Friday, July 26, 2013

Focus On Life ~ Week 30 ~ Catch The Sun

I love this week's prompt! Sunshine! It's what I need to be happy! I find it very hard to get out of bed if the sun is not streaming through my windows. And I feel low most of winter...because the sun is not around.

I had the perfect idea of a picture too...but didn't click it until this evening, when the "view" was not the best.
Then I went out to water my plants and saw the sunlight playing on the flowers....and thought of this picture I had clicked of a hibiscus in the sunlight. Gorgeous photo, so I went to look for it in my Facebook photo albums, and found something so utterly incredible, that I know you will be stunned!

But I will show you the pictures in the order of consideration:
The picture I clicked today...this is a pattern I see everyday on my living room wall. Sunshine in a beautiful's not the best view, I was a tad bit late clicking it.

And then the hibiscus...see how the sun is shining through the flower...this is one of my all time favorite photos.

And finally...the star! I feel so lucky to have been able to see this. This was clicked on a flight...early morning...sunrise in Minneapolis. Utterly breathtaking. The view, as you can imagine, was mind-boggling...
nothing like this picture from a dirty airplane window! Did I capture the sun, or what!

Editing to add a picture of this stranger who became a friend when I made my solo trip to Santa Barbara earlier this year. He is capturing the sun in the truest sense possible! This is "Solar" Brian, and you can see his stunning work here:

For more bits of sunshine...visit Sally's blog...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Focus on Life ~ Week 29 ~ Routine

This week's prompt: routine. A routine that you look forward to each day.

This was hard for me. I hate routine. It makes me want to scream doing something day in and day out, over and over. I do not find comfort in it :( And hence, I do not have a daily routine...sure I wake up, brush my teeth and all that. But that's like breathing, you know? I wish I had a disciplined, routine life. And I have tried to get there too, really, I have. But I get this suffocating feeling by day 2. And I go back to living with the flow.

So I had to think really hard, even discussed it with another blogger, and still could not come up with anything. And then I got in my car, turned it on, (no wait, switched it on, there is no key to turn anymore), and heard some strange sound from the radio. I had tuned into the Indian channel the previous day, and they were hideous. Utterly hideous! When the thought of NPR crossed my mind, I knew I had my answer. I clicked a picture before tuning into Michael Krasny's voice :-)

Here it routine! NPR!

For more routines...visit Sally's blog:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Focus On Life ~ Week 28 ~ Pretty Patterns

Wow...I took a really long break from this challenge! Am back for this one :-)

Week 28 is Pretty Patterns...

My favorite pattern ever is polka dots. You want to see how much I love this pattern?

Yup...that much!

Here's another pattern I noticed today when our company had an event at the AT&T Ball Park in San Francisco

And here's a natural pattern I found while cooking today...

 Yup, symmetry totally rocks my world :)

Am in a bit of a hurry right now, so keeping the post short...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pablo Picasso's 'Portrait Of Olga In An Armchair - Artbeadscene July Challenge

I have been meaning to work on Artbead Scene Monthly Challenges religiously this year. I look up the inspiration painting every month, even wait for it eagerly, pull out beads and components that might work, but unfortunately, time always slips away, and its the last week of the month, and my pile of components is still sitting where it was in the first week.

This time was different. The sequence of events was turned around :)Sometime toward the end of June, while looking for beads for the black and white challenge, I pulled out a 3-hole bracelet bar made by Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I bought it last October when I went for her retreat in South Haven, Michigan, and had been hoarding it since then. I left it out because this time around, I felt like using it. I finished the black and white challenge piece and started working on figuring out what to do with the bracelet bar.

I decided to use it as a pendant, figured out a design, and laid it all out on my workspace (just a glorified name for the bed in the guest bedroom). I knew what I wanted to do, but was stuck with the "how-to". So I just let it sit there. By then, it was the first week of July, Google Reader was gone, Feedly lost my subscriptions, but I remembered to go check out the Art Bead Scene blog to see the new painting. And I found the beautiful Olga :-)

And I laughed out loud..with joy. Because this is what I had started to make...


