Monday, July 7, 2014

Viva, Las Vegas!


As a rule, we don't travel on holidays,  preferring to stay at home and celebrate with our family.  This July 4th weekend was different ~ our oldest friends (and godparents to our girls) ~ were in Las Vegas for the Barbershop Harmony International Convention. You can find the recap here: Recap of performances
Since we're only a 75 minute plane ride away, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend the holiday with them.

grandson Jordan, Mark, Debbie
Mark and Debbie are lifelong musicians and vocalists and have been part of international barbershop singing for more than 50 years.  This past January Mark's quartet, Faces 4 Radio, were the international gold medalists in their division.  Over the weekend, Mark was also honored for 50 years of participation in barbershop.  We had the pleasure of hearing Faces 4 Radio perform on Friday night....


And the final round of Quartet judging on Saturday night, with a fantastic, patriotic performance by the gold medalist chorus, Vocal Majority


It wouldn't be a Vegas visit without a Cirque du Soleil show ~ this trip we saw "KA" ~ mesmerizing!
Fantastic sets




Fireball coming from the orchestra pit ~ pre show 

aerialists

Fantastic flying creatures
 The Bellagio's inspiring seasonal conservatory ~













It was a wonderful celebration of friends, singing, and visual candy!

Speaking of visual candy, here's the finale of my metal clay class!

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed my class.  I'm looking forward to the Fall Session and working in silver!

The summer is whizzing by and so are my classes.  I'm very busy with Artisan's Daybook (see sidebar) and here are a few snippets of my progress....







I'll be traveling to Phoenix at month's end for a class with Deryn Mentock, at Art Unraveled.  I'm very excited to see my friend and instructor once again.  It will be a FABULOUS necklace class!

Due to life's schedule filling up so quickly, I've decided to blog once a month, rather than try to post every week.  Sadly, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  However, I'm thinking that a once-a-month post will be pretty juicy!  Oh, and I will stick to my Monday format.

Remember, you can also keep up with me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karens-Monday-Musings/186573324706305?ref_type=bookmark

Have a wonderful, happy, and carefree month of July and I'll see you once again in August!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Not All Work!

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I'm often asked, "What do you do all day now that you're retired?"  My immediate response is to say, "Oh, I'm in my studio working on jewelry every day."  In my case, I really think this is a misnomer, as time spent with my jewelry creations is anything BUT work!

Many of you know that summer is "education time" for me ~ lots of classes, both online and in person.

For the past 2+ weeks, I've been busy with two very special classes through Artful Gathering 2014 ~
"Romancing the Past," with Debby Anderson and "Downton Heirloom Cuff," with Riki Schumacher.

Here's a peek at what I've finished, so far.....
Bezels and Beads from Debby's class ~




Front view

Back view

First completed necklace, using bezel and beads

necklace detail

Pendant detail
Finished Cuff bracelets from Riki's class, each starting with a vintage napkin ring....

Encrusted Cuff


"Paris" Cuff bracelet

Back view

Bracelet close-up
I've learned SO many new techniques which I'll be able to incorporate into my own designs.

I'm also beginning my 3rd class with Deryn Mentock ~ "Artisan's Daybook"



No pictures yet, as class began on Friday and there are 40 videos to watch!!  What's so exciting about this class is being able to get back to my altered paper art "roots."

I will be creating a fantastic journal to store ideas, designs, original artwork, and more for my jewelry.

In addition, I've been commissioned to create for two special friends.....
A bracelet for Nancy's sister....
Life of Christ Bracelet in sterling

And a necklace for Chrissy, using some of her treasures.....

I hope to share the finished necklace with you next Monday!

Tomorrow is my last metal clay class until the Fall session....man, it went by tooooo fast!
Next week I hope to share the last of my finished pieces with you.

Last Tuesday was Kathleen's turn to drive to class.  When I opened the door to get into the SUV, sitting on my seat was the most beautifully wrapped gift.  I asked, "Whose birthday is it?"

Kathleen replied, "It's for you....I'm just so glad you decided to take the class with me!"
I'm not a lucky girl ~ I'm just very, very blessed by my friends....

My week was complete this past weekend with fantastic entertainment ~ As a family, we saw the Broadway in Tucson production of "Jersey Boys."

On Saturday we saw the movie of the same.  The girls had given Ron the tickets for Father's Day.  Having seen the stage production of "Jersey Boys" in NYC, Las Vegas, and Tucson, I must say we equally enjoyed the movie.

I'm off to watch my videos for Deryn's class and then on to Chrissy's custom necklace.  Have a magnificent week, dear friends.  Safe travels for all you vacationers and don't forget your sunscreen!

See you next Monday!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh, My Man!

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To quote Fanny Brice, Oh, my man....I love him so!!

The past week has been all about the love of my life.  At the young age of 65, Ron swept his age/weight class in powerlifting and qualified for the Nationals in Las Vegas, this Fall.
Psyched and ready to roll!

With his long time trainer, Dan Egan
 Here we go!






 Then the dead lift.....the winning lift ~ 446 lbs.







My hero!

Medalists from Power Physique Gym
And the jewels!
We closed our week with Father's Day ~ joyous to celebrate and honor Ron ~ with a special  home cooked Italian dinner ~ surrounded by the women in his life who love him beyond words...

And remembering our dads, who are no longer of this earth but forever in our hearts....
Paul (Poppy) Hess


Ed (Grampa) Kolbell
Before I leave you this week, I want to share some of the newest creations to come out of the Hive...

These are from my Metal Clay class with Lyle Rayfield....they will be used for necklaces, bracelet, and earrings....

Two bezels awaiting necklaces from Romancing the Past, Artful Gathering 2014 online retreat....


Lastly, my first finished cuff from Heirloom Downton Cuff class, Artful Gathering 2014 online retreat....


Two Metal Clay classes left, more cuffs to make, necklaces to design, a special custom order for my friend Chrissy, and enough to keep me busy for awhile!

Have a blessed week, dear friends, and thank you so much for taking the time to stop by!