Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sally Russick's Ornament Swap

Every year for 3 years now, Sally Russick has hosted an ornament swap.  I have participated each year and it's always so thrilling to get a work of art from someone else to put on your tree.  This year was no exception.  In fact, I received TWO works of art from Patti Vanderbloemen.  I had the pleasure of finally meeting Patti in person at ArtBLISS this year, and she's as wonderful in person as she is on-line!

 This first ornament features Patti's wirework, meant to look like an actual round ornament, and I'd say she did an amazing job!  She used a focal from Donna Millard, who makes the most wonderful lampwork beads!
 If I wasn't lucky enough, she made me another ornament using a set of clay beads from Gaea.  She made this one to fill that "empty" part of the tree you always see after you're done decorating!

I did want to specifically show you her wirework in these ornaments because it's amazing.  Her work always looks so rich and perfect to me in photos, and believe me, in person it is too!


 

And again, as if I wasn't lucky enough to receive two ornaments, she also sent me a gift of a pair of earrings she made, again, with exquisite wirework.  I received Patti's package on a day that I felt pretty down and I can tell you, after I stopped crying, I felt the holiday joy!  She is such a generous, genuine, and sweet person, you really have to go to her store to give her some love!

Here's a list of all the swap partners, I hope you go and take a look at all of their ornaments as well!

List of Holiday Ornament Swappers

Sally Russick and Beth and Evie McCord
Erin Prais-Hintz and Melissa Trudinger
Karen Williams and Shirley Moore
Lori Finney and Alicia Marinache
D Lynne Bowland and Paula Kramer
Kim Bender Hora and Jenny Davies Reazor
Becky Pancake and Lori Anderson
Veralynne Malone and Therese Frank
Tanya Goodwin and Sandi Volpe
Jeanette Ryan and Rochelle Brisson
Patti Vanderbloemen and Susan Kennedy

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ABS Ornament Blog Hop!

Heather Powers of the Art Bead Scene hosts an Ornament Blog Hop every year!  I try to participate, and though it's last minute (story I'll tell you about another day) here I am! 

I made an owl based on a tutorial from Heather at Humblebeads.  I have dabbled in polymer and taken two classes with Christine Damm (who is the most generous person and enthusiastic teacher) but never made a 3-D item (aside from a heart that I really liked that sold!).  So it was time!

I made the polymer owl and painted it.  I tried to crackle it, and wasn't thrilled, so I baked it again to heat set the paint.  Big mistake.  Or so I thought.  After I took it out of the oven, it was gummy.  But I let it sit for a while, and it got less gummy.  So when it was not gummy anymore, I sealed it with Renaissance Wax.  And then it got gummy again.  But just for a little bit.  And now it's not.  I don't know if it will last, but at least I finished it, right?  I used three felted beads I bought from someone who packages them in cute little glass test tube vials, but can't remember who!  And finally finished it with a handmade, copper wire ornament hanger.  I may embellish it, I think it need some blue beads!

So there you have my ornament for this year.  I think I really like it.  I'm trying to make another owl and I burned it.  Ugh.  I'll try again tomorrow, it's already 1:30 and I have too many irons in the fire right now!

Here's a recipe for Cinnamon Ornaments - the one you see below is ours!  You may have made these with your children when they were young - I think they are so cute!  You can replace some of the cinnamon with other spices, too, like nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc.

Cinnamon Ornament

3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (4.1 ounces) McCormick Ground Cinnamon

Mix applesauce with cinnamon in a small bowl to form a stiff dough.  Using about 1/4 of the dough, roll a ball to 1/4 inch thickness between 2 sheet of plastic wrap.  Peel off top sheet, and use cookie cutter to cut dough.  Make a hole in the top of the ornament with a drinking straw.  Place ornaments on a baking sheet and bake for 2 1/2 hours at 200 degrees; place on a rack to cool.  OR carefully lay ornaments on a flat rack to dry at room temp. for 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.  Insert ribbon through holes to hang.  This recipe from McCormick.  




Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Sale!


AJE Component of the Month - Kristen Stevens

It's that time again, hard to believe, it's Component of the Month over at Art Jewelry Elements.  This month, the sweet Kristen Stevens provided beaded beads to everyone to make something gorgeous with.  Here's what I made!

This first pair was made with my own lampwork beads in a constrasting color to the pretty cinnamon colored beaded beads Kristen made.  The ear wires are hand-forged niobium since I'm allergic to just about everything anymore!  Sorry the photos aren't the best, they were taken under artificial light since there's no real light here in Pittsburgh until May...


For this second pair, I made bead caps!  I used some copper sheet that I had fold-formed and patinaed in the flame, then punched and dapped, sanded, and punched holes in (lots of steps!) along with some copper heishe and titanium hematite I picked up at Bead Fest.  It's hard for you to see the pretty colors and texture on the bead caps, but they do look nice!  The ear wires are sterling.  
Please hop on over to Art Jewelry Elements to see what everyone else made with Kristen's beaded beads!