Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Seed Pods




Inspiration comes in many forms.  This fall I've been fascinated by seed pods.  We have lots of thistles and grasses and bushes.  My camera goes with me most places and my eyes try to see these forms in different lights and positions.  Today I'm sharing some of the photos with you.  Enjoy!

 








Saturday, October 26, 2013

Giving New Meaning to UPCYCLE!


My first ever ‘Do Over Challenge’ was such fun!  I signed up to participate in Jeannie K Dukic’s 6th Do Over Challenge not really knowing anything about how it worked.  I received a necklace that was very sweet with copper wire connections and pinkish pearls.  It sat on my work space for a couple of weeks while I pondered my next move. 


One day I opened my polymer bead collection and was drawn to the pinkish and green beads.  They really looked good with the pearls.  I found some green crystal beads and a few other contenders.  But when I tried the small striped beads, I knew my combination!  This is the finished product for most of the pearls in the original necklace.


It was the week to finish some of my long term projects.  I kept the wires with the red and green rubber bands from the braces I wore for 3 years.  When they finally came off, I asked the orthodontist if I could have them.  He wanted to know why since almost NO ONE wanted them and I told him I wanted to make a piece of jewelry.  I’d had them so long and they cost so much I wanted to see what I could do with them.  That was almost 6 months ago.   Time to do something with them so I could take the finished piece to my 6 month appointment.

The pinkish pearls and red garnets combine with the two wires.  The upper brace had green rubber bands and the lower brace had red rubber bands.  What was I thinking? After cleaning and brushing the wire, I played with all the components and created a heart that symbolizes 3 years of straightening my teeth, getting healthier and strengthening my fortitude!  At 66 that was no mean feat!

The directions for this challenge were to ‘Use at least 50% or more of the Do Over piece’.  I could add beads/components from my own stash.  I really enjoyed this challenge and think I’ll sign up for another one!  You should try it too! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Completing a Project

How do you feel when you finish a long term project?  Elated? Happy? Glad to move on? 

Peter and I just finished a project that was on my ‘to do’ list for 3 ½ years!  When we moved into our Prescott home, I was elated that my dining table fit in the space designated.  The problem was that the chandelier was not centered over the table.  That really bothered me! 

The ceiling is slanted and has popcorn texture.  If I were 20 years younger, I’d take that off and have a different texture.  But I’m not and I’m willing to put up with the popcorn.  I wasn't willing to put up with a light that was in the wrong place!  A medallion would hide the old hole and center the new hole without having to patch.  If you have ever tried to patch popcorn texture, you know how difficult it is to match.  On top of that my chandelier is oblong so I needed to find an oval or rectangle.  And I actually found one that would work.  It was not too expensive and I ordered it.  The excitement was running high the day it came and I opened it.  Broken!  The company said it would send another and it came broken also.  After the third try, I gave up on that medallion and started being more creative.

One day, I found some wallpaper that looked like old tin ceiling tile (in white) and I knew a patina would make it look like metal.  Peter cut a piece of plywood in the shape that would complement the wallpaper and added molding.  After the wallpaper was glued to the board, I painted it using 2 colors of metallic acrylic paint over dark brown.  I wiped off the excess and called the contractor.  There was some comment about it taking me quite a while to call him.  We really had talked about how to attach the medallion 2 ½ years earlier.






The project is finished!  The light is centered! The ceiling looks great and the room looks larger.  I’m happy and ready to move on! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Kaleidoscope Day!


Today I'm in Jerome AZ at Nellie Bly learning to make kaleidoscopes!  Take a look at my previous post and you will see why I love kaleidoscopes and Nellie Bly.  http://www.lindabrittdesign.blogspot.com/2012/11/trip-to-jerome-az-changes.html
That me multiplied!
My classes today are by Sue Rioux http://sueriouxdesigns.com/  (morning class) and Kathleen Hunt  http://www.kaleidoart.org/home.html  (afternoon class).  Every year Nellie Bly offers a weekend on October to take classes from great teachers where the students learn about how to make a kaleidoscope.  Now I get to attend!

I have no idea where this will lead and what I will do with my new knowledge but I'll be sharing with you.  I'm so excited to be doing this!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

OOOPS! You Need an Explanation!

