Thursday, January 28, 2016

Running in Circles

You know what they say, "When life hands you a blizzard...make beads!" What do you mean you've never heard that?? What's a snowed-in girl supposed to do when she can't decide whether to bead or create something with paper? The only thing I could think of was to combine the two, and if I tweeked it just right I could work in my love of all things miniature too! So first I grabbed some cardstock and punched out tiny circles...
Then my AR brain just had to ink the edges! Thanks to Seth Apter I am obsessed with inking the edges of everything now! This involved tweezers and was very tedious to say the least, but was more than worth it in the end!
Next, I grabbed my wooden bead and proceeded to layer the inked circles over the core. Not that I counted them or anything, but each contains 110-125 carefully inked circles of cardstock! What, do you think my AR brain would just let me ink them all and NOT count them? I wish....
Finally, I gave them a good coat of Ice Resin so that they would hold up well during wear, and then I added some Swarovski crystals, seed beads and bead caps and strung them on head pins for later use. 



All were made from the paper they are sitting on. The above bead is inked in silver metallic. 
And this is what I call the "money shot" for size reference...

Until Next Time...try combining...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

All Fired Up!

Inspired by Barbara Lewis' book, Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry, I decided to take on yet another endeavor and teach myself how to enamel beads! And once again, I misjudged the depth of THAT rabbit hole! And like all new art adventures, this one required new supplies and of course, more space! Who knew that there are like a gazillion colors AND different opacities of enamels?! And those tiny jars of enamel aren't cheap, so you have to choose wisely! I started out putting all my enamels into cute metal cans-just like in the book-but those suckers get very hot when you have molten metal beads being dunked into them...so I then had to hunt down and purchase small glass jars for my ever growing enamel collection..by this time I have several colors (more than I need) but how can a girl pass up peacock blue and ALL of its possibilities? Could you? So by the time I'm finally set up and ready to work,  I have enough canning jars of enamels that I'm fairly confident that if this enamel thing doesn't work out, I'll just rinse them out and start a small scale jelly operation that would probably rival Smuckers! And then there was the torch dilemma...No one would think that since I've traveled around with huge propane tanks and hot gas forges in my truck when I was a farrier, that I would have one bit of trouble with a tiny MAP gas tank, right? WRONG! See having those compact, potentially explosive devices just being handled willy-nilly by the yahoos at the unnamed big box stores where I purchase them, threw my AR and paranoid mind into motion! What if they dented the tanks, messed with the pins, stripped the tops? So of course I had to have the pristine, top shelf, untouched box of MAP gas tanks from the upper supply shelves! Now here's a tip for you-wear heels when requesting those-they tend to climb the ladders a bit faster...You're welcome!
Have you ever seen two enameled beads made with multiple colors of enamel that look alike? Me either? You know why? 'Cause its FN impossible to make two alike, that's why! I thought it was just me and my fledgling skills, but an online search turned up a whole bunch of other souls like me, just out there rowing the same boat in circles, trying to make two perfectly matching beads! Now, you can make matching beads all day long if you use the same color, but who wants to do that when you have peacock blue in your stash?! 
Now if I had to do it all over again (and I'm still talking about enameling beads here, not my life in general, 'cause that's a whole other blog in itself..) then I would start out by enameling flat pieces on a tripod first and then move onto round beads! Seems like I never do things the easy way...
I did manage to get quite a few that I really like and you can purchase them HERE IN MY ETSY SHOP.
UNTIL NEXT TIME...LEARN SOMETHING NEW!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Step Right Up and Grab A Ticket To This Show!


Hello and welcome to my new blog and website! If you are joining me from my old blog, Blue Finch, then I hope you will decide to follow me over here now, and if you are just joining me, then welcome! I decided to change things up this year to accommodate my ever expanding mixed media interests! Circus meets Boardroom, much like my own life, is a fabulous blend of rich color, whimsical layers and eclectic themes bound together by precision handiwork! I still plan to do jewelry, but will also probably add in some altered books and sculptural pieces as well.
I hope you will grab a ticket to this show, as it has been far too long since I've blogged, and I'm super excited about sharing my work and this upcoming year with my new tribe!

a peek into my happy place!

Until next time...Happy New Year!