Posts Tagged ‘beads’

Swap Pics

May 31, 2011

Yea another swap is finished and you get some eye candy.






Janice Beads

Janice Ladies


Beth Close Up

I want to thank all the participants who were able to participate in the fun. I am sure the individuals who get our beads will feel like it is their turn at Christmas as it is for us when we open our swap packages. This time I want to thank you for donating your beads to the Beads of Courage Charity.

If you want to join in on our next swap stop by City O Clay. Kick your shoes off, grab a beverage and stay a while just do not drink anything when you are reading one of Luny’s posts. If you do I am not responsible for any damage to your keyboard or computer.

Have fun claying!

Bead Tutorial

March 20, 2011

I made a set of beads a couple of years ago and loved the way they turned out. Of course I did not take notes so I do not remember exactly how I did them. This tutorial will show the importance of taking notes while making something so you can remember exactly what in the heck it was you did in the first place when you go to recreate the piece or style later.

I started by using some pink scrap clay to figure out the settings on the pasta machine that were used. I tried different settings until I found the one I thought was used.

2×2 was the first one I tried I could tell even before finishing the bead this was too thick so I tried another thinner one.

2×3 this time still not right so I went thinner.

3×3 closer but I could tell I needed to go a little thinner so off I went.

3×4 could be it but I wanted to try one more and see what it looked like.

This was it! I think ;0. You will need your black layer rolled on a 4 and your colors on a 5 setting. Now I know the settings time to prepare the sheets.

You want to find some coordinating colors and make sheets of clay using a lot of pearlex powders. Use what you think will be good and then go and add more because I did not do this step and ended up with beads again that were not exactly what I wanted because I did not add enough pearlex.

Start by taking a section of all of your sheets and cut them with your blade this way. I cut many at one time since it is easier than using your exacto to cut each square individually.

Using your knife cut the other way so you end up with a bunch of little squares with all of your sheets.

Start applying your little squares to a base bead ( I used black) until you cover the entire bead with the different colors in a pattern that appeals you.

Once you smooth the bead by rolling in your hands until you get all the connection areas smoothed out you have a cool bead. Notice the one to the top of the screen with white in it? I did not like the way the white looked so I omitted it in the final beads.

This finish works well on any surface you just need to make sure you can smooth out whatever you are working on. This is a letter opener I made for work since my metal one always seems to go missing. No way that can happen now to me :).

When you are creating something that is not from a tutorial please take the time to keep detailed notes on what you do, settings on the machine and any other finishing or steps you do. This will save a lot of time later on when you try to recreate the item because you loved it so much. Although this was not as pearly as I wanted I am happy with the results. Beads are in the tumbler now so no pics yet but I will show the finished piece in a later post!


Ugly Cane Makes a Cute Flower

March 13, 2011

Is this my best flower cane? No but I was finally able to sit at the clay table and I will take what I can get lol. Spring is almost here and I felt like making a flower cane. So when I was finally able to sit at my claytable I opened the drawer where I store my conditioned Kato and I found this cane that was a mistake I made while working on a color exercise from the Color Inspirations book by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

Instead of making a new flower I decided to use what I had to make a new flower. I have learned in the past that a cane that you may not like by itself takes on new life when combined or reduced in a new way. So I started reducing and combining and came up with this.

Add a little silver fill in and viola you get a sexy flower cane.

Once reduced I was able to make some beads, a new ring ball for my interchangeable ring, and some Pandora style beads.

The only setback was the time it took to put the individual cane slices on the beads. Then I remembered that if I cut them and left them the way they were it was easier to apply on the bead then if I had laid them out on the table.

One of the other things I was surprised at was how little cane waste I had.

Once I have more time to sit and play I really think I will be happy with the decision to move to Kato Clay. I love the way it works and with the clay softener and the food processor it is so easy to condition the clay now. I wish I  would have made this decision a long time ago.

Even though you may not have a lot of time to devote to your art it is so nice to sit down at the clay table and create even if it is using up old canes that you have messed up on. From an ugly cane you can get a beautiful flower if you have the time and patience!

