Friday, June 24, 2016

Proof that Artists have the kindest hearts!

Over the past few years, I have been blessed with beads and charms, donated to me by fellow artists. I donate all proceeds from my jewelry to Miracle Horse Rescue, and these artists - many of whom make these beads as their full time job - selflessly give these beads to me (a source of income for them!) in the hopes that I can create a piece of jewelry to benefit the horses. Jan Onipenco is one of these artists.

Today, I would like to share a different kind of donation.  Jan recently took up the art form of needle felting.  While I have seen images of these darling 3-D creations on the Internet, I was totally baffled as to how they are created.  So, I googled "Needle Felting" and was entranced by this process! 

In totally simplified terms, needle felting uses a sharp needle to turn wool roving into 3-D objects. The wool is agitated - with this fine needle - so that it sticks together, creating a solid fabric. While I have not tried this art form (yet!), the creativity in the final product is only limited by the imagination of the artist.

Well, Stephanie and Rob of Miracle Horse Rescue recently had a new addition to the family --- his name is Dusty!  Here is a recent picture of Dusty - with Emma (the beautiful little girl who now has a necklace with her name on it!)  Emma is Stephanie's grand daughter - she has the most contagious smile!  Millie - Dusty's mom - is also in the background, too!

And, here is Dusty's replica, completely handcrafted by Jan.


The auction for this beautiful work of art starts online today (June 24) and runs through Sunday (June 26).  If you are so inclined, please stop by the Miracle Horse Rescue Face Book page (link here)  and place a bid!

Now...Jan did not stop with her generous donation of "Dusty". An artist with many facets, she recently began her journey of making jewelry pendants and charm from resin, with gorgeous inclusions of nature, prints, and other decorations.

The two below are my favorites - :)

I am going to attempt (key word!) to bezel set these pendants in sterling for necklaces and/or possibly a bracelet - I also see a pair of earrings in the making!

I am forever grateful to the artist community for their generosity - THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH JAN!!!!

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things can only get better...right?

I was so glad that last week ended yesterday - it was not my best!  I had a second opinion doctor's appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who ordered yet another MRI (I am soooo claustrophobic)! But, I managed to get the nicest radiologist and came through with flying colors!

However, turns out I have a bone spur in my spine - in one of the vertebrate's within my neck. The doctor is surprised I do not have pains running down my arms, as my nerves are being squeezed by that little spur. I see a Pain Management doctor July 7th as hopefully, a shot will help with that pain. Motto of this story: When at first you see a doctor with zero bedside manner and could care less about your ailments other than to make you feel like a hypochondriac -  seek a second opinion!

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I cracked a tooth on a 4-tooth bridge in my mouth. It does not matter that I brush/floss/water pic and see my dentist every 6 months, my teeth are just RENTED inside my mouth and are not meant to remain there permanently. My dentist gave me the sad news that I needed a new bridge (this was the second bridge - same spot - in less than 8 years) So, on Friday, I went to the dentist anticipating a 4-tooth bridge removal. Well, he pried that sucker off (no worries as I felt nothing as the Novocaine had kicked in) and then he left the room. I was concerned, as he had never done that in the past 15-16 years. He obviously needed a shot of "Just tell her and get it over with" as he came back in the room, pulled up a chair, and sat next to me.  Then, he delivered to me the bad news that the three remaining teeth (well...just roots at this point) required removal ASAP. So, he walked me across the street to a dental surgeon who proceeded to pull those three teeth out and perform a bone graft at the same time. He also told me I am not a candidate for implants and crowns, as my sinus cavities are too low and I would require some nasty surgery called a "Sinus Lift" if I cared to go that route.  No Thank You! So, a partial, removable denture is in my near future.

I was actually fine until the Novocaine wore off! :)  The swelling on the left side of my face is so intense that this 55 year old broad has zero wrinkles...on the left side of her face.  I look so lopsided! Honestly - the pain is subsiding every day - thanks to prescription strength Motrin!

Source: www.HypoThyroidism
One last thing health wise that I would like to share with you.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about my present chronic vertigo, and all the testing I went through over the past 11 months.  My doctor is still convinced it is caused by my Thyroid and associated Hasimoto's Disease. Well, I have been influenced by Heidi Kingman (she does not know this little factoid, but I am)! She suffered many health ailments and three years ago changed her diet to Gluten/Dairy/Egg and Soy Free - she is so healthy now. So, I did a ton of research and decided to try a Gluten Free diet (I have to start slow and quite frankly, Dairy, Eggs, and Soy do not bother me one bit. In fact, I was not even sure if gluten affected me). Gluten intolerance can cause inflammation, among other things. Well, 10 days in, and my vertigo is much less intense - in fact - I have had only two days of any vertigo symptoms and it was so minor that it was "manageable". I almost feel normal again! :) Well...normal enough to venture down into my creative space!

So, I am still enamored with tube setting faceted gemstones.  So, I got daring (for me) and made this little anticlastic ring.

The sterling setting (the tube) has to be made to fit on the curve of the ring shank. It was challenging, but I am so tickled that it worked! I nearly shaved off my fingers while finagling the curve of the tube  with my files - it's only 6 mm wide.

A few months ago, I successfully completed my first etch on sterling silver.  I have made quite a few pieces of jewelry with this sheet - in fact - only scraps are left. Not wanting it to go to waste, I made a sweet little necklace.

I made a tiny little flower from a sterling disc, which I domed, and then added a little bud in the center, made from my shot plate. I was disgusted with the photos - 59 in total.  I have the hardest time taking photos of pure silver jewelry (jewelry not adorned with any beads). Inevitably, I end up with the weirdest reflections on the silver - usually of my camera.  Sigh. 

The bail was made from a piece of textured 10 gauge silver that I had scrapped from another project.

Finally, a very special little girl turns 9 years old today (Happy Birthday Emma)!!  So, I cozied up to my jeweler's saw and made her a special little necklace. Yup - another horse lover!

Again - not the best picture 'cause it's silver! But, I made a nice, substantial chain - 14 inches in length so she won't hang herself. :)  And since June is her birth month, I wired a little pearl to the last link in the chain.

I am so very happy to start a fresh new week!  Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Take care!