Thursday, October 10, 2013

artBLISS 2013 Wrap Up (Finally...)

At the end of September, I traveled to the D.C. area to once again attend artBLISS. This year the family stayed behind as I splurged and stayed for all three days of workshops. An added treat awaited me at check-in! When I told them I no longer needed a room with two beds, they gave me a suite! This was the placard outside my room. How did they know where I grew up?!

I was so excited to meet up with people I met last year, meet new artists, and of course take the WORKSHOPS!! I had decided to take two workshops (Spinner Rings and Torch-Fired Enamel Ring) with Richard Salley and his assistant, Jessica Papke, and one workshop (Thin Gauge Sheet Metal) with Stacie Florer.

Pictured clockwise from upper left: Jessica Papke and Richard Salley, sterling silver spinner ring, my torch-fired pendant, copper with nickel silver spinner ring and brass spinner ring, collection of torch-fired class' work (see how all but mine are rings?), and Oops!. That last picture would be my ring blank that got some extra love from my torch. Plan B = Pendant!

In the picture above are some of the items I made in the thin gauge sheet metal workshop (eventually will be earrings) and on the right is the one-and-only Stacie Florer demonstrating a technique for forming the metal.

Friday night everyone attended the meet and greet and were also able to shop the instructors' works of art. Oh! I can't forget that Cindy Wimmer also had a table where she was selling and signing her first published book, The Missing Link. A great book with stunning photography and fun techniques!

Saturday night was a great time as well as Cindy and Jeanette surprised us by supplying pizza and salad while we shopped our fellow students handmade jewelry components! Got some great items from Jenny Davies-Reazor (who cracks me up!), Diana Ptaszynski (who is also very funny) and others. I can't wait to incorporate these into my own creations.

Now I just have to put all I learned to good use! I'm already looking forward to artBLISS 2014, whatever it may have in store...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creating with Cabochons Challenge & Blog Hop

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime put forth the challenge to create something using cabochons. It looks like a lot of people jumped in on this one! I hope you enjoy reading about what I created and I encourage you to hop on over to the other artists' blogs and read about their creations as well. Enjoy!

A few years ago I thought of an idea using PMC (Precious Metal Clay) to honor my mother and keep her close to me. (She passed away close to five years ago.) I had a stamp made with an image of her handwriting. Specifically, how she used to sign her cards to me and my sisters.

I have already made my sisters pendants for necklaces using this stamp on one side and a texture of their choice on the other. I have been going back and forth about what I wanted to do with mine all this time. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a bracelet. I decided to use this challenge to delay no more and make my bracelet blank. So without further delay, here it is:
(Bottom picture is actually from my sister's bracelet. Forgot to take a picture of mine!!)

The decorative elements I added all have meaning for me. The blue stone in the cab represents the color of my mother's eyes and the three silver balls on that side represent my two sisters and myself. On the left-hand side are silver balls with wire wrapped around them that symbolize the hugs that I miss so much.

I plan on completing the bracelet with PMC links that will picture things that my mother passed on to or shared with me as well as nicknames she used to call us. You can see the links I've made so far in this collage photo.

Well enough of the somber tone! Thank you for stopping by and I hope I have given you some ideas to use in your own jewelry.

Please visit the other participants' blogs:

Your Host:  Sally Russick

Alicia Marinache           
Lynn  Jobber           
Jenny Davies-Reazor           

Jo-Ann  Woolverton           
Marde Lowe           
Dawn Doucette           
Mary K McGraw           
Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           
Sonya Stille           
Elizabeth Owens Dwy           
Veralynne   Malone           
Tania Hagen           
Lynsey  Brooks           
Christina Miles           
Holly  Westfall           
Kathy  Lindemer           
Patti Vanderbloemen           

Therese Frank           
Adrienne Berry           
Tanty  Sri Hartanti           
Renetha Stanziano           
Marlene  Cupo           
Sandi Volpe           
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Mischelle Fanucchi           
Tracy  Stillman           
Skylar Bre'z           
Ann Schroeder           
Jess Green           
Susan Kennedy           
Stacie  Florer           
Cathie  Carroll           
Susan F.  

