12/19/2016

Sun, Moon and Star Update

I wanted to write you a quick update today 
as I am flying out in the morning for the south of France.
 I won't be working on my piece while I am down there 
but I wanted to show you my progress so far.
I picked the lower left hand corner for my first sun and I wanted it to be red.
 I really liked the way this cotton gauze and silk gauze looked together...



I layered them over a piece of golden velvet and appliqued them onto my square 
and then created the face. 
I have never used the silk gauze in my sewing,
 I mainly had it on hand for the shop for nuno felters.
 I think in the future I will avoid it for this type of work.
 It snags easily and I wasn't expecting that. But it is here now so it will stay.
 Unfortunately two of the other squares are layered with the silk gauze on top of cotton.
 I will have to take special care with them.
 Ah well, lesson learned.

I had a lot of fun with this applique method. 
One I really haven't used before but I found the silk was such a dream to handle. 
I started with Silk Charmeuse which is as always gorgeous
 but it is a bit thick for the corners I am working on. 
So the second ray I used silk habotai which is perfect for those extreme angles,
 then I pulled out a pile of silk ribbons because they are so nicely variegated and the 12 cm is wide enough that I was able to do the third ray with a ribbon.
 I will definitely be using this method with silk in the future. 
It gives me much more control of my angles and curves
 and I think with practice will even go a lot quicker than my old methods, 
Hand stitched satin stitch is a long consuming thing and was not always the effect I was going for in the past so I am glad that this looks so good without it.

I am sure I will be eager to pick up where I left off when I return home.
 I am so happy to continue stitching again. 
My eye doctor agrees with me that resting has not solved my eye problems and so there is no sense in continuing to go without sewing. I will return for observation in another 45 days. 


Hope you all have a blessed holiday season,
                            
12/12/2016

Back Again




I see from my last post date that it has been almost a month.
 When I left you I was in the middle of creating my base for my new piece. I had cut all my pieces and pre-basted them ready to join them together. 
Which I did. 
Then on rising the next morning I decided that the order was completely wrong and took it all apart again! SO...I had it all apart and ready to rejoin but it didn't happen.
Instead I have spent the last month trying to recover from an ear infection, a sinus infection and inflamed bronchial tubes. 
The entire time I had a non stop headache so there was no sewing for me!
I am finally on the mend and today is day three of no headache. I can finally think again, and even better yet, I can sew again. 


So last night I stitched together my squares in the order I want and pressed them out. Here it is...my final base for Sun, Moon and Stars.  I was surprised that I didn't gravitate more for the blues, I have so many to pick from but the other pieces spoke to me and I could see stars dancing on those black and maroons and suns glowing from those mottled golds and browns and splashes of fuschia. So now my mind wanders to my suns. 


         My first will be the one I saw in the beginning, my beautiful, powerful glaring red sun. I will place it on this square. It speaks of turmoil and strife which was where my head was at when it came to me. Our sun, glaring down on us in all its powerful glory.
And now I am back to mulling over how I will bring this figure to life. Hopefully I will be back a bit sooner this time!


11/16/2016

Sun, Moon and Stars



Well all of my fabric has been unpacked. I played with it yesterday, sorting it into different piles. Feeling the softness of the velvet, the slickness of the silk. I forgot how much I had, how many pieces I truly loved What brought me to this place was a post done by a much admired fiber artist that I have followed for almost ten years now. I saw her post on my facebook timeline and clicked over to read it and when I did something happened. I don't know if it was the distress of the day or something else I can't define but I decided I couldn't spend the rest of my life not sewing. Life is too short and I hold it too dear. So right then and there, in the blink of an eye, I told myself enough is enough. It is time to sew again.

She is giving a class that one can follow along with and make something similar to what she is doing. I decided I am going to do this class. It is a way to find myself back to where I was so long ago when I had to put down my needles and 'REST'. Well that advice wasn't much good as I still have the same problem I did when my doctor told me that, so here I go...

She starts with a nine piece square, something I have never done. I picked out my pieces of fabric last night and ironed them all, today I will stitch them together. It is cold out and it feels good, curled up here with my blanket and my cloth on my lap. Good times!


11/14/2016

Cloth is Comfort

    
 I am home again. Done with the airplanes. No more strange beds. Suitcases unpacked and various goodies have found their place here in my home. I spent a week in bed mostly, just sleeping. or at my computer drowsily emptying my email box. 

