Monday, March 29, 2010

The Beauty of Spring. . .

Hi! It has been far too long since I've posted, but I'm still here and breathing. Life just has been front and center lately. I have been busy with different projects and on a creative note many of you know that I have been working on a gift for awhile. This project has kept growing and you will soon see why. I'm truly not beading Taj Mahal, (Diana would...;-), it's just all in the little details. I knew one area needed something and I kept debating where I was going to go with it. I made a final decision about it and was very excited. I got started and was well on my way and realized it was not going to work out properly the way I was going about it. So I ripped it out and began again with a different approach and I am so much happier with the results now and am to the point of filling in and finishing. I tend get an idea in my head and sometimes I'm not sure exactly how to go about it, but I am determined to figure it out and persevere! I've been hard on myself that it isn't done, but I finally accepted that it is what it is and, at the moment, it's the best I can do. It won't be long until I'm to the fine details of a photo shoot and packaging it up for a trip home. I am looking forward to sharing it!

Artbeads recently contacted me to create something that was my interpretation of spring..."The Beauty of Spring". I was thrilled and knew exactly where I was going with this piece. Artbeads shared a foot of beautiful 16 gauge Sterling Silver Cable Chain (which has a nice weight to it), a Hill Tribe Sterling Silver Round Flower Bell Charm, a Hill Tribe Sterling Silver Lady Bug Bell Charm and five 18 gauge, 6.1 mm Open Jump Rings. I have been collecting Hill Tribe Silver Charms for quite awhile and now was the time to use some. However, to me, nothing is prettier and more classic than turquoise and silver together. It reminds me of the turquoise rings and bracelets I wore when I was young. Turquoise is also Pantone's top spring color pick this year. To put this together, I ordered more jump rings and the most beautiful strand of irregular, pear-shaped, Chinese turquoise drop pendants and they are gorgeous!!! Green definitely sings spring to me.

To me, spring is renewal and new life. It's a breath of fresh air, joyous energy and seeing more smiles. It is . . .

*Sunshine and warmth*
*Blue skies and trees budding*

*Clouds, rain and rainbows*
*Unfurling ferns*
*Plants bursting through the dirt*
*Songbirds singing*
*Birds courting and building nests*
*Flowers and sunflowers*

and soon...lots and lots of colorful flowers!

In creating my interpretation of spring, it had to include lots of flowers and buds, leaves, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, lady bugs, feathers and a heart that is stamped with flowers which represents my love of all these things! So I made myself a beautiful charm bracelet and I absolutely love it!!! It is fun, bold, full of texture, very organic and I adore the movement and soft sound it makes.

*Spring Beauty*

We have had some beautiful and sunny days in between the rain. We've been working in the yard and sprucing things up, pressure washing, pulling weeds, trimming, spreading heaps of garden gold (compost) and preparing for our garden. It has done a world of good for me to get outside, feel some sunshine, breathe fresh air and get some exercise.

We recently helped build four greenhouses and help plant over 300 flats of vegetables, fruits and herbs for the American Center for Sustainability. It is a garden plant distribution program that donates edible plant starts to help battle hunger across Oregon and are distributed to more than 50 Oregon nonprofit groups. It was really fun to help, meet new friends and be a part of this small group of thoughtful people.

I share this for a couple of reasons. Meeting some of these people and others have opened some new doors and thoughts for a possible new venture, i.e., growing plants. We have been looking into and researching some possibilities. Ken Burrow started ACS four years ago and it is growing bigger every year. He has a big meeting next week in hopes of getting permanent acreage to use in Portland. The other reason I am sharing this is because this year it is all happening at my boys house! Ken rents the downstairs from my boys and is utilizing the yard and neighbors yard also to get these plants started. There is a big greenhouse in the backyard and the biggest one is at the neighbors house. I (mom) about had heart failure when I found out they were putting two greenhouses in the front yard too!!! ;-) When I heard the news, I told Blake...could you not spare the neighbors seeing two 10 x 10' greenhouses in the *front* yard?!! I was informed that their neighbors don't mind, it's for a good cause and it's urban living, mom! And, they will only be up until May (when the plants are distributed) and then they are going to take them down and plant flowers and a garden in the front yard instead of having grass. They are grown men, 28 and 22, and it is their house, but I was happy to hear that they were only temporary. ;-) That is the new hip thing many people in Portland are doing...getting rid of their grass and planting a garden.

Anyway, it was very cool, the Oregonian showed up and took pictures and they made the front cover of Edible Portland too. That is Ken in the top picture and my youngest son, Spencer (flag headband), in the bottom picture and his sweet girlfriend (blond), Morgan.

Here is a picture where the planting was going on in front of the garage in the back. There were about thirty volunteers planting that Saturday. Voodoo Doughnut supplied 7 dozen donuts that day. All my boys are in this picture...Blake in the foreground (gray sweatshirt), DH...Mark behind him and Spencer (flag bandanna) and Morgan.

