Saturday, October 29, 2011

playing with plaster

I have been playing this past week with Stephanie Lee in her latest mini e-class 
Handbook of Elements.
Oh, it's been way fun....causing me to have ideas floating in and out of 
my head faster than the speed of light.
Maybe you saw the picture I posted on Facebook last week after our monthly
Rowdy Art Sisters get-together.
Red brass etched using two different rubber stamps~one primitive shell, the other, 
a short row of starfish.
I knew that shell stamp would end up in a project in the not too distant future.
And, it did...this past week.
My own little Handbook of Elements called
Primitive Shell.
No, it isn't quite finished, there's book binding to do...then adding some
of my favorite elements onto the spine,
which I will do in due time, which makes me giddy with anticipation.
 Rosey Locket 
(front and back cover shots above)
was also born this week.
I had to make more than one book to put all these pages into.
 Wonderful plaster pages.
Oh, yes...plaster is fun AND messy.
The fact is that it wasn't my first time 
to make plaster pages.
I actually had taken an evening class at Art and Soul in Hampton, Virginia 
in 2008 with Stephanie, called just that, Plaster Pages.
I never used them in a project, but I did keep the pages I made that night.
(Can't tell you how many times I almost threw them out).
These pages are much bigger, and a bit different.
But, now I know what I'll be doing with them, and it won't be making a 
Handbook of Elements.  We learned way more than that in this class. 
You know Stephanie, there just isn't an end to her generosity.
So....my handbooks above measure 3"x4".  They are a perfect little size.
The pages I made over 3 years ago measure double that!
Here was our set-up for drying our plasterly pages back then.
And, here's how my pages look today, which have been wrapped up in bubble wrap under a dresser in my spare bedroom, from 2008!
Ohhh....I've got some way BIGGER plans for these!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Grateful Living

I am so blessed to have been asked to be a part of a vision held by my friend 
She has started a blog called 
It is a space where a group of bloggers come together
in so many different ways.  Sharing little short stories, video clips, 
bittersweet tales from the past, losses and gains, 
good times and much, much more.
I'd like to share what Molly posted last Saturday.
 
This clip reminded me how powerful gratitude can be.
How wonderful life truly is when shared with others.
To open my eyes and take in what I see and can't see before me.
And, to never, never take one moment for granted.

It's not that unusual
When everything is beautiful.
It's just another ordinary miracle today. 
......A small clip from the song
Ordinary Miracle,
by Sara Mclachlan

Thank you Molly.  
Your vision rings clear and true.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday Rewind

I was featured yesterday on Susan Lenart Kazmer's
Ice Queen E-Zine!
It was there that I answered a few questions about myself,
and shared a few of my (currently) favorite creations.
I'd like to stretch that interview just a bit farther,
one piece of art at a time,
sharing the how and why behind each.
So....if you have a moment,
I'd like to tell you the history on this first piece!
 "Book of Dreams"
:art sistas:
I first became interested in tiny books when I bought a dainty micro book
(as she calls them), from
a very creative jewelry designer from France,
Esther Ramos.
About that same time, I had bought some packs of vintage mini book paper from a
vendor at Marburger Farm Antique Show.
 And, I had just over-etched a batch of brass cuffs.
Not being very happy with the results (lol)....didn't I say art was
PERFECT and imperfect?....I hammered out one of the cuffs,
cut it into bite-size pieces, filed and cleaned the metal,
added vintage book paper (securing it with an eyelet),
bent and shaped it into a tiny book, added a charm,
tied it with a piece of Dupioni silk, and as you would say....the rest is history!
 Sometimes I simply patina the metal with a torch, stamp words,
and add little nesties on top, along with Ice-resin filled charms,
as I did in art sistas.

I find myself using these little bitties on more and more pieces of my jewelry,
sometimes adding vintage text....
such as in Heart Strings, shared here, on my last post.
 And, in my one of my Believe pieces,
as seen here.

