Beads, beads, beads...

Beads, beads, beads...

Monday, April 25, 2011

"M" Tangles or What I do in meetings!

I kind of chuckled when I first read about Zentangles.  I have been doodling all of my life through school, church or meetings.  It seems that I can't pay attention long if I don't doodle.  It keeps me focused on listening and my mind does not wander.  I thought I would share the doodles I did at the last Church Council meeting that I attended.  (they thought I was busy taking notes!)

At least I got a cross in there! I work at a church as the Business Manager... I attend the meetings but don't vote or really comment so I wasn't being so bad...


I honestly cannot pay attention at a meeting or lecture unless I am doodling!  So I thought I would try doodling with some colored markers one evening while watching TV... it was fun!

I need to put a mat and frame around it!  It really is fun and I have done a little doodling with polymer clay.


He kind of looks like a fish to me!  I do not have a plan when I do this so it is kind of random but is cathartic to me.  So I have seen some comments on other blogs about doodling like this!  Any other closet doodlers out there?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Something New

It has been polymer beads and focals for jewelry from this girl for the last two years... but I tried something different this week.  I have been looking at and admiring the polymer clay art dolls on various blogs and Etsy shops... so here she is... my first art doll in polymer!

Meet "The Leaf Princess"!


I worked one afternoon on faces.  I used an acorn cookie cutter to get this face shape.  I also used brass tubing to make the indents for the eyes the nose and the mouth.


The leaves that surround her face were from a  Lisa Pavelka border mold.

I used yarn for her hair.  I tied strands of yarn around a length of yarn.  I remember my baby dolls with hair had rows of hair so I made two layers of these strands for the crown and the back of her head.  I made two smaller strands for each side of her face.  I used super glue to hold the yarn in place.


I wanted to add some words that had meaning to me.  So I stamped a scripture in the green at the bottom of her dress. Jerimiah 6:16 "...ask where the good way is and walk in it."

Her body is not solid.  I made a frame out of aluminum foil and covered it with clay so she is not too heavy.  I also put a wire loop on her back so she can be hung on a wall.  So tell me what you think of my "Leaf Princess"!
I learned a few things and will try to make some different art dolls.  It was fun to do something I hadn't done before!

Friday, April 15, 2011

7000 Bracelets for Hope

Lori Anderson  has shared a special cause with us on her blog Pretty Things.  The 7000 Bracelets of Hope cause is an awareness effort for those who have rare diseases and is being backed by the Global Genes Project.  They have asked for jewelry designers to make bracelets that would go with blue jeans for families that have children with rare diseases. We are blog hopping on April 16th so check out the other bloggers who have made bracelets here.

I have made this bracelet to send to a family for this cause.



 It is made from polymer clay and glass beads and is strung on elastic so it can fit any size.

I hope this makes someone smile a little and feel that they are loved and being thougth about.  Illness of any kind is such a difficult part of life.  Sharing love and good thoughts is one way to reach out to those who suffer.

Because I have been blessed I want to do more and I do have my own special causes.  My husband suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his time in combat in Vietnam. He also has diabetes and other issues from Agent Orange exposure.  He has lived with issues from this for 40 years and is finally getting help for it.  It is frustrating when you are struggling and don't know why.  It was a relief to finally put a name on it and have ways to help cope with it. I think about those with rare diseases having that same struggle. 

I am so thankful for the blessings in my life.  I have three healthy children and I have been fairly healthy too. We all have life struggles but it is easier to deal with them when we can share our hurts with another. Be kind and show some love to someone that you see is struggling!  Someday you may need that love back!

Taking a Break

We live in Delaware and are about 45 minutes from the beach.  In the summer we don't go to the beach too often because of the tourist traffic.  We have lived here for 8 years and every year it seems we get to the beach less and less.  This year is going to be different!  My hubby and I decided to take a mid week break and stay a night at an ocean front hotel in Rehoboth Beach. 

We stayed at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel... this is one beautiful place let me tell ya... very Victorian decor.

This is the dining room!
Delicious food... we had a crab bowl for lunch and a I had a dark chocolate cheesecake for desert.... yumm!


The view from our balcony!
I love listening to the waves and we had a balcony that is ocean front.  The balcony door was open all night...  It is so soothing to me!

Our bed where we could relax, look at, and listen to the ocean!

If you are ever in this part of the world and want to stay somewhere nice try the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!  Pretty part of the world!


Looking at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel from the beach.

All in all we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves... but we have been campers all of our marriage and believe it or not I think we will be shopping for a camper or a motorhome again!  This was nice but I love having my own bed and the privacy of our own space!  What is your favorite way to get away? 



Monday, April 11, 2011

Sharing Secrets-Renaissance Wax

I have learned so much from blog hopping.  I have to thank  Lori Anderson for getting me started on this journey.  It has been so much fun meeting all of you out there in blogland!  I really appreciate how willing everyone is to share what they are doing and how they are doing it!


My newest find from reading your blogs is using Renaissance Wax for polymer beads.  I sometimes prefer a shiny or glossy finish on my polymer beads and have found that the sealant products don't seem to stay on the beads all of the time.  Especially the beads that are on a bracelet or beads that get handled more.

