Friday, December 7, 2012

One Bird Tree

I'm celebrating year FIVE of making my wrist warmers!   While I enjoy full time work in my new wholesale jewelry business, I am happy to have time, between orders, to get new warmers made for the holidays.  I would miss the etsy community, and all my wonderful customers much too much, if I closed up shop.
Peacock Tree
 I love wearing fingerless gloves, but don't seem to tire of making them.  This color combination is a new discovery- I might need to keep a pair for myself.........

Winter Forest
With love from me and my Etsy shop:  Aly The Red at Bliss Monkey Studio.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Wrist Warmers/Fingerless Gloves

 What do you call them?  Fingerless gloves, wrist warmers, arm warmers, gloves, or bohos? 

 Names seem to  vary by region.  I call them One Leaf Tree, though another leaf snuck onto this pair!

 Here are some spankin' new designs that I've posted in my Aly The Red etsy shop, to make your winter a little warmer and give giving season a little brighter. 

 Keep your hands happy and warm while driving, playing music, typing, reading in bed...
Guaranteed to give you greater confidence and comfort on your way to the big job interview, while at the dentist, and taking tests.  Loved by teens and grandmas alike.  Yes, I do have solid colors and men's sizes. 

Snuggle Season

Toli loves having a little brother.  They hang out, wrestle, fetch, eat, and doze off together.  They love walks and dog park visits, though Jackson really cuts loose when he's in the "small dog park" section, with others of his size.

Jackson has such short hair, he's happy to wear a coat indoors and out.  The kids and I have had fun making custom dog coats out of old sweater sleeves and this polar fleece one. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Secret November Garden

What is going on in the garden? 
 Did some Halloween ghoul spill it's secret potion on it's hop over the fence?  On this first rainy and quite cold morning, the camera and I went to explore a mysterious explosion of greens and colors in the corner of the garden..........

 I planted these here a few years back, to accompany the beans up the trellis.  The spicy, peppery, edible flowers sport a variety of color.  In the gloom, they lit me up like a LED.

 I've never seen leaves this large.  Bigger than my hand.

 The jewel of a water drop, seems to be making a face at me.

Who else has been under here?

 Still blooming in November.........

 I put Dad's chair in the garden this summer, when I could keep his blanket on it for comfy sitting. I like the idea of it over-looking the gardens, and keeping an eye on the fairies.  I hope the rains don't take it apart too soon. 

 Why don't you have a close up look at your garden in November?  You never know what you will find.............

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Make your own Washi Tape

 Make your own Washi tape.  Washi tape is Japanese paper tape that's decorated.  All the rage for art journals, art projects, scrap booking.  But what about making your own?  We used different types of tape, sticking them on plastic sheets until use. Above is my collection. 

I took a class with Jill Cardinal at Oregon Art Supply in Eugene.  We had a great deal of fun, painting our own tape and stamping with hand made stamps.

 Medical tape is see-through but also easy to tear and hard to remove from the plastic sheet.  Here's a few samples put in my tiny art journal.

Hand made stamps are my favorite.  I quickly carved this eye stamp in class.  The feather stamps, I made previously.  

I am always on the look out for good abstract design stamps and tend to over-think it.  Jill and I were playing with "random designs" and she showed me her best trick.  In her box of carving material scraps, there are many discarded designs and broken, or cut-off pieces.  They make GREAT random stamps!  Cut off a few edges and try lining them up in various ways to make repeating patterns.  Many of my "fancy" washi tape designs were made with these so called scraps. 

We played a game: on person cuts lines into a stamp section and hands it to the next person, who cuts out a piece that looks fun to stamp with.  We tried lining up the prints every which way.  See more examples on the bottom photo.

 This morning, I applied the random designs to my colored envelopes.

(The little tree stamp was made by my kids- part of a set they made for me with mushrooms and a gnome.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Open Studio Party!

The transition from retail to wholesale has been wonderful for me.  I've been so busy getting set up shop, and filling orders, I haven't seen many friends recently, so it's time for a little open house.  Drop by the studio and say hi after school (parents) and after work, 4-7 this Thursday.  Wine and chocolate and free raffles.

 My nature themed pendants and earrings will be available at great prices.  Pre-holidays sale.  But really just come say hi, I'm inviting neighbors and friends.  xo Alysse Hennessey

Friday, June 1, 2012

Great Tidings- New Newsie News

Wearing "Lucky Rabbit" earrings by Nettles Jewelry     @ Sydney Harbor Bridge

June 1, 2012 and you are looking at the new owner of Nettles Jewelry, wholesale company. 

 I have bought this established jewelry company from Kristi, as she moves onto a career in herbalism, and healing.  She's already written her first book, Brew Your Own Medicine.

