Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Studio Works

I've had time in the studio over the last couple of weeks and was able to try my hand at Bettina Welker's pixelated retro cane.  I've done a lot of work with extrusions, specifically the retro cane.  What's different about this variation is the smaller circle die to extrude.  The technique was fun and I was able to create a number of pendant pieces with just a few slices of cane.  A little clay goes a long way.

Each pendant (or group) has the actual cane below.  Take thin slices and apply to a thin background sheet.  Smooth the slices to adhere them.  My slices were relatively consistent so I was able to run the background sheet with cane slices through the thickest setting on the pasta machine for consistency.  The red group was made using cutters and my flexible blade to create applique elements that were then pieced together.  The pendant with the metallic insert was made with a metallacized button that shows through a cutout.  I'll try more with the added metal accents for interest

This pendant was made with two sizes of oval cutters; I splurged and bought the nylon cutters so I get a much cleaner cut.  I'm showing the bail.  Very simple fold-over bail that gives lot of options for the type of stringing material to use.  This was a fun project and very easy to create.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Faux Soutache

UPDATE:  I now have a tutorial on how to make faux soutache earrings or pendant.  Check it out here:

I love soutache, a type of braided trim used to embellish clothing and to create jewelry.  The 1/8” inch cord comes in a wide range of colors and multiple cords can be used to create elaborate necklaces, earrings and bracelets using beads of all types.  I tried my hand at making a soutache bracelet with black/sliver cords and glass pearls.  I like the way it turned out but not the time consuming sewing.  So, why not try it in polymer clay?  Here are some samples I have created.  I’ll be giving a demonstration to the Eileen J Loring Polymer Clay Guild in Longmont  on August 4.  Join us for a great time unleashing our creativity through Faux Soutache.

Here are samples of my Faux Soutache.  Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal!

I'm a little late posting as I traveled from DC to Denver today.  Have my pics now and am ready to reveal my creations.  I received my bead soup from Denielle Hagerman of Some Beads and Other Things blog. The soup that Denielle sent is delicate and spring-like with flower and polka dot beads, crystals and pearlescent beads with a silver toggle clasp. A garden theme.
And here's the necklace I created with the focal.  I tried a technique I hadn't used in a while - micro-macrame.  I used an ombre thread for the macrame and some green glass beads to make the necklace.  A tassel completes the look.

Then I created a bracelet.  I love this look.

Thanks to Lori Anderson for hosting the blog party.  You can see links for all of the creations here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Focus on Life Week 9 - Knock, Knock, Knock

Week's nine's Focus on Life challenge was to take a photo of doors.  This picture is of my neighborhood church.  Been thinking about going through these doors again.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tweaking with Gilders Paste

Quite a few months ago I purchased several colors of Gilders Paste but haven't really used them.  I'm back home in my Colorado studio with a couple of days off so I thought I would try out the paste on some components I bought on sale from Joann Fabrics.  The components are by Laliberi and are reminiscent of old lace.  I love the various components and the look of lace and crochet but the finish is a bit too bright and jarring.  I thought a touch of Gilders Paste would tone the brightness down and enhance the look.  Here's my first experiment.

The Guilders Paste I bought so many months ago was dried out but their website says that if you add mineral spirits you can reconstitute the paste.  That worked.  I applied Antique Gold to a bright silver finish and love the new look.  It will work much better with my design aesthetic.  I have several more components to play with and will try alcohol inks and other patinas.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Focus on Life - Week 8 - Monochromatic

There's snow in the air.  I'm home in Colorado this week after being in DC for the last 4 weeks.  I'm snuggled up now but snapped this photo of the tree in our yard this afternoon.  I didn't have to take much color out for the monochromatic effect as there is snow in the air which leaves a white haze over everything.   This is week 8 of Sally Russick's Focus on Life photo challenge.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party

I received my bead soup from Denielle Hagerman of Some Beads and Other Things blog.  The soup that Denielle sent is delicate and spring-like, my picture doesn't do them justice.  Precious glass beads with flowers, polka dots, crystals and pearlescent beads with a silver toggle clasp.  A garden theme. I love it and can't wait to get started. Thank you Denielle and thank you Lori Anderson for hosting the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Focus On Life - Week Seven - Beauty of Flowers

Anticipation.  In the yard of my Colorado home I have a tree that was planted when the house was built in the 60s.  Underneath the tree the most beautiful purple flowers emerge each March.  These purple flowers, which I believe are grape hyacinth (I could be wrong as I'm matching the flower to internet pictures), are so precious because only a few emerge from the winter earth each spring and they don't last long.  They come up despite the fact that I am not a gardener and haven't a clue how to care for such delicate beauties.  This is last year's picture.

