Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Girls

I'm looking for homes for my girls who have been my constant companions for years. Neither my Ex-husband nor I can offer them the right kind of life for a border collie so I am looking for a good home for them.

Please contact me at carmenrose at comcast dot net if you or someone you know might be able to give them a good home.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hey everyone! I've entered this contest at
This is my entry, a jewelry design inspired by a grapes and leaves, tendrils... the whole grape cluster and autumn harvest kind of idea.
I'd absolutely love it if you voted for my piece. You can vote every day between now and December 8th. While you are there, check out some of the other entries. I may post my other favorites if I get the chance.
Simply click the sage green "VOTE" button in the top right of the listing to place your vote.
You could vote every day, five votes per day, up until December 8th.
It feels good to see this kind of response to the first piece I made after I moved, got my new studio set up and got my jewelry making mojo back. I'm very grateful indeed, it's been a loooooonnnng time coming!

Thank You,
-Carmen Rose

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Potato Soup

Oh it's been AGES since I made potato soup!
And these potatoes from my CSA turned out to be purple inside plus the white, yellow and sweet ones. 
They're so PRETTY!
With some smoked bacon...  and chicken stock, cream, smoked paprika and fresh rosemary.
Rich and hearty with toasted rosemary bread.


Delicious Creating,
-Carmen Rose

Rock On #2

The work on the rocking chair for Charity continues.  When I came back to the project, I wasn't thrilled with it, so I painted over some parts and tried a different approach.  Then I put the next layer of finish on the light areas. 

 It's an interesting process of putting paint on, the taking it back off again.
 It really made the details stand out.
 Time to work on the cushion.

Happy Creating,
-Carmen Rose

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grape Cluster Necklace Press #2

This necklace can now be found on the Facebook fan page as well as their blog.  They've done a beautiful job presenting it.  I'm really amazed at the response this necklace is getting.  Thank you all so much! 

Here is the text that goes with the photo that I wrote for their blog:
"In recent travels I came across a beautiful leaf that really captured my attention, it was from a merlot grapevine. I immediately wanted to make a jewelry design with a flowing grape cluster with a grape leaf or leaves. When I saw the copper maple leaf on the website, I hoped I could make it look more merlot than maple. When I added copper curls and chain, and round amethyst and jade beads plus hand made lampwork beads from for grapes. I made some other round beads from polymer clay to bring out the copper along with the greens and hues of purple. It took a while to structure the piece and I worked into the night, but I am very pleased with how it turned out."

 I have entered this necklace in the "What Inspires You" contest and later on in November they will open up the entries to everyone.  Then you can vote for the design you like the best. 

Happy Creating,
-Carmen Rose

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rock On

The good folks at Bargain Shop at 1910 West Beverley Street in Staunton sold me two antique rockers, gave me a great deal.  I'm working on this for the Roberta Web Child Care Center fund raiser Rock-a-thon scheduled for mid December.
This is the "before" photo:
I got it to the gallery and spent some time with the steel wool roughing up the surface so that the paint would stick.
I started the first coat, and let me tell ya... the guests in the gallery were not rooting for me at this stage.  There were some comments about ruining that old rocker and a little hostility from the purist crowd.  I understand, and on some level agree.  But the finish on this rocker was so bad and the bones so good... I really hoped that my work was not going to be entirely destructive.  But at that stage you just have to trust the process.  (And really, that is the part to do without an audience!)
I had chosen some commercial batiks for the fabric for the cushion and the inspiration for my color scheme came from the fabric.  Plus, I wanted to end up with something that would be the kind of thing I'd enjoy having in my home.  So I started into getting a variety of colors on the rocker. 
There is so much detail work on this rocker that it takes a really really long time to get one coat on it, much less two. 
Finally the second coat was finished:
Ready for a little detail work to bring out the features of the piece.  I blended lots of colors looking to achieve that batik fabric look. 
The gallery closed and I was ready to call it a night, so I had to stop there.  I'll be back soon to finish up the details on this one.  I made a template for the seat, so I don't know when I'll make the cushion but I believe it will bring together the whole project.  Or at least I trust that it will, we shall see.

Rock On,
Carmen Rose 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I have agreed to design a complete makeover for this rocking chair as part of a fund raising effort for local NFP Child Care center.

Each artist will augment a rocker. There will be a rock-a-thon and the rockers will then be sold at auction with all proceeds going to the Roberta Webb Child Care Center.  I already have visions of paint and of course a new textile cushion for the seat.  It will be interesting to see how it all turns out!

Rock on,
Carmen Rose

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grape Cluster Necklace Press has posted photos of my Grape Cluster Necklace on their Facebook Fan page and I've just been amazed by the kinds of comments people are posting.

What a blessing, I'm really grateful.

Happy Creating,
-Carmen Rose

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oh, this is FUN!

