Weekly Quote

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.---C. S. Lewis

Monday, December 27, 2010

Images of Christmas

I love taking pictures of lights and of course Christmas provides lots of opportunities.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Still Raining

The weather service is saying this is a once in ten year rain event for California. Thank God.

Yesterday my back yard was under water.

Today the rain let up a bit. The lake in my backyard soaked into the ground. The river in the street subsided to a creek. The dogs went out for a much needed romp. And I'm going to venture out to get chicken feed and supplies to finish up my Christmas sewing.

I'll be so glad to see the sun on Thursday.

Hope you are staying warm and dry.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rain, rain go away

It is raining. The torrential rain, river in the streets rain that hits southern California at Christmas time most years. I hate it. After one day I am grumpy and after two days I am grumpier. The weather report is prediciting rain through Wednesday; by then I will be grumpiestest!
If you are not from so. Cal you probably think I am a whinny wimp and you are right.  I am so conditioned to hot and dry that all this wet stuff is overwhelming and besides it makes the horse corrals stink.
Please...rain, rain go away!
So what is your weather like and how does it make you feel?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The stocking were hung....

Today I sent off my fifteenth cross stitched stocking (I stitched thirteen and my mom stitched two for me).  This one went to Jason's new wife Jaime.  All of them have been labors of love and have gone to family members.

The pattern is from Shepherd's Bush in Utah.  I love their primitive folksy designs. I stitched the first stockings, for my kids, in 1996; good thing they keep making new designs. I have made some of the patterns more than once but each time I change something--different colors, different border. 

Does your family hang stocking for Santa to fill? Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Did Over Thanksgiving Break

Over the long weekend we loaded up the family and horses and headed to Yuma, Arizona.  My SIL, Denise, and her hubby, Jeff, have a place on the Colorado River.  On Thanksgiving we had a wonderful traditional meal prepared by Denise; most of us promptly fell into a turkey coma or pretended to watch a football game.  The youngsters had clean up...yes!

We boarded the horses at the Crying Coyote Ranch.  On Friday we took advantage of the round pen and arena at the ranch.  Max was a little freaked out by the new surroundings so it was nice to have the opportunity to work him in a controlled environment.  Even with that he gave Don (my hubby) a wild ride; side stepping and bucking.  Max is a beautiful horse, has a sweet personality but his lack of confidence can make him a challenge to ride. 

Later on Friday we all piled into the 4-wheelers and hit the hills along with several other families.  Noah, my son, was behind the wheel of the Jeep with Don as navigator, and Jeff the Hummer.  This was Noah's first time driving on the Jeep trails; as we are driving along Jeff commented that theses trails were not "Offroading 101".

Here's Noah's reaction. 

Looks like he didn't mind the advanced course.

At the end of the trail we had a bird's eye view of the river.

In my opinion this is one of the best times of the year for enjoying the desert; the other is in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.  Many people like the summer for water sports but I am too klutzy for waterskiing and it is just too hot for me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Shipment to Little Dresses for Africa

Today I am mailing 3 dress to Little Dresses for Africa thanks to Irene, Katherine and Britteny of Garden of Beaden and a fourth that I made.  My goal is to double the number of dresses (and add shorts for boys) in our next mailing. 

If you would like to become a part of our effort to assist Little Dress for Africa in bringing hope to the orphans of Africa contact me by leaving a comment here or at dgunn43[at]aol.com or go directly to the Little Dresses for Africa website for more informtaion.  And you don't have to be a seamstress to help you can provide material, supplies or money for shipping.

I can't wait to see the next batch of dresses and shorts!

What are your favorite charities and how do you participate?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Catching Up!

It has been a hectic ten days.  Village Venture has come and gone.  It was a great success.  I sold several pieces of jewelry and a purse, met a lot of nice people and gave out a bunch of business cards.  The day was cool, perfect for an outdoor art faire. 

I took this picture of my booth with my cellphone so the quality is lacking; maybe someday I will move up to an IPhone.

