Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mary's Graces: New Give Away from Deb at Geckostone

There is another beautiful giveaway going on at my Etsy Team blog. Check it out!

Photo courtesy of Marys Graces Blog.

Mary's Graces: New Give Away from Deb at Geckostone: A beautiful 3x5 embellished print of her original watercolor called 'Mary of the Earth.' Deb says this..... " I did manage to finally fini...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Absence

I realize I have been absent from posting for more than a week, which I really hate. First, I was distracted by my in-laws visiting. Then my son, Liam, celebrated his 8th Birthday with a spies and sleuths themed party here at our home.

Finally, my students have turned in their final projects, and I have been in a grading frenzy. On top of that, I have been plagued by a bit of a cold. Let's just say I have fallen behind in both my blog and Build Zone Workshop commitments!

However, I am eagerly looking forward to catching up this coming week. I have greatly missed working on jewelry.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mary's Graces: Give Away hosted by Holly at FoodForTheSoul

Hi all! The giveaway deadline for my Etsy Team's giveaway was extended to October 21, so check it out!

Mary's Graces: Give Away hosted by Holly at FoodForTheSoul: Our next give away is hosted by Holly from Etsy Shop FoodForTheSoul and she offers this beautiful chaplet and words... "Hello Everyon...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Originally, I was going to work on my workshop items today. However, I went a bit overboard yesterday cleaning our house and also washing one of our dogs. As a result, my upper back went out (I am prone to periodic back problems). This has confined me to bed for most of today and I was unable to do the type of metal work needed to continue my necklace design.

Courtesy of The Vintage Moth. Believed to be in the Public Domain. 

One thing I keep hearing over and over again in Art and Soul and Voodoo Lounge podcasts, as well as from Deryn Mentock, is the importance of keeping an art/design journal with ideas in it. 
Public domain image courtesy of Liam Quin.
Even though I am not used to keeping an art journal, this is something I can work on even with my back in its current state. Although, I am praying that my back is a lot better by tomorrow so I can get back to work.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Style Notes

The workshop I am enrolled in has us think about what design style category our jewelry creations fall into. I am not sure yet what my particular style is. I got some excellent advice from two, well-respected jewelry designers- Lori Anderson from Lori Anderson Designand Deryn Mentock (my workshop instructor). Some of the more experienced women in my class also had important things to say about this topic. One recurring theme was to look at lots and lots of jewelry (does this justify the purchase of all my jewelry design books and magazines??). Another is just to practice creating jewelry.

A peek at my design process. Here I am deciding which beads to use with my focal pendant.
Part of me likes an extremely romantic look. This is no surprise to anyone who knows me for more than 5 minutes. Obviously, I’m also extremely drawn to religious images.

On the other hand, I am equally attracted to the slightly kitschy, sparkly, and retro. Yes, I am a girl who loves running Christmas lights, carnival glass, and Lusterware.

Hmmm, I wonder if I will find a way to combine these styles? How did you all discover your own design style?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Like it- I Really Like it!

My lessons in The Build Zone continue. I have purchased extremely inexpensive aluminum wire to practice various techniques with. This way, I do not feel awful if I have to throw out the parts I make mistakes on. I also feel free to repeatedly practice certain jewelry making skills.

Most recently, I have been crafting different style headpins. Here you see a spiral headpin, a paddle style, and a basic loop. I have been looking forward to new lessons each day or two, having greatly missed crafting jewelry during my recent break while I awaited the start of the workshop. The next lesson I will tackle? Creating a clasp!

Amazingly, I have discovered that I love to solder! Yes, you read that correctly! My fears have now turned into curiosity and I want to learn more soldering techniques. In fact, on my amazon wish list is the book Mixed Metal Mania – something to tackle after I finish The Build Zone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Facing Fears

As The Build Zone workshop progresses, I continue to practice various techniques. S-claps, which I tend to be better at than wrapped loops, making jump rings, and using my mini torch for small amounts of soldering.

Yes, that is right- I faced my greatest fear- turning on and using my soldering torch. I have a Blazer Micro torch. Obviously, extreme caution is necessary when using the torch, and you can see that I have a ceramic tile underneath my soldering block. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone is definitely one way to grow creatively! Once I had it turned on and was using it, I found it was not any more scary than using an oven or gas burner on my stove.

I have been enjoying getting to know the other women enrolled in the workshop with me. We have a class discussion board where we can compare notes as we work through the various lessons. Things like being able to take jewelry lessons from Deryn Mentock, all the way in Texas, and getting to know women from all over the world is definitely one thing I love about the internet.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Build Zone- it's a Wrap!

Today I spent several hours practicing my wrapped loops technique. This is one of the lessons from The Build Zone. To perfect wrapped loops one needs to practice and practice . . . and, did I mention, practice?

You can see that I still need to work on my technique a bit more. However, I am headed to a meeting at church followed by the Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis' Feast Day. We are bringing one of our dogs, Daisy.

So I shall return to practicing later tonight!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More Orange Lights Needed

I am the first in our neighborhood to decorate for Halloween. As far as I am concerned, the more orange lights, the better! Fall is my favorite season, and always has been. I recall the scent of wood being consumed in fireplaces and the burnt orange leaves filling the yards in our neighborhood on Long Island when I was very, very young. I remember eagerly organizing with girlfriends our trick or treat plans when I was older and living in Kansas. For a long time I resided in Florida where the seasons are not very differentiated, so it was not until I was living in Georgia that I experienced a true fall once again.
My son, practicing a Kung Fu move!
The weather in Georgia has been stunning, cool and sunny. Today, we drove two hours to Ellijay, GA to see if the leaves had changed much up in the mountains yet. We were a little early for strong leaf color, but still enjoyed exploring a town none of us had been to before.
More Kung Fu!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the town has its own local bead store! The (extremely nice) woman who owns it sells some of her own creations along with beads and beading supplies.

Tomorrow I will do a separate post about The Build Zone. I was very excited when the classroom and videos officially opened today. S far, I am working on lessons about patina and forming clasps.