Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’

Miss Sharing

April 28, 2014

I really miss sharing with you guys. I could give  reason after reason but instead let me show you a small taste of what I have not shown you lately lol.

ImageWendy made a bowl! I was so proud of her the day she came over and did this. Heck I had not even made a bowl yet and she did it and it turned out great. That is also by the way her first cane ever!

ImageI started beading which is something I said I would never ever in my life do. This is a cellini sprial that I did for the gallery show at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society.

ImageYes I said it a gallery show! The theme was Spring Starts Here! Those flowers were a tutorial that I took tonz of pictures for. By the time I finally was able to make the dang flowers I was DONE! Even darling son asked “What is that like the 30th try?”. The name Flowers of Torture yes I was done.

ImageI saw prince with a very close friend from work Stephanie McCarthy. She had just had her baby and I could not believe she left Winnie to come with me and kept telling her over and over. Oh a fun night a very nice night.

ImageAnother tutorial gone bad. This one did not work at all my first attempt at Mokume I will take pics next time and it will work.

ImageThe Christmas wine I loved it so much I went and bought several more bottles. Yumm and love the name it reallly said a lot about what was going on with me personally at that time.

ImageAnother tutorial that didnt make it to prime time. Love the cane though.

ImageReally blurry lol but you get the idea.

And so do I. On my to do list is to figure out how to post from the phone for quick pics of what is or is not on my claytable. I hear those so often say they need to create more. I am so blessed to now have the time to create I need to share with you more what I am creating. Lets see if the to do list works for me and you too. If your not creating try to find out what is preventing you from doing what you love. Is it time? Motivation? Self doubt?

 

 

Matchbox Swap Giveaway

March 25, 2012

My family god bless them are so helpful with my art journey. They have put up with me roaming the isles at stores and finding something that usually is made for something else that I am going to use with my clay pieces. They have put up with me throwing clay under their bum to warm it up while they are lazing on the couch. They have helped me with design and color schemes and are always there to give me their honest opinion on my creations.

I was not ready however for the reaction to my latest creation from my son.

‘Whadda ya think Fouad?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes I want to know what do you think of this it is part of my new spring collection.”

“Mom do not take this the wrong way but in all of the years with all the things you have brought to me this is the worst thing ever.”

“What?”

“I am telling you that it is the worst thing ever!”

“Let me go change my shirt” ………..me running, changing, and coming back to ask again……”So whadda ya think?”

“What part of that is the worst thing ever do you not understand? You can change your shirt all you want that will not help it is the design that is wrong. Colors are good but the whole design is wrong. What is this sticking out? Mom you need to go back and try again.”

“Where is my phone I am going to text dad and ask him?”

“Go right ahead text him he will tell you the same thing I did.”

“I know I will wear it to work tomorrow and ask them they will tell me.”

“Mom if they are your real friends they will tell you it is ugly……if not then they will say they like it and be lying.”

Flash to the next work day when I wore it to work and got the honest opinions. Thumbs down 100%.

 

I know I told you there would be a giveaway this week and there is YEA.

To enter for MY matchbox swap giveaway just leave a comment about one of your experiences when you asked someone for advice on your art and they gave it to you no holes barred. This piece will be unveiled next week when the winner is announced as I am still waiting for an overseas participant to get their swap box. We want it to be a surprise. You do not have to have a negative experience to win any memory will be fine.

With our designs we struggle sometimes creating what we think is wearable art. I still like what I made and think it looks great with my hot pink shirt but ya just never know.

What Do You Like Dislike About Your Workspace?

March 6, 2012

Yes I asked it? The question what do you like / dislike about your workspace?

Don’t answer the question unless you are going to be honest with your self and your art and change what is in your power to change. Not everything can be changed that you do not like but you owe it to yourself to change what you can so you have a space that you can feel good in and create the wonderful art that you know you can.

One of the best things I like is that I can do it!

Not all of my attempts are perfect and my claytime is limited but you know what I did it and learned along the way which for me is very fulfilling. One of my other favorite loves is to teach others with how to’s which have led to many tutorials on my blog and being published two times in the Polymer Cafe Magazine.

While thinking of the things I love about my work space I remembered that I love that I can wheel from the pasta machine to the work surface with the chair I got a couple of years ago at a thrift store. It is the little things that make me happy sometimes and I really love that I can wheel between the two and I do it all the time. :).

I love these drawers! I got them one day while returning from dropping off my son they were put out with the garbage. Half of the drawers had tools in them still. And to think I did not want to go get son that day and I was very upset with him telling him he was lazy for not walking on such a nice day. Score for crazy mom.

