Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hey Santa, Check These Out!

You know, Christmas is starting to get kind of close.  Here are three items in Jewelry By Andrea's Studio at ArtFire that I wouldn't mind finding under my Christmas tree!!!

The colors in this Spiritual Red Coral, Conch shell and Brass Bracelet  are so rich!

Intense blue!! This handmade necklace features a Thai pendant with lapis lazuli. I love lapis, it's such an intesnse blue. And an accent of turquoise (love it to!) Did I mention that lapis lazuli is an incredible intense blue?!?

I love the organic look of this necklace - Abstract Nepalese Turquoise and Red Coral pendant with African beads!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tax Preparation Class - What Was I Thinking?

Worked on all day on take home midterm.  Am zombie now. 

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Is it Real or is it Memorex?

I must really be showing my age by referencing the old audio tape commercial - the one where the tape recording of the opera singer breaks the crystal glass.  Now, if you have to ask what an audio tape is, well never mind.

Perhaps I should have just said is it real or is it polymer clay? Polymer clay is a great medium for faux effects.

The "bone" sun pendant in this necklace was created by moi from polymer clay. 

Polymer can emulate very well a variety of items such as leather, metal, , coral, jade, wood, river stone and the list goes on!

 In this pendant Desert Rubble has combined real metal gears with polymer clay. What a fun combo!

These polymer clay river stones have wonderful layers of subtle color.  This necklace by Fantasy Clay, has the distinct advantage over the real thing of being much lighter.

If you are interested in trying some faux techniques with polymer clay, there are some basic free tutorials at Polymer Clay Central.  There are polymer clay tutorials on several other topics as well.

Some books if you are interested: Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay by Irene Semanchuk Dean; Making Polymer Clay Beads by Carol Blackburn; Steampunkery by Christi Friesen.

This is just a tiny bit of info on polymer clay and faux effects!  It is one of the many fun and wonderful things about polymer clay.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Water and Reminiscing

When I tell people I live in Washington state, inevitably I get asked about the rain.  But in our area, east of the Cascades, we don't get all that much rain. This is desert! The average rainfall is about 8"  where the average for Los Angeles  is nearly 15".  But, irrigation water makes this area rich in agriculture. (And wineries!)

Water, necessary for life too little is a bad thing, as is too much.  And a great source of fun and recreation as well!   Growing up in Southern California, especially in my teen years, I spent a lot of summer time at the beach.

Waves and Pearl pin  by Sassy Clay Creations takes me back to those days of playing and swimming in the ocean.  Hot summer days and the cool pacific ocean.  The roar of the ocean and taste of salt water.
I never found starfish or much in the way of shells on the beach, but Tina Holden's Blue Crackle Pendant starfish bead is reminiscent of the tide pools in Corona Del Mar.

Dolphins!  My daughter loved dolphins when she was growing up!  Each year we had to go to Sea World In San Diego! This
Dolphin sculpture by Tamed takes me back to those times.

Hopefully someday I'll take a trip to Southern California and play on the beach again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Muse is a Pain in the Neck

My muse is telling me I need to get out to the studio in the garage and do some work.  Abuse some metal, and maybe do some painting. 

Now, why does my muse wait until it's COLD and want to go out to the garage studio and work? But my muse is telling me I need to make earrings similar to these. 

Not only that, but silver is $23.85 an ounce!  I made these in a jewelry class I was taking a few years back.  Then silver was only $7.00 or so an ounce!

Maybe next week, I'll have hubby fire up the kerosene heater and I can get out there and saw and hammer and rivet some metal! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

What my Muse Has Been Doing

I've let the muse loose a bit the last few days.  One of my favorite type of projects is free form peyote stitch, but it is very time consuming.   I've been working on this bracelet for about 3-4 days now.  Using my new favorite color combination - purple and copper!

I have no idea what it will look like until it's done! It's so much fun to see them progress.

The other thing I've been working on is dragons.  This little gal is based on the tutorial in the Christi Friesen book "Dragons".  Her work is so charming!  And I generally don't do "cute" to terribly well.  Usually when I try it has some weirdness to it.  Sort of zombie cute.

Anyway, this dragon appears to have some cuteness about her, although the combo of the feathers and tail texture looks a little weird.  Part bird, part sea dragon.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this, but it's fun!  I'm also gradually working up to doing more sculptural items.  So we will see what the muse does!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Everyone needs a hug! (With all the internet issues I've had, I know I could sure use one!) These cards from Art by Sun Fire are so sweet!  She has more cards and lots of other wonderful items in her ArtFire Studio. 

I hate to be the one to break the news, but the Holidays are coming! If you have your shopping done, I don't want to hear about it!   (Boy, I'm needing that hug more and more.)

This recipe card box would be so nice to store all those special holiday treat recipes!

