7/30/2013

Time for a makeover

This month's subject for the JAC blog carnival is "Improve your shop".

Of course my first thought went to my pictures. Quite a while ago I had pulled a few, erm, several, erm, many items from my shop to "eventually re-do the pictures". Taking and editing pictures is not something that's done that quickly, however, and so I kept looking at the tab "Unlisted items" with a feeling of guilt and doing what I am best at, procrastinating.

Even now that this theme choice finally gave me a kick I'm still not done, but I have been working on it step for step, and not only is it a good feeling, but it gives my shop are more consistent look because I don't go all wild with backgrounds anymore.
Also I took the chance to
- rip up old pieces that don't fit in anymore ... a little sad, but also kind of a relief
- check pieces for possible mistakes that escaped my eye earlier, no matter how long I worked on something
- change pieces ... sometimes you need to clear your mind for a while, and when you have another look then, you suddenly realize that this would be a much better bail or that an extra dangle would be just the right twist

It takes time, yes, but it's worth it.

When I browsed through my shop like that, something else suddenly caught my eye. For several reasons I haven't worked in clay in a long time, and for several other reasons I don't see myself changing that in the near future. Instead the bead looming took over a big part of my creative ventures.
And that meant that my banner was wrong because it still said


Hm. Take the clay out and put bead loomed in? Wouldn't that imply bead loomed sculptures as well, though? Finally I decided that it was best to stick with just the name.

The name is another thing. Change it to Cat's Wire and Loom? On the other hand I started to do a bit of off loom beading, who knows where this will take me? Cat's Wire and Loom and Beads and Fabric?
No, my name stays.
You can see the new banner here on my blog. Just my playful kitty and a name.


I'm sure there is more that can improve my shop, but I can't and won't do it all at once. Usually these things end badly, in confusion, chaos and anarchy! ;-)


Please also visit these blogs to see what my fellow JAC members have to say on the matter.

Jewelry Art by Dawn 
Bead Sophisticate 
Ponder the Cat

P.S. I chose one example of an old picture and a new picture. I sure hope you'll see the difference!







7/29/2013

Finds of the week - Look to the rainbow

What is a rainbow? According to Wikipedia it's an optical and meteorological phenomenon. Boooring.
For many of us rainbows have that bit of magic. How else could it be explained that people who have seen hundreds of rainbows throughout their lives still call others to have a look if they see one? Maybe it's because we all need some color in our life.
Did you know by the way that two little bluebirds made the first rainbow? If you don't believe me, you can find the tale from the Ojibwe Nation here.

Let's see what rainbows I could find for you on Zibbet, shall we?

This little fellow is so cute, I almost can't stand it. One of my favorite animals in rainbow colors? I love it!!


Rainbow Squidgy by Clew in Hand

This hand felted cosmetics pouch that you can also use for other things is made from a colorful yarn. Isn't it beautiful how the felting seems to have made the colors fade into each other?


Hand felted cosmetics pouch by The Blue Coat

Brighter in color is this fun resin ring with lots of sprinkles. It would be wonderful for a young girl with its heart shape, too!


Sprinkle heart resin ring by Fashion Candy

Sooo tiny and cute is another unique piece of jewelry that I found, a rainbow origami crane necklace. I think they are adorable.


Miniature origami rainbow crane necklace by CMC Creations

When talking about rainbows we can't forget a lady who is striving to bring you dancing ones to your home. It was a tough choice to pick one of her suncatchers!


Suncatcher "Tropical Fruit Salad" by Dancing Rainbows


Let me end this post with a song that I love very much from a movie that I like a lot. Welcome Petula Clark and Fred Astaire in "Finian's Rainbow".


7/28/2013

Quote of the week

This quote is dedicated to my sister who was smart enough to videotape this series when it was on TV many years ago. It was one of those short-lived shows that are shown in the middle of the night, and maybe you are lucky to stumble upon it and get hooked before it's over. She got hooked and I want to thank her for that.
You can find some episodes on YouTube, but although I don't seem to be the only one who'd love to have this on DVD in good quality, chances are more than slim.

Bakersfield, California. A Washington cop has just moved there for personal reasons and he finds a police department that is very, very different from what he used to know ... a captain who completely depends on his sergeant because he has a hard time to make decisions, a naive young partner who takes much of his experience from TV crime series, the tough, but not all that intelligent cop and his caring, soft-hearted partner, and a bunch of, erm, interesting criminals and problems like that clown ... you have no idea what a clown at a burger place's fest can do to a town. Chaos and anarchy, not to be taken lightly.

