Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bits From A Well Traveled Artist

Today I am featuring a jewelry artist that has seen parts of the world I have only dreamed of.  Maria of Mia09 on Etsy was born in Genoa Italy, has worked in Pakistan and presently is one of my "neighbors" to the North as she now lives in Ontario, Canada.  Genoa, Italy -  Doesn't that just sound romantic?  Let's see what lovely things come from living among the historic, romantic places Italy has.

Pearl Dream


Dawn Sky

Fruit Punch

Can't you just see Italy in her work?  From inspiration she says comes naturally to her, she combines luscious beads and colors into fabulous pieces.  Maria states "Being closely in touch with totally different cultures, nature and ways of life deeply touched my personal and artistic life."  It truly can be seen in her work. 

For a look at more of her work, hop on over to her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Mel's Art Buffet

I am always looking for new talent on Etsy or Art Fire.  Recently I put out a request for artisans who would like to be featured here on my blog.  Melissa from Mel's Art Buffet on Etsy responded.  She thanked me for considering a "newbie", but how could I not?  Just look at the beautiful and unusual work she does!

Melissa told me she has only been working with polymer clay for about a year!  Oh how I wish I got along with my stash of clay as well as she does.  Using food pictures as her inspiration Mel comes up with these gorgeous creations.  She says she love the simplistic colors of food photos she finds in magazines and on the Internet and is drawn to earthy colors such as brown, yellow and green.  Obviously, from the photos above she incorporates these colors beautifully into her work.

Mel lives in the wonderful land of Memphis where she is an office manager by day and creator extraordinaire by night.  She started out making jewelry for herself and just recently have ventured into online selling. Be sure to visit her shop on Etsy for more awesome treats.

Monday, April 19, 2010

In the Kitchen With Your Cookie Cutters

Cookie cutters are wonderful little things.  I'll bet just about everyone has at least one of them stuck away somewhere in their kitchen stash.  I know people who collect them.  One woman told me she has over 500 of them!  Now, that's an obsession if I've ever heard of one.  Most of us have a few tucked away for the holidays. Well People, get them out and use them!  They're not just for Christmas.

I had great fun today working in the kitchen with just a few of mine. Everything I made comes straight from the kitchen shelves.  Some are edible, some are not. They take a little extra time but what a great way to put your artistic skills to a good use!

 I did have an ulterior motive which was to get some pictures to use as a display in my brick and mortar shop.  Still, it was a challenge to come up with something photogenic.  My pictures won't make the cover of Food magazine, but I think you can tell what each thing is.   Just in case, I'll put a caption under each picture.

Cinnamon & Clove Spice Ornaments

Dog Treats


French Toast

Eggs & Toast

Rice Cereal Treats

All of the cookie cutters shown, plus lots more are available online here:

Crystal Heliotrope - My New Favorite Color!

Click on either picture for more information

This finish may have been around a while.  Sometimes it takes me some time to find things.  I ordered it out of curiosity and fell immediately in love with it when I opened the box.  Deep, awesome purple shines with blue effects that just can't be captured by my camera.  If the light hits them just right there is even a hint of magenta or pink.  I loved it so much I created a pair in both gold and silver.  I may just have to get my ears re-pierced so I can wear theses!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Help Me Out Here - I Need Ideas!

It has been a long Winter.  Now that Spring is here you would think I'd be all recharged and ready to roll.  Fact is, I'd rather endure a few more blizzards than even think about planting the garden this year.  Along with that I have completely run out of ideas about what to write here in my blog.  I am asking those of you who are here today to send me some ideas.  What do you like to read in other people's blogs?  I try to keep it centered around my jewelry making.  Do you want to see more of what I make?  Would you like to read more about the process?  Did you like the blog where I featured another artist?  Do you have a completely different idea? Come on folks, help me think!  Shoot some ideas at me.  I may not use them all but it should help to get my brain back in gear.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Favorite Designer - Dragon

Well, I told you in the last post that I was working on a special beaded project and here it is.  Just click on the picture for more information.