OOOPS!

It was brought to my attention that I should have written a caption to go with the video on my last post.  Had I known that I clicked the button to put it on the post, I would have explained why I thought Salvador Dali and Walter Disney’s short collaboration was worthy to share with you. 

Not only do I admire Salvador Dali’s work and foresight http://www.salvadordali.com/  but I have a loose relationship with Walt Disney’s cartoons!  When I was young, many years ago, Carl W. Stalling spent two weeks a year in my family’s Missouri home.  My grandparents (on my father’s side) were taking care of their nephew, Fred.  When I was 9 yrs old, they all moved into my parent’s home and all of a sudden we had a full house.  Carl was Fred’s brother and came to visit him every year from Hollywood CA.  For two weeks every summer, Carl played our old upright piano and tried to impart his talent to my hands. 

I know you are probably wondering what this has to do with Walt Disney and the U-tube link I highlighted last week.  Well…..Carl gave Walt Disney $500 to get from Kansas City Mo where they both lived to get to Hollywood and begin the Disney adventure.  Disney hired Carl to write music for his cartoons.  When you see old cartoons of Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes, look at the credits and you will see Carl W. Stalling.  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006298/


I grew up hearing about and watching the cartoons and movies of Walt Disney.  When I found the collaboration of  ‘Destino 2003’ on U-tube I was enthralled by the use of line and shape combined with music and thought you might be also.  It’s a lovely love story.  That’s why I just had to share.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GFkN4deuZU&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bonnie's Memorial Book

This past weekend I helped celebrate the life of a dear close friend.  Bonnie was like a mother, a mentor and was filled with the joy of living.  I was her interior designer for 28 years, her ‘foster’ daughter (she had several younger women who held her in high esteem and called her ‘mother’) and her friend.

When I was asked to get the memorial signing book, I could only do what I had always done for her when she needed a special item.  I made it.  She loved Hawaii, the color purple and Mickey Mouse!  She also loved teddy bears, parties, sparkle and traveling.
After searching in several stores for the right book, I found one in Joann’s.  It was a padded fabric backed scrapbook that I could take apart and personalize.  Never having used polymer clay on fabric or in as large a piece, I began experimenting.  The book was 8” x 8” and just fit in my convection oven.  The base of the piece was blues, purples and teal colors blended together. I textured it and put it on a piece of parchment paper with a tile on top to keep it flat.  I did not check my oven thermometer and the clay burned! 
The cover was pretty flat so I decided to put another layer on top leaving some of the original showing.  I added leaves and flowers.  The flowers are made from a flower cane that reminded me of some of the flowers in Hawaii.  A few rhinestones strategically placed along with a dusting of diamond powder gave it a sparkle.
The basic cover came out flat after curing it and the flowers give great dimension.  I was so happy when I put it all back together with the special pages for Mickey and Hawaii.  When her daughter saw the book, she said, “It looks like Mom”.  I knew Bonnie would have loved it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Amethyst and Another Day at ‘My Personal Polymer Workshop’

Lazy River Technique with Amethyst Chips
By now, I've lost track of what day I've made what technique in polymer clay.  I do know that I am enjoying trying the various ideas in Julie Picarello’s book, ‘Patterns in Polymer - Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques’.  I have never taken the time to explore a technique book in depth and I find that I like being immersed in polymer with a focus.  Usually I flip through a book, stop and look at something and go, “hmmm – that would be interesting to try!” 

Today’s focus is ‘Lazy River’. My Lazy River is definitely different than Julie's but I use the same techniques. My colors are purple, green, teal, translucent, glitter and silver. My theme is nature, leaves with shimmering dew, moonlight through forests and swirling hidden streams.  A friend gave me some amethyst chips and I decided to use them as accents and work them into some of the layers of clay.  Just an experiment!

Large chips in circles for earrings, layered discs for buttons 
I stacked my layers of clay keeping the darker greens for background.  I took the green and imprinted textures reminding me of leaves.  Then I cut the remaining clay stack into two pieces, put them back together and imprinted my design with a variety of tools.  I cut slices from this stack. The two pieces came apart and I lay them on my green background touching and then spreading.  It’s a fun way to get dimension.
Large leaf is the 'lazy river' and will be a pendant I think
The deeper I cut into the stack, the less likely that the two pieces separated.  I used those for beads and buttons. 

