Saturday, September 1, 2012

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

Time has slipped through my fingers so quickly.

I had the most amazing visit with my friends.....a post to come about our "Put a Bird On It" theme.  School starts next week so my time has been absorbed with school preparations.

But today, it is about the Challenge of Travel Blog Hop
My country of inspiration:  Zimbabwe

My problem continues to be to focus.  I had so many ideas floating through my head (and still do).
I was intrigued by the color and organic shapes.
The flowers that I found while researching were gorgeous.

Another note I would like to add.  I had the extreme pleasure to go to the local art museum to see a glass exhibit by Howard Ben Tre´.  Fabulous.  But what was so poignant to me what his 10 minute video about inspiration.  The timeliness couldn't have been better.  I tend to get caught up in literal inspiration and he talked about inspiration from your surroundings and how it can gently influence your work.  I think I tend to over think it and try to make a very obvious literal connection.  And he taught me that I don' ten minutes no less!  I tried to go with my gut on developing these pieces.  And trust that the inspiration from Zimbabwe would be there.

For the earrings, the texture of the fabric felt right.  The colors felt right.  The need to have the design pull you into the center felt right......just like the beautiful detail in the flowers.

The bangles.  The combination of beads, wires, fibers and in an organic way just flowed.

I need to preface the following pictures.  Sadly I waited to the last minute to photograph and man am I regretting that.  I need to go and study other blogs and how they display and photograph their jewelry.  I do apologize for these photos.

Right now I am really into bangles and this is a combination of techniques and to be honest, I love the very organic feel of this grouping.

Thanks for stopping by.
To Fellow Challenge of Travel Blog Hoppers.......I can't wait to stop by and check out your creative endeavors.

Be sure to check out the other fabulous participants.  It has been very inspiring!

NameBlogRegion ChosenInspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart Faso
Niky Sayers
Therese Frankhttp://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.comAfricaKenya
Raychelle Heath
Joan Williamswww.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.comAfricaMauritania
Sherri Stokeyhttp://www.KnotJustMacrame.comAfricaSenegal
Regina Santerrehttp://reginaswritings.blogspot.comAfricaSeychelles
Raida Disbrowhttp://havanabeads.blogspot.comAfricaTanzania
Kristi Wodekhttp://livedinlife.blogspot.comAfricaZimbabwe
Sally Russickhttp://www.thestudiosublime.comAmericasBrazil
Melissa Trudingerhttp://beadrecipes.wordpress.comAmericasMexico
Tracy Stillmanhttp://www.tracystillmandesigns.comAmericasUSA
Sandra Wolberghttp://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.deAsiaIndia
Tanya Goodwinhttp://pixiloo.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Susan Kennedyhttp://suebeads.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Beth Emeryhttp://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.comAsiaJapan
Lisa Cone
Tanya Boden
Inge von Rooshttp://ingetraud.wordpress.comAsiaLaos
Erin Prais-Hintzhttp://treasures-found.blogspot.comAsiaNepal
Dee Elgiehttp://cherryobsidia.blogspot.comAsiaPhillipines
Carolyn Lawsonhttp://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.comAsiaSouth Korea
Lisa Stukelhttp://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.comAsiaSri Lanka
Elly Snarehttp://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.comAsiaThailand
Shelley Graham Turnerhttp://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.comEuropeAustria
Mallory Hoffman Herzegovina
Paige Maximhttp://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.comEuropeFrance
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Sharyl McMillian-Nelsonhttp://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.comEuropeGreece
Evelyn Shelby
Holly Westfall
Rebecca Siervaaghttp://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.comEuropeIreland
Toltec Jewelshttp://toltecjewels.blogspot.comEuropeIreland
Lee Koopmanhttp://StregaJewellry.wordpress.comEuropeIreland
Laren Dee Bartonhttp://larendeedesigns.blogspot.comEuropeItaly
Cindy Wilsonhttp://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.comEuropeNorway
Kathleen Lange Klikhttp://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.comEuropePoland
Shaiha Williams
Jennifer Justman
Elsie Deliz-Fonsecahttp://ladelizchica.blogspot.comEuropeSpain
Lola Surwillohttp://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.comEuropeSweden
Kim Horahttp://www.kimmykats.comEuropeSwitzerland
Leanne Loftushttp://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.comEuropeThe Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemenhttp://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.comEuropeThe Netherlands
Marcie Carrollhttp://labellajoya.blogspot.comEuropeTurkey
Marlene Cupohttp://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.comOceaniaFederated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappellehttp://jewelsbyine.blogspot.comOceaniaFiji
Tammie Everly
Alice Petersonhttp://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.comOceaniaKiribati
Elisabeth Auldhttp://www.beadsforbusygals.comOceaniaNauru
Susan McClelland Zealand
D Lynne Bowlandhttp://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.comOceaniaNew Zealand
Denielle Hagermanhttp://somebeadsandotherthings.comOceaniaNew Zeland
Rebecca Andersonhttp://songbeads.blogspot.comOceaniaPapua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi
Kari Asburyhttp://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.comOceaniaSolomon Islands
Cece Cormier
Emma Toddhttp://www.apolymerpenchant.comOceaniaTuvalu
Debbie Pricehttp://greenshoot.blogspot.comOceaniaVanuatu

Real quick..........

