key to my heart.

Anyone who knows me or has seen my work knows I have a thing for cocktail stirrers, as seen below in my TV drawer. I have made and sold many earrings and other accessories made from these molded plastic sticks of wonder.  The whole idea of them overwhelms me, don’t know why.

.IMG_4129

One of best selling earring sets is made from a long key, so when I found this little bag of awesome, I pounced.

IMG_4128

More earrings!!! A very good friend told me I had to do a better job of bullet pointing my process so here goes.

1. Measure and mark the center of the stirrer.

IMG_4130

2. Using a sharp wire cutter gently snip it in two.  Any shape wire cutters will do this is just what mine look like.

IMG_4131

3. Using a thin drill bit, drill a hole in the top of each piece. I used my monster drill press, but you could a cordless drill (just make sure you brace it down somehow so it doesn’t slip)

IMG_4132

4. There are talented people out there that make the own earring wires for earrings, this is how I avoid learning this skill.  I buy commercial ear wires from my local craft store and make them look nicer by snipping off the loop on the bottom that holds the spring and the cheesy bead.

IMG_4133

5. Once I have snipped off the loop without taking out an eye (those suckers take flight) I use round nose pliers or looping pliers to make a new loop. It turns out looking like it wasn’t bought at my local craft store.

IMG_4137

no that is not my hand.

6. Cut a small length of heart chain and attach a Lucite heart to one end using a jump ring. I just happened to have this adorable heart chain but any would do.

7.  Attach the other end of the chain to the ear wire and key using another jump ring.  Walla!

IMG_0622 IMG_0626  IMG_0630IMG_0634

Check out my etsy store to purchase. Electricbelle on Etsy

budding art collections.

I decided to re post this blog, I regret that I cannot at this time show you the pieces I bought this year (I already wrapped them) but I did purchase both of them at Zygote Press.

I almost have a complete aversion to shopping in general. I do love a good and thorough Costco trip with a car filled with a million semi healthy snacks and plenty of Kefir. As far as holiday shopping I limit myself to what the local stores and artists offer.   Occasionally  I am in one of these holiday shows, and I try to barter as much as possible. Win. Win.  At the top of my shopping list is always art for the The Associate and The Teenager. It doesn’t have to be expensive or collectible, just a cool piece by a local artist that I think they will like.  These were 2013.

IMG_5216 IMG_5219

I always buy something from this woman, she is multi-talented and I love that her mom is just as talented and always has booth somewhere nearby.

Here are a few from years past of which I happen to have pictures.

IMG_5224

I bought two of these  in 2012 from local artist Debbie Apple-Presser.

IMG_5215

The Teenager loves ballet so this is hers from 2011.

IMG_5218

My Friend Sarah painted this from one of my photographs of The Associate, I believe I gave it to The Husband, but it will probably go with The Associate when she ejects herself.

IMG_5214

This is one of my favorites, I got it at a garage sale from the artist on my street. bargain!

IMG_5213

And this one, the one that inspired this post. The Associate turns 7 tomorrow and I finally found a frame for this to go in her room.I purchased this from a student at a local high school where my friend Sarah teaches.  I always get to judge the senior art show and fell in love with this.  I gave him 50 bux and the confidence that comes when somebody buys your first piece. The title of this piece is “Big Ass House”  I haven’t told The Associate the title because she would find a way to work it into casual conversation just to mess with me.

Hopefully when they get ready to start their own lives they will be proud owners of an eclectic and inspiring art collection. I do make sure that I like all of the pieces too, just in case. 😉

when censoring is good

So much has happened in the last couple weeks globally and locally.  My proverbial panties have been in a twist and I have started several blog posts that were very political.  Fortunately for me, WordPress has been malfunctioning. My media could not upload during at least five attempts and I would have to walk away from my computer, or my draft did not save when I returned to put the finishing touches on my abundant unprovoked opinions.  At first this made me even more upset and then I realized this was indeed a good thing.

Now that I have cooled down, I can continue my more subtle attack on society with words and pictures.

The other day I needed to flee The Family, and with a slight backwards glance I took off for an antique mall that was calling my name.  I have my little rules in places like this so I don’t buy everything that I want, besides that little thing called a “budget.”

The first gem I spotted mint condition.

IMG_6700

I knew I should buy it, but those little rules would not allow it. (I may go back and get it) Ohhh to play a game centered around a homophobic, racist, sexist character would be so much fun!!!

I picked up and put down many things, sometimes carried said things for a mile at least before my fingers almost broke, and then put back in the wrong place. (sorry)

The I found this! Rules don’t apply!!

