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Monday, December 3, 2012

Home Made Child's Tiara

My granddaughter, age 4, loves to dress up and what little girl doesn't like to have princess clothes. 

Her mother suggested I get dress-up clothes for her for Christmas.
Me wearing the tiara
 I wanted to make something but didn't have the time to pull out my sewing machine.  While visiting a friend she showed me an interesting child's tiara which won't break as easily as a plastic one.

Here's how to make a tiara.

Cut off a long length of wire.  If you run out of wire before the end just add another more wire.
You take and ordinary hair band and wrap  flexible jewelry wire around it. (fig 1, 2)

Fig. 1 Hair Band
Fig 2 Wrap wire

 Then add some beads about 2" from the end of the band. I added eight beads. Fig 3. The  2"  start allows the band  to sit on a head comfortably. 
Fig. 4 Crown Beads

Fig. 3. Eight Beads

Next I added 3 larger beads for the point of the crown. Fig. 4

Fig. 5 Bead Twist

Twist the wire under the three larger beads to form the point of the crown. Fig 5 and 6.
Fig.. 6 Twist Beads
Fig. 7 Eight Beads
 Add 8 more smaller beads, same design, size and color of the first 8,  for the down side of the crown. Fig. 7.  Then wrap the wire around the band about and inch away from the first point. Fig. 8.

Fig. 8 Second Wrap of Wire Around Band

Fig. 9 Start of Second Point

 Start the next point adding the same amount and same type of beads. Fig. 9.  Repeat the pattern you have created for the tiara to about 2" from the end.

Fig. 10 Wrapping Ribbon

Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
To finish off wrap a ribbon around the band making sure you cover the ends of the wires. Fig. 11 to 13
Wrap the last to loops around the band loosely so you can duck the end of it under the loop. Then pull it tight.  I added a dab of glue to the end of the ribbon to prevent it from coming out. 

Fig. 15 Double Wire
Fig. 14 Single Wire
Be creative and make your own design.  In fig. 14 I used one wire.  In fig.15 I added a second wire and made a lower row.

Supplies  Hair band, cosmetic beads, flexible jewellery wire, ribbon, glue 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Same Size Mugs

Pottery is a journey. They say it takes twelve years to become a good potter. 

I have been making pottery for 10 years.  One struggle I have, which I've heard many artists say is, 'how do I price my work".  Now that I can make my bowls and cups easily I concentrated on making the mugs the same size.

Shown are some freshly turned mugs all the same size.  The shape still varies a bit, but this shows that they are all made by hand.  One problem solved.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Order and Beauty

When I started to make pottery I wanted to do the creative part right off the start.  I soon learned that I had to learn how to make the pottery first, how the clay operated and worked.  They say it takes 12 years to be a good potter.  Ten years into it, part time, I think I know what I'm doing, but I'm still growing. This past year  I have gotten back into decorating it, the fun part.

I was reading 1 King 5 and 6 where King Solomon is building God's temple.  I noticed two things about it.  First God was very precise on the size and measurements. His form was definite. Solomon was to build it according to God's plan, not his own. After the structure was built, according to the plan,  came the decorating part.  The temple was very elaborate with gold,  bronze and wood carvings and lined with wood of cedar and cypress.

We are now God's temple.  First he formed us out of clay, an ordinary product. We are precise too.  If we are healthy all of our body parts work together to keep us functioning. He created us after his own image and gave each of us a plan, Jeremiah 29:11 I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out -- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you a hope and a future. 

One of God's images is being creative therefore we are all creative in our own way. Most of the time I  know I am doing what God wants for me when I have a great joy in the process. Taking ordinary clay and making something beautiful from it gives me great joy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jack Hutton Celebrity Portrait

The Bohemian Art Gallery and Cafe hosts a charity called The Celebrity Portrait.  Tammy, the owner picks a local celebrity and 5, this time 4 local artist do a portrait of the person. The portraits are silent auctioned off and the proceeds go to the charity choice of the celebrity. 

My great great grandfather carved statues and monuments of people and head busts of people from stone.  I have made many animals and wondered if I do a head bust from clay. 

In June four of us artist met with the celebrity Jack "eyebrows" Hutton, who entertains people with his piano on our local cruise ships and other places.
We all snapped pictures of him then went back to our studio to create.

My challenge was his eyebrows.  His long hairs would have broken off with clay, so I made thick ones instead.  

 I wanted to include his piano but laying it flat underneath did not appeal to me. Then I thought surrealism. I was going to wrap the piano around him as if he was swallowed up by it.  Some times our gifts swallow us up.  Having the piano all around him would have covered his face. The piano became a collar. 
  I took out the porcelain and shaped and sculpted. After he a was sculpted I had the daunting task of cutting him in half to hollow him out.  The clay can be no thicker than 1", the thinner the better.  This allows it to dry .  Wet clay will explode in the kiln as the moisture boils.

The piano keys where the only colour I was going to have on him.  Once finished the eyes looked dead, they needed life.  Before I fired him I painted the eyes in under glaze. 

