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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Latest Experiment... Altered Clothing

Anyway, I guess that's what you call it! I'm not exactly just altering an existing piece of clothing, I'm experimenting with combining 2 or more pieces of clothing to create something new and completely unique.

 So... I started with a sweater vest and one of those graphic Ts with 3/4 sleeves. The sleeves of the shirt became sleeves on the vest and the body of the shirt became the "tail". Feeling it needed a little more dressing up, I trimmed it in vintage embroidered trim. The closures are actually necklace clasps and then I fancied up the neckline with gold metallic buttons and flowers made from the left-over fabric of the T-shirt.

This is just an experiment, of sorts, but I would love to hear what you think of it, in general. The combination of prints and colors may be a bit much for some but I wanted it to be feel gypsy-like or bohemian, slightly ethnic or tribal or... well... something like that! I'm thinking about making the "tail" less square - possibly going from short in front to long in back and ruffling the hem like I did on the sleeves. Hmm... that might be a nice alteration...

Anyway, feel free to leave comments and be nice - this is my first crack at this sort of thing! :)
Thanks for stopping!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Necklace re-make - LOVE IT!!

A woman who owns a few of my pieces of jewelry had a favorite necklace litterally fall apart while shopping one day. It was NOT one of the necklaces she bought from me but it was a gift from her son that she dearly loved. Unfortunately, one of the focal beads - a small turquoise bear fetish - was lost. She asked if I could repair/re-make her necklace and I was happy to give it a try.

What I received was a standing bear fetish, a small turquoise bear fetish, some silver beads and what was left of a strand of black dyed coconut heishi. I really wish I had taken a picture before I started but I didn't (*dang*). But here is the finished piece - I'm really quite proud of it!

Added from my stash were silver rounds, turquoise rounds, small sterling spacers, sterling studded rondelles, glass seed beads and some dyed bone hairpipe beads. What looks like a tiered necklace is actually two separate necklaces that can be worn together or alone.

I designed a clever clasp configuration to make it possible to not only wear the necklaces separately or together but the length can also be adjusted, if desired.

Here's a close-up of the bear fetish beads...

Anyway, I hope she will love it because I think it's FABULOUS! :)
Let me know what you think...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Trees" Exhibit Opening Tomorrow Night!

Here in Dubuque we have a great little art gallery called "Outside The Lines" located in the historic Cable Car Square on Bluff Street. A group exhibit entitled simply "Trees" is opening tomorrow night and will feature the work of 24 local and near-regional artists (myself included!). If you live in the area, stop by tomorrow evening (Jan 3rd) between 7-9pm for the opening reception - I promise it will be great fun and the art is super! You may even find the need to buy something...  :)