Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bosque del Apache

Cranes in flight.

Fall in the bosque.

Jake, birdwatching.

Geese in flight.

See the bald eagle in the snag?

Cranes feeding.

Cranes in flight.

Fall in the bosque.

Group of cranes.

My son Jake and I went out to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. He needed a break from the grind of studying and the Bosque is near his college and a wonderful place to go and unwind. We saw countless ducks and geese and hundreds of cranes, one roadrunner and one bald eagle. All in all it was a marvelous New Mexico afternoon, the air was cool and crisp, the sky bright and mostly cloudless and the scenery absolutely amazing. My pics are all from my little old canon elf. There were many professional looking cameras with enormous lenses out there that made me think it may be getting time to start thinking about a more sophisticated camera, but what I have is good enough for now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

YES! We Can!

Hooray for America! In celebration, I went to my Kuler and made a little color swatch reflecting how I feel about the day and the times. Check out Kuler, (Mary Tafoya introduced me to this site!) it's the dandiest thing for making color swatches to download to your Creative Suite or Photoshop. You can upload a picture of whatever you like to play with and create swatches. It's the best tool I've found so far for playing with color combinations.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bead Retreat

A turtle and a horse that I got from Sally and stuffed and sewed together, ready for beading.

Some of Sally's stuffed leather critters, ready for her to bead

Rita's gorgeous loomed rose montee bracelet.

Some of my experimental polymer clay pieces, technique taught by Jan Jones

Mary's hands at work.

Loomed Bracelet, technique taught by Rita Sova--kit provided by Rita (thanks Rita!).

One of Sally's leather animal blanks that I bought from her and am stuffing and will bead later.

A gorgeous pair of Sally Ingrams' Diagonal Weave Earrings

My attempt at Vietnamese Button weaving, technique taught by Sally Ingram.

Mary is making these cool bottlecap earrings!

Over the weekend, I was lucky to be a part of an annual bead retreat that I've been attending for a decade. We met in Santa Fe this year and a dozen of us (plus several husbands, with varying degrees of interest in the goings-on) met, dined, beaded, played with polymer clay and buttons, shopped and all-in-all had a wonderful time. As usual, my roommate was Mary Tafoya, an extraordinary beader and artist. We also got to spend time with Sally Ingram, who makes the most gorgeous beaded critters, and who is one of the few living beaders who works in the Ho Chunk style diagonal weave and makes beautiful ceremonial hair wraps as well as long, gorgeous earrings, Sally taught us in interesting techniques for weaving or twining buttons into patterns for things like coasters, baskets and ornaments, a technique done by the Vietnamese. Many of the beaders got this right away, I struggled with it but am sure I can do it when Sally can give me a diagram of the thread path (hint, hint, :-) ). Rita Sova taught us a new technique for the Versa Loom, a bracelet with strands incorporated into it, that I love. She showed off the gorgeous loomed bracelet done with rose montees on the Versa Loom. I've already put in an order for some of the montees, so I can try and make one. Jan Jones taught us how to make neat wood grain looking polymer clay pins and showed us techniques incorporating paint and poly clay that end up with a cool crackle looking finish. Mary taught us how to make our own earwires from sterling silver wire, with several little cool variations! (will try to get a pic of some and add later!) Mary turned me onto MSNBC news, especially Rachel Maddow, who I think is fantastic! It was a wonderful weekend, and already I'm looking forward to next year!