Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feather Your Nest 101

I have been asked to teach a class in Round Top, Texas!
I am excited, not only for the opportunity to beginning teaching; but for the setting in which the class will be held. Round Top is home to one of the country's largest Antique Festivals held twice a year. I have spoken about it more times than not, just how great this event really is, not only for die-hard antiquers, but for mixed media artists. If you are looking for it, it is there. If you can't find it in Round Top, just drive down the road a little until you come to Carmine, Warrenton, or Shelby, or maybe Fayetteville, Smithville, or La Bahia! This festival has spread to cover more miles than you can cover in a day, or quite possibly, a week.
"Feathered Nest"
Original design by Diane Cook
A mixed media piece of art jewelry you will enjoy wearing every day!

Laura Sgovio, a talented jewelry designer herself, is the owner of SGOVIO, an inviting boutique, located on Bybee Square in downtown Round Top. Just this past Saturday, Laura had a Grand Opening inviting customers to enjoy her shop's expansion, which now includes women's apparel, accessories and luxurious skin care; not to mention jewelry designs from several Texas artists (including myself).
a Jewelry Workshop
with Mixed Media Jewelry Artist
Diane Cook Taught in the historic Haw Creek Church
on Henkel Square in
Round Top, Texas.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
9:30 am - 5 pm
"Feather Your Nest 101"
This will be the first in a series of classes I will be teaching, each one different and unique.
Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested in attending, as this is a quaint venue, allowing a total of only 10 students. I will send you more details, which will include the cost of the class, class description, teacher and student's supply list, cancellation policy, area accommodations and directions to the event.
This part of Texas is absolutely beautiful. Coming here in the Fall is just a bonus!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Colors

The latest reader's challenge given by Objects And Elements threw me into a tail spin. The theme: Show us your Summer Color. How do you incorporate turquoise, lime green, hot pink and luscious popsicle-cool color into your handmade jewelry pieces?
I knew I had to use some of the gorgeous recycled silk sari ribbon offered in their shop. It is quite alluring and easy to incorporate into my designs.
"Flying South"
.....was born out of an etched copper pendant I designed. I added dimension using one of my etched scissortails; along with Susan's long nuts & screws and copper tubing, which I oxidized.
Yes, scissortails. You may call yours a swallow. They are scissortails to me, as this bird was always present in my childhood. I remember them so vividly sitting on top of the high wires in the part of Texas I call home.
I used platinum with orient nugget freshwater pearls. Here you will see more O&E pieces. See the tiny nuts and screws below the pearls? These were generously included in the class supplies given to us by Susan in a class I took with her earlier this year in Santa Fe. But, if you visit her shop, you will find all kinds of objects and elements, just like these!
bronze bezel was definitely a fun piece to use as my nest. I took more of the silk, winding it up and lovingly filled the bezel, just as a mother bird would do making her own nest.
How many times have you seen a bird's nest with fiber woven thru it? Mother birds are quite the engineers. They do as we do, use what they have and don't waste a single thread!
Do you remember the vintage mother of pearl buttons I found at Uncommon Objects? I used one here as the toggle for my silk loop. It matched perfectly with the pearls.
Now fly away and make your own summer color pieces....
.......before the end of summer catches you!

Monday, August 17, 2009


"Princess Emma"
I must admit, I had never heard of the regal hue, aubergine, until Stampington recently issued a call to artists to use this rich hue of purple in a mixed media or paper project for an upcoming issue of Somerset Studio. They asked artists to dig deep into their color palettes to use the color that has inspired royalty through the ages. We might call it eggplant, mulberry, plum, violet, or maybe grape. I call it gorgeous. They submit aubergine to be the queen of the color wheel. Maybe so, but you have to be a
princess before you become the Queen! I am a hard core Etsy buyer. It all began quite innocently. I do occasionally shop on eBay, but Etsy just has more of a draw to me. No bidding....just click and buy.
I began Emma by oxidizing a piece of vintage etched chain. I used 600 grit sandpaper to bring out the highlights in the etching.
I knew I wanted to use the brass pieces I had bought from several Etsy shops, beginning with a connector from Brass Bouquet, as the centerpiece of the necklace. This was also my inspiration for its name, as it was called the Emma filigree connector. Jill's 100% brass is all hand-finished AND made in the USA. This is a huge plus for me~being made in the USA! I decided to oxidize it just a tad more, again using my sandpaper to highlight the high points. I attached it to the top of the chain using two small oxidized jump rings, and just love how it rests there so easily.
Next, I simply began using all of my aubergine colored Swarovski crystals and Czech glass beads. The tulips are marbled glass amethyst beads bought from a new Etsy friend, Gypsy Spirit Studio.
I also added a sprinkle of amethyst nuggets bought from another Etsy favorite, UBB. Her fine gemstones are exquisite.
I did add a few vintage raw brass flower charms, which I also oxidized, from thatsmycharm. A couple of Vintaj natural brass findings bought at a bead shop in Kerrville, and a few Swarovski crystal rondells, which I oxidized.
But, lastly, I have to tell you, Emma truly began with the locket. My friend, Daryl, saw a previous post where I included a picture of the "princess" locket I had added to a necklace for a class proposal. She said she had many chains, and wanted a Princess locket. Yes, Daryl is a Princess!
This gorgeous Trinity Brass Company locket can be bought from Sharon at
Gypsy Spirit Studio. Doesn't it have the most beautiful aged patina? I did not even think about touching or altering it in any way. It is perfect just as is.
But, look inside. A little princess!
I actually had bought a large framed vintage photo of her with thoughts of using it in my class with Stephanie Rubiano. But, I just couldn't take the original frame apart, as it was well bound and I knew I could get a photo of her without dismantling the entire picture anyway....which I did.
I put her inside using The Ultimate Glue, and then gently covered her with a thin covering of mica.
I think I am in love with mica. And, oh yes....aubergine.
p.s. The vintage love letter used above, dated 1935, was purchased thru
Altered Paradise at Regina's Studio.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

answer to a mother's prayer

Last February I began an artistic journey with a group of fellow artists, lead by the very talented Seth Apter, in what Seth calls
I jumped in around February 14th. The big reveal date was May 1st.
This project has been brewing in my mind since then, as we were to use element(s) from our
DisCo DisCovery bundle to design, or give new life, to a piece of art of our choosing.
The due date August 1st or thereabouts.
I began pondering the very words of Seth,
"As I thought about the process of disintegration, I saw it not as destruction. Or decay. Or death. But as renewal. Change. And life".
This brought me back to last April, when circumstances (like an artistic journey to California) took place. But more important than that, and I mean life changing important, was the water baptism of my daughter, Melanie.
I had no idea she'd decided to participate in her church's outdoors baptism, held in the cool waters of the Guadalupe River in Boerne, Texas.
It tore me apart to not attend, as it was just several weeks before that I had purchased my airline ticket and paid for my classes.
So with great joy, my dear husband stepped in to video the event. Some of her sweet friends took pictures. But, even more and without a blink, my daughter gave me her blessings to go to California.
So this is why I am mentioning Seth's words, about decay not being death, but rather a renewal or change of life; as it made me realize that is exactly what my daughter did that warm Spring day in April...down in the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. She became a new person. A living soul in the body of Christ.
So with all that said, I have finished my project,
Day at the Guadalupe.
It is one filled with love and adoration for my beautiful daughter. The one I love so very much!

Melanie C. Wait was baptized into Christ on 4/19/2009.

Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4