Monday, September 29, 2008

Tutorial Monday-Resin Tutorials

John Golden has a series of three resin casting tutorials that are very detailed and complete. He's posted them on You Tube. If you've ever wanted to make your own resin jewelry this is a good start.

Here is the link to part 2 and part 3.

Mr. Golden also has this video at Mind Bites in one part. The video quality is better. It's not free, but it is only one credit and part of the money goes to a selected charity. A single credit is only $1.99, less if you buy in bulk.

So many viewers of his videos had trouble finding the jewelry blanks that he is now selling them at his website, and in one of his Etsy stores, Golden Supply. While you're over on Etsy, check out his digital art here, and at this store, Mot and Dot, that he runs with his wife.

Sherri Haab has written a great book on creating resin jewelry.

I have this book and have been very pleased with it. Ms. Haab also has kits available for projects in her book.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tutorial Monday-Earrings by Erin

photo by Erin

I just purchased two tutorials: Moana Hoop Earrings and Framed Cabochon Pendant from Earrings by Erin. These are great tutorials by Australian wire artist Erin.

The Moana Hoop Earrings features 32 color photos and 12 pages. You also get a video link with the tutorial showing how to do the Koru spiral motifs. I found the tutorial to be well illustrated and well written. The experience level on the Moana Hoop Earrings is listed as novice to intermediate.

The Framed Cabochon Pendant tutorial is listed as an advanced tutorial. This tutorial has 28 pages and 68 color photos. Like the earring tutorial, it has good photos and is well-written.

One of my favorite things about these tutorials is that they are designed for use with round wire. I know a lot of wire workers like square wire, but I prefer the more ethnic look of round wire.

Read an artist interview of Erin at For You Designs.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stefan's Sweet Sixteen

Today our son Stefan turned 16. Wow, they really do grow up fast. Or at least they get big, since I can't really say he's completely grown up yet.

When I was 16, I got a (used) car for my birthday. Stefan is getting a better video camera for his. He's not that interested in learning to drive, which is fine with us. In about a year my car will be paid off and it's a top ten safe car for teenagers so we'll revisit the driving thing. Most of his friends will be learning to drive by then and he'll probably be more interested in getting his license. If not, that's okay.

I paid extra to expedite the shipping of the camera, but it's not here yet. We did get the new fisheye lens and he's thrilled with it. He had me take a picture with it on the old camera so he could show all his friends.
We're taking Stefan and a bunch of his friends to Dallas to skateboard on Saturday. They will ride the DART rail, which is a big thing for these small town kids. On the way back we will stop for pizza. Stefan's eager to film with the new camera.

I'm working on a couple of slide shows but so far the browser crashes every time I try to load it here, or else Blogger refuses to save it. I've been trying for three days. I'm going to post the slide show separately, if possible. We'll see.

Stefan Through the Years

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In the Zone

The Crafty Princess, Tammy Powley posts in Beading and Brain Surgery about how intense people look when they're in the "creative zone." She wanted to see others "furrowed brows." So here's mine:

Okay, maybe I'm stringing that turquoise a little intensely. In the next one though, I look like I'm torching that art clay with my eyeballs. It's not my most flattering picture. And yes, there is a flame on the torch, but no matter how I set up the shot the camera I had then wouldn't pick it up.


Be sure to check out Tammy's free projects at her blog. She also has some good articles about craft writing. I have a link to her latest book, Picture Youself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry, on the Amazon sidebar.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tutorial Monday-How to Make Fabric Beads

photo: Monica Magness

This week's tutorial review is something a little different. Instead of a wire project here is a tutorial on a fresh style of fabric bead. Most of the fabric beads I've seen involve rolling the fabric into a cylinder. Not this design! Instead, scrap fabric is turned into a round bead, embellished with seed beads. It's perfect for all those little fabric scraps left over after a project. I always think they are too pretty to throw away but I never know what to do with them. Aaack! Now I really do have to save them!

This bead design is easy to customize since you can add your choice of beads. I think you could also wrap some ribbon or yarn around the bead and stitch it on. And if you just have to have wire, a little colored art wire wrap would be pretty. You could wire the seed beads on instead of sewing them.

This beautiful design and tutorial comes from Monica Magness of Girl-Gone-Thread-Wild. Monica is active in the Pink Artist project. You can help out and enter the drawing by making a donation to benefit the Susan B. Komen for the cure Foundation.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ralph Lauren's Spring 2009 Collection

photos: New York Post

I looked at a video of Ralph Lauren's Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear line. The designs are reminiscent of Indiana Jones, Bedouin fashion, and with some updated forties uniform suits thrown in. Very, very nice. The fabrics were shimmery and included sequins and beads. It made me want to get out my Folkwear patterns and play with fabric. That bag in the second picture above reminds me of the wonderful vintage Army Surplus store ammo bag that my cousin carries.

The accessories included tribal style jewelry, chandelier earrings, and lots of turbans, Indiana Jones hats and leather belts and leather and canvas bags. Ethnic style jewelry should be a good bet for next year, judging from these examples. Teal never seems to go out of style either; look at the gorgeous necklace set above.