Here is a shot of the front of the house and Mark helping build two of the greenhouses in the front. The bookmobile bus is used for delivering plants. We will be heading back to help transplant the plants into pots in late April or early May. As a couple, and parents, it was really fun and we couldn't be more proud that the boys are being a part of this awesome project.

Speaking of which, are you getting as anxious as I am to taste fresh tomatoes and peppers soon?!! I can hardly wait! I have been dreaming about sliced tomatoes and salsa lately. It's still too early to plant here, but May will be here soon.

As I went through my pictures, I realized that I never posted about the turtle squares I sent to Jeanette in February, for Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer, so I thought I would include them. The title of this years project was "Remember the turtle; persistence, not speed, counts; (boy, if that doesn't have my name written all over, I couldn't resist ;-)) a cure for breast cancer will be found." These are tiny squares, 1-1/2" beaded, and are fun to stitch. As soon as I hear what the theme will be for next year, I will share it here. I felt bad that I didn't make a post about it or a reminder this year.

Okay, since it's been *forever* and I've only shown one minuscule sneak peek of what I have been working on...I'll share a few more minuscule peeks until it's debut!

I hope you are happy and well. I am off to do some *way...way* overdue catching up with you and I'll see you there! ~Lisa

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ~Marcel Proust

Disclosure Statement: I have received the above items free of charge from Artbeads, and I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.


The Lone Beader® said...

Great work, Lisa! I hope you are doing well! :)

Elizabeth said...

Hej Lisa,

Glad to hear from you again. Your work and pictures is lovely as always.
What a great project your sons are working on but you and your husband seeded gardening in their minds. So congratulations, the seed has sprouted.

Have the best spring you can imagine.

xoxo Elizabeth

Carol said...

Gosh, I have been thinking of you everyday for the last week. Sat down to send you mail, got interupted twice and forgot that I never sent it.

Your sneak peeks are just not big enough!! Now, go back to the pics and crop them out just a little larger, couldja!!

Wonder full for you to participate in the greenhouse/plant distribution project.

I think things are picking up economically in the US. Working in Elkhart (President Obama's poster city for unemployment) I can tell you I have always said that this town is the economic indicator because of the large RV workforce. Its the first to show unemployment increases and the first to show returning health. Things are picking up. I hope that is good news for you.

Don't make your next post so long in coming!! Missed you so so much.
XX, Carol

beadbabe49 said...

Dear lisa, so glad to see you post here again! What a wonderful project for you and mark and "the boys" to be a part of!
I think a lot of us are turning our yards into gardens, even here on the coast where our "crops" are a bit limited by the wind and cool temps.
I love the beautiful bracelet you made with the hill tribe silver and turquoise! I've also been collecting their silver beads for years and you may have inspired me to try something similar (and very outside of my comfort zone!)
Also looking forward to seeing more of the sneak peeks! They look intriguing!
and last, your spring photos are gorgeous...I hope you'll continue to share your garden photos here...very encouraging to neophyte gardeners (and I'm including myself this year since I'm determined to grow some tomatoes...even if I have to keep them on the porch all summer!)

Lynn said...

Welcome back my friend! I love the sustainable garden project. You have all the reason to be proud! Nothing feels better than to get involved in a worthwhile project, as you know!

Your spring bracelet is gorgeous. I bet it sounds fun too!

Wish I was attending the B&B show to see your turtle squares in person - wouldn't that be fun?! Maybe someday....

Your little sneak peeks are such a tease- all kinds of things going on there. Hope it's not too long before we get to see more :)

Micki said...

I love all of your creations especially the turtles.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Stunning post, Lisa, particularly like the plant photos and your jewellery of course.

Cathie said...

Dang Girl.... I'm not sure what to talk about first. You really should have a coffee table book made out of your collection of gorgeous photographs. Beautiful, really. You have quite an eye for capturing Mother Nature at her very best. And those kids of yours - makes a momma proud, doesn't it?! Particularly in a day and age where kids seem to be so self-centered and self-gratifying - it's wonderful to see kids giving, doing and living for someone else -- for the greater good. And your little turtles - scrumptous! Your stuff is always so perfect - so lovely. Just like YOU! XO please post more often.
PS - hey, we're doing the Harley thing through Idaho. Gonna go see some of those places you suggested.

Cat said...

Oh my gosh, so much to take in here! All so beautiful and positive and happy! I miss Oregon when I see the picture of the little fern fiddle heads!

And that charm bracelet!!! That would be a terrific necklace as well!

Great projects!

Happy Spring!

Cathie said...

I so miss you! I wanted to come by and say Happy Birthday (?) I know your birthday is around this time (not sure of the date) but I remembered and am thinking of you!!

Dot said...

Hi sweetie. Wanted to swing on by to say hi. This is a beautiful, beautiful post! I am so sorry I have dropped out of contact. Have been thinking of you a lot lately and hoping you are OK.
Lots of love
Dot xx