Can you see serendipity at work here? I had picked out the beads I wanted to use, and how I wanted them arranged, but was stuck on how I could put the middle disc bead (also a Humblebead) there. After much thought, I used two pieces of  24 gauge black wire and wrapped the bead with the other components. The copper charm is by Kristi Bowman, have been hoarding that one since over a year! Its a little shinier compared to the other components, but I like that contrast.

To finish off the necklace, I added some white crystals to the chain and left the rest of it simple. I wanted the pendant to really stand out. Here is another view.

And here is the full necklace...

I loved this so much, that I decided to create these cute little earrings to match...

They are itty-bitty...less than 1.5 inches long, and seriously cute...see...

Don't they just make you smile? :-)

Will be putting this set up on my shop soon! Let me know if you are interested!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Black & White

The talented Miss Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime once again came up with a great challenge...and this one was a toughie! Its the Black and White Jewelry Challenge. The goal is to make something, hopefully fabulous, using only black and white components. She went a bit easy on us mortals and allowed us to use base metals and crystals...but ONLY for accent. And we had to use both black and white, just one color won't do either. And right after I signed up for the challenge, a good friend requested that I make her a pair of black and white earrings. That's the only specification she gave me.

Now, I have a lot of beads that could be used for this. Black beads with white stripes, white beads with black markings, gunmetal beads (I consider them black ;-)), white shells. But after going through all of them a million times (ok, maybe like 5 times), I still did not even feel like touching them :((

Thoughts of cheating crossed my mind a million time (ok, maybe more like 10 times), since I have some old stuff I made, without being challenged, that are pure black and white. I tried to be honest till the last week! Plus I had my friend to think of too...

Then out of a special box, came this set of beads I bought from Susan Kennedy last year. I knew I wanted to use them, but they were so special, I needed some really pretty things to go with them. And as if on cue, I saw these black Vintaj Arte Metal leaf charms that another good friend (Norbel, that would be you) gifted to me. Now the task was to put it all together. After a bit of tweaking and a lot of thinking, I came up with this:

The earrings are super gorgeous in person (you are just going to have to trust me on that), but a pain in the entire body to photograph since there is so much white in there (you are going to have to trust me on that too, and not let the idea of me being lazy come anywhere near your mind ;-))

Here's another attempt at photographing them

My original idea was to use a black chain to dangle the crystals, but the shape of the leaves did not lend themselves to doing that. I think I am happy with the end result, and so is my friend (the picture I sent her was even worse, and the sweet woman still liked them!)

Thank you, Sally, for hosting this in addition to the superhit Focus On Life series! You the wonder-woman!
And here are some more wonder-women!

Kashmira Patel <== You be over here

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fresh Shop: Philanthropic Panda

Haven't posted in this series in a long long time. I had shortlisted a few shops, but never felt too strongly about them to write. Until yesterday. I am a member of a San Francisco Etsy team, and I get emails from the members everyday. Saw one yesterday that intrigued was by someone called Megan Gupta. I was intrigued because she had an American first name, and an Indian last name. I checked out her shop and found her to be a kindred spirit!

Her shop is called Philanthropic Panda.
Here's what the "about" section of the shop starts with

"Philanthropic Panda combines my passion for making jewelry and my desire to support sustainable solutions to poverty. 10% of all profits will be donated to organizations attempting to improve the world through providing job opportunities to women, giving vocational training to those with disabilities, educating children, etc"

Sounds familiar to my own shop goals, doesn't it?

And it explains the "philanthropic" part of the name, to find out about "Panda", you will have to visit her shop and the About page ;-)

She makes simple, classic and timeless pieces of jewelry, mostly using sterling silver and gemstones.
So..without further are some of my favorite designs

Would like to add..I do not know the owner of the shop, and am not getting anything in return for this post...just a shop I like :-)

That's it for today, folks :) Will be back tomorrow with the Black and White Challenge Reveal!