Monday, January 31, 2011

YEAR OF THE RABBIT SALE! Find a cute little bunny butt just for you! ColtPixy Artisan Studio ArtFire Buy & Sell Handmade

I'm Curious.....

I have a question for those read my blog---  Even though many of keep trying new mediums, or work with a variety of mediums, there always seems to be one that we go back to.  For me, it's beads.  I always seem to go back to basic glass beads when I go back to making jewelry.  There's just something about them that I find completely alluring.

So, what is your favorite thing that you keep going back to, even though there are times when you swear you never will again?

Friday, January 28, 2011

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Dream a Little Dream?

I often ask myself why I should dream a little dream, when I can dream a BIG dream?

I have a hugely inspirational group of friends on my different social networks, but mostly on my favorite,  These wonderfully talented artisans hail from all around the world, and specialize in sooooo many different art forms, it really makes my head spin.  I spend half my time looking at their shops, wondering how on EARTH they made these gorgeous pieces.  Glass work, polymer clay, scrapbooking, jewelry, metal work, sewing, book making, you name it, I probably have a friend who has a least dabbled in it.  And it was this fabulous group of people that made me want to try all these different art forms.

And then I started looking into the prices of tools, the space requirements, and realized that my tiny little 1100 square foot home would never hold all the equipment I would need to start any one of these art forms.  I was pretty sad at the thought.  But it started me along the whole "What if..." line of thought.

"What if there was a place I could learn this particular art form?  What if there was a place I could go to try my hand at some of this stuff?"

Then, another thought crossed my mind, and that was that I have no immediate neighbors who are interested in the things I am interested in.  After talking with a lot of my friends online, I realized that this was a common problem.  And this also started my "What if..." line of thought.

"What if there was a place I could go and craft, and talk to people who are like me?  What if there was a place I could go, work on projects and leave them there, so no little fingers could get into them?"

And then, since my boys were still really little at the time, I started wondering what I would do with them, while I went to this Crafting Nirvana.  And, yep, it started my "What if..." line of thinking once again.

"What if there was a place where I could go, craft, leave my stuff there, talk to people who share my interests, bounce ideas off of, AND have reliable care for my children?"  

And with that, my dream was born.  I know that my dream will be a long time in coming.  It will be expensive to start.   I will need a lot of land.  I will need a lot inside room.  I will probably need a lot of insurance.  BUT I think it is do-able.  A place where people can meet.  A place where people can learn.  I already have a pool of people that I can hopefully convince to teach classes.  I want space for a gallery, where artisans can sell their work.  I want a little craft store that sells at least basic supplies.  I have picked an area to do this, that is convenient to hotels, and major highways.  Now, to make my Dream come true.  And if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Lost in Time

One of the biggest issues I face in my journey of rediscovery of the artist in me is the total lack of time I have on a daily basis.

Now, you would think that someone who is normally upright by 5 AM, and doesn't go to bed until around 10 PM would have more than enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to get done.
I so wish this was true.  Because along with my rediscovering myself as an artist, I'm also having to catch up from several years of depression, and letting so much slide.  Keeping up with all the fun stuff, like laundry, dishes, and basic cleaning had kind of fallen by the wayside.   So now, I'm having to figure out the whole balance thing.  Kids, house, cooking, family, and, of course, creating. 

And it's not easy. 

I keep thinking when I'm sitting at my work desk, sketching and coming up with ideas, I think "There are so many other things I need to be doing."  And when I'm doing housework, the ideas for new pieces keep coming, but I cannot bring myself to stop what I'm what doing (say, mopping the floor, or something equally exciting) to do even a quick sketch.  And, of course, the idea gets lost into the sands of time, and there goes another artistic idea down the window. 

My goal this year on this is to try to come up with a decent schedule that will work for everyone in my family.  Not always the easiest thing in the world to do, since my hubby never has the same day off any given week.  And I never know what my children are going to be getting into that day.  They are two very creative, imaginative, curious, smart, and fast little boys.  They are a complete joy and terror all rolled into one, so I'm having to learn to build time into my schedule that I label "Extra Emergency Time", because I never know when I'm going to have immediately drop what I'm doing to go clean up apple juice from all over the kitchen, pretzels from their bedroom, paint from the dining room walls. Of course, the list is endless. 