Nettles Jewelry is line of pendants and earrings, featuring nature based collage, hand made of salvaged glass, upcyled mirror, vintage candy tin, and vintage beads.  I sell to museums, galleries, zoos, bird centers, and boutiques across the country.

"Raven Thistle" reversible pendant, carded and ready to display

The new website is being built now- I can't wait to show you.  I'll be inviting all the local friends to an open-house studio event later this summer, so you can see all the pretties for yourself. 

Please join me as I re-launch the Nettles Jewelry facebook page

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Australia- the chapter on cousins

 We went on this grand trip primarily to see family.  Roddy is Australian and we haven't been a-visiting since before the kids were born.  We've brought Grandma June here to Oregon twice when the kids were little.  I felt like we were due. 

The cousins were eager to meet each other and a little nervous too.  It turns out that they all fit on a hill side together, and had a blast through all our sleep overs, gatherings, swimmings, and outings.

 Here is a proud Grandma June surrounded by her four kids and the five grand-fellas in the back.  It's the first photo of all her kids together as adults, since Roddy has been here in the states most of his grown up years and last time we visited, some of the sibs were living in London.  She was just beaming.

 Turns out that all the cousins like playing lego, nerf AND going to play at the park all together....

 ...all the cousins like eating sushi, even baby Luke does.

  In Australia, you can go to the awesome Brisbane water park with ALL your cousins.....check THAT out! can lego with your cousin....

.....ride the tram at the Australia Zoo (hello Steve Irwin!!!) and eat vegemite rice cakes at the same time with your cousin.....

.... swim with your cousins at your own cottage pool....

 ..... you can visit the crazy town of Nimbin with your cousin.

You can even feed the animals with your cousin, like a mob of kangaroos....

...or baby Butcher Birds and baby Magpies at your auntie's back door.

And there are a few cousins you can pick up.  Baby Luke was so sweet and cute, everyone wanted to give him a cuddle.  
Finn went to school with a cousin one morning.  I wish I had photos of that.  It was a beautiful school on a hillside covered in gorgeous eucalyptus trees and tropical flowers.  All Aussie school kids wear uniforms and hats with brims.  The kids had lots of questions for Finn and the girls repeatedly asked him to say things like, "grahss" (grass), and "No-vem-ba" (november) then they'd giggle.  He had a pretty fun time.  :-)

Cousins are good, especially super fun, and super special down-under cousins that look a bit like you.  And we grown ups had a nice time all together too.  We stay in touch via calls and email, but that's not the same as face to face, is it?  I need to get set up on Skype. 

Cheers, Mate!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Adventures Down Un-dah part 1

 The first four days of our 5 week adventure were spent in New Zealand.  Air New Zealand offered us a free stop, and I'm so glad we did.  What a beautiful country, full of very friendly folks.  I already can't wait to go back.  This is the NZ airport entrance with beautiful and dramatic Maori carvings.

 First we had to wait for it to get light out enough to see, THEN we had to get used to driving on the left side of the road.  This took two very vigilant adults full attention.  Yipes.  But it's do-able.  We drove straight out of Auckland and over to the east coast. 

Yes, it was rainy but coming from late winter in Oregon, it felt simply balmy to us.  Delightful.  Every hill was dotted with white, wooly bodies. 

 There were tons of places to just pull over and have a hike.  Parks and reserves everywhere on the map.  We didn't pre plan our NZ trip, we just went exploring.  I recommend it! 

I was surprised at how quiet the forest was.  Took a long time to sink in.  So few native birds and creatures, and the ones they do have are all up at night.

 New Zealand felt like a tropical version of England, with little country towns, sheep farms, friendly folks, yet the exotic flora and fauna!  We didn't come across any stop lights outside of Auckland, only round-abouts.

 Me and Q on a walk bridge trail heading for a rain forest hike.  Yes, it was raining but warm and just gorgeous!

 I'm all excited about a forest full of giant fern trees.  Feels like I was transported back into the stone ages.

 Why can't our money be gorgeous like NZ dollars?

 Do you recognize this scene? 

 Yes, that's the Green Dragon Pub in the lord of the rings films.  We surprised the boys with a visit to Hobbiton and they totally freaked out.  I read about it before we left, and was following current filming news, but had no idea the set was so close by until we got there.  Peter Jackson just finished filming The Hobbit in Dec and they reopened the set for tours.  It's now a complete village with 43 unique hobbit homes.  We felt so lucky to be here, and spent several very happy hours hearing the film stories from our guide, exploring the village, and taking many photos. 

