Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go Pink ~ Go Striped ~ And Four Hours Later....

I had a dream last night about a couple of black and white striped kittens that seems to have influenced my choice of colors on this Thurs-clay afternoon. I wanted to take the strictness of black and white stripes and combine them with something soft and feminine. I picked a couple of colors of pink and some chocolatey brown. I went with round shapes and played with different variations of layering and rolling until I came up with some cool beads and cutouts that I love!!
Then, I used the thin layering technique called "mokume gane" with some of my scraps and created some truly wonderful things, including this flat "panel" that has so much wonderful dimension!! There were a couple of yucky ones, too, of course, but they get rolled up into something new. haaaaaaaaaa

Because I was loving the colors so much, I worked on some other marbling to see what I could come up with. I used a translucent clay, though, that makes the back of these look sort of like the dried up skin on your big toes (which I decided not to share pics of! haaaaaaaa). I have to fix those up, but a little sand paper should do the trick.

Finally, I took everything I had left and rolled bits and pieces into a big cane and cut some small flat beads. I love the combination...I especially love that every time I sit down to the clay lumps on the table, I have no idea what might result...and I can never make the same thing twice!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Big beads need love too!! haaaaaaaaaaaa

Some more of my clay adventures were begging to be used on Sunday afternoon. I found a little instruction bit for rings that I wanted to try, so I made myself some serious BLING!! They're a little chunky for daytime wear...but perfect for any other time! haaaaaaaaaaa

That Girl Has Some Nice Glass

My other big endeavor of the summer has been learning to work with glass. I found a wonderful stained glass teacher right here in my own Lake Ridge backyard! (If you're interested in contact information, let me know and I'll be happy to forward your info on.)

Jeanie is an amazing woman with a HUGE workshop in her basement, so I spent a few evenings at her house figuring out that soldering is definitely not as easy as it looks. I only burned myself once and cut myself on glass twice, so I figure I did pretty well...that was out of four classes!! haaaaaaaaa (She has an amazing amount of patience and plenty of insurance. :)

After getting the basics down, I wanted to immediately work with some of the "scraps" in the shop to create some fused glass. I've seen these types of pieces, including dichroic glass, many times, but didn't realize how fun it would be to come up with my own recipes. This pendant and earring set is my favorite!! I love the aqua color and how the murrini and stringers (don't I sound technical?) melted into each other to create such deep pieces!! I have a few other lovelies, but I also had some not-so-cute ones. Those are my lessons learned...Definitely worth the time to come up with these lovely bits out of a little kiln in a basement! Who would've thought??

I wanted to get back to the soldering iron, though, because it just feels so good to be in control of the heat!! haaaaaaaaa I spent a few hours working with glass pieces, foiling, and soldering to come up with the basic combinations of shapes and colors that I liked. (Only one burn and no cuts this time...haaaaaaaaaa). Then, once they were secured, I took them home and "whirligigged" them with wire and beads to make them more of a JenJudd sort of deal...and here's one of my finished bits...

That girl's glass rocks!! haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Clay Playtime

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've been building new crafty brain cells in some great classes. Some of these I found thanks to handy, dandy Google at the Del Ray Artisans wonderful little gallery up in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Susan Gantz taught a couple of wonderful Thursday evenings on the magic of polymer clay!! I've been out and about on the web and found a fun blog called Art Bead Scene that features chit chat from folks that make their beads...including some awesome clay beads. I never realized the possibilities!!!! Susan opened my eyes to a very fun way to work with color, texture, and my own ideas of what's pretty or what's cool...she totally encouraged my freeform ideas and I had a blast!! So, of course, I went to Michael's, coupons in hand, to purchase my "start up" kit of clay and tools. So, above you can see my first batch of beads (and other random shapes that I ended up with that looked too cool to ball up and toss). I was so psyched that even the smell of the polyclay baking didn't bother me. haaaaaaaaaaa

After all those fumes, I was feeling color-splashing happy, so I glazed up a couple of those tasty looking beads and combined them with glass, cotton, stone and a little silver for some yummy summer lovin' in this bracelet!! Orange is my best friend and I love how it works with green and pink to make this delicious piece!! It's so chunky and bright that I can totally picture it adorning my wrist as I reach towards a pina colada that a hunky young bartender is handing me from the poolside bar....oh, what a dream. (I'll go back to talking to the cat now...haaaaaaaaaa)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Scent of Taos Chaos

I created my first ring today! I had the lovely beads from Taos that Alicia picked out for me sitting out on the table in their subtle clay beauty wondering when I was going to take them off their plain old string and make something...well, I made this big bouquet ring with lots of my fave orangina bits...wood, agate, lampwork glass, vintage glass, and carnelian. Sure, it looks a little violent, but I love it!! The bigger the better!!

I know my fingernail looks gross, sorry!! haaaaaaa

After my orange mania, I took the Taosian clay bits...that smell like a peaceful incense...and mixed them with pearls, glass disks, and aquamarine for a couple of pendants and a fun bracelet. I really love being able to mix up some handmade beauties that came from someone's personal work and vision and combine them with some of nature's finest pretties...I can throw in some fun glass bits and silver coils just because I love them!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Glass Bead Bonanza!

I got some great treats in the mail today...first, a gift from my good friend, Lauren, who visited our favorite bead shop in Honolulu. She sent me a gorgeous Calvin Orr bead in my favorite bright orange color! I was directed to make something for myself, so I broke out some more of my fave orange bits and found an odd bit of chain that was perfect to get a nice dangle going on! I love it!! Thanks, my friend...:)

Then, my next package was an order of fantastic glass disks from HMB Studios that I ordered last week during a flurry of late night shopping. You can see some of the disks along with the orangina joy above. She comes up with some of the greatest colors that I just love to mix and match with other stones and glass that I have in my stash. Here are a couple of wonderful Lisa New beads that motivate towards fun color combinations that mixed wonderfully with my HMB disks...I threw in some vintage and recycled glass to mix things up and they make me smile!!

My next step is to dig into more birthday present beads from Alicia...pretty clay from Taos that even smell wonderful!! Tomorrow's project....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Arts on the Square

So I tried my hand at a show and it was so much fun!! Back to Bedford, Pennsylvania for some craftiness with my family during "Arts on the Square." I would love to thank my family and friends for their support!!! Here are some can see my brother, Will's, wonderful portraits in the background. We were lucky enough to have the Hine family out in force to help us set up a big tent and saw some wood and find us tables...they ROCK!!

If you love those display boards and want to make your own, be aware that if you point the spray paint can towards your face, it will spray on you....haaaaaaaa I only ended up with some greyed out glasses and forehead, thank goodness, but it scared the daylights out of me!! The arrow should point away....haaaaaaaaa

My other tip...even if it's cloudy and you think you'll spend the day in a tent, sunscreen is a good idea. :)


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Bedford, PA, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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