Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Poking around the web led me to find It looks much like and there are a TON of gorgeous, gorgeous tutorials on there. Ack! It's overwhelming!

Just thought I'd share. ^_^

Ananda Khalsa... AHHH!

So Ananda Khalsa just sent out an e-mail with images from her latest work. She's setting stones in some pieces instead of paintings, and while I am a HUGE fan of her original work, I really, really love the stone pieces, too! They still look so much like her. I just LOVE her stuff. If any of you haven't heard of her or seen her pieces, go take a look. She might just be my favorite jewelry artist ever, or artist in general. I mean, I think I love her stuff even more than I love Kathleen Dustin's. And that's saying a LOT.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Crazy Scraps/Weird Validations

I don't know how many of you experience strange and random validation of your art, but I often do.

Last week, I took some silver scraps into Lonnie's to trade for more silver. As I was gathering them all together (they used to have one spot--what happened?!), I noticed how crazy they were. Big, messy coils from some failed attempt at whatever idea I had at the time. I often mess up quite a bit of wire on weird ideas that usually work, but sometimes really, really don't. And as I looked at my ridiculous pile, I felt that little brush of validation. In art, at least, I don't fear failure. I've managed to work out in my art what I'm trying to work out in my life in general. It's something I felt God say to me a while ago about various things I'm attempting in my life. I told Him about being afraid of failing, and it felt like He said, "Don't worry about it. If you don't make it, it's not another time you failed--it's another time you tried." If anything, I suppose it's a spectacular thing to keep trying in the midst of such a train wreck. LoL. And I like to think that even if I never quite make it with a lot of this junk, I'll be taking some pretty spectacular scraps up to Heaven with me, and probably a lot more finished work than I think.

Also, I was looking around online at some random beginning polymer clay artists. I liked a lot of what I saw. They made beautiful, beautiful work. But as I looked, I saw just how many of them really seem to be channeling the books I've seen, and aren't quite doing their own thing yet. Their days will come, I'm sure! But I sort of had to think of all the stuff I make--that stuff I feel isn't too special most of the time. I tend to feel like what I make is mostly lame. But this exercise gave me some new eyes. I've been doing polymer clay seriously now for about 6 years. I have so few things I've made based on a book. Virtually all of what I have now is stuff that is mine. It's me! And it was kind of exciting to have that validation, to realize that I don't think I'm a beginner anymore. I think, even though I don't necessarily have a "style" yet, what I'm making is still mine. And it's really cool to realize that.

I just should on myself too much. I think we all do. Ah, well. I'm sharing to hopefully give someone else some validation. Don't be afraid of failure. Don't belittle your work. You're a beautiful, unique creation, and your own creations are awesome. ^_^

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stitch markers and buttons!!!

I'm delivering my stitch markers, buttons, and shawl pins to Tempe Yarn and Fiber today for their grand opening (at their new location--next door to their current one!) on the 25th! This has been weeks and weeks in the working and I'm excited. I'm delivering a pretty huge stock (for one person, at least) today. Over 30 pairs of stitch markers (which can easily be converted into beautiful earrings with provided hypoallergenic kidney ear wires) and close to 50 buttons. Some of those are in sets, but still. It was a butt load of work.

Anyway, it's exciting to be back out there again. Last time it was Art on Boston. Now it's a yarn shop. So this venue is combining my love of metal work, jewelry making, polymer clay, AND fiber arts.

Oh, and I made one button that says, "Eat, knit, and be merry, for tomorrow we dye." Isn't that SO cute?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Rivoli Pendants/Polymer Thief

I made new pendants. But that's in a sec. Look at this cute picture I found when I was rifling through 2007 photos. This is my sweet Elliott, at about 8 months old, attempting to pilfer a block of polymer clay from the table as I was crafting. He used to sit next to me in the high chair all of the time as I crafted. I tell people all the time that he was raised around my crafts. This is usually in response to their surprise as Elliott runs off with my jewelry or plays with beads or whatever. I trained him early to be gentle with that stuff, just like I did his older brother. And he always listens when I tell him not to touch or to put things back. Anyway, it was just fun to find this pic of my little craft supply thief. (Oh, and the spot on his cheek is eczema. Virtually all of his baby pictures have his little spotted cheek in them.)

I've been obsessed with the Rivolis lately thanks to Lynne's demo. These are some pendants I made setting them in a different way. I like their look... chunky and antique, kind of. I like them both antiqued AND left shiny silver. I'm going to try gold next.

