Preserving Dandelion Fluff

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Preserved Dandelion

Preserved Dandelion

Ever try to bring a large dandelion fluff into the house past a 130 pound rottweiler that thinks it should be his? Or at the very least thinks he should ‘lovingly’ smell it and lick it and breathe in its goodness? It’s not easy ladies and gentlemen! Luckily I had spent some time with it and a can of hairspray before picking and transporting it inside so I at least had a fighting chance..

The dandelions in Washoe Valley are the biggest and prettiest that I’ve seen. It is rare for me to find one fully intact though. Our area is known for being very windy so I was extremely lucky and very happy to find this one.

I’m far from being an expert on preserving these, this being my first, but if you would like to try all I used was an aerosol hairspray. I imagine that an art fixative would work, but I used what I had.

I sprayed from about 4 inches away at first in short spurts, as if it were a can of spray paint. Once I had a very light coat on it I moved in closer. I probably put four coats in all, including spraying underneath. After it dried I carefully snipped the stem.

I have no idea how long it will last, but while it is here it makes me happy!

Playing with mannequins

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Oval Coin Pearl Necklace

Oval Coin Pearl Necklace

Since I have no live models on hand, I decided to order a couple mannequin variations to expand the type of product shots I could offer. This particular one was meant to be for earrings, but since the partial torso I ordered in ‘fleshtone’ arrived in a severe sunburned flesh color, this one is making due for necklaces in the meantime.

This shot and the following one (very messy desk edited out!) were not meant to be kept. Basically, I set the mannequin in a window, aimed and fired. There was just something about them that made me to decide not to delete them. I never get this lucky. A professional photographer is shuddering somewhere I am sure, but I am happy with them!

Silver Twisted Double Hoop Earrings

Twisted Ring Sterling Earrings

Morning walk inspiration

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I am like a kid when it comes to finding something, anything, growing on our hillside or near the creek. Each find is a special treat for me. All but one (the last one) of these grow wild here and I assume they are wildflowers. The last one is a plant that has amazed me in that it has lasted through subzero temps, but this year it amazed me by blooming for the first time. Who knew?  A tropical looking plant that survives harsh winters but never dies back? No idea what it is.

Pulling murrini from a kiln, an exercise in patience.

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Pulling Murrini from a kiln

A Lesson in Patience at the Bullseye Glass Resource Center

One of the best magic tricks ever! In the simplest terms, I am slowly pulling a murrini cane from a pot of molten glass suspended over my head. Pull a little, wait a little, pull a little, wait a little….. All the while never taking my eyes off the point where the molten glass exits the pot. To completely empty the pot takes about an hour and a half. Know what that means? I am definitely going to have to start a neck strengthening exercise program!

Here’s a closer (although a bit fuzzy) view of the bottom of the kiln. Though the outside of the glass cane doesn’t look exciting, when it is cooled and sliced into segments a beautiful interior is exposed.

pulling a murrini cane from a vitrograph kilnI have all kinds of ideas percolating in my head about how to use the resulting canes and can’t wait to test some of them. Stay tuned!