Monday, February 23, 2015

More Beaded Things and Some Dolls

My friends Z and K came over on Saturday for brunch and some crafting.  We wanted to continue making things with beads.   Our "main" play date had to be rescheduled for March.  Here are the pendants i made, with silver fimo clay, and some black glitter clay.  One is really cluttered, one is very orderly, one is whimsical, and one is kind of cool looking!  After baking only one bead fell off, but was easily reattached with a drop of glue.

  Here is a beautiful bird pendant Z made with polymer clay and an assortment of rhinstone chain, bugle beads, seed beads and a leaf charm. After baking she'll add some flowers or beads to the two rings on the branch.
 K was busy with some interesting doll projects (see below) - but tried to make a pendant with aqua clay and gold seed beads and a couple of charms.  She didn't like the "messy" look and was going to start over!  We all know what THAT feels like!
 This was a cool to make!  it started as a paper clay heart.  I took a few dozen cheap stud earrings (i have a pal who can get them for me) and created a paper weight. I just stabbed the earring posts into the semi hardened clay.  it will be a nice conversation piece on  my desk at work.
 My friend K was busy creating these adorable little dolls with bunny ears.  One of them was made with air dry paper clay. She used 2 part epoxy for the other (i am not sure which).
 For this doll, K added some pearl ex powder to the bunny ears.  
Once she got her home, she added a tattered lace dress, wings and some flowers.  So cute!
 This pretty damsel is going to become an art doll when she is complete.
bunny ears looked so fun - so i created these with paper clay on a little plastic kewpie doll.  She is drying in a hot sunny window as we speak.  I'll paint and add a dress and other adornments once she is safe to handle.
 I dried to make a bunny with some leftover fimo clay but it ended up looking like a deer!
A deer with a snail body??  oh whatever! covered with some beads and baked it looks pretty cool!  Stay tuned for beaded things part three in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Awesome Beaded Things

 So our friend D hosted another play date in SF this weekend.  We decided that our project should be based on K's fish - shown here.  K was inspired by the art of Betsy Youngquist.  Which is to say, a pretty ambitious project for a 4 hour play date!
 I started earlier in the week with a porcelain doll head, from my jar of doll parts.  Doesn't everyone have one?  anyway - it had to much of a torso attached, so I had to borrow Z's Dremel tool to remove it.  Not before a trip to Home Depot to purchase a diamond bit for $18.  ouch. But it was worth every cent! cut the porcelain like buttah!
Once the head was free of the excess, I stuffed the neck with tin foil and just sort of roughly built up a bird shape.  Then I covered it all with paper play.  SO easy to work with.
 Took three days to dry enough to take it to the next step.  The clay didn't have to be perfect as it would all be covered over with beads.
Oh look - a wee flock of birds!  Mine, K's future project, and D's red bird - still at this stage without its doll head. (sorry didn't get a pic of it later in the process)
 So here we are, surrounded by all manner of beads, and gemstones, and glitter and sequin, and random cast off jewelry.. ready to start.
 So I just dove right in!  I started with the silver findings around the neck and then  just kept adding rows and rows of bling. I used some extra tacky glue and applied it with a brush.
 Here is K working on her fish.  Very serious business with a lighted magnifying glass and stick pins to align bugle beads!
 here is Z working on her inlay heart pendant. 
 (she finds the doll heads a little creepy - they certainly can be!)
 Here's my bird starting to fill in.  I found the piece of woven and tasseled bead work in the bottom of a bag of stuff - and hey!  why not use it!
 I added some shell buttons to the tail to create a "feather" effect.
 A large gemstone on the back of the head created a focal point to work around.
 Here is Z's finished pendant.  She used black glitter polymer clay as a base - and inset the beads - beautiful!!
 Here is K's fish with its perfect rows of beads.
 K cut her doll's face in half to elongate it.  She is not quite finished.
 Here's me working on the bottom of my bird back home,
I used rows of thread-strung beads.  but it isn't easy.  I have a few bald spots still to fill in.
 Here is a side view.  I need to get more of the darker beads at Michaels this week to continue the field between the other elements.
 Here's a top view..
And voila!  my little flyer got some shades!!  She is just about ready to take flight!
Thanks K for the inspiration.  Thanks D for hosting. Thanks D and Z for the goodies.
Sorry S couldn't make it - we missed you!
And especially thanks again to Betsey Youngquist, without whose artwork inspiration none of this fun would have happened...thanks....!

Bling Revisited

I once again had the pleasure of working in S's Bling Book.  Her directions were to create black and white spreads with a touch of metallic and a lot of sparkle.  See the last time I worked in the book HERE.
For my first spread I chose to do a constellation.  It is undoubtedly not astronomically accurate to have the moon right next to Aquarius, but here they are!  I started by painting the background a dark iron grey.  normally I wouldn't paint in someone's book, you cannot be sure how the paper will  react to  the moisture.  but this little binder journal has thick pages.  I cut out black and white images and glued them to the page with a glue stick.  then added stick on gems for every star.  I added the words to The Age of Aquarius, as it was so fitting.  Then I added some additional twinkle with some metallic color mists from Outside the Margins.  they added the perfect touch!
For my second spread I started with pages that had text running across the page.  I was playing around with some models wearing black and white outfits.  and I got the idea to remove their white blouse, and white skirt, and to let the page "be" their clothes. I added a bling-y watch image split in two, and added stick-on gemstones to EACH of the diamonds on the watch.  that's a lot of darn diamonds, Mr. Lauren!  I guess I was also thinking about the movie Big Eyes, since I added some to both of my gals.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Water Colour Painting with the Family