I have started to use my crock pots more.  (Yes, I have two of the little dudes, and I love them.  Maybe more than my husband, but don't tell him)  There are days when I will put that night's dinner in one, and the next night's dinner in the other one.   Or, if it's a good recipe that freezes well, I make up two batches.  One for dinner and one to freeze.  It's nice to have my own frozen food stash in the freezer.  And it's a time saver, too.  Oh, sure, one day I have to spend getting everything into the crock pots, but once it's in, and cooking, I'm good.

Laundry is another thing that I've reduced the time I spend on it.  My big hint for that is my hubby has taken over the folding and putting away.  I still have to sort, wash, dry, and iron whatever needs to be ironed, but not having to worry about folding and putting away has taken some of the load off my shoulders.  Plus, I figure, I work as much as he does, and he dirties more laundry than I do, so he can help get it cleaned up.

I'm still trying to figure out the rest of it.  I still don't always have the time I need or want.  However, slowly but surely, everything is falling into line, and I'm gaining a little bit of time each day.  And every day that I gain some time, I feel that I have accomplished something.

Keep your sand blue.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake Recipe

I mentioned on Plurk this morning that I was going to make turkey noodle bake for dinner tonight.  Someone requested the recipe, so here it is!  Now, I know, I titled this "Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake", but I've discovered over the years that the two can be pretty much interchangeable, which is great for our family, since my hubby is a butcher, and we seem to go on "runs" of different kinds of meat.  Basically, it's whatever is on sale, discontinued, or being gotten rid of for whatever reason.

8 oz egg noodles uncooked
4 C hot water
4 chicken bullion cubes
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch pepper
4 C diced, cooked chicken or turkey
3 tablespoons parsley flakes
2 C shredded cheese (I use cheddar, or whatever is onhand)

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Prepare noodles according to package directions, drain.  Dissolve bullion cubes in hot water and reserve.  In saucepan, melt butter or margarine; stir in flour and seasonings.  Slowly add reserved chicken bullion water.  Cook and stir over low heat until thickened.  Add all ingredients but cheese, tossing gently to mix.  Pour into a greased 13"x9"x2" pan.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year, New Products!!!!

This year, I am determined to expand my lines of jewelry, and have taken the first steps to do it!

Gift giving season always means trying new things for me, and this Christmas was no different.  I wanted to come up with something unique to give to Da Boys teachers this year, and so I came up with these charming pendents:

"Forever in my Heart" Pendent #1

"Forever in my Heart" Pendent #2

They were so very well received by the teachers, that I have decided to make this a permanent part of my jewelry line.  Hand crafted polymer clay pendents, filled with resin, and at this point, tiny polymer clay crosses sunk into the resin.  I'm planning on playing with a lot more different styles.

I'm really excited about the new ideas that are coming to me!  I hope you continue to follow, and see where I'm letting my crazy imagination take me!
Here's a question for you, that I'd love to see some answers to:  What do YOU hold "Forever in your Heart"?  What would YOU like to see  encapsulated into a heart?  And what color hearts would you like to see?

Remember to keep your sand blue!

Monday, January 10, 2011

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

I have some of the MOST TALENTED friends! Wire crochet cross w/ blue/clear Swarovski crystals - Light : CatsWire - ArtFire Jewelry

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yee Haw Happy New Year Yall!! Its our Contest time!!!!

Looking for a great contest to enter to ring in the New Year?  How about one that celebrates the glorious state of Texas!  Check out this link to find out how to enter:

And have fun finding the flags!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Life, New Goals

Awhile back, I posted my "Sand is Always Blue" piece here on my blog.  That the very first step on a creative journey that met with several pitfalls in 2010.  Financial troubles, losing my darling dad, and general depression took over, and I lost the path. 
After floundering a lot, and stumbling through the underbrush of my own mind, I think I've found the path back.
So, I start this year with this statement:
This is my year.  My year to fly.  My year to try new things.  My year to say "Good or bad, I'm trying!"  I'm going to attempt new mediums, new ideas.  I might hit dead ends, I might succeed.  Who knows?  BUT I will NOT let fear, of failure or success, be my guide any longer!
I welcome you to walk beside me as I travel.  I welcome your comments and critiques.  I welcome you to share new things you are trying.
With that in mind, here is my new mission statement for the coming year:
The Beaded Branch Blog encompasses my journey back to creativity as I re-learn to think outside the box, and create many new Beaded Branches of jewelry, and other pieces of art.  I also hope, that as I travel, reports from my "journey" will inspire you to try new things, and explore the world of art around you!