Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Afternoon

This was a busy week for me.  I work part time as an accountant... I know creative and accountant don't seem to go together.  We got two new family members Bella and Bashful.  I taught my fiirst polymer clay class. ...and I spent my Friday afternoon with my new group of beading friends. I need to come up with a name for our group if anyone has any ideas.  So the new family members are two puppies.  They are adorable but I am running out of papertowels and patience... whew!  I forgot how much time it takes.  Thankfully my daughter Tiffany still lives at home.  She has been a big help with the new babies.  And they are sooo cute and sweet.

This is Bella, Bashful Tiffany and Baby.  Baby is 12 years old and not too happy about her new sisters.  She is getting used to them.  They are Havanese puppies and very sweet and peaceful.

My first polymer clay class went well.  I had four students.  The class lasted about one hour and forty five minutes.  I planned on two hours.  Everyone went home with a finished pendant.  I will do some things differently the next time.  I did not do an overview of the process before we started so I think some got ahead of me a bit.  I would have liked to work with each one individually more than I did.  I am not sure if three students would have made that difference or if I should have asked them to wait between each step.  I am going to follow up with them with some specific questions.  They all seemed pleased with their pendants ...and they had some techiniques that they are interested in trying in future classes.

So my Friday afternoon with my new friends was spent in Milford, Delaware. First we spent some time at the Mispillion Art League.  Wow! They have two galleries, a huge classroom and studio spaces for artists to rent.  Accross the street from the Art Gallery is the Riverfront Theatre.  Downtown Milford is very pretty and interesting.  I wish I lived closer!  We had a lovely lunch at the Georgia House restaurant to finish our afternoon together.  It is so much fun to have friends that share your passions!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party Bead Reveal

I am in awe of the whole concept of the Bead Soup Blog Party.  I have received my beads to work with and feel so blessed.  I have the best partner!  Jacinta Meyers from Jamberrrysong's Creations sent me a whole lotta cool stuff!

The best part of this stash is that it is very different from anything I have used so far...I have always loved looking at the vintage steampunk stuff... and now I get to play with some!  I love keys and lockets...

and stones of pretty colors! 

Thank you so much Jacinta!  I love them and have been thinking and thinking about where to start!  I have also been enjoying the sweet little treats of....

chocolate... chocolate... chocolate... yum!  You are the best "jams"!  Check out her blog  Jamberrysong... and her Etsy shop Jamberrysong... she has lots of really awesome jewelry for sale and has cool give aways and tutorials on her blog!

Thanks to Lori Anderson too for all of your hard work in putting this together!  I have enjoyed looking at other BSBP blogs and commenting back and forth with them.  The Blog Party when we show our finished work will be Saturday, February 26th!  Can't wait to share what I do and see what everyone else does!  This is so much fun!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Teaching My First Class

Soooo on Thursday afternoon I am teaching a beginner's class with polymer clay. Only my second class at teaching anything. My students are teachers (of all people)....  What did I get myself into?!?!  I am excited about it and they know I will be asking for feedback.  I was happy to read Lori Anderson's Pretty Things blog about How To Teach a Jewelry Making Class.  It was good timing for me.  I really think the most important thing is to be "real" and be as prepared as I can be.

Here are the projects that I have prepared for them.  They can choose one clay color and two stamping designs.  They will also use Pearlex powders to add some glow to their focal bead.

This bead is made from Ecru Premo clay.



The second bead is made from Turquoise Premo clay.



The third bead is made from Fuchsia Premo clay.


The fourth focal bead is made from Moss Green Sculpey III clay.



So what do you think?  Do I have too many choices?  We will see if my students have a hard time deciding which color and textures to choose.  Most importantly I hope to make some new friends and have some fun.  I also want to have some friends interested in the same hobby so I have a "method to my madness".  It is fun to share and fun to see what others can create!

On that note... I have received my beads from my Bead Soup Partner Jacinta Meyers at jamberrysong's creations.  She sent me a beautiful package of goodies... I am so excited to show them to you and get started.  I wanted to get ready for this class first.  I will post my surprise beads soon!  I keep thinking about what to do with them.  She also sent me some chocolate to go along with the beads... it is disappearing as I think about what to do with the beads... soul food!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have been invited to spend time with a group of women who get together every Friday.  The purpose is to spend time working on beading projects or other craft projects.

This friend is the only one who actually accomplished much today. It is really a time of sisterhood for us... women really need to spend time together... we were created that way.  There is no doubt in my mind.  We eat, talk and share about our lives and in just two weeks have formed a bond.  It is a need that cannot be filled any other way.  Treasure your sisters and women friends.  It is good for the soul!

We had a wonderful lunch of a chicken soup with gnocchi and kale and veggies and a grilled ham, cheese and tomatoe sandwich.. yum!  The soup matched the charger plate that it was served on... it made for a pretty picture.

It also is good for the soul to know that I am not the only one who does crazy things.  Our hostess this week was serving lunch when her husband came into the kitchen.  He opened the refrigerator and pulled out a spray bottle of windex and said what is this doing in the refrigerator?  After much laughter I felt a peace in my soul.  I may not have put windex in the fridge but I have done some pretty silly things and wondered if I am going batty... I think life is so busy these days that we are rarely right where we are... we are thinking about too much and not in the moment.  It is a reminder to slow down and savor the moment.  The next moment will be here and gone before we know it.

