Saturday, February 23, 2013

Free Form Peyote Choose Your Own Adventure Blog Hop

I am double posting today.  Please Scroll down for the FreeForm Peyote Challenge.  Thank you for stopping by

Focus on Life:  Week 8    Monochromatic

This week Sally asked us to take a monochromatic picture.  I chose black and white which was easy to do because my Elements has a drop down menu that does it for me.

I chose to take  picture of one of the heads of garlic that are hanging in my kitchen.  This is how it looks after drying since last summer.  One of my very favorite garden plants because it tastes so good and always comes out fine and is never attacked by bugs or deer or woodchucks or voles.  I love this elegant shape but have yet figures out how to include it in my jewelry.  Maybe it would be a good shape for a pendant for a freeform  peyote necklace. Please checkout what others have done this week. HERE

Freeform Peyote Challenge Blog Hop
Today is the blog hop for the Freeform Peyote Challenge which is being hosted by Mandi Ainsworth and Karen Williams.  The idea is that FreeForm Peyote is made without a pattern and that you make choices along the way --hence the title:  Choose Your Own Adventure.

For my adventure, I chose to use, for the first time, some Tila 2 hole beads, and size 8 beads in a range of brown, bronze and copper colors with some orange added as it seemed the browns needed a little excitement.
I also used two of my handmade copper pieces, one as a button for the clasp and the other as a central focal.

Alone the central edge I make a number of spikes to work in the orange tones and to add texture.

The tila beads made a nice edge on one side of the bracelet.  One of the things I like best about freeform peyote stitch is that you don't know before you finish where your journey will lead you.  That is the good part and the difficult part.  It seems to me that each piece I make comes to a point that I need a great deal of faith and believing in intuition and a  feel for color to keep traveling to that unknown destination.  Usually it works out but I do have unfinished pieces stashed away too.  One year I went back and finished most of them up and they worked out fine.

This picture of my bracelet is an overview. I  think it should be worn with the spikes facing away from my fingers.  
As I was working on this bracelet I became aware of how I have moved away from the what might be thought of as a traditional free form style.  I am not quite sure how that happened.  

I also started and had thought I had finished a necklace until I took photos of it and realized that it was just the bare bones of a necklace.  I am hoping to add more strands to the front under that row of my handmade ceramic beads.  

I  became quite involved in some of the details of the necklace, like the way to attach the herringbone tube with the clasp on it.  I became also quite involved in the button clasp.  It wasn't until I took photos of the piece that I realized how unfinished it is.  The good part is that I can still add to it and all the difficult parts for me, i.e. the .clasp and length, are decided and complete.  Now I can have fun making it fuller and funkier.

Thank you  Mandi and Karen for hosting this blog hop.  It has been a great experience.  
I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else made.  The list of participants follows:

Adventure Guides

Deborah Humphrey

Friday, February 15, 2013

Focus on Life Week 7: Beauty of Flowers

There are not any flowers outside right now since it very much winter here in Northern New York.  Inside I do not have any flowering plants this year. However, I did find this sweet white flower growing in the pot of  one of the  two Ficus trees I brought inside for the winter.  Actually this flower looks very familiar.  I think it is in the Nightshade family( but not the toxic one.)  I see it frequently in my veggie garden when I am pulling weeds in the summer.   It must have seeded itself in the tree's pot.

I am so cheered  to find this brave little blossom that has hitchhiked its way into my house and brought us a bit of summer. Thank you Sally for setting us on a search for flowers this week as part of your Focus On Life  challenge. 

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.  A. A. Milne

Thank you all for your visits and wonderful comments.  I so appreciate hearing from you.  
I hope you will visit the other participants this week.  They are all listed Here

Student Work

These two lovely bracelets are the first time ever free form beading work of one of my lovely students, Irene , who used my  Free Form Peyote Stitch Bracelet Instruction ebook to make them.  She was kind enough to share this picture with me.  
The multi-colored bracelet is the very first one she made.  I just love her choice of colors and how well she integrated them into a cohesive bracelet. Those greens and oranges and reds are so beautiful together.  I think that Free form Peyote stitch is a great platform for folks that love color more than pattern.  I am so impressed at how easily Irene handled the free form approach.
Irene was so excited by her success with her first bracelet that she went on to make a second one which is still in progress in the photo above.   She wants this one to be more of a cuff than the first one.  Looks really good to me.

