Faux Amber, Coral, and Turquoise Revisited…

•June 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I spent time this past week replenishing the polymer clay faux amber, coral, and turquoise beads that are included in my “Tibetan Inspired Beaded Rope Necklace” kit. After finishing my task I decided to play with several different shapes…I made turquoise nuggets, chunky coral beads, several amber donuts, and a long amber spindle to name a few. Then I decided that it would be nice to have a really wide amber cuff to compliment my summer wardrobe! I embedded some teeny coral and turquoise nuggets, a fine silver metal clay ammonite, and decorative dots of sterling silver as well. I love this cuff and am so pleased with the fit…measuring 2″ in width, it is very comfortable to wear! The clay I prefer using? Premo! Sculpey™. It is the perfect material for a cuff because it has some pliability and great memory. I can easily slip the cuff onto my wrist because the opening “gives” easily and then returns to its original position. The clay also comes in an extensive array of colors that can easily be blended into custom colors. When I find time, I’m going to make a wide faux coral cuff and perhaps I’ll even mix up some faux jade and ivory!

Lucky Me!

•June 21, 2017 • 2 Comments

Richard Salley is teaching the Ketoh Bracelet (shown above) workshop in Mineral Point , Wisconsin at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts on July 22-23 and I’ve signed up for his class! This piece is drop-dead gorgeous and all the materials including the large turquoise stone are included in the kit fee.  All I have to do is show up with a few hammers and jewelry-making tools and enjoy two days of creating!  I took a class from Richard at Bead&Button several years ago…he’s a great teacher and I learned how to forge some really nifty stamping tools in that class. If you live within driving distance to Mineral Point and love jewelry, you really should consider signing up for this class!  But hurry because his classes fill up really fast!  Incidentally, Mineral Point is a charming little town with several art galleries and great restaurants. In fact, my husband is joining me and will visit the galleries and shops while I’m in class…win-win!

As Usual…

•June 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

What I liked best about the Bead & Button Show was a class taught by Susan Lenart Kazmer. Over the past years I’ve taken several of her classes and they always inspire me to get back in the studio and work with metal and resin! “Resin, Relics, and Ancient Artifacts: Casting Resin” is the class I took last week. It was only three hours in length so there wasn’t enough time to complete a piece, but we explored mold-making and I left class with several molds and two cast resin components.

Although I have been working with resin off and on for several years, I learned tips and tricks and discovered endless possibilities for making unique art forms by applying paint, mixing in alcohol inks, and altering the finished resin casting with carving!  Upon arriving back in my studio, I couldn’t resist the temptation to get out my Ice Resin®, molding compound, inks and dyes, paints, accent powders, and ephemera and start to play!

I love the large urchin and stone castings.  These measure over 2″ in diameter and will be wonderful focal pieces used in pendants and/or brooches!

The upper left and lower right components in the above photo measure a little over 1″ in diameter and have been accented with inks and paint. The center component contains a 27mm Swarovski Crystal…the photo doesn’t show the depth and brilliance, but it truly looks like an orange opal! The lower left and upper center components are faux quartz crystals. I plan to use them as focal “stones” in rings!  And what did I do with the resin heart-shaped component I brought home from class?  I used it as a focal in this pendant!

My mixed-media “Heart Talisman” Pendant is composed of polymer clay (twig and serpents), fine silver and bronze metal clay components, sterling silver wire, carnelian, green jasper, and resin! 





Report from the Show…

•June 10, 2017 • 6 Comments

It was a whirlwind trip to the Bead&Button Show…a four hour drive to Milwaukee on Thursday and a repeat back home on Friday.  I solely went to just do some floor show shopping and to take a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer (more about the class in my next post!).  Attendance at last year’s show was down considerably…this year attendance was down even more.  Several years ago there were well over 500 vendors at the show, but this year it seemed there were about half that amount. Sadly, many of the vendors who have really unique and interesting wares to sell were absent. In the past attendees were tripping over each other and sometimes one couldn’t even get close enough to see what a vendor was selling!  No problem this year…you could have thrown a bowling down an aisle and not a single person would have to jump out of the way!  Granted, I was only there for two days so I hope traffic picked up over the weekend when the show is open to the public.  Below is my stash from the floor show…very little compared to what I brought home from previous shows.

Here are a few highlights from the Bead Dreams display on the floor show. 

This colorful bead-embroidered neckpiece was created by Sherry Serafini.

“The Beauty in the Bees” neckpiece below won Best in Show for Tatiana Fitzpatrick.


Below is Amy Johnson’s “Secret Garden” bead-embroidered neckpiece.

One can only imagine the hours that went into the creation of these pieces.  

And can you believe the crystal-studded Porsche shown below!

I’ll post a show and tell about my class with Susan Lenart Kazmer later!

Gotta’ Bead!

•June 5, 2017 • 5 Comments

It’s just too beautiful outdoors to stay inside today! I’ve gathered up a selection of Delica beads, needle, thread, and beading mat and am sitting under a fan blowing soft breezes on our screened-in porch. Along with iced tea and the company of cats…what better day to start a new Warped Square project! 

I’m Goin’ Shoppin’…

•June 2, 2017 • 2 Comments

My contest entries have just been returned and thanks to Fire Mountain Gems & Beads and a $150 gift certificate (the silver medal award for the bracelet I entered in the 2017 Metal Jewelry Contest), I’ll be doing a bit of online shopping! Over the past few months I’ve been perusing the FMG catalog online and putting goodies in my shopping basket…I’ll continue to do so until I return home from the Bead and Button show, which is being held next week. Prudence tells me to wait and see what I find there before placing an order because I always come back to the studio with various treasures I’ve found at the show. Aside from beads, I keep an eye out for beautiful tools and new equipment that I feel is a “must have”! I’m fairly well stocked on most of the materials I use in my work so whatever I purchase at the show will be something rather unique and/or special that I can’t find online. Many vendors offer “Show Specials” with lower pricing and of course, being able to hand-select pearls and gemstones is always preferable to ordering and having someone in a warehouse choose for you. Gary Wilson always has his gorgeous gemstones at the show and since he doesn’t have an online shop, this is my chance to find some unique Drusies and other stones. Undoubtedly my next post will be a “show and tell” of my purchases and a report on the class I’m taking with Susan Lenart Kazmer. Best of all, I always return from the show with my creative juices flowing and great ideas for new works!

A New Tutorial!

•May 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I’ve received so many inquiries from fellow polymer clay enthusiasts who love my “Matisse Inspired Cutouts” Earrings  as to whether a tutorial for making them is available and here it is! The tutorial contains over twenty full-color process photos and step-by-step instructions for making the polymer clay components as well as creating drop earwires and hoops from stock sterling silver wire…you’ll never have to buy commercially made earwires again!  I love Art Jewelry and consider each earrings a wearable mini-sculpture! 

For those of you who don’t work with polymer clay but love the “Matisse Inspired Cutouts” earrings, I presently have thirty-four one-of-a-kind earrings listed in my Etsy shop. Although the earrings are asymmetrical, the colors and themed of the components coordinate beautifully! Each earring is priced individually so you can mix and match to your heart’s desire!

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