     Finally the time is coming round to me, or me to it. And then the election hit and I just wanted to go back to bed. I still do. And amidst all this confusion, this lethargy brought on by jet lag and confusion, I am seeking comfort. And when I seek comfort I always turn to cloth. It has been my love forever. 

To put a needle to cloth and make my imagination come alive with the colors and twists of thread and fabric. It really is my greatest love. So I am picking up my needle again despite my eyes. I have let my eyes rest for two years, have they healed? NO. Resting is not going to do it. So why should I spend the rest of my life rejecting my greatest love if it isn't benefitting me at all?
 I go for an appointment in December to have the damage looked at once again, I will discuss it with my doctor then but in the meantime I am going to sew. I need to.
9/25/2016

Kitchen Update


I promised I would write a bit about the house. The thing is there has been SO MUCH done on the house since I last wrote about it. It's a bit overwhelming. I decided I would pick out one small project I did and show you that first.
This is what greeted me when I first looked at the house.
Now if you have been following my blog you know that my kitchen has been the bane of my existence since we moved in. Absolutely NO storage space. Cabinets in odd places and just generally dark and unwelcoming.
A brand new coat of paint!

 If you look at my previous posts on my kitchen then you know that I gave it a nice bright coat of white paint with a splash of bright red on that awful stuccoed wall beneath the counter. That helped immensely. Then I went on to mount all the shelves on the walls and make my jars for storage. Another big step that was a great improvement. 
The shelves were a big help.

Now before I go any further I have to point out that these are just stop gap measures. We plan on redoing the kitchen in the future but it is not a priority at all so this may very well be in two or three years. No way to determine how long at this point.

So I decided to redo the space in the counter area. This whole section is my most hated part of the kitchen. It is just a huge stuccoed wall with a hole in the center.  When we moved in it had an ugly curtain hung up there and inside was a shelf. This was my one storage space in the whole kitchen. Ugh!
The finished project.

I first cut down a set of drawers and put in the hole with a makeshift shelf with a few baskets on it. It was serviceable but not very nice to look at. Also the drawers were old and stuck frequently, they also had horrid contact paper inside of them and had a general air of neglect about them. So I completely dismantled the drawers. I took a wire brush and some wd-40 the the drawer slides before remounting them. Then I stripped the contact paper off the drawers, scrubbed them down and sanded them thoroughly. I also sanded the outside structure. Then I painted it all black. I purchased some gorgeous blackened chrome drawer pulls and attached them to the drawers and the finishing touch was this bright polka dot drawer liner. What a difference!


I then took the two old cabinets that had been left behind and sanded them down and painted them the same black, with the new cabinet pulls on them.


My last part of the project was building a nice sturdy shelf for the baskets. I took some nice heavy plyboard and cut and assembled the shelves and then painted them the same black. Also painting the floor of the hole black.

I think this looks so much better. The drawers work like new and the shelf for the baskets is much better than what I had in there before.  I think this will be great until we do redo the kitchen. Sorry that I didn't take pictures of the process, I didn't even think about it till it was all done.

Hope you enjoyed the update. I still have much more to write about but right now it is time to start packing my suitcase. I am heading to the U.S. for a month to catch up on family and friends!



8/16/2016

Finally Summer

 I wrote this post about two months ago…and then forgot to post it!

 That should tell you right there how crazy my life has been this summer. It hasn’t slowed down much at all except when I had bronchitis.

 I was going to post today about some things that have been going on and I found this post sitting there waiting to be posted. So for now you must content yourself with some of my jewelry creations. I promise I will post some house updates soon!

Amazing how the weather has been lately, isn’t it?

 I have read so many posts on facebook about people wondering what is up in their corner of the world. Well, we are no different here. It has been the strangest long drawn out winter.  I had a day last month where I woke up to 6 inches of snow on the ground. It proceeded to melt and the sun was shining like crazy.  Then it went on to snow, with another 3″ accumulation on the ground, melt/sun, rain/hail, snow again, sun again, snow…all within about 6 hours of time.

 I have never seen such a crazy weather day in my life! Finally, spring is here…or maybe summer but that is iffy. I am still wearing jackets off and on. Today is the third day this month where I opened the windows. I am sure being in the mountains has a lot to do with this but it is so odd to me.

  So because of this weather I never really got out of my hibernating mode this year. I never hit my spring cleaning phase like I always do. I have been quiet, spending my days wrapping wire, which I continue to absolutely love, or working on small projects around the house.  