I've been in the jewelry studio again, this time playing with buttons from my grandmother.

There are a variety of earthy colored buttons in this piece, some chinese jasper and some apple green turquoise accents.

I made polymer clay beads in apple green, pale pink and rich purple. 

Hanging from the vintage buttons are these cool old keys, a washer and a nut with some vintage buttons and the polymer clay beads I made.

I finished up this set with earrings with key and washer, accented with Chinese Jasper and Apple Green Turquoise and a swirled polymer clay bead.

I wore this one to work.  I walked in and one of the guys noticed it right off.  "That's pretty cool" was his response.  This one will get attention anywhere it is worn.

Happy Creating!
-Carmen Rose

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Colors of Fall

Check out Pantone's Fashion color report for Fall 2010! It's a beautiful combination of colors. I'm always drawn to the purple colors, this time was no exception. "Purple Orchid" and "Chocolate Truffle" are both striking colors, as well as "Woodbine" which is a lovely rich green along with "Endive" which I interpret as a pale jade green. These colors were inspiration for new jewelry! Grape colors if you ask me!

When contacted me again about making something for their Fall Design Partner's Gallery, I came upon this beautiful maple leaf and these beautiful silver lined round twist beads which I thought would be perfect for a grape cluster design. Grape leaves and maple leaves aren't the same, but close enough.

So I started with a sketch. This is a bit unusual for me, but I had some time to think about this idea until the beads came. 
I also made some polymer clay beads, they are the swirly round ones that are a combination of the "Woodbine" "Purple Orchid" and "Endive" color scheme along with some copper.
I added in some copper wire to the design.
Then I worked late into the night in Studio Nine.  And by morning I had this:
I wanted to try to show the back part also, because I like the copper chain, the different textures and the copper wire twisted into a clasp.
$295 email me at CarmenRose at comcast dot net.
A detail of those glass beads from plus Amethyst, Jade, Faceted light Amethyst Crystals, Vintage Jade beads, Swarovski Pearls and other great beads from my stash.  I really think the "grape" leaf is the star of the show in this piece. 
It's structured on chain so it has lots of wonderful movement.  These are my colors.  I'm going to enjoy wearing this one! 

It's been years since I've done much by way of jewelry design even though I worked in this media professionally for quite a few years.  And much of this year I was emotionally unable to get in the studio and do the work that is closest to my heart.  I've moved my studios recently and it took considerable time to begin to set up another studio in my new home.  I finally have a jewelry design area.  More than that, I have once again felt the stirring of inspiration and I can't tell you how good that feels.  It's been a long dark season but this is a very good sign.  The creative juices are moving once more and I am grateful.
And that night after I created this piece, I just couldn't stop making jewelry.  It feels so good to be back in the flow again.  And I think I'll enter this piece in the Inspiration Competition when I get a chance! What Inspires You? Necklace Contest
May your creative juices surprise you with a blessing this week!
-Carmen Rose

FTC disclaimer: I received some of the products shown in this blog from free of charge, I have not been paid for my endorsement of these products and I am reviewing the products honestly.

Flying and Feasting

After enjoying the Zip Line Canopy Tour, I went back with Mary and her family to their timeshare at the Resort.  I've seen these places and wondered what they were like inside.  They've got an amazing view and lots of wildlife.

I had fun taking photos from the balconies and enjoying the wild life.

The sun was starting to go down.

The sky turned more beautiful than usual.

They are all lined up like soldiers, very orderly.

It was dusk, the sun was setting.

Such a pretty sky.  So we jumped in the car to go up to the top of the ridge.

I grew up in a house with a view of Massanutten Peak, it was the landmark of my youth.  Whenever I got lost, all I had to do was look to the Peak and then I would know exactly where I was.  Now I'm looking out at my "home land" from the very mountain that I looked to.

The sun had set, we were hungry, it was time to make some dinner.

We played with the groundhog, who didn't mind eating right from our hands.

Fat ol fella.  That peanut butter cracker seemed to slow him up a bit.

Later on the night shift came out to gather up whatever the groundhog had left behind.

Jody did steaks on the grill.

I fried up some green tomatoes until they were nice and crispy.

Now THAT'S a feast!  I don't think I've ever eaten such a big steak!  And there were hot fresh biscuits also.  And yes, I ate it all.  And it was good!

A lovely time around the table with friends from a distant time in my life.  It was so fun to enjoy their time together, it was a place of warmth and lots of laughter and stories of practical jokes.  I nearly laughed myself off my chair with the tale of the imaginary bear.  Mercy, it was good!

Some moments in life are so sweet, often made more so when in contrast to the darker things.  This was one of those and I'm so grateful.  I have the best friends in the whole wide world!

Flying and Feasting to you,
-Carmen Rose
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