Category Archives: The Blog

Chocolate Mountain Pendant

Why Chocolate Mountain Pendant? Because I’ve just been looking up how to temper chocolate, and that’s where my mind is right now.

Why tempering chocolate? Because we’ve been binge watching British cooking shows, and I’m highly suggestible.

The Chocolate Mountain Pendant is part of a series of polymer clay creations I made using a made-it-up-myself method of slicing sheets of clay I covered with a melange of colored additives and putting them together in new ways for no other reason than I liked the way they looked. I backed them with black polymer clay for stability, and this is one of the results. I’ve added a copper fastener for hanging, brown leather cord and copper findings to finish.

I’m asking $30 for the Chocolate Mountain Pendant, free shipping within the continental US. If you’re interested, let me know in the Comments.

The Seamstress’s Collage Pendant

 

Are you looking for a gift for someone who sews?

I’ve taken the smallest of stretched canvas as the base for this collage. The background color I chose was black, which made the dressmaker’s dummy stamps in white on the background seem almost ghostly. I embossed the scissors stamp with gold. Finally, I found the smallest Mother Of Pearl infant buttons from my vintage stock and applied them. Then I fixed two tiny gold-colored eye screws in the top and threaded thin black satin ribbon fastened with a gold magnetic clasp.  Total length is about 28″.

$18.00

Free shipping within the continental US. Elsewhere, let’s discuss.

Comment your interest.

Chinese Lucky Lobster Pendant

DOMINO PENDANTS

I am inspired by the possibilities of small canvases so when
I saw the range of art being produced on dominoes, I immediately bought a set and did the prep work getting them ready to work with. That was about 15 years ago, and while I loved the art I was able to create, I lacked the wherewithal to do more with them than wish I could figure out some way of using them. Time has passed, and I’ve now gotten some ideas from others about how to use the dominoes in jewelry.

Dripping alcohol ink onto a domino and then hitting it with a blast of air creates wild patterns.
When I first looked at this first one horizontally, I saw a prehistoric cave drawing. When I turned it to the vertical view, it became a lobster…and suddenly had a Chinese vibe. Gold and red–aren’t those the lucky colors? The background is a sheen of gold, I picked up in the thin leather cord from which it hangs. The beads are gold metal, art glass, and red faux pearls.

I’m paying the postage on this one, within the United States. Elsewhere, let’s talk.

$20….and you’ll have it well in time for Christmas. Comment if you’re interested….

 

Op Art Collage Brooches

 

1-1/2 in square collage composed of hand-painted wood squares, original watercolor art and hand-made polymer clay bead.
1-1/2 inch wearable art collage composed of painted and dyed wood, batik cloth and a polymer clay bead, all hand-made by me. Pin on back.

I love working small and I like working with squares. I enjoy the way different paint and ink media look when applied to raw wood. So the balsa squares that hobbyists use are a natural pallet for me. Once I have the base colors, I go to the drawer that I’ve labeled “In Progress” to find components that I’ve started but haven’t figured out what to do with. Watercolors that I’m working on…Polymer clay beads that I’m creating…and bits and pieces of whatever else is at hand. They’re portable canvases, truly Multi-media Wearable Art.

I’m selling them for $15 each. Shipping is free, domestically. Outside the US, let’s talk. I take Paypal or Google Wallet. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments.

 

 

Sheldon High’s Vendor & Craft Show

Sheldon High School Vendor & Craft Show. Saturday, October 14, 2017, 10-4

My first show!!!

Come see me if you’re in the San Joaquin Valley/ Sacramento-Stockton area. I’ll be one of the 50 plus crafters showcasing our wares. I’ve never been to this show, so I have no idea of the set-up. Just know that I’ll be outside, somewhere….

I haven’t done an antique show in donkey’s years–Q: what is a donkey year? A: a really long time–so I’m really winging it. We went to a similar high school craft show last week, and I was impressed with the displays people crafted. So I’m starting the show already feeling intimidated. But it will answer my burning question: will anyone pay money for my creations????

The history of my obsession, creating bits & baubles.

Handpainted Red & Gold Domino Pendant $25

It all began back in high school, taking a course from Mr. Shearer, he of the Elmer Fudd impediment, who began each term announcing: “Good mo’ning, boys and gels. I’m Mr. Scheewer and dis is Jewey Cwaft.”

In college, I originated the idea of creating earrings by sticking blobs of melted crayons onto straight pins. I have a clear memory of a beautiful pair of pale aqua drops; I have no memory of how they might have fastened to my ears.