This beautiful pattern was designed by Dragon of  Unique Beaded Jewelry.  I love every pattern I have ever purchased from them.  They are so easy to follow!  I've never made a mistake due to the pattern.  That's not to say they are easy to make.  Most of the patterns are intricate but the ease in reading them makes for a steady flow in the construction.  I finished off the upper edge and clasp a bit differently than the pattern calls for.   I also had to add rows because the pattern is based on a size 11 seed bead which is much easier to use.   The smaller bead made for a more petite necklace.

This is the first patterned fringe necklace from Dragon that I have made.  In the past I have made several 3D birds.  Some of you may remember them, but just in case you do not, here are a few pictures.

The first Hummingbird and the Cardinal are constructed exactly as Dragon presented them except, again, I used size 15 beads.  The 3rd bird is one I used the original pattern for but changed the colors to be more like a Texas Hummingbird.

If you like beading, especially with seed beads, I highly recommend you take some time to go through Dragon's web site.  Along with wonderful pattern and graphs there are free patterns and stitch instructions.  You can order downloadable patterns or complete kits.  Even if you don't bead, its' worth the trip on over just to see the wonderful things available.  Be sure not to miss the Bead Gallery!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back To Beading

Click on either picture for more information

I am ashamed to admit it but I started this bracelet at least 5 months ago.  With life being what it is, and my small problem of not being able to avoid being side tracked, I just never got around to finishing it.  There it sat daring me to pick it up and "getter done".  The worst part of the story is I had it finish with the exception of  attaching the clasp!  Oh, Sandy.....sigh.....

So, finally, here it is.  I did one very similar in the past and sold it.  In fact, it became the wallpaper for my Twitter page.  I loved it.  My customers loved it.  It sold and I sort of missed it so I made another.

Some sort of insanity must have hit me when I ordered these beads.  I have boxes and boxes of tiny, and I mean TINY size 15 beads.  What WAS I thinking?  I'm working on another piece that is completely different from this one.  I can't wait to show it to you.  That is, IF it doesn't take me months to "getter done"!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Check Out My Awards Page

I have appreciated all of the blog awards I've been given in the past.  I was never quite sure what to do with them.  I want to keep my home page as simple and uncluttered as possible.  Every time I look at it I think I should remove something because it's too messy.  It just didn't seem right to just ignore blog awards and honestly, it bothered me when I did.  This morning another honor came through and I just had to figure out how to acknowledge their appreciation.  It finally dawned on me to create a special page just for posting these awards so that is what I did.  I promise, from now on I will post each and every blog award or related items and give credit to those of you who sent them!


Monday, April 5, 2010

New For Spring

Easter is behind us now.  Hopefully so is the Winter weather.  There's still time for it to reappear here in Western New York, but let's keep our fingers crossed!

To put myself into the swing of Spring I created this pretty little set that is very light weight and just the right colors for that light Summer wardrobe that will be coming out of the closet soon.  It is made with aluminum rings which give the look of metal but not the heaviness.  I just love working with it.  Czech fire polished glass beads do add some weight to the center and make it hang just right.  Pastels rule here!  Pretty lavender, lime, rose and gold blend perfectly together.

Just click on the picture for more information.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Of Root Canals, and Broken Tractors.

Hi Folks!

     Well, let me tell you, my DH is NOT a happy camper!  This week alone brings the bill for plowing this last season, a lawn tractor with a broken drive belt  and root canal work on what's left of my poor teeth.  He is pulling what hair he has left out.  So, I must beg, plead and practically give away my stuff to find the money to pay for it all.  Why can't things spread themselves out more?  My panic is your gain.  Everything on my Art Fire site has been slashed in half.  The sale price is what is showing, so know it was twice that much before my "Panic Sale".  If there is something you've had your eye on, now is the time to grab it!

    Remember - the sale is at Art Fire only -   It is way too hard to change the prices on Etsy, so don't go there.  Everything's still full price there.

    Buy your Mother's Day presents, your birthday presents, next year's Christmas presents or get yourself something wonderful and help Don keep his hair!