I love that I have a space that is all mine. I do not really remember how or when it happened but that room is now all me and my art. Guests sleep in my sons room not the extra bedroom anymore. I will have to ask hubby what he remembers of it all that should be a fun conversation.

I love the fact that I now tell hubby what I want for gifts and get some cool tools. Mothers day is coming and mama wants a new high-speed buffer baby is what I told hubby last week. I am looking forward to moving into the basement so I can have room to properly use and store my tools.

I love the fact that sometime in the next year god willing I will be able to have as much time as I want with my art as I plan on retiring soon. What a wonderful feeling.

What do I hate?

I hate that currently I do not have the time I want and need to spend on my art. I can see how I will really enjoy this when it happens and how my creative side will come out and play for real.

I hate that I get scared when my work table is clean. Is this why we leave it so messy? I hate looking at it empty and not knowing exactly what I want to do next. I love what comes off the table once I work through the block when it happens but boy when it is going on it is weird to stare at the empty table.

I hate the piles under the workable. I mean they work in my current space but I lose an entire table that could be used for creation because I have crap on top of and under it. Goal for next workspace is clean floors like so clean I can sweep them when I want to with out moving crap.

I have a love hate relationship with my drawers. I hate it when I go looking for something and it is either not in the drawer it should be in or I misfiled it in my mind. Recently I looked for a while for something and when I found it the place made sense just not while I was looking for it. With as many drawers as I have you can look for a while before you find it.

I hate not finishing so many projects. But I do love it when I revisit the project and it turns out better because of some special touch I have learned by doing other things. I look forward to finishing more projects in the coming year it will be fun.

I hate the fact that I am going to retire and concentrate my efforts on this art thing. I know it is on the love side too but it is a scary idea quitting your job and spending your time creating. Not sure how to fix this one……….time will tell.

So what is it that you love hate about your workspace? More important what are you going to do to change it?

The Year in Review

January 1, 2012

This last year was one full of growth for me both personally and professionally. It started with me still being on cloud 9 from the December Polymer Cafe article.

There were three swaps this year.

Rock Purse

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/rock-purse-pics-finally/

Colorful Ocean Creatures

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/colorful-ocean-creatures-swap-pictures/

Mini Food

pics up in a week or so

The swaps are such a wonderful learning experience and I am so proud of all the participants and blessed to have found this group. I am not sure exactly why I am so blessed to be the proud Swap Ma Ma but I am loving every minute of it. Next swap just opened you should check it out.

This year I made the switch to Kato. It took forever for me to commit to the change and wouldn’t you know it as soon as I do it they change their formula and it is much softer now. The jury is still out on this one but I hope to continue with my commitment to use 100% Kato. I like the way it holds the details while making canes which is my first love. I also like the way it feels ONCE conditioned.

This year I focused on learning new techniques. I had a flower phase…..

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/emotional-roller-coaster/

and a wonderful opportunity to take a Carol Simmons class. The Carol Simmons class was defiantly my most favorite part of the year clay wise.

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/carol-simmons-class-starts-tomorrow/

I am so blessed to have had the year I did. I learned new techniques, made new friends, and am finding it easier to call myself an artist.

This new year I hope to continue to count my blessings and focus more on my art. Good health is the most important blessing because without that nothing is possible. I hope to lose a few pounds this year (don’t we all?). I also hope to be able to retire from my 9-5 and focus on my art   24-7. No date set yet but I am hoping for sometime this summer.

Finally in the new year I hope to have our summer home finished or very near completion. My studio will be located on the top floor with mountaintop views. This year will be about gathering the necessary supplies to open the new studio.

My first project is already in mind. It will be a housewarming gift to myself and it is a OOAK chess set for the upstairs sitting room and should take a loooonnnnnnggggg time to complete but once done will be a masterpiece I am sure.

With this new year  upon us I wish all of you nothing but the best with your art and life. Remember you are your worst enemy and road block. When you get in your own way with self-doubt it hinders you as an artist. Whatever you want to do………….

YOU CAN!

2 Sides of Art

April 10, 2011

 

It has been a while since I posted about Art Musings but this week I just have to revisit the subject. You may remember this post if not it is a fun read about what I went through to get clean dirt.

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/art-and-musings/

This whole idea stems from the book Art & Fear Observations on the perils (and rewards) of Artmaking. The idea is that art has two mindsets.

With the recent Rock Purse Swap I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful green rock purse. The first thing I saw was the color green, the wonderful craftmanship, and the playfulness of the artist. I am only showing you the inside because we still have to wait a few more days in the hopes that the international participants get theirs before I go on vacation. I will post all pictures one day this week.

