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Tales From the Garden :: An Acrobatic Dragonfly

Tales From the Garden :: An Acrobatic Dragonfly

 

Tales From the Garden :: An Acrobatic Dragonfly

 

 

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy soaking in the sun and sharing the love of the garden with our friends, the dragonflies! As I was enjoying the beautiful weather the other day I came across this guy and just had to grab my camera. AcrobatIt was not an easy task getting him to be still for the shot. He humorously kept flitting about and posing in this gymnastic position as if doing a handstand. This got me to thinking how I could attract more, or provide a playground for them. DIY methods on Pinterest led me to create a homemade trellisDIY Trellis out of an old tree, and sharing that pic focused on a question from a friend ; Which plants do these guys like? So I began another journey to find out. Turns out that the love a boggy area, ponds, and also heights for their safety from predators. This would explain their exploration of our tall hollyhocks, trellises, and tomato cages. Best of all, on a side note, these guys are great mosquito police. Anything mystical and water-like would appeal to them, I suppose. As far as flowers go, I saw a few attention getters during my research. Bamboo for perching was on the list, Blackeyed Susan. Bee Balm, and Echinacea. These are familiars to our garden, and there are lots more varieties to choose from. For in depth knowledge of gardening and info such as this check out the site Gardening Know How. It’s a massive amount of info on gardening and such. In the meantime, please enjoy the dragonflies, and dragonfly safely.

 

Happy Summer,

~ McGlamorous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales from the Garden :: A New Love Featuring Iris

Tales from the Garden :: A New Love Featuring Iris

Tales from the Garden :: A New Love Featuring Iris

 

A newly found love. Gardening! Here are some pics from our garden this Spring. I’ll start with Irises and pleasant thoughts of a ballet instructor with such a name. I don’t have much to say so I’ll let them speak for themselves.

 

 

 

How to Tap Dance :: Crazy Socks Tap :: The Abe Kabbible

How to Tap Dance :: Crazy Socks Tap :: The Abe Kabbible

 

I am back at it with Crazy Socks Tap videos in my crazy socks. The idea of these posts was to teach beginners about tap. Oh, and share these funky socks. I love old movies with Eleanor Powell, Fred Astaire…..all the greats. Plus old music. I need good healthy content for my blog and this is some to share. I don’t dance as much as I used to, but every know and then get the urge. This content is taken from a great tap dictionary book I have had for years. Alphabetically ordered, Here is the first. The Abe Kabbible. Hope you enjoy, and please subscribe to my YouTube channel, The AMcGlamorous.

The Abe Kabbible

 

Pastel Art

Pastel Art

 

 

After several requests from family to list examples of my pastel art, here they are. As you can see I enjoy drawing birds. As explained in a earlier post, the colors and textures they provide are a perfect playground for the senses. Medium used here is pastel. Brands that I enjoy are Sennelier, Rembrandt, Canson, NuPastel, among others.

Saffron Toucanet

Male Indigo Bunting

 

Indian Ringneck

 

Rainbowbird

Cardinal

I Love Color

I Love Color

I Love Color

 

A cool photo that requires a little rhyme…

 

I Love Color

 

I love color.

And wonder how it can be,

That a never ending blue sky

Can bring such joy to me.

 

A flame above a candlestick,

That flickers blue and red.

Colors in my garden.

Colors in my head.

 

A name for every color,

Time held, tried, and true.

A gift to every one of us,

Especially for you.

 

~Alison McGlamry

 

How to Make a Magic Fairy Dust Bottle Necklace

How to Make a Magic Fairy Dust Bottle Necklace

 

Holidays make us all sparkle, even into the New Year, and this year was no exception but instead a reminder of past sparkles in my history. Being a performing artist for so many years had quite its fair share of the wonderful invention we call G l i t t e r. Glitter on the eyes, chest, hair, body, and eyelashes was just a regular routine for a dancer and her friends. And as the B52’s sing….on the mattress and the highway too!

I was taken back to the old days of high school and ballet classes circa 1990’s lately, and remembered a wonderful and fun gift exchanged during performances. The Fairy dust package, or bottle. To some it was simply enchanting. Mysterious and fun. Maybe just a mess to parents, but we ballerinas and dreamers loved it.

I decided to bring the enchantment back to life this Christmas in the form of a gift for my five year old cousin. While making it again this inspired me to do a tutorial which I will complete below. Hope you love it a much as we do.

Long live the glitter!

