Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Treasures from afar

A few weeks ago I swapped some of my polymer pieces and sent them on the long journey to Denmark & Germany. Last week my mailbox was stuffed with the most beautiful art.

From Dorthe, this fantastic driftwood angel (already hanging on the wall in my studio).
As a special surprise she also included one of her hanging collages. Dorthe, you are too generous! I am amazed by both pieces, they have such wonderful detail.
I have been reading Dorthe's blog for the last year and have really enjoyed watching her creative process. Every detail is tended to ...just look at her packaging ... a hand stamped organza bag, wonderful old lace/paper, and really sweet wire wrapped beads. Of course I saved it all for who knows where and when I can use it next.

From Renate, an incredibly talented mixed media jewelry artist whom I admire (and probably emulate more than I should admit too)...I got to hand pick one of her hand stamped copper/resin focal pendants. In addition, she surprised me with a sari ribbon/resin charm and perfectly coordinated beads. I cannot wait to assemble this into my very own necklace... already envisioning all the copper wire wrapping I have ahead of me.
Unfortunately that fun will have to wait until at least next week since I'm trying to finish up an online class at the moment (more about that later) .


Thursday, August 26, 2010

New listings in the shop

Interesting 2 days at home...I contracted out the job of painting the basement. I'd been looking at the repaired wall since late March and just had to admit this was one really big project I didn't feel like taking on. So as I sit here among the paint fumes I can admire the hard work done by someone else...it looks so nice and new...not all dinged up by toys or smudged with dirty fingerprints.

Being stuck at home while the painter worked I found myself being productive in the studio creating some pendants from my one inch etched polymer tiles.

These are all glazed in resin so they have a nice dome finish and that pretty shine. I had to rummage though my very sad bead supply to find some quartz and mother of pearl for dangles.

The biggest hurdle on all...getting them onto Etsy. Kinda proud of myself today.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

poor man's 'glass bead' tutorial

Sometime ago I found a tutorial for this style of paper bead but it was done with very colorful scrapbook paper or recycled magazines. I loved the idea and thought about it again after finding the vintage Psalm book over the weekend. Now I promise I only used the badly damaged book not the German version my hubby tucked away on a bookshelf.

Vintage paper
Skewers or dowel rods the diameter of the bead hole you want to make
Matte Medium of clear drying white glue
foam brush
Distress ink (mine is brushed corduroy)
Ranger UTEE (ultra thick embossing powder)
heat gun
clear embossing ink pad (sorry forgot that in the photo)

**Click on the picture series to enlarge**

-Cut your paper into strips as wide and the bead you want to make. (The tutorials I've seen in the past recommend making long triangular strips and the beads would be tapered, but I made mine same width top to bottom.)
-Begin wrapping it around the skewer (no glue here), then while holding the wrapped portion add your glue or matte medium with a foam brush to the end of the paper.
Continue rolling until you reach the end, slip paper bead off skewer.
-To make it look more aged I ran the edges on the bead along my distress ink pad and let dry.

**Click on the picture series to enlarge**
-Slip the bead back on the skewer and coat with more matte medium or glue to seal the paper, repeat at least once more. Allow to dry completely.
-Once dry roll the bead over your clear emboss ink pad until it's nice and wet.
-Dip the whole bead into the jar of clear UTEE and tap excess.

**Click on the picture series to enlarge**
Using the heat gun, heat bead on the stick... twirling...until all the powder is melted.
While still hot drip it back into the jar of UTEE and heat again. I do this usually a total of three times until I get a nice even finish, don't forget to spin the bead while you heat or the UTEE can drip off. Hold and let cool completely.

**Click on the picture series to enlarge**
At this point you can call your bead done but I decided after it was cooled to stick the holes in the clear emboss ink again and get just a bit of platinum UTEE on the edges, then heated until it just started to melt. Try it with whatever color you think will look good with your paper ( for the last picture I tried black embossing powder).

To show you why I seal the bead before embossing, the embossing ink will make your paper transparent and multiple layers will show. it's actually pretty cool, though not the intended result... so now you know.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First day of school 2010

New school, old friends.

I wanted to share with you this very quick snapshot I grabbed of the kids walking out the door at 7:15 this morning. They are both so excited about their new school. We learned as the summer progressed how many kids they already knew who went there so jitters weren't even noticeable, just all smiles.
They're kind of creeping me out with all this maturity and positive attitude thing.