Accessories photos: Harper's Bazaar

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike Has Arrived

The little red dot northeast of Dallas is Greenville.

We're just now starting to get some light rain and the winds have gone from nothing to crisp in the last few minutes as we start to feel the effects of Ike. Our major concern here will be power outages, and I have food planned around that, although if power stays out very long we'll need ice. That, and Buddy cat is not home. I'm a little worried about him. Lately he has been around sporadically and we suspect he has found someplace else to get food. I hope they let him in.

We don't usually have much wind damage in the immediate area of our house because we have woods to break the wind. As long as a tree doesn't fall on us we are okay.

The eye of the storm is around Huntsville, I believe, and it is still a category one storm. I think by the time it gets here it is supposed to be a tropical storm.

There's been a lot of comparison between this storm and the 1900 storm since both hit Galveston. The 1900 storm is the worst natural disaster to hit the U. S. and 6000 people were killed. Our family lost two young boys, 8 and 11, I believe. Family history has it that a many-time-great aunt got all her nephews and nieces in the upper story of their house. The storm surge carried water into the upper story and at one point a chest of drawers came through the window with a cat hanging on. They rescued the cat. The nieces and nephews were all safe. After the storm they moved from Galveston, and took the cat with them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where Have the Insects Gone?

I love taking photos of butterflies and other insects. I was hoping to get a lot of good shots this year, particularly since I got the new Canon Rebel. I haven't seen many this year though. Last year we had several large garden spiders, and all summer the butterfly bush was covered in flying insects, including butterflies. This year there were honeybees right at the start of the summer, along with some black and gold large bees, and a few skipper butterflies. Ominously, only the black and gold bees remain. That bush should be covered all summer and into the fall. I have only seen a couple of butterflies. And I have not seen a single ladybug this year.

In fact, Cornell University is doing a population study of Ladybugs and has asked for the public's help.

It has been a year for chameleons anoles though. Here are some shots of some that I took in East Texas. I just hope they had plenty of insects to eat, so there will be chameleons anoles next year. I did see some younger chameleons anoles in the same place later in the year so I'm assuming these bad boys found some lady friends.
These are all the same chameleon anole. On the picture below, he's the one on the right. Just as I was finishing taking pictures the fellow on the left stalked up and they began circling the electrical socket and eyeballing each other. I guess it was some sort of territorial thing since both chameleon's anoles were male. There was a lot of strategic posing going on.
Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry for chameleons anoles, if you are interested in learning more about them.

New Jewelry

Here's a new wirewrapped donut necklace set that will be going up at my Etsy store Essential Adornment soon.

The donut and the ovals are chrysanthemum stone and the rounds are red tigereye.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11 and 2975

Two thousand nine hundred seventy-five people plus twenty-four missing and presumed dead: all lives snuffed out on 9/11. They were people from many countries; all walks of life; young and old; men, women, and children. We should never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My First Sale at Etsy-Essential Adornment

I had my first sale at my Etsy store Essential Adornment recently! Now I need to get to work and get more listings up.

I sold these earrings:

Monday, September 8, 2008


Eni Oken has started a new jewelry site: Jewelry Lessons by Eni Oken and friends. The site is loaded with good info, mostly on wire wrapping, but undoubtedly with much more to come. In addition to articles, profiles, pictures and more, there are quite a few tutorials for sale, and also some free ones. The tutorials have been authored by Eni Oken and other artists. I can't speak for all the tutorials, but I have purchased Eni's tutorials from her site Eni Oken's Jewelry Journal before and found them to be immensely detailed and well written, with excellent close-up photos of every step.

Eni writes in her
journal that "The site will be a community, sales venue and bank of knowledge all wrapped in one. It will have articles, tips, tutorials, Q&A section, member profile pages, student galleries and a lot more. The idea is to SHARE information on jewelry making -- not only wirework, but all artisan techniques -- and store it in more efficient ways than the traditional forums and newsgroups."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Out of Pocket

I'll be out of town this coming week starting Monday evening. I won't have access to a computer, but I do have some posts scheduled during the week.

I'll be helping out at my parent's while Dad has some minor surgery. I plan to take some supplies up there and get some jewelry done while I'm away.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Posh Mama

I joined Posh Mama a few weeks ago, and last week I won the Posh Mama Summer Gold Medal Award. It's on the sidebar.

Posh Mama is fun and interesting. Most of the social networks I belong to revolve around jewelry so this is different for me. I always find interesting articles on the front page and links to interesting Posh Mom's. Check it out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tutorial Monday-Wire Frame Bracelet

I stumbled across this Wire Frame Bracelet tutorial from Belinda Spiwak the other day. The bracelet is somewhat freeform and allows for lots of individualization. While there are good close up pictures of the finished bracelet this tutorial doesn't have step by step pictures. It does have good text instructions. If you have a little experience with wire I think you could have a lot of fun creating your own version of the frame bracelet. The design lends itself well to mixed media type art, found objects, and eclectic mixtures of metals, beads and charms.

For more inspiring wire bracelets, check out the pictures of Susan Lenart Kazmer's beautiful and arresting bracelets.

Belinda includes a tutorial on booklace pendants at this same URL. Check it out!