Wednesday, July 17, 2013


No...this post is not about the location's about Julie, the artist behind OUTWEST or Indian Creek Art Glass.

I have posted about her beads in the past, but today, my mail carrier actually delivered MY mail (instead of somebody else's mail....story for another time) and I received gorgeous beads I ordered from Julie last week. 

I am fairly new to using lampwork glass disc beads, but I ordered some of her chunky disc beads and wanted to "kick it up a notch" and do something just a little different for me.  

First up is this lovely, pale lavender set of beads.  Oh my, but this is one of my mother's favorite colors!  Luckily, I have already made her at least 10 pair of purple earrings.....

Aren't these soft, pale colors gorgeous!  I double wrapped and messy wrapped at the same time!  Let me tell you, it is not easy to messy wrap, at least for me!  These earrings are also small - only 1 1/2" in length - I really like this style.

Next up is this gorgeous shade of pale green.

Is anyone else craving a life saver?  I mean, this is a really luscious color people!

The last pair I made today are from a pale aqua, with beautiful striations of pale green.  I actually made this pair first and I will not tell you how much silver went right into my "silver recycle cup"!  I kept on changing the design until I finally came up with one I liked!

Look at those gorgeous colors below!  Swoon!! I banged out some bead caps with silver sheet - I made the texture by using my riveting hammer - it always reminds me of tree bark - love it!

I VERY CAREFULLY forged the ends of the 16 gauge silver to create a paddle shape on each side to capture the bead.  I only use butane and mapp gas torches in my studio (I have not graduated to the Big Girl torches yet, so my flame would be too big and too hot to ball up the wire on the ends - it would crack the glass.  I learned that one the hard way a long time ago!)   Anyway, this was my solution to create a type of pendulum effect for the earrings. 
This has to be the hardest pair of earrings to photograph!  They are on the long side - just under 2 1/2", and they do not lay flat!  So, I had to resort to including my chunky fingers in this picture so that one could see how they would hang when worn:

I had a good 3 hours in the studio today - it is located in my unfinished basement where I can make as big a mess as I want.  Not to mention, it's about 10 degrees cooler down there, which I love during this nasty heat wave we are going through right now.

Julie if you are reading this blog post, I am truly, truly in awe of your talent and I thank you for creating such beautiful beads! 

Thanks for stopping by today!  


Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Jewelry?

Nope - no jewelry today.  A different kind of post for me.  I hope you indulge me...

About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary  (PSAS)- a rescue organization specifically for farm animals.  I happened upon PSAS well over 10 years ago, and I have been a supporter ever since.

The sanctuary, located in Poolesville, Maryland, is located on 400 acres of land.  It is located about 60 miles from my home in Northern Virginia.  Anyone who lives in this area knows that 60 miles can mean a one hour drive - or a three plus hour commute.  I was blessed with an hour and half drive that day, and I rather enjoyed seeing the route up River Road in Potomac, Maryland (you know....where "the other half" lives)!  Man, those homes were HUGE!

According to Terry and Dave - two of the most wonderful and caring people I have ever met - some of the larger animals  (cows, horses, etc.) have  an open area that equates to one mile long by two miles wide.  It ends at the Potomac River, and the views of Virginia from PSAS at the river bank are beautiful.  I did not take photos of the scenery, though in hindsight I should have!  I only took photos of the beautiful residents, all of whom were saved from some awful sort of abuse: slaughter, physical beatings, starvation; several were going to be offered for sacrifice.  Breaks my heart...

I have said this before - it takes a special kind of person who devotes their lives to the care and treatment of others, be it animals or people.  Terry and Dave fall into that category.

The rest of this post is simply some of the pictures of the beautiful residents of PSAS.  Here is a link to their Face Book page: PSAS

Most of the animals are super friendly and LOVE to be petted!

Zachary - OMG so cute!  This little guy climbs trees to feed off the leaves!

This is LOKI - he was rescued from the Prince William County Animal Shelter.  This is where I adopted Sarge.  LOKI was found on a roadside near my house in the County, and spent a few weeks in a 3' x 5' area at the Shelter.  When I saw him at the Shelter and inquired as to why he was there, I was told they were waiting for someone to claim him.  I contacted PSAS and they rescued him the next day.  He was covered in sticky black tar, starving and so afraid of people - Terry believes he was abused.  He is SO BEAUTIFUL and SO HAPPY now!!
That little guy on the right has only 3 legs - the owners needed to have his leg amputated and told the Vet "do whatever with him - he is useless to us now".   As you can see from the next picture below, 3 legs suffice!

Terry gave us a HUGE jar of Animal Crackers to feed as treats to the goats.  I found it ironic that the treats were Animal Crackers! :)  Just like a dog, they corralled around us for their treats!
The horses were too busy eating....  :)
The oldest resident at PSAS - Gloria the mule.  She is 38 years old.  OMG she was so friendly, so beautiful, so content!  Gloria was with the pack of horses when we arrived in this field, left the horses to greet us, and then went back to her herd!  An Ambassador! 
I cannot remember this little (ha!) girl's name - but she is BLIND!  She arrived at PSAS at just a few weeks old and has been blind since birth.  She feel off a truck that was destined for slaughter.  
Look at that beautiful color!!
This is a Guernsey Cow - she is almost 7 feet tall!  And so gentle!

Terry sprayed the cows with Citronella to temporarily aid in getting rid of the flies.  Interestingly, "they" do not make fly masks for cows, like they do for horses.  Most cows are not pets, like horses, so the industry has not pursued creating pest control measures for these beautiful creatures.  The cows LOVED to be sprayed!
This is Wilbur - he has terrible arthritis, but manages to get up on his feet twice a day for feeding.  And boy, did he enjoy getting his tummy scratched!
There were tons more piggies in the mud field - but I did not get a chance to venture that way.
These are actual residents of PSAS - most of the fowl come "uninvited", though all are welcome.  These two were dropped off at PSAS the week before I visited - someone tried to raise them as pets.  Naturally, Terry and Dave welcomed them with open arms.

I left the Sanctuary with such a wonderful feeling - I cannot quite put it into words.  But, I am so grateful that the world has Terry and Dave.

Thank you for indulging me today in one my passions!  Have a great day!