A Gift, A Shop and A Give-Away

I’m feeling particularly pleased with myself.  I made a new Light Catcher; my first one in hues of yellow.  It is so pretty, like a little ray of sunshine.  And it’s a gift and is just awaiting the final touches before being sent  away to the recipient.

(The yellow colour in the background is more accurate than the subdued colour in the circles – yellow is hard to photograph apparently.)

Click twice to biggify

Yellow

And, still on the subject of feeling particularly pleased with myself, I made a new page for my blog, it’s there sitting on the black bar beneath the heading picture, can you see it?

cropped-pizap2.jpg

It’s called ‘The Contented Crafter’s Gift Shop’ and it lists all my creative work in the various formats that are available for sale or on commission.  I know several of you have been asking and waiting and – well – here it is at last with apologies for the delay.

Logo Image

The shop page also has links to two other sites where some friends sell their particularly fine wares. Just in case you are looking and need inspiration…….   I had this idea of a global support network that may or may not have merit.  This is its small beginning.

cropped-lc-1-balls.jpg

Now if you wouldn’t mind, and if you have the time [I know how busy you are!] I would so appreciate you taking a few moments to look and to comment with your feedback – particularly about layout, quality of photos etc; about ease of understanding the different headings or not, anything that needs fine tuning, anything that does or doesn’t appeal, make sense or offends or delights you I would really like to know about.  What do you think about linking to other sites?  Would you look?  Did you look?

As a thank you, your name will go in the draw* for a Single Strand Light-Catcher.  The winner can choose one of these:

Blue GiveawayPink Giveaway

The blue single strand light-catcher is made with large blue *chrysacolla rounds interspersed with graded blue glass square beads from which hangs a 40 mm AAA crystal sphere.  Smaller crystals and beads hang randomly from the silver chain along with a few charms.  Catcher measures approx 50 cm long.

*’Chrysacolla purifies the environment and can work to eliminate negativity within a person. It imparts an energy conducive to stabilising the environment and rebuilding relationships’.                     Love Is In The Earth~A Kaleidoscope of Crystals

The pink light-catcher is a 40 mm AAA faceted crystal sphere hanging from a run of acrylic heart beads and very pretty white ceramic beads painted with pink flowers.  A variety of clear and coloured beads,faceted crystals and charms makes up the remainder of the main and subsidiary chains.  This catcher measures  approx 60 cm long.

*the draw:  is conducted randomly with the aid of my favourite coffee cup, strips of paper with names written on them, a vigorous shaking procedure followed by a tipping motion and the randomly placed paw of one Orlando King, the worlds best marmalade cat.  [Siddy isn’t allowed to take part, in the practise run, he ate the pieces of paper.]

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The draw will take place New Zealand time:  5pm  Wednesday 12th August 2015

Any comments placed after that time will not be eligible for the giveaway.

In advance, let me thank you for your interest, for your support and for your feedback. it is as valued as you are!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

 

Three Days – Three Quotes: Day 4

Yes, you read it right – I couldn’t resist – I tried really, really hard to resist – but,  I.  Could.  Not.   Stop.  Myself.

Here it is following on from the wisdom of Buddha, from Winnie-the-Pooh, via AA Milne and from the writings of Dr Martin Luther King

LettheshitgoBuddha

This is not my work – I found this photo online somewhere and have no clue who made it or when.  If you know who did please leave a note so I can add credit.

So this wraps up for real my contribution to making the world a more thoughtful place via the contemplation of favourite quotes, I hope you enjoyed them all   :-)

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Three  Four Valiant Bloggers have put their hands tentatively in the air to carry the ‘Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge’ forward.  Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for our intrepid volunteers:

Alys at Gardening Nirvana

Linne at A Random Harvest

Claire at Mollie and Claire – already posting her first quote!

And this I’m betting will be something a little different I dare you to take a look:

Bruce at Weave A Web –  coming up now or soon!

Please support these wonderful gals and Bruce and drop by their blogs.  Thank you :-)

 

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Three Days – Three Quotes: Day 3

My old pal Apple over on Apple Pie and Napalm who sometimes writes really great posts about country music, had a slight melt down, took to partaking in something called  ‘A Quote a Day for Three Days’ and fool-heartedly chucked me under the handed the banner on to me……..

According to Ms Napalm there are ‘Easy peasy instructions. One quote post per day for three days. For each post, include three fellow bloggers to pass the challenge to.’

I considered it a small miracle that I would be able to organise myself enough to get together three quotes. but I managed it.  Then I decided wouldn’t it be nice to present the quotes using either Danella Joy’s photos or my own paintings…..  See this is why getting posts together is such time consuming work for me!!