I have to wear green to work every Friday and so my first thought was I have a new Friday necklace Yea for me! I was next drawn to the wonderful craftmanship as all the features looked perfect. I as the art admirer was drawn to the nose and mouth area because they looked so perfect and real. I also loved the way the rock purse was joined at the seams. It was not a straight line but rather one that had a wonderfully fitted point. The playfulness came out with the wonderful treat on her nose.

The artist started with a lucky find of THE PERFECTLY SHAPED ROCK that only has one imperfection at an end. The artist intends to take great care of her special rock as it really is the one to make rock purses of this style out of. Her challenges making the rock purse were the release, and time. She began by using Pearlex as her release but later switched to Armour All and got great results. At times while using the Pearl Ex the clay would not form to the rock in a pleasing manner but the switch to Armour All allowed her to form the clay tightly to the rock without the fear of the shell breaking while removing it from the rock.

My purse was the second version where she intentionally made him (yes her vision is a him) with his eyes looking up at the owner waiting for the okay to eat the treat on his nose. The whole time she is making him she knows his eyes are looking at her waiting for the okay to eat the treat this astonishes me as the art receiver. I never once thought about the eyes and I feel bad about that. You know I will look at the eyes now first thing and of course point it out to my customers on Friday at my desk at work.

So in a nutshell you have it whether it is finding clean dirt ( I was so crazy heck I still am) or the BOY puppy waiting for the okay to eat a treat. Art has two mindsets!

Have you ever taken the time as an artist to see that and embrace it?

Lucy 4-3-11

April 4, 2011

.

This week I have been working on finishing up a commissioned face cane for a local jewelry artist. She asked me if I could make something for her since she did not feel confident enough to produce one in clay herself. She had found this wonderful U Tube video by one of the polymer clay masters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1aWSQ0LFEE

This is Cynthia Tinapple’s video tutorial on how she makes her face canes. I watched it and loved the idea instantly of course with a couple of twists. I did not feel comfortable making the white plug and adding the details rather I made the details and added the white. For me if I did it the way Cynthia did I would not get smooth even cuts and the cane would come out distorted looking before I even began reducing. I also told my client to give me examples of eyes and noses she liked since I would not copy the face Cynthia had used. Here are the drawings that were sent…..

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4.

She liked Photo 2 and I began building. I reduced the eye cane that I made last week for this.

Added some lips.

A nose.

Put the components together.

Added a little more white and squeezed just a little to work out any air.

See the dent in her forehead? I dropped it and since the Kato Pearl was too soft (YES I SAID TOO SOFT) I decided to wait a couple of days to reduce. Insert the Tom Petty Song about waiting being the hardest part.

I made a conscious decision to work the cane for at least a half an hour before beginning the reducing process. This was done by just banging the thing from all sides to warm the clay before reducing. This is her after working 35 minutes.

See how her lips are not working out? This happens when using different brands of clay or clay that is the same brand but not the same consistency. I knew at this time that I needed to reduce and prepare myself for the fact that she would not reduce evenly. So I began.

See how her lips do not want to come out and play?

Also check out my cane ends. The pieces with just the eyes and brows are the first cut. Then you will notice a little of the nose showing up, and finally the face with lips.

The client has really enjoyed the process she said it was like giving birth she is the one who named her Lucy and her birthday is today. As an artist I could not ask for anything more. Client is happy and loves her faces and she is having design ideas and let me tell you they are some good ideas! If you would like to see some of her other work it can be found here.

http://www.silverandspicejewelry.com/

I am excited because I now have some cool face beads to donate to the beads swap which is due May 15th.

Enjoy your clay journey and if you ever need a face cane think of me!

Updates

March 6, 2011

 

No real claying for me this week what is new hunh?

The boxes for the Rock Purse Swap are showing up and mailing should happen this week so you can expect pictures in the next two weeks. I am amazed at how different each persons entries are. I also am amazed at how we as a group have worked through the issues that arose with creating the Whatafrazens (our new pet name for the Rock Purses).

What a challenge and I am so happy so many were able to complete the task even if they hated every minute of it and were not happy with what came off the table. They tried and honestly that is all that matters. That is one of the reasons the swaps were created and are so successful. Can you commit to learning a new technique and sticking to it even if you do not like what you created?

Everyone has communicated that they learned something from the swap even if it was that they learned they would never make one again in their life. What have you committed to lately with your art or in life that you stuck with and finished? What sort of feeling did you get from completing said task? Sometimes we just need to step out of our comfort zone and just do it.

My other update is from last weeks post. I took the ring to the jewelry store and they said they were unable to fix it :(. Hubby said he will take it to the person he bought it from when he returns to Lebanon. I learned (and hubby did too) that I can not wear delicate jewelry. I need something that I can bang and will hold up. One bright spot is I have a new dinner ring minus a flower petal. LOL so when we go out to eat and I remember I will wear it happily. Thanks Orsan you’re the best hubby in the world!