A special thanks to Denise, my sister-in-law, who came from San Diego to help me at Village Venture.  She is a great saleswoman and just plain fun to spend the day with.

The next day I packed the camper and headed to LV to run a well capacity test for one of my water company clients. 

I spent the week...

Running tests.

Camping out.

Taking water level measurements every half hour.

Taking water level measurements every hour.

Taking water level measurements every 4 hours.


Playing with wire.

Watching movies (aren't mini-DVD players wonderful).

Getting up at 1 a.m (Yuck, such an ungodly hour).


Talking to Jazzy (she thinks I am a great conversationalist).

It was fun to be away and working. 

However, as Dorothy said "There's no place like home."

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Handbags and Toads

I made three more purses and that will be it for this art fair.  I hope they sell because I want...need...to buy lots of wonderful, quirky, retro, vintage material.  And buttons.  And ribbon.

Check out the button (double click on the picture to enlarge) on the red handbag.  It is the weirdest old button and it was made for this retro mid-century atomic tiki barkcloth. 

Out of no where we have toads. Cute tiny toads. Unexpected.  I wish I could get a picture of them but they  hide out behind cans and rocks and things.  And they are driving Jazzy crazy; she is obsessed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Earrings, Earrings, Earrings

In case you are wondering whether I followed my schedule and made earrings or deviated and made purses, I followed the schedule.

And here they are.......
This week's project is purses, purses, purses.  One down, five to go!

What is your project for this week?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Donna Gunn Handbags

I spent last week making handbags; I'm very excited about them.  You can see them in person at Village Venture.

Hobo Bags from Donna Gunn Handbags

The purse on the left and in the center is made from upholstery material and the one on the right is upcycled from a jacket (I used the material that was left from the first purse I made). 

Each bag has coordinating cotton lining with a large pocket, a D-ring for hanging your keys and is embellished with MOP or metal buttons from my collection.

Remember the handbag that I entered in the LA County fair?

(Here's a picture of it. )

It received a blue ribbon! I'm excited about that too.

Are you thinking "I have the perfect piece of material for this handbag; I want to make it myself"?  You can get the pattern from JCaroline Creatives. 

And, of course you can always buy one from me at Village Venture or contact me at dgunn43 at aol.com.

The cowgirl material has arrived and my intention is to make hoop earrings this week but I can't get that material out of my head. 

Will I give in and make the cowgirl handbag or will I follow my schedule and make earrings?
What would you do?

Monday, September 27, 2010


I got up early this morning, 5 a.m., to clean the horses' corral so I wouldn't have to do it once the sun came up.  (Yesterday is was 110oF in lovely So. Cal. and today the forecast is 108oF.)  Oddly it was nice being out at that time of day.  Just enough light to see what I was doing, a warm breeze and three of my favorite companions--Max, Breezy and Tank.

I then got on the computer and bought these fabrics from Etsy for handbags. 

They are reproductions of barkcloth designs popular in the 1950's.

Can't wait for them to arrive so I can sew them up.

This one is my favorite, cuz I wanna be a cowgirl!

Do you have a favorite? Which one is it and why?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Autumn Designs

A preview of new designs I am making for Village Venture...is it already less than a month away?

I love charms and the autumn season so I have been rummaging through my bead boxes for beads and such to make into autumn charms for necklaces.  I scored the mother of pearl leaves from a round robin bead box and the vintage brass chain from Etsy. And aren't the bronze pearls awesome?

Hope to see you on October 23 at the Claremont Village Venture.

Are you working on new designs that celebrate fall?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I joined the Etsy Holiday Boot Camp

I, Donna Gunn, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

Yes the holidays are just around the corner.  In the Etsy Holiday Boot Camp spirit...repeat after me.  "I pledge to do my holiday shopping on Etsy for handmade and vintage treasures."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wild Thing and Sweet Thing

This summer, it seems so long ago, my niece, Sweet Thing, spent a little time at the beach with us.  Wild Thing and Sweet Thing could have been sisters...even twins.  They look alike; they act alike. 