 After all the excitement of Santa, and presents, great meals and fun games, I settled down to do some art with my niece and her dad.  I created this little birds on a cherry tree branch painting - my sister liked so much - she framed right away!
I am not really that good at water colours.  I am more of an acrylic painter - used to layering on (and fixing mistakes).  But this turned out ok.
 My niece is a brilliant artist and did this painting from a photograph she found on line.  She has the knack (which i lack) of leaving the white space where the sun sparkles on the water.
 My brother in law hasn't painted in many years - but is getting back into it.  Here is a first layer of a west coast scene.
 Another work in progress, some pretty fall birch trees.
 Anthony  is a pheasant hunter and illustrated a recent outing with his trusty Labrador, Jazz.
Here we are deep in the creative process at my sister's kitchen table.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Crafterino Petaluma

I spent a lovely morning with a couple of pals at the Holiday Crafterino craft fair in Petaluma. Since we got there early - we got these awesome goodie bags, filled with, you guessed it, goodies!
a goat milk soap from
a wooden die cut of California key chain from
a wee little baby bug ornament from
a Kleenex case from
some manga magnets from
a pottery gift tag from
a notebook from
a card from
some stickers from
some heirloom seeds  and assorted cards and discount coupons.
what fun!  all in a nice canvas bag - just for the cost of attendance - a whopping $1.

I did actually BUY a few things~!  I bought this bubble glass locket, from
  It has no bug in it - I can add my own image or object.
I  picked our these pretty bird postcards from
I got one of these last year and just love it - a garland made from wool discs from
This is a set of notecards and envelopes from  the envelopes are made fromold book pages and have interesting images.  there are stickers to match.
And finally a collage kit from
I always buy stuff from her - even though I have all sorts of interesting collage materials in my own studio.  I am just a sucker for new stuff!
I have told my friend Z, just sneak into my house, make clever little kits with my stuff, and sell it back to me!
If you didn't make the sale this year, I am sure they'll be back next year.  or check out their blog with links to all the vendors:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Card Party 2014

 My friend Karen had her annual christmas card extravaganza this past weekend.  It had a theme (of course!) of Christmas Red and Winter White.  Here we are beside her two hand made trees.
Here is the adorable invitation she sent up for the party - yes an altered Altoids tin!  
She encouraged us to dress in the theme colours.
   One tree was made with miles of red velvet ribbon and the other a dripping willow tree with white lights and red balls.There were even MORE decorations around the house.  Check out last year's party HERE.
 Here are the little presents i brought for the ladies.  I wrapped them simply in white deli paper with red velvet ribbon and a glass candy cane.
 Inside the tins i placed some bling - sticky gemstones and pearls. Here's how i made them.
 Here are just SOME of the supplies Karen put out to share with us.  If we brought nothing, she had us covered.
 Of course there was coffee, pastries, fruit and yogurt when we arrived.  But in addition she served a delicious luncheon - including this tasty and beautiful citrus salad with pomegranates.
 She made us individual chicken pot pies and an arugula salad with dried cherries and goat's cheese. 
For my cards this year - i decided to make the base from pretty scrapbook paper - the heavier weight card stock.  I made good use of Karen's generosity with her supplies!  I designed a simple pattern of trees in a landscape format.
 I cut down the scrapbook paper from 12" x 12" to 9" by 7 1/2" to fit perfectly into a standard business envelope when folded in half.  this was to avoid having to fold up my annual christmas letter to fit.  A simple tri-fold and i'll be done.
 I usually like to do a simple design that i can crank out pretty fast.  But i still want it to be nice.  I cut 100's of "trees" - in triangle shapes from coordinating papers.  Sticking mainly with a blues and greens palette. a splash of red thrown in here and there.
 Here they are work in progress all stacked up.
 After a few more hours of play, it was time for tea!  karen made this impressive layer cake with a white chocolate frosting.
 Inside was even prettier!  and theme appropriate - of course!  Red velvet cake and cheesecake.  luckily we all got a second piece to take home!
During "tea time" Karen gave us all a little gift bag.
 Inside were three festive napkins which had been coated with resin - which transforms them into a mica like material, suitable for collage.  there was also some rose soaps, a little calendar, a notebook, a music rubber stamp and some chocolates.
My friend Z gave us each a vintage christmas card and a little vintage photograph, prettily packaged in a vellum envelope with lace trim.  The colours were perfect with the theme of the day!
My friend D gave us each a pretty scented soap.  I wonder how she knew i like birds so much?  (snigger)
Our friend M owns a bead store and brought some of her "bead soup" - a box filled with assorted bead for us to choose from.  Sunday (after the party on Saturday) i made this necklace with the beads i had selected. I used waxed linen thread and simply knotted the thread between the assorted green and amber beads to create separation.  it turned out long enough to wrap two or three times. 
Since i got out my bead things - i went ahead and made this one as well!
I didn't get any pictures of the Christmas cards the other ladies made (just so much going on!)  But my friend D made these eclectic new year's postcards and offered us each one.  They look just like one of D's quilts all laid out together.
 She has such a talent for collage and mixing patterns and themes.
 I, on the other hand, stick to pretty and predictable!  Here are the 44 cards i made all lined up on my dining room table.  A veritable forest of christmas tree shapes.
Oh - must confess.  there is ONE card that was upside down when i glued on the trees!  OOPSIE!  so i just added a few more triangles, some sticker balls - and now it is a festive holiday banner!
It goes without saying that our friend Karen is UNBELIEVABLY talented at throwing these parties.  her hostess skills, her cooking and her decorating are over the top.  We are truly blessed to have her as our crafty buddy.  She knows just how exactly make us feel special.  Including giving us SHOES!  well, ok, just one shoe - this pretty sparkly red one.
Thanks Karen!