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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I got my bead partner!!!

My bead partner for the Bead Soup Party is Melissa Lynch Mesara.  I am so excited.  Melissa is a lampwork and metal artist aka the One Earred Pig. I think Lori put us together because of our blog's names, LOL.
 I spent time looking around on her Pinterest boards.  We have a lot in common - we both like Dr Who, Steampunk, the Muppets and get a kick out of Zombies (Braaaaaaaaains). I am new to Pinteret and so far I was focusing on the Polymer, jewelry, and color.  She had so many interesting boards that it inspired me to expand.  I have added  Dr Who and "V for Vendetta" boards. I also saw that she had a "Pinterest" button on her blog.  I am so pleased that I was able to figure out how to add one to my blog.
  I am spending way too much time on Pinterest.  I should be working on my beads for the bead exchange.
  I had started making some on Saturday.  I got the veneer made and applied. The beads were cured and I was going to work on sanding them on Sunday. But the best laid plans and all that ...  Saturday night I went out to dinner.  Jen and I went to the Cheesecake Factory (yummmm).  There was a long wait but since we had not seen each other in several months, we didn't really mind.  We went to find a seat outside.  It had been raining (duh - it's Seattle).  I wanted to insure that my chair wasn't wet, so I ran my hand over the seat. Sharp pain ... blood every where.  There was a broken piece of glass embedded in the cane work.  And, of course, I found it.
  So, now I can't sand anything till the cut heals.  I am having to regroup and think of a bead design that won't require sanding. Don't have that much time to think, as they have to go out next week.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

No Privacy

I have no privacy, not even in the bath.

The Underfeet are everywhere.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party Summer 2012

I am taking the plunge again and have signed up for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party. This time she is having 3 reveal days, as the numbers of participates is getting to be so large.  I don't know how she does it.  I certainly don't have that kind of energy anymore.
   I had so much fun being in the one I joined last year that I am very excited to see who my partner is and what she is like and makes, etc.  (Notice that I am assuming it is a She ... I should not be so assuming ... some of the newest members on some of the  polymer clay yahoo groups I belong to are men).  The last time I found so many new polymer clay artists and have added them to my blog list. It is a wonder that I get any beading done at all.
  Lori suggested we kick it off by blogging a little about why we became jewelry designers.  I want to say first off, that I am not a jewelry design primarily, I am a bead maker.  I got to the point were I had so many beads and just HAD to do something with them.  This lead to making earrings (mostly) and some necklaces.
My PC guild puts on an Artisan show once a year that I sell at, so I need finished pieces for that too.
 I joined the "52 Earrings in a Year" Yahoo Group this year as a challenge to use some of those excess beads up and see what I could do designwise.  The bead soup is one more way I have of kick starting me into experimenting more and expanding my horizons. I only hope I can get it all done and get ready for the Polymer Clay Cruise in August.
  I have grand plans of trying to sell on Esty or another on-line venue, but working full time really cuts into this dream.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where does all the time go?

We are almost to the half year mark on the 52 earring project.  I can't believe that the year is almost half over.  We are fast approaching the solstice, one of my favorite days of the year.  I suffer from SAD (as do a lot of people in the Pacific Northwest), so sunshine is a great boost to my emotional well being.  Seems this year, tho', we are not getting enough of it.  I heard on the news that we have had only 3 sunny days so far this month ....
   Opps, got distracted.  My topic is the 52 earring project, not the weather.
   Anyway, the theme for this week's 52 earrings is "half".
  I don't cane much and when I do it is not a complex cane at all. I made a skinner blend using a light yellow and the new Premo Magenta Pearl.  Rolled it into a bullseye cane, and added a thin layer of white clay.  Then the cane was reduced and stacked.  Easy for me to do.  Veneered a scrape clay bead gut, rolled it around in my hands a bit to smooth, cut in half. Then topped with the Magenta.  The hardest part was cutting the Magenta with the exacto-knife to fit on the top of each half.  Thanks to Julia Sober for this technique that she showed us a few years back at a NWPCG demo.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

