Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ride the Moon

"Ride the Moon" is my submission for the August Art Bead Scene monthly challenge.

The inspiration for this month's challenge was an 1899 advertising poster for America Crescent Bicycles by Frederick Ramsdell - who was from my part of the world, Manistee, Michigan.

I really struggled with this challenge, bikes are such a large part of my everyday life on Mackinac and I was so focused on a very literal interpretation - it wasn't until I decided to skip this month that the concept of a crescent neckpiece occurred to me - after that, it all flowed together.

This necklace is a good example of mixed media jewelry. I started with a silk taffeta crescent, hand embroidered with black silk "wheels", those wheels have been embellished with beads in a variety of sizes and finishes. The crescent is finished with a binding of black beads and the center features a subtle lampworked focal bead.

The crescent is suspended by brass chain and chandelier crystal chain and closes with a simple brass toggle clasp.

I'm pleased with the results - elegant, but a bit edgy, with just a touch of steampunk.

Available for purchase here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Touring Michigan: Lavender Hill Farm

Lavender Hill Farm is near Horton Bay, Michigan, in the heart of Hemingway Country and nearly on the 45th parallel - lavender thrives on the 45th parallel in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

The limestone soil provides an ideal pH for growing lavender and the farm has over 25 different varieties.

So why start a lavender farm? To feed the bees, of course!

After the bees have had their fill of nectar and pollen, the lavender is still gorgeous and fragrant.

The lavender is grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

It was so relaxing strolling the fields, the scent was so intoxicating and the hum of the bees so soothing, I think I could have taken a nap in the rows!

We had a great time watching this character:

We could tell that something was moving in the plants and all of a sudden, he would pop his head out, stand up and look around and take off again!

There's a lovely shop, with culinary and body products, as well as artwork.

You can even pick your own bouquet of lavender:

All in all, a wonderful place to visit and relax!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Touring Michigan - Boyne City Farmers Market

I love living on Mackinac, but there are a few things available in the "real world" that I do miss - and one of those things is visiting the farmer's market on a regular basis.

I recently discovered a great farmer's market in Boyne City; it's been in operation since 1982 and currently has over 70 vendors, all located within a 30 mile radius.

There was a very long line waiting to purchase raspberries - they were HUGE, and ours didn't make it back to the car, we ate them all as we strolled.

There were lots of flowers available, especially sunflowers.

I would have loved a bouquet, but it just isn't practical when camping in a tent.

Actually, I think I would have come home with bushels of produce if we hadn't been camping, it all looked so wonderful.

There was so much more than produce and flowers on display, we sampled some wonderful cheeses from Farm Country Cheese House (a pound or so came home with us), discovered Cook Family Farms meats, tasted (and purchased) artichoke pesto, and tried our best to be strong and resist all the incredible baked goods.

Farm markets offer so much to a community, providing positive financial opportunities for the farmer, making a variety of locally grown and made farm products directly available for purchase, as well as encouraging direct communication between local farmers and their customers.

Eat local!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Won!

Alison at Handprinted by A. Deegan recently hosted a giveaway - and I won!!!

Alison creates beautiful hand pulled prints and I won two: a great red squirrel and a framed "Winged Seeds".

Not only is her work beautiful, but so is her packaging; it was so much fun to open.

Thank you Alison - I love both of them.

Everyone else: please do check out both Alison's blog and Etsy shop, adeegan.