Saturday, October 30, 2010

Margie & Me Rococo Challenge

I have wanted to work on some small pieces and thought that the La Bella Joya Weis Church Challenge would be perfect.  I started out by sending an email to Marcie saying I would make something small - maybe some earrings.  OK, now I was committed.  But after about ten minutes, I got an idea that was a bit more elaborate.  I loved working with some white AB Delicas in a previous piece and wanted to show off how they shimmer pink and blue - perfect for this challenge although nearly impossible for me to photograph.  I made some little wheels:
I made an all white and gold wheel first.  Then I thought that I should use some pink &/or blue.  The bottom design seemed a little art deco to me so I added some more one-cut 15's and got the top design.  When I made these little wheels in white and gold they totally reminded me of my great-grandmother Mildred.  In fact I could picture the white wool dress with which she would wear the piece.
That is Mildred as a cut-out photo figure.  I think this photo is from her honeymoon to France.
Finally I decided to ditch the pink and blue and just go with the shimmery white.  And I decided to make a bracelet.  Oopps, what happened to just something small?

 So all the threads hanging out might have given away my secret - I actually have not finished this piece.  I have about three more rings and two toggles to make.  After I started putting it together, I figured out a better way (isn't this always the case).  I also have been having a problem getting the thread tension right when I string them together so that rings that were nice and flat suddenly start to pucker. At any rate, I really like my festive bracelet and even if I didn't fully explore the color palette, I would never have made this piece without the challenge.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goes with everything

I can't quite get it together to take better pictures of this RAW bracelet so these will have to do.  I wove it from a Try-to-bead pattern and blogged about it a few weeks ago while it was in progress.  Here it is during:
I really loved the open spaces and didn't really want to fill them with the 6mm fire polished beads that the pattern suggested.  I played around and found some 4mm fire polished alexandrite twilight 4mm's.  This gave the piece some sparkle, but really allowed focus to stay on the awesome RAW pattern.  This is also the very first time I have played around with RAW so I'm pretty excited.
Bad light at 5PM.  The colors are richer.
Two tiny toggles close the bracelet
I love how the 4mm round and the seed beads both have some plum highlights

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

$700 pickup - I hate you Craig's List

If you are calling about the $700 pickup truck you saw on Craig's List, my phone number was printed in the ad, but I have no truck.  If you aren't calling me about the truck, leave a message.

Yah, my cell phone number is in a Craig's List ad and the phone hasn't stopped ringing all night.  Want a 1996 Nissan pickup:

Nice lil truck with 5 speed tranny . it was ran hot so i put in new water pump and radiater. i believe the head to be cracked. . with a lil money this will make someone a great lil truck pics will follow soon. i also have a camper shell to go with it . low miles. call ewric:(wro)ngF'n-number

The guy either lisps in print, can't spell his own name, really is named Ewric, or is a living example of why you should not drink and post ads requiring a response.  All I can say is that despite living in the Deep South for eight years, I could not understand some of the people who called me this evening. If I had the real phone number I could probably sell the darn truck tomorrow to one of my students.  It sounds like just the thing they might like.  But I would have to warn any potential buyer that it was ran hot.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dragons and flowers & a glimpse into the studio

dragons and flowers

I started working on these pendants because I wanted something for Lorelei's Reader Challenge.  This is how far I got.  I actually have beads all laid out on my bead board, some wired, some grouped.  I even went crazy over the white chain, as so many readers did, and dyed half of it brown by running it across a Stáz On permanent ink pad.  I've had midterms, open house, and PSATs at school over the past two weeks so in the evening, even when I had a little time, I really just wanted to rest.  I am glad that I tried to get it together because the Challenge led me to trying some work that I wanted to do, but hadn't gotten around to doing.
the round white tray holds various elements that I pulled to think about
I'm pleased with my dragon because I am finally able to make a mold with no bubbles or other inclusions.  I got a clear impression and was able to fill the mold with no problems.  After I took the piece out of the mold, I used a paint brush to cover it with some bareMinerals eyeliner powder (eyeshadow works really well if you have no PearlEx powder: note, you can use eyeshadow for PearlEx, but don't try the reverse).  After baking, I sanded with various grits and ended with a wet sand at 1000 grit.  Finally, I applied a layer of liquid clay and baked again.  I really don't like to varnish so the liquid clay finish is a compromise.  I was worried that despite all the sanding, some of the brown might come off and I wanted to protect it.  I think I'm going to make some test beads and see if they will keep their finish with only sanding.
I really need to paint the shelves an attractive color
Since I was taking a picture of the bead board, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into my work area.  This shelf, which has a large curved top and grooves for plates, must have gone on a buffet.  I found it on a curb when I lived in Cleveland, OH.  Now it sits on top of a very large, old drafting table formerly used by my father.  I do have my bins nicely labeled (thanks for the label maker mom!), but I need to work on my organization a bit more.  At the top of my list wish is bead storage, followed by painting the shelf a beautiful color.
I did make a white pearly dragon, but I am not happy about a little mistake I made with the orb.  I thought there was not enough definition so I poked at it with a needle tool.  The edges are not smooth and my markings look out of place.  I like the look, but have to make another.  This one has an image on the reverse:
The little brown dots are some organic material from my lawn.  I knocked ever thing over after I accidentally walked on some fireants.  I had one little bugger crawling on my foot and did a crazy dance to see if others were on the bottom of my sandal.  I was shooting on a plant stand and running around the yard as I lost the sun trying to find a spot where the filtered light was bright enough to shoot.  Reading this post, I does sound as if half my life happens by accident, but when you have taught for a zillion years as I have, 10 mos. of your life are tightly organized by a 55 min. bell schedule, and the rest of it happens if you have enough energy. 

I know I promised beadweaving today, but this post is long enough and Mingus is complaining that he hasn't had his walk.
the boys waiting for me - the tile is fake - I painted it on the concrete and still need to glue a molding strip on the top riser
this tile is real - I broke up stone leftover from the kitchen and hall floor

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I made a mold in order to create this polyclay dragon pendant.  It is about 45mm across.  More about this one and some other polyclay and beadweaving tomorrow.   

Love My Art Jewelry Giveaway

Last days to get in on the Love My Art Jewelry Monday Giveaway
Earrings by Mary Jane Dodd

Sunday, October 10, 2010

sakura polyclay pendant

I made a few polymer clay pendants hoping one might work with the reader challenge on Lorelei's blog.  Right now I can not find the white cinnabar rounds - I'll check the store over the weekend - but I have all the other beads.  I'm not sure if I will polish or wax them any more, but trying to put something together might give me a hint.  The colors look a little muddy in the pictures; they actually have a bit of a pearly finish.  I also decorated the backs so there is some interest on each side.
Then I played and made some more pendants
made from translucent clay with a gloss finish
an original design with loops ready for fun stuff

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spider lily and RAW

I've been working on a RAW pattern from Sabine Lippert at Try-to-bead.  Last weekend I went down to Havana, FLA and found some 11/0 seed beads to go with some 15/0 that I had in the same color.  This was perfect for this pattern which reminds me of chair caning and the 70's wallpaper in the office at my parent's house.
beads in the vintaj antique brass colorway
I'm beading on smoke Fireline
ooops, I see a thread that went around, not through
 spider lilies are up!