Friday, November 30, 2007

Tree man in colored pencil

Today I took a pencil class in Sequim, nearby, from a great young instructor Marina Shipova. The picture is a partial scan of my not quite finished drawing. I will photograph it when it is done so you can see the whole thing. I hope to draw with Marina again in the near future. I enjoy her instruction and love her style.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Color Forecast

The above link will take you to the Pantone color forecast for spring 2008. This is a great guide to bead and jewelry makers. I heard of it on the Bead Art site.
Check it out!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The miscellaneous shelves.

I uploaded the picture below of the studio miscellaneous wall but didn't get a chance to tell you what it was all about. i know, it's suppose to be better, and it isn't much different I admit. The only answer is to get rid of more things and gee, I'm not ready for that.
The top shelf has natural items which include, shells, seeds pods, and many strange and wonderful items from a bag of on-sale pot-pourrie. Nest to those containers sits a welding torch and a canister of butane or whatever it is that it uses. Then two containers of pens, pencils and markers.Second shelf has two more containers of seashells and bits of driftwood and drift bark. Then bits of colored glass in lavender, lime green and turquoise. They are great finds from the dollar store, ready for some experimenting with clay and glass. Soon, soon. The nest two containers hold colored pencils followed by rubber stamps, foam stamps, stamp pads, and metal pieces, aluminum and copper. Third shelf down has a container of various tapes, then a container of many gauges and colors of craft wire. Then there are a few cans of clear and matt finishes and a spray can of the same. A stack of little screw-together clear plastic organizers hold, hooks,and screws in different small sizes, followed by more stamps, some homemade and carving tools.
The 4th shelf has the big set of artists colored pencils (as opposed to the craft pencils previously mentioned.) Then a container with drawers of rubber bands, clamps of various sizes, notebook tings and paper clips, and other such office items. The center of the shelf holds colored paper both bond and card stock with some fancy papers. And notebooks with ideas for paper art, beads, polymer clay, and miscellanious crafts. Below that paper and down through two shelves are more stacks of paper, and pads of various types, including graph paper and tracing paper as well as sketch pads and fun foam.
Other shelves hold clay molds for small items, clay glaze and pains, a box of sandpapers, a scale, The bottom shelf left holds paintings in watercolor, acyclic and pastels unfinished or maybe finished. You know. You can see a few houseplants on the left and in the upper right corner a bit of the light attached to the easel that also has a magnifying glass center, for close up work. You also see a paper cutter on the corner of that table which holds the small kiln. But that's another day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Work table now

It started when I wanted to re-do my kitchen cabinets. Bill brought in two saw horses and a 4x 8 piece of heavy duty plywood and I had a work table. In time the kitchen cabinet project was over but I was unwilling to give back my new work table, (You can see it in the former studio pictures with a sheet for a table cloth and heavy duty plastic over that.) Maybe Bill needed those saw horses for something, I'm not sure, but the next thing I knew he was building me a craft table. It is also 4x 8 foot but has that wonderful shelf to hold art papers, and matting board. On the other end is a fine shallow drawer, wide and long for holding clamps and cutters.
It is a wonder.the picture is of the table before it was brought into the studio, It is still sitting in the garage.

The naked work table

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Well, the work wall in the studio really is better than it was. i know, still not a thing of beauty but what can I say? The stuff I need is right there and pretty handy so.....

The top of the little shelf unit holds two extra containers for the rock tumbler and a little bead loom. the shelf holds a projector and a mini-food processor for dealing with hard polymer clay.
Under that hangs a Styrofoam cutter. I've only tried it once and wasn't real happy with it. Must remember to give it another chance.

Paper towels hang to the left. Then there are hoops and rings from tiny to pretty big, of bamboo, metal and wood. They will be real handy some day. Pot holders, measuring cups, measuring spoons (that include 1/4 AND 1/8 as well as the usual, I'll have you know). Then there are tile nippers, clay slicer wires and a heat gun. Copper tubing, a stray measuring cup and T-squares hand with a couple glue guns, and engraver and a Dremel type tool with extension arm. There is also a soldering iron and a paper cutter.

