Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

To all those who stop by my blog I want to wish you a happy new year full of promise and possibilities. As a family we celebrated at a New Years Eve party and I must say that fun was had by all, it is really nice to have children that are old enough to stay up past 8 o'clock.

Each new year hold such possibilities and I'm always excited to set some new goals. I've been reading (more like browsing) the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and I really love the class concept. My plan is to start again from the beginning and to complete the tasks she assigns. While reading this past week she hit upon some issues I really struggle with ... perfection... in other words wanting my art to be perfect before putting it out there for the world to see. It stifles me, makes it hard to work because really is anything ever truly perfect? So this year I will strive to be imperfect and productive.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Feeling Love-y

It's changeover week (again) . I'm busy taking down all the Christmas cards and setting up Valentine's . In spirit I thought about posting some vintage Valentine's but came across these "kissing cuties" in my image files and had to share. So while I'm busy working hard I hope you can be inspired to make something darling with these.


Friday, December 24, 2010

From our house to your's

Merry Christmas!

It was a whirlwind day with baking... wrapping... and cleaning. We are looking forward to evening mass, the arrival of Santa and a restful tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shabby Brooches

Finally putting those tutorials to good use. While puttering around the studio waiting for the glitter on the Christmas cards to dry I almost finished these two brooches, just need to attach pins to the back then they're all done.

Does anyone use brooches anymore?? I love them on my scarves in the winter months but other than I'm not sure.

Very therapeutic just sitting down with a thread and needle, it has quite a long time since I've done that.

Things here are moving along... packages are shipped, Christmas cards are addressed and stamped, not sure if they will make to their destinations before the big day but at least they are on their way. Last night we had a bit of a hiccup in the household...a broken dishwasher..ugh.. I guess it is never a good time to be without one of those. Can you say paper plates and plastic flatware?? I can, at least until after the holidays!


Monday, December 20, 2010


Hello again, boy has it been a while. I have felt very disconnected lately, I'm sure it is just this self imposed busy life converging all at once. Today I'm at home with the kiddos on their first day of Christmas break. I would love to be out and about finishing up last minute shopping but we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the UPS man with my new cell phone..this gal has been off the grid for over a week. On the bright side I finished up a bunch of handcrafted gifts and downloaded pictures from my camera so now I have something to blog about :)

Let me start out with Mr. Robert who celebrated his 10th birthday this past week. Oh my how can it be he has been in the world with us for a whole decade???

Now you have to keep a secret if you read on because I have posted pictures of some handcrafted Christmas telling...

I asked my mom for some of her favorite family snapshots at Thanksgiving with the intention of making ornaments for her tree. These are made using the with the same process as the faux glass tiles. The one below is my favorite of the three, it's her mom and dad taken while they dating, I don't know the exact age of the image but I guess it would have been in the 1940's.
My mom with her brother and older sister.
One of her whole family.
For the gals at the Bellevue Beadery, where they sell my work, I wanted to make them each a handcrafted pendant. These are made using the techniques I learned from Stephanie Lee's online class taken in the fall.
I made one extra and finished it into a necklace for my dear friend, Danielle, in New Jersey.
Here is a quick shot of my worktable...still making beads for the Beadery, both custom photo tiles and a few chilly penguin beads for consignment.

There is still much to do...ship packages (God Bless the post office's automated shipping center), cards to mail, packages to wrap, cinnamon roasted almonds and biscotti to make.

Until the next time..hopefully it won't be so long...


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Treating myself to handmade

I wanted to show you my two self indulgent purchases from this past weekend at Winterfair. This was my first time attending the holiday art show in Covington, Kentucky and boy was it a lot to take in.

This little ornament was calling my name, I have a deep love for all things in a style of the Arts & Crafts movement.

Then I came across this little gem at a lampwork bead booth. The time and talent it takes to create glass beads is beyond my comprehension and though I admire them I've never owned a piece. Then in the back of this booth I found beads created around vintage skeleton keys...the heart swooned, a charge card appeared from the wallet and home with me it went. I was sad to see this wasn't a local seller (you know in case I need another one) but she is on Etsy, her shop is beetslive and her pictures do a much better job of showing her beautiful work than I did.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Look what my 3rd grader taught me to make

Should I begin this post with many excuses as to why I disappeared for the last 3 weeks? I could blame the two weekends away from home, the disastrous studio I only just put back together a few nights ago, the random illnesses of my children...nah...

I'd rather show you what my third grader learned in art class today. Now I have to say hers was made out the loveliest green, yellow, and red construction paper and was about twice the size of my little bird here. I just modified (much to her delight) and she said I could share it step by step with you.
What you need:
Strips of 1/2 inch book paper
glue/adhesive of choice ( love my golden gel medium because it sets up quickly)
pencil, dowel or bamboo skewer
Glue three of your strips just at one end, this will be the beak of your bird.
Bow out the bottom strip to the desired body size and place just a dab of glue to hold in place.
Do the same for the head with the top strip.
Use your pencil, dowel, or bamboo skewer to roll up the tail feathers in any direction you like.
Already looking adorable...
Roll a couple more strips, cut to fit and glue in place to make an eye & wing.
You can even add a little curl to the top of the head.
**I forgot a picture to show you to cut the glued end into the shape of a beak, at least I remembered to tell you**

The possibilities are endless...these guys may wind up on the tree or as part of a garland strand.
God bless elementary art teachers everywhere!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

spinning wheels

Nope I haven't fallen off the planet.
Work last week definitely met my expectations...a full 40 hours...add to that a kid with strep and I'm pretty sure I saw a few more grays in the mirror this past weekend.

