Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Twig Earrings

I belong to several online Yahoo Polymer groups.  They are fonts of information.  I have learned so much from the discussions that take place there. Recently, there was a thread about a paint that simulates enamel on metal.  Pebeo vitrea is the name and when I discovered it was available at Michael's, I hurried out and bought a few colors.  After applying the paint to the metal (I found it takes several thin coats rather than one thick one for best results) ... you bake at 325 F for 40 minutes. I have only had the time to experiment with a couple of washers, end caps and these earrings.

The theme for week 13 of the 52 earrings in a year is Twigs.  I tried several designs in Polymer, but they just didn't satisfy. So out came the embosser and another chance to try the vitrea.  I found the green to be a bit translucent on the brass blank.
   I have an order into Bello Modo for the new Vintaj Patina metal inks. The video on the Vintaj website shows some beautiful pieces that were made using these inks. They should arrive later today or tomorrow. I can't wait to try them out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crystals too

 My polymer earrings for this week are made from a pair of Squish Beads.  I only had a few of this color combo and at the time, I did not like them as much as the other colors I had used.  I put them aside in the "not bad, but not what I was looking for" bin (totally different than the "what the heck was I thinking!" bin).  I had not even shined they up with LPC.  

After I made these, I found I was out of headpins. So, I  had to visit my local bead store for more head pins.  Ya, I could make them myself but was too lazy. Of course, as most of you know, visiting a bead store is dangerous.  Got distracted by shiny stuff.  I found these  hammered circles and had to get them.  Paired them with a red crystal.  I tried to find a PC bead that would work in my stash, but all of them were too big.
I also found these lovely crystals that work perfectly with the bails.  These are a lot smaller than I normally wear but the color was so wonderful, that I could not resist them.  I also made a pair of pink ones, along with a larger crystal for a necklace, as a gift.

A few days ago, I happened across a blog that had  a tut about a  free on line photo modification site ( So I used it to add the surrounding halo and remove the scratches from the window sill I shot the picture on.  Good effect.  Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of the white "frame" that automatically appears when I save my writing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Great White North

This week I was going to do something for St Patrick's Day, but my creative juice just was not green. As Kermit says, it isn't easy to be Green.

 Maybe it was the snow.  Here it is, March and over 40 degrees F. outside and snow falling in big flakes.  Opuson said that one afternoon this past week, in a 10 mile drive, it rained, snowed, sleeted and hailed on him in between the sun breaks.  At this rate, it will be spring in June, just in time for our two month summer.  I really shouldn't complain, the weather here is generally milder than most parts of the country.
I found little face beads on the sale table at Fusion Beads, and even though I had no particular plans, I just KNEW that I could find a use for them.  (My hubbie calls it hording, I call it planning for the future). I revisited my wheelie bead design from a while back, adding my new friends to the mix.  The final bead reminded me a bit of the logo on the tail of the Alaska airline planes, so I dubbed it "The Great White North".  

Monday, March 12, 2012


I generally wear jewelery that I have made myself. Or, since I know so many talented Polymer artists, pieces that I buy or trade for from them. But this weekend I was fortunately able to attend the RAGS artisans show. RAGS is an annual charity show held in Fife, Washington, the proceeds of which benefit the YWCA.   This was their 17th year and I learned when I arrived that on Saturday they had hit their $1,000,000 mark!  All the jewelry and wearable art is handcrafted by local artisans.  I was so hard pressed to stay within my budget... so many shiny things .....

Think I will share what I did bring home with me.
Christine Lutschg shapes and enamels copper rounds to create her lovely earrings.  I was torn between these and some in the same color only the insert was a felted ball.  Finally chose this pair as teal is a color I wear a lot.  Two views so that you can see the depth.

 Debbie Jackson specializes in hand fabricated Sterling Silver and Copper Enameled Jewelry.  I have been thinking that I wanted to learn to enamel for some time now, so had a very interesting conversation with her about the process and got a good lead on a teacher. Debbie told me that she silkscreens on the design to obtain such  delicious details in her pieces.  I liked her work so much that I bought a pair for me and one for my  friend for her birthday.
Now I just have to decide which one to keep. I am leaning towards the red, but purple .... decisions, decisions....

I just love the name of the Pamela Bellesen's Studio.  And I love  these earrings. Pam says that these are a very popular design. I wonder why they are so popular in Seattle???
Unfortunately I forgot to pick up the business card for this artist, so can give no info on her. Her booth was being manned by a volunteer at the time, so I was not able to ask what material the points are made of. It might be polymer.  I don't think it is a stone.
I really had a great time talking with the artist who designed these niobium earrings.  Unfortunately I can't find her card to give her due credit. But I do remember that she told me the colors are in the metal itself. She obtains the colors (I really wish you could see how the color changes as earrings are tilted back and forth - beautiful), by passing an electrical current through a conductive solution. The  voltage level determines the final color.  She immerses different parts of the metal into the solution at different voltages to get the color graduations.
  A long process, but worth the results.
I was wearing a pendant and earrings I had made.  Four of the artisans I talked with told me that I should try to jury into the show next year.  I am giving it serious thought.  It is such a worthy cause and a good venue. There was only one polymer artist represented and her work is completely different than mine.  I might stand a chance to make it. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

a la Julie Picarello

For this weeks earrings, I tried my hand at the Pendulum earring design from Julie Picarello's "Patterns in Polymer".

This was my first successful attempt at coloring washers. The secret is to paint the washer first (I used a paint dapper by Ranger), using a light color and then apply the ink.  What I thought was strange, even though I used the same two colors of ink, when they dried they looked like two different colors of violet. I was a bit worried that the under painting and ink would not survive in the oven during the finally curing, but as you can see, it held up fine.

I added a couple of rhinestones for a little bling.

I really like the way they look, but when I tried them on, they just didn't hand right.  One was fine, the other sticks out at a weird angle... can't figure it out as they look identical when I put them side by side.... hummm, maybe my ears are lopsided?????

Pretty in Pink

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bronze Swellegant - Week 9/52 Earrings

 Been busy with some early spring cleaning... starting with the bookshelves.  I can't believe that I actually am saying this, but I have too many books! I have a set of shelves for them, but it is up on the wall above a desk. Hard to get to without a ladder.  Any book I get down, I have a hard time getting back into the ranks as the books collapse in on themselves.  I want to move them to a more convenient  location but in order to do so, DH says that we have to weed out and  ::choke:: get rid of  other books to make room.  Let me explain ....  I LOVE my books, they are like old friends that I visit again and again. I have gotten rid of books in the past that I regretted, some went out of print (still looking for the 5th book in the "True Game" series).  *sigh*  ... at least we get store credit at Page Two. 

This has been a very hard task, but if I want more room in the studio.... I must persevere.  Lord Opuson reminds me that there is always the library ....

Since I have been busy lately, I stayed simple with my weekly earring design.  I used discs from the Swellegant experiments.  I really like the look of Verdigris patina on the Bronze discs.