Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Messure of a True Artist (or Artisan)

If an Artisan's dedication to her art is judged by the amount of bodily damage she sustains pursuing said art, then I have enough to fill a gnat's coffee cup!! :) I was doing a bit of sanding on a old watch case with my best friend the "Dremel Tool" when the next thing I see is a puff of white dust followed by an odor not unlike the smell when you are really doing a major nail filing job :( Hmmmm my little brain thought as I pulled the dremel from the case and saw my thumb sticking up.

I managed to stop within that very same gnat's eyelash before the dremel hit my somewhat softer skin. I guess you can easily see the damage that was done to my meticulously manicured hands huh????? EEEE GADS the things we have to suffer for our art!! :)

I'm coming down to the final stretch of pieces for the sale Friday. This piece is my non-pastel nod to spring and Easter  I used chrysocolla heishi beads for one string and added a few copper glass beads for a bit of a break.  The other string is little vintage black glass beads.

For the focal I used a nice large carved green turquoise cross.

Created a nice simple clean clasp with copper and silver wire.

Put it all together, it has a bit of Southwestern feel without weighing you down with heavy stones and silver.

I think it's perfect for the season and not a pastel Easter egg kinda color anywhere! :)

I did a bit of modifying to the necklace I made with the pewter and resin Virgin of Guadalupe focal. Well actually I redid the whole thing. One of the strings of beads Deryn "muled" down for me were these amazing 5mm faceted tourmalines. I teamed them up with a string of heshei garnets. Ohhhhhhhh soooooo to die for!!!!

I moved the clasp to the back and replaced it with a couple of big rough cut garnets (can you tell I'm having a bit of a love affair with garnets and tourmaline??) Added a bit of bling to hang down in back and finished it off with a little hessonite garnet.

Instead of wiring or adding a jump rings to attach the focal I used a little old fashion chain closer. I'm sure it must have a name but I have no clue what it's called. I cut off the original soldered rings on each side of the top used to attach the focal. Then I soldered a ring in the center top of the focal large enough to slide both strings through. Tied a bit of sari silk for a bit of a finished touch. 

Ya know the first edition turned out really great but I couldn't help myself when the new garnets and tourmalines showed up it's like they were made for each other.


You know the original attracted a lot of attention but with these stones, it's really hard not to notice especially the way the stone colors really complement the colors in the focal. I do know one thing and that is this piece is not going into any old Art sale!!! It's mine mine mine!!!! I just feel good wearing it!

Soooo there is now only 5 days (counting Friday) until the big sale day. I think except for maybe one more piece and a bit of fine tuning on the others pieces I'm done making jewelry for the sale. Now I better do a bit of work on presentation, merchandising and tags. To say that I'm not as anxious as kid on the first day of kindergarten would be a lie, cuz I'm all that and more. Remember this is the kid that has never shown much less sold any of her work!!! Yikes, don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it.....

So while I'm not thinking about "it" you guys have a nice start of the week. And remember now is a perfect time to make a bit of art, no matter where in the world you are   p;)  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Artist, A Mule, And A Blue Bird Come to Mazatlan!!

All of us who reside in Bloglandia realize for the most part we will only know each other through the magic of internet. And you know I'm really okay with that. For me it's enough to know that there are others that are, shall we say as sweetly eccentric as I am. :) Well if you think about it haven't we spent a good part of our lives thinking that there  must be a few other human type animals like our self that live in this amazing world of art. Then somewhere along the way we each fell into our own rabbit holes to discover this place called Bloglandia where if only for a little while we get to hangout with other's who know that the color "skybluepink truly exists. :) 

But every once in a while we get a chance to meet a fellow kindred spirit. Well last week that is exactly what this little Bloglandian did!! Deryn of Something Sublime and her ever so cool family came to Mazatlan for Spring Break!!! Oh my gosh how fun to be able to meet a friend you only really know through emails. On Wednesday Deryn and her mum met LW and I to do a bit of shopping, have lunch in a little Mexican family restaurant, and explore the old part of town.