I came accross a blog by Diva Designs that explained how and why she uses Renaissance Wax to polish polymer clay beads.  You can purchase the wax from her Etsy shop PC Diva


The bead on the left was sanded but not polished yet and the bead on the right was polished with the wax. I had a time getting a picture to show the difference... but this one does a little bit.  It is better than this looks... really!  The finish is softer and more natural looking with the wax polish than the finish from a sealant.  I find that the more I polish the beads the shinier they get.  I use a piece of denim from some old jeans as a polishing cloth.  It works really well. 

Hope this helps you as much as it helped me! Thanks Lori and Lynda!

Yours truly,
M

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wrap It Up Tutorial

I have had lots of wonderful comments on the fiber wrapped cords that I use to make neckpieces.  I call them "neckpieces" because they are usually more like a scarf than a necklace.  I wanted to share how I make the wrapped cords with you.  The inspiration to make these came from the Winter 2010 Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.

"Wrapped, Jeweled and Embellished Creations" is the name of the article by Arline M. Lowenthal.


I start with cotton clothes line.  I measure the length that I want the piece to be and add about 6 inches to that for the ends.  It takes about 3 inches to make each loop on the ends.




I use Scotch tape to keep the ends from fraying.  I wrap the end in tape about a quarter of an inch in...

Then I cut the end of the tape off to the end of the cord.


I then form a loop to the size I want it.  The size of the loop depends on the size of the button or bead that you will use to fit through the loop for the clasp.




I then mark where the loop will meet the cord with my thumb.


This is where I will start wrapping the fiber around the cord.  We will wrap going from this point to the short end of the cord to make the loop.  Start with a section of fiber about an inch long.  It should be facing the short end of the cord.

Start wrapping the fiber around the cord over the one inch piece.  This will hold the end of the fiber in place.
When I get to the tape on the end of the cord I make the loop by putting  the end of the cord next to the cord.




I then tape the end to the cord.  This is an important step because the loop can come apart if you don't... trust me on this one!  (As an added note it is best to stitch through the end of the cord and the main cord at this point... sometimes I don't even use the tape as the fibers may slip around it.)

It is hard to see the tape because it is clear but the end is taped to the cord to form the loop.  I then wrap the fiber around both cord pieces and then keep wrapping down the cord.



To change to a different fiber I tie a slip knot around the cord at least two times with the fiber I am using.  I then leave an inch of the fiber to wrap under with the next kind of fiber.  I start it the same way as the first wrap was started with about an inch wrapped underneath.  I ususally tie the end and then tack it with a needle and corresponding color of thread because you can't wrap the last end that you have.


I make both ends first and use a simple cotton yarn on the loops.  I then add different fibers as I go.

To add another cord I lay them next to each other and tape and wrap the two together and continue down the new cord wrapping as I go.

I hope you enjoyed my first blog tutorial... but most of all I hope you are inspired to try your hand at wrapping and embellishing!  It is nice because you can make a statement piece that is light weight and comfortable to wear. This tutorial is will get you started. The instructions in the magazine are a little different and certainly more involved but with trial and error it all works!

Please comment with questions and please share what you create with us on your blog!

Yours truly,
M

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

I made some beads at the end of last summer that were really summery beads.  I put them in one of the holes in my printer drawer full of beads and let them sit there through the winter.  They would catch my eye but until this weekend I couldn't get the muse for something for summer.  Not that the weather has made me feel like summer is anywhere in the near future! It has been hot tea weather here still.   I guess it was the change from March to April that got my summer muse started!

I was practicing the "skinner blend" with this focal bead!

I cut shapes out of the colors that I used in the "skinner blend" focal and made charms out of them.


So this is a fiber wrapped cord that has a bunch of fun charms on it!  I love that polymer is so light weight!  This makes a statement but is very comfortable to wear...

The bracelet has a swirl bead focal... the swirl bead is really easy and fun to make.

 This set is listed for sale in my Ms-Place Art Fire shop!

Can't wait for warmer weather!
Yours truly,
M

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Secret Garden

I had some beads left from the Bead Soup Blog Party and I wanted to make something with the beads that I blogged about here.  So I had some fiber wrapped cords in green and tan that were twisted together that seemed like they might just match all the beads I had... so I kept adding pieces here and there and here and there and.... this is what I ended up with!

Here-there-and everywhere!

I have decided that my style is eclectic... I love colors and textures and to make things that people want to touch.  This piece has so many different elements to it.  Here are some close ups.


Everything from stones to glass beads to copper charms all mixed together with polymer beads... so fun!



So it is for sale in my Ms Place Art Fire Shop... check it out here!

Thanks for stopping by!
Yours truly,
M

Friday, April 1, 2011

Old Things New Again

I love old things... they always seem to have a story hidden in them.  I found a "treasure" at the Thrift Store the other day and thought I would share it with you.  
Not sure how old it is.... the colors are not faded at all.

Five rolls of Ric Rac


 5 cents a yard doesn't sound too bad!


Found these a few months ago!



An old printer drawer full of beads... beads...and

more beads!

I am thinking I will try to wrap the ric rac on some cord.  It should make some interesting texture!  I will let you know how it looks.  I love old things especially when I can make them into something new or find a new use for them...

Yours tuly,
M