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Monday, May 26, 2008

Newest Charms

I have collaged, glued, painted, stamped, glittered and taped all weekend. Just this afternoon, I soldered. I started with the gently glittered Texas girls; and then on to the d pendant (left) that includes a cut-out of a beautiful Mexican calendar girl (AngelaVillalba is the artist). Last, I soldered the D bubble (in back).
I cleaned off the solder, applied black patina, then gently sanded each with fine sandpaper to create a rustic gunmetal look.
(Thanks, Stephanie Lee , for your blog motto "revelling in the perfection of imperfection").
I am pleased with the results.
As you can see, I have many more in the works. But, for now, I am tired.
This was my soldering set-up in the garage. The vintage (LOL) sal ammoniac block in the middle of my cookie sheet set-up; was given to me on Saturday by a very sweet stained glass shop owner in Sealy. She didn't like it, so never used it~much. It will bring a soldering iron back to a beautiful silver with just a little effort. It is all in knowing how to use it. Thanks to sally jean.

Odd Shots Monday ~ Ben-Hur?

This larger than life metal sculpture showed up at a neighborhood antique shop about a year ago. I must say, it stood out like a sore thumb. Every time I passed by, it made me think of Charlton Heston in the 1959 Oscar winning movie of Ben-Hur. I loved that movie.
Then, about 2 months ago, it disappeared. I actually was a little sad. Where did it go? About 20 miles down the road to another antique stop.
Be sure and visit Katney for more odd shots. Want to join? Details are there as well.
Have a blessed Memorial Day. And, please pray for our brave men & women who serve and have served in our great nation's armed forces.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

See you in the Funny Papers

My dh thought this was pretty funny this morning.
I must agree.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This is the life....

and...this is what love is made of this Saturday morning at our house~
*home-made belgian waffles, eggs over easy, and bacon*
My dh has been cooking alot since he retired in January. He IS an excellent cook, and I know I am truly blessed~
If you have need of a chef, but don't want to pay the big bucks.....i know of someone who wouldn't disappoint. A retreat perhaps?
Did I say retire? O, yes, I remember dh, retire means retire.
(But just in case you are, contact me~we could work something out! And, out of state is okay too~LOL!)
He's gonna get me for this.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Earrings for Susan

Last night I made a promised pair of turquoise earrings for Susan. She is my new friend from Art & Soul. She so graciously carried a large box of my supplies to Hampton. Not only that, she took the box back home and shipped it to me. One generous soul, who I had never met before then; only thru our Art & Soul Yahoo Group. When I say artists are kind and giving, I have proof~see her blog for more pictures of her Art & Soul experience. (w/pics of us). We had two classes together, and it was two of my best classes! Thanks again Susan~you are the best soul sister!

I have been working on a choker, using some of my new metal skills. A beginning piece, added to a string of Czech Crystals (of course!). These are a deep bronze color. The pendant can be worn both ways~ Trying to use all the findings I still have, I made these earrings as well. I love these new czech beads. I will continue to work towards building my inventory for the show I will be a part of in Katy in July.

However, this weekend will be totally dedicated to my new charm soldering project. Keep me in your prayers~

The Beginning of a Series

After returning from Art & Soul, my head has been spinning with ideas. All of the lessons learned from the talented teachers, I must say, have certainly stirred the heart of this artistic soul. I have SO many new jewerly designs waiting in the wings of my mind.
However, the weekend of Mother's Day, my daughter and I met my mother and step-father for lunch in Bellville. While there, we stopped in a wonderful antique shop, Nothing Ordinary-Antiques & Oddities, for a look around. Mind you, Melanie and I had been in one time before, and LOVED it. It is packed full of booths, holding a wide array of found antiques~objects, dishes, clothing, furnishings, books, kitchen wares, ART, and more. Upon paying, I started chatting with the beautiful Carol, who happened to be working that day. She overheard me talking about taking a Sally Jean class while in Virginia, just that weekend before. Seems that Nancy Lawrence, the owner, just might be interested in seeing my work!
Since then I have spoken to Nancy about perhaps selling my newest soldered pieces in the store. I started this week on a small cathedral charm. Needless to say, I have been searching for a theme for the first series of pieces. This morning 2 were presented to me (thank you Lord for blessing me two-fold) on my morning commute into downtown.
My first will be "Sisters". All those beautiful family pictures (starting with the sisters pictures I previously posted) will be encased in a beautiful charm. All will be original, and not reproduced (at this point). I also have plans for the necklace/chain piece to sell along side as well.
The second...stay tuned for details.
This is just a peek, and a *wink*. God is surely good.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Odd Shots on Monday

Babies in a Row
These little darlings were found at an estate sale on Saturday. I had only bought one at first, but had to go back and buy the other two. At first I didn't notice I had lined them up all in a row on my dresser. I have the quirky (or odd) tendency to straighten things~to the max!