She had so graciously offered to "mule" some art supplies (beads,wire and rust!!) down for me. We had such a great time!! We were so busy adding the other dimensions to the one side we already knew from our emails, we never stopped long enough for a picture. No kidding two cameras four people and no one thought to say hey lets get a picture of us. On Friday LW picked Deryn, her husband (aka the Wife Whisperer ) and their 2 sons, swung by our digs for me and we all took the ferry over to Stone Island for yummy shrimp at our favorite palapa and a bit of beach time. Any pictures you might ask?? Hmmm not with us in them Sorry:( What?????? Well ya see we got to visiting and the guys went off to ride the banana boats and us 2 gals sat and visited like we had been friends forever and well.....

Actually I think there are 3 pictures in existence of us all having lunch. Deryn thought to pull her camera out and a women there at the palapa offered to take a group picture. Sooooooo when Deryn gets settle back down at home she'll send me a picture. :)

One of the things Deryn brought down was an awesome treasure box of LeAnn-Summers Studio clay beads!!! Yeah!!!! LeAnn has so graciously donated these beads for me to use in the jewelry I'm making for CONREHABIT to sell at the First Friday Art Walk!! Oh my gosh I can't tell you how excited Martha was when she saw them ;) There are lovely round ones and glazed ones and my favorite little birdie beads!!!

Oh how I love those little birds, It's going to be hard to do the right thing and use them in creations to sell during the Art Walk Sale. :) But I will do my part after all I know where their home nest and mama is ;) Here's a little peek at the start of a piece using a blue bird she sent.

I used a couple of her round button shaped beads in this jade and Rhyolite necklace.

I used some light caramel colored carved jade beads with the rhyolite.Added a jade bat for good luck and made some  hammered copper links


I'm finishing up on a couple of other pieces I'll show you in a day or two. Until then kids remember now is a perfect time to make a bit of art no matter where in the world you are.   p;)
A yellowish jade dragon for protection a Chinese coin for good fortune and finally LeAnn's blue beads for the calming life sustaining elements of water and air. This piece is positively oozing good karma!!! You couldn't help but have a great day when you wear it!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A German Pansy Takes Root In Mexico & Advise Please

Last Fall-Winter you might remember (well that's if you were stopping by my little Bloglandian digs then) that my little art sister  Renate of Put a Little Magic in Your Life and I exchanged parcels of junk stashes. I know I got the long end of the stick on this deal. Renate sent all kinds of treasures she had found at the flea markets in her little part of Germany. One of the pieces, was this excellent red and yellow enameled pansy focal. I combined it with bright red and rose rubylite beads. No I'm sure they are rose and not pink!! Because we all know that I have a life threatening..well maybe more like bordering on huge allergy to anything PINK. Soooooo we are calling the lighter red stones rose!! K?? :) In between I spaced cute propeller type yellow with a bit of white... stones, I don't know what kind they are but I know there are rather lovely and the clerk at the bead store didn't know what they were. Therefore we decided they were "quartz" Cuz well it's just a good catch all name. For the clasp I used a cute vintage rhinestone 3 leaf clover earring. I added a bit of antique-ish brass jump ring chain for a bit of a relief from all that "rose" color! :)

I'm not a big fan of the matchy match necklace/earring sets. But I do know that lots of women are so I made a pair of earrings that could be worn with the necklace or not. I added just a bit of vintage sari silk to them. Ever the rebel and to cut down on the "cute" factor.

I made a couple of other pairs of earrings. One pair is made with some nice light yellow citrine and dark garnet beads.

The other pair is made with cobalt blue African trading beads and some kinda vase shaped amber colored (that quartz kinda) stones

Now I need some advice please!! When you kids are creating and selling your jewelry for art fair type venues do you sell necklace sets?? You know earrings and necklaces as a set??? Or do you sell the necklaces by themselves, Then sell earrings that could easily go with the necklace by themselves. I really don't know what to do so could you guys maybe take a minute or two and tell me what you do. And then if you do make earrings and necklace sets do you make the earrings as artzy or labor intense as you do for a pair you are making as a stand alone piece of jewelry??? Uuugggghhh I'm so confused and don't know what exactly works. PLEASE HELP!!!!

How about I give you a little time to leave me a few comments with your thoughts. While you are doing that I think I'll grab the new Belle Armoire Jewelry a cup of tea and head off to my comfy bed for a good read. In the meantime remember kids NOW is a perfect time to make a bit of art no matter where in the world you are 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A True Masterpiece !!!

