Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another bracelet

Sometimes things way longer than they should.  I must have taken this bracelet apart a billion times yesterday.  After most of the day I finally produced a bracelet I like.

There are just days like that.

Oh and I meant to mention yesterday, about a tutorial at Ponsawan's tutorial blog. This tutorial is what inspired me to construct necklaces, bracelets, etc. with cotton, linen or hemp by knotting:  Ponsawan's tutorials  It's the third tutorial down.

And speaking of Ponsawan, she is having an Auction for Ada.  More info on her main blog Silastones blog. And here is her blog dedicated to Ada, her daughter Ada (warning: you will need a big box of kleenex).

There are some beautiful pieces being auction!  Be sure to go and take a look!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


These started out to be bookmarks, but they are to thick to function well as bookmarks.  So now they are pendants.

I'm not sure about all of them, some of them I like more than others.  But, I love playing with texture!   No molds here!  I have a few basic tools, and some home made texture sheets. 

There are also random household items such as crumpled foil, sandpaper, paper towels, screws and whatever else I can find.

Just building the texture with polymer clay isn't enough.  It needs something to highlight the texture and make it stand out.

Sometimes  I add "Perfect Pearls" before curing.  It is a mica pigment powder that adds a metallic shine.  Also this particular brand "contains a binder that permanently adheres to polymer clay" so it is permanent (unless you put way too much on - Ask me how I know).

But, I'm finding that doesn't always bring out the texture like I would like.  Also, the pendant on the right, it's to much all over shiny silver.  Kind of boring.

The other thing I do is add a glaze or two of acrylic paint, usually burnt umber.  I also use the metallic colored paints to highlight and give a metallic look.

I applied acrylic paint to the silver pendant so that it now looks like old bronze.  I like it much better now!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New jewelry

I was at jury duty for less than an hour.  The defendant pleaded guilty and the judge dismissed us. Did some grocery shopping on the way home.  Had the rest of the day to make jewelry! YAY!

I am please with how this bracelet turned out.  It fits my 5 3/4" wrist perfectly!  Because it's so small, it might end up being a keeper!

Measured flat it is 7 1/4". It fits me perfect and is a little tight on my daughter who has a 6 1/2" wrist.  I need a way to figure sizes for bracelets. Measuring it flat isn't working.

I made a necklace in the same style as well.  Both are strung with waxed cotton cord.  I really enjoy making these!

Well, I'm off to do a little gardening and then make more jewelry.

Seven done, ninety-three to go.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow going

I'm officially open for business!  I have one necklace listed in my ArtFire shop!  lol

I had hoped to actually get a few more things listed in my ArtFire shop, but it just didn't happen.

Well, I didn't get done anything close to what I had planned.  I finished three necklaces. Only 97 more items to go!

It's just going to take longer than I anticipated.  But, I'm going to keep plugging away at it!

Well, I'm off to jury duty.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Originally uploaded by julie_picarello
I was hoping to make every Saturday “Inspiration Saturday”, but it’s not happening like that yet. I have some ideas for it, but I need to do some research. I don’t have time at the moment. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll get that rolling.

I had a nice serendipitous moment in my home studio this past week. I was attempting a polymer clay version of "mokume gane" It is a Japanese metal working technique that gives metal a wood grained look. More about the technique at:, Mokume gane.

Judie Picarello is polymer clay artist that has adopted this technique with awesome results. Here is a picture of some her work. The patterning, is beautiful. Her technique is flawless. I love the copper tube accent!

Take a look at her flicker photostream for more of her wonderful work: Julie Picarello

I of course attempt this technique from time to time. And my results are usually less that stunning. The best description would be dreadful. This weeks attempt was typical. I rolled the mess into a ball, attacked it with a tissue blade. 

Pardon the crummy picture, but for some reason these beads do not want to be photographed!  I'm really pleased with the patterning on cylinder shaped bead that is in the center top of the picture.

I got called up for jury service on Monday.   Not particularly looking forward to it.  I know, civic duty and all.  But this is my fifth or sixth time. And I have beads to make, dang it.

Guess I better quit complaining and get at it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Freeform Friday

I’ve changed my mind about the picture for my store banner.  Remember the picture from a few days ago?  The beads in it were very beach looking. 

With a name like “Desert Wind Creations”, it should feel more like, well desert.  So this is what my banner for Etsy and ArtFire look like at the moment.  But, I'm still not entirely certain about it.

