a muffin tin as a tray to hold my tree making supplies.  I thought the glass would be great to practice with and I will save the stones for trees that I want to gift or put in the shop.  I can't wait to get started on a new tree later today!!

Here is a peek at a few other things we've been working on lately:

I used another piece of "Midnight Pastoral" to make a pendant.  I have to dress it up a bit so it's a work in progress.  I am in love with the way the vintage lace looks under glass.  Isabel is helping with these and we like the way they are turning out.

I hope your week is going well, happy Wednesday.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blog Oops?!? and More Trees!

So I think I nearly crashed the Internet yesterday.  I accidentally left my blog open to the place where you enter a new post.  I think it was about 10 hours later that I was alerted to the problem.  My blog actually said that it was "removed".  I am still really new to blogging and I admit I did panic a bit when I saw that.  I am definitely going to be more careful in the future.  I am not sure what happened, but it was easily fixed with a few clicks.  So maybe not a complete crash of the Internet, but you never know;).

The tree obsession continues.  I tried making a few with a moon instead of leaves.  The first one is made of shiny gold colored copper wire with a stone bead moon.

I'm not as happy with the green wire version.  I twisted the wire just a bit too much.  It's ok, I got an inexpensive little kit of colored copper wire to practice with, it has been interesting to learn about wire twisting.

I'm working on this one now, it's almost done.  I like the darker colored copper wire.  I also have red, purple and bright pink wire from that little kit.  I am going to use these to experiment.  If I have time today I want to try to make a little free standing tree with wire and stone leaves just a few inches tall.  It will be super fun to try something new.  I'll share how it goes.

Have a spectacular Monday.

P.S.  Tonight I'll be watching my favorite one two punch- "Hell's Kitchen" and "Masterchef".  On "Masterchef" they are planning a culinary Thunderdome.  Not sure what that is but it sounds exciting.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Top Ten Movies: Coming to America

Coming to America with Eddie Murphy is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.  When I was in high school my dad (in the Air Force) received orders for us to move to Germany.  We didn't realize that you couldn't get American TV in Germany very easily at that time.  So we survived by watching videos.  We had a few of our own, but my dad also bought a box of videos from a soldier who was returning to the US.  I'm not sure if Coming to America was one of our own or from that box.  I just know that I've seen the movie about 100 times.

I can quote just about every line in the film.  Remember the part where Sam Jackson tries to rob the McDowell's restaurant?  Remember the barber shop?  "What is that, velvet?"  I could seriously go on forever giving lines from the movie.  "If you're really a prince I'll marry you."  "What happened to the rose petals?"  "I want a woman who is going to stimulate my intellect as well as my loins."

"Prepare the royal baggage."  "I am badly in need of a manicure."  "It's a shame what they did to that dog."

Photo courtesy IMDb
"I tied my own shoes once, it was an overrated experience."  Could James Earl Jones be any cooler?  

Coming to America
Coming to America is a 1988 comedy film directed by John Landis. The screenplay was written by David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein based on a story originally created by Art Buchwald. Wikipedia
Release dateJune 29, 1988 (USA)
DVD release dateMarch 9, 1999
RatingR (USA)
Eddie Murphy (Randy Watson)
Eddie Murphy
Randy Watson
Arsenio Hall (Semmi)
Arsenio Hall
Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell)
Shari Headley
Lisa McDowell
James Earl Jones (King Jaffe Joffer)
James Earl Jones
King Jaffe Joffer
Eriq La Salle (Darryl Jenks)
Eriq La Salle
Darryl Jenks

Notice that the Wikipedia info has Eddie Murphy listed as Randy Watson.  That is so funny.  Remember Randy Watson is the singer for the band Sexual Chocolate.  

Photo courtesy Top 10 Films
"You all look so beautiful here tonight, give yourselves a round of applause."

The dance sequence that happens in the beginning is so beautiful.  I read that Paula Abdul helped with that number.

"Ah-hah.  Where's the spoon?"

Today I honor a funny movie that entertained me when I needed it most.  Thank you Eddie and Friends.

Have a great weekend.