Saturday, October 29, 2011

New in My Etsy Shop

Daisies Heart Pendant  This is one of the pieces in Heather Powers' new book.  I hope you have had a chance to see it.  It is a beauty.  I am so thrilled to have 5 of my pieces in it and to be part of one of her design projects.
After my Newsletter Subcribers' Appreciation sale my Etsy Shop inventory has gotten very low.  I thank all my loyal readers for their support. Now I am trying to build it  up again and have been listing a few pieces each day this week.  I thought I would share the pics with you.

 I think the onset of some very cold weather here in the Northeast has
made  me dip into my unconscious Southwestern past when I came up with this color scheme.

This heart is typical of the wetlands and forest fauna here.  Love those colors.

An oak leaf pendant with a dill seed in flower image.

A wild leaf pendant in a nice rose

This is a new style toggle for me.  It has a fair sized stringing hole for bracelets like the one below.

This bracelet is strung and knotted with cotton cord.  The toggle clasp with the hole works well with this style of stringing. ( not in my Etsy shop)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fun Zipper Pulls

I made these spooky Zipper pulls yesterday using Jennifer Jangels tutorial seen on ArtBeadScene recently.  Good tutorial.  Great and very accurate directions. I am putting these in the Halloween goody pack   for my grandchildren.  They are boys so the zipper pulls were a fun way to use these liitle ceramic charms I made.  The skulls are plastic and part of  a novelty bracelet I took apart.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finishing Up the Lorelei and Shannon Lima Bead Challenge

I have been struggling to get this necklace finished and finally did last night.  It doesn't use many of the beads in the kit.  Actually just the Turquoise Zebra Jasper Tumbled Nuggets.

I tried many combinations with the kit beads but the necklace had a will that I gave into.  I have titled  it The Secrets of Milkweed. I have discovered that Milkweed  has not just one but several secrets.
Secret # 1
I realized that the first secret of this necklace was the pendant.  I tried a number of others but this one worked.  It is of a Milkweed plant in bloom.

The truth is that in real life, the milkweed plant is also very strong willed.  It is a big plant that takes up lots of room and farmers hate to see it get an inroad in their hay fields.  In mid summer it blooms and has a lovely    perfume, by late summer it has gone to seed and it is prolific in its production of white feathery seeds that land and replant themselves everywhere easily.

Secret # 2   The milkweed plant is the food source and birth place of the Monarch Butterfly.

Secret # 3  The name of the Milkweed plant in Latin is a family that stands for Medicine and Healing

Secret #4  The prolific feathery seeds are used as a down substitute for clothing and  quilts, especially for those allergic to bird down.
Maybe these secrets are just facts but if you think about it,  it gives the Milkweed plant an aura of powers and special abilities.  Which all goes into me liking this sweet smelling and most beautiful of weeds. And giving into its will.
                                                       The Secrets of Milkweed Necklace
I had wanted to use the lovely lavender Czech glass rondelles in my necklace but "the will"  just would not have it.  So I made a wire wrapped bracelet with them.. I love that color purple and the way it shimmers.  I used some colored aluminum wire size 18 gauge to wire wrap them that I bought especially for this project because it has a purple cast to it, I think.  And for the perfect finish : the toggle clasp by Miss Ficklemedia.
                                                          Eye of Turquoise Bracelet
I especially like these small structured challenges because it gives me a set of parameters to be creative within.  And I especially like this one because of the beautiful beads and color palette and the freedom to use as few as or many of them as we chose.  Thank you again Lorelei and Shannon
 Bracelet that was in the blog hop using the sweet Czech glass
flower buttons and cube seed beads from the kit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make Your Own Findings Class