Thank you Irene for sharing your pictures  and giving me permission to post them on my blog.  Happy Beading.  I think your success will  inspire many to give Free Form Peyote stitch a try.
If you are interested in Free form, you might like to see the work of the participants in this upcoming blog hop
Signup Here through January 31, 2013
Karen Williams of Baublicious is putting it on.  I am participating and so are lots of other free form beaders.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Headpins: Fun and Fancy

Floral Heart Headpins

Love My Art Jewelry is having a Jewelry Boot Camp.  The current learning is about making balled headpins and other kinds as well.  I made up these over the weekend.  I had already been making the heart pins(bellow) but decided to try some new ideas in clay and  copper since being inspired by the Boot Camp Posts.

Fun  summery striped headpins

 Heart Headpins

I then tried my hand at making balled headpin flower buttons from round disks.  By chance I found out that painting the liquid flux I had onto copper  and heating it up  turned it a wonderful red.

Balled headpin shank button back
Balled headpin flower button

Then I tried my hand at a little soldering with a head pin.  Came out pretty well but took me a mega amount of time.  But I am so excited that they stick together.  The balled headpin is a kind of rivet.  Also the flowers twirl around which is fun.

Balled headpin earring components

I  hope you will check out the other participants in this Jewelry Boot Camp HERE

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Focus on Life Feel the Love

This week our prompt from Sally for the Focus on Life project was to take a photo that shows the love.  This is a picture of  our kitty Belle.  She is sitting on my lap as she loves to do feeling very happy.  She has her legs outstretched and curled around me.  I can not only feel her love and her warmth but also I can hear her very contented purr.

Many thanks to all who stopped by last week'  I appreciate and visit and the comments you left about my little hearts. 
Please stop by and see what others have chosen to photograph to show the love right here

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Notes from Hawaii

photograph by Stephen Stickler

My older brother John recently moved to Hawaii and just sent these incredible photos of  Kiluea Volcano, which is on the Puna peninsula on the east coast of the Island of Hawaii.  In the photo above, my sister-in-law Soma Han is standing in front of a giant lava-cliff cave.  Just an amazing shot of all that volcanic texture frozen in time.  
My brother writes:
"We finally made the hike down to the wild coast where the hot lava from Kiluea Volcano is pouring into the sea -- the only place in the world where this is happening right now. It is a rough walk over miles of rugged black lava from past flows, the newest land in the world. But it was worth it. We arrived at sunset with Stephen and some other friends and watched the glow from the fingers of flame increase in intensity as night came on."

Soma tells me that it was a very long and difficult walk out to see Kiluea volcano flowing into the ocean --90 minutes over very rough pathless volcanic terrain by daylight and on the return, in the dark with head lanterns  and flashlights a couple of hours.  Grueling but a thrilling adventure.

These amazing photos were taken by my nephew, photographer, Stephen Stickler.  I feel so lucky that they sent these to me and gave me permission to share them with you on my blog.

photograph by Stephen Stickler
Here the Kiluea volcano is pouring  hot lava into the ocean.  A once in a life time picture, I think.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Week 4 Capture A Heart

ceramic hearts drying in a food dehydrator 

Week 4 of Focus on Life.  Our challenge this week was to capture a heart in our natural environment and take a picture of it.  There are many hearts in my studio environment made by me.  I love to make tiny heart charms and hand paint them and send them attached to a package.  

Here is a photo I made some time ago of lots of my little hearts shaped into a heart.

Please check out the other participants in  The Focus on Life Challenge here.

Thank you to all who stopped by last week.  

a few of the hearts I made this week.

Friday, February 01, 2013

First Friday Art Walk on Etsy With Beads of Clay

New stoneware and porcelain beads currently in my Etsy shop

Today begins the monthly First Friday Art Walk on Etsy.  The Beads of Clay Professional Artists Team participates in this event each month.  I always offer a discount for the FFAW weekend.  This month I am offering 15% off everything in  my Etsy shop.  Please use coupon code BOCFFAW15 at checkout and your sale price will be calculated for you.
Please note that if you are an international buyer, As a special thank you,  I am holding off on raising my shipping rates until after this First Friday Weekend.  The old $4.00 rate for whatever and however much you buy will still be in effect through Sunday Feb. 3.

Below are some pictures of new work in my Etsy Shop.

Heart Charms in my Etsy Shop

Super Red Orange Toggle for your Valentine  in my Etsy Shop

Dreams of Summer Wild Flowers  Campion Pendant in my Etsy Shop

Copper  Clay Trilobite Pendant from fossils my son and grandsons collected at Penn Dixie
in my Etsy shop
Young Birch Leaves Bracelet Bar in my Etsy Shop

Please check out the other  Beads of Clay shops participating the the First Friday Art Walk here:

Raku Bead Video Part III