 
Captain Stiles: I am trying to tell you something. We are sitting on quite a bit of dynamite here and you are the burning fuse!
Sergeant Hampton: What the Captain and I are trying to make clear to you is the explosiveness of the situation.
Captain: My friend, you have great power over the people her, and I'd like to know how you intend to use this power.
The clown stays silent.
Captain: Does this man talk, Phil??
Sergeant: Yes, Sir. Mimes are silent, clowns ...
Clown interrupting: That's not true. Some clowns talk, and some honk. I can do both.
Captain (to Sergeant): So he can talk after all! How lovely! Tell me then, erm, Dave ...
Clown: Hoho.
Captain: Ok. Hoho. Are you going to make trouble today?
Clown: The traffic, that's your problem. You either charge me now or you let me go. It's my job to entertain people.
Captain: We are just talking.
Clown: That is discrimination of a clown. Why is the Chicken not here?
Sergeant: The Chick doesn't want to perform at our main street crossroad.
Clown: Because he is lousy. Just like the Pirate.
Captain (alarmed): The Pirate? Phil?
Sergeant: I will check that, Sir.
Captain: Now listen closely, Mr Hobo or Hoho or whatever you call yourself. Okay. You and your big clown feet stay on the Los Burgers premises, if not you are back here so fast you'll wish you'd have joined the circus!
Clown: I wanted to join the circus.
Captain: What?
Clown: They didn't want me.
Captain: I'm sorry, Sir.
Clown: Go to hell.

Bakersfield, P.D., USA, 1993 - 1994

P.S. This time things are a bit different. Usually I have the English and German original for both of my blogs or I have the English original and translate it into German. This episode however was not on YouTube and I only have the German dubbing. Forgive me any mistakes, I'm not a native speaker, also I can't know if the text was changed much for the German version.

7/25/2013

Midnight talk

Purple. I hate purple. Not really, no, but I hate taking pictures of purple, especially if there's just a hint of it.
Since I missed out taking pictures of this big bangle in daylight today, I decided to play a little with my camera. I used two kinds of beads in this piece by the way, darker ones with a matte rainbow finish and beads that are blue with a shimmer of purple. You'll just have to believe me.

I really like the inside of the bangle and it was fun to look inside like through a fence and ... well, just have a look yourself.
The bangle is not listed at the moment, I won't give up yet on catching the elusive purple!










7/22/2013

Finds of the week - Here comes the sun

Although I'm quite the little sunshine myself - erm, if I don't rant, am grumpy, hungry or tired *cough cough* - I have a love/hate relationship with the sun. At the pool I was the kid sitting under a tree, I don't choose the park bench in the open sun (actually I'm not even allowed to due to medical reasons), I shrivel up and die in the heat. Well, technically that's not true, but it sure feels like it.
This post is dedicated to the sun. Dear Sun, no hard feelings, eh?

ACEO original painting "Summer" by Sandra Lock
Large smiling sun face by Having An Art Attack
Sun burst table topper by Cedar Point Designs
Mosaic lazy Susan "Sun" by Heather MBC
Watercolor original pocket mirror with felt case by Portable Graffiti
The Sun Shines suncatcher by 1 Of A Kind Chimes
Sun and Nature papier mache art by Otil Rotcod

Now that I celebrated the sun do you think I can have some rain? Please?

7/21/2013

Quote of the week

I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. Shoot me. Call it escapism. Or you can take a small break and share a little smile with me.

Anna, a famous actress, meets William in his book store. Just a bit later they bump into each other again, and finally she calls him to meet her at the Ritz. Too bad that the scheduled press interviews with the actors of Anna's new movie are not over yet, so William has to pretend he's a journalist. When being asked what magazine he's from, he happens to see "Horse & Hound" lying around ... maybe not the best choice to pick?

Anna's agent: You're from, uh, Horse & Hound?
William: Yup.
Agent: Good.
Anna: Is that so? Well.
William: So, uh ... Uh, I'll just ... fire away then, shall I? Right. Uh. The film's great, and, um, I was just wondering whether ... *breathes in* ... you ever thought of having, um, more, uh, horses in it.
Anna: Well, we would have liked to, but it was, um, difficult, obviously, being set in space.
William: Space, right, yeah. Yeah, obviously very difficult.
Anna's agent leaves the room.
William: I'm so sorry. I arrived outside. They thrust this thing into my hand, I didn't ...
Anna: No, it's my fault. I thought this would all be over by now. I just wanted to sort of apologize for the kissing thing. I seriously don't know what came over me. And I just wanted to make sure that you were fine about it. 
William: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely fine.
Anna's agent comes back in with a bottle of water: Do remember that Miss Scott is also keen to talk about her next project which is, um, shooting later in the summer.
William: Ah yes, excellent. Excellent. Any horses in that one? Or hounds for that matter. Our readers are equally intrigued by both species.
Anna: It takes place on a submarine.
William: Oh. Well, bad luck. But, um, if there were horses in it, would you be riding them or would you be getting a ... a stunt-horse-double-man-thing?
Agent leaves again.
William: I ... I'm a complete moron. I apologize.


