Friday, August 31, 2012

Combining Jewelry Components 'Now is the Time!'

Several years ago I took Barbara Becker Simon’s class on Hollow Beads in Tucson AZ. http://www.bbsimon.com/pmc.html  I loved making my silver metal clay beads.  I made two that interlocked and actually finished the project in class.  I just could not decide how to use them.  They hung from a wire on my wall.  I’m sure you all have components just waiting for the jewelry gods to say, “Now! Now is the time to use this!”

I’m finishing Keith Lo Bue’s Steel Wire class http://keithlobue.blogspot.com and just made the ‘U’ link chain. 
It was on my work table when I decided I needed to see if I had anything to use as a focal.  That’s when I heard the voice saying “Now!  Now is the time to use your silver hollow beads!”    
I must say that I am very pleased with the results and wanted to share this necklace with you.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seeing the Patterns in Nature

Isn’t it interesting how each of us looks at the world and sees different things?  On a recent trip to Willow Lake here in Prescott AZ, I walked to the water’s edge.  It was a lovely late morning and the water shimmered.  The rocks on the other side caught my eye.  Maybe it was the morning light and play of shadow that held my attention so that I could see the rocks and their reflections making new shapes and patterns.  I was so glad I carried my camera!






Friday, August 24, 2012

A Gift of Love





Peter loves me!  He has spent many hours/ weeks/months (take your pick) making me an 8” deep cabinet that fits under the overhang of the peninsula between the kitchen and the dining room.  It is made of maple, glass and love.  There are five lighted sections.  It is a beautiful place to display and enjoy family treasures. 
When the glass doors were installed, I was given bronze plastic rectangles to apply where I wanted.  They were to keep fingerprints off the glass.  They were ugly!  What to do?
One of my favorite china patterns is ‘Thousand Faces’.  I love the bands of color and the gold overlay.  Polymer clay was just right for making a cane similar to the color bands of the china. 
I decided to make a thin black box for the cane. 
This is the cane that fits in the black boxes!
 I baked it first.  Then I used Sculpey Bake and Bond to adhere the cane to the baked box.  There happened to be a bottle of gold Adirondack Ink in my paint box and a stamp I liked. 
Never using the ink and stamp on polymer clay gave me pause.  What if it did not work?  Oh, I had to try!
All the pieces went into the oven, were baked and then dunked in ice water.  They look good!  And the ink looks like it will stay.

The last step was to adhere them to glass doors.  I had a roll of double sticky tape left over from book making.  It is stronger than Scotch double sided tape.  And it worked!  I’m so happy to have ‘10 of a kind’ sliding door pulls on a lovely cabinet!
Talk about a gift of love!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Montezuma Castle

We’ve been driving by the exit sign for Montezuma Castle for two years.  We never took the time to stop and explore until this past weekend.  What an interesting place. 
Montezuma Castle National Monument is about 50 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona off I-17.  Big exit sign!  We parked and walked up to the visitor center to be greeted by a Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard.  It seemed he was just waiting to be photographed! 
The Greeter - Desert Grassland Whiptail
The path from the Visitor Center was fairly short and the cliff we saw was very high.  The castle is a 5 story, 20 room dwelling built into the cliff recess 100 feet above the valley.  The Southern Sinagua farmers began building in the 1100’s Common Era. 
It’s funny how places get named.  The early settlers assumed this place was Aztec in origin and named it Montezuma Castle.  We now know that Montezuma never came this far north from his home in Mexico.  Down the path a bit is another building complex a little like an apartment complex.  It is badly deteriorated but once had about 45 rooms.
There is a creek nearby that supplied water with fertile land that allowed farmers to plant crops.
In the center of the paved path a small kiosk housed a replica of what this area would have looked liked in the years of 1100 to 1450's.
This was really a fun stop and I’m sure full of birds and animals.  It was just too hot for them (and us) in the middle of the day.  We’ll go back in cooler weather!









Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Really Following Instructions

I just took Donna Kato’s class CONTEMPORARY SQUASH BLOSSOM PENDANTS from Craftartedu.com As I was about midway through the video, I realized that this might be one of the few classes where I actually stopped the video to make the project at each step just the way it was presented.  The end result was very close to the class photo with a few exceptions to color shading.  I’m very happy with what I learned and with the piece.  While making my squash blossom, I followed the directions for mixing the colors, backing the cane slices and applying the canes, etc.  Copying a piece makes me feel uneasy and that’s why I tend to just watch the video or take classes that show a technique and turn me loose.  Could be I’m missing some of the finer points that way!  Thanks Donna Kato!

After I finished the pendant, I decided to use some of the leftovers and make buttons and beads.  Sharing some with you.


Buttons ready to sell!

Might be my next creation!

Friday, August 10, 2012

3 Days at Art Unraveled


Pin made from 'Bench Scraps'  Polymer clay, etched copper, cold and hot connections

For the past 10 years, my friend Judi and I have been going to Art Unraveled in Phoenix AZ.  It’s always in August and lately it’s been at the Embassy Suite in Scottsdale AZ.  Yes the weather is hot- 113 degrees a couple of days!  But it is in a nice cool hotel and we are so busy in our classes that we don’t notice the heat.  It's a great conference and I highly recommend it!

Balance Beam Bracelet - etched copper, turquoise, warm connections
This year Judi (from Tucson) and I (from Prescott) met at the hotel on Saturday afternoon.  There is always a Shopping Extravaganza Day with many vendors and raffle prizes.  It’s where we find out about new product and visit with old and new friends.  We planned to meet about 3 p.m. and spend an hour shopping. 
The first order of business was to sign up for the raffle.  The grand prize was a $500 gift basket (in this case it was 4 bags) and just before closing they announced the winner.  Right!!! It was me!  Not a bad start to the three days we signed up for this year.  Yes, we took the bags to the room and pretended it was Christmas!  There were collage items, a necklace from Susan Lenart Kazmer , texture plates, a DVD, a pad of art paper and lots more!    
Judi and I signed up for the same class on Sunday and after that went to different classes.  I took 3 days of classes from Richard Salley
 
'Desert Sunset' necklace made from Bench Scraps

I learned lots of new techniques and perfected skills. I just had to show you the 4 pieces I made in 3 days!  In a class where everyone wants to finish their piece and see what everyone else is doing, lots of interaction happens.  I came away with finished jewelry and new friends.

Super EZ Hinges - Necklace of agate, shark's tooth, copper with a hinge just above the shark's tooth


Friday, August 3, 2012

Making Steel Chain with 'S' Links


Artful Gathering http://artfulgatheringfest.ning.com has some great classes and some of you know I am taking Keith lo Bue’s class.  http://artfulgatheringfest.ning.com/group/steeling-beauty-with-keith-lo-bue 
I guess I needed a short break from my polymer clay so yesterday and today I made the ‘s’ link chain and continued to make it into a necklace.  My beautiful Crazy Lace bead gives a nice contrast to the wire and will lay asymmetrical on the chain.  The chain is long enough to fit over my head but if I needed to take it apart I can.  The jump ring at the stone slips past the partial ‘s’ component that is glued into the bead hole.
 
I still need to work on making better jump rings that come together exactly.  
Lots of my new knowledge will transfer to my techniques of using brass, silver and copper wire for my jewelry pieces.  That’s what is so great about taking an online class!  I can watch the video until I really ‘get it’ and then experiment with the knowledge.  And if I forget something or need to see the technique again, the DVD goes back into the computer.  This class does have a DVD available and I would recommend that to any instructor giving a class. 
 Keith also suggests making a photocopy of the components in case we need to duplicate or remember how we did a piece.  I’m thinking that would be a good habit to get into for many projects.

The next chain I’m making uses ‘U’ links and when that is finished, I’ll share it.  In the meantime, I have to get back to button making with polymer clay.  Buttons are selling!!