Ohhhhhhhh I am sooooooo in love!!! No not with Leo's masterpiece (although I do love Mona) but with my new work bench!!!!!  A true masterpiece that was waiting to be rediscovered. We will never really know what it started out in life as. For sure not the produce bench we found. I fell madly in lust with the beat up old produce bench that was at an "antique" sale. It was down by the basement door because it was considered "an ugly dirty old thing" I thought it would make a perfect work bench for my little Creation Station. It didn't have to be fine furniture to make jewelry and art on. LW has the guy measure it then comes home measures the stairs and door ways and shakes his head saying it won't fit up the stairs heck it won't even fit through the door. In my mind it was already up in it's new home:) Oh  don't tell guys know exactly what I'm talking about!!! So I planted my stubborn little rump on the ground and said it was going in my little creation station I don't care if we have to take it apart to do it! please sweetheart :) So Monday LW walks out to the main street to catch a taxi down to the old part of town to pick up what had come to be referred to as "Your Bench" Well no taxis were anywhere so my fearless hero walks all the way, say 3 miles or so. The idea was to rent a red pickup truck-taxis for large groups to bring it home. When he gets there he innocently asks the seller how easy it might be to take the top off. Heck the guy says it's not hard at all, and grabs a big a** hammer and starts abangin!!! Yikes I can only imagine what was going through LW mind. How in the heck was he going to explain the total destruction on "Your Bench" to me!!! Well now that the top is off it will fit into the Xterra to come home LW says. Soooo my fearless Hero sets out to find a taxi to come home for the Xterra. Oh man when I saw "Your Bench" I didn't burst into tears only because I didn't want LW to feel any worse then he already did!! :(

Here she is in the patio after we got her home.

We gave her a bit of a scrub and let her dry before we took the pieces upstairs. It's when we got to cleaning her we noticed that this was not just some knock together produce bench.The base is beautifully worked ceder.  If you look closely at the two top cross pieces you can see where they have a bit of a decorative flourish . There is not a nail or screw in the base. The entire piece is put together by mortise and tenon!!!


When I grow up I want to be able to take totally clear pictures all the time!!
This was put together with a lot of pride in workmanship and care. I love that the bottom rungs are rounded where the sales person stood all day with one foot resting on the cross piece. On the front of the bench the cross piece is also rounded where the customers propped their foot while visiting and picking out product. :) I'm telling you guys "Your Bench" absolutely oozes with the lives of all the families it cared for!! 

Here's the old girl once LW attached her top boards.


The top boards are not put together with near the care as the base. In fact LW removed a least a gazillion nails from the top boards and the dividers. Make ya wonder if the old gal was reincarnated into the produce bench when the need arouse. The Mexican culture are masters at repurposing and giving new life to seemingly completely worthless things!! I am constantly amazed at this gift. Just when I think I've joined the ranks of the masters I find I'm still a rank amateur! :)

We really have no idea how old she is but we do know that her base is older then her top. And her top is quite old because finding ceder planks that are 12"/2" wide hasn't been possible for a good many decades. Once the top was on I set to work with my super secret antique finishing formula. Whoops not so secret huh?? I see I forgot to crop the can of Kiwi shoe wax out of the picture. :) Well anyway the poor old wood was soooo starved for a bit of oil and rubbing it soaked up two tins of wax!!! When I finished with the top boards LW attached the dividers.

I decided that all I was going to do was use the brown shoe wax. I wanted to leave all the character marks she had earn over all these years. See the darker spots?? That's what's let of the varnish when her new life as a produce bench stared. I didn't want to remove the knife marks where they slipped cutting the boxes open or where the melon was sliced in half. To me that would be like taking her voice away from her. The silky smooth feeling created from many hands over many years rubbing the wood can not be duplicated in my mind!!

LW wasn't too happy that he had to use metal supports to stabilize the fragile water damaged produce dividers. But I assured him no worries cuz I have a super secret formula that can rust those babies up to match the old wood!! ;) SO after seeing her I bet you can completely understand why I have fallen madly in love?? Man just the inspiration karma she oozes is amazing!!!