A new inspiration.  Hope to develop some jewelry from this dried blooming tea flower.

Friday, August 17, 2012


My two older kids and I went for a hike this morning.  We were surrounded by light filtering in through the canopy of leaves above, birds talking to one another, discoveries of various plant life and then we saw this.
Quite simply put, I think it means Balance.
As our summer winds down and the flexibility that we have with time dwindles......I will once again have to deal with Balance.
Balancing my time.

 This is not a new struggle, nor am I the only one.
Hope you have a well balanced day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hiking through Nature

Not like I needed an excuse to go hiking, but my Ode to Nature class is definitely making me be more aware of my daily choices so that I soak in as much nature as possible.

Hiking in the woods I discovered these beauties.  Simple and pure.  Always amazed at natures creations.  The curl of the flower, the shape of a pod, the delicate flower blooming beneath the massive trees.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Slow and Steady

oh my goodness.  The ideas are flooding my brain.  I want to do them ALL.... right now.  But slow and steady...or at least steady is the course I need to go.

Working on my collections for the Ode to Nature Class.  Boy, Alisa sure makes it look easy to take those gorgeous photos!  This was my attempt this morning after my morning walk.  I grabbed some scissors and snagged these after I did my 50 minutes of walking.  But the lighting just didn't quite cut it.  I was trying to use natural lighting and with a storm fast approaching I had limited resources.

These wild grapes are growing on the edge of our property!  

My collecting also included a tick!  Thankfully I took care of it before it got serious with me.

I am continuing to work on my birds for the big swap next week.
I can't even tell you how much fun these little birds are.

I am also working on some swag for my friends.
I am so darn excited for their visit!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Minnesota Swap

Last summer my Minnesota friends and I did a swap.  The swap directions were to decorate 2x3 1/2 inch thick pieces of wood.  We had to create four sets of five so that we would all have a complete set.  The pieces did not have to be identical.  We met at Psycho Suzi's in Minneapolis and swapped outside on a gorgeous summer evening along the Minnesota River.  It was one of those nights that you will remember for ever.  Laughter, friendship and sharing.

Here are all of the pieces framed.
Each piece has a story.  I love how I can look at this and be instantly transported to that August night and the feeling of friendship.

This year, the lovely ladies are making a road trip to me!  I can't even tell you how thrilled, honored and excited I am to have them here.  To show them my place.  
To continue the tradition we have another swap planned.
This year it is "Put a Bird On It."  
My friend Kim is from Portland and last summer she was telling us about her inspiration for her contribution to the 2x3 swap, the extremely funny, Portlandia.  Click on the link to watch the 1:51 episode of "Put a Bird On It."  

The instructions for Swap 2012 is to make a 3-4 inch bird that can be hung from a piece of drift wood to make a mobile of sorts.  The bird needs to be weather proof.

I have had a ridiculous amount of fun with my birds.  Here is a start of my swap.  Ladies....if you are reading this swap, stop now......unless you want to see a sneak peek.  I will be continuing to work on this quirky birds today.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beach Finds

I am taking Alisa Burke's ode-to-nature-online-class and she has asked us to consider some questions.  One of them being, what is your favorite way to be in nature.  For me, without a doubt, is to be near water.  It has always been a place where I feel very comfortable and a place I seek out.  As a child we would spend many days during the summer at my Grandparent's cabin on Lake Huron.  It was perfect.  Hot, summer days cooling off in the crystal clear lake.  Cool, windy days surfing in the big waves (still a favorite).  Long walks on the beach with my entire family.  There was no nudging to go for a walk.  We all enjoyed it.  It makes me sad to think about the generation that is plugged into electronics.  To this day I seek out the water.  Sitting at the waters edge with a book or journal.  Walking along the shore in any temperature or weather condition.  The noise from the water helps drown out the thoughts, clears my mind in a meditative way and then, before I know idea, a solution, a calm, a restorative feeling settles in.

Yesterday my husband and I went to the beach.  To walk.  To soak in the sights and the sounds.  To collect beach treasures.  This is what we found.

a seagull skull

a really nice fish skeleton

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Morning Beach Walk

This is perfection!
Morning walk on Lake Michigan.
Not our usual spot. Very quiet and lots of bigger rocks/boulders.
The waves crashing in.
Found a nicely preserved fish skeleton, sea gull skull, feathers, rocks for inspiration and drift wood.

Zimbabwe's Flowers

Flowers from Zimbabwe.

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop has caused quite a stir in me.  

Friday, August 10, 2012


In the spirit of the new online class that I am taking, Ode to Nature, I am looking at nature with new eyes.  I realize now that I have had an affinity for flowers for awhile now.  I have quite the collection of flower photos.  I plan to go to the library to do some research on flowers in Zimbabwe.