Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bangles and Bowls

Gluing rhinestones into vintage settings, and settings onto pinbacks.
Notice that delicate layer of renovation dust? ;-) It's a daily thing...

A stack of those Dhokra-style bracelets from India, hunted and gathered this
week by the MOTH. Perfect for filling up with little jewelry odds and ends.

Under the lamp.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Blue Bead by Kate Boyan

Where have I been? I love Kate Boyan's Alaska-themed bead embroidered purses, but I didn't realize she'd also written, illustrated and published this story of the blue bead (an old Russian-made trade bead) with her own beaded compositions. This title just went to the top of my Amazon wish list.

It's amazing the amount of detail she packs into a small space!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Butterscotch Bathtub Wall Art

This is what the wall behind my tub looks like now that they've taken down the old tile. Random strokes of adhesive (or something) and layers of wall, in a lovely shade of butterscotch.

Click the picture to get a bigger image.

This would make a gorgeous background photo layer -- the white sheetrock reminds me of clouds!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Niio Perkins Bead Embroidery

Niio is a contemporary Mohawk bead artist who uses traditional beading techniques in her work. I love her clean designs and beautiful color harmonies. Take a look at the way she creates dimension with her stitches. Niio's website is here:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Paint, Rust, Dirt. In that order.

I loved the texture and gradations, and the way the color looked on
a mostly overcast day. (Click the image to get to a bigger view.)

The culprit? This old toy trailer. I think it would make a great planter!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Altered Acrylic Cabochons

Here's another example of an altered vintage plastic cabochon.

Very simple -- I mushed burnt umber acrylic paint (artist grade, from the tube) into the low areas, then dabbed and blotted the paint off the high areas and the sage green background.

Once that dried, I dabbed silver Rub and Buff to the high areas.

Check out my tutorial on this technique, from a previous blog post.

And, I happen to have a pair of these (unaltered) in my Etsy shop.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Central Asian Textiles

While googling to research a hat the MOTH brought home, I ran across this yummy online exhibit called From Tent to Palace: Textiles from Central Asia and Turkey, from Santa Rosa Junior College (2007).

A bridal bed covering


Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Studio -- Uh-oh

I came home after a week at my Ma's to find that the fellers (see, the accent comes back right away...) had moved the bathroom stuff out of the bathroom and into the only other place the stuff could go.

Oh well. Guess this means I'll have to go play with rhinestones... swooooosh, see ya!

Stay tuned :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More Rhinestone Pendants

We did a second batch of resin clay pendants, and I even blinged a couple of pairs of earring settings with loops on the bottoms -- will finish those up upon my return to the motherlode studio this weekend.

I think I'm getting the hang of spacing the rhinestones for maximum coverage... For the heart pendant, Instead of laying out the big rhinestones first and then filling in between, like I did in the sapphire pendant, I laid down a starting line of various sizes of rhinestones, and then worked out from there. It was easier to chink the rhinestones down right next to each other.


Friday, January 20, 2012

My Sis's Machine Embroidery

As usual, my sis is doing amazing artsy things. On this visit, she showed me some of her machine embroidery experiments:


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rhinestone Resin Clay Play Day

Today's Assignment: Mush vintage rhinestones into mounds of clay. Tough assignment, but we got through it. Hehe.

Here's Alli pressing a variety of vintage glass rhinestones into her pendant setting.

And voila! The finished pendant. Made with plenty of time to spare
before the epoxy sets up (i.e., under 45 minutes).

Here's a closer-up shot.

Some of our other creations...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Beautiful Mama

A fantastic mommy and a beautiful niece, all the way from over the pond!
How lucky am I to see her and her cute little boys?
Writing this week from my own beautiful ma's house in Kentucky...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Studio -- Color Inspiration

Pink, salmon, putty. With a touch of leaf green.

Bob Marley was here already -- he might have to stay.
The gray-blue walls won't, though...

And now to select the color for the accent wall...
This is my second batch of swatches. I was going for cinnamon at first,
but now I'm over in fuschia territory. Decisions... Bob?
"Lively up yourself...and don't be no drag!"

Salmon (is basically rusty pink) and an old Pendleton blanket.
Some people would buy the furniture before they acquired the bedding...
But what the heck, at Ross, the kitschy palm tree pillow was only $5.00
and the fluffy thing in the back was $12.00. I have found Ross to have
the best prices on pillows, especially compared to Hobby Lobby
(even with their 40% off coupons).

Stay tuned :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Studio Curtains & Over-the-Door Thangs

Pouf valance curtains from Big Lots, in craft brown. $6.00 each x 4 per window.