I have always loved the picture of the little cousins hugging, now I have two pictures to love.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


World Trade Center Lights Tribute

Take time today to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and to pray for those who hate personal liberty so much they would commit such an atrocity.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Village Venture, Claremont California

I have been anxiously awaiting notification from the Claremont Chamber of Commerce as to whether I had been chosen to particiate in the 2010 Village Venture on October 23; to my great joy I received a positive response this weekend. 

Village Ventrue Arts and Crafts Faire  is a juried show so I was required to send pictures of my work with my application and, of course, fees. 

I will have lots of jewelry for sale and will be previewing my new line of handmade purses.

Here's a sneak peek of a couple of the items I will have for sale.

The lampwork beads are by Dana Ivory, wire work by me. 
This is one of my favorite pieces.
I love the primitive style of this material. 
I embellished it with vintage rickrack, buttons and beads.
This purse is entered in the LA Couty Fair
I guess you know what I will be doing the next seven weeks--makeing new inventory!  How exciting!

I look forward to seeing you at Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire, Booth 178 on Saturday Ocotber 23 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Rain or Shine!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bush Babe Comments

Bush Babe, the winner of the blue lampwork earrings, has a nice post on her site about receiving the earrings.

While you are there check out her photographs of life on a ranch (I think they call it a station) in the Austrailian bush.

I'm hooked.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wild Thing

I've noticed that the blogging community tends to use nicknames for their friends and family. 

I decided to start with my daughter, Malora. 

I also noticed that the nicknames tend to be terms of endearment but none fit Malora.  Now don't get me wrong I have terms of endearment for her but she is so much more. 

She is ...

spirited and emotional,

helpful and irritating,

funny and confident,

and headstrong,

beautiful and independent,

empathetic and blunt,

daring and lazy,

and headstrong,

determined and curious,

animal lover and avid reader,

libertarian and boy savvy.

And did I say headstrong?

Today she was playing the old Troggs song "Wild Thing" and it hit me she is "Wild Thing".  Henceforth, on this blog Malora, my beloved daughter, is "Wild Thing".

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend in San Diego

This weekend I was in San Diego teaching at Bead Gallery.  Bead Gallery is a wonderful store with an equally wonderful proprietor, Dolores, and staff. The store is packed with beads and tools, and handmade jewelry!

My first class was on Friday evening.  Lidia joined me for an evening of earring designing, unfortunately I did not get pictures of this class.  Lidia is fairly new to wire work but she did a great job and I look forward to seeing more of her work.

My second class was all day Saturday and three ladies: Janet, Roma and Jacqueline, joined me for an adventure in rivetting. The Riveted Heart class is a fairly technique intensive class but these riveters were very enthuasitic and their excitment was contagious.

Jacquline's Project:

Roma's Project:

Janet got away before I thought about taking pictures.  Darn!

I mixed pleasure with business and spent the off time with my sister-in-law and her family.  On Sunday we took a couple of her horses to Cuyamaca for a trail ride.  This is my trusty borrowed steed--Chico.  He is an elderly Azteca, gentle and surefooted.

I took this picture with my cellphone; it was terrible quality.
This prompted me to do a little experimenting with some of the features in Photoshop Elements.
 I like the results.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I took a book making class...

from the lovely and talented Dana Primavera.  The books are tiny 3 inches by 3 inches. 

The cover is hammered and torched copper.
(I used my new planishing hammer!)

The pages are aged heavy art paper with ripped edges.
(Next book I will stain the pages with tea.)

The closure is a silk ribbon with beads.

If you want one of your own Dana is teaching another class at Garden of Beaden in August and she is selling them at the Glitterfest October 2nd 2010.

Changes to my blog

I am exploring Blogger and found that I can have pages on my blog.  Wow!  I immediately added several pages...Artist's Statement, About Me, Tutorials, Metal Quotes and more.  The pages are listed as tabs below my banner. 