I'm willing to bet that if the guy who sold her to us saw her now he wouldn't be calling her that ugly dirty old thing!!! And I know for a fact he'd be kicking his own butt for selling "Your Bench" as cheap as he did :)

On that note Bloglandians I'll see ya on the flip side and remember Now is a perfect time to make a bit of art, no matter where in the world you are  p;)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Two More Finished :)

I have two more necklaces done. Along with those everyday mundane things you do. Remember all those patterns of clothes I cut out a couple of weeks ago??? Well there have been no little sewing faeries show up in the middle of the night to sew leaving completed projects on my sewing table to find in the morning. :(

courtesy of the House Of Elwand's Fairie-ality collection

I made this one really (really) long so you can either wear it hanging down in all it's glory or comfortably wrap it around your neck twice.

I used small bright blue glass beads for one row, and I strung a row of labradorite chips to hang the focal from. I hung a pewter butterfly from the focal and tied a scrap of iridescent silk on as a thank you for the beauty she creates with her cocoons. For the clasp I used one of those old abalone watch face rings. Remember back in the olden days (the 80s) when you could buy those lady's watches with the different colored face rings???? Well that's what it is. I think it works much better in this role then it ever did on a watch. What do you think???

I don't know what this amazing stone is. In the picture you can't see the wonderful iridescence in the different shades of blue. The black is as deep and bottomless as a glacier lake on a night with no moon. I bought it at our little bead store when it was still open. When I asked the clerk what kind of stone it was, I got her pat answer of "quartz" along with a conspiratory smile. It was always a running joke to call anything we didn't know the name for "quartz" :)

This necklace is a bit reminscent of Martha's bird&nest necklace. Only this time I used white-ivory freshwater pearls and 2 dark pink rubilites. Yup pink, See I can use it (in small doses) when it's for someone else. :) I don't have a problem with pink I just don't care to share my "space" with the color. Surely there are some of you out there that have slight aversions to certain colors???? Come on, come out of the closet I can't be the only human, artisan, girl who has a problem with a color. And I'm almost sure I'm not the only girl who's pink crayon never lost it's new crayon point???


Instead of the bird and watch case as the focal  I used on Martha's necklace, I made a bird nest with bronze and copper wire and 3 little pearls for eggs. Attached it to a cute vintage shy blue pink colored glass heart. Then flying above her nest is a little bird charm I (oh yeah you know what's next) dabbed a bit of raw umber and burnt umber, for a nice patina finish. :) Finished it off with a bronze and copper wire wrapped clasp.

And that concludes our tour for today ladies and gentlemen. Besides I'm pretty excited cuz LW is bringing home this WAY WAY cool and old (read amazing character marks) produce bench. I must have it for a work bench!!!! You all know exactly what I'm talking about, now don't ya. It just oozes with stories of the people who have worked on it!!! :) That's the awesome part the not so awesome part is LW has his doubts it will fit up the stairs where my Little Creation Station is. :( So with my cheerful can do personality I say it's going up there even if I have to cut the legs off and reattach them. :) Stay tuned pictures and the rest of the story the next time we meet.

Until then remember kids Now is the perfect day to make art, no matter where in the world you are  p;)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Keys To My Heart

LW and I are the just because gift kinda people. No reason except I was thinking of you, or I thought you might like this. Never elaborate mind you. Just simple little gifts from the heart. I love when he goes to do a bit of grocery (yup he does that hideous chore!! VERY Lucky I am!!) and comes home with a bouquet of roses. When Sorianas has them they are about $4.50 a dozen!! But they always bring a million dollar smile to my face!! :)

I found some dried boxwood at our craft store. Yeah I by sheer luck of the patron saint of crafters was standing next to the gal as she was unpacking them. I bought 2 big bunches knowing that if I want more anytime in the next ten years I will be out of luck!! :) I bent some of my heavy gaged wire (read coat hanger) into the shape of a heart. Gathered of a few brass keys to tie on and wired on an old candle holder I salvaged some where. And waaa laaa gave LW the keys to my heart this morning!!

I thought I'd take pictures of the necklaces I have finished. However I didn't realize that today was our designated day of Winter. A bit rainy (dry season remember) and COLD. So cold in fact we had to wear our polar fleeces!!!! Can you imagine. I think we might have to close the window in our bedroom tonight and put the blanket on the bed!!!!