So slow down and really appreciate your family, your friends and your home.  And find yourself some girlfriends to hang out with.  We need each other!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to Clay

I finally had some time to work in my studio with polymer clay.  I enjoy doing detail work and I did some muse following... just worked with some colors to make striped beads to start with.  I like these.  They look so crsip to me. You can find instructions in Donna Kato's book "The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques".

You make a long snake and twist the clay to make the diagonal stripe.  After you cut equal sized beads you always have some left over clay.  This is where I follow my muse.  I made a curlyl bead from one end of the snake.  I will use this bead in a scarf or fibula pin.

Ahh but there is some clay left that still has visible stripes.  I rolled some smaller beads from that clay.

First one side...

Then the other side...

The colors really blend together and you can't see any of the black at all. 

There are still some pieces of clay left that will turn into something pretty or be used as scrap clay.  I made a swirl bead out of the colors first then ran it through the pasta machine.  It wasn't too exciting so I added some pearlex powder to it to add some sparkle.  I also added some gold leaf.  It still needed something so I started doing a zentangle kind of drawing in the clay.  It is relaxing to do and kind of like doodling.  I did a bird with a big fancy tail.  I also added a back piece which framed the bird.

After I baked it I used some antique paint to bring out the details of the carving.  This is the focal bead that I ended up creating by following my muse!

Looks quite different from the striped bead but it was from the same mixture of clay.  That is what I love about polymer clay!  The possibilites are endless.  If you mix the colors to the point of  a muddy mess you can always use it as scrap clay...

Looking forward to the Bead Soup Blog Party!  Coming up soon!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finished Just in Time!

Today I finished "A Painting".  I made a few last minuted changes and would do so forever if I didn't get it under glass!  My son helped me cut the mats and get it framed.  It all takes time and requires lots of calculating and being careful.  Doing the math for the mats is a challenge!  We finished it and he was on his way.  After a few tears I got back to getting my house in order.  I have not done much else but work and paint because he wanted to take it back to school with him.  I hope his sponsor likes it.  It was done with lots of love and appreciation.  A sponsor is someone who opens their home to the Midshipman at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.  They really play a big part in helping the kids have some sanity.  We really appreciate all that they have done for our Mid. 

So here is the final picture framed and ready to go.

Now that it is done and the kids are all back to work and school I can think about working with polymer again!  I am participating in a Bead Soup Blog Party.  I will be getting a package of beads from someone else and I will be sending a package of beads to someone else from my stash of beads.  We will make something from the beads and share what we make on our blogs!  It will be fun.   Check out the details here!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Almost Finished

I have been painting as much as possible the past few days.  I think I am finished with it.  I will look at it again in the morning and touch it up if I think I need to.  I will need to cut the mats and frame it tomorrow.  My son will leave for school around noon so I will need to get busy early.  Here is the finished (I think) painting unframed.

 I am glad to be done with this one.  I am happy with it.  I think it will be a nice gift.

It will be nice to focus on getting my studio organized and making some plans for Ms Place in 2011.   I need some time in my studio just playing.  I am most creative when I don't have something that I have to get finished. I am ready to work on some jewelry for spring and summer!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Painting - Post #2

This post is a followup of a previous post about doing a watercolor painting.  See January 1, 2011 Post called "A Painting".

I worked on the watercolor painting for a few hours over the weekend.  I have some of the detail work started on the trees.  I have been using a round brush and dabbing tiny green dots to create the details of the leaves.  I have also used several different colors of green.   Here is where I am with it as of Sunday night.  I am working from the right to the left because I am left handed.  I can potentially smear the paint if I work form the left to the right.

After a few hours on Monday after work I have gotten this much done.

It takes time to paint the details.  It is relaxing but I can only spend a few hours working on it at a time.  I only have a few more days.  I think I can get it done.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Painting

I have not done a watercolor painting for over a year.  My son asked if I would paint a picture of the 18th hole of the Congressional Country Club for a gift for one of his sponsors.  I am not a golfer or familiar with that Club or the 18th hole there.  I said yes that I would of course... hard to say no to your kids.  Especially when they work hard and are doing their best.  I received an email from his roommate with a few pictures of the scene they want me to paint.   Yikes!  The 18th hole includes the Club House in the background.  Not impossible... but I only have til the 7th of January to get it finished and matted and framed.
So I thought I would blog about this journey.  It felt good to get the watercolor paper out and look at my paints again.  Some artists may want to trace something like this because it isn't for sale as an original and a true likeness is what we are after.  I don't like to do that but will if I am not happy with the building part of it.  I have it drawn and have started the first layer of color.  I may trace the building that I have drawn so I can redo it if I am not happy with the painting as I go.  I didn't use a ruler so the perspective and straightness is as good as I can do with my hand-eye cooridination.

Here is one of the pictures that I am working from.  This looks like an acrylic painting.  It was painted by William Mangum from North Carolina and is available to purchase on his web site as a print.

The next picture I am using is from a photo from June of 2007.

View Image

The building is very pretty and has a lot of detail. The painting by William Mangum is beautiful and intimidating.  This is how far I have gotten.  It takes several layers of paint for it to start to look better... so give me a day or two and I will share how it is going.

The drawing is ok.  I think it will come together as I get more paint on it.  I need to get busy!