About Me

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I am an artist, wife and mother, paraeducator, yo-yo dieter, and small town country girl. I love singing in my church choir, computer time, beading and making jewelry. And I love enameling! There is something very magical about turning powder into smooth, shiny, and colorful glass.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Conquer Your Fears

This is a picture of my acetylene/air torch set up. Do you want to know how long I have had it? Almost a year. And do you want to know how many times I've used it? That would be once! And I only managed to fire it up, I didn't actually make, melt, or solder anything with it. I am terrified of it. I can use a kiln and I love my small butane torch but this thing scares me to death. So one of goals (I love to make goals) this summer was to figure it out even if I blew myself up trying. I found the tutorial I had bookmarked last summer. I love the sub-title, "Conquer Your Fears and Commit to Your Craft." It's so serious and dramatic and artistic sounding. So I studied it and the instructions which came with the torch (which, naturally, were a bit different) and I got the torch lit and I melted some copper. I even enameled some silver headpins. I figure if I use it every day, I'll get used to using it and I can master soldering. I dream of putting some of my enamel work into bezels and taking my jewelry and supplies one step further. I admit I haven't completely conquered my fears but I'm working on it!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

I went on a gorgeous, watery hike with two of my kids last week. The trail followed these cascades most of the way and at the top was this pristine alpine pond. So peaceful and untouched. It certainly was a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weekend Warrior (part 2)

                                   Finished Mixed Metals Necklaces (finally!)

Yes, finally! I finished my first batch of mixed metals necklaces. And I only got just a little aggravated. First I finished my pendants by adding a few stone beads or copper beads.

 And wire or jump ring bails.

 I put some charms and bead drops hanging from the bottom.
 Also some sari silk ties.

 I then picked matching or coordinating leather cord.

 Now came the aggravating part. I bought these glue on cord clasps. Even though I was careful to get clasps larger than the cord diameter, I still had a hard time getting them to fit. Some of the cords are a tiny bit larger than others. The next time I buy clasps, I will make sure I include some larger ones.

 The silver tone one is magnetic. I love the rustic look to the copper ones. I used a tiny bit of 2-part epoxy to glue the leather cords securely.  It's called 5 minute epoxy and they're not kidding. By the time I wrestled the cord into the clasp, the epoxy was too hard to use and I had to mix up a new batch. But the finished necklaces came out great!!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend Warrior

                                  Mixed Metals Pendants

One of the problems with making merchandise to fill my ETSY supplies shop is that it doesn't give me time to just play and create finished jewelry. I've been working on these pendants forever or it seems like forever! I finally got them riveted together and I'm pretty excited with how they look. I wanted to try something a bit more rustic. I used my disc cutter to cut different sized circles out of copper, brass, nickel silver, and patinated metals from LillyPilly Designs. I hammered, stamped, and antiqued. I used pumice power, alcohol inks, and sealant. I riveted them together and added some wire wrapped copper. Then I wasn't sure what to do next. I had to stop myself from adding lots of beads and sparkle. Rustic, remember? So indulged my new love of leather and bought leather cords in many colors. I can go rustic but I can't give up color!

These are all I've got finished for now. Stay tuned, I'll be posting more pictures soon to show how I finished the necklaces!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

                                                  Nature's perfect symmetry.

                                                             and not so much!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tutorial

                                          Leather and Enamels

I've always wanted to rivet my enameled components to leather to make bracelets. I thought the rough, rustic look of the leather would contrast nicely with my colorful, shiny enameled flowers. But I really can't afford to buy leather making tools and I certainly don't need another craft to focus on, so when I found these premade bracelet cuffs, I snapped some up. 

I love the different colors and rustic textures.

I also like the look of these clasps.

I made small flowers in color groups.

Sorry for the terrible pics, I don't get good light for photos in the afternoon.

I made holes in the leather using my wonderful riveting tool.

I stacked some rivets and the flowers and riveted them to the cuff.

The finished bracelets! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Warrior

                                               The Mess

It finally occurred to me why I was having trouble being my usual warrior this past weekend. My studio was a HUGE mess. I couldn't do anything without moving a mountain of supplies and unfinished projectsThere were beads, jars of enamel, and bits of metal everywhere. My bookcase is crammed with papers, receipts, books, pages ripped out of magazines....... get the picture? There is no reason for being unorganized because I have a whole room for my studio. I was so embarrassed for myself that I took some pictures. I figured if I blogged about it I would have to clean it. So I spent my weekend being a cleaning warrior. I hate cleaning so I wasn't an enthusiastic warriorBut, I made a good dent in it, enough to be able to finish some enameling projects. When my studio looks organized again I'll post the after pictures.