Here is what we will be making:

 

Fairy Dust Bottle Necklace

 

Materials used:

 

Fairy Dust Bottle Supplies

Fairy Dust Bottle Supplies

 

  • One glass bottle pendant from your local Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or online bead shop. Some have cork tops like this one shown, others may be screw on or pop top.
  • Some sort of stringing material. I used ribbon but substitutes may include leather, silk, rayon, waxed linen, strung beads or even chain.
  • Finely dusted glitter. The finer the better since it is a magic dust, but once again anything may do.
  • Charm, crystal, or other embellishment. I’ve used a Swarovski glass crystal as a choice in this tutorial.
  • Jump Rings, Spring Rings, Wire.
  • Jewelry tools. Scissors.
  • Small piece of folded paper for transferring glitter.
  • Fray Check.

 

Fairy Dust Bottle Supplies

 

Step One:

You are not restricted to any order here, so have fun. I started with the bottle because I looked forward to filling it with glitter.

Take the folded paper piece and pour a liberal amount of dust / glitter into the crease and into the bottle. Make it as full as you want, or whatever is pleasing to the eye. You have the option of either leaving the bottle open if it is a cork or removable top, or gluing the top securely.

 

Pour

 

Step Two:

Next we want to embellish the bottle with either a jump ring, spring ring, or simply wire some sort of looped piece that we can run the ribbon, cord, or leather through. If you use a flat or thin ribbon, be warned that it will slip through the ring. In one completed versions I chose a larger jump ring. This also gives the advantage of adding other components or charms later. In another I tried a spring ring, which works like a keychain. You may also want to experiment with wire for a more organic look.

 

Opening

 

Open the jumpring with jewelry pliers, either round nose or flat nose. There are many tutorials on techniques, but most importantly, you do not want to separate the ring by pulling the ends away from each other. This will ruin the natural shape of the ring. Instead you want to pull each end away from the other. For the spring ring I use something to create enough opening that will allow the ribbon or cord to pass through, like loading a keychain.

 

To find lessons on technique and beginner tutorials and supplies, I am supplying a link to Fusion Beads. Love their service and site.

 

Opening

 

Step Three:

Now it ‘s time for the Swarovski heart to be added. Here I have used a sterling silver wire here, 22 gauge. Openings in glass charms can break easily with force, so I carefully run the wire through and create a twist of of two or three swirls, clipping the tail end off with my wire cutters. This dabs into wire twisting technique a little bit. You could double the wire here, even cage the heart with a wire wrap.

 

Wire Twist One

 

Wire Twist Two

 

I want to attach this wire to the jump ring, so I run it through and secure another twist.

 

Step Four:

Lastly, we string the ribbon through the loop and secure the ends with a knot. I then add some fray check to the tips to prevent stray hairs. You could go with a clasp or anything on the ends. This was an easy solution for the wearer, who puts everything over her head.

 

Strung

 

Voila! You’re done. Now enjoy your little morsel of magic, and don’t hesitate to put your own twist on this. Ideas are endless when you think of all the colors of glitter and ribbon, leather, clasps, and more. Please check back to my site for added information and links to additional resources.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

McGlamorous

 

Rock On

Rock On

 

Those from the eighties generation may remember the song. It kept playing in my head while making these fun little necklaces for the last two years so I just made a combo post out of the two. A big seller at craft shows, especially amongst the teen category, they are a simple mix of imperial jasper, Swarovski crystals, and bronze chain. Best of all though, they were inspired by music, one of the strongest gifts a person can be inspired by.

Music is so precious, so uplifting, calming, and emotion moving. My Dad used to say how the soul was completely moved by it, and it certainly has been a great part of my family’s life. We listen to music while beading, drawing, thinking, and relaxing. It is there like a rock, soothing the soul.

These little guys are part of the experience with there bright shades and simplicity. They are also done with charms and leather, and probably will morph into different places as long as I can keep making them.

I am working on posting the many that are available for purchasing, plus some in the archives collection. They’ve earned their own place here.

And just to jog your memory….

Hey, kid, rock and roll
Rock on, ooh my soul
Hey, kids, you boogey, too, did ya?
Hey shout, summertime blues
Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
Hey, did you rock and roll, rock on
And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear
Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
(James Dean)
And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear
Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
(Jimmy Dean)
Rock on
Rock on
Rock on…

~Alison

 

 

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

 

RainbowbirdIf you asked most artists what inspires them to draw, or create anything, what would you figure to be the most popular subjects? After shyly joining a pastel artist Facebook group last week, I have been pleasantly surprised at the knowledge gained in such a short period of time. One post addressed the question of what three subjects you like to paint the most. There were several replies, animals being very popular, probably to no one’s surprise. Flowers were the list as well as portraits, and of course one of my favorites……birds.

Indian Plum Headed Parakeet

It seems as though the beauty of the feathers and color variations create a great challenge for the artist. A very large artist create them in the first place. I guess we just like to see if we can come close to interpreting that! Overall, it’s fun.

Male Indigo BuntingWhat do you like to draw and why? I am posting a few of my favorite pieces that have been exciting challenges to work on, with a little caption info about each bird. Leave your comments below if you like. Love to hear from you!

~Alison