Anyway back to the pictures. I only got about half done before the rain drops started to fall to fast to dance between. Also it was getting murkier by the minute. So I'll show you what I managed to get pictures of today and the rest will have to wait until Spring returns :)
I used a few white fresh water pearls and a couple of dark rose colored rubilite beads. I wired them together with a rosary link.

Added a bit of raw and burnt umber to a silver (colored) bird charm bought at chez Michael's. Gave it a nice bronze colored patina. Used some bronze and copper wire to make a nest and 3 white pearls for eggs.  Finished off the clasp with bronze wire and wrapped a bit of copper wire for some contrast.

You remember back in December I made a necklace for the Art Bead Scene Blog's December challenge. Yep had a bit of a rustic African feel, with the antique African glass beads. Everyone seemed to like it so I gave this necklace a lot of the same feeling.

Since I only had the one antique  clay whorl for a focal I used a hand carved wood bead Used a bit of fire oxidizes copper wire I ran through the bead, crossed ends and wire wrapped them with copper wire. Oh you know I couldn't go to many projects without a tiny bit of rust now did you??!! So I added a nicely rusted bird. Remember on the first one I offset all the rustic by making the clasp out of two rhinestone earrings?? No rhinestones this time. Just a bit more of the patina copper wire like the focal has for a clasp.
    UPDATE This as a five alarm gihugeous apology!!! Have you ever had one of those really great visions and as you are working on it in the back of your mind is I know I've seen this before but for the life of me where??? Oh man, I know we all have  but it doesn't help the feeling of mortification when you realize !#%@^ that wasn't my divine vision I saw it on a piece so&so made!!!! WEEELLL the copper wire the bird is swinging on and the copper wire clasp is the I've seen that somewhere but where booboo :( My ever so talented art sister Sharon from Livewire is the true creator of both!!! SOOOOB how could I be so dang stupid I know better at my age to ignore that little voice!!! Sooooo I,m now headed over to Sharon's to confess and apologize. They say confession is good for the  soul, but I'm not feeling so good right now!! :(

Well there you have them, I'll show you a couple more as soon as I can get some decent pictures. Might even have a couple of more by then. By the looks of it we are going to need a few more then a couple for the sale in April. I have already talked to a number of people looking forward to our debut next month. EEE Gads, if I let myself think very hard about that I can really put a good scare in me. Sooooooo I'll be using the "Scarlett O'Hara Syndrome" What you're not familiar with that one??? "Well fiddle de dee I'll think about that tomorrow" !! :)

I'll leave you with that thought, I'm off to dig the blanket out, we'll be needing it on this cold wintry night I'm a thinkin!!

I wish you could see the black outline better it really does make it look like a coloring book or old comic book!
I'm off but remember kids NOW is a perfect time to make art no matter where in the world you are  p;)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Most Amazing Little Sisters!!!

First a little update. Martha and I decided to postpone our debut in the First Friday Art Walk until April. There are just toooo many glitches that need to be worked out to be ready for this Friday. The last thing I want is for us to be perceived as a bit of "bleach bottle art" at the highschool bazaar. That coupled with the fact that the public half of us (Martha) has a conference 90 miles away from here on Friday. She should be back in town in plenty of time unless..... This would not be good cuz I don't have a visa that allows me to sell my work. :(
Sooooooo we are going with April as the perfect month to launch. Besides it gives me more time so that there isn't a table with a mere 8 pieces on it. :)

           Now my Little Sisters. I know I have waxed endlessly about the wonders of joining the Bloglandian family and all the gifts of love,acceptance&support along with friendship freely given by everyone. Every time I think I have seen or experienced the ultimate examples of this caring, I find that I seemingly have not come close to the depth my Bloglandain family is capable of!!!

          My most amazing and generous friend Jackie D has graciously allowed me to use their Texas address to have things sent to. Because they have an elderly family member living in their Texas home Jackie and El travel up to the States every couple of months, and bring back stuff. They returned home yesterday with a load of beads I had ordered over the last 2 months. Ohhhhhh but along with that were the most incredible love parcels from Art Sisters. Want to see???? You will not believe all of this!!!!!!