I live in the desert area of Washington (not all WA gets a lot of rain), east of the Cascades.  We have hot-hot-hot dry summers.  And biting cold winters with a little snow.  There is little rain, but we have some pretty big wind storms.  Desert. Hmmm. Wind. Hmmm.  Sounds like a good name for a winery?!?! Desert Wind Winery 

There are a lot of wineries in this area, and a lot of agriculture as well.  I can't get over how wonderful the local produce is.  I canned a little of it this past summer. 

I've also ventured into doing to a bit of wine making.   Dang, I keep getting sidetracked – To  many things to try!

I'm going to focus on making beads tonight and tomorrow.  Then Sunday, it's marathon jewelry making!

Off I go to squish clay around!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Goals and Challenges

I need inventory, and I need it bad!  I’ve been reading a lot of business information on the Etsy and ArtFire sites.  One tidbit of information I read o stated that you should have at least 100 pieces of inventory ready to sell!

I just about fell out of my chair when I read that! Holy Guacamole Batman!

Relax, breath deep and think.   

How am I going to do this?  I have some inventory already, but I’m going to pretend I don’t.  So how am I going to create 100 jewelry pieces?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  So, what I need to do is make this into small manageable “bites”.

The big question in my mind is: If I apply myself, I mean REALLY APPLY MYSELF, how many jewelry pieces and I make in day? A week? A month?

Lets say I give myself 4 weeks.  That works out to 25 pieces a week, or 3 - 4 a day.  That sounds doable! much less overwhelming than 100! 

So in 4 weeks I'm going to make 100 pieces of jewelry!

Currently, I'm waiting on an order from Fire Mountain, and I hope to get that in the next day or two.  In the meantime, I'm in polymer clay overdrive mode!  Cranking out some mean beads! 

By Saturday or Sunday, I should be ready to put some things together!  I'm actually going to shoot for 20 pieces over the weekend.  Lock myself in my little room and not come out until Monday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Like This Bracelet, But...

I made this bracelet last year, and I really like the combination of the black and orange beads. It has a nice Halloween feel to it.  However, because of the weight of the beads, the “clasp” is on top of my wrist.   I think this bracelet would work better with elastic beading thread. 

This really shows the importance of test driving new designs.  While it looks good, it just doesn’t wear right.  The darn thing drives me crazy(er)!

But, I'm planning on a necklace or two similar to the bracelet.  I 'm making some orange-gold beads to go with the dark ones I made over the weekend.  I getting ready for a bead stringing frenzy! 

I'm suspect by the time I get my Etsy and ArtFire shops up and running, it will be too late for Halloween items. I can't believe how much there is to do!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Learning to Focus

I am just all over the map arts and craft-wise. I just have this urge to try everything. I was working the local county fair a couple of weeks ago and there was a local group demonstrating spinning.  I was fascinated - it looked so cool!  I did a little web surfing to price spinning wheels, and that put a stop to that urge right then and there.  Dang they are expensive!

But that illustrates a problem I have, I want to try just about everything.  Okay, except maybe glass blowing.  That would be way to much work for me.  But it's fascinating to watch.  Forging is interesting to watch also, but I'd be willing to give that a try.

See, what I mean? Just sitting here blogging and I get side tracked.  Focus,dang it, focus! To get my Etsy and ArtFire shops started, I really need to focus.  I need to build inventory, and for that I'm going to focus on polymer clay jewelry.  I can add other types of jewelery later.

I'm going to have to balance my business with other things in my life. Make some goals, do some scheduling and planning.  All which goes against my nature.  I want to get up in the morning and see what I "feel" like doing.  And I end up with too many projects half done.

I have some pillows and other sewing projects I'm going to have to back burner for a while. To get this going I have to really narrow my focus for a while.  And do some serious prioritizing.


Now then, here are the beads I made over the weekend.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I had fun this weekend!

I did some claying over the Weekend!

I cracked open some packages of polymer clay and fired up the pasta machine! 

The clay I worked with was actually Sculpy Premo, and not the Kato in the picture.  It is way easier to condition!  Oh, but I have plans for those packages of Kato Polyclay. 

To get going, I just wanted to make some simple beads.  I made a few and put them in the “secret” ingredient. 

I learned this trick from Silastones’ tutorial blog:  Silastones Tutorials   (scroll down to the "Lava Beads" tutorial.  She uses rock salt in her demo to make lava beads, but I wanted a finer texture and went with Kosher salt.   

