•May 19, 2017 • 4 Comments

Woohoo!  The results of the 2017 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Jewelry-making Contest featuring Metal have finally been announced! I’m delighted that my “Charmed” bracelet has won a Grand Prize Silver Medal in the Bracelet Category!  The bracelet is primarily metal composed of sterling silver, fine silver and bronze metal clay, and copper wire.  A Peyote-stitched beaded link, an etched glass bead, and a drilled river pebble are additional accents. The contest closed several months ago and I’d been wondering how my entries had fared (my “Amphitrite’s Treasure” neckpiece was also entered and was declared a Finalist). So what am I doing now? I’m shopping using the $150 FMG award gift certificate…I’ve already placed a few goodies in my shopping cart!

You May be Wondering…

•May 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Have I abandoned beadwork? Absolutely not!  And I promise to get back to beading eventually, but my creative muse has the upper hand and at the moment she is dictating that I continue designing with polymer clay cutouts.  Do you know the story of “The Red Shoes”?  A ballerina sees a beautiful pair of red satin slippers in the cobbler shop window and when the cobbler presents them to her and places them on her feet, she starts to dance and cannot stop.  She dances continuously and eventually dances herself to death!  While I seriously doubt that creating earrings will result in my demise, these colorful polymer cutouts keep calling to me to make another pair!  Each playful earring is a flight of fancy leading to the next design and the design after that!  Thus far, I’ve made over thirty one-of-a-kind mix and match “Matisse Inspired Cutouts earrings and the designs continue to evolve.  I’ve kept several  for myself, but the others are can be found in my Etsy shop!

Back in Working Order…

•May 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

My hydraulic press has been out of service for several months. After 26 years of service, the ram was leaking oil like mad and the pressure gauge had “given up the ghost”.  A new Bonny Doon ram with gauge is quite expensive, but what good it to have an unusable press?  Besides, I really wanted to use the press again so I “bit the bullet” and shelled out $380 plus shipping for a replacement. I’m confident this new ram will most likely outlast me!  If you’ve read my recent blog posts, you know that I’ve been working on collections of polymer clay Matisse Inspired “Cutouts” earrings , which I absolutely love to make and wear, but I’ve wanted to add metal cutouts to the mix as well!  Using a die and hydraulic press to cut out a shape is definitely faster and far less labor intensive than sawing the shape out by hand, plus you get consistent results when producing multiples.  Below are my first sterling silver cutout shapes using the new ram with several of my Potter USA dies.  It certainly is wonderful to have my press back in working order!

It Started in March…

•April 30, 2017 • 2 Comments

After months of winter gray and white I needed some color in my life! Polymer clay came to the rescue as I made colorful flowers and used them in a bead-embroidered collar, which I entered in Fire Mountain Gems “Creative Clays” contest (thus far it has made it to the second round of judging).  Wanting to continue working in a floral theme, that project was followed by my “Fleurs et Papillon” cuff. Now, spring has finally arrived and each day flowers and ferns are emerging both outdoors and in my studio! The vivid colors of the cutouts Henri Matisse created in the later years of his life are inspiring my latest works. I so love the pair of blue and green asymmetrical polymer cutout earrings that I made two weeks ago that I just had to make more! This collection is the result of my toil…or should I say play because these were really delightful to create! No two earrings are exactly alike, but they all coordinate beautifully! I find mixing and matching jewelry to be great fun! On any given day I might wear a hoop earring on one ear and a long dangle on the other or I’ll wear just one earring leaving the other ear bare. Do you do that too? I’ve decided to sell these earrings individually rather than in a set for that very reason! You’ll find these in my Etsy shop!  Here  are a few closeup photos from my One-of-a-Kind Matisse Inspired Polymer Clay Cutout Earrings collection…Enjoy!







Channeling Matisse…

•April 22, 2017 • 1 Comment

In the 1940’s during the later years of his life, Henri Matisse began to create with paper cutouts almost exclusively. He described these works as “drawing with scissors”. Using large sheets of painted papers, he created exciting and modern brightly colored abstract works. My latest pieces are inspired by these cutouts, but my medium of choice for these art jewelry creations is polymer clay. Playful components of cutout flowers, leaves and butterflies are now dangling from loops and long sterling silver earwires that make a bold fashion statement! The earring shown in the above photo measures 3″ in length. Wearing a long earring of such vibrant color is totally new to me and I’m loving it! I think of it as a mini-sculpture! Presently I’m in the midst of creating a collection of cutout-themed earrings in all manner of shapes, sizes, and colors…I haven’t had this much fun since kindergarten!

The Tutorial and Kits are Ready!

•April 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I’ve just finished the tutorial for my “Fleurs et Papillons” Cuff!  While proofreading the tutorial it occurred to me that there are so many possibilities for making the cuff! Although I used Metallic Iris Brown seed beads, it could be embellished with all manner of novelty beads and crystals!  And for those who don’t work in Polymer clay, fabric could easily be used for the flowers and butterflies! I can envision this cuff made with etherial layers of moire, organza and tulle stitched to the beading foundation with sparkling flat-backed Lochrose crystals! And instead of using a brass cuff blank as the armature, the cuff ends could be joined by ties of flowing satin ribbon…a Faerie Queene-worthy creation!  Does that whet your artistic appetite?  You’ll find the tutorial in my Etsy shop along with the beading kit!  Enjoy!

More Flowers and Butterflies!

•April 15, 2017 • 1 Comment

I’m having a spring fling! I’ve just finished my “Fleurs et Papillons” mixed-media cuff incorporating polymer clay and bead embroidery! Was this fun to make? Delightful! And it worked up rapidly once I’d made all the polymer clay components. I’m in the midst of proofreading the step-by-step tutorial for this cuff, which will contain templates for cuff, flowers and butterflies, as well as a template and bonus instructions for making the collar rendition shown in my April 1 blog post! And it’s loaded with color process photos! The tutorial and a few limited edition kits will be available in a day or two.  Stay tuned!

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