Monday, January 31, 2011

Victorian Fans and Embellishments

I think I finally have it figured out. The Victorian fans I'm making for a ladies luncheon are now coming together. I have the first one completed and even made a couple of paddle fans (much smaller of course). I made one just using scrapbook card stock and it was too flimsy so I've been saving cardboard cereal boxes and cutting them up to use as the base for the fan paddles. They worked out great. A little bit more work with having to glue the paper to the front and the back of the cardboard but they will hold up much better. Next was the pictures and the embellishments. I found some paper dollies to use under the pictures and it looks much more Victorian and lacy. Some paper punches in the shape of flowers and scalloped circles and ovals round it out. If you would like the template for the folding fan you can get it at Mirkwood Designs.

The paddle fans are quick and easy and usable. Good for all us ladies that get a little hot every once in a while. You know who you are.

If you notice on the front of the fold out fan the yellow flower. Well that is tissue paper with a pearl and button center. Thanks to Janea my bead soup partner for that idea. As she sent me one on my gift box.  Check out her blog to see the goodies I sent her.  So now I'm going to make several to use as embellishments on the pages of the Hampton Fat book I'm working on.

Here is a couple of pictures of the tissue flower embellishment. To make them you will need a scalloped edge paper punch. It could be a heart, circle oval or whatever shape you want. I opened up a bag of colored tissue paper and folded it flat and punched through the entire stack twice to get the desired thickness of tissue. Then I punched card stock, hole punched in the middle of all of them, threaded a small 4mm glass pearl and button with some small gauge wire and inserted it through the hole in the papers. Then I folded the wires back and added a touch of glue to the bottom right in the middle to secure. Let dry. Finally, I scooched up the tissue. I'll trim the wires before using them on my pages but I love the look of them.

So much fun. Now to finish crocheting a beanie hat for my brother.

Have a great week and if you are into making scrapbooks or mixed media, give the tissue flowers a try.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Surprises Abound

Woo Hoo, I received my Bead Soup in the mail from Janea and what a treasure. Pink, blue, brown, some found and beautiful. Now to mull on what to do with all of it...humm. This is going to be fun. Here is a peak at what I received.

Isn't that fun? I love getting mail....okay most mail.

Along with drooling over all these wonderful beads to make into a treasure I started playing around today with the embellishments for my Hampton Fat Book pages. It started out as  wire/button flowers and then just bloomed from there.

This could possibly be one of the new tree designs for my second book. What do you think? I think the flowers could be done in a variety of wire colors such as pink (my favorite) with either gold or silver wire for the tree sculpture. Button collectors may also like this as it would really show off a collection. (Lisa you out there...ha ha). Now to come up with a name.

Happy Days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

On a Roll

Well once I figured out what my Celtic Green/Copper art charms would be I just sat down and made them all. Yep, no worrying about them or fussing over them, just got them done. Now I have a sense of accomplishment. Here is a picture of the little shamrocks, some wrapped with copper and there is another piece to them that I'm not going to share at this point as it will be a surprise to the art charmers participating in this swap.

I have a ton of my wine glass cozies finished and quite a few started for the Spring Barrel Tasting. This year we will be going to the Walla Walla area vs. Yakima and it doesn't start until the first weekend of May so I have lots of time.

Next on my list is to finish up a couple of tree special orders and a necklace for a friend of mine, start on the Hampton Fat book pages, make some Victorian folding fans for a ladies luncheon, make one more altered Altoids tin and figure out what to do for my Found Object/Steam punk charm swap. I'm not sure how I get into these messes but you got to love it.
This is one of the necklaces that I finished for a friend. Emeralds, sterling silver chain, oxidized silver chain, black enamel chain, vintage enamel piece, some brass chain and grosgrain ribbon woven through stainless steel chain at the back. Definitely a statement piece but it look gorgeous on.

We have a gem and mineral club meeting tonight and I'll be teaching my wire wrapped beach glass. If you want to find out more about these or see the picture tutorial click HERE. They are fast and easy to make with just some copper core wire.

Have a great Friday evening and weekend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Items for Sale

I finally posted some new jewelry to my ArtFire shop. Felt good to get some new items out there vs. just looking at them in my studio. They certainly weren't going to sell there. Here are just a few of the necklaces. Bracelets get photographed and posted tomorrow.

In my last post I mentioned that I started working on altering altoid tins for an upcoming swap. It is proving to be so much fun.

The rules where to decorate the outside and add goodies to the inside. I created a couple of matchbook notepads for one tin and the other one holds a mini scrapbook with embellishments. I still have one more to do and I think I want to try something different. Maybe a mini sewing kit or I could fill it with beaded treasures. Anybody have any ideas?