If I only had a Heart

Wait a minute ..... I DO have a heart.
I saw these hearts at Michael's (or Joanne's - sorry can't remember for sure where) and thought they just cried out to be altered.
Out came the Vintaj Patina and a while later they were transformed into earrings I have aptly named "Tin Woodman's Desire".
I hear a beat ..... how sweet!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Caught up, for now

Here I thought I was all caught up on my earrings and could take a breather.  But then I got "smart" and started to write down my weeks and what I posted - and I found out I was a week short.  That's what organization will get me!
   I had experimented several months ago with foil, inks, glitter and a touch of resin to top it off.  I am not sure I these are really my color, but they might look nice in the fall.  The picture on the earring display simply would not focus well, so I was forced to use my windowsill as a background so you can see the details.  Of course, Eyesis had to see what I was doing, so I snapped a pix of her too.

Week 23

She doesn't focus well, either.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Frida Kahlo

This week's Challenge for the 52 earrings in a year project on Yahoo was Frida Kahlo.  If I had enough energy, I would make a photo transfer of one of my favorite Kahlo works," Self Portrait with 4 monkeys".

Instead, I looked around at my stash.  I found some beads I had made a while back that reminded me of the Tropical background she had used in this painting. Mine are a bit more colorful, but I do get a definite "Bird of Paradise" feeling when I look at them.  The end beads are metal spacers that I painted with the Vintaj Patinas. I did find that the color will chip away if you are twisting metal using round nose pliers next to them.
Frida Earring #I

Frida Earring #2

Friday, June 1, 2012

Catch up V2.0

Still have two more pair of earrings to blog about.  Just got too tired last night to continue.

Both these were made from metal beads that I picked up from Ben Franklin.  I colored them with the Ranger/Vintaj Patina paints that have come out recently.  I am really liking these paints. They are bright and cheerful and you don't have to bake them (a big plus).  Only time will tell as to how durable they are.

Week 20 earrings were made by painting base silver beads with a mixture of amethyst with the Patina Glaze to lighten it a bit. Then I went back in and with a toothpick carefully laid the straight amethyst into the indents in the beads.
Original metal beads

Earrings after painting with Amethyst Patina.  "Seeing Spots - Week 20
The next pair use the Jade color of Patina.  This time I also painted the end cap beads with the straight Jade.  The pair I am picturing are made from applying the undiluted Jade  to the bead.  I had also mixed the Jade with a larger amount of the Glaze to get more of a color wash.  I like the straight Jade better.
Green Twist Week 21

Original bead on left, Jade colorwashed bead on right.

Playing Catch Up

With all the other happenings in my life lately, I have really fallen behind in my goal to make and post a pair of earrings every week.  Have almost caught up. Only one week to go.

So here are a few of my catch up pieces - not all earrings are PC as I have not had the time to make too many new beads lately (only time I have had for that was Clay Camp).

I found these ceramic beads when I was cleaning in my studio, trying to get organize and pack up for Clay Camp.  They were a gift from a friend who was cleaning out her bead stash before moving to Denver. Her loss ... my gain.
Old Stone Mill - week 18
I did get some beads made at Clay Camp, in between the gossip (say What??? Us serious clayers gossip!  Heaven forbid ... merely exchanging life story's ...  ) and looking at what everyone else was doing.  The base color in these beads was made by mixing my favorite color of alcohol ink with pearl.  I made the subtle stripes in the bead using the mica shift.  I cut thin layers of the mica sheet, turned them on their sides and laid them on the original sheet.  Viola - stripes.

Mica Ice - Week 19

With all the sadness of this last week, there was a ray of sunshine.  My MIL was diagnosed with Lymphoma just before Christmas.  After  long and arduous chemotherapy treatments, it looks like it has gone into remission.
We just knew she could beat it:  she is such a feisty old lady, she scared it out of her body.