Above is taken from the party field where Gandalf lets off fire works.  The director really had all the actors drinking beer during the filming, to be authentic, allbeit, only 1% alcohol.  They had to have it specially brewed for the crew and you can still buy it on site.  Soon the Green Dragon will be open for tours as a working pub and wedding location. 

 Q in front of Sam's house.  Remember the end of the the first movie, where the little girls come running out and say "you're home!!!"  The Hobbiton set is like a real working village, compost, real tools, gardens, fruit trees, mail boxes and all.  They employ three full time gardeners, who all happen to be young women.  All the wood, details, tools, carvings are real.  Only two things are NOT real in the whole village, can you guess? 

 This is Bilbo's house, door enticingly open.  This one is a large space inside, not that we were allowed......

 Most of the hobbit houses are just this big inside.  Large enough to set dress the windows, and light candles. 

So did you have a think about what's not real in the village?  The lichen was painted on all the hobbit houses and fences, made of paint, sawdust and glue, you can see in the close up shot.  And the tree above Bilbo's home!  It was taken from England, like all the plants, trees and herb.  The tree was chopped into three pieces, and fashioned back together.  Interns painted all the plastic leaves by hand and then glued them on.  Scroll back up and have a look..... I'll wait...... and now all those leaves are coming off in the wind.  I found one for my scrap book. 

 Maori good luck tiki above a hiking trail.  This figure was seen all over NZ.  We toured around for our four days, enjoying all different types of mini adventures.  We love anything involving hikes and nature, really...... good food, free time together, take photos, collect feathers.....listen to birds, giggle together.  We are a pretty easy to please bunch.  And I brought a visual journal so every night, I'd add a page.  I'll post some pics so you know what I'm talking about.

 Glow worms!  This is my best shot because someone elses camera flash went off as I was trying to get a shot in the dark (futile), and you can just see the glowing spindels that allow them to catch bugs.  The glow worms themselves are tiny things. 

There are many touristy glow worm things you can pay to do, but we just did what the locals do and enjoyed a delightful night hike on the natural caves trail.  We walked in the dark a much as possible.  The glow worms are all around in the soil walls of the walk and look simply magical, like twinkly blue stars.  And speaking of stars, nothing like the night skies of the southern hemisphere as viewed from this night time trail!  We taught the kids to find the Southern Cross constellation. 

 The walk through caves were cool, but we put our hoods up after spotting a very (very) large spider up in a corner minding its own business.  (Just the idea a spider could be so big...).  The end of the hike was marked in our memories by our first encounter with an Aussie possum.  They are so cute!!!! 

 If you get a chance to go to NZ, you must visit the Kiwi House.  It has all the native birds, including the world's only flightless duck and flightless parrot.  Who knew?  We all got so much out of this visit and were most deeply impressed by the two kiwi birds that live there.  I had no idea they were as big as they were (well not as large as this photo, mind you).  Americans seem to think kiwis are the size of a light bulb, but they are much bigger and more aggressive.  Takes a new keeper about a year not to get attacked every time they go into their territory.  Then they become quite affectionate.  They are dear to look at and active little things, eagerly hunting for bugs by poking their long beaks into the loam.  They sleep 20 hours a day and only come out for 4 hours at night to eat!  They can live up to 40 years and make an egg the size of an emu egg.  Yea, you read that right.  Same size! 

 Hey, we are in Auckland for the last day and the sun came out!!!  We stayed at a neat hotel right on campus.  What a great place to go to college!  Gorgeous, multi cultural city to be a part of.  We spent the day walking through the city, making our way to the warf and circling back through little china town.  We were thrilled to get the sunshine.  Keep in mind this was winter for us (snowing back home when we left) and very end of summer for them, season-wise.

 A little gallery hopping --I can always do a lot MORE of that than they desire to, but the boys, quite liked these jaunty little gnomes.  They were pretty sure that $200 was fair dinkim to pay for that awesome orange one.  They are standing there, seriously trying to convince me that I could fit it in my suitcase just fine and how much I'll like it in the garden (giving me the bird every day).  Hee hee!

 They will eat sushi any time of day or night.  I dug this little narrow walking street, and across from the oldest pub in Auckland.

 Artsie loungers down on the water front.  We enjoyed some gelatos and watched the ferry boats working. 

 At the big yacht show, there were all these fun activities to do.  When do you ever get to walk on water in a big bubble (for free?).  They loved it and got to be on the water at the same time.  The folks putting it on, had big hooks to get the kids back and then unzip them after 5 minutes so they didn't smother and all.

 Modern Maori art gallery.  I enjoyed the bold designs. 

 The night time view from our hotel room.  Gorgeous all the way past campus and out to the water. 

Mailing post cards before we got on the plane.........