Below on the little stand is the toaster oven for polymer clay with it's timer and oven thermometer. Below it are deli wrap sheets, corn starch, toothpicks, mineral oil and small containers that once held Little Cesar's dog food and are ever so handy. You also see the sliding doors to the patio. And wow! I'm staarted. More tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Easy texture stamps

A friend donated to me a large box of buttons, many quite old and interesting.

When sifting through them one day I began looking closer at some of the designs and thought they would look good stamped into clay.

1. I cut a 1/4" dowel into 4 inch lengths (I used a garden trimmer in an unprofessional manner) it would be better to saw them neatly, or have your favorite handyman do it for you. Perhaps if you bought the dowel at Lowe's of Home Depot a kind helper there might cut them for you.

2. After smoothing the ends some what, I used a strong glue E6000 to attach a button to each end of the dowel.

Allow to dry at least overnight.

Stamp into conditioned clay!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fossil Beads

Fossil beads are interesting looking and fun to make. I have made them both with pordelain clay and with polymer clay and like one as well as the other.
With polymer clay:
1. choose a neutral colored clay off white, beige, even flesh or a combination of scrap clay that will give you a light neutral color, and condition well.
2. roll out to about 1/4" thickness.
3.Use natural items as texture plates. (sea shells, coral, bark, pine cones (cleaned), weed seed heads, thistle heads etc.)
4. impress clay with texture items.
5. tear clay into shapes about 1" x 2" or "2" or the size you want or your texture field suggests.
6. make one or two hanging hole with a skewer or piercing tool.
7. Bake at 265 for 30 minutes in a clay dedicated oven or in a baking bag (those kind made for turkeys)
When finished baking and cooled it is time to tome them with pastel acrylic washes. When this is dry, brush surface with Pearlex. I like these left mat, but if you prefer a shine, coat with Future floor finish.
These look fine on a ribbon or cord, or use one as a a focal bead in a free form peyote necklace!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whatever made me think that I could re-organize and clean up the studio in a day? Wrong!
I was a day late getting started as yesterday a painting called.
It is a watercolor of a water-cliff-cave scene. I took the reference photo last summer at Cape Flattery, a beautiful point at the farthest northwest corner of the lower 48. I finished it, cut a mat for it and got it framed. All things I find difficult, or at least tend to put off.
It needed to be done though to have it ready for an upcoming memorial exhibit.
A wonderful artist-teacher, Robert Brown died of lung cancer and this will be in honor of him. You can see some of his work here:
Today and yesterday have been considerably stormy, with high winds and many power outages. We have somehow been spared so far, but....more storms to come.
So tomorrow will be another day devoted to the studio. I do progress! Ta-da! but there is more to do.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Art Bead Scene Blog: Findings Worth Finding: Colored Copper Wire

Art Bead Scene Blog: Findings Worth Finding: Colored Copper Wire

time out

The last couple days I've been involved in computer tweaking and have little time to play, and I miss it!

How much more fun to be into paint and brushes, or polymer clay or beads then trying to optimize browser (or whatever). But a necessary evil.

Then....I must also do a little organizing in the studio.

I love to see where others do there thing.

If you have pictures up anywhere f your studio or art room or working corner please tell me where so we can all check it out. Please? If we share ideas we can all do better. Here is my studio now. The before...

I'll take new shots when I get things changed and upgraded.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Magical Spirals

Polymer clay spirals, the larger for hair ornaments the smaller for matching earrings. Oh what fun.
After rolling out your conditioned clay to a medium thickness for the hair ornaments, rub a little oil on a drinking straw and form the spiral around the straw. You may leave it there or carefully remove and set on parchment to be ready to bake. For the earring size wrap around a metal skewer or knitting needle. Use a darning needle or needle tool to make a small hole in one end to use for hanging. After baking following clay instructions for temperature and time,cool and then coat with Future floor finish if you want a glossy shine. Then add a jump ring to attach to an earring wire.
The hair ornaments can be given a glossy finish also, and are ready to use. I haven't tried them yet as I haven't got them baked. But I'll let you know how they work tomorrow. I am a bit concerned as to whether they will be strong enough to hold up.
the next ones will be made about half Premo and half Bake and and Bend. The Bake and Bend should add the necessary give to make these strong and pliable. Stay tuned

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

better photos?