These two are of course played by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, and ... sorry, I'll have to watch the press conference ending while the DVD is in. Please excuse me, just a ... *mumbling and shutting computer down*

Notting Hill, UK/USA, 1999

7/20/2013

Raspberry and honey

I'm not the cooking type, just in case you expected a fantastic new recipe for dessert now, sorry.
It does sound good, doesn't it?
I'm talking about colors, however. Let me show you one of my latest pieces and tell you how it "happened".

I love color lined crystal seed beads, and one color that has grown very dear to my heart is raspberry. To make these beads even more fun, they also have an AB finish. Seriously, they look good enough to eat. Without knowing my crush on them a friend gave me a tube for my birthday, in a bigger size than I use for looming, so instead I began to knit a rope, with a crochet hook as always of course.

When I had finished the rope I felt that something was missing, something to compliment the light golden wire that seems to make fine stripes in the rope. I asked myself what beads or cabs I had that would go well with it and came up with my faux amber cabs.
I knew I had one that was very light in color, reminding me of that creamy Canadian honey that was a special treat when I was a child. The pyramid shape made it even more interesting. I tried it this way and that way and decided that alone it was not big enough for this rope, so I picked out another cab in a dark honey color for contrast.
While the light one got a simple bezel that wouldn't distract from its shape, I picked up the raspberry color in the bezel for the dark cab again by adding two rows of smaller beads which gives it a slightly flowery look.

It's available in my Zibbet shop now.




7/19/2013

Still here

You might have thought that I hired a robot to do the finds and the quotes of the week while I escaped to a beautiful island with lots of water around to fight the heat off.
If that were the case, I would have to fire that robot because he missed posting last Monday's finds. Bad robot. Well, he would be bad if I had one. I wish I did have one, for taking pictures. I'll tell you more about that in a while, though.
Apart from taking pictures I did a bit of this and a bit of that and very little of that (aka housework). The heat is not my friend. So while watching "Fargo" just for the reason that the movie is full of snow - and I don't even like snow - I played around with a two-color wire knit.
I used two contrasting colors, a light gold and black. The effect is nice, but not as clear as I hoped it would be.
I'll keep you up-to-date on further attempts.


7/14/2013

Quote of the week

1941. A British bomber is shot down over Paris. The airmen arrange to meet at the Turkish Bath and parachute down.
One of them lands on a house painter working high up on a building. He promptly drops his bucket of paint on a German officer. The other one lands in the zoo where the zookeeper gives him new clothes. The last one ends up on the roof of the Paris Opera and gets to meet the conductor (not on the roof, though).
The adventure begins.

One of my favorite scenes - which isn't easy to pick because there are so many - is how Stanislas Lefort, the conductor, is introduced. Let's say he's not exactly a person who is easy to handle ...

The orchestra is playing and Lefort is conducting passionately. Then when the piece is over, Lefort speaks to the orchestra:
Thank you, gentlemen, that was very good. I'd like to say it was even excellent! (The orchestra is applauding.)
I have to thank YOU. It's my turn to thank you.
You over there, that was rather good.
You there were a bit cheesy, so-so. One can live with it.
You there ... say, I don't hear anything from you. One can hear absolutely nothing. You do blabber and chatter incessantly instead. (Players going "oooh" defensively). Yes, you do chatter.
I have my very own idea of this piece. It was not triumphant, not imperious enough. My god, that's not so difficult, is it. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-zang-ba-ba ... It is really easy. Not as much ni-ni-ni, put a bit thought into it.
It's wasn't just incredibly bad, it was lousy.


Sheesh, I'm glad I gave up the violin before I ended up in an orchestra like this!
Seriously though ... no, you can't be serious with this movie. It's brilliant, hilarious and an absolute must watch in my opinion.

Don't look now, we've been shot at, France/UK, 1966

P.S. I had no way on finding this scene in English and I couldn't translate it directly from the French original as my school French has locked itself up in a tiny chamber in my brain out of where it allows only one or the other word from time to time. There are different German versions, and I just picked one to be able and bring this scene to you.

7/08/2013

Finds of the week - Unicorns

Wikipedia:
"The unicorn is a legendary animal from European folklore that resembles a white horse with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, and sometimes a goat's beard and cloven hooves. First mentioned by the ancient Greeks, it became the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and Renaissance when it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness."
Or to make it short - unicorns are pure magic.

I went to find some of this magic for you on Zibbet.

Small beaded purse "Unicorn knight" by A Different Kind of Pretty by Joyananda


Hex sign "Contentment" by Castaway Crafts

Book "Lore of Unicorn" from Moxyfoxbooks


Embroidered fantasy carousel unicorn plush pillow by Embroidered Dreams
Unicorn lollipops by Candied Cakes

Have a magic day ...

