Now I have always loved animals and was taught at a very young age by my Grandfather to love and respect them and to appreciate all they had to offer. I remember at age 6 or 7 walking around my grandfathers property one day and coming upon a fallen bird. I didn't know what it was, but I remember I cried upon seeing it and realizing it was dead. I went to find Grandfather and told him about it and that I wanted to bury it. He got me a shoebox and dug a hole. Meanwhile I had placed the bird on a piece of old rag my Grandmother had given me for it and closed the box and placed it in the ground. Grandfather covered it over and I think he thought that was the end of it, but it wasn't, I wanted a head stone! So he got a scrap piece of wood and gave me some paint and I asked him what kind of bird it was, and he told me, 'A Grackle'. So I asked him how to spell it and then painted on the little piece of wood 'A Grackle'. That was the first and last animal I ever buried, after that it was too emotional for me and I always got one of the men in the family to do it for me, when one of our animals had to be put down, I couldn't possibly go, it was too heartbreaking.
Ever since then though I have taken in strays,and injured animals, they just seemed to find me somehow, be it dogs, kittens ( I once found a kitten locked in a pay toilet at a gas station and had to take it home!) squirrels ( raised two at different times that had fallen from the nest), an Opossom ( took to the local animal wildlife shelter) and all kinds of birds that needed some rescue that I'd released,asap. One time a mother woodpecker had taken her brood out to teach them how to hunt. They had found our dogs little pool that was back near the woods and had a bit of water in it and I guess were having a bath or drink. Next thing I knew I saw one of them struggling and the rest flew off. I went out to rescue a baby woodpecker that was thoroughly soaked. I picked it up gently with a washcloth and brought it inside. There I placed it on a towel on the bottom of a cage I kept just for that purpose and placed it on the floor. Then I stood above it with a hair dryer on low, careful to move it around so it wouldn't get too hot and after a few minutes his feathers soon dried. It was very close to sundown so I hurried out side to put him back near the pool and hoped he would know the way home!
So you can see I have raised many an orphan and have a deep love for all Gods creatures. That is why I was so interested to read the announcement at this etsy shop.
100% of the revenue from our sales goes to rescue and shelter discarded, stray and broken animals.I had to go and look around to see what else I could buy from this seller, just to help the animals out. And happily I shopped , finding many things I thought I could use with my organic pieces to make some very nice jewelry. I convoed the woman and asked if it were too late to combine shipping since I had already completed the other order, and she graciously told me no it wasn't.
Within a short while I received a package in the mail and opened it. The first thing I saw was some crumbled paper ( more like crinkled from being wet) and what looked like some leaves sticking out from it. What in the world?? I thought. I pulled out the paper and also noticed some odd looking boxes in there. What did I order? I had three other packages sitting besides me so it wasn't' just this I was waiting for in the mail. I opened the folded two sheets of paper and began to read.
First the woman thanked me for my order and for helping the animals out, then she proceeded to tell me that she had taken a look around my store, ( I love that!) and then while she was on her way out to gather up what I had ordered ( I assumed she had a workshop outside the main house) she got to thinking how we lived in different parts of the country and that maybe I didn't have some of the plant life where I live that she did. So in the rain she stopped to pick off some leaves and seed pods and put them in the letter and a little box for the Morning glory seed pods and sent it off to me along with some bonus bags of wonderment ( beautiful beads and other goodies).
Now that was last week and I haven't been feeling too well recently, my heart is doing it's odd thing again so I haven't been able to get to this as soon as I wanted. But I was so touched by her generosity, and thoughtfulness I just had to reciprocate, for the animals.
So the very next day I made some molds and also impressions in some clay. I really had no idea what I'd be making, but I was sure something would come to me. I haven't finished them completely, but I wanted to show what I have done so I can get thanking this woman properly!
Here are the molds and an impression of one of the large green leaves, that I believe if I understood her correctly, Live Oak.
I finally got around to working on them and have made bas relief pieces from the molds such as the one from the top of the picture with the black dots, these are actually morning glory seeds embedded into the clay and then I later removed them. From this mold I have made a very special button for someone to use on a very special garment I think. The mold to the right of that is of the Morning glory seed pod. The way it impressed it looks to me like a strange outer-space man just crossing the finish line and breaking through the end of race ribbon!
The one right below it is the little cap on top of the seed pod and the one below that is a smaller Live Oak leaf. This one here you see in brown clay, I added a backing to it and filigree texture and made this pendant.
Isn't it beautiful? I will add findings to it and make it into a necklace. It looks like antique brown leather set in an old bronze metal aged setting.
I seemed to like the shape of these Oak leaves, I remember, but it's been awhile, being in the South, and seeing many majestic Live Oaks, with the Spanish Moss hanging off of them. These are huge , stately trees and are also not like Northern Oaks, which I am surrounded by, but the Live oak is an evergreen. I sure would like that, we just spent the best part of two days cleaning up all the leaves from our dozens of oaks!
So I had to make something else. Remember the other mold, with the oak leaf? It looked kinda ruffled? I decided to make a bead with this, different than others I've made. I made a base bead first from the newer clay that is very light, so light it floats, and this bead does float, I tried it out! anyway, I made the base bead and baked it, then I impressed some sage green clay into the leaf mold leaving plenty of clay on each side. Then I carefully and I mean carefully, wrapped it around the base bead, careful to smooth it so there were no air bubbles, and cut away the excess clay then smoothed the seams together.
It looked nice, but rather plain. So I decided to give it a little lift. With my needle tool I carefully went around the leaf, impressing a tiny hole each time. As I got to the edges I had to be more careful that each press of the tool did not smash the leaf on the other side.
I finished it off by making tendril type branches to simulate the Spanish Moss. After baking again, I finished it by sanding, then painting with various colors of paint, sanding, baking and then sanding and then finally buffing it. I think it came out very nice. It looks to me like a natural clay bead done in earthy glazes. I will also be making a pendant from this one, it is different than anything else I've done before and that is one of the exciting things that come from a loving heart with a surprise like this! New and exciting discoveries!
I hope I am not boring you yet, I want to show you a couple more things I've made. Here is the little Morning Glory cap, it reminds me of tomato caps and if you have been to my store you have probably seen my tomato bracelet that highlights many different tomato caps, each has it's own personality.I have done this one in a Tuscan Wall finish, it reminds me of the stucco walls in Tuscany, yellowed with age. Yes, this will be another pendant, a more delicate one than the last.
But this one here will be a brooch, one that reminds me of Wedgewood and old cameos at the same time. It is done in a denim clay and highlighted in white. It reminds me of Close Encounters of the third kind, the little men against the bright white light! This will have a border added to it and then a pin back. It should be quite the conversation piece!
Oh! Remember that white circle of clay with the black dots I told you were Mourning Glory Seeds? That is the button I made at the top of this blog entry, isn't it handsome?
I hope to be listing all these come this Friday, yes, Black Friday and I will also be having a shop wide Free shipping offer as well as a free gift tag/ornament with each purchase. So be sure to stop by, OH, and did I mention, all the proceeds from these pieces pictured here will go to my Local Animal Shelter, I'm sure, this time of year especially they will need all the help they can get, so see if you can't help out but purchasing one of these unique items. And thanks again to Nita, of PointyPaws.etsy.com ! And please visit her shop and see if you can't help out there too! I think Nita is the nicest, most personable person I've met so far on etsy ( besides my friend ellaluna) and I'm sure anyone that does business with her will agree!