I've been fooling with camera settings and trying to see how I can take better close up photos for this blog. Above is a collage of attempts good and bad. But I'm learning and that is what it is about. If you need more detail of the beads shown in previous blogs, did you know you can click on the photos to get a closer, detail look? Cool. Just discovered that.
Back for more pictures! Whew, an artist's life is lots of work!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Focal Beads, paper bead style

I had so much fun making clay "paper" beads yesterday that I didn't even get to write and tell you about it. The picture I took of the beads yesterday were before they had been baked.

Today's are made the same way but a little larger to become focal beads and these are baked.

A couple of them just seemed to be right for it's own snake. I will touch the little serpents up a bit. Also will brush a bit of Pearlex powder before coating with Future. (Note three of the beads have been pierced from side to side to hang vertically.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jean Terry, who is on Christie Friesen's group suggested trying the paper bead method using

polymer clay. I jumped and been having fun all day.

First I rounded up some bits and pieces of polymer clay left over from previous projects. The colors ended up being a green, an orange, a bit of metallic gold, some glittery silver, tan, and a big chunk of pearl.

Play with whatever colors you have or like!

Condition the clay by warming and rolling with a brayer or if you are into polymer clay prepare it with the clay dedicated pasta machine as usual.

Roll it quite evenly and thinly. Combine colors by blending and twistin to make unusal twirls or make a skinner blend.

(I would like to recommend Glass Attic for all the information you may require on polymer clay basics).

I made a few beads at this point but thought a texture would add more interest.

So I went to my texture box and pulled out a piece of woven onion bag, a strange item that is meant as a hot pad but I purchased for the texture, and a chunk of plastic filter meant for a pond filter.

Oh what cool textures!

You can roll texture onto your clay sheet with the brayer or run it through the pasta machine.

Spray it with a little water first to help prevent sticking, then cut triangle pieces using your clay blade or a single edged razor blade, or an exacto knife.

Roll over your skewer just like when you made the paper beads.

More tomorrow, this is as far as I've gotten! 8')

Saturday, November 3, 2007

paper bead necklace

Bead thread, nymo D, or fireline.
Two beading needles of a size that will go through your choice of seed beads. (I used # 12.
Needle tool
Jewelry glue or clear nail polish to seal knots.

Use a bead board or your choice of work surface to lay out a dry run of your beads. Then use a needle tool to make small holes crosswise in one end of your vertical beads. Thread about2 yards of bead thread with a needle on each end. After the longer center bead you will be stringing paper beads and seed beads on one side and then the other in order to keep them symmetrical. When you have strung your beads to the length that you want tie the thread ends in a double knot and then a second double knot. To make a stronger necklace, thread a second to yard length of bead thread and go through the entire sequence a second time. End as above.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Papers for Beads

Magazines and catalogs are not the only sources for beautiful papers. Save some of your favorite wrapping paper from gifts, wall paper sample books, handmade papers, papers from the scrap booking aisle,
I plan to try different colors of plastic grocery bags and foil as well as the transparent film that is wrapped around some bouquets.
If you paint save the unsuccessful paintings to recycle as well.
What else can you think of?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lugs, of course!

I dreamed up anew dog breed last night. Really!I Googled to be sure and there are no Lugs!
I n my dream there were a happy, playful bunch of medium size pups in a pen in front of a house. They were all tan and short coated. The mother who was in with them was a Lab. I asked the woman on the porch what the sire was. She said he was Pug.
And so the Lugs were born.
Anyone want to go in with me in the Lug breeding business?
Besides Ronda who has already volunteered!

Earrings with paper focal bead

Earrings with paper beads.
Choose two paper beads that are similar, they don’t have to be exact.
You will also need clear nail polish or jewelry glue
Scissors to trim thread
A strong nylon thread (I used Nymo 0 ) color to match beads
Long slim beading needle or any needle that will go through the seed beads
Misc. seed beads sizes 11 to 6
A pair of French hooks
2 or 4 spilt rings

Tie on a small seed bead, leaving a 3’ tail and go around a couple of times use a dot of nail polish or glue to secure the knot. String several more seed and or bugle beads the paper bead (focal bead) and then a few more seed beads. Follow this with a split ring and then back through
the seed beads the paper bead and the first seed beads ending up where you started
Tie the two threads together tightly and secure with nail polish. Allow to dry before closely snipping thread ends. Repeat with second earring. *I like to do both at once, working one and then the other to keep them symmetrical.