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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

more than love

In just a few days I will be traveling to the east.
All the way to the DC metro area to teach three classes at ArtBLISS.
Registration is still open online thru today!
I have been busy working on class samples, and more class proposals.
 The class I taught last Sunday in Austin, will be the same class I teach this Sunday at ArtBLISS!  Now that will be a first.
I finished the soldered charm I shared with you here
and the rest of the necklace from my "Believe" series.  
This one is called:
"I know she's in Heaven"
That is a tiny picture of my grandmother (Josie) standing in this amber colored vial.  
She is nestled amongst a sea of tiny shells given to me by a student, Angela (thank you Angela =) last weekend.
(My grandmother had a giant conch shell that she would have me lift to my ear, so I could hear the waves of the sea.  I now have that shell =)
I've soldered the top closed, attached vintage lace, 
tulle and luscious recycled sari silk ribbon.
I tied it just below the pendant that way.
I've got so much to share about last weekend and the classes I taught in Austin.
I had a wonderful group of the most fabulous ladies, and they designed some pretty incredible pieces.  But, alas...I will have to share more about that when I return.  
I will give you a glimpse of the class photo though.  I am so glad I took this picture.
Their smiling faces make me smile.
Front row:  Charlene, Charlotte, Konnie
Second row:  Pat, Rita, Sue
Back row: Cindy, Angela and Janise (my hostess)
Thank you again Janise!
Thank you all for a wonderful weekend!
Oh, and just a couple more pictures....
I just "love" it.  
One of my tiny etched books.  
It has the word "love" in vintage text on the front.
Oh, how I loved my grandmother.
Now, that really makes me smile.

Friday, September 16, 2011

it's all in the ingredients

" Drops of Confetti"
This is my second Bead Soup Blog Party to be a part of, 
started by the very talented jewelry designer, Lori Anderson.
If you go here, you'll get the whole scoop on just how the party works.
Once again I had the privilege of being paired with a great swap partner, 
Kerry Bogert, an artist/author, who designs the most beautiful glass beads.
For the second time this year, 
I found myself pushing past the type of beads/gemstones 
I normally love to use.
I am the one who adores vintage jewelry ....rhinestones, pearls, brass.  
Using vintage earrings, brooches, necklaces and bracelets is where I "spend my time".  
It is a happy place for me.  It is where I find myself....working and reworking time worn pieces from the past that lie dormant, 
until I bring them back to life into jewelry that can be worn and enjoyed once more today.
I (most often) begin my jewelry with the focal.  This is the heart of the piece.  
The place where its life begins.
  The colors, and ultimately the style, is born from the gemstones, 
beads or components I then choose to add. 
This time was no different.
The glass headpins Kerry designed, and sent for my soup shared here, had the most luscious drops of color....almost confetti-like....light and dark topaz, deep translucent turquoise, sades of brown, and an icy baby blue.  They were perfect!
The focal was most unique, and one that called out to be "held".  
I began by cold join attaching a vintage style piece of brass filigree from Brass Bouquet, to a piece of red brass I had etched over a year ago.  
It is here the focal came to rest.
I used a narrow piece of etched brass to design the bail, attaching it with a Fleur de Lie studded ornament, purchased from Thomas Mann also much over a year ago.
 The next decision involved the chain.  I chose one that 
had traveled all the way back with me from California earlier in the year. 
 Nancy, at Gilding the Lily, parted with just a small stash of her most precious brass chain at the trunk show she had while I was there teaching in May.  
This particular hammered piece of chain was not very long, but simply stunning.  
I want more.
The next step was the most fun, as I began placing Kerry's beautiful glass headpins, 
along with faceted Czech fire polished glass beads, next to the chain.
I love how they compliment each. 
Next, I added some of my favorite Brass Bouquet components.  
(I have many you know).
Tiny brass puffy heart charms, itty bitty fleur and antique connectors, tiny daisy bead caps and my oxidized crystals rondells.  
I added a splash of vintage by attaching teardrop rhinestone dangles, which by the way, are becoming extremely hard to find.
The most challenging part of my soup came when adding the clasp.
Kerry sent a most unusual, yet fun clasp.  One that compliments the focal, and is held together by tiny, yet very strong, magnets.  I "pulled" the opposite ends together by adding some of the faceted Czech glass beads next to the clasp, 
which at the same time extended the length of the hammered brass chain.  
(Nancy let go of only a very small piece of her precious chain).
 I added a touch of recycled sari silk to soften the focal up just a bit.
Then, at the last moment decided if I wanted to really dress up and go "out on the town"
I would add the vintage rhinestone necklace you now see lying just inside the necklace.  
It has a total of nine stunning rhinestone dangles, 
which match the ones I used in the necklace.
Just in case you want to see the list of blog soup participants,
(there are 362 this round)
go here to see the list and each of their blog links.
Hop around!  It IS a party!
Leave a comment or two or three....it will make someone's day =) 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


I have been busy working on a new technique I plan on revealing at my 
"Believe" class in Austin this Sunday.
If all goes well, I will gladly share it again in just two short weeks at ArtBLISS.
It is something I have been thinking about for some time.  Way before I left for Phoenix.
It began as a small idea after buying two vintage mantel mirrors from my friend, Kathleen.
Am I the only one who loves old peeling mirrors?  
Ones that you might think need to be re-silvered?
I think not.
My husband shook his head when I brought home the first oval shaped beauty.  
Then I carried in another one just a couple days later. 
I now actually have three old mirrors on my mantel.
I love the way they look when their silver starts peeling off.  The last one has a lot of sepia color that peaks through small bubbled areas.  Crackled beauty.
I think this one will remain a class example.