My odd shot for today ~ Monday, May 19th, 2008. Visit Katney to learn more about Odd Shots~

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Anne Grgich

My last class on Monday, at Art & Soul, was with the talented Anne Grgich. Her art fascinates me. The class, Painterly Portraits, was described as such:
Spend a day with Anne Grgich, and take home a new approach to painting and seeing. Get inspired to work more freely and have your art passion awakened by the constant creative energy of the class. Learn how to paint with coffee, beeswax, acrylics, and get the various painting surfaces of Anne Grgich’s richly painted books, you will leave with one book well on its way to being complete.
My portrait book is not finished, but this class did give me the courgage to work on a piece once I returned home. Frida has long been an artist I find quite interesting. Her self portrait pictures and her use of vibrant colors, have always have caught my attention. I found myself using her as the subject of my first attempt at a collage on canvas.
(c) 8x10 x 2"deep original mixed media on canvas
This was fun.

Jake & Melanie

Guess who came to visit this weekend? It was glorious having her with Allen & I~if only for a day or two. Two weekends in a row is quite a treat. When I look at how beautiful of a person she has become, I thank God for showing Allen & I such favor. Her heart is surely made of gold. Not one for boastfulness or showiness, but one of compassion and love. She is surely the best daughter I could have ever been given. Thank you Lord for showering your love on us this way~
Jake...what a great granddog. He is the best!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sally Jean on Sunday

The Girls Got Gothic class was another Sold Out class I attended at Art & Soul. I had signed up for this class, hoping to learn all I could about soldering (in one day) from the great Sally Jean Alexander. Like she says in her book, Pretty Little Things, if she can solder a plastic doll, she can solder anything. Yes, I decided to skip registering for the class, Soldering for Virgins, offered on Thursday because I wanted to go home with a completed piece of jewelry. Nevermind, that I had not soldered but once before using Stephanie Lee's book for instruction-whose soldering by the way, is completely different from Sally Jean's! But, via an e-mail beforehand, Sally was so encouraging and assured me on what I should do while in class. Thankfully, I did. And, I absolutely loved it.
The morning was our time to collage the pieces before soldering in the afternoon. She gave tips on how she collages-using beautiful ephemera consisting of vintage wallpaper, German die cuts, maps, words from special old books, vintage journal pages, sheet music, tissue, tickets, foil pieces, old photos, lace, ribbon, buttons, crystals, and just about anything you can put between 2 pieces of glass. She used paint next-cerulean blue, yellow ochre, raw umber and Golden Soft Gel medium, to enchance and mesh the collage together. Finally, she showed how she uses soft charcoal pencil to give it an aged look.
Her husband Brad is her assistant. He is great, and can solder as professionally as Sally. He cuts all the glass she uses, and showed us how to do so as well. Loved it!
In our class packet, we received a large and smaller gothic arch, several sizes of rectanges, and bubbles. We received 2 sizes of copper foil tape. She explained and demonstrated the set-up/workstation, cleaning the glass pieces before soldering, wrapping, burnishing and finally the soldering of the charm itself. She taught us how to clean our irons with the sal ammoniac bloc. Her tips on adding the jump rings was priceless. She is a great teacher. I believe she could solder in her sleep.
We cleaned our pieces with flux cleaner, and then polished them with Blue Magic metal polish.
Last, she had a roll of nickel silver wire which she used to show how to make our own necklace chain. I hammered, soldered and made about 8 rings before I left.
I soldered 4 various rectangles, 1 gothic arch and a bubble in class that day. The bubble, which I loved making the most, is now in a custom designed necklace made last Satuday. I added it to a 20" nickel chain; hung a small yellow agate rondell below it, and finished it with a dragonfly. It is now hanging on my massage therapist's neck! She adores it, and we decided to call it "The Melissa"~shown at the bottom.
I did leave without a completed piece of jewely that day, but left with much more. A new passion for soldering.

The Melissa
*Picture taken with my phone! I forgot my camera?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Finding Creative License at Art & Soul

It was a perfect day for flying into Hampton.
Room 504 is where I fell out each night!
A shot with Susan Lenart Kazmer before our class on Saturday. What a great teacher. Her book Making Connections is both beautiful and a great "go-to" for me. Her class gave me two new eyes for designing my jewelry. Her book will be used as a reminder of what she taught us that day! I took Jane Wynn's class on Friday. She too, a great teacher. Her newly written book Altered Curiosities: Assemblage Techniques and Projects, is a good addition to my library. It will help with the assemblages I will have in the Sami Show in Katy in July.

My very first class on Thursday was with the great Albie Smith. (Look she is holding my soul sister, Susan's book). I do not have enough words of praise for Albie (and her daughter Christine). The class was Opulent Patterns and Cross Structure Book . I wanted to experience color and washes, and make my very own journal. I was so pleased with what she taught, and she IS an excellent teacher. We all LOVED it. I only wish the pictures below would justify the beauty this book beholds. Lush colors...too beautiful of pages to even write on. I may just display it and thumb thru its pages occasionally and remember the fun I had making it~

And, one more photo.
This was such a fun class with Stephanie Lee. No pressure, just pure pleasure. We used Rigid Wrap to design pages (or banners) or whatever. The class Plaster Pages. This is how we dried them. Stephanie had strung wire between the table legs. How clever! I also made several plaster pieces~which was fun. They will also be used in my assemblages.
This is just a very small peek at some of the things I did at Art & Soul.
I took 8 classes in 5 days. It was GREAT.
The hotel was perfect, the classes were amazing; but my new friends are priceless.
Amy, Susan and Marcia~you are the best!