Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Got a new project nearly finished today. This is for one of my girls' eighth grade graduation.

I tatted this using Lizbeth 10 in black, adding swarovski crystals, and flowers to match the material of her dress. The dress is black embroidery on saphire.

Saphire velvet ribbon adds the finishing touch! Well...except for the chain and clasp!

I like the asymmetric flower petals (they are that way on the dress) and the way the flowers and the crystals are off-set.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Soldered necklace

Steps…uh…1ish through 4ish of making a piece of soldered glass jewelry. It is to the point where the glass pieces with the collage inside have been wrapped with copper tape. Next is the fun part…heating the up soldering iron and melting things!!!

Now I have soldered the edges, added the jump rings, and antiqued the small ones. Some of the black will come off when I polish them, and they will be a little shiny again. Going for the whole ‘look what I found under the floorboards in that old house’ look, so we’ll see. The small pieces are going to be a bracelet, the large ones are destined to be a necklace. Next comes chains, beads, buttons, crystals, shells, dingly-danglies (that’s a techy term)…whatever I find to stick on them.

Well, no matter how I poked, prodded, and pushed, the bracelet parts would not co-operate. They decided they wanted to be a necklace, and that, as they say, was that! So here they are…they got their way, and became a necklace. I hate it when the inanimate objects win…and they do that a lot!!!      ...sigh...

I love the way this looks...the glass pieces turned out great! Not happy with the way it hangs, though, so I will probably be taking it apart and changing the shape. In the words of my hero, Flo...happens to me all the time!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tatted works in progress

This is a bracelet, tatted with size 10 black crochet  cotton. I like the shape, and the charm, but I don't like the looseness of the stitches. It's soft and rather floppy. I think I will use a smaller diameter needle next time.  I also discovered and fell in love with Lizbeth tatting thread since I made this. Lizbeth has more body, is slightly glossy, and looks really elegant.

Size 10 crochet cotton again, in kelly green. I will block and stiffen them (which should improve both the floppiness and the distortion) and put them on pinbacks.  My grandson wanted 4 leaf clovers for his teacher and room mom, so I designed these for him. I thought they were too swirly at first, but they grew on me! He loves them, so I guess it's all good!

Now we have the Lizbeth size 10 thread in evergreen. It has a little stiffness to it, so the final product lays beautifully, and isn't floppy. It doesn't really show in the photo, but it has a slight gloss to it which is very pretty. This is a filigree piece adapted from a doily pattern. The dime is to show the delicate size of the stitches. I haven't figured out how I'm going to finish it. Sometimes these things have to percolate awhile!

Now for some color! This is a choker, done in a single row of split rings with pearls. I used Lizbeth size 10, leaf green medium. You can see the gloss a little better here. When I get to the other end, I think I will stitch on a cross bar so the closure is a simple toggle and ring. I love the color of these pearls! Oh yeah...this has an almost invisible, shiny Kreinik blending fiber running through it. That's what the pearls are on, since the drill holes are too small for thread. I like the sparkle it adds, and the pearls fit on it!

This is the current design I am working on. It's a finer thread that the other ones, Lizbeth size 20, done on a fine needle. I love tiny, fine stitches! It's hard to see here, but I have worked tiny hexagonal glass beads into the pattern. (After all, I started out as a beader!) I love the way the design is coming together, but am rewriting it with a couple of modifications. I think it will lay more nicely if I change a couple of the join points, and swap out a couple of the beaded picots. Prototypes are always a little awkward, and I always end up making changes in how I first write the pattern.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Things I get to play with...

I was playing in my rock and gem trays the other day, and thought they would make pretty here they are!

Amber, Hematite, Ocean Jasper, Ruby Fuschite, Bronzite, Onyx


Lava, Botswana Agate, Unakite, Pietersite, African Green Opal, Hemi Jasper, Aquamarine, Moss Agate, Shell
Rose Quartz, Mother of Pearl, Rainbow Moonstone, Black Gold Amazonite, Aqua Calcite, Purple Imperial Jasper,

Cultured Pearls, Stick Pearls, Blister Pearls, Ceramic Moon Jar

Sponge Coral, Branch Coral, African Ruby, Carnelian



Sunday, February 14, 2010

More studio shots

OK...more studio shots! This is my 'wall of potential'. There are 3 sections, each 6' x 3' x18" metal shelving. (You know, the kind you buy at Walmart in a box and put together with those little slide-on connector thingies). Nearly everything I could ever want, to do any project, is in here... somewhere. Fabric, yarn, trims, gem-stone-bead-metal cases, books (how-to, why-to, someday I'm going to, because I liked the socks on the cover...), resin, acid, polymer clay, wool, spindles, glass, get the picture!

Here's the close-up of the 'fabric/sewing section' that I promised my friend Jerry. She is a fellow seamstress and artist, and I think she thinks I'm kidding about being on fabric overload! (and this isn't all of it!) I love to sew, and don't make nearly enough time to do it these days. I do the fun old crafty things like making clothes and quilting, but I really love costuming - Victorian, Renaissance, bellydance... I love rich, vibrant silks and satins, heavy brocades, gossamer sheers, lace...I really love lace! (Which leads me to another topic...tatting...but that's a post for another day!)