IMG_6754IMG_6755IMG_6758

You have to snap off her normal flesh and organs, to experience “The Miracle of Creation” immaculately concepted of course.

When I step back and look at all my panty twisting feelings I see one very political vortex from which many issues stem, and this 1960’s plastic model was sure on the right track. Look what it says on the back of the manual.

IMG_6756

“If the human body, and especially its reproductive organs seemed less mysterious to us, our culture would probably healthier-minded.”

“Your “Visible Woman” enables parents and children to share information which is otherwise so difficult to communicate, and lifts the veil of ignorance behind which many adolescents hide their doubts and fears.”

You are not going to see this for sale at Hobby Lobby anytime soon.

Lego my ego.

 

SONY DSC

I tend to lose perspective. Muddled with the minutiae of daily life I sometimes ignore the larger picture.

The Brother and The Niece were visiting and on a cloudless beautiful day we hit the botanical gardens here in Cleveland to see an exhibit of Lego sculptures cohabitating with the habitat.

IMG_6230SONY DSC

IMG_6231IMG_6235

IMG_6248SONY DSC

SONY DSCSONY DSC

and of course my favorite. The seed.

IMG_6228

The Niece took a bunch of pictures, The Teenager relaxed due to injury.

IMG_6233

and The Associate put her back into it and got down to business.

IMG_6240

I am always stunned by the beauty of this garden and the obvious passion of the people who care for it.  My pockets are full of seeds and tendrils and I am reminded that nature is my church, everything is connected, and we are but a small part in a vast universe.

IMG_6226

My garden has been tended.

Just like that its summer.

I woke up yesterday morning with a vague sense of dread. It’s summer. Don’t get me wrong I love summer, but what in the bleep am I going to do with The Associate. I momentarily dream of a camp that starts as soon as school ends and goes until the first day of school.  I don’t really want this but a girl can dream. The loss of my days is a blow especially because I spent a lot of the last days of freedom stupidly spring cleaning instead of making stuff.

This morning I awoke to The Associate screaming “I want to go for a run!!!!,” and just like that its summer.

me-  Sooo? Running huh?

TA- yep

me- Are we morning people now?

TA- yep

me- (In an attempt to be supportive) High five!  (deep sigh)

A little background is necessary. This Associate of mine is a night owl, some nights she is still playing as we go to sleep at MIDNIGHT! In the good morning (that’s what she used to call the morning) for school I wake her up at least 4 times, eventually dressing her as she lies limp. So, now to clarify, she is a morning person just in time for summer break, which means I am a morning person now. yay.

Bleary eyed I make my coffee and find a perch on the porch to watch my newly hatched marathon runner.

me- No, you can’t have ice cream for breakfast.

As I watch her prance down the path outside our home she becomes distracted by all the cottonwood seeds flying through the air and abruptly stops to collect them (I LOVE SEEDS.) Now this is something I could get into, while she gets her much-needed “run.”

I quickly run down all the available containers and settle on the abundant supply of prescription bottles that I collect. pills

see related post.   https://electricbelle.com/2013/06/29/lamp-jones/

So far we have collected Columbine, Iris, Delphinium, oregano, cottonwood, dandelion, and oak.  Later we will add my collection (see related posts)

https://electricbelle.com/2013/03/20/snuggling-maggots/

https://electricbelle.com/2013/11/06/more-beautiful-pods/

As we travel around our yard I am surprised at how many things we can learn from this adventure. I briefly forgive myself for the terror I felt earlier, pour myself another cup of coffee and move on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

deep sea dresser.

This is the first thing I see upon waking everyday.

IMG_5271

Actually no, the dog is usually on top of us, but I am referring to that beauty behind him.

I know your familiar with pieces of furniture that are purchased or scavenged only to be put in place to be fixed up at another time.  We have a tiny little master suite and it was quite a challenge to find a dresser low enough and with enough storage, so I was keeping this baby around.  On this particular day after several years of looking upon this ” kinda ” interesting piece I was ready to go.  As if to echo the depth of the despair that this endless winter has brought. I settled upon deep-sea maps.

IMG_5286 IMG_5281

Yes, we can all thank The Associate for the lovely drawing of our family “ON MY STUFF!”

After figuring out I had just enough to cover all of the drawers (this is a big step for me. I usually just jump right in)

I gathered my supplies

-maps

-glue

-paintbrush

-little cup

-sandpaper

After a thorough cleaning the drawer fronts and dresser, I mixed my glue with a little water to make it spread on nice and thin and smooth.

