Archive for the ‘jewelry’ Category

Adorn me – final day

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Windows Pendant with Jane Salley.  What a class.  Jane again made it all seem easy – we etched metal, aged metal, cut metal, sanded metal, drilled metal (or punched I should say), added ephemera  and mica for the window, added screws to hold it together – and there was our first pendant.  She gave us enough supplies to do two and I finished the second before lunch ended.  But what I really studied was her technique with the sari ribbons (I have two bundles myself).  THREAD – who knew – I kept tying multiple knots and hating the thickness of it.  I just don’t think outside of the box enough lately.  Anyway – here are some photos so I won’t forget this class!


The first two photos are my work from class.  The last two photos are examples Jane brought to class…


Adorn me! Day 3

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I took a full day class from Beverly  Ash Gilbert .  Her color sense is great.  She has written two books – I bought one – Beaded Colorways because I love her technique on beading on metal.   So cool.  Now the class I took was Cornucopia of Gems.  I really did pack for this class – stuck with one color pallet – cools with an emphasis on BLUE.  Beverly gave a great talk about color selection and has the BEST set of color dials I have EVER SEEN.   Her color sense shows in her jewelry.  The class example is in the middle, at the bottom.


After a couple decades of quilting I think I know about balance and color mixing so it was relatively easy to pull beads for the class and I pretty much used all the ones I brought.   But the talk was still great – a good review.  I need to get her color theory book.  She makes a point of DESCRIBING a color – such as yellow green rather than lime – so a student KNOWS where it is on the spectrum.

Now on mine we did pull out a few beads that had more purple.  There were only three of us in class so it was easier to get started, to get Beverly’s opinion on color choices and necklace shapes.  I ended up doing a princess neckline because a square neckline is the one I know I look best in.  The other two did different also – one a v and one a elongated U.  Our colors were across the spectrum also – Emily (local to Houston) brought most of her beads to the class – ended up doing a gradated necklace – yellow to orange, orange to red, red to brown tints to lime green and then reversed back brown-red-orange-yellow.  Very citrus which is her favorite color set.  And the third student did blacks and grays with a touch of crème – and a lot of it in pearls.  All were beautiful! 

I did end up getting some bead mixes – I will have to post those later, and some of her yarn – that is how I finished the necklace.  I seem to need lighter jewelry around my neck now a days and this yarn/ribbon thing is looking really good to me!


 my necklace and matching earrings



Adorn me! – day 2 (shopping, lol)

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Day 2 of conference I didn’t take a day class.  I have learned PACING is very important!  So I only took something in the evening.  But what I did do was map out an afternoon of shopping.  I come to Houston every year for the Quilt Festival in November.  DO I ever venture anywhere else to shop or see things?  NO!  Well this day was a lesson in learning to appreciate any city your travel to!

So lets talk shopping first.  I swung by Old Spring to the local bead store.  (They also came to vendor night at Adorn me!).   Picked up some wire and a couple strands of crystal AB.   Then got back on the Hardy Toll road and headed to Rice Village.  There was another bead store and an old fashioned 5 & 10.  Both were interesting.  The bead store had BOWLING BALLs for décor in the window.  When you think about it, its pretty much a BIG BEAD.  Cute.  What I loved about this store is they had mega containers of loose beads so a person could really just walk in and put together earrings or a necklace without ending up with a lot of left over beads.  I added pieces for the earring class (evening ) I had scheduled on Saturday with Emily.  The 5 & 10 – its just felt old fashioned.  Got some kitschy stuff and was very happy!

Next I headed to the Heights – got a bit lost on the way, but the whole trip was an adventure.  Went from mansions (on pretty small lots) to Victorians – what a treat.  The Victorians are part of the Heights.  Well worth the drive.  So ended up on 19th Street and visited several stores, including a craft store – focusing mainly on craft classes.  Cute.  I love that these are popping up all over the country.  My sister actually the next day ended up signing up for their beginning crochet class that weekend and was very happy. 

So then I visited antique store #1 – bought a few more pieces based on Diana’s class.  Then went into another antique store and a Mexican art gallery.  Both very nice also.  Finally ended up finding ANOTHER BEAD store.  Who knew?  It was probably my favorite of the three.  

After that I headed towards the Embassy Suites for my class that night – FUNKY RINGS with Jane Salley.  Great class.  Taught me a bit about Jane’s style of teaching – very laid back.  She is always checking her students and moving around the classroom but she lets you design the ring, just reinforces your virew.  That is actually a great teacher – it helps a student develop their own style rather than duplicate the teachers.  I wish I had photo’d this one ladies where she had made a ring with a square glass bead – it was just definitely a “FUNKY RING” like the class title.  Definitely an artist ring.  

Teacher’s examples



So here are my relatively simple bead rings – it taught me how I can make rings and attach pieces, it was a great class.  And we used the same screws and nuts in Jane’s class on Sunday so it was good practice.  Another project (2 actually ) finished!


my work

Enameling with the girls

Friday, September 11th, 2009

While we were all in Los Angeles I did basic enameling with the girls.  While using a torch is a bit scary they all did GREAT.  I need to take some photos of their pieces to show you.  But here are some pictures of the crew at work!

