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

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