Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Copper . . .

. . . Swarovski crystals and coffee quartz.

Etched and domed copper, hand forged ear wires, rubies.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm working on . . .

. . . something new. I saw a leather cuff bracelet some time ago that I really liked and wondered whether I'd be able to make one. We are lucky to have a Tandy Leather shop nearby and I had been in there a couple of times just looking around and thinking "I could never do this." The store manager is a delightful woman named Carmen who knows absolutely everything about working with leather. She set me up with the supplies I'd need for the bracelet and showed me the techniques required.

As I was leaving, I noticed a leather Christmas stocking hanging in the window. Carmen said they'd be having a class the following Saturday morning to learn to make one, so I signed up on the spot. I decided since I had long ago lost the stocking I made for little Tommy, it was high time for him to have a new model. Here's how it turned out:

And here are my first attempts at making bracelets:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rust Belt Market !!!

What trip to Michigan could be complete without a visit to the Rust Belt Market? Located in the very charming town of Ferndale, the Rust Belt Market is a super venue for the local art talent. If you're ever in the area, you owe it to yourself to stop in!

Visit the lovely Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood and take home some treasures! I did!

Check out this comfy lounger made of black rubber thingys normally used for toilet tank repairs!

Handmade doll amulets!

Snag some record album bowls for your chips and pretzels!

Stroll around this sweet little town and have a delicious lunch -- so many places to choose from!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ubiquitous . . .

. . . is a word I first heard long ago in my first Microbiology class. Roughly translated, it means "found everywhere." The lovely Janet Hill, owner of Free to Bead in Peoria Heights, Illinois, taught me to make this bracelet. Which I now find is "ubiquitous." A quick survey of  Etsy.com shows versions of this style available for $3, $390 (yes, that's THREE HUNDRED and change) and the entire range of prices between.

Still, it's a cute style and very "zen" to make. A couple of hours of weaving leather, silk and beads produces a nice little accessory. To do my part in continuing the ubiquitous-ness, I've got my friend Taylor making these as well.

Doing a great job, isn't she?

Here's Taylor with her BFF, Emily. And my BFF, Peanut. To know just how precious this photo is, you would have to been witness to Emily's previous terror of my furry friend. Looks like we've cured that fear, eh?


Friday, July 8, 2011

Who hasn't been to an art show . . .

. . . and seen plenty of this? Booth after booth of pottery, jewelry, paintings, photography, turned wood, stained glass, and the list goes on.

It's nice to take a break from the talking, showing, selling. I like to get a feel for the locale that hosts the show, and one of my favorites is Plymouth, Michigan. It's such a delightful town and one that I never seem to want to leave.

Lucky us! Our booth is across the street from the Dairy King!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fascinated . . .

. . . I am . . . with alligators. This attraction began with our move to Tampa, FL, and the knowledge that I could come upon a gator at just about any time. Not as often as our Midwestern squirrels, mind you, but enough to keep me always scanning my surroundings. This little guy lived in the pond behind our house.

Did I mention I also have a fondness for eyes? I've used them in jewelry before, a fox eye, a bobcat eye. Living in the "heartland" as we do now, I wanted to keep the gator mystique alive. Here are my pieces/parts in progress:

And my finished pendant.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The fabulous Richard Salley!

Okay, so I said I was going to get back to blogging. That was six days ago. Unacceptable! Further unacceptable is not posting this earlier on. On June 5th I attended a class taught by the incomparable Richard Salley at Bead & Button in Milwaukee, WI. The class ran from 9 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and I was busy every minute, including through lunch.

Richard taught many fine techniques including wirework, working with Faux Bone, copper enameling with a torch, etching and soft soldering. Great class. Here's the piece I made. It's a bit edgy and not for everyone but I love it! Thank you, Richard!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Who has the time . . .

. . . to blog? I used to. Seems like facebook has ruined this for me. Not only don't I blog, but some of the other bloggers whose posts I enjoyed following have dropped out as well. Sad, because facebook is SO much less satisfying. A lame comment here, another one there, and I am certainly as guilty as anyone. Who cares that I'm doing laundry? Read my previous blog post and I'm sure you'll find it infinitely more interesting than anything I've ever posted on facebook.

Here's the part that really intrigues me: what the hell am I doing with my time? I don't have time to blog. I blame facebook. But what's really going on? As a jewelry artist wannabe, most of the blogs I've followed belong to, you guessed it, jewelry artists. Andrew Thornton, Jane Ann Wynn, Deryn Mentock, Melanie Brooks, Nina Bagley, to name a few. They're all on facebook and, consequently, none of them has time to blog anymore, right? WRONG. Not only do they create jewelry and/or components for sale, they teach. They travel. They have family obligations, pets to take care of. They sing, they dance, they eat, they sleep (probably not much). They post on facebook AND they BLOG! And they twitter! What am I doing wrong?

Here are links to the blogs of these fantastic artists. I hope you'll take a look. Maybe you'll be inspired to find time to do everything!

And did I mention that Deryn now teaches classes online? What a great value! She's a wonderful teacher and her online classes are both informative and fun. You don't have to travel, don't even have to get dressed. I'll be taking one soon and here's the link:

Meanwhile, if you find yourself with extra time on your hands, could you please send it to me?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I ain't afraid . . .

. . . of no snakes! We recently had the pleasure of participating in the Snake Alley Art Fair held in Burlington, Iowa during their annual Steamboat Days celebration. Snake Alley is an actual street in Burlington, once recognized by Ripley's Believe it or Not as the "Crookedest Street in the World."

This lovely, historic community is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and is another of my favorite places to visit. The architecture is stately and the gardens are lush. It seems there's a beautiful view around every corner.

The place with, in my opinion, the best view is Martini's Grille. Don't miss it!