Friday, August 31, 2012

Combining Jewelry Components 'Now is the Time!'

Several years ago I took Barbara Becker Simon’s class on Hollow Beads in Tucson AZ. http://www.bbsimon.com/pmc.html  I loved making my silver metal clay beads.  I made two that interlocked and actually finished the project in class.  I just could not decide how to use them.  They hung from a wire on my wall.  I’m sure you all have components just waiting for the jewelry gods to say, “Now! Now is the time to use this!”

I’m finishing Keith Lo Bue’s Steel Wire class http://keithlobue.blogspot.com and just made the ‘U’ link chain. 
It was on my work table when I decided I needed to see if I had anything to use as a focal.  That’s when I heard the voice saying “Now!  Now is the time to use your silver hollow beads!”    
I must say that I am very pleased with the results and wanted to share this necklace with you.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seeing the Patterns in Nature

Isn’t it interesting how each of us looks at the world and sees different things?  On a recent trip to Willow Lake here in Prescott AZ, I walked to the water’s edge.  It was a lovely late morning and the water shimmered.  The rocks on the other side caught my eye.  Maybe it was the morning light and play of shadow that held my attention so that I could see the rocks and their reflections making new shapes and patterns.  I was so glad I carried my camera!






Friday, August 24, 2012

A Gift of Love





Peter loves me!  He has spent many hours/ weeks/months (take your pick) making me an 8” deep cabinet that fits under the overhang of the peninsula between the kitchen and the dining room.  It is made of maple, glass and love.  There are five lighted sections.  It is a beautiful place to display and enjoy family treasures. 
When the glass doors were installed, I was given bronze plastic rectangles to apply where I wanted.  They were to keep fingerprints off the glass.  They were ugly!  What to do?
One of my favorite china patterns is ‘Thousand Faces’.  I love the bands of color and the gold overlay.  Polymer clay was just right for making a cane similar to the color bands of the china. 
I decided to make a thin black box for the cane. 
This is the cane that fits in the black boxes!
 I baked it first.  Then I used Sculpey Bake and Bond to adhere the cane to the baked box.  There happened to be a bottle of gold Adirondack Ink in my paint box and a stamp I liked. 
Never using the ink and stamp on polymer clay gave me pause.  What if it did not work?  Oh, I had to try!
All the pieces went into the oven, were baked and then dunked in ice water.  They look good!  And the ink looks like it will stay.

The last step was to adhere them to glass doors.  I had a roll of double sticky tape left over from book making.  It is stronger than Scotch double sided tape.  And it worked!  I’m so happy to have ‘10 of a kind’ sliding door pulls on a lovely cabinet!
Talk about a gift of love!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Montezuma Castle

We’ve been driving by the exit sign for Montezuma Castle for two years.  We never took the time to stop and explore until this past weekend.  What an interesting place. 
Montezuma Castle National Monument is about 50 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona off I-17.  Big exit sign!  We parked and walked up to the visitor center to be greeted by a Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard.  It seemed he was just waiting to be photographed! 
The Greeter - Desert Grassland Whiptail
The path from the Visitor Center was fairly short and the cliff we saw was very high.  The castle is a 5 story, 20 room dwelling built into the cliff recess 100 feet above the valley.  The Southern Sinagua farmers began building in the 1100’s Common Era. 
It’s funny how places get named.  The early settlers assumed this place was Aztec in origin and named it Montezuma Castle.  We now know that Montezuma never came this far north from his home in Mexico.  Down the path a bit is another building complex a little like an apartment complex.  It is badly deteriorated but once had about 45 rooms.
There is a creek nearby that supplied water with fertile land that allowed farmers to plant crops.
In the center of the paved path a small kiosk housed a replica of what this area would have looked liked in the years of 1100 to 1450's.
This was really a fun stop and I’m sure full of birds and animals.  It was just too hot for them (and us) in the middle of the day.  We’ll go back in cooler weather!









Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Really Following Instructions

I just took Donna Kato’s class CONTEMPORARY SQUASH BLOSSOM PENDANTS from Craftartedu.com As I was about midway through the video, I realized that this might be one of the few classes where I actually stopped the video to make the project at each step just the way it was presented.  The end result was very close to the class photo with a few exceptions to color shading.  I’m very happy with what I learned and with the piece.  While making my squash blossom, I followed the directions for mixing the colors, backing the cane slices and applying the canes, etc.  Copying a piece makes me feel uneasy and that’s why I tend to just watch the video or take classes that show a technique and turn me loose.  Could be I’m missing some of the finer points that way!  Thanks Donna Kato!

After I finished the pendant, I decided to use some of the leftovers and make buttons and beads.  Sharing some with you.


Buttons ready to sell!

Might be my next creation!

Friday, August 10, 2012

3 Days at Art Unraveled


Pin made from 'Bench Scraps'  Polymer clay, etched copper, cold and hot connections

For the past 10 years, my friend Judi and I have been going to Art Unraveled in Phoenix AZ.  It’s always in August and lately it’s been at the Embassy Suite in Scottsdale AZ.  Yes the weather is hot- 113 degrees a couple of days!  But it is in a nice cool hotel and we are so busy in our classes that we don’t notice the heat.  It's a great conference and I highly recommend it!

Balance Beam Bracelet - etched copper, turquoise, warm connections
This year Judi (from Tucson) and I (from Prescott) met at the hotel on Saturday afternoon.  There is always a Shopping Extravaganza Day with many vendors and raffle prizes.  It’s where we find out about new product and visit with old and new friends.  We planned to meet about 3 p.m. and spend an hour shopping. 
The first order of business was to sign up for the raffle.  The grand prize was a $500 gift basket (in this case it was 4 bags) and just before closing they announced the winner.  Right!!! It was me!  Not a bad start to the three days we signed up for this year.  Yes, we took the bags to the room and pretended it was Christmas!  There were collage items, a necklace from Susan Lenart Kazmer , texture plates, a DVD, a pad of art paper and lots more!    
Judi and I signed up for the same class on Sunday and after that went to different classes.  I took 3 days of classes from Richard Salley
 
'Desert Sunset' necklace made from Bench Scraps

I learned lots of new techniques and perfected skills. I just had to show you the 4 pieces I made in 3 days!  In a class where everyone wants to finish their piece and see what everyone else is doing, lots of interaction happens.  I came away with finished jewelry and new friends.

Super EZ Hinges - Necklace of agate, shark's tooth, copper with a hinge just above the shark's tooth


Friday, August 3, 2012

Making Steel Chain with 'S' Links


Artful Gathering http://artfulgatheringfest.ning.com has some great classes and some of you know I am taking Keith lo Bue’s class.  http://artfulgatheringfest.ning.com/group/steeling-beauty-with-keith-lo-bue 
I guess I needed a short break from my polymer clay so yesterday and today I made the ‘s’ link chain and continued to make it into a necklace.  My beautiful Crazy Lace bead gives a nice contrast to the wire and will lay asymmetrical on the chain.  The chain is long enough to fit over my head but if I needed to take it apart I can.  The jump ring at the stone slips past the partial ‘s’ component that is glued into the bead hole.
 
I still need to work on making better jump rings that come together exactly.  
Lots of my new knowledge will transfer to my techniques of using brass, silver and copper wire for my jewelry pieces.  That’s what is so great about taking an online class!  I can watch the video until I really ‘get it’ and then experiment with the knowledge.  And if I forget something or need to see the technique again, the DVD goes back into the computer.  This class does have a DVD available and I would recommend that to any instructor giving a class. 
 Keith also suggests making a photocopy of the components in case we need to duplicate or remember how we did a piece.  I’m thinking that would be a good habit to get into for many projects.

The next chain I’m making uses ‘U’ links and when that is finished, I’ll share it.  In the meantime, I have to get back to button making with polymer clay.  Buttons are selling!!