Laura just prepped a piece and is getting ready to torch I think.

Laura prepping a piece

Suzanne putting on the enamel powder (and in a newly acquired find from the Garment District):

Suzanne at work

And I think this is Emily holding her recently enameled frog?

Emily at work

Thank you it Art Unraveled 2008 and Richard for getting me hooked again.  All of them LOVED it I think.

And we did some basic earring making also.  Don’t they look like teenagers here humoring their aunt?  They are very good teenagers…


soldering class

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I signed up for Robyn’s class this weekend (Sunday) at Piecemakers.  Great class, great store, great teacher!  While I took Sally Jean last fall for soldering you would think I would have confidence but since I managed to burn my hand pretty bad in class (and not on the project or the soldering iron mind you!!!) – I haven’t really worked on soldering jewelry since then.

The best way to get myself going again is to sign up for a class!!!!  And this looked great.  I had high expectations and Robyn surpassed them.  For now here is a photo of the class at work soldeirng outside on a gorgeous day in Southern California…on February 1!

everyone soldering away

And some not great shots of Robyn’s work but glass is hard to photo because of reflections (at least that is my excuse).   Robyn does really great work with tiny bottles and she enhances them with buttons or such on top!  She explained how she built the box around the Charlotte on the left side also – I am going to try to make it more “fabric” oriented, although I do have some charlottes small enough to do that I think!  And notice those dice on the bottom!!!!

examples of Robyn’s workmore of Robyns work

Day 7 – Art Unraveled

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Last day of conference…last class…and the long drive home only to go back to work the next day. Sigh.

Enameling Copper with Richard Salley. Great class. So glad I bought those precut copper shapes from Lonnies earlier in the week!

Below are photos of Richard soldering, some samples of his work, a classmate’s sample and then two classmates working – enameling and shifting enamel.



Finally – a photo of my projects:


Can you see those frogs in the lower left corner?  I managed to get that shape, flowers and hearts.  Then I also did the pendant design Richard taught us.  He has great methods of holding metal without soldering, etc.  And they look great!

Day 6 – Art Unraveled

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Today was SHOPPING and Patina’d Metals sample.

First shopping – Carol got me thinking when she bought the piece from Susan. It would be nice to have some pieces from various teachers. So I went shopping with the intentions of getting a Jane piece and a Josie piece. I succeeded…

necklaces from Jane:


necklace from Josie and a few other NECESSARY supplies:


Josie’s able assistant (not Kay this time) pointed out the quality of Josie’s work. She was right – I bought this piece further down and on its own its fine but next to a Josie or Jane piece – not the same caliber.   Having been to her online store I think this is not of the caliber this seller normally makes – at least not by what I saw posted.  Anyway, here is this piece:


Then I stopped at a place that was selling acrylic flowers and leaves – bought some. Have to find that website so I can order more! No photo – forgot to snap it. Maybe later when I use them on CQ work.

And found a place where the lady was stamping on those resin pieces I have in my jewelry supply selection and haven’t done anything with- its an interesting idea. Anyway, I bought cords from her to hang my pieces from Jane from. (And don’t you love that hand? Its a vintage glove mold. I was lucky enough to get a left and right hand…they are beautiful.)

Finally shopped at the other local mecca store for altered artists – The Paper Studio – because as they said they brought the store! I would show the papers but they are rolled up. But I did get some great pendants from them also. I guess they just started making these.


At this point I thought it best to go rid myself of my shopping so I could get ready for class. Then I had a bit of time so I tried Hannah and Gray’s booth one more time and was able to get to it! Here are a few of the things I bought there – always an eclectic selection, lol.


Class – Patinaing Metal

WOW! In this class I learned how to paint a sky. Ok I learned a lot more but Jacqueline Sullivan opened my eyes to painting again. I remember my Sky Dyes fabric class with Mickey Lawler – I just could not get a sky for the life of me. Thus I am a lifelong customer of Mickey, lol. (I still would be even if I had been able to paint a sky.) But in this class – at the end Jacqueline had us paint a mat board to float our patina’d metals on and she challenged herself (and us) to pick colors OUTSIDE of our comfort area. My fav color that always works for me is green. Then the reds and oranges and yellows. So I went for blue and purples. Her advice to take the darkest and start at the outside (or was that how I interpreted it?) worked for me. Here is my canvas with metal:


Ok – back to the purpose of the class. Jacqueline explained weather, heat, etc impact how each metal turns out. Also how much of the liquid and other items were with the piece of metal. Oh and the different metals. I need to redo some of my class experiment because I used too much saran wrap to hold the liquid and metal together – not enough sun! But I got some results so I understand the process.

Jacqueline taught us another way to etch metal also. Oh boy – this metal etching is fun!

Day 5 – Art Unraveled

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Another class with Jane – Captured! Bezeled Found Objects.

It was another day of soldering but without copper tape. Again a teacher made it way easier than I thought. (Light bulb moment – this is why I take classes – they have already done the work, the trail and error, that would take me months of frustration to get thru (mainly because I stop for a while when frustrated!). Someone once asked why I take so many classes – this is one reason. If I learn one “trick” in a class its the cost of my time/money doing home alone trial and error!)