Also picked up a couple of shoe organizers, one in pink (shown) and one in
a pinkish orange. Ok, it's orange. I have them on both sides of the door,
since I don't plan to shut the door very often. $8.00 each, also from Big Lots.
This one holds my gels, glazes and sealers. The other side holds my adhesives.
24 big pockets are plenty, with room to grow.

Stay tuned :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh Yeah -- The Tin

I almost forgot -- the tin that housed the treasures:

P.S. Beadnik was lying, this is not her tin, the wench. But still, I might share some treasures w/her...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Studio -- Which pink?

Decisions, decisions. Fortunately, I have my avatar to guide me.

Stay tuned...

Friday, January 13, 2012

What I Found in the Tin

Last night I went out to the MOTH's hoarder work room and stole this amazing tin I hadn't noticed before. I just assumed it was filled with junk (as opposed to junque).

Was I wrong!

I kept pulling out these great, unique little objects, one after another.

I'm so grateful to whoever the special person was who decided to tuck
these little treasures together. Pictured above is about 1/2 the stash,
which also included little bunches of beads and jewelry findings.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Diary of a New Studio -- Lights!

Hmmmmm... I guess I could make this light work. But shouldn't a fool princess
like me have a chandelier or something?
Thanks to the MOTH and his Goodwill adventures, I've got a couple
to choose from. The bottom one looks kinda dangerous!

For closeup work, I'll rely on my army of Otts:
All of these came from thrift stores, including my favorite, the one
on the left, which includes a fold-out magnifier. I've had the one
in the middle for nigh on 15 years, and only have had to change the
bulb once. The white one is battery powered, perfect for taking to classes.
I also have a floor Ott light around here somewhere...
(Note the new purple carpet! Wooo!)

For a decorative touch, I've decided to move my black and salmon
painted lamp and table into the studio. I'll probably put my music on the table.
It has great storage and shelving underneath.

Stay tuned :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cottonwood Tree Handpainted Tiles

I'm so excited about my first tile painting project! I've been dreaming for years about putting some hand painted tiles in my bathroom, and now I finally have a chance, since we are renovating.

I snapped this picture with my cell phone when I went to pick up my project!

I couldn't find a tile making or tile painting class when I needed one, so I ended up going to Art Attack in Albuquerque this past Friday evening, with a friend from work. (Turns out they have Ladies' Night there the first Friday of every month, btw). They have the usual fairies and vases and plates and whatnot, as well as tiles in two sizes.

Mine are 4", and my little tree is proportioned for a narrow wall in the cubby where the sink is. The colors turned out just the way I'd hoped!

A single coat gives you a watery, uneven color coverage, and three coats give you a rich solid color. So I used 3 different blues for the sky, and two browns for the tree. I tried to stay conscious of the direction of my brushstrokes, in case they showed. The mountains are kind of faded and purplish -- just the way I hoped they'd look. I thought my glaze might be too dark so I wiped off some of the dry glaze, and I'm so glad I did. I also wiped off some areas in the sky to look like clouds.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jewelbox Ballerina's Millinery Tutorials

I stumbled upon this tutorial from Jewelbox Ballerina and thought it could teach me some simple techniques for stabilizing all kinds of weird unique little found items for use in my jewelry and beadwork:

Doncha LOVE the photo above? I bought and paid and downloaded, and was not disappointed -- there are clear photos for every single step, along with a picture at the beginning of each project showing exactly what supplies you'll need.

Plus, Eliza has a great web presence and in addition to her Esty shop, she lists online supply sources in her Free Tutorials section.

I just love her color choices and her attention to detail. These aren't just glue gun tutes (although you'll need one), Eliza shows how to make your little items securely, with good quality materials.

Always happy to find inspiration! Now if I could only find my florists tape...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Diary of a New Studio

Tonight I moved this plant into the not-quite-empty room that will
eventually soon! become my (smaller) studio. I hope it thrives there,
along with whatever else is coming...

The guy doll in the window is my color inspiration for the room.
(Sorry 'bout the flash -- it made everything grey!)
Tomorrow the guy is coming to put in the new carpet --
and it's PURPLE like the guy doll's pants.
So yeah, cinnamon, crimson, lavender, pink, salmon and faded grape,
that's what I'm going for.

Stay tuned :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Swarovski Chatons Tutorial from Beki

Here's another sure-to-be-a-favorite tutorial from Beki Haley, owner of Out on a Whim ( I swear I cannot follow written instructions, unless Beki writes them.

While you're at it, check out the rest of Beki's Classroom too.