Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Design This - Dragonfly Earrings with Purple and Hearts

There are many teams on Etsy and I belong to a few. They are organized around different purposes. The one I keep up with the most is the Texas Friends Team, especially their general chat threads. We chat about what is going on both on and off Etsy and give each other support when we can. Occasionally I post new listings photos, just to share. I like it when other team members share a few of their listings too because it helps me remember what they offer for sale. I consider it pretty low maintenance networking and figure every now and then it will result in a sale for someone. I was the lucky recipient of a custom order because of this recently.

A couple of months back I shared a photo of an amethyst and quartz necklace and earring set. It was the incarnation of a thought that had been in my head for a while. I was very happy with the way the jewelry set and the listing photos came out so I wanted to share with my team. Then last week I shared a new listing for some dragonfly earrings. I liked the story the stones suggested that I paired with a couple of the dragonfly charms. A fellow team member, who makes wonderful quilted items, connected these two shares in her mind for a custom request. Could I incorporate the amethyst diamond beads from the jewelry set, the largest
dragonfly charm and perhaps a did I have any heart beads that were purple? After asking a couple of questions, I also added sterling silver findings to the requirements list. I looked through my stash of supplies and came up with three design option mock ups as starting points for discussion.

It turned out that the middle design option was deemed perfect, so that is the one I used to complete the dragonfly, heart, amethyst and sterling silver earrings. I enjoy creating and especially creating something for a custom request because I know my finished design will be enjoyed right away instead of waiting for the right person to find it and take it home. Let me know if you have a custom request, whether a jewelry design or photographic art image and I will let you know if it is something I can create for you.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

New Digs - Birds and Dragonfly

Last year I went to a friend's house to help her open an Etsy shop for her amazing polymer clay creations. What a nice surprise when we sat down at her computer to see three of my avian photographic art pieces hanging on her art wall behind the computer. Two of them, the female cardinal and the goldfinch were purchased as matted prints, which she later framed and hung. The kestrel was acquired as a ready to hang piece. (It is a variation of the same photo I created "Iridescent Dreams" from, which I shared in its new home a while back.)


I was focused on helping set up her Ellengant Creations Etsy Shop and did not think to take a picture of my artwork to share. Ellen was nice enough to send me a picture along with a couple of others from where she had my work hanging. My "Blue on Blue" dragonfly gallery wrapped canvas hangs with a fanciful school of polymer clay fish Ellen created for the Inspired by Nature exhibit we were both in last year. She also displays one of my "Psychedelic Gazelle" prints on a wall in her house.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bluebird Sightings Make Me Happy

While bluebirds hang out in North Texas year round, there are often gaps of time between when I see them in my backyard. I was experiencing one of those bluebird sighting droughts before I mowed a couple of days ago. As I rounded a curve in my mowing pattern I noticed a male bluebird perched near the top of my jujube tree. I looked around to see if there was a female nearby and sure enough, she was sitting atop my chain link fence. It just made me smile to see them around again. Perhaps this response comes from growing up during a time when bluebird populations were very low and there was a push was being made to save them. To learn what you can do to support bluebird populations in your area of
Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife has an extensive, informative pdf on all things bluebird.

I usually see bluebirds in my yard when they're looking for food. They like to perch on my chain link fencing, tall plant stakes, trees or anything else from which they can swoop down and catch an insect in an adjacent open patch of lawn or pasture. I sometimes see newly fledged bluebirds and have even seen their parents feeding them. I don't know if they are breeding in a natural nest cavity on my property or in a bluebird house provided by one of my neighbors. Whatever the reason, I enjoy seeing them around. The photos in this post are from previous years and show a male and female sitting on my chain link and a young bluebird perched on a wooden structure.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Welcoming the First Day of Spring

Often I share images of blooms from my yard to welcome in the first day of spring. This year my fresh blooms are in the form of a new pair of floral earrings I created.

I recently acquired a strand of carved jade flowers. When I was storing my new supplies this strand and the spring-like weather we were having called me to create something using the flower beads. I pulled out several other strands of jade to see what I wanted to pair with the carved flowers to make a pair of earrings. I settled on using a head pin with a ball end on the open side of the carved flowers and a darker green jade sphere on the stem side. For some reason the spherical beads made a more pleasing design than the cylindrical ones that mimicked a stem better.
Now that we have reached the spring equinox marking the first day of spring, we begin to enjoy more light than darkness from now through the fall equinox.

As the daylight portion of your days lengthens, I hope the weather is warming where you are and that flowers and trees are budding out. Sunshine, flowers and spring green everywhere is a great tonic after a very gray winter.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Monarchs on the Move

While the fall monarch butterfly migration seems to be more concentrated through my location than the spring one, it is time for us to be on the lookout in North Texas for the butterflies are on the move. Sightings of monarchs laying eggs on milkweed in Austin have already been reported. Report your sightings too.

You can help sustain monarchs on their journey north by planting milkweed and nectar sources for them. There are many good native nectar sources as well as
flowering shrubs, annuals and perennials found more commonly in the nursery trade.

I have also seen well traveled monarchs on several flowers not included in any of these lists such as sunflowers and hyacinth vine bean flowers as seen in this post. I suggest trying to fit in some of the plants in the lists but if you can't, put out colorful nectar producing flowering plants and hope to see a fluttering patch of orange land on your flowers to refuel on its journey.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Mansfield Arts Week Includes Work by C Stein

Arts Week in Mansfield coincides with spring break. This ten day event (Thursday, March 7 - Sunday, March 17) combines arts from every spectrum. I posted last week about one facet of Arts Week that I am participating in, an artist reception from 6-7 pm, Friday, March 8 at the Mansfield Public Library for artists whose work is currently hanging in the library. This week I wanted to share a few more opportunities for you to find me and my work in Mansfield as part of Arts Week. I have five of my photographic art
pieces hanging inside Calibration Chiropractic, one of the businesses who have offered artists space to show their work as part of Arts Week. I will be there at specific times Monday - Wednesday, March 11 -13.

Monday, March 11 is Kids Day. A potter will be doing pottery wheel demos from 10am - 2pm that day at the clinic my artwork is hung in. Many other events are happening for Kids Day throughout the city. I will also be at the clinic for both days of the Historic Downtown Mansfield Arts Walk, Tuesday the 12th from 1-4pm and Wednesday the 13th from 5-8pm.

There are plenty of additional activities and events going on during the rest of Mansfield Arts Week. My art is scheduled to continue to hang at Calibration Chiropractic throughout the month of March.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dragonfly and Wildflower Art on Exhibit at Mansfield Public Library

The theme of the new art exhibition at the Mansfield Public Library is the 2019 Spring Mansfield Reads! book Before We Were Yours. Art was accepted for this exhibition that embraced imagery and themes that pop up in the novel. Two of those themes were dragonflies and wildflowers, right in my wheelhouse.

I created a new wildflower piece of photographic art that was accepted as part of the exhibit, along with two of my existing gallery wrapped canvas dragonfly images.

The Mansfield Public Library is hosting an artist's reception as part of their kickoff of this exhibition at 6 pm on Friday, March 8. I plan to attend and would love to visit if you can make it too. If you can't get to the reception, the art will be on display through Thursday, June 20.

This exhibition kick-off is part of Mansfield Arts Week. I will share another opportunity to see more of my work in Mansfield as part of Arts Week in next week's blog post.