Quality

February 27, 2011

 

Hubby is home and he always brings a little something with him when he returns. The past few years it has been something sparkly if business has been good and something not so sparkly if not. Either way whatever he brings me I am usually just happy to have him home snoring in bed which is where he belongs in the first place.

This time he brought a wonderful flower ring. I still can not figure out which way to wear it and am just amazed at how cool it looks on the hand. The only issue is that I am a firm believer in wearing my jewelry and not letting it sit in a box for a special occasion. If I did that the special occasion would never arise and when it did I would probably forget the wonderful piece I had been saving for said occasion.

So I get my new ring and promptly put it on my finger. Let me tell you it looks amazing!

I slept with it on and went to work the next day with it still on. Halfway through the day one of the bleeping petals broke off!

Now this is a piece of jewelry that I thought was to be a quality piece but now I am wondering what is quality exactly? The petal broke off within the first 24 hours of me putting it on my hand. Taking it to the store it was purchased from is not going to happen unless I want to fly to Lebanon which is where the piece was purchased. Do you think it is poor quality, design or materials? Or is it just me who should not be wearing said ring to work?

I know that when I make something to give to someone or sell the thing I tell them is I want to know when, where and how it breaks because I want to supply only quality items to my customers. I have also been known to wear a piece for a couple of days just to make sure it is constructed in a good manner. One wrong crimp and the necklace could break the first time you wear it I know because it has happened to me. Now I will admit it has been a while since that happened but still I want to make quality merchandise that can be worn without the fear of it breaking the first time you wear it.

What considerations do you have when designing a new line of jewelry? How do quality and functionality come into play with that decision? Is this something you are focused on when creating?

How do you deal with customers who have had a piece break on them? If this is not something you have thought about maybe you should?

 

Winter Blues

January 29, 2011

Looks nice hunh?

Winter Blues I am sure you have heard of them but have you really noticed when they are present in your life?

I have been in a funk this past week and have spent my final Christmas gift card in the hopes that it would cheer me up a little.

I was also able to participate in a quick Z Net buy with the bulk buying group I am in. I plan on making gifts for family and friends in Lebanon for gifts when we visit this summer. Its going to be hard to let go of the turquoise ones they are reallllyy nice quality.

The reason for the bead purchase now is that I am in a funk and thought they may get my muse goosed quickly. I have a problem with the delayed satisfaction when working with clay. With beads you can string a cool necklace, bracelet and earring set in an evening, with clay my cane is still resting.

This week while talking to people I realized that many are in some kind of a seasonal funk I am not the only one. We just don’t get enough sunlight in the winter months here in the North East we are like hibernating bears.

This is my view now sitting on the couch with the laptop but positioning myself so the sun is beating down on me. I can’t be out in it I have no desire to play in the snow but I know my body needs some rays. Whatever you do at the work table take a few minutes and sit where you can get some sunrays. On the couch, in the car with the heater on because it is cold, whatever you can do to get some rays just do it.

If you do this for just minutes a day in a few days you will feel the funk lifted and your creativity will be spurred without spending money to stimulate your muse. Try it you will like it.

Facebook Focus Month Cont.

May 14, 2010

Facebook Focus month continues with the way to set up a business page. It is very easy.

From your profile page go to the very bottom and click the advertising link.

This brings up the  Advertising page where you will click the pages button.

When you do that you will click on the create a page button.

Fill in the information. I am in the Artist category, and I am the official representative for my company so I do not the steps you will go through if you are not. Click create official page. And look what happens!

OMG how many clicks was that?? My page is created? Hmmm let me Edit my page.

This is what comes up when you do.

This is where you will add a profile picture and change settings and add the mobile aplications if you want them enabled. You can also set up an e commerce site on Facebook!

I had hoped to have that as the focus for next week but I have found a different site and liked the way the photos looked and the ease of site set up. The ones on Facebook are rather small and for my art I need for the items to be bigger quality pictures. So next week not sure what exactly the focus will be :).

The Regional Pendant swap is going great almost all the packages are here and the photographing is almost complete. I can not wait to show you guys the pictures!

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/

You may remember this swap post…if not it is a real cool read and I am not just saying that. If you have not read it read the update first THEN read the post!

I called her today and she answered the phone. She agreed with me that her comming into the bank was meant to be  so she would come in, sit at my desk, and be freeken motivated!

Even though she just had a major operation she is painting for me, and her friends. She has already given some pieces away and I am so proud of her. Even better she has ideas for the projects she WANTS to do. She thanked me for getting her back to painting and not Quitting! Our swap date is set for about the third week of June and I am so excited I am going to finish her swap flower right now!