I am most excited about the "Tutorial" page.  I will be posting general information about wire, wire wrapping technics, metalsmithing and tools on this page, soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wrapped Washer Class II

Nancy C., Michele and Diedre

Paige and Topsey

Nancy R.'s bracelet, lovely patina and texture

Also in class were Lisa and Peggy

This is the largest class I have ever taught with 8 ladies.  A fun, determined group.  We had a strange reaction with our washers that slowed the class down.  Our washers were from China via Harbor Freight and when we tried to heat patinate them we got a wierd black coating that came off when we quenched them.  However when we hit them again with the heat they did not always give the lovely colors and some turned black again.  We concluded that they had some kind of coating and we found if we removed it prior to heating we got more consistant results.  I think I will look for US made washers in the future.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fall Colors

The fall colors from Pantone are out.  I always enjoy looking at them and sometimes even take them into consideration when I am designing.  I like this fall's colors very similar to the spring colors.

My favorites are lagoon (of course, I love any color that allows me to use turquoise in my designs), purple orchid and lipstick red.  Truly theses are gorgeous colors and great names. 

What's your favorite?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Tools

The big brown truck delivered new tools today, what a delight to unwrap them, touch them and give them a test drive.  When making my purchase I had two criteria.
  1. Function
  2. Cost
Is this tool designed for small scale work?  Is the tool well made?  Will the tool last?  Where is the tool made?  Is the tool made in a country known for quality craftsmanship?  Has the tool manufacturer been recommended to me?

This one is obvious.  Can I afford it?

I had the opportunity to talk with Jackie of Sylas Studios about tools.  Her recommendation for hammers was repurpose old  tools (old means 50 years or more) as the steel used in the past was better than modern steel or hammers from Peddinghaus.  And to look for tools from Germany, Sweden, England, and even the USA.

I'm not quite up to repurposing old tools...yet, so I decided to buy them pre-made.  What I bought was a 6 oz. planishing hammer from Peddinghaus.  The Peddinghaus hammers are mid-range...some manufacturers are more expensive and lots are cheaper.  And medium and long round nosed pliers from Rio Grande that are made in Germany.  I had a pair of the long nosed pliers before (but lost them), I was very satisfied with the quality.  The Rio pliers are also mid-range.

What is your favorite tool and who is the manufacturer?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Listed numerous charms and beads on Watergirl Studio today, most were Christmas themed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

And the Winner Is...

#3 Bush Babe (you can email your address to me at dgunn43@aol.com).  Congratulations. 

Are you wondering what my answer to the question is?  I'd say I'm a 5.  I have lots of earrings (most of them made by me) but I tend to have a favorite pair that I wear constantly until I find a new favorite pair.

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway.  I will do this again in the future so please check back for new chances to win a piece of my jewelry.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer is for Earrings!!! Earring Giveaway.

Summer is definitely here and I think everyone needs some new summery earrings.  To help you with that goal I am giving away these earrings ...

to one lucky person.

A little background on the earrings.  The beads are lampwork from a very talented artist (I wish I could remember her name...Dana ?) and the metal is sterling silver forged by me.  I love the Caribbean blue of the beads and the lime green accents.

To enter the Summer Earring Giveaway answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Are you an earring addict?  Rate your addiction 0 = I never wear them, 1 = I always wear the same pair, 10 = I have multiple pairs of earrings for each outfit.

One entry per person.

Entries will be taken until Noon Pacific Time on Friday July 16, 2010.

One winner will be randomly selected from the entries.

Winner will be announced on Saturday July 17, 2010 before Noon Pacific Time. 

Good luck.
I now have the capability to post blogs from my phone. I love technology.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Images From My 4th

Old Glory flying over Upland Christian Church...

Lunch with my church family....

Dinner with friends...

Waiting for the show...

The show...

A truly spectacular show this year.  We had three fireworks displays going on at the same time!