Like so many of my friends here in the world of blogging I’m not given much to following rules and I’m hoping some of you might just like to keep the thing alive by posting a quote on your own blog and you can nominate or not – according to how you feel about rules.  Let me know if you pick up the banner :-)

This is what I think about ‘Quotes':  Quotes can be read and not understood.  Quotes can be read and not seen.  For a quote to have meaning, I must attempt to live it.

Three  Four Valiant Bloggers have put their hands tentatively in the air to carry the ‘Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge’ forward.  Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for our intrepid volunteers:

Alys at Gardening Nirvana

Linne at A Random Harvest

Claire at Mollie and Claire

And this I’m betting will be something a little different I dare you to take a look:

Bruce at Weave A Web

Please support these wonderful gals and Bruce and drop by their blogs.  Thank you :-)

sunnyglowDJK  MLK Quote

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Three Days – Three Quotes: Day 2

If you read the previous post you might want to skip the prelude and go straight to the quote…………….

My old pal Apple over on Apple Pie and Napalm who sometimes writes really great posts about country music, had a slight melt down, took to partaking in something called  ‘A Quote a Day for Three Days’ and fool-heartedly chucked me under the handed the banner on to me……..

According to Ms Napalm there are ‘Easy peasy instructions. One quote post per day for three days. For each post, include three fellow bloggers to pass the challenge to.’

I considered it a small miracle that I would be able to organise myself enough to get together three quotes. but I managed it.  Then I decided wouldn’t it be nice to present the quotes using either Danella Joy’s photos or my own paintings…..  See this is why getting posts together is such time consuming work for me!!

Like so many of my friends here in the world of blogging I’m not given much to following rules and I’m hoping some of you might just like to keep the thing alive by posting a quote on your own blog and you can nominate or not – according to how you feel about rules.  Let me know if you pick up the banner :-)

This is what I think about ‘Quotes':  Quotes can be read and not understood.  Quotes can be read and not seen.  For a quote to have meaning, I must attempt to live it.

Small Things quote

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Three Days – Three Quotes: Day 1

My old pal Apple over on Apple Pie and Napalm who sometimes writes really great posts about country music, had a slight melt down, took to partaking in something called  ‘A Quote a Day for Three Days’ and fool-heartedly chucked me under the handed the banner on to me……..

According to Ms Napalm there are ‘Easy peasy instructions. One quote post per day for three days. For each post, include three fellow bloggers to pass the challenge to.’

I considered it a small miracle that I would be able to organise myself enough to get together three quotes. but I managed it.  Then I decided wouldn’t it be nice to present the quotes using either Danella Joy’s photos or my own paintings…..  See this is why getting posts together is such time consuming work for me!!

Like so many of my friends here in the world of blogging I’m not given much to following rules and I’m hoping some of you might just like to keep the thing alive by posting a quote on your own blog and you can nominate or not – according to how you feel about rules.  Let me know if you pick up the banner :-)

This is what I think about ‘Quotes':  Quotes can be read and not understood.  Quotes can be read and not seen.  For a quote to have meaning, I must attempt to live it.

 

DJK Buddha Quote

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

Creating a Light Catcher

When I showed off some of my latest light catchers in the last post there was a small amount of interest in seeing how I made them.  Not having a video camera capable of recording the process I did my best with my point and shoot and, with a bit of help from our Official Photographer when I ran out of hands, there now exists an as-good-as-it can-get photographic record of the process.

So, here we go:

First I rifle through my stash and gather together a pile of beads in my chosen colour. I was feeling ‘green’

Tutorial1a

I look for interesting shapes, a variety of shades and include glass, semi-precious gemstones, crystal, acrylic and facets wherever possible.  I like using gemstones for their power and meaning, facets for their bling factor, shapes for interest and texture and crystals of course are the major source of light refraction.  Acrylic beads are also very handy for keeping the weight down – these things can get heavy!  I may, or may not, use all of my selection.  It just depends.

I choose the hanging chain, recently I have discovered a particularly nice one which I am hoping to use in all future catchers.  You can see it lying across the top left of the first photo.  You can click on the photos twice to biggify – get the close up view for real!

Tools:

Tutorial Tools

These four pliers are my go to essentials.  The most recently added in is the one on the right, a split ring opener.  Prior to that I used the pokey tool [official designation] seen at the top right and my finger nails.  My left forefinger is covered with scars from puncture wounds – a proper tool was sought and finally found.  My life has changed :-)

Tutorial tools2

Beading wire [I prefer ‘Tiger’s Tail] and quick dry adhesive to help secure the wire ends.  Excuse the blurry photos – I find it a real challenge to snap photos while in the creative process – it is often an afterthought and is done on the fly ……….