The time came for me to put him in the kiln.  As Tom Petty's song says,  the waiting is the hardest.  Three days latter I unloaded the kiln.  Had he exploded?  No, he was still in one piece except a chunk came off his scalp.  I patched this hole and painted the hair to camoflouge it.  Fortunately it was at the back. 

I had made my first head bust. 

On Friday, September 21 we met at the Bohemian for the grand unveiling.  Jack is allowed to pick his favorite piece before he knows who did what.  Since I was the only one who does pottery it was obvious which one was mine.   The artists were then revealed as to who did what. 

The silent auction runs for one week at the Bohemian Art Gallery and Cafe.  The charity of choice by Jack Hutton is The Mustard Seed Foundation which helps out homeless people.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Be Happy Don't Worry

Several years ago some one told me my life would be joyful and that is why God has called me Joyce.  The interesting thing about this prophetic word was I was in deep depression and suffering from bipolar at the time.  How could this be true I thought.  But as Peter said to Jesus when he told him to cast the nets on the other side of the boat.  "Master we've fished all night and caught nothing, but if you say so let it be."

Almost 20 years down the road and there's been a lot of water under the bridge. 

The other weekend we were at a off road vintage motorcycle enjoying lots of laughter and good times with friends. Many of our friends are Christians and I noticed that not once did I hear the Lord's name in vein by saying the popular "Oh my ______" expression. We as Christians need to laugh more when we get together and when we are in the world, even at studies, social times, and church.

I was reading Colossians chapter one and and what struck me was how God wants us to be passionate for him. Guess what the sermon at church was, the same thing? Don't you just hate it when God's gives you the message twice?

I was on worship, playing drums, and I decided not to be nervous but to enjoy the worship time.  I'm just beginning this.  I enjoyed myself and the pastor said that was the best I had played.

So what is it like to be passionate for God? In chapter 2 Paul explains.
1. We need to see things from God's perspective.  He's has a great sense of humor and Jesus loved to party with food with his friends.
2. Don't go by our feeling and emotions especially when some hurts us, but go by what Jesus would have done, forgive quickly.
3. Don't try to get the lime light.  Don't try to push your business or get the most attention in group studies.  Like the movie Field of Dreams, build it and they shall come.  Enjoy what God has called you to do and let him put you where he wants you.
4. Get along with others, stop complaining and be thankful.

When I have a troubling situation I looked for what I can be thankful for. Did I learn and gain wisdom, did God give me the strength to endure it etc?

Near the end of chapter 3 of Colossians it said "  sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives-- words, actions, whatever --be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

A plate I'm enjoying making for the YWCA
To be passionate for God is lot of things but for me now it is to enjoy creating pottery, sing my heart out in worship even when I am on the drums.  When I am feeling down sing to the Lord. The other day I was feeling lonely and down then a worship song came in my mind.  I started to sing it and was lifted out of my pity party. I realized I was letting Satan put negative thoughts in my mind. My drumming last Sunday at church went better because I followed Colossians. While singing my heart to God I was happy and didn't worry.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How is Jesus To You

I can read the same passage in the bible several times and all of a sudden it has a deeper meaning. This happened the other day while I was reading Revelations in the Message Bible.

Jesus appeared to John on the Island of Patmos while he was worshiping God on a Sunday. John fell flat on his face as if dead when he saw Jesus.  Suddenly for the first time I realized I would too if I saw Jesus this way. I had never felt this way the other times I have read this passage.

John writes "I saw a gold menorah with seven branches and in the center, the Son of Man in a robe and gold breastplate, hair a blizzard of white, eyes pouring fire-blaze, both feet furnace bronzed. His voice a cataract, right hand holding the Seven Stars, His mouth a sharp biting sword, his face a perigee sun.

This was a frighting and very powerful Jesus that appeared to John. Not the baby in the manger, or the kind Jesus walking this earth healing and helping people, nor the broken Jesus on the cross, dieing for our sins.  It wasn't even the white glorious Jesus who returned after dieing on the cross.  This was Jesus, God in his glory and power, our king.

This got me to thinking how much I have put God, Jesus in a box.  If I saw him this way perhaps my life would me more on fire for Him, who sits on the throne. We Christians have minimized God to suit our needs and wishes then we wonder why we don't have the power he has commanded us to have.

Have we become the church of Ephesus where Jesus sees their hard work and their refusal to quit, how they can't stomach evil, BUT have walked away from their first love and fallen like Lucifer fell?

Or like the church of Thyatira who is very persistant at loving faithfully to please God but allow the Jezebel into their midst and hearts?
Then we could be like the church of Sardis who was so busy doing life that they had not finished doing God's work.

At times I have done each of these sins and more. We are to put Jesus, God first in our lives. If I could remember Jesus as he appeared to John then I think it would be easier to have the fear of the Lord and worship whom he really is.

How would we the church react if Jesus appeared to us like this during our Sunday morning worship time?

All I can say is 'Lord help me see you the way you want me to see you'.  