Get up and go clay!

Project 365 App Drawing

February 15, 2011


Happy Valentines Day!

The heart has special meaning to it and today is the day of all the days in the year for hearts. This heart has a special story and I thought today was the day to share it with you.

This was my attempt at a take on the water-color technique by Maggie Maggio. As I recal I cold not find the place I had saved the tutorial so I winged it and made sheets in blue which is my favorite color. This was the end result one blue bead.

This is my favorite bead ever made.  Well not this one of course when taking pictures I could not find my favorite one, just know that it looks way better than this one lol. I only have a few beads left because I made it into a necklace for a gift for a special friend. I of  have no picture of it to show you and one of the things on my to do list is to start taking more pictures. I loved it but forgot to write down what I did to get that sexy bead and when I went to recreate it in pink I just was not happy with the results.

Are we ever?

I did end up with a lovely bracelet! And I wanted to make a heart. I started by making a ball which I kept reshaping and reshaping to get a heart. I must have spent a half hour on this never being happy with the results.  Hubby came into the room to ask a question and I ask him if he thinks he could make a heart for me. He took the clay and within a few minutes (with me the entire time sitting there my mouth open) asks me if that is a good heart?

I told him I was so baking it as it was and not touching it. I was never going to sell it or give it to anyone. I said it was my heart made with his hands and I was never parting with it. It brings a smile to my face when I wear it which as a designer is all you could ever want an emotional attraction to a piece of art made by you. This time I got a little help.

If you recall I am announcing the winners of the Project 365 app today as my way of sharing the love. Here is the original post.

 I guess no one wanted to pay for the app and wait to be reimbursed because no one signed up. SAD FACE After contacting the artist I was given 5 promo codes to download the app for free. So the first 5 people who comment on this post will receive a code that will allow you to download the app for free. It is up and working again here is my snapshot of January so far.

Some wonderful memories there already in the month. On the first those are stop signs that you can barely see with all the snow. My son on the 3rd throwing panty hose filled with ice melt to hopefully melt the snow. The morning of the 4th we both agreed it looked like a teenage prank with all the black hose on the roof. On the 7th 2 of my managers trying to walk across a very icy parking lot I kept telling them that the first one who fell was defiantly going to be my picture of the day neither one of them fell thank god. The 10th my first car scratch and it is a bad one, the 11th was all about the news of Egypt and Mubarak stepping down. On the 13th my son keeps trying out wrestling moves on me so he jumps on top of me while I am in bed I make him freeze while I take the picture the whole time he is asking me “Is this your picture of the day? I will show you picture of the day!” 

It’s a really cool app first 5 that comment on this post get it free!

Art & Design Collide

September 5, 2010

Pretty positive week for me. I tried to make my days :).

I wanted last week to give you a quick tut and so here it is with my drama of Art & Design colliding in a not so positive way.

At a recent swap I found out a cool way of using an o ring for a bail.

Can you see that those are wonderful clay creations with bleeping o rings!

I asked her how she did them and here are my black and white beads an unfinished project that just wont complete no matter what I do. I say it is the design gods telling me in a not so subtle way that this is not the project for these beads. Astrid thank you for the instructions on how you do it!

Take your baked and finished bead and drill a hole in it in two places where you want your o ring ends to be glued in. Make sure your bead is finished because you are now ready to assemble your piece once you put the o ring in. Photo note this is me trying to show the drilling step WHILE taking the picture I need more hands for good pictures.

Go to your local hardware store and find some o rings. I recommend you get various sizes because different pieces require different sizes. Start cutting your o rings.

When deciding on the o ring for your piece you also must consider that you can cut it in half or even three-quarters depending on the look of your finished piece. Take some super glue and place it in the hole stick your o ring ends in and voila.

These beads have special meaning to me and of course a story. If I try to tell it it’ll be a long one and you will fall asleep before I finish showing you how Art and Design collided for me this week. So I will say that I drew out on a piece of paper how I wanted the piece to lay. You can see it  in the picture it is the one on the very bottom if you look close. Looking good so far……….