This week is all about prepping for some paper crafting classes. I can't believe a year has already flown by and it's time to return to Perry Park for back to back scrapbook weekends. I promise photos next week.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Kids were happy with their costumes this year. Mr. Robert was a Griffyndor wizard, very busy casting spells and charms. I finished up his cloak today..I really need to learn how to sew properly, while I'm pleased with the end result I can't even tell you how many mistakes I made along the way having to rip out seams.

Ms. Maria was among the walking dead looking to suck some blood as a vampire. The costume was a happy garage sale find late this summer, just had to hem it up a couple inches. Oh, and those teeth crack me up..they were huge and they glowed in the dark...funny.

Here they are again a bit more calm and waiting for me to be done taking pictures so they could go scoop up some candy.

Hope everyone else had a safe evening filled with happy trick-or-treaters.

Not sure when I'll get a chance to blog this week, I have a bit of work ahead of me. All the Halloween product comes down and there is a mountain of boxes with Christmas product to go long as the stores aren't playing Christmas music I should survive ;)


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hoping everyone has a safe and happy Halloween. Be wary of witches carrying potions and casting spells.

The costumes are done and candy is bought...more pictures tomorrow.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Craft Sharing Day

Another busy week draws to a close but I still have potion bottles to assemble, a Hogwart's cape to make and Halloween candy to buy. Add to that a day helping out at the cafeteria and Halloween parties...eek!

While waiting for my witch potion labels to print I came across a few got-to-try tutorials. Being the ever-so-lazy blogger I thought it best to make note of them here then I can find them again when I'm ready (sad isn't is?)
Antiqued Sheet Music by The Decorating Diaries

Flower Pin by 12 crafts till Christmas (l.o.v.e. that name)

A Recycled Flower Pin by Studio Waterstone


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tutorial: Making hook clasps from shank buttons

I've love shank buttons, especially old vintage ones. Unfortunately I find them difficult to use in jewelry because they tend to dangle or hang the way they want rather than the way I want.
Just fooling around tonight I figured out that they could be turned into hook clasps, here are the steps I took:
I used 20 gauge annealed steel wire.

Cut off a 4 inch piece and make a loop one inch from the end.

Slip the doubled wire through the shank of your button, I like a nice snug fit but I think it's ok if it wiggles a little bit.
Taking the short end , curl it up and around the shank with needle nose pliers, cut off any extra wire. This locks it in place and prevents the button from moving up or down.
With the remaining wire make the hook clasp.
Easy Peasy

Friday, October 22, 2010

Family that doesn't belong to me

I guess there is something odd about working with portraits and photos of people long ago. They aren't my ancestors but they are someones family. Wonder if they are long forgotten folks or if maybe someday someone will send me a message saying.."Hey that's my great great grandfather"...

Guess it's unlikely to happen.

I moved on to making ovals and circles the last few days and I'm totally in love with them, it's going to be hard to put them in the shop...
What I'm really thinking about is making some completed pieces for the shop. It's nice to have some variety, even if it's mostly inspiration for others who only want to buy the components.

Any thoughts, how would you use these in your work...I'm thinking buttons , pearls and lace but draw a blank after that. Should they be necklaces, brooches or maybe bracelets?? Or am I overlooking other projects these could be useful for?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm a tree hugger

Lesley Purcell placed one of my etched polymer pendants in her 'branching out' treasury (thank you!). It is a sweet grouping of tree inspired artwork.
Lesley has an etsy shop with her beautiful watercolor painting transformed into cards, soldered jewelry and ornaments. I already picked up my favorite items so now I can tell you about her great shipping on her items until Oct 23rd!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Found: Old medicinal bottles

Very excited to have found a few of these old medicine/tonic bottles. While running errands Monday I strategically made the loop around some of my favorite places to treasure hunt.

I did come across a few true pharmaceutical bottles, but wow are they expensive. The ones I purchased were simple over the counter medicine/tonic bottles, much smaller and more reasonable at just a couple of dollars apiece.

I'm looking forward to making these into witch's potions and such for Halloween. Hopefully I can get to it before the 31st...


Monday, October 18, 2010

Instant Ancestors

Stole away some time the last few evening to make more 'slides'.

I have to give credit to Magic Moonlight for all the fantastic images I used here. They are her 'beauties' and I have to agree, they made excellent subject matter for my pendants.

By far my favorite is the young lady below on the left, I just love the long pony tail and the details of her dress.
I have several more made but I'm too afraid to mess with them until the resin fully cures, they will be in the shop in a few days.

Another work week begins today..I have to make my way into most of my accounts to take down Bosses's Day and Sweetest Day. Did you all remember your boss last Friday???? As for Sweetest Day, I'm not sure if it is even known to most of the US, seems like it's just a midwest thing. Have you ever heard of it before where you live?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

What happens when the lights go out.

No worries ... this is a G-rated blog.

Must...must...must remember that when we have a power outage the oven's digital setting are lost...

I made up more slides last night (to replace those that sold... yippee..and thank you!), but didn't think twice about popping them into the oven. Thirty minutes later the studio was stinky and the clay was glowing...this is not a good sign at all. Look at the temp on the oven and it's 350 degrees, should have been 275...whoopsie.
Looks like a red dawn in Paris.

Maybe better luck tomorrow.