Beads in upper right corner...very organic!
It seems I was too busy to take pictures during this process but you can see how many pieces I made.  After curing, I tumbled and sanded.  The pieces have great sparkle and the tumbling made the beads smooth without looking smooth.  I was concerned about the amethyst being too sharp but it isn't.  I can’t wait to make a necklace with them!

Lots of pieces to work with!








Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sharing a Display Solution





 Finding display pieces and ways to maximize space on a sale table is a problem we all face at some time.  Our homeowners association has an annual Art/Craft Show in September and I needed to find a way to display more of my pieces without getting too cluttered.

I saw this idea at a craft show last year and decided to make a multi-layered stand.  Home Depot, here I come!  In the a/c section a gentleman helped me find the right size pipe and told me how to lock it in place as a tube.  It took 3 sets of hands to actually accomplish this part (my neighbors are great about helping) and the pipe stood as a pipe!  Peter, who always helps with the structural part of my wild ideas, made a secure base.  I cut flanges on one end of the pipe and he screwed the flanges on to the wood base. 


I had a roll of aluminum left from some 10 year old project and used it as the base for each layer.  The roll of silver electrical tape worked great to attach each layer to the pipe.  Then I made a cardboard layer and used wine colored flocked jewelry paper (sticky on the back and already in my supply closet) and my silver electrical tape to cover the cardboard layers.  They slipped over the pipe and were held in place by the aluminum sheets.  The difficult part was deciding exactly what angle and height to use for the layers.  I asked my short neighbor and my tall neighbor to weigh in with their opinion.


A piece of the fabric that matches my standing peg boards covers the base for a coordinating look.  The new display piece is easy to move and fits in the back seat of my Toyota 4-runner and is quick to set up. 
My cost of building it was less than $10.00 (remember, I did not have to buy the wood, tape or fabric as I already owned it.)



Pretty happy with the outcome!  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Seed Pods




Inspiration comes in many forms.  This fall I've been fascinated by seed pods.  We have lots of thistles and grasses and bushes.  My camera goes with me most places and my eyes try to see these forms in different lights and positions.  Today I'm sharing some of the photos with you.  Enjoy!

 








Saturday, October 26, 2013

Giving New Meaning to UPCYCLE!


My first ever ‘Do Over Challenge’ was such fun!  I signed up to participate in Jeannie K Dukic’s 6th Do Over Challenge not really knowing anything about how it worked.  I received a necklace that was very sweet with copper wire connections and pinkish pearls.  It sat on my work space for a couple of weeks while I pondered my next move. 


One day I opened my polymer bead collection and was drawn to the pinkish and green beads.  They really looked good with the pearls.  I found some green crystal beads and a few other contenders.  But when I tried the small striped beads, I knew my combination!  This is the finished product for most of the pearls in the original necklace.


It was the week to finish some of my long term projects.  I kept the wires with the red and green rubber bands from the braces I wore for 3 years.  When they finally came off, I asked the orthodontist if I could have them.  He wanted to know why since almost NO ONE wanted them and I told him I wanted to make a piece of jewelry.  I’d had them so long and they cost so much I wanted to see what I could do with them.  That was almost 6 months ago.   Time to do something with them so I could take the finished piece to my 6 month appointment.

The pinkish pearls and red garnets combine with the two wires.  The upper brace had green rubber bands and the lower brace had red rubber bands.  What was I thinking? After cleaning and brushing the wire, I played with all the components and created a heart that symbolizes 3 years of straightening my teeth, getting healthier and strengthening my fortitude!  At 66 that was no mean feat!

The directions for this challenge were to ‘Use at least 50% or more of the Do Over piece’.  I could add beads/components from my own stash.  I really enjoyed this challenge and think I’ll sign up for another one!  You should try it too! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Completing a Project

How do you feel when you finish a long term project?  Elated? Happy? Glad to move on? 

