Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vi's Christmas Dream: A Glass House

And not just any glass house, a hand-crafted glass gingerbread house!  Just look at this piece...every detail is glass, all fused together, bit by bit, to create this fun and festive spin on a tradition.
Glass artist Vi Laux, from Pittsburgh, PA, was an exhibitor in my hometown back in October at the Fall Foliage Festival.  I've often admired her fused glass work, but was completely in awe of this special piece.  I've been meaning to post about it for ages, and am finally making time this morning!!
For those of you not familiar with glass work, this is kinda amazing...each piece of glass has to be cut and then placed and then heated in a kiln until it all melts together.  All of this while hoping that nothing breaks.  And that's simplifying it a lot!
 A happy snow man and lots of sweets!!
***Update on 21 Dec 11:  This piece is still available in the Gallery at the Bedford County Arts Council until 23 Dec 11!***

Vi's work is also carried in several other galleries
~ Beads2Wear, McMurray, PA
~ Tari's Cafe & Inn, Berkeley Springs, WV

 Happy, happy Christmas week!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Typographic Homesteads

My Aunt April saw some of my photoediting work out on Facebook and asked for a couple of pieces for her friends using pictures of their family homes and their names.  I tried using my iPhone app, WordFoto, which I love, but it doesn't allow for a prioritization of names.  Meaning, I couldn't make the mom and dad bigger than the others.  I wandered around the Internet looking for a tutorial and found several for typographic portraits, but all are done with full-up Photoshop, and not Elements, so I couldn't get past the second step.  So, I improvised and got creative with plain old brushes and color sampling.
The gift exchange was this weekend and Aunt April reported that the recipients loved them! 
It's a little late for Christmas, now, but if you're interested in something like this, email me through my blogger profile and we can chat and see about working up a project! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Modified Holiday Ornament Blog Hop Post

I first met Sally Russick at ArtBliss last summer.  She had such great positive energy and a huge smile (and a glass of wine, so she knew where I could get one for myself!)  She moved over so I could smash myself down on the couch in the lobby of the Artbliss-hosting hotel next to her.  We were surrounded by a bunch of other awesome chicks showing off our Bead Soup pieces and comparing notes about workshops we were all excited about attending the next day.  It's those little relationships that happen in person for just a few hours or days that parlay themselves into fun blog-land family activities.  

Sally put together a blog hop this year to celebrate the holidays with an ornament exchange...and she's so far ahead of the game that she did it two months ago!   She paired me up with Rebecca Anderson, the artist behind Songbeads.  Well, Rebecca and I are apparently cut from similar cloth as we both waited until too late to create our ornaments and get them in the mail.  Mind you, she's in the UK, so priority mail wouldn't even alleviate our tardiness.  haaaaaaaaaaaa  But, she's wonderfully forgiving, as is Sally, so we'll be posting about our exchange later once the packages get to their final destinations.

In the meantime, though, I still wanted to share something ornamental, so I sat down at my bead table this morning for the first time in AGES and waited for some inspiration to hit.  Luckily, it didn't take long!  I have scads of paper beads that I feverishly created over the summer for no apparent reason other than to hoard them, so that's where I started.  Then, I figured, I have an even larger hoard of handcrafted art beads, so why not bust them out...seriously, I pay a fortune for these little miniature art pieces and I keep them in a drawer; that's just wrong!!!  So, I give you these little darlings:
As soon as I decided to let myself use any bead in the drawer and keep it a simple straight line, it was amazing how fast these worked up!  I used big fat aluminum wire to give them a little more heft.  The fat wire works perfect with the handcrafted beads that are usually created on a larger mandrel.
Each ornament started with one of my paper beads, and then I started hoard-shopping from there.  Since I painted the papers for the rolled beads myself, I already know I like the color combos!  haaaaaaaaaaa
I've got lots of other artisan hands represented here:
- Julianna Cannon - Julsbeads
- Heather Boardman - HMB Studios
- Kerry Bogert - Kab's Creative Concepts
- Diane Hawkey 
- Sue Kennedy - Suebeads
- Katerina - MayaHoney
- Kristie Roeder - Artisan Clay
I bet you're wondering why I didn't hang them on a Christmas tree for the pictures; well, I live in a tiny-ass apartment and can't even imagine putting a tree up in here.  I have a little tree in my office, but I'm doing my best to stay out of there this weekend, so I'm not going in there just for pictures.  :)

So, as to the real business of the day, here's a list of the folks participating in Sally's Ornament Swap for your blog hopping enjoyment:

1. Sally Russick   WireWorked Handcrafted Jewelry
2. Kim Hora   KimmyKats
3. Kathleen Lange Klik   Modern Nature
4. Susan Kennedy    Sue Beads
5. Jenny Davies-Reazor    The Art of Jennifer Davies-Reazor
6. Christine Altmiller    One Kiss Creations Beaded Jewelry
7. Jeanette Blix Ryan   Jeanette Blix Metal and Wire Jewlery
8. Holly Westfall  Silver Rose Designs ~ Handcrafted Jewelry
9. Mallory Hoffman   For the Love of Beads
10. Tamara Soper  Handcrafted Baubles by Tamara
11. Rebecca Anderson  Songbeads
12. Jen Velasquez   Jenn Judd Rocks
13. Jennifer L Justman   Souls Fire Designs
14.  Sandi Volpe  Sandi Volpe Handcrafted Jewelry
15.  Melissa Meman  Melismatic  Eclectic Art Jewelry
16. Hope Smitherman  Crafty Hope
17. Patty Gasparino  My Life Under the Bus
18.  Cindy Wimmer  Sweet Bead Studio
19. Erin Prais-Hintz  Tresures Found/ Tesori Trovati Jewelry
20.  Alice Peterson  Alice Dreaming

Thank you, Sally!
Have an extra-sparklie Saturday!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Bigger the Better

While home with my family at Thanksgiving, I got to spend a few days just hanging out and relaxing.  My sister gave me an awesome project to work!  Her house is a stunning "cabin" in the country and has a massive fireplace.  She had a pretty wreath up over the mantel, but it just wasn't to scale, so we chatted and decided to go bigger.  She could see the gleam in my eyes as I thought about the massive amounts of glitter that would be on sale.  I was please to be able to be a "consulting crafter" since she wasn't sure where to start looking for a big, pre-lit wreath.  I sent her off for the greens and and I went for the gold and silver.  Then, off I went working on this 5-footer!

I worked in her garage with a little Christmas music playing and my mom helping out by sweeping up glitter behind me.  The only music source I had was my iPhone, so I flipped on my playlist and the first song was something from my workout playlist by Judas Priest.  Right away, I realized that wouldn't work...haaaaaaaaaa  So, I downloaded Pandora and got to some streaming Christmas goodness.  Much better.  I went CRAZY with the glittery stuff and ribbon.  It was so much fun because it's something that I normally wouldn't least not on that large of a scale.  I couldn't pick just one ribbon, so I used six of them.  haaaaaaaaa

 And, when all was said and done, my sis sent a shot of the final result all hung up and lit...just perfect!!!!  I highly recommend a little glitter and wire if you need any additional reason to get in the holiday spirit!


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About Me

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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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