Some of my glass for stained glass projects, and copper tubing I use in my jewelry work. I like to hammer the tubing to make metal backgrounds for a lot of my jewelry pieces. It gives me the texture and depth I like. Air-conditioner's a lot more versatile than you might think! I have glass that is textured, painted, iridescent, opaque, transparent, thick, name it. That gold one is going to make some really cool faerie wings!

My work apron...I think this says it all...haha

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Getting back to work in the studio

I found some floor!!! My studio is a fairly small room. In it's past incarnation, it was my den. After a year-plus of real life kept me, for the most part, from working in it, it had devolved into a store-room. I wish I had thought to take a 'before' picture, but when I started cleaning it, I had no idea I was going to blog about it! In my defense, it was semi-organized, and the piles were relatively neat. Stuff for storage here...stuff for Goodwill there...unfinished projects in the wall unit...and dust everywhere! Well, I have decided it is time to take the studio and my artistic life back. It has been a long year, and I have missed my art. This blog fell by the wayside too, and has been long ignored. I am hoping that both my art, and my blog will come to life again, and that I will be able to use each to inspire the other, both to inspire myself, and share with friends along the way.

Having found the floor, it's time to find the flat surfaces. This is my soldering station on the right, and my grinding and glass cutting table on the left. (Ignore the mess under the table...I am!) The window looks out onto the street in front of my house, and keeps me from feeling too closed in while I work. Mostly I just need to organize and dust here...make up a new crockpot of acid, a new bowl of neutralizer, and check the grinder bit. I have designs for soldered glass jewelry to get cut and laid out, a couple of silver and brass pieces to put together, and a peacock stained glass window to design and build. My hands will never catch up with the ideas in my head!

This one needs to be sorted. It's my work/assembly table, but right now it's covered with photo albums, scrapbooks, kidling's school papers, half finished projects, and dust. But you can see the potential! My favorite things? My Ott floor lamp, and my Michael's cabinet filled with ribbons, glass paints, scrapbook paints and stains, dyes, glitter, and everything else small and vital. There is also a bottle of seawater from the Atlantic ocean that we brought home last year from the best vacation ever. Still not sure what I will do with that, but I am thinking about some water-filled glass charms for friends and family who know just what that trip meant to me.

Two more of my favorite glass kiln (the blue one) and my polymer clay oven. I love to fuse glass. There are some varieties of glass that, when they cook, they completely change color. One is as clear as window glass, but cooks to raspberry, and another one is lime green, and cooks to orange. Very cool! Another fun thing is bubble powder...I sprinkle it on top of one piece of glass, cover it with another piece of glass, and when I cook it, it makes crazy bubbles inside the piece. There's glow-in-the-dark glass, iridescent glass, you name it! My latest thing with the polymer is horns. Fantasy horns. Glittery horns, twisted horns, feathery horns... And faeries. Little sculptures of faeries...bad faeries, street faeries...not your typical faeries. I hope to be at Faerie Worlds next year...a huge event in Oregon, as a vendor. Time to make all this pay!

Last but not least, one of my long abandoned projects. It is hard to see in this picture, but this is the Faerie King's Crown. Hand-wrapped copper wire, glass, and pearls. I am about 1/2 way around the first round. When it is done it will have about 2000 beads and pearls on it! I will probably wrap the base wire with ribbon or leather, and now I can't wait to get back to work on it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Beneath the Gypsy Moon

I kept hearing bits of this one in my head, and it sort of just had to be written. It kept bugging me until I put it on paper, and gave it as a gift to a friend.
Beneath the Gypsy Moon

Beyond the walls of castle keep
While all the mundane world sleeps
She dances in the forest deep
Beneath the Gypsy Moon

Away from lamp and candle light
Eyes gypsy black and gypsy bright
She dances in the silver night
Beneath the Gypsy Moon

Finger bells and satin swirl
Tambourine, raven curl
Naked feet that flash and whirl
Beneath the Gypsy Moon

Round the sacred Solstice fire
Energy gathers, spirals higher
Blending Passion, Need, Desire
Beneath the Gypsy Moon

On threshold now of Time and Space
She sends her wish for Peace and Grace
For Mother Earth, for Human race
Beneath the Gypsy Moon

I Am

This is the poem I wrote for myself. One night, a few years ago, I got the strongest urge to write, and this just poured out of my pen. Now, I usually have to work my writing to death, but this one came out just like this. It was pretty cool. (My chosen family name is Storm)

I am not
made for tailored clothes and
starched restraints.
I am made for flowing skirts and
leather boots and
silk so soft it feels like air against my skin.
I am made for riotous, kaleidoscopic colors that
swirl and flash around me.
I am made of Fire and Water, Earth and Sky.
I am made of gold and silver, and
sparkling gemstones fall from my mouth
when I speak.
I am made to dance, not plod; to sing,
not speak moderately.
I am made to nurture and to fill with light and
to be filled with light in return.
I am Created; Creator.
I am storm.
I am.