         My little sister Laurie (Laurie's Charming Designs) she was the very first blog I commented on. She also held my hand and encourage me to create my own blog. Laurie started experimenting with TtV (threw the viewfinder) photography. I thought it was so cool and look like tons of fun. Small problem though I have no access to the old Brownie top view cameras that you use. :( So without telling me until she had it in the mail she went a junkin and bought me a camera of my very own!!!!

Isn't she a beauty???? I can't wait to start playing!!! Right about the same time I  had told her that my hunt for paperclay or for that matter any no bake clay when we were in the Northlands had been fruitless. I came home with some very strange compound by crayola called Model Magic Fusion. The stuff never completely dries hard. Besides having a most icky texture that is impossible to mold. The only clay I can get here is either the old modeling clay, (yep that greasy not drying clay of our youth) or Play Doe :) Well guess what was in my camera parcel??? YES way cool not 1 but 3 packs of different kinds of clay. One is a pack of Sculpey since I'm sure I'm the last artist in the known world who has never used polymer clay, Okay sooo I'm a bit behind. But heck I managed to earn a couple of degrees, and write a couple of text books without learning to use a computer, much less know how to type :) Ah I digress Anyway just because I mention I couldn't get something my loving little sister sends it to me just because!!!!

Oye what wonderful fodder for this girl's imagination!!!! Then there is a wonderful little parcel from LeAnn (Summers Studio) Oh gosh we all know the most amazing ceramic/clay beads that LeAnn makes!!!! I have so lusted for some to play with. Well the last straw was when she created her little unglazed white birdie beads!!!! I'm sorry but you can tell just by the picture how absolutely sensuous, silky smooth they feel. This is way to much of a temptation for the tactile person I am!!!!!! I HAD TO HAVE SOME!!!! So I sent an SOS to LeAnn and had her airlift a couple of birdies to Jackie D's days before they were to leave to come home :)

But LeAnn the most wonderful generous giving little sister she is also included her heart and other beads. Look one is the adorable nest and egg bead she makes!!! And and she also sent me a nonbead birdie I can leave right next to me at my desk/workbench so that I can have a tactile fix anytime I want!! :) Way way to cool!!!

A couple of months ago I won little art sister Esther's (Mes illusions baroques ) giveaway. It was a beautiful cameo focal she had created. Since she had to send it all the way to the states we decided we would trade each other a bit of Junque from our countries. So in my parcel containing my cameo was such amazing
 & wonderful things!!!

Vintage lace, and doilies,tassel book and this incredible pickle fork. How did she know I love small ornate & baby silverware??? I can never pass up demitasse spoons or pickle forks or tiny salt cellar spoons!!!


Oh but that's not all, there are vintage mother of pearl buttons, old French post card, vintage glass beads that Esther created small focals with, a match box, and an incredible altered tin

And in that tin was the altered cameo!!

I have to show you what was at the very bottom. It's a vintage nope it's actually officially over 100 years old (1909) making it an antique pattern and instructions for making very fine ornate lace!!! Oh it's sooooooo way way amazing. Both sides and it's huge like poster size when it's completely unfolded. I told LW we need to take it down to the glass shop and have a double sided clip frame made for it!!!

So I'm thinking you can completely understand that I couldn't manage to get all my wonderful gifts given in pure friendship and love opened without crying. Now I can't say that I never cry and since the whole Shhhh (menopause ) passage I do tend to cry a lot easier, but I'm certainly not a blubbering kinda girl. I couldn't claim that this time. I was sooooooo very overwhelmed with all the love, care, and support that is shared with my kindred spirits. But the most amazing part is, it's not just these 3 little sisters it's all of my little sisters, and the incredible little brothers (yep that's you Tristan &Mike C) When I stumbled into Bloglandia I not only found a group of people that finally not only "get it" but understand what "it" is :). I also discovered a most unbelievably wonderful family!!! There is no way I can possibly be able to thank you all for all that you have shared, given and done for me. It truly is a very humbling life I have. I can not think of anything that would make life better then what I live right now :)

On that note I think I will tuck Woodcock into his little nest and tuck myself into my little nest. Nope that's not a typo. When my boys were the "little boys" they use to call Woodstock Woodcock it's  just always stuck. And although he's not yellow he sure has a wonderful comforting effect. So kiddles it off to bed for me, just remember that now is the perfect day to make art, no matter where in the world you are  p;)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin