Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Go Dutch Treasury

I was lucky enough to be part of the Go Dutch treasury. Please check out FlamingJuneVintage store. She has several vintage jewelry pieces that I like. I apologize for not blogging, it has been a very busy month. I am recovering from my trip to Italy. It was an amazing vacation and I am finally catching up here am home. I will post some photos of my trip later in the week.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Etsy Metal Clay Treasury

Louise, fellow EMC team mate and artisit behind Peculiar Forest, was kind enough to place me in her Etsy Metal Clay Treasury! Thank you Louise. Man it's been a while since I have done a treasury on Etsy. I had no idea that Etsy has added a Treasury East section and reformated the treasury layout. I will jump back on the Etsy treasury band wagon as soon as I finish my EMC team charms.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Earning 500 Hearts has been an Interesting Journey

I just hit a pretty cool milestone. I woke up this morning to see that 500 people have hearted my Etsy shop. On Etsy if you truly love someones work you can bookmark or "heart" their shop as a favorite. It bring a smile to my face that I have earned the hearts of 500 people. I think any artist constantly questions their work. You may love what you create but that nagging feeling of wondering if anyone else will like it plagues everyone. This morning's surprise was a little boost in confidence. I always enjoyed making my jewelry, I am hoping to branch out this year and learn how to make a variety of new things. Well thank you for all who support me and here's too earning my next 500 hearts.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Plastic Fantastic and Traveling Dreams

Above are some of my Polymer artist crushes. I am trying to dabble into the world of resins, polymer clay and DECO clay. I bought Sharri Haab, Resin Jewelry Book earlier this year. I am happy to report that I might be able to resuse all of my metal clay molds to create resin jewelry as well. Once I have some reasonable experiements done I will show them to you.

I have some outstanding news! I will be in Italy this May for eight days! I am so excited, we will be traveling from Venice to Florence and then to Rome. This trip has been in the works for two years and now we are finally going!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday's Theme - A Touch of Luck

This Thursday's theme, if you have not already guessed, is Saint Patrick's Day. Saint Patrick's day is next week and I composed a variety of inspirational pieces to fit this Thursday's Theme. It is amazing how many symbols we have to conjure that elusive edge in life called luck. Horseshoes, four leaf clovers, rabbits feet, the number seven, stray eye lashes, wish bones and rainbows. Lord knows I am superstitious; I knock on wood, wish on stray eye lashes and I would never kill a lady bug. So do you have a good luck charm or maybe a superstitious routine to capture that lovely lady called luck?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Button Nut's Favorite Search Words

I am a button nut. As you can see from the picture above, I have an addiction to Victorian black glass buttons. I probably take a half hour each day to search through the eBay and Etsy. My favorite search words is "black lacy glass buttons" Why black glass? In the late part of the 19th century the most detailed buttons were comprised of black glass. These black glass buttons are also called mourning buttons, this is due to the fact that Queen Victoria wore only black jet buttons after the death of Prince Albert. Another favorite search word of late is "carved celluloid". Bakelite or celluloid was the first plastic of the 20th century. It was not until the I came across this celluloid bird shown below, that I paid more attention to carved celluloid.

(Vintage carved celluloid bird bottom left, bronzclay bird from mold upper right)

I live close to a Hobby Lobby (aka Michael's or AC Moore) that sells my favorite two part silicone mold maker. I use a product called "The Amazing Molding Putty" I love this stuff it is very rare when I can not get a good mold from this product. Another product I use to create molds is polymer clay. I specifically use sculpty when making molds that have very fine detail that is not recessed enough for the silicone mold to pick up.

Below is an example of my Sunflowers Pendant, you can see the finished silver pendant, the unfired greenware, the original black glass button and the two part silicone mold.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tulips, Hearts, and Bronze Stars oh my

Some new Bronzclay pendants. I have a lot of items floating around my bench right now. I just finished the above three pendants this week. They still have a lot of polishing and finishing work but I am pleased with how they came out. I call the pendant on the upper left my tulips, hearts and stars pendant; the second located on the left is another Victorian flower pendant and the last pendant is a version of my Victorian Flower Charm. I am not sure about the patina on the tulip, hearts and stars pendant. I am never happy with the patina on my bronze pieces. Not to mention they always look silver in the photos. Hopefully this weekend I get get some good light to take some better photos, it so hard to take pictures at night.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday's Themes - Valentines Day

It's Valentine's Day this Sunday and I am looking forward to a nice dinner with my husband. Some of the items listed above have been on my favorites list for a long time. Have a great weekend and I hope you enjoy my heart collection.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday's Themes - The Man Cave

This weekend is my husband's birthday. Currently all the guys are downstairs in the basement playing the ritual Thursday night poker game. Our basement is pretty bare, except for my husband's poker table (which he made himself), the billiards table and the dart board. It is truly a man cave and as of last Wednesday it also now contains the dog that Jason has been wanting for a very long time. Last Saturday we visited the Champaign County Humane Society and adopted Pepper a female lab-mix. She is a very cute and rambunctious 4 month old puppy. Jason has been asking for a dog, for as long as I can remember and now that we have a house, he finally has the dog to complete his man cave. The above choices are things that I think would improve the vibe of the man cave. It is unfinished right now but I now my husband has great plans for it. Have a great weekend everyone and happy birthday hubby. Below is a picture of Pepper, I love her little Yoda ears.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Online Tutorials for Metal Clay Users