Its looking good but as I am working I notice that if I move it too much it seems like the layers are getting tangled and not laying the way I want them to.  I am concerned at how I will store it when not wearing it….but keep building anyway. It has been forever since I have been able to sit down and create, most of my time lately if working on clay has been spent finishing the magazine article.

This is me arguing with my son because I need a shot from the neck down only focusing evenly on the necklace gone wrong. This is take three………….

This is the necklace gone bad! It just does not hang right. Not sure if it is the beads with the o rings, the lightness of the chain or the design but it aint working for me. I will take it apart and put it back in the drawer until I am inspired again by these beads. I do not know why they do not want to be made into a finished piece it seems like they have a mind of their own.

How many times have you had a vision of a finished piece only to have it not work out when you actually got to making said finished piece? What did you learn from it? Did it make you stronger? Or did it send you into a corner pulling your hair out and cussing?

I think we have to learn from an episode like this……however until I finish my piece I will never be able to tell you of what I learned. This makes me think of a topic in the book Art & Fear, where they were talking of the two different aspects of a finished piece. There is the buyer who sees the finished piece and forms their opinion, and the artist who can tell you of every twist and turn in the making of said finished piece. Two mindsets.

Once this one is done ……….the story will be a long one  but all mine because this one is mine and not for sale lol.

The importance of the right supplies

May 1, 2010

I have a bad cold or allergies not sure which one going to see the doctor tomorrow. I did not have time or energy this week to even think of a blog post so here is my failed attempt at what I thought would be a quick tutorial.

I found the project here….

and thought heck that should be easy to do. I do not have burma cord (or even know exactly what it is) but I could substitute and be creative what could go wrong???

So here are my supplies as I try to replicate it.

Using pony tail holders for burma cord, what looks like the metal things she uses, and the other assorted items. From the looks of that quick cane I am sick do you see how I did not even get the center right? Oh well it will look cool on something.

I started by trying to cut off the end of my metal thing with my Heavy cutters. That did not go well at all I made dings in them.

Those are my good cutters for heavy-duty stuff! Okay so I will try to smoosh the end down and then cover with clay. Got to remember to cut at an angle so it sticks better.

The pony tail holders are too big to fit in my metal thingie. I have some thinner black cord I can use. The thin cord works got it centered now just to make sure it smooshes.

Smooshing did not go well with the metal thingies I have. Hmmmm I guess that is my clue to remember to have the right supplies when I want to try something or else it probably will not work. I am sure trying when I feel better would also be a step in the right direction.

So when was the last time you tried a project and it did not work not because of your abilities but because you did not have the right supplies? I am off to bed with a cup of hot tea and some cough drops very thankful I have the weekend off to get feeling better. I look forward to the tutorial next issue so I can find out where to get the cord, and those metal thingies.

Night all!

Faux Goldstone Quick Tutorial

March 14, 2010

If I would have quit the first, second or even third time I tried to make this then I never would have come up with this. Pretty simple once you figure out how to get the depth!

Super easy just roll a sheet of medium thickness, then cover with liquid Sculpy. Cover with glitter!

Cut out shapes covered with glitter.

Roll a black sheet on fairly thick setting. Cut out shapes and put a bead poker so you can string the beads easily when finished.

Attach your glitter sheet and your black sheet with liquid sculpy.

Bake per manufacturer setting and time. Cool and remove the bead poker.

This is the best thing I have found to get depth with clearness.

POUR EQUAL PARTS! You must read the directions it is very important to get exactly equal parts.

Mix it until you see bubbles per directions. Add as many layers as you can being careful to not have the mixture run over the sides and onto your tile.

Finished beads!

And here are some more that were wrapped to support the extra layers of epoxy. And yes you can see some spilled over on the sides. Do as I say not as I do.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please if you make something with this technique show me your stuff!

How Do You Do It All? (part 2)

February 26, 2010

My artistic focus right now is on exposure not sales. I want to get out there so when I am ready to focus on sales my works will be made with  highest quality possible.  I would like to have the experience with different techniques, and a finish that is professional.

With technology the great medium it is any artist would be severely limiting their market share by not exposing themselves online in some shape or form.