I was thinking about putting this up at It could be my inaugural tutorial. ^_^

I almost can't express my level of stress right now, though. I got all of my shawl pins finished and buffed, but I still have so far to go. I got stitch markers and buttons made yesterday and I'm starting to feel really overwhelmed with it all. It's good that I have these opportunities, but it's also really hard between teaching, selling, taking care of my kids, and trying to keep my house livable. If anyone else out there has ever figured out a perfect balance, let me know. For now, though, Flylady is saving my life. And keeping dinner on the table. ^_^ Earlier today, I was joking with myself. I'm weird. I was thinking, about myself and my art, that someone else might say, "She's such a poser. She still does housework." LoL.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rivoli Pendants, Shawl Pins, Other Stuff, Oh, MY! (Or: Holy Lotta Pics, Batman!)

Holy lotta pics, Batman!

Okay, okay. I've been working my butt off (not literally, unfortunately) and not posting any pics. Here's some of what I've been doing lately. None of these shawl pins are completely finished. The first one, even though it's all pretty and coated in Magic Glos, is unsanded on the sides and bottom.

I made color chips after Jodi's demo at last month's Clay Guild. I had a TON of little leftover bits of the grayed colors, so I rolled them into snakes and decided to make a shawl pin with all of them. I'm not pleased with this yet. We'll see what miracles some Inca Gold paint (from Folkart--my FAVORITE gold color) can do. Oh, and Rose, that's my paint color. Hopefully you'll read this.

This is my most recent shawl pin. I love it! I did it with my jade mix. Although I'm pretty sure that this particular jade mix isn't what I usually do. I can't wait to sand it and buff it! Well. I can't wait for it to be done. Maybe I could enter a temporal vortex (subspace rift?) or some kind and exit after the sanding and buffing were done. Oh, if only Star Trek were real.

Random cane slices on a base.

More little cane slices and some old strips of mokume gane.

My current pride and joy--this beautiful necklace I finished at Clay Guild yesterday with 14kt gold filled wire and a bunch of Swarovski. ^_^ I love the little pendant, which is that technique I'm going to write an article on for Polymer Cafe. That will be my third accepted article. I'm really excited about it!

Lynn did this awesome demo yesterday at Clay Guild. These are shown in the order I made them. The top left was made yesterday after the demo. The others were made at home, late at night, and early in the morning. ^_^ They're so fun! The only thing that stopped me was running out of Rivolis. Although I like the cabochon look, I really, REALLY love the crystals. Oh, and because I'm kind of kooky: I made super tiny ones out of 6mm drilled Rivoli drops (cleverly concealing the holes) for earrings. They need to get finished a bit better. I used the FolkArt Inca Gold acrylic paint for some of these and some FolkArt Warm White, I believe.

Since I started my blog post, Adam wisely started playing a video game. (Star Trek Encounters for PS2, in case anyone was curious.) I was already planning on making this pendant with a long cab into a necklace. I may just do that now. I need to sand and buff this one, too, though. Dangit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Earring Swap/Card Exchange

Busy, busy, busy. But it's good!

Here are my card exchange cards for May. I've got to go drop them off today. (They're due every month on the 15th!)

And here are my earring pieces for the guild swap on Saturday. I kind of had this total freak out over the last week when I realized that I had 15 pairs of earring pieces AND 8 cards due on the same day this month. LoL. But it's been kind of fun, I suppose. I've watched a lot of Hercules on Netflix while crafting. You can laugh all you want. That show is so lame, but I love it.

Yeah, I really love being able to set my laptop on the desk next to me and have it playing something as I work. It really helps me concentrate! I know sometimes I look rude in church, too, as I flip through my bible looking for various things that I think of as I listen, but the extra activity somehow allows my brain to focus more on what's going on. In various meetings I attend, too, or other things, it's helpful to me to be working on things while I'm listening, then I can focus on my work and on what's said. Otherwise, I find myself daydreaming. It's like my brain really needs something else to do in order to focus. It's an extreme right brain thing. It helps me understand my son, Thad, too. We're so alike, it's weird.

Yeah, like, on Sunday, Adam sent him into his room to get dressed. We already have him pick his clothes out the night before to help. He was in there for 10 minutes doing nothing. Just standing there, spacing. Adam had to remind him again that he should be getting dressed. Then, Adam came into our room as I was getting ready and asked, "Is it possible that he actually just spaced for 10 minutes?" And I said, "Totally. He could have seen something on his desk that reminded him of something and he thought about it, then a stream of a million other things, and he just has no idea how much time has passed." Adam said, "Weird. I just don't understand that." But I feel mushies at him because he's so sweet. Even though he doesn't understand, he recognizes that, and he's a really good dad. And a darned fine husband. (Like the bible says, "Dwell with your wife in understanding..." It doesn't say they'll ever understand us. LoL.)

Anyway, anyway... This was fun. I put some tips on the cards included with my earrings, too, and described color mixes and whatnot. So guild people are getting a treat. Even if my earring pieces aren't as good as Bonnie's or Lupe's (Lupe's post made me feel like crap, lol!), maybe people will enjoy my tidbits. ^_^