Wednesday, February 27, 2013

[Challenge] ABS Feb 2013

Oh... I have always dreamed of seeing cherry blossoms... lots of them!  
Don't you just love this photo?  This is the inspiration for this months' Art Bead Scene challenge.
Heijinja, 1941
Tōshi Yoshida
Woodblock Print

This was printed from a woodblock carved by Toshi Yoshida.  Look at all the detail!  It must have taken the artist a long time carving the minute details.  Check out the carving on the entry way.. awesome!

Pendant made using Vintaj antique copper wire
I wanted to make a piece that would have many "organic components" such as wood and pearls.  The red orange color of the building stands out in the art hence i used it as my main color palette - these ceramic beads were just shouting to be used.  

 I made a wired pendant with pearls and crystals to depict cherry blossom flowers hanging on the branches.  I used Vintaj copper wire in 18g and 24g.
Vintaj antique copper wire, pearls and rondelle crystals hanging like cherry blossoms
In designing the piece, I was debating whether to use copper chain or something else.  In the end, I decided to use suede which I secured by wrapping copper wire around the ends.  It turned out pretty good I think - it completed the organic feel of the necklace.
Cherry blossom garden Decoemboss die

I added a 1 inch Vintaj antique brass blank that I embossed using their cherry blossom garden die.  Then, I used Vintaj patina in moss and ruby and sanded it to emphasize the design.

Just when I thought spring is almost here, it's been so cold and windy this past few days.  No matter the weather, I will keep on dreaming of cherry blossoms.

Be blessed!
♥  Michelle  ♥

Friday, February 22, 2013

[Focus on Life Week 8] Monochromatic

This is week 8 of Sally Russick's Focus on Life and the theme is MONOCHROMATIC.
I hardly use black & white and sepia in my photos so Sally really challenged me.  Both of these photos were edited using PicMonkey.  
Focus on Life Week 8
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia, 2012

This was taken in Sydney, Australia in 2011 during our family reunion. My husband and I took a Sydney harbour sunset cruise and it was amazing!  I particularly love this photo because it captures some of the iconic images of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia:  the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House in the background.   The bridge is also called "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.  The bridge is open to tourists who are brave enough to climb it, such as Ms. Oprah in 2010.  My husband and I are working on our "height issues" so its not on our bucket list for now... or ever.

Focus on Life Week 8
I took this photo this week when I saw how the sun shined on the branches of this tree.  Its past mid February and these branches will soon turn green with life - not that it's "dead" now but it will spring with beauty pretty soon.

This exercise in monochromatic photography or editing inspired me to explore more.
I will try to take photos of people and portraits, play with light and such.

Now it's time to check out these LINKS.
Enjoy!

 Michelle  ♥

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

[Card] A Grand Celebration

It's a joy to be invited to very special events such as an infant dedication and a 75th birthday celebration all in one family:  Grandson + Grandfather = Grand celebration!

We do not do infant baptisms in our church but we do infant dedications - it is a Christian parents' way  of making a promise to God that they will prayerfully and lovingly train the child in a godly way, to teach  and to discipline him or her and to help them make a decision to follow God on their own.  Being a parent is a big responsibility and godparents are given the same responsibility too - it goes beyond the birthday and Christmas gifts.
Baby Card
This card is for baby Dean.  I love this baby stamp because it can be used for a girl or a boy.  I coordinated the cuttlebug embossing folder mat with a similar patterned ribbon.  Simple and fun!  

This is for Dean's grandfather who celebrated his 75th birthday.  He is such a sweet, loving and God-fearing man - a truly caring friend.  
Gift Card Tabs
We gave them gift cards that I placed in the card using MS corner bubble punch.
I love how it turned out so I think I will be making more of these since we often give GC's anyway.

Have a wonderful day!

♥  Michelle  ♥

Monday, February 18, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

[Focus on Life Week 7] Beauty of Flowers

Flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Welcome back!  This week's Focus on Life by Ms. Sally Russick is about the Beauty of Flowers.

Chicago Botanic Garden
I love walking through lush gardens lined with beautiful and colorful flowers.  This photo was taken HERE on my first visit back in Spring 2009.  As an artist, I am often inspired by nature  particularly by flowers.  I am amazed at how vibrant and well coordinated the colors are and it makes me think of how great and awesome our Creator is. 

As you enter the garden, you will be welcomed by a row of flowers and a sculpture of Carolus Linnaeus.
Here's a brief description of the sculpture from the Chicago Botanic Garden Website:
Carolus Linnaeus
Robert Berks, American (b. 1922)
Bronze, 1982
Heritage Garden
A gift from Mrs. Arthur C. Nielsen, Sr.
This figure of Swedish physician Linnaeus (1701-1778) looms large in the history of science and is appropriately placed in the Heritage Garden. Linnaeus established binomial nomenclature, the international system of naming plants and animals that is still in use today.
He is shown reaching eagerly toward the plants in his path with a collector’s enthusiasm. The prominent bird in the sculpture — a golden plover, which can fly for thousands of miles — refers to the many students of Linnaeus who traveled the globe collecting plants for him to name.
We had a wonderful time strolling, talking and taking lots of photos - bless his heart for being so patient 
in carrying the tripod and waiting for me to set-up.  Those memories are forever etched in my heart and mind - 
HHWW (holding hands while walking) and memories of sweet nothings whispered in each other's ear.