Back to the class – Jane demoing soldering!


Some of Jane’s bezels:

A sample (of my yet not finished) bezels for the day! A face made out of a washer, bezels to hold a shirt and pants (both are actually lampwork beads I have been hoarding – I want to make them moveable in the bezel), a tire (long story about last trip to LA – scary), my failed attempt for the pants bezel and the heart bezel.


A sample of my tube cuttings (both at home and at class)!


And a trip

to Harbor for said cutter and a few other supplies – thanks for the tips Carol! And I just LOVE new tools!


Day 4 – Art Unraveled

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Thursday was Altered Curiosities – the Lighted Shrine – with Jane Wynn. Have you seen Jane’s book? Its wonderful! And between the two classes I took from her we actually covered a lot of her techniques. Its great when teachers are so willing to share so many ideas. (Josie was the same way and has TWO great books out there! Plus she is proposing a book on soldered items for the home – I hope that one goes! Great idea)



What a fun class this was. Artists think of the strangest things/projects and it comes out so great. Here we took one of those great crystal type frames that we buy (ok I buy) and then never use because they are a little too much maybe? Anyway, we took those frames, added a shadow box behind it and then punched holes and wired with lights. The above photos are of one student gluing the wires down and of Jane assisting another student in gluing the wries down.

My project is not finished – thus came out easier to photo because not glass reflecting back at me (I do wonder where I put that glass!) This will be for my oldest niece’s high school photo…she is 18 this year! Scary!


Most important lesson learned from Jane: TRY IT! She says her students come up with ideas she never thought of and she says try it – she has learned they are determined and will make it work. I think there is a great lesson in that for me – just TRY IT!

Most important tool Jane showed us – at least to me…and the technique is in her book already. Tube cutters:


Trip to Harbor Frieght was required!!!

Resin Charms

I have had Sherri Haab’s book on this for a while and in a previous blog entry (last Feb) did the heart earrings. Well since I had problems I thought it would be good to take her class and see what my mistake was. (There were several – mostly the one I knew about – not stirring enough)


I learned how to add the color (but use the same manufacturer that was specified…see my lifesaver!). This is the quick drying resin. When they came out of the mold I was not impressed but days away from them and I like them. (Not love them but they are definitely useable!)

Sherri demo’d making a mold (the lifesaver!) We played with two of the three resins she had. (I learned a lot about resin types – hmm if I had READ the book I would have learned it there!) And to keep my fingers out of the molds. Another student (and Sherri ) have the same trick I figured out – freezing the mold sometimes helps with hard to remove pieces, but they did it for other reasons.


We (some of us) tried Susan’s new resin – I loved it! Here are my examples along with the two hearts from Sherri’s resin kit I had at home (the ones I did for Valentines day). The bezels were from Nina Designs – great bezels, thank you Nina and Sherri!

Other news/info

I won a t-shirt! Great shirt from Golden (love those products)

Also the founder of Art Glitter Institute was there demoing – she has this great technique with lace…here is the piece she did to demo it for me:


Art Unraveled – Day 2

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Two classes on this day!

First class Soldered Journal with Josie (and Kay) again.

Josie had designed a great cover for the soldered journal class but I wanted to make mine into a memory book of my art classes this year so after emailing Josie for dimensions (because it was an option for all of us to design a cover ourselves if desired) I made my front image the week before class.


I had decided a map – well 6 maps – of the areas I would (or have been) in for taking classes would be good! Its a fun year – ribbonwork with my favorite Aussie – Helen Eriksson, attending Art Unraveled, attending Art and Soul, attending the International Quilt Festival. The cover shows up with my class project!


Class itself – Josie and Kay made soldering easy. Kay was a stickler on getting that tape down (burnishing). At first I thought it was overkill. But since we broke for lunch and came back to start soldering – well I could instantly see places where the tape had not STUCK! And Josie has this neat trick of tapping the surface as she goes – makes for a cleaner look. I, of course, forgot that for part of it and boy did it make a big difference!

Did I mention we patina’d? Fun and a great way for beginners like me to blend in less than perfect soldering. Thank you Josie!

Evening Class – Buckled Memories

The class description missed a few key things – mainly we were transferring the photo to LEATHER! That might have brought in a few more students. Dorothy was a great teacher – it was an evening of challenges for her for sure and she handled it like a pro.

The whole project was an interesting concept. I had thought they were just frames and so had planned on grouping three together (I still have to finish this project) into a shadow box. Everyone else were making pendants to hang on a chain. So Dorothy taught us Richard Salley’s staple method and her original method of wiring the buckles to hang on a chain also! I learned a lot that night. One thing I learned (and Dorothy did also, lol) is that the tongue of the belt buckle comes in various thicknesses and I had the thickest Dorothy had ever seen (you see you have to cut that part off!). That took me quite a while to cut off. So here is my photo – this is not a done transfer though because I had the wrong type of paper. I will post later when I have it done:


My roomie had Susan’s class on resin that day and produced this:


The first piece is actually a ring made with the resined papers – really nice! The second piece is actually Susan’s work.