Thursday, January 31, 2013

Earring Partnership: Nina Designs and me

So far, the new year has brought me luck. One of my good luck events has been partnering with Nina Designs. Their representative, DeAnna, sent me a package of goodies that included the bronze three tear drop links and bronze hook earring finding

The minute I saw the tear drop links, I imagined a set of earrings combining the beautiful golden bronze with silver accents. Mixing metal colors would make the earrings go with any outfit. I had just finished taking an online jewelry class where we had re-used vintage rhinestone jewelry. My jewelry supply stash was overflowing with bits of rhinestones which were the perfect accent to the warm bronze color.

Showing off my quirkiness - one of the links is upside down!

What's even better about these earrings is they're quick and easy to make. You need four silver plated 6mm jump rings along with two vintage rhinestone drops, two teardrop links and two earring findings. Attach the teardrop links to the earring finding using the 6mm silverplated jumprings. Use the other jumprings to attach the vintage rhinestone findings to the smallest drop.

Quick, easy and beautiful. That's how I like it. What a beautiful partnership!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Howdy Partner! Nina Designs

Just want to say a howdy to my new blog partner, Nina Designs. I received a lovely email from DeAnna inviting me to join. I really appreciate the personal touch. I'm looking forward to designing with the pieces DeAnna has sent me. Here's a peek at what's in the mail for me:


I'm looking forward to this new partnership. It's a great start to the new year! 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Friday Funnies

If you love Portlandia, you'll love this. Even if you don't or haven't ever heard of Portlandia, this is like one of those collages that says, "What everyone thinks I do." Bonus is they do it all to a catchy tune.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Art Jewelry Magazine and Nunn Designs Project

On November 30th, I was one of the lucky winners from Art Jewelry Magazine of a Nunn Design goodie bag. I received the package of lovelies about a week later.

The Goodies from Nunn Design

It took me about a month to decide on a design. I always have such a hard time committing to an idea because it's permanent. You know me and my committment issues. The problem with committment issues is you don't get things done. But I took an online class with the Crafty Chica and Deryn Mentock and I was ready to jump into a design and get things done. I spent this past Saturday afternoon working on the pieces. They're due at the Kalmbach offices on January 17th so I wanted to be sure I got them out the first of the year. I used epoxy clay on the designs. It was the first time I've use it and it was quite a challenge because there was no room for error. I only had one of each piece and if I messed it up, I didn't have another one to replace it. I had to do it right the first time or I wouldn't have anything to send to Kalmbach. I read up on how to use the epoxy, read the Nunn Designs blog so I would repeat anything that had been done before and planned out the designs. After a tense couple of hours, everything was made and waiting to set. I'm hoping Kalmbach, Nunn Designs and you will like them. I know I do! I can't post any pictures until after Art Jewelry Magazine sends out their January 24th newsletter.

(Photo Credit: Thank you to Nunn Design blog for the picture of the goodies.)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year: She's Alive!!!

Happy New Year and Yes my friends, I'm still here. I've been away working full time as an interpreter. Working 40+ hours with your hands keeps you pretty busy. Since interpreting uses my hands, arms and shoulders, I've had cut waaayyyyy down on the extras like blogging and crafting in order to avoid any injuries like carpal tunnel, tendonitis and the like. I haven't taken any orders except for the occasional customer who is sends me an email and is willing to wait an extended amount of time.
I'm hoping to carve out a little bit more time for myself in the coming months. I'll probably only blog occasionally. Most everyone has moved over to Facebook and that's put a real cramp on how I like to connect with you. I don't like Facebook owning my content or how they can share it so I limit what I do over there. I don't connect all of my online life with Facebook either. That means everything I do on Facebook is another step, more moments taken from making. I much prefer Twitter, quick and easy. Just wanted to stop in and say hello and let you know I'm still around.

(Photo of hands courtesy of Shark Reef.)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Fusing Glass Jewelry Components: New Experiments

I've been away from blogging for a bit. Working full time doesn't allow alot of spare time to be creative and then blog about it. I'd prefer to be creative than to blog!  I've got a few extra minutes today so I thought I'd catch you up on what I'm up to.

A sampling of my latest experiments

I'm playing around with fusing frit. I've created a few different custom made frit blends and used some Val Cox Frit.   If you use frit alot, you know that a little goes along way, it is intensely colored. So intense that it will look black if you don't "thin it out" with clear glass. That's one of the difficulties I'm having with fusing it.

Deep royal purple looks black in this fused donut

As you can see in the above picture, the royal purple looks black. It's difficult to "thin out" the bits of purple with clear, the bits still look black. I tried to "thin out" the color in the donut below:

By holding the donut up to sunlight, you can see the royal purple
I've come to the conclusion that  I need to stick to pastels or primarily light transparent when fusing.

Another accident happened when I was fusing the donuts. I got these "furry" or "sugar" pink hearts due to the spacing and the uneven heating it created in my kiln.

"Fur" or "Sugar" pink hearts

The hearts have brown spots because I left them at fusing temperature too long. I wanted them to melt smooth but it just wasn't going to happen with the way I'd set up the kiln.

They're kind of cool looking and there are no sharp edges so my dilemma is should I leave them this way or put them back in the kiln to fully fuse? What do you think?

Using these molds has been quite a learning experience. I'll share my thoughts on the molds in another blogpost. In the meantime, I'd like you to weigh in on what I should do with the sugar hearts - leave as is or full fuse to smooth finish?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Minding the Business: Be Inspired. Be Brave. Digital Art Pep Talk

This is a digital collage I made using PhotoShop Elements 8, a Wacom Bamboo tablet and Digital Expressions.  It's a visual peptalk to encourage me to step forward and do something of the things I've been dreaming and talking about for a long time. The colors are strong and saturated like a stiff cup of coffee to get me going. A self portrait is paired with one of my favorite glass beads to remind me of my creative self. Text phrases are bent into crowns so I can wear who I am proudly. The entire collage brings together phrases that encourage me to live and work in my own skin. 
I know I'm not the only one. You probably feel like this at least sometimes. You might want to make  Peptalk Collage for the days when you can't reach your best girlfriend to talk. Making the collage made me think, made me create, made me smile and made me brave.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver puts into words what I need to tell myself when I step out with fear:

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
Let me be brave and I wish all of you to be brave but most of all, I want us all to win our dreams.