"Believe"
:i know she's in Heaven:
 I hope you get to stop by the E-Zine.
I really meant it when I said,
More than any other bit of information, I share with my students, is that imperfection is required. There are NO mistakes. Mistakes will often take you in a direction you may not have ever taken. Art is both imperfect and perfect at the same time. I believe I give my students the freedom to learn to let go, and to embrace imperfection. I, myself, have Anne Grgich to thank for that!
 I think you'll likey.....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heart Strings

"Heart Strings"
:True Heart:
~are what I call sleepers.
They were first published in the Spring 2011 Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.
I taught this class at the Art Guild in Fayetteville, then again (just the 
tassel) at ArtBLISS.
I will be teaching this class at Adorn Me! 2012
and again online this summer for 
 I love the options that await when designing them.
I added one of my tiny etched books to :True Heart:
These two new Heart Strings went to MimiBellas
today.
"Heart Strings"
:Sweet Bird:
I love to make the little "nesties" found in this one.
 I will teach you how to make one for your
"Heart Strings"~
Along with a few other tips and tricks =)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

virtual book tour stops here

~The House~
"Framed Series"
I am stop number six (mentioned here
on the Virtual Book Tour celebrating the new book 
torch-fired enamel jewelry
a workshop in painting with fire 
written by the talented,
Barbara Lewis
(Thank you Barbara for asking me to share my work on your tour!)
One of the techniques I teach in my "Framed" class, (yes! a simple one),
of torch firing enamel onto a piece of base metal.  
In this case, 24 gauge copper sheet metal.
I love the vivid opaque colors, and this one is my favorite,
~Family~
"Framed Series"
This piece was the second I designed in the series.
Again, using a piece of copper sheet metal as the base, 
I chose to use the color, Spruce.
Yes, I love the blues and green blues!
~Dance with Heart~
"Framed Series"
My latest "Framed" piece, was basically the same as the first two,
but still slightly different, not counting the clever dangle =)
This time, if you look really close, 
you will notice the subtle difference in the texture of the enameled base layer.
I didn't heat the enamel quite as long, 
removing the torch just before it fully liquified. 
This resulted in an "orange-peel-like" texture.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Now, as promised, I'd like to share some of the pendants my students made in the 
"Framed" class I taught in Austin last month.
Great work ladies!

Back row:  Cindy, Angela, Janise
Second row:  Pat, Rita, Sue
Third row:  Konnie (on the far right behind me)
Front row:  Charlene, Charlotte, =)
p.s. watch for my "framed" article in the winter 2011 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry,
due out December 1st. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

virtutal book tour begins tomorrow

 Have you seen the new book, 
written by the talented Barbara Lewis?
I am just one of the sixteen artists who will be featured on a virtual book tour beginning tomorrow, so you won't want to miss any of the next 16 days, as we share our experiences with painting with fire!
Just begin by visiting Barbara’s blog, Painting with Fire Artwear, to read all of the details about the virtual tour.  Barbara has lined up an eclectic mix of jewelry designers who will  share design ideas (and more) from each of their own perspectives.  There will be giveaways along the way, which you won't want to miss. 
Below is a list of the scheduled artists participating in the tour:
October 6, Mary Jane Dodd, www.mairedodd.blogspot.com
October 7, Gaea Cannaday, www.gaeabeads.blogspot.com
October 8, Linda Larsen, www.objectsandelements.typepad.com
October 10, Andrew Thornton, www.andrew-thornton.blogspot.com
October 11, Lori Plyler, www.waterstonejewelry.blogspot.com
October 12, Diane Cook, www.rosa-josies.blogspot.com
October 13, Lori Anderson, http://www.prettythingsblog.com
October 14, LeAnn Weih, www.summersstudio.blogspot.com
October 15, Jen Judd Velasquez, www.jenjuddrocks.blogspot.com
October 17, Melissa Meman, www.melissameman.blogspot.com
October 18, Lisa Crone, www.abeadaday.blogspot.com
October 19, Shannon LeVartwww.missficklemediacom.blogspot.com
October 20, Cindy Wimmer, www.sweetbeadstudio.com
October 21, Laura Twiford, www.souvenirsfromlife.blogspot.com
October 22, Erin Prais-Hintz, www.treasures-found.blogspot.com
October 24, Jennifer Cameron,  www.glassaddictions.com
October 25, Sharilyn Miller, http://sharilynmiller.blogspot.com/
Did I tell you that there will be prizes given throughout the book tour?  Everyone has the same chance to win simply by leaving a comment at the host's blog and by becoming one of their followers.

You also can increase your chances of winning by......

