Jenny wren – the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the month reveal

If you are looking for the Beading back in time hop – click here! 

This month new member Niky Sayers ( of Silver Niknats, now Niky Sayers Artisan Jewelry) sent us pieces made from the old British farthing coin. (A farthing was 1/4 of a penny. There were 240 pence in a LB Sterling. Taken out of circulation in 1960 – that leaves a lot of coins for creative purposes!) Niky sent me a hollow lentil bead made from 2 coins. Its stunning! I am particularly fond of the wren, often called Jenny Wren. Some nursery rhymes have the Queen of Fairy shape shifting into a wren… 

I thought I wanted to do a bangle and have a message/mantra for myself as it is Jenny Wren… Here is the first attempt: stamped and engraved copper to frame the wren bead. I have a great little engraver that makes it so easy to do script… 

COM version 1

I wasn’t happy with that. I had those shapes in mind to transition from the width of the bead down in proportion to the wire wrapped bangle section. They looked like the whites on either side of an eye, and they didn’t sit well on my wrist. And color. I think I want color… 

AJE COM July

There! I am so pleased! Lampwork by Indian Creek art glass with aventurine and turquoise accents. 

bracelet detail

If you are coming to Bead Fest stop by Artisans Alley #461- I’ll be sure to wear this and you can see it in person. Until then – please join my colleagues and out guests on this month’s hop! 

 

 

New Year. New Table.

 

Happy New Year. Happy New Years week!

This week is the week I get things ready. Ready to return to work, ready to start the new year, ready, fresh, optimistic… I have a tendency to clean and reorganize which I find cathartic. Cleaning the clutter both inside and out allows for creative growth and inspiration. 

Here is the before:

 before collage

My old and dear IKEA trestle/drafting table. I have had it for…..20 years? But its a board on 2 sawhorses basically. Rickety isnt a strong enough word… I loved that it was so deep and I could have treasures artfully stored within reach. But it wasnt working anymore…

The process: 

cleaning is cathartic?

 The top left pix is the table that is leaving. The other pix show the general chaos, every surface covered…

The results: 

Moved in

 The shallower workbench (thank you Harbor Freight) opens the room up quite a bit. Many thanks to the namelass Grandpa who handed me a 20% off coupon as I was debating the table in the store! The table is rock solid – and was a bear to put together. But my husband was patient… and I love it. Drawers for tools, no carts to slide in and out from underneath. Almost everything in one spot. (Micro torch, enamel tripod etc. are on a smaller tabel across the room, on deck until needed. ) The beloved IKEA table is to the left for collage, journaling, resin etc. 

Many people start the New Year with an introsective post about goals, desires… and a word for the year. I am thinking on these things. I am not in a hurry. A year ago tomorrow I had major surgery and I am thrilled to be NOT there this year. Words I am pondering: journey, health, strength. This New Years Week I always reflect on my 2012 goals and write new 2013 goals as per the sage advice of Alyson Stansfield aka Art Biz Coach. I set up my Year-at-a-glance calendar with shows and deadlines. I clear off the bulletin boards….

This year I am looking forward to Kerry Bogert’sAspire to Wire” class in January; my Coast 2 Coast adventures with Cooky Schock and new mixed media work for shows with my art partner Betsy Mortenson.

The year is dawning brightly!

Spirit of the season…

My hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. And at this time of year, let us remember the season is one of love, family, and friendship. Hold your loved ones close, and remember to breathe…

 

It seems like ages ago that Sally of The Studio Sublime sent out a call for participants – the 2nd Annual Ornament Swap. I worked on mine and sent it away before Thanksgiving – that also seems like so much time has passed… ( My original partner was unable to participate – so I will be sharing what I made. Sally adopted me as her second partner, and I will be sending her something along these lines in the very near future. Sorry for any confusion. )

And so it begins

My idea started with a tiny vial of snow, of ice, of crystalized winter. I prefer to do seasonal motifs, as everyone’s beliefs are personal and varied… I set up the polymer oven – as I have been doing more and more of late. Polymer is versatile and immediate. Earthenware and stoneware have such a long process time: dry, fire, glaze, fire… For something like this polymer suits the bill nicely. 