Peter and I just finished a project that was on my ‘to do’ list for 3 ½ years!  When we moved into our Prescott home, I was elated that my dining table fit in the space designated.  The problem was that the chandelier was not centered over the table.  That really bothered me! 

The ceiling is slanted and has popcorn texture.  If I were 20 years younger, I’d take that off and have a different texture.  But I’m not and I’m willing to put up with the popcorn.  I wasn't willing to put up with a light that was in the wrong place!  A medallion would hide the old hole and center the new hole without having to patch.  If you have ever tried to patch popcorn texture, you know how difficult it is to match.  On top of that my chandelier is oblong so I needed to find an oval or rectangle.  And I actually found one that would work.  It was not too expensive and I ordered it.  The excitement was running high the day it came and I opened it.  Broken!  The company said it would send another and it came broken also.  After the third try, I gave up on that medallion and started being more creative.

One day, I found some wallpaper that looked like old tin ceiling tile (in white) and I knew a patina would make it look like metal.  Peter cut a piece of plywood in the shape that would complement the wallpaper and added molding.  After the wallpaper was glued to the board, I painted it using 2 colors of metallic acrylic paint over dark brown.  I wiped off the excess and called the contractor.  There was some comment about it taking me quite a while to call him.  We really had talked about how to attach the medallion 2 ½ years earlier.






The project is finished!  The light is centered! The ceiling looks great and the room looks larger.  I’m happy and ready to move on! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Kaleidoscope Day!


Today I'm in Jerome AZ at Nellie Bly learning to make kaleidoscopes!  Take a look at my previous post and you will see why I love kaleidoscopes and Nellie Bly.  http://www.lindabrittdesign.blogspot.com/2012/11/trip-to-jerome-az-changes.html
That me multiplied!
My classes today are by Sue Rioux http://sueriouxdesigns.com/  (morning class) and Kathleen Hunt  http://www.kaleidoart.org/home.html  (afternoon class).  Every year Nellie Bly offers a weekend on October to take classes from great teachers where the students learn about how to make a kaleidoscope.  Now I get to attend!

I have no idea where this will lead and what I will do with my new knowledge but I'll be sharing with you.  I'm so excited to be doing this!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

OOOPS! You Need an Explanation!

OOOPS!

It was brought to my attention that I should have written a caption to go with the video on my last post.  Had I known that I clicked the button to put it on the post, I would have explained why I thought Salvador Dali and Walter Disney’s short collaboration was worthy to share with you. 

Not only do I admire Salvador Dali’s work and foresight http://www.salvadordali.com/  but I have a loose relationship with Walt Disney’s cartoons!  When I was young, many years ago, Carl W. Stalling spent two weeks a year in my family’s Missouri home.  My grandparents (on my father’s side) were taking care of their nephew, Fred.  When I was 9 yrs old, they all moved into my parent’s home and all of a sudden we had a full house.  Carl was Fred’s brother and came to visit him every year from Hollywood CA.  For two weeks every summer, Carl played our old upright piano and tried to impart his talent to my hands. 

I know you are probably wondering what this has to do with Walt Disney and the U-tube link I highlighted last week.  Well…..Carl gave Walt Disney $500 to get from Kansas City Mo where they both lived to get to Hollywood and begin the Disney adventure.  Disney hired Carl to write music for his cartoons.  When you see old cartoons of Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes, look at the credits and you will see Carl W. Stalling.  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006298/


I grew up hearing about and watching the cartoons and movies of Walt Disney.  When I found the collaboration of  ‘Destino 2003’ on U-tube I was enthralled by the use of line and shape combined with music and thought you might be also.  It’s a lovely love story.  That’s why I just had to share.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GFkN4deuZU&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bonnie's Memorial Book

This past weekend I helped celebrate the life of a dear close friend.  Bonnie was like a mother, a mentor and was filled with the joy of living.  I was her interior designer for 28 years, her ‘foster’ daughter (she had several younger women who held her in high esteem and called her ‘mother’) and her friend.