I will try to update you on a few things I have done. But today I am just going to post a few photos of my latest jewelry designs. I am still so happy with the wire. It has lifted me out of my depression over my sewing. It is almost as good as thread! It has given me a new hope, a much needed hope in my lifeso please forgive my constant crowing over it. I am so happy though!


   This pendant design came to me in a dream one night and I got up the next morning and started working hard to capture it. It took me an entire week to work out the kinks and finally, it coalesced into what I wanted. It was quite a struggle there for a while with a massive ball of wires coming out in every direction! I am learning though and I think I am finally getting it!

 This is a gorgeous piece of blue agate I bought in Bordeaux and as a nice touch I added a beautiful purple pearl that I bought from Debbie Fang, a very talented jewelry artist who also has a hoard of gems that would make anyone swoon.

   This is a pair of earrings I made a few weeks back. and as usual I got the design in my head and I could not stop thinking about it until I made them. I am beginning to see a certain style creep into my work. I don’t know if this is just a phase or not but I do seem to be going intricate just like with my thread work.

I love creeping leaves and flowers.

 I remember in high school we would take big sheets of paper on breaks and draw with our markers. Everyone would join in and I so wish I still had a few of those, they were so much fun. I was always drawing vines with roses. Not sure why I like this motif so much but I still find myself scribbling them in the borders of my notes and such.

And finally a pair of boho chandelier earrings that are big and chunky and hang almost to my shoulders! They feel so daring and bright and bold. The beads at the bottom are little pips in Picasso. They are a silver finish with little splashes of black and spots of a golden yellow here and there. I adore those beads and they are the whole inspiration for these earrings. They begged to be hung from the ears to click and jingle away as they sway back and forth.

  So see, I have been busy. I will try to update you more often instead of trying to cram a bunch into one post. I still have plenty of other things to tell you about what’s going on in the house and I promise I will do that very soon!

  Hope you are having a very nice bit of weather in your part of the world.  


4/12/2016

A Few New Designs

I was hit by a stomach bug this month and it really knocked me down for a few weeks. Still clawing my way back to normalcy but I am mostly my old self. When I was feeling pretty low I just sat and did tutorial work. Love that stuff when I don’t feel good enough to design. Fills my need to create without the energy that is required to design something.



After I started mending though I did make a few new designs. I am so excited to finally feel some confidence in my jewelry making. To have an idea and to be able to execute it.


 I am really happy with both of these designs. The earrings are so fun, they really remind me of peacock feathers. 

The ring was my attempt at making a cabochon setting.

 I didn’t think I was going to like it but when I finished it and put it on I fell in love with it. I might have to play some more with those.

I also had just the worst disaster. This piece refused to conform to what I wanted. I redid it several times. I just don’t think I am skilled enough to attempt this design. I have stepped back from this and will maybe attempt it again when I feel more confident. 

All in all though, I feel like I am making progress. So…how has your month been going?

4/09/2016

Breaking My Silence

   I've decided I have been quiet long enough and I need to come and talk to you again. 
I've been hesitating because I worked so hard on this blog,
 I really thought I was going in a great direction. 
I renamed it. 
I changed my content and made it all fresh and new.
 It is really hard for me to admit that things are just not going to keep on in that direction. 
I hate failures but I am afraid that this was definitely one. 

   You see, with the chance we won't be living on this mountain forever and remodeling only a small part of my life right now I need to write on what my life is focused on or not at all. 
The one part that I did get right and will never stop doing is Making. 
I don't think I could ever stop making something.
 But I have put away my fibers, my ribbons and fabric. My sewing machine is dusty and so is my paint brush. I didn't think it was fair to you to come back here and not set things straight. 
Design by Nicole Hanna
  I have decided to forge straight ahead with the jewelry designing.
 I just so love it and I can't seem to get enough. It completely solves my eyes problems because I don't even notice the spots on my retina when I am wrapping. 
And making jewelry doesn't tire my eyes.
 It also satisfies my deep need for intricacy and perfection. I can work hard to make my pieces perfect, something I am a long way from, and still not feel exhausted from it like I start feeling with my embroidery.

   SO my focus is going to change to what I am doing and I might as well just admit it right now from the start...it will change. 
Oh not that I will probably stop making wire wraps. I doubt that. BUT...I love learning new things and I love making beautiful things. So from now on I refuse to put myself in a box. 
  This blog is about me.
Me and my crazy life wandering around the country side and making. 
I don't know what I will be making but I know I will be making something. 

