Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Family Of Geese

"Happiness comes of the capacity
to feel deeply,
to enjoy simply,
to think freely,
to risk life,
to be needed."
- Storm Jameson

For the past three days, I've had the pleasure of being able to watch a family of geese in our backyard. It's a father, mother, and their five little fuzzy yellow babies. Each day, they wander about, enjoying the sunshine and the lush green grass. This is the first year that I've ever had a little family of birds that I can watch throughout the day. The dad is always on guard, and shoos away any other adult goose that comes close to them. As the day wears on, they go for a swim in the river. It is sooo cute!!! They float along in the river in a in the front followed by the five little babies, with dad in the back. Early this morning, I looked out the window to see if they were in the backyard, and sure enough, there they were. The sun was just coming up, and they were in the grass just at the shoreline. Mom was sitting in the grass with her head tucked down, and dad was standing with his head tucked down. I didn't see any of the little babies, though. All of a sudden, they decided it was time to get up. The momma stood up, and underneath her was a pile of fuzzy yellow babies, ready to wander around the grass! She must've been laying on them to keep them warm.

I love watching the birds in our backyard. My daughter always teases me that someday when I'm old and gray and living in a nursing home, I'm going to be the one in the wheelchair by the huge birdcage, watching the birds all day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Workshop At Valley Ridge

This past weekend I taught my first workshop, "Re-sin-blage': A Charming Exercise in Jewelry Adornments" at Valley Ridge Art Studio in Muscoda, Wisconsin.

It was a two-day workshop focusing on making charms with resin, as well as basic metalsmithing techniques used to construct a piece of jewelry.

We spent the first day learning about the many ways in which resin can be used, and made molds to fill, as well as pouring resin into our bezels and also making resin paper.

I did demos on the correct way to mix, tint, and fill a variety of objects.

At the end of the first day, I relaxed with a glass (or two) of wine and socialized with the gals. My husband came along for the weekend for moral support. We actually made the weekend a nice little getaway for ourselves!

Our second day focused on basic metalsmithing techniques. I began the day by showing the group the proper way to use a jeweler's saw. There were a few people in the class who have never used a jeweler's saw before, and I am happy to report that everyone was sawing (and not even breaking blades) before the day was over.

I also showed the group how to make their own tube rivets - when a regular eyelet just isn't long enough. Many of our finished bezels were thicker than the length of the longest eyelets. Not only did everyone in the workshop learn how to make and set their own tube rivets -- they were all making them, and they all turned out perfectly!

So here are some of the finished charms made by participants of the class...

an example of encasing natural objects into resin...

making bezels out of unusual objects...

a variety of bezels using vintage book pages....

another book made with resin paper...

rhinestones framing a vintage photo...

aren't these a cute combo??...

here are some more...

...and more

...and even more!!!

And this is the group (minus Kathy..she's taking the picture).
Megan, Mina, Chris, Linda, Karen, Christine, Becky, and Myself

I had a fabulous time teaching the workshop, and the time just seemed to fly by. Everyone in the class was wonderful, and they made my first teaching experience better than I ever could've imagined!!!! Thank you all, all did a fantastic job!!!!