Here are my tops for How I Do It All

Blogging- for me is something that I have been very committed to in the last 6 months. It is a great way for me to use my writing skills and really I am enjoying it a lot. It also is a great way for me to work through whatever is going on that needs working through and a great inspiration for me. My blog is me……and what I am going through art wise or life wise. I use word press and have only had technical issues a few times which were resolved within 24 hours. With the I phone app I can access my blog while on the go which is a wonderful tool. Still learning the ins and outs of the app but it looks very promising.

Flickr- for me is a great site that I can showcase some of my artwork. I have two set up one is for professional work

and the other for clay experiments and things ..

With Flickr you can get photos of your art out there for all to see. There is no fee and this is a very popular way for you to see what people like and do not like from their comments.

Flickr also has an app for the I phone so you can stay connected while on the go. Another feature that is appealing is anywhere you are you can show some one your pictures on Flickr with a couple of touches.

Facebook is another great tool you can use. You can hook up with your real friends and your cyber ones. It is a great way to let others know what IS going on with you and your art. The one drawback is the games and all the silly notifications you get by playing them. It took me a while to realize that my friends were posting and I did not see what they were saying because of all the notifications from what ever ville game it was they were playing. I now have it set up so that when someone says something it comes directly to my phone and I can be a part of what I joined Facebook for in the first place. Keeping track of my friends and claymates and not the games they are playing.

Twitter is one of the great ways to keep track as well but I chose not to participate in this wonderful wave of life. I have enough to keep up with and I feel adding this would only hinder my creative abilities. I have been wrong a couple of times in life and this could be one of them.

Web Sales is something we need to consider and I have done that. I have established the same business name at several sales sites.  Etsy, Ebay, and Artfire….. now the question is have I posted my items for sale? No not yet but hey I have started and established something so that is a step in the right direction I think. I just do not have the time to keep track of the things that can and will come from online sales. At this point in my career I also am not ready to commit to a website for sales. I did that years ago with general merchandise from our family business at the time and had intended to donate all the profits to an infertility charity. I now know the idea  didn’t work and know that people were hesitant as to why anyone would want to donate 100% of their profits to any charity?? Those were my true intentions and  why  I do have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to setting up a website. You don’t even want to know how much money was lost with not even a single sale.

Groups and guilds are very important I think. You have to have support somehow someway no matter what art is your medium. It is great to have support and the ability to reach out to someone who is going through or has already been through what you are dealing with. I found a great Yahoo group called City O Clay. It is an online clay group and  I have formed friendships there and it feels like home. Since I do not have a lot of time to keep track of many groups I chose City O Clay as my clay home on the internet. It is amazing what topics of discussion come up sometimes. One of the latest OMG headlines was the topic of boiling Barbie dolls. *disclaimer no Barbies were hurt in the name of art they were merely boiled so they could hold their new pose more effectively. Find some type of online group and you will get so much out of it if you choose to participate. I guarantee it.

I recently joined the Central Ma Polymer Clay Guild and have been lucky enough to attend one meeting. It is a great way to be with people who share your same interest and can be a wonderful inspiration as well.

Volunteer opportunities are out there if you choose to find them. I am the swap mistress at City O Clay. It has been a wonderful experience for me and a wonderful motivational tool for me. I am so proud of the individuals of all skill sets that participate in the clay swaps. I truly believe that the open hand is the full hand. Translated you have to give and when you do be it time, money, or your talents you will get more than you give in return. 

So those are the things that I have committed myself to for my art. Now I just need to find some time to actually sit down and create. One of the drawbacks of all the technology is the time that is required to maintain the connections you make. You must prioritize and then of course act on those priorities. Also you must consider the time your job and family take in everyday life. Many days it does not seem like there are ever enough hours, but I try to stay as motivated and focused as I can.

I hope this may have helped you some in your journey. We are all at different stages in our art, as well we all have different amounts of time we are able to dedicate to our art each and every day. Then there is the biggest demon of all to face. That inner voice that says I am not good enough, so why try. If that is the voice you are listening to in life you don’t have a chance. Sit down with yourself and have an honest conversation. Then the next time any negativity that is self-directed comes out turn it around and make it positive which will give you strength and motivation.