I would love to find this jewelry box under my Christmas tree! (Honey, are you reading this?)

Click on the link to visit  Art by Sun Fire's  ArtFire Studio to see the rest of her charming items!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay was originally developed during the late 1930’s in Germany.    In the1960’s, Eberhardt Faber bought and began marketing the product under the name FIMO. 

Polymer clay is essentially polyvinyl chloride with plasticizer to make it pliable.  It is not traditional “earth” clay.  Polymer clay is cured at low temperatures in a home oven.  It is recommended to have an oven (IE a toaster oven) dedicated to curing the clay. 

Curing it is safe to when manufacturer’s instructions are followed.  However, if heated to too high of a temperature, the polymer clay will give off some nasty fumes.  Ask me how I know.  Ask me about the batch of beads I burnt last week. . .

Polymer clay comes in a wide array of colors and is incredibly versatile medium.  I use it mostly for for jewelry making.  It is also wonderful medium for sculpture (something my muse is screaming at me to explore).  And, because of its low curing temperature (275-300 degrees) covering items such as boxes, bottles, pens and switch-plates is popular with polymer clay artists.  The possibilities are only limited by ones imagination!   It is however, NOT recommended to use for surfaces that are intended to be eaten off of like plates and bowls.
Red With Envy by Laughing Moon Arts

The most common brands in the United States are Sculpey/Premo by Polyforms, Fimo by Eberhard Faber and Kato Polyclay by Van Aken.   

Cernit and Pardo are not as common in the US, but are gaining a following.  Knightwork has been experimenting with Pardo and has made some beautiful canes with it.

Here are a few websites to begin exploring the possibilities of polymer clay:

The three most common polymer clay brands:
Kato Polyclay

A couple of non-polymer clay comments.  My internet went down yesterday.  And my Facebook page hasn't been working since last night.  FRUSTRATING!  I love/hate computers. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn Colored necklace

Well, I'm up to 27 items in my ArtFire Studio!  And I have bunch of pictures I need to finish editing.  I think it's about another 10 or so items.  And I have another half dozen or so things waiting to be finished.  So, maybe by this week end I will get the second page full and move on to the third page!

Here is one of the items I hope to get uploaded later today, I'm really pleased with how this necklace turned out. It started out as a bracelet on memory wire.  It looked good, but it was really, really uncomfortable!

The weather here is turning cold and leaves are getting more colorful!  Brightly colored autumn leaves are still new to me.  This necklace boldly displays those autumn colors.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet Suprise

Well I just got back from the farmer's market.  It was the last one I'll be working this season.  I hope to be a "Master Food Preserver" again next year, if all goes well.

So, I logged on to ArtFire, check my inbox and find this collection curated by Christinaitees:

This particular collect is all my work. Well, Im at a loss for words, other than Thank-you!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Monday!!

I’m afraid I didn’t get much done last week – I had a nasty cold that slowed me down a bit.  But I’m working on  getting over it, so I hope to get more created, photographed and uploaded this week.  I did finish one  necklace, that I should get it in my ArtFire Studio today.

Check out the monthly give away at the “Shops With Less Than 10 Sales Blog”.  A pair of lovely earrings create by "Jewelry By Andrea". Just leave a comment on a blog to enter the contest.

Okay I need to go - my Muse is screaming at me!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cosmic Cat

A giant cosmic kitty using planets as play toys! Can you imagine a whole galaxy of cosmic kitties? Batting planets around!

Cosmic Cat is a fun photo illustration by  Pacific Northwest artist,  Jeliza.
She has some wonderful photos and photo illustrations  in her ArtFire Studio. To see more head over to  Jeliza's ArtFire Studio!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Freeform Friday

Gads, it's been one of those kind of weeks.  Well, I've been plugging away at my knitting project for the KAL sponsored by Jane Thornley.  The ladies over in the forum at Ravelry have been producing some beautiful items.  Wish I could link to it, but the way Ravelry is set up, you have to join to see anything.  If at all interested, I would recommend joining - it's free!  A lot of knitting, crochet, spinning info and free patterns!

I took a progress photo of my project, and YUCK!  The green circle looks awful!  It actually doesn't look as bad as the photo makes it.  Guess I'm going to have to do some frogging. . .

On to polymer clay beady things.  Don't these beads remind you of the roar of the ocean, taste of salty air, cool ocean breezes on a hot summer day?

Bummer.  They were supposed to be evocative of cold crisp snowy mornings.  I guess I just don't do snow very well in general. . .

I've been playing with making patchwork leaf pendants. I'm thinking strung simply on leather cord.  But, there is always the chance I will change my mind.  I'm still pondering them. Not sure if they look leafy or just plain weird.

Well, right about now my brain is mush.  Probably something to do with the cold I have, blech. Mush, or not, I need to do some ArtFire things (or at least attempt to), so off I go.