While the weather was storming this weekend, I was safely inside an historical building of Clarkson University, Snell Hall, teaching a class for our local Arts Council.  I called my class Make Your Own Findings.   While preparing for the class, I felt like an actor rehearsing.   I practiced each skill I would be teaching, wrote out the steps for the students' take home packet, and memorized my lines, so to speak.  What I noticed when the day came was that there were skills that built upon each other as we went through  making the findings I had chosen for the day.  First we made ear wires.  We started with a basic loop.  And it was that skill that that was carried through and augmented  in  the toggle bar and later the clasp.  Making a simple loop is the beginning skill of making a spiral which was used in the toggle clasp, and further developed in the spiral clasp.  The second skill that repeated itself was using a Sharpie marker to make the loop in the ear wires and the S clasp.  Students new to these skills have the most difficulty in learning to move their hands in new ways and where to put their fingers on the wire.  The jump rings combined the skills of flush cutting wire, which we learned at the very beginning of the class, bending wire around a mandrel ( the sharpie for the ear wire)and how to arrange your fngers to hold the wire against the mandrel.
The students were eager learners and very creative.  It was a fun morning:  a joyful reward after all the hours of preparation.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Designing with my Beads

I was so pleased to receive this photo in an email a few days ago.  Yes, that is my red flower front and center. I asked Rebecca if I could post it and link to a URL and learned that she has a wonderful Etsy Shop called Songbead .
And then I found that she has this beautiful necklace in her store.

What a thrill to see my work displayed so beautifully with such clear sharp photos.  Thank you Rebecca.
I hope you will give her shop a visit and see all of the wonderful pieces of jewelry she makes.

And you can read more about her work and life on her blog here . And if you check out her blog today you will find a nice surprise.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lorelei and Shannon's Lima Beads Challenge AND Blog Hop

That is a pic of the wonderful kit that Lorelei and Shannon picked out at Lima Beads.  I was very inspired by the green tile beads and the lovely glass flower beads and immediately began to make a seed bead braelet. 


 As you can see I have added quite a few beads from my own stash.  The turquoise disk bead is one of my own ceramic beads.  I love the way this color combo make it almost glow.  Thanks so much Lorelei and   Shannon for doing this for us. You can see the other participants' work here.

I have begun and have almost finished a necklace with some of the other beads in the kit.  I will post it later in the week when it if finished. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

First Friday Art Walk

Today BeadsofClay is collaborating with the First Friday ArtWalk on to give you a chance to visit ceramic bead making shops on Etsy along with other shops.  As a special incentive for you to visit the shops most are giving a  discount on their prices. I am participating for the first time today.  Please use the coupon code BOCFFAW10 when you visit my shop and you will receive a 10% discount on all your purchases .
I hope you will check out the BeadsofClay blog  and link to the other BeadsofClay Etsy shops that are participating.
                                                    Some of the pieces in my shop today.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The unexpected

Sometimes, and a little more often than comfortable, ceramic clay gives us the unexpected:  the good and the bad.    This week has been one of those.  These amazing beads were not supposed to come out like this.  )That coppery gold surface was totally unexpected!!) They were a special order, and I am so happy the buyer loved them.

My kiln over fired for the first time yesterday and I got the TLF message, meaning that it fired too long and too slow so it turned itself off.  I was able to salvage some of the pieces which came out great. (see pic above)  But others, no pic, are warped and slightly distorted.
Kiln over firings are just one of the chances we take making ceramics.  And unexpected glaze results another.  Adds to the fun and frustration of this wonderful craft.  And to the time it takes to make a saleable piece.
Some new pieces I am trying out came out great and that is unexpected too, but in the nicest of ways. 
Made from a steel printing block I found at that great Flea Market in Maine, I have written about before.7

This piece was planned for the Sept Challenge.  I love how it turned out.  An unexpected result from participating this month is that I won the Cup of Bead Soup from Lori Anderson.  I am so excited!!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Love My Art Jewelry Cyber Sale Today Oct 2nd

I am participating in the  Love My Art Jewelry 1 day Cyber Sale today which begins at 6:00AM EST.  Please use code LMAJ15 for 15% off everything in my Etsy Shop today.  We are celebrating the concept of making handmade jewelry with handmade components: " Creating Handmade with Handmade."
And check out the links to all the other 38 shop that are participating by clicking  HERE

Raku Bead Video Part III