Friday, June 22, 2012


Around 20 or so years ago I heard an interesting saying KISS.  No it isn’t the rock band. It means keep it simple stupid.  Although stupid isn’t a good word we can change that to silly, splendid, what ever.  The meaning is to keep things simple. 
In January at church I watched a video on how we should keep our life simple. The verse they used has been on my mind ever since.  It is Ecclesiastics 4:6.  It is better to have one handful with peace and tranquility than two handfuls with stress and turmoil and chasing after the wind.

The way society has changed we have gone far away from keeping our life simple.  Upon my observation here are some results of our fast paced life.
  1. People have become so busy with work and making money they no longer have time to visit a friend resulting in loneliness and higher suicide.
  2. We don’t have time with our spouses resulting in a high divorce rate.
  3. We say we spend quality time with our children and ignore what they want quantity time. Child crimes, dropout, apathy etc. in our children ha skyrocket.
  4. We don’t have time to cook healthy meals so we go for prepackaged or fast food. We now have the most obsessed malnutrition society to ever walk on this planet.
  5. We have to make lots of money and have it now the result is people take their work home and even on their holidays having no or little rest.  Stress is causing a high rate of diseases. Many people can’t even slow their bodies down long enough to get decent nights sleep.
This list could go on.

After the January study having a simple life kept popping up.  I have a problem with the little two letter word NO as a result my life was far from simple.  

 I began to evaluate my life and realized I was getting stressed out and more importantly I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing.  I always say if you have to do something you have less joy and more stress and it takes you longer to do it. But if you want to do the same thing then you are at peace and it flows better. I had turned my life into a have to life, frequently this is being a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser.

After much pray and thought I am beginning to let go of things in my life. What is working in my life, what don’t I enjoy doing?  One thing is my Etsy is not working for me so I shall be closing that. Cutting back on local art shows is something else I have been doing. It will take some time but I’d rather have one handful with peace and tranquility than two handfuls of toil and trouble and chasing after the wind.

 As Bobby McFerrin catchy song of the 80’s  said don’t worry be happy.

 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about what you will eat of drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you be worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6: 24-27  Perhaps this is why I find peace in taking pictures of wildlife which I never strive to find.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Clip Art For The Fun of It.

Clip-art designs for your adventures in  scrap-booking, card making, name tags, invitations, stickers, paper crafts, cup cake toppers, jewelry, making embroidery designs, printing on t-shirts and pillows are a fun and lively way to brighten up your page or your life.

Mrs. J from designs an array of lovely whimsical clip art. 
You don't even have to worry about the cost of shipping,  delay in shipping or the hurry up and wait for it as she will email the designs to you.

I have shown you only a few.  Be sure to visit her site on Etsy at for more enjoy her lovely collections of clip art.  Book mark them for future reference.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Purple Iris Vase

I am enjoying making vases. Each one is different.
 A few years ago I made one that one side had an iris on it. During show the wind caught the vase and it fell to the concrete. Amazing it only cracked. I now have dried flowers in it.

During the winter I made a white vase, died the clay purple and created the peddles from it. Unlike the first one I put a slightly different iris on each side.

I entered it in the Muskoka Spring Show and it sold.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tree House

The Tree House
If you remember last winter Ursula and I painted cartoon figures on the nursery wall of our church.

Notice the mouse and rat.
Shortly after we had finished the room we were asked if we would paint the Sunday school room. This time Yvonne, head of children's' ministry, wanted the room to look like a tree-house.

We did not start the project until the winter. The room was smaller so I thought it would take less time.  Wrong!
In the nursery big things were painted on the wall while this room had small things and less cartoon figures so more detail.

I wondered how I should tackle this room. We started by painting a large oak tree in the corners for the tree house to sit in.  Then the wooden walls for the tree house came next, complete with a ladder on the door. The walls were the easy part.
Eagle Looking for Lunch

What would be a tree house with out animals? The animals were the most fun. Birds, nests, squirrels, and an eagle, bears with the honey hive, even a cat hanging in the tree began to come to life.
Mrs. Moose
Moose are very tall so one sticking his head over the wall was added, and a lady one. By the time we got the vulture, the moose and owl we realized we had too much brown and green. The moose became blue, the owl pink and green and the vulture purple. It is amazing how we can see cartoons in weird colours and not even think about it, at least I do and others who paint them that colour.
Vulture Peeking Out and the Raccoon too.

Vulture's Spying the Praying Mantis.
One challenge with this room is that there are two wooden tables that hinge up against the wall when not in use. We painted the tops of the tables to look like wood. Then we painted the tree house both on the wall and the back of the tables so the tree house is still there no matter how the tables are placed. Behind one table is the purple vulture with his head sticking out.

The other table has a cub bear licking the honey while his friend not behind the table watched on.  As we painted we had to remind ourselves not to forget the painting behind the tables.  

Watch the Bee Sings Little Bear

Where' the Other Bear?
Three months later Ursula had the room finished. Again both of our creative talents grew along with our friendship. Following God's plan for us is exciting. God knew that Ursula and I are very much alike and we would get along well so he put us together painting these walls.

Just Hanging Out.
 Enjoy the pictures and if you are in Bracebridge pop into the Wellington Street Pentecostal church to see it.