Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Monday, August 30, 2010


Chameleon by Cindy Caraway
I have finally decided to part with "Chameleon". This beautiful bib-style statement necklace was made during a personal experiment to determine what an artist's work is "worth". I did a series of blog posts (click here for the first of these posts) which followed the process of making this necklace from beginning to (nearly) the end and computing the time invested.

Chameleon by Cindy Caraway
"Chameleon" features a fantastic collection of upcycled cabochons and components in an array of colors. The centerpiece is a brass lizard over a beautiful copper stamping. It is surrounded by cabs of enamel, metal, wood and stone which are cradled in peyote stitch beaded bezels. The colors move from brown to red, amber, magenta, tan, gold, avocado, olive, green and finally teal. The embroidery, worked in primarily seed beads, features a variety of vintage beads including glass, brass and pearls.

So, please visit my shop on Etsy - CindyCaraway - to see this and more available for sale.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Morning Coffee Quotes

The Sky Glider at the 2010 Iowa State Fair
"A verbal contract is worth about as much as the paper it's written on."
- Samuel Goldwyn

"When it comes to finding available men in Minnesota, the odds are good, but the goods are odd."
- Garrison Keillor

"There's plenty of intelligence in the world, but the courage to do things differently is in short supply."
- Marilyn vos Savant

"Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya."
- Walter Kaufmann

"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men."
- George Eliot

"Treat the other man’s faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine."
- Henry S. Haskins

"The Law of the Big Mo: 'Momentum is a leader’s best friend'."
- John C. Maxwell

"Seek first to understand and then to be understood."
- Stephen R. Covey

"He who has wronged you is either stronger or weaker than yourself: be he weaker, spare him; be he stronger, then spare yourself."
- Walter Scott

"Failure does not count. If you accept this, you'll be successful. What causes most people to fail is that after one failure, they'll stop trying."
- Frank Burford

"If you don't go fishing because you thought it might rain you will never go fishing. This applies to more than fishing."
- Gary Sow

"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why."
- Bernard Baruch

"The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway."
- Henry Boye

"Say not you know another entirely till you have divided an inheritance with him."
- Johann Kaspar Laveter

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm in! Woo hoo!

The jury has deliberated and "Green Acres" made the cut! Yay! :)

"Green Acres" by Cindy Caraway (2010)

"Art Meets Ag" is sponsored by ArtsBuild and will be held at the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery space at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. The opening reception will be on Sept 7th from 6-8pm. I'm really looking forward to being involved in this exhibit!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Morning Coffee Quotes

Smoky Mountains National Park - Summer 2010
"Truth is not determined by the volume of the voice."
- Chinese Proverb

"Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty."
- Marcus T. Cicero

"The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart."
- Robert G. Ingersoll

"If your head tells you one thing, and your heart tells you another, before you do anything, you should first decide whether you have a better head or a better heart."
- Marilyn vos Savant

"You can't know too much, but you can say too much."
- Calvin Coolidge

"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound."
- William Shakespeare

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power."
- John Steinbeck

"Once you consent to some concession, you can never cancel it and put things back the way they are."
- Howard Hughes

"Somebody just gave me a shower radio. Thanks a lot. Do you really want music in the shower? I guess there's no better place to dance than a slick surface next to a glass door."
- Jerry Seinfeld

"A penny is a lot of money, if you have not got a penny."
- Yiddish Proverb

"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
- Eric Hoffer

"Ill-health, of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy!"
- Thomas Carlyle

"There is no arena in which vanity displays itself under such a variety of forms as in conversation."
- Germaine de Stael

Friday, August 20, 2010

Green Acres

Well, I have finished my submission for "Art Meets Ag". It's not exactly the necklace I had planned but that is typical for most of my beadwork projects; I start with a basic idea and it morphs and changes as needed.