And I want to mention, Silastones' work is wonderful and her tutorial blog is a great wealth of information!

After some feverish claying, I had a tray of beads nearly ready for the oven. 
Now, these beads would look rather plain without some sort of patina. 

So to give the beads some pizazz, I brushed on some Perfect Pearls.  The beads will have a nice metalic shine, almost like raku.
Guess what the most important item is for working with Perfect Pearls.  YES, that’s it – the dusk mask!  You don’t really want to breathing this stuff.

Well that’s it.  The beads have been cured and are ready to be turned in to jewelry. Oh, and I'm guessing you are wondering what they look like.  Well, you are just going to have to wait! 

Well, okay I did plan to include a picture of the finished beads, but the weather was rainy all day. I couldn’t go outside to get a decent  picture of them.  So, hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Just a quickie post - I joined Artfire last night.  I know, it's not like I don't have enough to do dealing with Etsy.  But, Artfire is currently having a special - $5.95 a month.  There are no other fees.  I've been hoping someday to try them out and at this price, I couldn't pass the deal up!

But, they require 20,000 people to sign up for this deal with a max of 50,000. Here is the link:Artfire Group Deal

Check it out!

And have a great day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday's Inspiration

Autumn.   Cooling weather and shorter days.  I watch the landscape as it prepares for its winter nap.  While the last flowers are displaying their finery the fall leaves prepare to steal the show. The nippy morning air has a sweet taste.  I can sense winter preparing to return.

These sweet treats came from our backyard.  We have 4 mini dwarf apples.  Sweet, crunchy and pesticide free!

I planted some Merlot grapes this year.  They have a few grapes on them this year.   I'm hoping for wine in a couple of years!

I have a couple of Rugosa roses.  Everything I read about them indicated that they have fantastic rose hips.  Of course none of what I read ever said they are like giant thorny weeds trying to take over the world. 

And what inspirational blog about autumn would be complete without red leaves?  (Shhh, don't tell anybody I cheated.  This is Japanese maple that is red all the time.  Our big maple doesn't have red leaves yet.)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Freeform Friday

I have a room full of UFO's (UnFinished Objects).  I've been working off and on finishing a few of them.

I started making some pillows a couple of years ago.  I finally finished three of them a couple of weeks ago.  The great thing is, that I got the pillow forms out of  my craft room! YAY!

The patchwork pillow on the left is made with random scraps - cotton, rayon, linen and mostly polyester.  Don't look too close or you will see crooked stitching and squares not matching up.

The pillow on the right is a crazy quilt with machine embroidery.  The buttons cover spots where my sewing machine decided to throw up.  I really enjoy this method of patchwork.  Freeform with fabric.

The last one is something I did long before we moved.  This was my first experiment with crazy quilting.  And with beads!  I discovered it in a drawer about a month ago and turned it into a pillow.

Now, then about the "Freeform Friday".  Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a group of us little cube rats that designated Fridays as Freeform Discussion Fridays.  Mostly we were waiting for the mythical beer truck.

How does that relate to the here and now?  I have no idea, but as a blogger's prerogative, I am designating Fridays on my blog as "Freeform Fridays".

Alas, I'm still waiting for the beer truck.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Back!!

Once again, here I am restarting my blog.  It’s time to get serious - either blog or not. It’s been seven months this time!

I get into these creative funks, and then don’t do much.  Okay, I’ve done some knitting and sewing.  Over the next few days I will show some of what I’ve been doing.

I really admire those with the drive and discipline to really stick to blogging and building a home business.  I tend to let life and other things get in my way.  It's all about priorities.  Do I want to do this or not.  Time to give myself a stern talking to.  No one else is going to do this for me!

I stocked up on some polymer clay at Michael's this week - .99 cent sale! Oh, and they are building a Hobbly Lobby!  It will be great, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Craft Warehouse all on the same street.  In less than a mile. Instead of a "pup crawl", I can do a "craft store crawl". I'll never be home, lol.

Now is the time to get back to the polymer clay and making jewelry.  I want to get  my Etsy store opened!  No more procrastination!

I’m working on a banner for my store, but alas,  I’ve forgotten everything I ever learned about Photoshop.   

I’m playing with something based on this picture:

Well, time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.  Unfortunately, that involves a sink full of dirty dishes. *sigh*