27 January 2013

Art for art's sake?

For Week 4 of the Focus on Life blog hop, Sally's prompt to us was to "Create Art."  Oddly enough, this one has been the most difficult for me so far, not because I don't feel I'm artistic and creative (in fact, I sometimes think I have TOO MUCH creativity, and it can get very scattery!) but because I'm currently suffering from a severe lack of time and, oddly, space...

You see, I've just started classes again (I teach College English) and in true Crazy-Rana form, I'm teaching 7 classes across 2 colleges.  oi....  We're three weeks into the semester, which essentially means all my fun time is getting ready to go down the drain in deference to essay reading, grading, and emails.  For the most part, this is okay, as I really do like my job.  I would just like to like a little LESS of my job.  If that makes any sense.  So there's the time aspect...

I am also in the middle of a very, VERY slow move.  Eventually, I'll be all settled in back in my parents' house (it's okay--they've retired and are traveling a bit, so I mostly have it to myself) but at the moment, I'm actually living in 2 places.  So, half of my things are in one house, half are in the other.  I have the art supplies in one house, but the good places to DO the art are in the other house.  It's very odd...  

So, I decided, that instead of DOING art this week, I would work on preparing to do art.  Since my art takes the form of so many different things--jewelry, painting, card-making, crocheting, cross-stitch, maybe (one day) knitting--I decided I would take care of the things you need to do to get to the actual art.  For me, right now, that means earwires... 

See, I'm also participating in Art Jewelry Elements Earring challenge--trying to make at least one pair of earrings every week.  And yes, sometimes I use premade earwires, but ever since I discovered the fun of pounding on wire with a hammer, I actually prefer to make my own earwires.  It's a bit of an involved process for me, since I don't have a tumbler (yet), so I have to file and hammer every single one, after all the shaping. 

Brass, Sterling, and copper wire, coiled and ready for cutting! 
The brass, cut and shaped.  Working on filing the ends here...
my bench block!  Top five fave purchases of 2012.  lol!  This is when the wire gets "work hardened" so it holds its shape...
Copper earwires all ready to go! :) 
RanaLea :)

25 January 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party Sign-ups are open! :)

Some of you may remember I participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party last year (my first time!) I had SO MUCH fun, I've decided to do it again

Last year, the awesome Mary Govaars sent me the most colorful and bright bead soup, and I created a set I still LOVE to wear. 

I can't wait to see what I'll design this year! lol!  :)


Pay it Forward!

REPOSTING!   So, I posted this awhile back, but I only got one taker on it.  So, I'm reposting it with a twist. :)
Read below to see the changes!  (highlighted in blue.  lol!)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So, there's a new(ish) fun thing going around the blogosphere that I've seen the last few weeks--a Pay it Forward blog post.  I've done several "Craft it forwards" on Facebook and in various other groups, and it's always fun, sharing what I love to create.

So, you interested?  If so, check out how it works below!  

(oh, and you should know, I copied these directions from the fabulous Marlene Cupo.  You can find her blog here, and her Artfire shop here.)

Here’s How It Works:

I’ll send a surprise gift to the first three people who comment on this blog post. The gift will be a handmade surprise by me and will be sent to you some time in the next 365 days (yup, that's right, a mystery gift at a mystery time).

Here’s what you need to do: 

Leave me a comment and make sure you include your email address (if your profile doesn’t include it). I’ll email you for your snail mail address and ask a few questions (likes/dislikes, favourite colours, sizes general stuff like that). I will ship International.
To complete signing up you MUST play along too. To do this you must blog a similar post OR POST ON FACEBOOK and pledge to make a surprise gift for the first three people who comment on it.

That's all there is! Do you want to join in sharing the LOVE? Comment below and I’ll sent a thoughtful handmade gift to the first three people who do.

Let the SHARING continue!


20 January 2013

AJE Earring Challenge, 1st Reveal

Hi there!  As part of my effort to blog more (and because it sounded like fun... lol!) I'm participating in Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge.

So here goes!

First up, the earrings I made with beads I bought from my favorite local bead shop, Sparkle Spot, which were hand delivered to Kelley from Hungary!  And now, they're in my earrings!  Beads by Reka, of CheekyBeads. The pic doesn't really do these beads justice--they are such a beautiful buttery-tan shade, and the dots are FABULOUSly fun! :)  I've got the beads dangling on lengths of chain, for a fun fidget earring. 