During the years I lived in England, the 70s, I took a jewelry-making class at…I don’t remember that either. However, I have a clear image of myself burning flux off some bauble I was making of some kind of metal. But not much more.

During the ‘80s, I was one of those people fashioning chokers from heishi beads strung on fishing line. Yes, I was a hippie.

In the 90s, I progressed to seed beads. I loved buying them. I loved buying books and magazines with full color photos of what incredible creations Real Artists had made with them. I did not love the tedium of following the instructions, which always featured directional arrows that confused me. Still, I persevered.

By the mid-2000s, when I discovered wire-wrapping and polymer clay, the fun I had making these bits and baubles had given rise to a growing guilt.  I was wasting time and money, which may have done for my hippie days, but was out of sync with my 21st century entrepreneurial self. So I ventured into the marketplace, with Etsy first and then Artfire. Tough sales venues. Too tough for me. 

I don’t expect that the place I’ve created on my website called Aphra’s Art to be any easier. But since it’s my very own private, personal marketplace, I don’t have to worry about seeing all the competition displayed right next–or instead of–me.

Aphra’s Art is a work in progress–as is everything I do–so don’t expect to see a fully realized shop site. But don’t worry, I’ll let you know when I’ve posted something new.

Quotidian: August 30, 2017

My how time passes when you’re having fun. Not. Having fun, that is.

My days follow a sameness: get up, brush teeth, push button on coffee maker, brush hair, get a treat for Lulu, get a package of breakfast biscuits from the closet that is the larder, left click to open computer, carefully carry coffee across kitchen, working at circumventing the sleeping Sherlock, toss treat on Lulu’s pillow, open Gmail, sink into office chair, drink coffee, eat breakfast biscuit, go through in turn Gmail, Yahoo and Facebook. Sink further in chair. Get involved in watching Feel Good animal videos. Realize I have become a person who watches videos online.

This is new to me. I used to hate when news stories turned to videos. Real reportage is to be read, not watched. A picture is not worth a thousand well-crafted words offering both fact and analysis. Moreover, a pox on pretty girl and boy reporters who probably got mediocre marks in their college composition classes. I know, because I doled out those B’s and C’s. They were the students who would offer definitive statements in their essays to which I would invariably have to ask, “Where’s your support for this?”

They had no support. Something was so because they said it was. Or someone said it was, somewhere, sometime, that they heard about. And anyway, who’s to say what is and isn’t so. It’s all relative, right? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

And that, my friends, is why Donald Trump is president. And why our democracy is probably in its waning days. The Founders warned about this, the day when the rabble (or as we call them, the incorrigibles) rose up and spoke so loudly that theirs became the only voice of the people.

That statement, which arrived seemingly unbidden from my subconscious, is, of course, my opinion. To which I am entitled. And having said so, I  must go watch some more Feel Good animal videos. They are, these days, the only anodyne to the pain inflicted by the state of the nation.

The Good Old Days

I’ve missed the act of blogging as it used to be, when I wrote what came in my mind for no other reason than the pleasure of putting words together so they said what I thought I meant at the time.

I’m not alone. Scratch someone who has been blogging for a number of years and you’ll find we all miss going to conferences, finding a community of others, making friends, learning, listening, talking, reading, commenting. The mid-2000’s, those were the heady days of blogging, before monetization superseded communication.

But, sigh, life changes, we move on, the new becomes old and the old becomes retro. One of the things about reaching my Advanced Years (!) is that I’m enjoying a certain I don’t give a fuck mentality that has taken over. Several months ago, for example, in the process of changing my site host, the entire archives of MidLifeBloggers disappeared into the ether. Seven years of worth of the on-line magazine I created and edited, which featured personal essays by a number of writers reflecting the full range of their mid-life experience–all gone. In truth, I don’t give a fuck. I could have gone through some process to retrieve my Archives, but I wasn’t really interested. It seemed like a lot of work to what end? I couldn’t figure that out, so I just let it go.

I still own the midlifebloggers.com domain name, however, so instead of just leaving it parked, I’ve now pointed it to this site, my eponymous website, holder of all things significantly related to me. I’ve started a new Category on this site, called, appropriately, The Blog. I’m going to try to get back in the habit of regular blogging, about this, that and the other. Bullshit, maybe–and if I’m the only person being entertained by, well, I don’t give a fuck.

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