So Making by Cymberrain? It has a nice ring to it. 
I dunno. The blog stuff I will worry about as it goes along. Just know if you chose to continue following me you will see me making....


    Thanks for sticking with me this far and hope you are doing fantastic!

2/09/2016

On My Ever Changing Life

I have been remiss in posting here. I promised you a post on the progress in the entryway. A task that has been ongoing for awhile due to weather and laziness. I am not going to post about that though. Truthfully, my heart is not in it. In fact, I may never post about this house again. You see, we have decided to sell our house.

 A lot of changes have happened in the last month. SO much so that my head is awhirl with thoughts and I am having a hard time sorting them. But onto the facts. My husbands contract is done soon and he is ready to move onto the next big project. This does not include staying anywhere near here so we are selling our house. The next few months will be full of finishing our latest projects and making the house ready to sell. Also many days of sorting items and tossing them or readying them to sell on Ebay or the local classified site. Because, and here is the kicker, we are hoping to migrate back across the sea. It's time for me to come home. A decade in another country was great, I do love it here. But I am ready to play with my grandson, visit with my children and friends and once again view the Pacific. I miss home.

 I am in a quandary about this blog though. I just spent a lot of time and effort to redo my blog. I renamed it. Bought the domain name 'Making on the Mountain' and generally changed my gears toward writing about my life in general instead of my art. Now once again my life has changed. My sis says I need to rename again and this time focus on the fact that my life is always changing. I am always exploring into new art areas, travelling and changing my locale. I have moved 5 times in 9 years of living here in France. I don't tend to stay in one place too long! I also tend to get lost in one area of my life, working non stop to learn a new art or just to make art and everything else falls by the side. The last month or so I have been hyper focused on my jewelry. I am learning all the new techniques I can find and also taking a design class specifically focused on jewelry design. No DIY projects here right now or anything else much.

 I have to take a step back to rethink where I am going from here. I no longer have the heart to write about a house that will no longer be my home. I am not gong away though, I am simply stepping back and regrouping. I still have so much to say...


1/17/2016

Playing With Wire

I know I haven’t updated you about the house recently but that’s because there really isn’t much to see right now. 

We are busy putting fermacell downstairs in the entryway and it is a piece-by-piece job that is going a little slow. 

Since I have to go outside to cut it, I don’t work when it is raining.  

Also I am not strong enough to drill into the concrete walls so I have to wait till Frenchie has time to put up studs before I can do any work on a wall. 

Fortunately we are getting close to finishing that room and I will be showing you some pictures then.


In the meantime I am working a lot on other areas of my life. First off as I wrote before, I closed my shop. 

I will no longer be dyeing fabrics and ribbons to sell. I may from time to time do a dye batch but it is definitely not where I will be concentrating. 

I also won’t be doing much embroidery work. My eye is still not healed from the last bubble in my retina, I am beginning to wonder if it ever will. 

I have been turning more and more to my wire wrapping. I adore making things with wire almost as much as I enjoy my stitching. 

Taking a boring spool of wire and ending up with something beautiful that I can wear, well who wouldn’t love that?

   I have worked on and off for probably two years with wire but I had no experience whatsoever when I started. 

Everything I have done I figured out on my own but I finally had to admit that I needed to learn some new techniques. 

Last year I won some tutorials from Gailavera Jewelry and I never did anything with them except try one piece, 

 I decided to start off my learning, I would work my way through several of these tutorials to teach me the methods.  

It has been great fun this week twisting away with my wire and I have a few pretties to show for it. 

I soon realized that the tutorials were not enough though so I joined a class that teaches several other methods.  

I am also taking a class on jewelry design. I know I have been designing things for years  

but this class really spoke to me and it is sparking my creativity in ways that I haven’t felt in a long time. 

I have already designed a new jewelry piece, though I am not skilled enough to make it, 

someday soon though I hope to be.

 This means the next few months will be devoted in a big way towards learning my wire wrapping. 

I think I am good at it. I know I have a lot of work to do to get better but I seem to come naturally to it and think I can improve a lot.  

I’m quite excited about this because it gives me another outlet for my creativity. 

No more feeling sorry for myself because my eyes aren’t up to my teeny tiny stitches.  

If you love wire wrapping then stay tuned, I am sure there will be a few on these pages coming soon.

Hope you are having a great first week of your new year!

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