Comes together

The swap brief said to include an artist bead. Although I am creating the entire piece, I wanted to be true to the challenge, and created these snowflake charms. You will see them again…The bird and tree are stamped and hand painted onto ivory polymer. Here it is all together:

Winter wonder

Ornament reverse

And my partner/friend? So sweet! Sent me this …I may have to keep this up in the studio all winter!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Ooh! I love the flame patina on the copper, the SueBead with silver, the accents of olive and aqua! Its so lovely…

Light and shadow

So – those extra snowflake charms… They ended up here: 

Snowflake earrings

Two pairs were already sent on their way to lucky winners of another challenge. I think I will save one pair for my MiL… So that leaves YOU dear reader. If you want to be entered into the give away – mention that in your commment! ( And it would be so easy if you were willing to leave your email as well…)  I will pick a winner Monday afternoon! 

So – thank you all for celebrating and hopping with me. Here are my friends and fellow swap partners. Happy Holidays!

Sally Russick 

Lesley Watt

 Jenny Davies-Reazor 

  

Therese Frank 

Andrew Thorton

 

Jeanette Blix Ryan

Maryanne Gross

 

Rebecca Anderson

Melissa Meman

 

Veralynne Malone 

Miranda Ackerley

 

 Jen Cameron

Sandi Volpe

 

Susan Kennedy

Kristen Stevens

 

Shirley Moore 

 Cooky Schock

 

D. Lynne Bowland 

Tiffany Smith

 

Patti Vanderbloemen 

Pam Ferrari

 

 

Alice Peterson 

Bette Brody

 

Julie Anne Leggett 

Lola Surwillo

 

Kathleen Lange Klik 

Erin Prais Hintz

 

Mowse Doyle

Kristi Jaro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ornament Swap! Make new friends and keep the old…

OK – Good morning! Sorry I wasnt “here” sooner. This is the first Saturday in over 2 months that I haven’t rushed off early to teach Ceramics classes at the studio. But I can’t think of a better morning than coffee and a blog hop/swap!

 I met Sally Russick at ArtBliss in DC. Can I just pause here to rave about that retreat! Close to home! Fantastic national teachers? Great hospitality! Fantastic hosts – Cindy Wimmer and Jeannette Blix! Ok – back to the blog post… Sally posted about an ornament swap – a million years ago – it seems. Of course I was interested! Make a pretty and recieve a pretty? Yes! Meet new friends? Yes! Keep in touch with old freinds? Yes!

When it came time to make, and mail said ornament, I realized time had crept up on me. What was a generous time frame, well – I procrastinated a bit. I usually work in clay. Earthenware and stoneware. Now with drying time, firing time. glazing… it wasnt going to work. So, I turned to polymer. I like it. I want to experiment with it more. I respect it after taking a class with Christi Friesen. The most frustrating thing is weeding out the old and crumbly in my stash that frustrates me every time I try to work. Fresh polymer is quite nice!

I wanted to do a winter theme. My preference in decorations are seasonal, and having email-chatted with my partner  Christine Altimiller and perusing her blog – I thought this would be a good fit. ( Enough chatter – pictures please!) 

my ornament

I went with the shrine shape as that is a style I work with often. A reporoduction of an antique postcard shows a winter angel decorating a tree. She is framed in polymer and stamped copper. 

ornament detail

For the dangles I knew I had to include river rock,  a fav of Christine’s and an artist’s bead – one of my stamped ceramic eucalyptus charms. The pod print recalled snowflake shapes in my mind. 

The ornament I recieved, you ask? It was as if Christine had been in my house! So perfect! She must have super mind reading powers…

Christine's ornament

Driftwood, ethereal beautiful seed beaded snowflakes in icy blues and lavendars! Delicate and gorgeous!

details

details 2

I was completely stunned. I am so appreciative of the delicate seed bead work done here! The time and patience it takes! Mad skills! Thank you to my ever talented and creative partner for sharing this sliver of winter magic with me!

So – refill your coffee and please head over to Christine’s blog – One Kiss Creations! And definitely check out the other ornaments. I am feeling festive already! 

 

Thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear from you… 
Happy Holidays!