Michelle Caballero       
Sabine Dittrich           
Kristina Johansson           
Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           
Melissa  Meman           
Cheryl McCloud         
Michelle  Timms           
Cindy  Pack           
Cynthia  Machata           
Julia  Harris           
Ingrid  Anderson           
Toltec Jewels  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Green Girl Studios Bead Giveaway!!

Lorelei Eurto is having a great giveaway on her blog for some beautiful Green Girl Studios beads! Hop over and check it out!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Registration is Open for artBLISS 2013!

I don't remember how I discovered artBLISS but I am so glad I did. If you have the interest and are able to join a wonderful group of people for a weekend of instruction, inspiration and fun then artBLISS is the place for you.

2012 was my first experience at artBLISS and I'm so glad I went. The instructors are top-notch and the classes are small enough to fully benefit from these talented people. Everyone attending was so nice and welcoming as of course were Cindy and Jeanette, the hosts of this fantastic event.

Follow the link, artBLISS, and find out more about the fantastic classes as well as learning how Cindy and Jeanette started this whole thing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Last week I posted pictures of some pieces I had enameled. Here is a look at what I did with some of those pieces along with a couple other items I completed last week and before.

Techniques used besides enameling were soldering, forming, etching and handmaking tube rivets.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I'm hoping to have some of these listed in my etsy shop within the next few days. Let's see if I actually accomplish that!


Monday, February 4, 2013

A Peek at What's Coming Up

It's about time I posted something on my blog so how about a peek at what I've been up to very recently. Enameling!

Enameling, at least my experience with it, reminds me of that saying about a boy "...when he was good he was very, very good but when he was bad he was horrid." When the color combinations, quality of enameling (no dings, pock marks, etc.) and the enamel gods are with you (e.g. the extra holes not filling up or when they do are easily corrected without ruining what you've already done and no refires necessary), the components you end up with are a thing of beauty!

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the pieces I will be incorporating into some jewelry for a show this weekend...

 I'll try to post some pictures of completed pieces later this week.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Barenaked Ladies" in Maine?

A while ago, I got a notice from TicketMaster letting me know that the Barenaked Ladies, along with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Blues Traveler, and Cracker would be playing in Bangor, Maine. My husband and I had seen BNL at Turning Stone Casino a couple of years ago and it was a fantastic show with many surprises (just one being that Ed from BNL sang a version of "I'm Sexy and I Know It" with Big Head Todd and proceeding to strip down to a thong - shock, horror and hysterical laughter ensued). It was just the excuse we needed to visit Maine. (There is no logic here, folks. Just play along.)
John Popper from Blues Traveler and David Lowery from Cracker perrform.

Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn, Jim Creeggan, and Tyler Stewart (not shown) of Barenaked Ladies.

First stop, Portland, Maine. If anyone has been thinking about visiting this town, don't second guess it, do it. We all loved Portland. It's a smaller city with many quaint shops in the Old Port section of town. We found a great coffee shop, Mornings in Paris, that we visited both days we were there. We took a tour of the harbor by boat and I discovered I have no sea legs. Aside from that our time was spent eating lobster as many ways as we could and shopping.
Our next stop was to Bar Harbor for one night at a bed and breakfast. After having to share a double bed for two nights, Sean said about the two twin beds awaiting them, "Tonight, we sleep like kings." Where does he get this stuff? Yes, I was a bit worried about a 15 and 13 year old in a B&B. They were given specific instructions, that's for sure.

I was hoping to hunt for sea glass during low tide to use in some jewelry but I wasn't up to it right when we got there and I didn't want to get out of bed that early to look the next day. Next time, I guess. We walked around the harbor, poked about in the stores and had dinner. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast of blueberry and cream cheese stuffed French Toast with blueberry sauce and then it was off to Bangor for the concert.

They wouldn't let me bring home the B&B's beautiful butler's pantry...
Bar Harbor
Tea time!
Our last stop in Maine was Perkins Cove/Ogunquit. It's very popular destination and I wish we had more time to spend checking out all the little shops but after lunch we were all ready to press on home. We ate at MC Perkins Cove. I wanted to check it out as the two chef owners are on the current Top Chef Masters. We weren't disappointed. It was delicious.

Hope you're able to take a trip to Maine sometime. We're hoping we'll get back there some day.