Whatever it is that helps you do it all please share I would love to know your strategy!


You can create a Facebook Fan page and this tutorial makes it super easy!


How Do You Do It All?

February 25, 2010

This question came up this week on a group I am a member of. How do you do it all?

Remember this IS from the art angle but life creeps in sometimes no matter who you are.

When asked this question on the list there were many different responses. Some replied they had a system that worked well for them most of the time. Most being the operative word, the system in place they admitted did not work all the time. Some  struggled with doing it all and freely admitted that fact. There were also those that had not even started thinking of how to do any of it much less ALL of it.

The one thing that all of the responses had in common was that life often was the thing that distracted or deterred them every time. How do you deal with life I mean who can plan for the illness or loss of a family member, loved one, or close friend. What about the furry friends in our lives? Loosing one of them can some times be worse than a family member ….depends on the family member lol. I digress……

In this economy you also have to factor in your hours being cut, or even loosing your job or the company closing without notice.

How do you do it all?

First you have to decide what is important to you. I asked my 14-year-old to name the 5 most important things in his life,  I wanted a young perspective. After he tried and failed with his best reasons for not answering the question here are his answers:

1. Laughter

2. Happiness

3. Friends

4. Mom not asking me questions like this and forcing me to answer them! (Okay I did get 3 good ones out of him so at this point I was prepared to take anything for number 5).

5. lightbulbs / girls

Number 5 light bulbs was to escape by completing the task. He left the room and then came right back in and requested I cross out lightbulbs and change it to girls. Okay so I got 4 out of him he did great!

My Turn

1. Health

2. Family/ friends

3. Happiness

4. Money (we are getting close to retirement and this is a big concern especially in this economy)

5. To be successful as an artist

Numbers 1,2,and 3 were easy. Number four took a while for me and 5 I am not so sure how much of me is talking and how much of that is me realizing I am doing a blog about art and it should be there somewhere.

Hubby only came up with two. He says health, and happiness are all one needs. I think he didn’t want to answer my questions any more than my son did.

I was surprised at how similar our answers were given the age gap. You have to have friends and happiness!

I urge you to do the same and see what you come up with for your top 5. Then choose what parts of the five directly relate to your art and how you can become better at it. Remember what YOU want to achieve with your art is going to be different from where I am right now. Honestly where my focus is right now can and probably will change in a short time. Most of the changes I will have to deal with are directly related to how technology is affecting us at such a rapid pace, and the sales aspect of it all.

So what are your top 5?

How do you do it all?


January 24, 2010

I am a member of city o clay and we have swaps there. They are real fun and I get to see what everyone had made because I am the one doing the shipping.

So one of the swappers Tabatha Pimentel sent in beads that had eyelets OMG what fun. Some of Tabatha’s work can be seen here.

I love her work she is so talented which is probably why she finished her beads this way. I can not show you hers since she is in the swap and I can not post her pictures until the swap is finished so I hope I have done her justice by this attempt.

Here are the eyelets. These are from Joanne’s I am sure you can get them online. I would like to find some sterling silver ones to use. (Writing on the to do list!) They are the Craft Essentials 1/8″ Eyelets.

I am sorry but can I just say that picture looks freeken good. Okay no light box but that is a good close up (patting herself on the back).

Is this the correct way of using eyelets?  I have no idea I am telling you what I did and BTW it was really easy.

 What I did was to make a bead,  then poke my hole with a poker, make the hole bigger with a clay shaper, insert eyelet, work eyelet in by rolling in your hands.

They still need more time in the tumbler the idea you want to get from this is the eyelet idea for finishing your beads.

Try it you will like it I think. The one thing I do recommend if you are using scrap clay try to get it as close as you can to the color of the bead. I used white scrap and you can see the scrap. Looks Tacky. Another idea would be to use a contrasting color for interest Hmmmmm that is a cool idea as well. What can you come up with? Or have you already done it?

Take care and have fun claying!