IMG_5284

I applied a layer of glue and smoothed on the paper from the center out, I then flipped the drawer onto the front so the paper would dry flat.

IMG_5283

 

 

IMG_5282

When they dried I flipped them back over and gave them a coat of glue on top. When that layer was dry I used my 100 grit sandpaper to sand the edges, effectively removing the excess paper and making a nice straight cut.  I then put another layer of glue to make sure all edges were secure.

IMG_5287

IMG_5299

IMG_5296

FINALLY!

 

 

digging for gold.

Ever since I moved back to Cleveland I have been going to estate sales.  These usually occur on Friday mornings and they are serious business. There is one woman who shows up at the house at 5 in morning to get a number at 9:30 to be let in the house at 10. That is just plain crazy. I do have to avert my eyes as she leaves because she has bought all the stuff I would have bought. Actually it’s kind of hard not to hate her. I wish I was a morning person.

Before The Teenager was a teenager I would always bring her along. The nice ladies running the sale would always gush over her and give her stuff, but once she was in preschool I was solo again. Without my baby buffer and instant conversation starter I began bringing a book.  I found it difficult to make small talk about what would be in there. I just like to dig through people’s junk, and luckily I can usually find stuff that nobody else wants and make it into something cool, oorrrrr store it for ten years.

The Teenager managed not go to school this Friday so I dragged her along with promises of donuts, and a T.J. Max trip.  We arrived very late, around 12, and there were still people waiting!

IMG_5274

The Teenager- donuts…..?

Me- just hold on. It won’t take long.

The Teenager- Mom? I pretty sure there isn’t much left in that tiny house.

Me- that’s a bad attitude.

The Teenager- That woman just left with a dead person’s colander. I’m pretty sure only the dreggs are left.

Me- maybe she was specifically looking for a colander to add to her collection.

TT-  If she is desperate to strain something why doesn’t she just go to target and buy a clean one. I wouldn’t ever be able to stop thinking about what that dead woman “strained”  in there.

Me- thanks for image. Come on let’s go.

As we wait another 20 minutes in the biting cold, The Teenager continues to make me laugh.

IMG_5278

TT- If this was my house I would totally put pictures of my face in those Flan looking holes.

Me- pose for me.

IMG_5277

this is the first time I was allowed to put her image on my blog. (as if it isn’t already plastered across every other social media site.)

TT- I feel bad for that shovel.

Me- why?

TT- it has got to be the most useless shovel in the world, sad.

IMG_5276

Me- snort.

We finally get in, and nice ladies freak out! That can’t be Ruby!!! hugs.. well wishes…. I remembers….. so nice. I wish I took pictures.

We left about 30 minutes later with a pile a random stuff for 5 bux, off to get some donuts.

mess managed.

My wood shop/garage is 10 degrees. I can’t cut, sand, or paint. So, as I sit on my couch lazy as can be I decide I can organize.  I am sure many are guilty of this, but I am especially because the bookshelf that holds all DVDS and games is at least 10 feet away from the TV.

IMG_5206 IMG_5207

Oops. just detected an overdue copy of The Little Mermaid.

On a recent thriftaganza I unearthed this gem with the 1986 version of THE Print Shop intact.

IMG_5208 IMG_5211

The Associate has reached the age that she can play on my computer. (deep sigh)  When I left the room for 5 seconds the other day she managed to print out thirty of these.

IMG_5209

A 2 by 3 image on a full sheet of paper. I  explained to her that this is wasteful and banned her from future printer use.  However, these once coveted sheets have been in my studio for over three weeks, and that makes them scrap.  I cut them down to squares and put them in my new organizer in hopes that they might go between the disks to prevent further damage.

IMG_5210

handy-dandy labeler.

IMG_5212

now if the discs can just make it 10 inches into here we are all good.

 

 

full circle.

The Associate is sick. Her first real ick. She is legitimately asking “why me” I answer “It is just a little bug.” This, of course sets off a litany of questions, that I try to answer as I perch on the tub holding her shuddering little bod.  For a moment she dozes, head back, burning up, and I have a memory.  When I was young I absolutely hated tossing my cookies. Those days when you would spontaneously erupt with last nights dinner at the most inconvenient time, were my worst nightmare.

We had the usual assortment of Burger King and McDonald’s collectors glasses, but there was one Star Wars glass my brother drank from when he had the ick. I avoided this glass like the plague for at least 5 years thinking it would immediately make me projectile vomit.

As my patient roused back to consciousness, I looked down at the glass from which I was so lovingly feeding her sips, while wiping her brow, and guess what glass it was…….