They give me such pleasure and I've waited for them to bloom each of the 20 years we've lived in our home.  March is just around the corner. 

This is week 7 of Sally Russick's Focus on Life blog challenge.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Focus on Life - Feel the Love

Week 6 of Sally Russick's Focus on Life asks us to feel the love.  When I think of love, one person emerges.  My husband, Steve.  Steve and I have been married for 35 years in March.  I feel the love every time I think or say his name.  Enough said.  :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Two for One - Trust Your Heart

I'm late these entries but decided to post them anyway.  I'm participating in two challenges - Sally Russick's Focus on Life and TracyStatler's Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge.  Weeks 4 and 5 of the Focus on Life Challenge was take photos with the themes "Create" and "Capture our Hearts".  Tracy’s challenge was to create a piece of jewelry with an inspirational or wellness word.  So, to combine all three challenges I chose to "create" a piece of jewelry with a "heart" and an "inspirational word".  The word I chose was “trust”.  Reflecting on these three challenges I designed and created a pendant I call "Trust your Heart". 

The pendant is made from polymer clay, scrapbook pieces and parts and black rubber cord.  I filled the scrapbook frame with red polymer clay, stamped the word “trust” in the clay and added a coordinating jump ring as a bail.  Once the clay was cured and cooled, I applied black acrylic paint to highlight the stamped word.  Then I glued the silver heart to the frame, did some light buffing to give the red clay a glow and added the rubber cord.  This necklace is a gift for my daughter Emily for Valentine’s Day.  Happy Valentine's Day Emily -- trust your heart.  Love, Mom.  See the links below the picture for the other participants in Tracy Statler's Wellness Word Jewelry Challenge.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Focus on Life - Catching Up - Week 2: Your Word

Still catching up with the Focus on Life challenge as I'm on week 2.  Sally's prompt for this week was to choose a work that will serve as "your word” or “your resolution” for 2013.  The word I've chosen is "overcome".

I'm often amused when reflecting on my life -- in some areas I have it more together than others.

In Business:

Want me to give a speech to 200 people?  No sweat.  Need it in 30 minutes?  Even better.  What's the topic?

Unravel a difficult, complex problem?  Absolutely.  I'm the right person for the job.

Do the impossible with no money and no people?  Wow, I love a challenge.  Let's get to it.  Thursday soon enough for the impossible?


Want me to ride the metro in my adopted city of Washington, DC?  Oh no, I'm from Colorado, we drive.  I'll get lost.  I'm afraid to be with all those people in a confined space.  The train will break down and I'll be stuck.......Excuses, fears, status quo.

Take care of myself and my health?  Hmmm..... I'm really, really tired so can't exercise (by the way the last time I went to the gym I was surrounded by hot bodies, ugh, and when did treadmills require an advanced degree to operate?).  It's really late and I can't prepare a healthy meal.  I don't have time to - go to the doctor, dentist, acupuncturist, get a massage, whatever.  Excuses, fears, status quo.

Create?  No.  I'm away from home for an extended period of time so don't have all the stuff in my studio so couldn't possibly create art the way I'm used to.  Excuses, fears, status quo.

You get the picture (do you Maria?).  So, "overcome" is my word for the year.  What small steps can I take to overcome excuses, fears and the status quo?  Well, this challenge is one of them.  I've also joined Tracy Statler's Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge for next week.  So, I'm making small steps.  Maybe soon I'll ride the metro.  :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Catching Up - Focus on LIfe

I came across Sally Russick's Focusing on Life - 52 Photos challenge through some of the blogs I follow.  Each week Sally sends a prompt to the participants and we all take a photo based on the prompt.  The challenge fit in with my New Years resolution to post more, explore more, make art more and live more.  I'm catching up since I joined the challenge a few weeks late.  Week one's task was to take a self portrait.  I decided to photograph my hands as they are the instruments that I use to create art and my most trusted tools.  I'm setting up a new laptop so, while I'm transferring all of my software, I'm using Picasa (free Google software) to edit my photos.  You can see that I got a bit artistic and used some of the filters and features of Picasa to stylize my photo.  That's what fun about the challenge; trying new things.