Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cabin Fever

As Winter storms raged, and a massive arctic front (the "Polar Vortex") swept across the eastern half of the country, I remained largely holed up at our cabin. The snow accumulation often made it impossible to go out. I would have to wait until my husband Don could come home to plow our drive up to the house. And even so, local roads were often impassable.

Don plowing our road

Early snowfall

View from our living room - the side deck

View from the right side of my desk

Later as the snow continued to pile up

View from my desk

Getting my shipping done has been especially difficult, since we do have get postal service (we are considered "too rural"). I have to take go into town to the post office for that, about a 16 mile round trip.

My ride back from the post office last week (Clicking on this picture
will open the video up in a separate window in facebook).

This past week was perhaps the most challenging, when the Polar Vortex descended rapidly across the midwest and north east, causing temperatures to plunge dramatically in our area, from the high (F) 40s down to - 40 wind chill in the space of 12 hours. I kept the wood stove going constantly as wind howled outside. The cabin groaned and popped from the stress of the sudden temperature drop, at times loud enough to cause me and the dogs to jump. When the trees around us became utterly frozen, the upper branches clattered loudly in the wind, like thousands of little bamboo wind chimes. I heard a few cracks and booms from the forest - probably limbs falling, or trees bursting from sap freezing too fast for the tree to handle. At one point during the night, I ventured to open the patio door for a peek outside. The clouds had cleared to reveal a stunning star scape overhead.

During the day or two after the arctic blast, I stayed indoors as it was still very cold out. I decided to work on stringing bead sets, and I have to admit to a bit of cabin fever crept into this task, resulting in some overly-elaborate bead stringing, a few bead sets verging on become jewelry (lol). I had to stop myself.

Leaf set with fancy leather cord and beads
Woodland Relics
A tropical-inspired set with fancy leather cord and czech beads

Urchin Bloom strung up with coordinating beads

Tribal inspired beads

A few stray Winter Owls crept into these strings, including the following storm-inspired owls...

I call this one "Snowmageddon Owl"

Winter Totem Owl

I got to hankering after spring and summer, and strung up these brighter-hued leaf and acorn sets. It felt so good to work in these sunny flora-inspired palettes!

Spring Leaf Totem sets

That about sums up my past two weeks of living in intense winter conditions and how I coped.
What did you do or make to survive the Winter Storms of 2013 / 2014? I'd like to hear!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Crow Wisdom - AJE Component of the Month

For our Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month blog hop, Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio created these fabulous Speckle Beads for us to feature in a design. I received one in gorgeous earth tones and loved it so much I was inspired to make compatible beads in ceramic to go with it.

Rebekah's bead alongside mine.

I pretty much knew the color scheme and style I wanted to use: earthy, nature-inspired, and a touch of mystery. Crow represents mystery and wisdom to me so he appears in this piece alongside Rebekah's Speckle Bead. I used a bit of batik fabric for a rustic boho look. I really like how it turned out. I am calling this "Crow Wisdom", after the bead set I made based on the same theme.

Join in the blog hop fun to see other designs using Rebekah's Speckle Bead component:

Guest Designers:
Ann - Bead Love
Melissa - Bead Recipes

Art Jewelry Elements Team:
Rebekah - Tree Wings Studio
Kristen - My Bead Journey
Caroline - BlueberriBeads
Susan - Sue Beads

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shop update today....

It's been a busy holiday season for me. With lots of new ceramic goodies getting bundled up into bead sets and listed in my shop. Be sure to drop by...