I Heart Macro – Magnolias

Its time for another I ♥ Macro Sunday!

I went to the library last Thursday to drop off an audio book I’d listened to while commuting to work.  A garden near the entryway had several magnolias that were in full and glorious bloom.  So gorgeous that I had to share pictures with you!

tulip tree

Magnolia Blossom

Tulip Tree in bloom

Magnolia Blossom

I was fascinated with the starburst-like shape of the reproductive structures of the magnolias.

Tulips tree blooms

Magnolia Blossom

Center of Tulip tree bloom

Inside of Magnolia Blossom

Inside of Tulip Tree Blossom

Center of a Magnolia Blossom

✿✿✿

Lori of Studio Waterstone  hosts a weekly blog hop of close-up photos.
Visit Lori to get links to more great macro shots.

studio waterstone

Bead Swap and Earring Lesson

Bead Fest

Bead Swap

Last Tuesday I wrote about my last minute trip to the Philadelphia Bead Fest and I shared the wonderful stash of beads I brought home with me.

A group of bead and component artists and jewelry designers had planned this trip together.  We all stayed at the same motel and had planned several activities together.   At 4:00 p.m. Saturday, we all gathered in the snack bar area, in the back of the convention hall.  Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio had organized an art bead swap for us.

Diana organizing us for the Bead Swap.

Diana organizing us for the Bead Swap.
l-r Melinda Orr, Staci Smith, Linda Hanes, Jan Onipenco, Diana Ptaszynski

My bead  swap partner was Erin Siegel.  I was delighted.  I’d just met Erin for the first time that morning.  We’d eaten breakfast together while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive at the motel.

Erin Seigel

Erin holding the package of beads I gave her.

Linda Landig with Bead Swap package.

Me holding the package of beads I received from Erin.

Here’s Erin opening the package I gave her; taking out a copper component from my friend Kristi Bowman.  All in all, I included 4 art beads from Washington State artists.  To see all the beads I gave Erin, visit her post about Bead Fest.

Erin opening the box of beads

Erin opening the box of beads and taking out a copper pendant by Kristi Bowman.

I got these great lampwork glass spacers from Erin.  I love orange and was so excited to receive these.    After the bead swap, Diana threw all the names back into the bag and drew out names for door prizes.  I won the awesome polymer clay heart pendant you see on the right below, (artisan made by Staci Smith).  Look – its orange!!!  I have a feeling the lampwork beads and the heart will be starring in a necklace together soon!

Bead Fest

Lampwork beads from Erin, polymer clay heart from Staci

Bohemian Knotted Earrings

Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto have written a book together called Bohemian Inspired Jewelry.   Erin is going to teach 3 of the earrings from the book in a class at the August Bead Fest, (for more info on the class click here).  Erin wanted to give the class a practice run, so she taught our group 2 of the 3 earrings.  Using waxed linen thread in this way was a new technique for me and very fun!  I’ll be making more of these earrings, for sure!

Erin with an advance copy of her book

Erin with an advance copy of her book - I got a sneak peek! This is a must buy!

making earrings

Erin helping Diana and I with our earrings.

making earrings with Erin Seigel

Vanessa Gilkes having fun with the earrings.

my earrings part way done.

My waxed linen earrings part way done.

I’ll do one more post about Bead Fest later this week.  It will probably be mostly pictures of people who were formerly my online bead friends and who are now my “for real” friends!

I Heart Macro – Roots

Roots

You may know that I am semi-retired at this point in my life.  I work part-time for the University of Washington, supervising teaching interns.  Each week, I visit teaching interns in 4 different school districts,  I observe them teaching a lesson and we debrief together afterward, looking at what went well in their lesson and discussing ways to improve.  Two of the schools I visit have breathtaking views of Mt. Ranier.  Usually, when the weather is clear, I can’t take my eyes off of that incredible vista.  But the other day I happened to look down and I noticed these amazing roots emanating from the trees in the parking lot.  So I grabbed my camera and I offer them here to you for my Macro Sunday post.

tree root

These pictures make me question what anchors me?  What stabilizes my life and nurtures my soul? How can I grow my roots deeper?  Do you grapple with these questions, too?

tree roots

tree roots

One thing that anchors me, is meaningful relationships with others in my life.  I nurtured some of those relationships while I was at the Bead Fest in Philadelphia last weekend.  Come back to my blog tomorrow to read more about how those connections were deepened.

✿✿✿

Lori of Studio Waterstone  hosts a weekly blog hop of close-up photos.
Visit Lori to get links to more great macro shots.

studio waterstone

Bead Fest – Stash!

Impulsivity

About a dozen of my online my bead artist and designer friends were all planning on attending Bead Fest in Philadelphia last weekend.  I yearned to meet these women in person because I had enjoyed and cherished our online communication so much.   Once I got the idea of going to Bead Fest, I couldn’t get it out of my thoughts.  Mind you, I live in the completely opposite corner of the United States.  Flying to Pennsylvania for just a day and a half is totally expensive and frivolous.  Etc.,etc.!