These might possibly be my favorites of all time.  The components were made especially for me in an Artist swap on the Bead Swap-USA page.  Diana Keever, of Diana Keever Jewelry, made the happy cat charm (I have two kitties...) and wire wrapped the key and pen nib for me ("writing is the key!").  I just added the earwire to the key and nib charm, and added some coordinating danglies to the happy cat to tie it all together in some fabulous "self-portrait" mis-matched earrings. 

And these are double-art bead earrings!  lol!  The lampwork rounds were made by Lampwork Beads by Linda, and I made the netted pearl beads.  These go with my Goddess set that you can see here
So there you have it!  I had fun creating these, and hope to have lots more to share with you soon!

You can check out the other participants here, and there's a Pinterest page here.



And now, for a little "Me time" :)

Continuing with "Focus on Life 2013," Sally's prompt for us this week was "Me Time." She suggested we "Really [take] time for YOU without feeling guilty.  Just you for 5, 10 or 15 minutes, dare I say longer!"

I gotta say, this was a toughie for me.  On the one hand, I kinda feel like I take a lot of time for me, since I have no significant other and no children.  But on the other hand, I teach seven English classes, try to make jewelry for a living, and have a LARGE extended family, with whom I love spending time.

So, I decided on 2 things for my "Me time" this week.

First, I've been working on these components for a few weeks now, but I had just never found the time to put the set together. So, I did.  :)

The Goddess bead is by Desert Rabbit Design.  The lentil in the bracelet and the rounds in the earrings are by Lampwork Beads by Linda. I made the netted pearl sections after learning the technique a class I took at my favorite bead shop, Sparkle Spot Beads, a few weeks ago. ow to find something to wear it with! :)

And my other thing?  Well, I got my nails did.  lol!  Okay, that's something I would do anyways, but with all I have going on right now, it was LOW on my list of things to do.  But I decided I needed the pampering!  :)

Go check out the other entries in this week's hop!


13 January 2013

Words, words, words...

I'm back!  :)  Okay, so this week's Focus on Life prompt for Week 2 is "your word" for 2013.  I've heard of other folks choosing a word to guide them in the coming year, but I never really had.  Also not really a "resolutions" person, since I tend to forget about them...  But, I thought it might be interesting, especially considering Sally's prompt, to choose a word for myself to guide me in 2013.

Of course, then I had to actually choose the word!  Never easy, especially if you're wordy (well, I teach English, after all...)  So, I started a list (I'm a list girl...) I had things on there like "move," "forward," "onward," "live," "love," "persevere." Good words all, but none of them were really it, you know? So, I pondered all these words, and finally settled one that encompasses all of these concepts... So, without further ado, here's my word for 2013!

CREATE!  I made this using the "Meritum Paint" App on my phone.  It's fun! :) 
 So, what do I plan to create?  Well, I plan to create stuff:

Mostly jewelry, but also some card stuff.  See my word there in the mix?  :)  The iron?  Yeah, no idea why that's there... 
I also plan to "create" more blog posts:
My 'puter! :)  I love my Mac... 
And I need to "create" order in my stuff... 
Boxes... :( gonna be a while with the boxes...
Is this all I plan to "create"? No.  But this is a start!

Check out all the other 2013 "Word" posts here.

Thanks for stopping by!


06 January 2013

Me :)

Have you ever really thought about yourself?  Who you are and what makes you you?  I have.  A bit, at least....  That's what today's post is about.  But first, why?

Well, I learned about a wonderful weekly blog hop idea through one of my favorite jewelry artists yesterday, THEAJewellery, the Gossiping Goddess. Sally Russick, of The Studio Sublime, is hosting a year long photo journaling blog hop.  She's calling it "Focusing on Life 2013" and I think it's a fabulous idea.  :)

So, back to me. (one of my favorite subjects. lol!)  I do like to talk about myself, this is true. And, if you ask my bestie, it's all about me.  But, I don't much like pictures of myself (a common sentiment among women, I think...)

I started thinking.  What is a self portrait?  Well, it can be the easy answer--a picture of yourself.

This is me, several years ago.  I think I look like my grandma....
 But then, that also begs the question, which you?

The ready to take on the world you, with your armor of makeup in place?

Love my green eye shadow.  Makeup by Dollipop Cosmetics.  :) 

 Or the working at home, not going anywhere, chillaxing you?

or the slightly ditzy and just found the fun stuff in the PhotoBooth controls you?

Or the internal, "this is what makes me thrive" you?

Well, I guess it's ultimately all up to you.  But this is me.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!