Here we have the first length begun, I chose a pretty gold speckled green glass twist interspersed with small polished agate rounds

Tutorial1

Tutorial2

And the second string started, these beads are all acrylic and used for shape and texture. The wire is threaded through the crystal ball and up through the beads.  It is pulled through a split ring, wrapped around itself two or three times and then threaded back down through as many beads as possible.  These are tiny beads, so it can’t go too far down.  Where the wire is poking out and at the top, fast drying adhesive is added to help secure wire and beads together.  When the glue is dry I snip off the excess wire and attach the length of chain.  If the glue doesn’t catch, or is peeled off, the wire can slip out and the whole thing will eventually collapse – it has happened and I try hard to ensure it won’t happen again!

Tutorial3a

Next I set about making half a dozen or so tiny little dangly bits.  This is a selection of faceted glass or crystal beads for bling factor.  I use long eye pins and snip them down as necessary. I make two different sets, three in each.

Tutorial4a

Split rings are added to both ends

Tutorial5b

Tutorial5d

Tutorial5e

Tutorial5c

I chose glass pearl balls and faceted hearts to hang at the bottom of three of the mini-danglers The hearts, due to their thickness, have to be hung using chandelier bow ties.  These things are the bane of my light-catcher-creative life!  They slip out of place whenever the catcher is moved and while I know where and how to put them back in place, the new owner may not.  The only alternative I have is to use a large connecting split ring which looks ungainly – so I prefer not to go that route.  If you have an alternate suggestion please, I would be so grateful should you care to share it.

Tutorial6a

Tutorial6b

Tiny crystal hearts are are attached onto the other mini-danglers and then the two strands are attached to a heavy brass ring.

Tutorial7

I thought I had finished and left the catcher hanging above my work table for the night.

Early the next morning I wandered into the room and started to play some more.  Before I knew it, there was another strand, a new hanging option and a few baubles added – and never a camera to hand!  Here’s what I ended up with:

Tutorial8

I found the three ring gold acrylic hanger on-line somewhere and bought ten of them, not realising they were so very – um, gold – I need to spray paint them silver but need warmer weather to do that.  It’s hard to see in the photo but there are now two faceted crystal balls and one large faceted crystal pear hanging from the bottom of three strands of beads and chain and assorted baubles.  The pear especially doesn’t photograph willingly, but is a beautiful thrower of rainbows!   Also no charms have been added yet – I add them especially for the person who will own the catcher.

Tutorial8c

Tutorial9 detaila

Trying to show some of the magic with the aid of a cushion and the afternoon sun

Tutorial10a

Of course, there’s no magic without Siddy

Tutorial10b

And just for a change, let’s finish this week with the lovely Orlando who would like to offer a teaser – there’s a giveaway coming up………. stay tuned!

1 July 8  2015

Any questions, please ask them.  Any suggestions, please do make them.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

 

 

………Two Months Later ……

………. and here I am again.  There are various reasons for the long break, not all of them completely acceptable to serious bloggers or even myself.  Let’s just say “Life got in the way of blogging!”

It’s been a hard winter here in the Riviera of Antarctica.  Part of my city is being claimed back by the wild southern Pacific Ocean or being flood damaged by this new set of climatic conditions.  My dream of a cottage by the sea is on hold as it may no longer be a sensible place to consider putting down roots.

My art room has been partially given over to another and my painting hours have temporarily ceased.  I have been knitting, crocheting and making light-catchers instead.

Crochet: One Bavarian Stitch Throw of the very giant variety, not finished at the time this was taken, but now complete and waiting for blocking to happen.  It is so big it took 300g [6 balls] of yarn to finish the last round.

Jo'sbavarian

Mittens:  A variety of Mimi’s and Bohemian Mittens are about to begin winging their various ways around the globe to those of you who are still waiting their winnings.

Pizap Mimi

Light-Catchers:  Here’s one photographed on a rare fine day in the garden before beginning it’s journey to someone special in the USA

purple2 purple3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have made my light-catchers for a few years now – rather sporadically, as I enjoy making them especially for someone.  They are my gift of good wishes, good fortune and a  little bit of magic woven into beads and charms and crystals for someone special.  I like to think of the person I am creating for, then I choose colours and shapes and crystals and charms especially for them.  Then it all just weaves itself together.

Light-catchers are extraordinarily difficult to photograph – here are two simpler versions that just happened to be lying around on the work bench, coming to completionpink2

blue1

They look nothing very exciting lying around thusly – but hang ’em up and watch the magic happen.  A tip for those of you who have a catcher is if you hang them away from the window, maybe further out into the room, somewhere the sun’s rays filter in, even more magic happens!

I can’t leave you without a quick peek at the snoozing buddies – I’m under there somewhere.  It took the better part of a year, but we are all together with harmony reigning at last.

sleeping duo June

Though there is so much more to tell you about, this is all the time we have for now – So, it’s ‘Good Night’ from Siddy

June 15

And ‘Good Night!’ from me.  Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did.