My desk has been such a mess with paper from the paper charm swap and now paint and paper for the altered tins that I just had to clean it off this afternoon and do something different. Out came the sewing machine and material and luckily I already had some pieces cut out for wine glass cozies. And now I can hear you asking what is a wine glass cozy and why would you need one. Well each year my family meets up in Eastern Washington and does the Spring Barrel tasting. If you have never been to an event such as this you might not be able to imagine a ton of people drinking wine and walking between the different wineries. Lots of buses, limos and large vans carting people all around and wine flowing liberally, so you have to keep track of your glass.

As you can see you can wear it around you neck never to get lost in the crowd again. 

Last year I made about 12 or 13 extra and sold all of them so this year I plan to make 20 extra and hopefully sell all of them again. In fact, I need to check the dates of the event and get it on our calendar.

Have a great week.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Finally a Sunny Day

Yes, yesterday was just beautiful and since it was so nice we set out on a day trip to the ocean. We stopped at the Westport Winery before hitting the beach and tasted a few wines. They were very yummy. If you haven't been to the winery before then it is worth a trip if you are in the area.

This weekend was record high tide and you could sure tell as we drove up beach road and we could see the waves. The beach in the picture is at Grayland and is usually very quiet and close to our property where we park the motor home when camping. We ate lunch at Bennett's in Grayland which is one of our favorites. They have great chowder. Actually, I don't think we have ever had anything bad there. If you want to check out some reviews here is a link. Then finally on our way home we stopped at Brady's and got some oysters. I think we will be cooking those up tomorrow for dinner. Humm, I wonder if I could get away with a little midnight oyster snack.

My paper charms that I have been struggling with will finally get in the mail tomorrow and I started working on a different swap of altered altoid tins. I finished a small one as a gift and am now working on the 3 larger ones. One thing about altering a tin, if you are going to paint it be sure to sand it first then use gesso as the first layer as a primer. I painted mine then glued some scrapbook cardstock to the front, bottom and sides of one. Here is what they looked like with the gesso. One tin will hold some of my matchbook note pads and some colored pencils. I'll post photos when I'm finished.

I did receive an altered tin early in the mail this week. It is a cute mermaid treasure box with all kinds of things a mermaid would collect.

It's always nice to get a surprise in the mail besides the normal bills. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Beach Glass

Is this a lot of beach glass or what? I had some that I had been playing around with and wire wrapping but a friend of mine is an avid collector and was downsizing so guess who got her goodies. Yes, ME, ME, ME. Now what to do with all of it. I've separated out quite a few of the smaller 1" green pieces for my Copper/Green Celtic art charm swap. I'll be wire wrapping them. If you are interested in a picture tutorial, I have one posted HERE. I do plan to take some to a mini hands on night for the gem and mineral club I belong to. I think that everyone would enjoy making their own little wrapped piece of glass to take home for the evening.

Finally, I have my paper charms finished. They aren't all put together yet but are drying and will be soon. So glad to get that over.  I have a mixture of wrapped beads, folded paper stars and folded fans. This swap definitely pushed my patience. If I hadn't been in a swap I would have given up and not finished so this is probably good. I now have a sense of accomplishment and know that this is not my strong point.

And now for a cute dog picture. This is Leo the Shih Tzu sleeping at my feet in my craft room yesterday. Today he seems to want to be held and not sleep on the bed so I'm have a hard time concentrating on getting things done as I have a huffy dog at my feet pawing at me.
Have a great day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In a Sea of Nothingness

Do you ever feel like you are just drifting in and out of life with no real direction? I've felt that way for the past couple of weeks. I have so much to do and don't know where to start first. Even now as I try to write this my mind is just blank. I know what I want to say but getting it out is becoming difficult.

If I haven't put more pressure on myself I joined a art charm swap that has an Asian paper theme. I still have to finish those up and get them mailed by the end of the month. I decided on folded paper fans but to make them 1" is difficult for me. I'm much more comfortable making charms using wire and beads but I am trying to challenge myself but feel as if I'm losing myself in the process. I think next time before I join a swap, I'll try to make a few charms in the theme to see how it goes first.

For those of you that have been following me for awhile, I joined another Bead Soup swap hosted by Lori Anderson and have my assigned partner. I haven't participated in a bead soup in several months and I'm really looking forward to it. The goal is to put together a grouping of beads, focal bead, clasp and any other items you think might look good and send it to your partner. They will then make a necklace or bracelet and post pictures on their blog. I had a lot of fun last year making my necklace out of beads that Cathryn of Chile Cats sent me. You can check out Lori's blog Pretty Things to keep up to date on all the activities.

Here is a picture of what my bead soup from Cathryn looked like and the finished product.

I have been trying to teach at least one or two classes each month and this month the Gem and Mineral club that I belong to hosted a Hands On class yesterday. I taught my Tree of Hope and Life and had 3 students and one 5 year old who wanted to make a tree and actually did make one. He was so proud of that tree. Here are a few pictures. They all did a wonderful job.