I am for the most part, a self-taught precious metal clay artist. I use the term "artist" loosely here, a better description of me would be a professional silicone mold creator. I have a mountain of precious metal clay books but I am a very visual learner. So when I can actually find video tutorials online for various precious metal clay techniques I bookmark them and study them diligently. The two websites that I have always returned to for their video tutorials is Whole Lotta Whimsy and Cool Tools.
There was however a very cool development last night on Tonya Davidson's blog , who is the co-owner of Whole Lotta Whimsy. Tonya Davidson has created a design team which she calls the Master Muses. These Master Muses are ten highly respected and experienced metal clay artists, that will be submitting a precious metal clay tutorials on various techniques on Tonya Davidson Blog every Wednesday starting January 28, 2010 . Two of the ten Master Muses are also Etsy Metal Clay Team members. A big congrats to Lora Hart and Ruth Baillie of Birdland Creations. There will be roughly 60 tutorials posted on Tonya's Blog. I can't wait to see all the different tutorials!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Handcrafted Help for Haiti

I found out the other day that there is a shop on Etsy called Hearts for Haiti. This wonderful shop has a collection of various items, that have been donated by various Etsy artists, to raise funds for the humanitarian efforts needed in Haiti . The Hearts for Haiti Shop will donate 100% of the proceeds (minus Etsy fees and Paypal fees) to Doctors Without Borders in bi-monthly increments. I am in the process of contacting this shop owner to donate one of my pendants. One of my fellow EMC teammate's, Liz Hall from Lizards Jewelry, has already donated her Heart Ring to the Hearts for Haiti Shop. There are several lovely items in this store that would make for great Valentine's Day gifts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Seed Bead Bracelet Project

So what does 2,500 seed beads weaved into four tiers using the right angle weave look like. This Seed Bead bangle is called the Metalsmith's Match and it was designed by Shelley Nybakke. Shelley has a bead shop in Bloomington, IL that I have had the pleasure to visit. This bracelet is almost done. Though the fourth tier has been extremely hard to weave. There has been a lot of cussing recently finishing the last tier. I hope I will finish it some time this week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Year, New Goals and New Skills

It was a crazy December as usual. We traveled to Connecticut for Christmas to visit my husband's extended family. It was fun to catch up with everyone and to see how much my nieces and nephew have grown. I was also able to meet some fellow EMC Team members in person! I was able to meet Lis-el of Heart of the Fire, Janice of Destinys Creations and Lucia of Gulino Art Jewelry. All of these lovely ladies meet me at Lis-el Art and Soul Gallery! It was great to meet everyone and to talk "shop" with someone in person. Thanks Lis-el for opening your gallery to us for such a lovely chat.

I can not believe it is 2010. It just seems weird to be in a new decade. It also the beginning of a new year and I have slowly begun to realise all of the goals I want to achieve this upcoming year.

I unfortunately received the bad news that I did not pass my Professional Engineering Exam. That was a pretty big blow but after reviewing my test results, I found I did fairly well in the morning and completely bombed the afternoon portion of the exam. The afternoon portion of the exam is a more discipline specific area that I did not have enough time to focus on. Hopefully with some more time spend studying this area I will pass the second go around in April 2010.

One thing I do not want to repeat is how my studying took over my life. I have resolved to be more organized with my time. To actually schedule in my crafting time into my day. Chris not crafting makes for a very unhappy Chris.

This organization of time will be hard because I want to explore some new craft skills. Over Christmas I was able to amass several gift cards to purchase a plethora of crafting books that have been on my favorite list since forever. The two that have really capture my attention is Clay Art for Special Occasions by Yukiko Miyai and The Art of Resin Jewelry: Layering, Casting, and Mixed Media Techniques for Creating Vintage to Contemporary Designs by the always crafty Sherri Haab. The lovely bouquet to the left is called the Yellow Mellow Arrangement and can be found in ccbycherrie Etsy shop. I would love to be able to make soft clay flowers like this!

Resin has also captured my attention and hopefully I will be off to the craft store this weekend to get my resin supplies. I fell in love with Quercus Silver Etsy Shop! I absolutely adore her Treasure box resin rings. I love the red one in particular listed above. Check them out.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Determination Delivers Delicate Details

I have received such good treasury luck lately that I thought I would return the favor. The above treasury is called Determination Delivers Delicate Details. I have been working on a pretty intricate seed bead bracelet lately. I will show you pictures once I have finished it. Hopefully I will finish it before the 2011. The endless stringing of seed beads inspired this treasury. My latest bracelet work brought the thought that determination delivers delicate details. Enjoy this treasury it will be around for two more days.

Happy New Year

Happy 2010 everyone. I hope everyone had a great New Year. I was happy to find that Jane of Daisy Jane Designs placed me in her Silver is just Fine treasury and Lori of Moda di Mango placed me in her Happy 2010 treasury this morning. Thanks ladies!