When I was asked to get the memorial signing book, I could only do what I had always done for her when she needed a special item.  I made it.  She loved Hawaii, the color purple and Mickey Mouse!  She also loved teddy bears, parties, sparkle and traveling.
After searching in several stores for the right book, I found one in Joann’s.  It was a padded fabric backed scrapbook that I could take apart and personalize.  Never having used polymer clay on fabric or in as large a piece, I began experimenting.  The book was 8” x 8” and just fit in my convection oven.  The base of the piece was blues, purples and teal colors blended together. I textured it and put it on a piece of parchment paper with a tile on top to keep it flat.  I did not check my oven thermometer and the clay burned! 
The cover was pretty flat so I decided to put another layer on top leaving some of the original showing.  I added leaves and flowers.  The flowers are made from a flower cane that reminded me of some of the flowers in Hawaii.  A few rhinestones strategically placed along with a dusting of diamond powder gave it a sparkle.
The basic cover came out flat after curing it and the flowers give great dimension.  I was so happy when I put it all back together with the special pages for Mickey and Hawaii.  When her daughter saw the book, she said, “It looks like Mom”.  I knew Bonnie would have loved it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Amethyst and Another Day at ‘My Personal Polymer Workshop’

Lazy River Technique with Amethyst Chips
By now, I've lost track of what day I've made what technique in polymer clay.  I do know that I am enjoying trying the various ideas in Julie Picarello’s book, ‘Patterns in Polymer - Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques’.  I have never taken the time to explore a technique book in depth and I find that I like being immersed in polymer with a focus.  Usually I flip through a book, stop and look at something and go, “hmmm – that would be interesting to try!” 

Today’s focus is ‘Lazy River’. My Lazy River is definitely different than Julie's but I use the same techniques. My colors are purple, green, teal, translucent, glitter and silver. My theme is nature, leaves with shimmering dew, moonlight through forests and swirling hidden streams.  A friend gave me some amethyst chips and I decided to use them as accents and work them into some of the layers of clay.  Just an experiment!

Large chips in circles for earrings, layered discs for buttons 
I stacked my layers of clay keeping the darker greens for background.  I took the green and imprinted textures reminding me of leaves.  Then I cut the remaining clay stack into two pieces, put them back together and imprinted my design with a variety of tools.  I cut slices from this stack. The two pieces came apart and I lay them on my green background touching and then spreading.  It’s a fun way to get dimension.
Large leaf is the 'lazy river' and will be a pendant I think
The deeper I cut into the stack, the less likely that the two pieces separated.  I used those for beads and buttons. 

Beads in upper right corner...very organic!
It seems I was too busy to take pictures during this process but you can see how many pieces I made.  After curing, I tumbled and sanded.  The pieces have great sparkle and the tumbling made the beads smooth without looking smooth.  I was concerned about the amethyst being too sharp but it isn't.  I can’t wait to make a necklace with them!

Lots of pieces to work with!








Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sharing a Display Solution





 Finding display pieces and ways to maximize space on a sale table is a problem we all face at some time.  Our homeowners association has an annual Art/Craft Show in September and I needed to find a way to display more of my pieces without getting too cluttered.

I saw this idea at a craft show last year and decided to make a multi-layered stand.  Home Depot, here I come!  In the a/c section a gentleman helped me find the right size pipe and told me how to lock it in place as a tube.  It took 3 sets of hands to actually accomplish this part (my neighbors are great about helping) and the pipe stood as a pipe!  Peter, who always helps with the structural part of my wild ideas, made a secure base.  I cut flanges on one end of the pipe and he screwed the flanges on to the wood base. 


I had a roll of aluminum left from some 10 year old project and used it as the base for each layer.  The roll of silver electrical tape worked great to attach each layer to the pipe.  Then I made a cardboard layer and used wine colored flocked jewelry paper (sticky on the back and already in my supply closet) and my silver electrical tape to cover the cardboard layers.  They slipped over the pipe and were held in place by the aluminum sheets.  The difficult part was deciding exactly what angle and height to use for the layers.  I asked my short neighbor and my tall neighbor to weigh in with their opinion.


A piece of the fabric that matches my standing peg boards covers the base for a coordinating look.  The new display piece is easy to move and fits in the back seat of my Toyota 4-runner and is quick to set up. 
My cost of building it was less than $10.00 (remember, I did not have to buy the wood, tape or fabric as I already owned it.)



Pretty happy with the outcome!