If you are interested in taking a gem tree class I have two scheduled at Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, WA. One on February 5th and the other March 6th.

I'm sure I'll get my s&*% together this week and have lots more fun, creativity and cute doggie photos to share. Have a good one.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Precious Curves

Every once in a while I do a post for another artist or company but I do have to love their product to support them and this is one of those companies. They produce women's gowns. These are wonderful gowns for women sizes small to 4X so a wide range of sizes. I happened to go to a party at the owners home yesterday and had the opportunity to pick up a couple of these gowns...oh my gosh. They are so comfortable and look so elegant. The designs were based off gowns from the 40's made by Olga. I won't tell you what my husband said but needless to say he liked them also. I got the waltz length Princess gown and the full length Hestia. I think next time I'll have to get the Aphrodite gown.


You don't get a good representation of the gowns from these small pictures but believe me they are very attractive and comfortable so visit their website Precious Curves and check them out for yourself.

For those of you wondering, yes I have signed up for the Bead Soup that is sponsored by Lori Andersen. If you want to sign up check out the info on her blog HERE.

I'm still working on customer orders and in between making paper beads for the Asian Paper Art Charm swap. They will be the death of me yet but I will prevail.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Paper Charms

Yes, I am a dope. I signed up for another art charm swap and this one has an Asian Paper theme. I have never made paper beads or charms before and you can tell by the few I've tried to make so far. So, I've tried origami butterflies, folded fans, rolled beads and puffy stars. I can't seem to fold small enough origami butterflies to use them as a charm so I'll have to stick with the fans, beads and stars. I see lots more practice in my future.

Other than my playing a bit today with paper I've been trying to finish up some client special orders. So far, two completed with a couple more to go. The first picture is of a long fused fine silver chain and the other is another long necklace with fused fine silver links, carnelian agate, coral and pearls. Both turned out great and I can't wait until my clients see them.

When I get all those paper charms finished I'll post another picture.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Resolutions for 2011

Well after much thought I decided that it was probably a good thing to share my resolutions....maybe to keep me a little bit honest with not only myself but family and friends. My dear hubby thinks these are more tasks but I don't care as long as they get done. Some are business and some are personal but they all are important.

  • Lose 20 lbs (I didn't have this one last year and probably should have)
  • Exercise 3 times per week
  • Make all my holiday gifts for family by June 30th (I was really scrambling in December to get everything made)
  • Menu plan meals once a week
  • Take all tutorials that I've published and make into an E-book to offer on ArtFire
  • Get Gem Tree Sculptures book 2 completed and to an Editor for review (yes, this one is familiar)
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Consolidate all my online selling activities on one selling site. (It really was too confusing keeping up with 3 sites this past year)
  • Try to not go over my $50 a month hobby that is going to happen. (this does not include business expenses)
  • Continue to have fun in life, love family and friends and be joyful everyday

Have you made your resolutions?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Resolutions, how did you do for 2010?

Well I made resolutions last year and now is the time to review those and make some new ones. So here are the ones from 2010 and how I did.

1.   Promote, promote, promote via Twitter, Facebook, Blog and anything else I find at least once each day on one of them. I should be able to do this, I'm on them daily anyway.
2.   Land at least 2 more gem club shows for demonstrating and teaching gem trees.
3.   Land 2 additional workshop venues for gem trees or jewelry design.
4.   Have the 2nd book completed and to an editor for review. I guess I better start writing.
5.   Keep my craft room clean & organized (okay maybe clean craft room once a week).
6.   Update my website.
7.   Add one new item to my Etsy, Artfire or 1000 Markets site weekly.
8.   Develop 12 tutorials that will either be for sale or free on my blog. That's only 1 per month.
9.   Learn to use Photoshop Elements 7. Yes, I have the program, but haven't figured out how to use it yet.
10. Learn one new jewelry technique.

Okay, #1 - pretty much did this one except for a few days when we were on vacation or didn't have access to the Internet.
#2 - Didn't get two more shows..I'll have to try harder this year.
#3 - Landed 2 new workshop venues one was the Puget Sound Bead Festival and the other was Shipwreck Beads.
#4 - 2nd book is not completed and I still have a ways to go but I did create 2 new tree designs for it.
#5 - I don't know, can a craft room ever be clean enough. 
#6 - Web site was updated but now I need to do it again.
#7 - Seriously failed on this one. I did go in spurts and list lots at one time.
#8 - Yea this one is done and all were listed for free here on this blog. Now to put them all together and list them as an e-book.
#9 - Still haven't learned to use Photoshop.
#10 - I'm not sure whether silversmithing counts but I did take a class and learned to make a wire bezel for a cabachon.

So, how did you do in your last years resolutions? Are you going to make some for this year?

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post where I will share my resolutions for 2011.


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