I wanted to go anyway!  I’m retired, right?  Time to have some fun.   Well,I thought,  I’ll just take a peek at online ticket prices…no harm in that.  The first time I looked, tickets ranged from $565-$1500.  Yikes!  No way.  But I kept monitoring the airline prices and by Friday night the prices had fallen to $507.  I’m usually not given to impulsivity, but my desire to personally know my beady sisters, out-weighed any judgement or caution.  I booked my tickets at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday night and in less than 24 hours, I was on my way to the Philly Bead Fest!!!

Bead Table Wednesday

So here’s what’s on my bead table today: my great new bead stash from Bead Fest.  I know you’re jealous, but don’t drool on your keyboard, OK?

Hands of the Hill

Kazuri Beads

Dyed howlite & matte finish sodalite

Hand-painted porcelain

etched and matte agate beads

Rustic fire polished beads

Drop beads

Tribal beads and pendants

Delightful rustic glass beads

Lampwork glass flowers

Drilled river stones

Here’s Diana Ptaszynski  demonstrating how we all felt after a day’s worth of bead shopping: exhausted!  We revived ourselves with an excellent dinner at Legal Seafood—but more on that in a future blog post.

Bead exhaustion!!!

✿✿✿

Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

I Heart Macro – Lichen & Giveaway Winners

Its time for another I Heart Macro Sunday!  And we also have a winner for the giveaway!!!  But first the macro shots.  (If you just want to skip to the winners (he-he),  scroll down about half way)!

Lichen

We live in a beautiful woodsy area in western Washington state.  Dry, almost hair-like lichen is a common sight here,  Sometimes it hangs off the forest branches like a veil. Lichen does not flourish in areas with a great deal of pollution, so it is a sign of a healthy environment to find it so abundantly here.

lichen

lichen

According to Backyard Nature:

Lichens are not plants. They are “composite organisms” made up of two, or maybe three, completely different kinds of organisms. It’s as if you combined an animal such as a dog with a plant such as an oak, maybe with a fungus thrown in as well, and ended up with something very different from animal, plant or fungus. Something that was its own thing, with its own identity and manner of being.

Every lichen species is part fungus. Usually the other  species is a photosynthesizing alga, but sometimes it can be a photosynthesizing bacterium known as a cyanobacterium. Sometimes all three kinds of organisms are found in one lichen.

Washington State Lichen

Pacific Northwest Lichen

A scientist who studies lichens is called a lichenologist.  I never even knew such a field existed – did you?

Lichen in Western WA State

Pacific Northwest Lichen

According to Lichen Biology and the Environment:

Lichens grow in the leftover spots of the natural world that are too harsh or limited for most other organisms. They are pioneers on bare rock, desert sand, cleared soil , dead wood, animal bones, rusty metal, and living bark. Able to shut down metabolically during periods of unfavorable conditions, they can survive extremes of heat, cold, and drought.

Washington State Lichen

Lichen in my backyard

Most lichens grow very, very slowly, often less than a millimeter per year, and some lichens are thought to be among the oldest living things on Earth. Lichens with known, slow growth rates, like Rhizocarpon geographicum, have been used to estimate the dates of geological events such as the retreat of glaciers.

Washington State Lichen

Lichen in my backyard

Giveaway Winner

A big thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway!  Also a warm welcome goes out to everyone who liked my Facebook jewelry page, as part of this giveaway!  I had a lot of fun reading your comments!

sometimes you don't

source: Pinterest

So Sari Earrings

The first part of the giveaway is for everyone who left a comment about the copper, lampwork and sari silk earrings.

copper, lampwork and sari silk earrings

So Sari Earrings

There were 115 entries for this giveaway!  And the winner is (drum roll please):  # 73 – Shannon Hollahan

The second part of the giveaway was for people who shared the link to the giveaway on their Facebook pages, on their blog or on Google+.

These people were eligible to win their choice of a pair of beautiful Athena Ancient Patina Copper Charms by Melinda Orr Designs or…..

Athena Ancient Patina Copper Charms

Athena Ancient Patina Copper Charms

…a hand-woven bracelet by me.

right angle weave bracelet

There were 62 entries for this part of the Giveaway.  The winner is: # 16 – Sarah Lyons

 (note: I tried to paste a screen shot of the random number generator here, but I was unable to do so successfully – computer klutz that I am…)

Congratulations to the winners!  Please contact me through Facebook or by clicking on the contact button on the right side margin on my blog!

✿✿✿

Lori of Studio Waterstone  hosts a weekly blog hop of close-up photos.
Visit Lori to get links to more great macro shots.

studio waterstone