Tweeting, face-booking or blogging about the giveaway post, but you must leave a comment back at this post on Barbara's blog ("Book Launch!"), so that she can include your name in the drawing =)

You can bump up your chances yet again by becoming one of her followers. If you're one already, please just tell her so here =)

A winner will be selected by 10 p.m. eastern time and be announced the following day. You can check back at Barbara's blog for the announcement.

The bonus prize for the book tour participants will be a kit for Floral Cascade, which you see below.  Isn't it gorgeous?
Everything will be included, including the chain, jump rings and clasp ... and of course all the enamel goodies! 
But, that's not all!
For a chance to win the Grand Prize ... a Torch-Firing Kit (or $110 shopping experience at www.paintingwithfireartwear.com) ... please leave a review at Amazon.com by November 24.  Please leave an honest review ... the book must stand on it's own merits.  
Thanks for playing along!  We are going to be having a lot of fun, and we want you to be a part of it!

P.S.  Unfortunately, the giveaways are restricted to U.S. residents =(  
Winners should contact Barbara with their name and address through her  author website: www.torchfiredenameljewelry.com so that you can receive your prizes! 

Don't forget to check back next Wednesday, October 12th, as I share my Painting with Fire "Framed" class experience in Austin.....
mentioned here =)

Monday, October 03, 2011

i'm .....

I've found that once I return from a trip, I need a little down time.
This trip proved no different,
after traveling through seven states and back, on our way 
to and from ArtBLISS.
The name is self explanatory. 
Jeanette Blix and Cindy Wimmer have created an art retreat to remember.
If you have the opportunity to attend in 2012, start thinking about it now.
You won't regret it.
The intimate setting makes for a wonderful retreat.  And, if there ever were the perfect hostess', these two ladies definitely fit the bill.
Here's what they had waiting for me at the front desk!
How sweet is that?
Lori, =), Cindy
I finally had the opportunity to meet Cindy Wimmer face to face, 
after talking to her online for over two years.
And, meet Lori Anderson, who is the master mind behind the Bead Soup Blog Party!
I also met this round's soup partner, Kerry Bogert
who taught a couple of classes herself.
Kerry, =), Deryn
I had an opportunity set up shop next to Deryn Mentock at the Friday night's Meet and Greet, before the first round of classes that started the next day.
And, what a whirlwind it was....as I taught two classes and was in the classroom from way before 8 am to way after 9 pm. 
A long day for a short girl from Texas!  LOL.
But, as I began this post....
I am now standing on the other side, and it feels good.
Last Saturday was the seventh time I've taught my 
Etched and Layered cuff class.  
Here were the first set of cuffs waiting to be dipped into the etching bath.
Just as it was for me the first time, my students were thrilled
when their cuffs came out of the bath looking beautifully etched!
Luckily I had some help from my dh, as always; and my friend,
Ronnie~who helped keep me on task.
 I believe you'll agree, the cuffs are gorgeous!
That evening I taught the tassel part of my Heart Strings,
and had another great group of ladies.
 Adrianne and Andi kept me in stitches, 
as they built their tiny books and added the strings to their tassels.
Here is Andi's finished piece.  Layer upon layer of recycled sari silk, vintage ribbon, chains of all kinds, pearls, vintage rhinestones, mother of pearl buttons,
brass bits and numerous baubles.
I just love it!
We laughed most about the text she cut out of my vintage book of Shakespeare, 
and placed on the front of her tiny etched book. 
The next day was my largest class of the three,
Believe Soldered Pendant ... where many super stars
showed up!
What an honor and a blast to have Jeanette, Cindy and Lori,
there to spend the whole day with me.
Thanks so much ladies....for humbling me to my knees.
 Where is Jeanette?  Oh, I know...running around trying to fill every one's "needs".
She must have had a "store" in her room!
I am amazed at how the ladies spent the morning making beautiful original art to tuck inside their pendants, charms and bubbles.
Then, that very afternoon,
pick up a soldering iron and take off like they had been soldering for years!
I was impressed.
Without further ado, here are some of their beautiful soldered charms....
 Aren't they gorgeous?
Thanks to all my students who made me feel like a million bucks.
Thanks to Jeanette and Cindy for allowing me to come to the East Coast and share my passion for sharing.
 And, thank you Allen for helping all along the way.
It made getting to the other side easier than you know.....xo