In a few days I'm planning on sharing a bead tutorial using the Psalm book I picked up over the weekend...or if it doesn't work out I post the 'how to create a disastrous bead tutorial'...stay tuned.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A day at the fair

Last night I got a invite out to today's Burlington Antique Show. The vendors were slim and the pickings were too but it's an extremely hot summer here with 90+ days. Add high humidity and an everyday chance for pop up thunderstorms, I guess the vendors thought they'd pass for the day. We still had a fun with a 2 hour treasure hunt and I came out with a few goodies.

This Psalm book is one of two I picked up, the other was German and quickly snatched up by Bob (turn about fair play I guess) The book was in excellent shape for it's age, published in the 1880's and it was inscribed on the inside cover. Given Bob's German heritage we decided it was just to precious to be used in my artwork so I agreed to place it on the bookshelf instead. The one pictured below is the second one I picked up from the same vendor, I suspect it's Swedish.

It's inscribed on the back cover with a date 1816, but I believe it was customary to use these psalms and bibles as family record keepers, the date could be someones date of birth or death.
It's condition is pretty bad so I have little guilt about repurposing it in the future.
Crafty side note: I got a bit of clay from Carla the other day after expressing my frustration about how poorly my Premo clay takes acrylic paint. I used her clay to make some simple textured beads, needless to say I'm thrilled with how well paint took. Guess I'll be buying yet more clay...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friday the 13th... birthday

Ever wonder why people believe Friday the 13th to be an unlucky day? You can read more about it here at How Stuff Works.

As for me I really was born on a Friday the 13th and every couple years it comes around that way again. No big plans for celebrating, unfortunately it's another busy day. I will be working during the day and attending a meeting at the kids school in the evening. I did manage to arrange my kids a sleepover at their aunt's house so Bob and I can do something fun afterward.

Look at what I got as a gift...this darling orange Nano i-Pod. Well perhaps I should clarify...

...I sort of appropriated it from Bob. For all the years we have been together I've made a habit of keeping promotional stuff that he would get from work. It started very early on, before we were married, one evening he lent me his blue Adidas jacket ... I continued to wear it for the next 5 years. Then there are the occasional pens, mugs, and such all making there way as mine over time. Bob says he doesn't mind, he says he thinks it's cute...(more like my wife is a klepto and I can't do anything about it since we are legally married). So back to the Nano. Bob has been spending big university bucks with a software company and in return they sent him this Nano with the company name engraved on the back. I was so intrigued by it when it came in the mail Bob asked if I wanted it, I agreed but only as a birthday gift..(those little stinkers are expensive). Luckily he agreed, what a deal... I got music to take to work PLUS I didn't have to come up with gift ideas for my birthday..yippee.

So there you have it you now know I'm 39, I was born on a Friday the 13th, and I steal all my hubby's best stuff...


Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello Again

Hi! It was such a busy but wonderful week with family and friends. We took the kids on a geological hiking at the Cincinnati Nature Center, found lots of fossil shells along the creek bed. Unfortunately the trail is being studied and we were not allowed to take any of them home with us.

We spent time swimming, the kids loved the day hosted by Carla and her family to the swim park. I mean seriously... who doesn't like 700 gallons of water dumped on your head every 10 minutes or so. Add to that lily pads, slides, diving boards, and water basketball, it was quite a day!
At the end of the week I made Bob spend a day golfing with his dad (not that hard to convince him). The kids and I went with grandma to another Butler State Park and wandered the grounds.

I did get to a few projects in between activities. Here are some Venice faux glass slides for a trade. I'm playing around with sepia as well as black/white to see which looks more authentic.
And while were on the subject of glass slides, I have to take a moment to vent about puddling resin. I have tried this every which way and no matter how I try it takes 2 coats because the first one always looks like this. It is very frustrating...
I made this prototype yesterday, not sure what I think of it. I can't decide if it looks too fussy with all the shells and beads, or perhaps the face is too big? The face is a transfer on white clay, I messed up the ink a bit as I placed the face into the shell, so I need to rethink the method a bit. The last step will be filling it with resin to make it look wet and glassy...a bit like a mermaid under the sea. Perhaps I will think more of it after that step is done.

Stay cool this week it looks like it's going to be another hot one!