7/07/2013

Quote of the week

Have you ever wondered where you will be in your old age? Well, me, of course I imagine myself in the same place with three to fifteen cats, loads of books, DVDs - here's hoping there will still be players for them then - and looking like a crazy lady with long, grey hair that floats around my face like a big cloud ;-)
Of course we never know what will happen that changes those images we have of ourselves. Accidents, a disease, or some banker will spend our savings in a nanosecond on some high risk investment. In that case we might have to come up with an alternative plan to save money.
Or maybe we'll suddenly feel the urge to change our lives, meet new people, new cultures.

That's what the people in this movie do. They come from different circumstances, they go to Jaipur, India for very different reasons, and India affects them in very different ways.
One of the reasons is this one ...

Evelyn: How do you come to be in India?
Douglas: Oh, er ... I invested our ... well, my retirement money in our daughter's internet company. She assured me that as soon as the start-up actually ... started up ... and the conversion from actual to virtual became sufficiently viable ... then she'd be able to pay it all back.
Evelyn: I'm not sure I understand what most of these words mean.
Douglas: It turns out neither did she.


I'm not quite sure I see myself in India with my three to fifteen cats when I'll be old, but I am sure that I enjoyed this movie a lot!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, UK/USA/United Arab Emirates, 2011

7/04/2013

Obsession

Once in a while friends will share something with you. A picture. A quote. An idea. It's meant well. It's inspiring. The problem starts when you indeed do get inspired ... and then can't stop. You want to really get it right, and you want to show each and every new attempt, always waiting for the moment people get so bored that they stop talking to you.
Ok, this is not meant completely seriously of course.
I'm always happy if something makes a friend think of you, and if I turn it into an obsession, that's my own fault. It's like when you have learned a new technique and you forget everything else for a while.

My obsession are Chinese Lantern flowers at the moment. 

Photo by Rüdiger Kratz

It's not all I do. I was very busy making new samples for the Z Box. I started working on some of the old pictures in my shop (you'll hear about that in this month's JAC blog carnival, though). Unfortunately I can't claim I emptied the dishwasher yet or folded my t-shirts. Well, I could claim it, but it would so not be true.
Instead I worked on version #3 of my Chinese Lanterns. The first two ones were rather small, done in silver colored copper wire, with large red glass pearls.
By now I had googled for more pictures, though, and this one came up on German Wikipedia (thank you, Viola sonans for sharing it).


I decided to get a few red agate beads and use my copper wire in the color the company calls warm gold, but that looks almost like pure copper wire, only it won't tarnish.
These are a few pictures of the result.


I hope you'll still be talking to me, even if I'm boring your brains out of your heads.
And to the friend who is to "blame" ... thank you, this is really fun (much more than taking care of dishes or laundry! ;-)).

7/01/2013

Finds of the week - Ocean

It's summer, and many people are getting ready for a trip to the sea. The ocean is covering up 71% of the Earth's surface, but only about 5% of it has been explored. To me it is fascination and fear at the same time meaning that as much as I am fascinated by the wonders of the ocean, there is no chance of me ever being a diver.
As a kid I studied the colored illustrations of deep sea fish in our old encyclopedia over and over again. When we had to put together a "magazine" in German class, our group made one about animals, and I had a long article about sharks in there. At the library I read up on sharks and hated that someone had cut out all the photos. Then there was the story about Jacques Piccard diving into the Mariana Trench.
When I stood at the Pacific for the first time, however ... I can't even describe the feeling, so let's just say looking out on that incredible body of water, imagining what was in there, overwhelmed me and has ever since.

Long story cut a bit shorter, I went through Zibbet once again, this time browsing items inspired by the ocean while sitting on a very dry spot on the first floor of the house I live in. You won't need a diving suit, either ... ;-)

You can always grab my attention with a moon which in this case shines on a beautiful lampwork bead by Beads and Botanicals. I love the contrast between the moon, the dark sky, and look at the motion in the water!


If you can't get to the ocean, bring the ocean to you ... with this scented bar of soap called "Cool water splash" by The Soap Garden. I almost feel as if I can smell it!


This cuff was inspired by snorkling in the coral reefs and made in Sterling silver by Zahour Color. Isn't it beautiful?


In the shop of Mary Ellen Golden I found this sweet giclee print featuring freshly hatched turtle babies on their way to the ocean.


The perfect ending for this post is the gorgeous "Blue Ocean Waves" photo taken by Island Images Prideaux. Can you imagine looking at this while sitting in your office and allow yourself to dream for a bit? I can!


Are you planning a trip to the ocean this summer yourself? Why don't you tell us about it!