What's a bit odd about this necklace is that I had the idea for it last year sometime. I had found a little toy tractor at a tag sale and thought it might be cool to incorporate it into a farm-themed piece. The original idea was to submit it for the Iowa State Fair but it ended up on the back burner and never got past the planning stages.

Here are the steps, from start to finish, of how I planned the project. Not being a very good sketcher, I made a mock-up by cutting and pasting various clip art from a publishing program. Here's the original concept:

I had no idea how to do the barbed wire fencing and have only just recently found out that Fire Mountain has some leather cording which resembles barbed wire. A little too late but it's good to know for future projects!

After finding out about this show, the first thing I thought of was my farm necklace!! For starters, I knew I had to figure out if the toy tractor would work before doing anything. Long story short: it didn't. And I have a sad little dismembered tractor to show for it...

Please, no one email me and tell me it was a rare, vintage collectible worth $1000 dollars - as you can tell, the point would be moot.

After figuring out that the toy tractor would not work I decided I should bead one. So I did...
... along with leaves, sunflowers and several ears of corn.

Now, as you might have noticed from the original mock-up, it was planned to have 13 ears of corn. Since each ear takes roughly 2 1/2 hours each to make, I knew right away that that simply was not going to happen in reality. In reality, I made 7 and that took me a looooonnnnggg time (but they are kind of cute, if I do say so myself!).

Here was the proposed lay-out as of 2 days ago. Not the best photo, I know, but it was late and I was tired:

Finally, last night, I decided that, while most of my necklaces tend toward the "more is more" side of things, this one needed to be a "less is more" piece. I wanted it to wear like a piece of fine jewelry but with kitch-y charm. The barbed wire gave way to a gold rope chain. The ears of corn were cut down from 7 to 5 (I now have a cute pair of earrings!! tee, hee...)

So here is the final piece -
"Green Acres"
- finished, photo-ed and entered! 
I hope it gets juried in - wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Down on the Farm

"Art Meets Ag" is the title of a juried show in which I would like to be involved. I've been too busy beading ears of corn (and a little red tractor!) lately to blog. Here's a peek at the necklace project I've been feverishly working on hoping to make the August 20th entry deadline - Wish me luck!! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bollywood inspiration

After finding out a few days ago that the Etsy Beadweavers challenge theme for September was "Bollywood" - I got pretty darned excited!! For those of you who remember my "7 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me" post may have made note of the fact that I am fascinated by all things Indian (things from/of/about India, the country). So I started pulling together some little bits, bobs and beads to give me a little kick-start. I have a fairly large piece in mind and most likely will not be able to finish it before the Sept 5th deadline but what the heck, right?? When you feel inspired, you had better just go with it! Pulling color inspiration from several photos I found, here is what I came up with:
Now we'll just have to see if my imagination will get swept off to the spiced air of India!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Golden Dreams

While I was putting my beads away from finishing "Silver and Gold" for the Etsy BeadWeavers August challenge, I was inspired to make another pendant using the pretty gold beads. I call this one Golden Dreams because, as I was making it, it started reminding me of a dream catcher.

This pretty pendant is woven from vintage glass beads in shades of gold and seed beads in a lovely pearlized ivory. It is suspended from a 16" vintage, two-tiered gold-toned necklace. It's available in my Etsy shop - CindyCaraway.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Morning Coffee Quotes

"Almost all our faults are more pardonable than the methods we employ to hide them."
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

"Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders."
- Tom Peters

"Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I've got to follow them, I'm their leader."
- Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

"The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."
- Yogi Berra

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you."
- Dale Carnegie

"It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel."
- Anatole Francois Thibault

"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk."
- Doug Larson

"Man stands for long time with mouth open before roast duck flies in."
- Chinese Proverb

"There is a profound difference between information and meaning."
- Warren Bennis

"Great minds have purposes. Little minds have wishes."
- Washington Irving

"A myth is, of course, not a fairy story. It is the presentation of facts belonging to one category in the idioms appropriate to another."
- Gilbert Ryle

"Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all."
- Arthur James Balfour