Monday, March 31, 2014

AJE Component of the Month with Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads

It's hard to believe March is already over when it seems like it just began - it's time for the Component of the Month challenge again!  This month, Caroline of Blueberri Beads provided our inspiration.  Here's what I received - a very cool luna moth pendant!  You can't see in this photo, but the bronze overlay is very shiny.

 I was having a hard time deciding what I had to match the pendant when I remembered these beads from my inventory for Bead Fest - they'd go great with Caroline's moth!
 Here they are together, just waiting to be made into something wonderful!
This necklace consisted of a lot of wire wrapping - which I seem to be into lately.  I used bronze seed beads with both my lampwork and the african metal beads I had on hand.  I used bronze wire, that I slightly heat patinaed.
 I had a sweet little bronze clasp I had ordered a while ago, to go with seed beading projects, but it went perfectly with this project!

 Here's the finished necklace!  I like it - I wore it out already on Saturday night, with a green sweater, to a mixology class I gave Jason as a gift for Valentine's Day!

 Please visit everyone who participated this month!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Echo Creative Club with Jeannie Dukic

Last year, I was chosen to be part of the Echo Creative Club by Jeannie Dukic!  She sends us beads, we send her beads, and we each make something!  I chose beads from her faux stoneware collection, and of course neglected to take a photo of them when I got them!  Here's an example of a similar color to mine!  Mine are turquoise with copper accents.

 I was going to make a bracelet with them, but I really liked them and wanted a pair of earrings for myself to wear.  So, I decided to make three different styles of earrings!

This first uses a pair of leaf connectors from Kristi Bowman and indonesian glass seed beads.

 This second pair uses a pair of copper matchsticks that I made - annealed, pounded, textured, pickled, antiqued and sealed!  Lots of steps but I love the look! 

 And finally, my favorite pair; beaded beads that I made myself that go together perfectly with Jeannie's beads! 
I hope you enjoyed what I made with Jeannie's beads, and please go visit her blog to see what she made with mine!

Friday, March 21, 2014

PMC Class with Donna Penoyer

I posted this over on the Art Jewelry Elements blog on Monday - thought you might like to see it if you haven't visited AJE!

This past weekend, I took a PMC (Precious Metal Clay) class with Donna Penoyer.  It was at the Society for Contemporary Craft here in Pittsburgh, and the class title was Imaginary Sea Creatures in PMC.  I has asked if a newbie could take the class, and was told yes, but it really wasn't a newbie class!  However, I plugged along and thought I'd show you what we did.

 First we started out with an exercise making a PMC tentacle.  We made a form using epoxy putty, and then made a mold with polymer clay.

 We decorated the polymer after pressing the form, and baked it.  Using the PMC, and the putty form, we pressed the clay into the mold.

 This is my rough tentacle, after drying but before sanding.  You can really see how rough it it - I had no idea you had to sand PMC so much. 
 Here's my finished, sanded tentacle.  If I made another one, I think I would use a toothbrush or something to give the areas in between the suckers a brushed metal look. We didn't fire it in the shop, Donna is taking them to her studio to fire and we can pick them up later.  I'll be sure to show you how it turned out.  I'm hopeful!
After that exercise, we got into the class topic...making sea-like imaginary creatures.  She brought a lot of shells, urchins, texture sheets, etc. for us to use.  Here's where being a newbie was somewhat of a challenge - since I had no experience with this at all, I had truly no idea what I was doing.  Donna was very helpful, but probably I should have taken PMC 101 first.  I did do some sketching of things I thought I would make, and here's how it ended up.


 I took molds of three different types of shells, with the idea of using parts of each.
 We made armitures (structures to drape the clay on while drying) and then pressed our clay in the molds and created the piece.


 Here is my rough sea creature.  It did not turn out the way I drew it, but since it was my first time making anything, I didn't really care.  I was taking the class for the experience.
 Here's my sea creature after standing and adding a hole for the jump ring.  This one is a little bit rougher than the other one on the surface, as I'm leaving the texture from the shells.  I wonder how it will look when it's all shiny and silver?

There were more steps than I mentioned of course, but I can't give Donna's class away, now can I?  I did conclude that for right now, PMC is not really for me.  The expense of the clay, and the amount of time required sanding, makes it seem almost impossible to get into.  Perhaps as you get more experienced, the sanding time goes down, and I am sure copper clay has to be less expensive, but for now, I'll just admire things other people make with PMC.
Here's an example of Donna's art, which you can see on her web site.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bead Soup 2014

This year, my partner is Rochelle Brisson for Bead Soup 2014.  You can find her blog here - A Creative Chelle.  You can also find her etsy shop here - Sea Chelles Design.  Here's what Rochelle sent to me!

 I'm pretty sure I have some ideas in my head about what I'm going to make - but you'll have to wait until May 3 for the big reveal to see what!  This is what I sent to her.

 Please stay tuned! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Berks Bead Bazaar!

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I took a little overnight break and went to the Berks Bead Bazaar in Reading, PA.  My friends Diana Ptaszynski, Staci Smith and Jenny Davies-Reazor were vending there so I really wanted to go and check it out!  We drove up Saturday, got there about 1:30, stayed at the bead show until it closed at 5, and had a fun dinner at Tokyo Hibachi.  The next morning we decided to leave about 11 because of the monster snowstorm predicted (and btw, we got about 2 inches of snow at home...).

Of course, while I was there, I had to buy some beads!  Here are some photos!

Diana Ptaszynski and her husband Colin, and the beads I got from her - notice the cab!  Can't wait to get started using these!
 Jenny Davies-Reazor and the beads I picked up from her - 2 cabs - hmmm, is there a pattern here?
 Staci Smith and the great polymer clay beads I purchased from her!  She was there with her daughter Julia, who was also selling her beads!
 An amazing lampwork bird from Patty Cahill - this will probably end up in the permanent gazing collection!
 Some seeds from Twisted Sistah.  There were many many more, but it was literally at 5pm when I was buying these...
 Gorgeous stone cabs!
 This cab is called a doublet - it is a transparent agate on top of turquoise, so the blue shows through!
 Finally, some porcelain from Joan Miller. She put on a great show, from what I can tell everyone had a blast!  Too bad about the weather on Sunday.
Hope you enjoyed my parade of beads and aren't too jealous!

Monday, March 3, 2014

AJE Component of the Month - Melissa Meman

It's already time for another Component of the Month and this month, it was Melissa Meman's turn!  She sent us all copper enameled hearts, with various hole configurations.  This is the heart she sent me:

 I made a little wire-wrapped bail of antiqued copper wire (20 gauge) and a little dangle with a rose colored copper balled end headpin that I made - to get the rose color, you dip the headpin in water quickly after you ball it in your torch!
 I wanted to pull the colors in the frit (glass bits) on the heart so I searched my stash and found these wonderful faceted beads in the perfect colors!  I wire wrapped them all with copper wire I antiqued in liver of sulpher, and added small antiqued copper daisy beads as well.
 I needed a little green accent as well, and was happy I had these little rondelles. 
 The clasp was one I purchased at the same time I purchased the one for Rebekah's CoM!  Glad I got an extra one - didn't have enough time to think about fashioning one myself! 
I hope you like what I made!  Please visit the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see what everyone else made with their hearts!  And thanks Melissa!