Kinda cheesy, huh?  Well, lets make everyday Valentine's day.

Let's see some more flowers HERE.
Take care!
♥  Michelle  ♥

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Origami Heart Card] Valentine's Day 2013

It's Valentine's Day and I made this Origami Heart Card for my dear one.
Origami Heart
I layered it on a mat embossed with a Sizzix embossing folder. 
Origami Heart
Sizzix embossing folder
I stamped the sentiment and added a few hearts inside the card.

I am so glad that he is my valentine today and always.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU, MY DEAR FRIEND!

YOU ARE LOVED!

♥  Michelle  ♥


Saturday, February 9, 2013

[Focus on Life Week 6] Feel the l♥ve

It's Week 6 over at Ms. Sally Russick's Focus on Life and the challenge is to "Feel the love."
Focus on Life Week 6
"Ewe and Me will always be for-e-vaaaaaa!"
Our path may not be green and bright all the time,
but as long as you and I are one, it will always be fine.

Happy V♥alentine's Day, my Dear One!
And to you my friend, may you feel the love today and always!
Let's share the love and keep hoppin' to other blogs.

Click HERE to start hoppin.'
Happy weekend!
 Michelle  ♥

Friday, February 8, 2013

[Cooking] Mashed Cauliflower

We love mashed potatoes and because we are trying to eat healthy-er, we had to find better ways of satisfying our craving.  Presenting... Mashed Cauliflower.  Mashed what?

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, along with brocolli and cabbage.  It is very low in calories and is packed with nutrients and anti-cancer phytochemicals.  

"MASHED CAULIFLOWER"
Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, washed
Garlic cloves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Chili powder
Cumin
Garlic salt powder
Salt and black pepper

Procedure:  
1.  Cut the cauliflower florettes and place in a steamer with boiling water.  Add the chopped garlic and season with salt and pepper.  It took about 10 minutes to soften these babies.

 2.  Once cooked, place in a ninja or a food processor and season with garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, and nutmeg.


4.  Once the vegetables are completely mashed, season again.  Just sprinkle a little of each condiment.

5.  Serve while warm.  You can add chopped parsely too.  I didn't have it so I just used cilantro for garnishing - it surprisingly tasted good.

I paired this with a small baked seasoned milkfish (bangus).  Yum!
It could also be paired with a delicious steak or porkchop... well, we saved on calories and fat anyway, right?

Try it and let me know how it went.
Bon appetit!

 Michelle  ♥

Thursday, February 7, 2013

[Jewelry] Candy sprinkles pendant

Instead of "What's in a name" I think the more appropriate title for this post is "What in these names?"
Bright colored Candy Sprinkles... lots of them!

Do you prefer a particular COLOR palette?  I love bright colors because it makes me really happy.  

I made these personalized pendants using resin and candy sprinkles.
This first one is for a birthday girl.
Personalized resin candy sprinkle pendant

This one is for a special lady - it had a horizontal layout which turned out nice too.
  

These pendants came with a leather and /or ball chain necklace and a handmade card.

Enjoy your day!

 Michelle  ♥

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[Jewelry] Carousel Necklace

Do you have fond memories of carousels?  
I remember the first time I saw how brightly lit and colorful it was... and then, i recall how tightly I held on the handle bar - scared to my guts of falling.  Oh, how they looked so huge  back then.  It was just dreamy or rather hypnotic with the music going on and on while the carousel goes round and round.

Carousel pendant

Flash forward a couple of decades later... My most recent memory is when my husband and I went to The House on the Rock - have you been there?  Oh my... the carousel was amazing, jaw dropping and spooky with all the dolls and mannequins staring at you.
Mother or pearl discs, semi precious stones and rondelle crystals

This necklace is definitely a conversation piece!  It combines the playful carousel and the elegance of mother-of-pearl discs, semi-precious stones and crystals.
Carousel Necklace
Do you have fond memories of your childhood?  Do share...
Blessings!
♥  Michelle  ♥

Saturday, February 2, 2013

[Focus on Life Week 5] Capture a Heart

Today is week 5 in "Focus on Life" hosted by Ms. Sally Russick and the task was to "Capture a Heart."

This photo describes what captured my heart a long time ago:  my desire to craft  - whether making handmade cards or
 finish a scrapbook page that's been sitting in my desk for 6 months or 
figuring out what beads and findings to work with or 
how to decorate a cake.  
I dream of having a room dedicated to crafting - with all my tools, beads and bins 
arranged strategically in one place.  
I dream that I continue to be inspired to design - inspired by creative people like you!
I dream that I can achieve my Year 2013 goals.  Among my goals this year are: to join more blog hops,
 to make make new friends and to be able to use most of my stash of beads and finding


Focus on Life Week 5:  "Capture a Heart"
It's February and though I am not a 100% satisfied with my progress, I am optimistic that I will achieve my goals.
Come and join me as we see what the other participants have shared.
Click on this LINK.
Have fun!
 Michelle