Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Price of Silver

Wow, have you noticed the drop in silver prices?  It's under 19.00 an ounce.  If there was a time to stock a tiny bit this MIGHT be it.  I have a Kitco ticker in the right column of this blog so you can see the current pricing.  Tempting, really tempting.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hannah Rosner - my Sunday teacher at Bead and Button

Last but only chronologically to this series of posts is the great class I took with Hannah Rosner of Good River Gallery on Sunday at Bead and Button.  Man oh man, did I ever feel like I hit the jackpot of teachers this year....let the good times roll. 

I've met Hannah before - not only at B&B last year but because we are both lampworkers.  We both were part of Jeri Warhaftig's focus group for Jeri's book Creating Glass Beads so we all communicated with one another while the book was being created.  Hannah is an incredibly skilled  lampworker and like me is finding ways to use that lampwork in a variety of ways.  Hannah also has a background in working with seed beads and bead embroidery.  But unlike me Hannah has now pushed that to it's limits and has created some large and incredible necklaces not unlike the great works pictured in the Bead Dreams photos of the last post.  I have seen several of Hannah's works in that very competition and wish I had one to share here but didn't get to all the cases due to light restrictions, etc.  For a much larger view and a collection of Hannah's extensive talent please go to her Etsy site HERE or her web site HERE.  Not only can you see the scope of her work she also has lessons and kits....even free tips.

Neptune's Tail by Hannah Rosner

Hannah presented a class on working with soutache braid within the realm of bead embroidery.  She's a skilled instructor and took a ton of precautions to make sure the class went off without a hitch and that our focus was on using the braid.  To this end she even had done the preliminary work, peyote stitching around a rivoli, and we only had to zipper the piece around the rivoli and begin our lessons with the braid.  What fun and how fast beading with soutache can go - a whole lot faster than with beads alone.

These are Hannah's bracelets and what we were shooting for in our lesson.

There were ladies within the class who never made a misstep and were very nearly done with their pieces.  I am not that fast since I don't work with beads as much as I used to but I certainly know where I am going with this and it won't take me long once I sit down and just do it. 

Hannah will be teaching at "The Gathering" in July and has a pretty full teaching schedule this year so if you visit her site I'm sure you can quickly catch up with a class or pick up a kit and learn this interesting technique.  For me it's great lap work while the TV is running so I couldn't wait for my lesson - and Hannah did not disappoint!

This is my piece in the last photo - really, it won't take me long from here - I just need to pick up the needle and go for it.  As you can see - I really enjoyed working with the braid and I can't wait to mix this with some lampwork beads.  This wont be my last soutache braid - for sure!

My unfinished braid.  I was going to go for a cuff but I think I'll go soft bracelet now.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Photos from "Bead Dreams"

One of the great things about B&B is the inspiration you get from seeing everyone else's creations.  There is something for everyone - so if you're a jewelry artist you are in eye candy heaven.  These are some of the photos I took of what I saw.  There were probably over a hundred pieces so you have to know these were just a few of the pieces you could drool over daily.  That doesn't even count the number of passing necks, wrists, and ears adorned to the hilt.


Aren't these Poodles just the cutest?

You've got to know that this piece just tripped my trigger!
Doesn't this one look like it should be part of Snow White and the Huntsman?

Monday, June 17, 2013

I showed my Richard Salley classes first because I had good phone photos of those pieces but it was just one round of great classes.  I also had a phenomenal class with Linda Larsen of Objects and Elements.  What a treat she is – confident, artistic, and open.   The class I took was very different from the Salley classes in many ways.  We did a hinge, but in a different fashion.   Linda made major metalworking look pretty darn easy. 

My first "Captured Object" neck piece.

Our project for this class wasn’t necessarily a beginner’s project and Linda was quick to point that out many times as her students were working hard.   I agree.  It’s why I took that class.  In this case we (and very quickly I might add) cut a major setting from metal, patterned the material,  chose a stone (everyone’s was different), made a pronged setting for the stone, set it, and made the flip front (completely hand domed and patterned), and hinged everything together.  UH, we were humming along – we even got to patina the piece as Linda guided everyone through various choices in metals, stones, patinas, and so on. 
This class was not for the faint of heart in teachers either.  But, I’ve got to tell you something – Linda Larsen rocked it.  She guided everyone through with panache and a smile.   No one went wanting for help despite our variety of choices and skill levels.   If she wasn’t pooped out after that class I certainly don’t know why….but she didn’t seem to be.  She seemed energized!
Does this look like a terrorist to you? Looks can be deceiving!
After B&B I returned home to “bad kitty” – I’m not going to elaborate about that here but I will say that a family pet with a temporary “screw loose” was enough to unnerve even the most loving furbaby mother.   I was originally planning on redoing my Larsen project with a more suitable stone (I had brought the one I used thinking it would look great - what the hell was I thinking?).  It’s a great setting and my follow through was good – but my choice of stones turned it into a very bland piece for the amount of work.    So, since I bought a few stones at the show I decided to have my do-over even though it’s going slow as I clean up after “bad kitty.”  But, what I wanted to say about this, through this convoluted story, is that I didn’t take good notes in Linda’s class (and trust me – she was throwing out extra info right and left).  I relied on my pea brain to remember them and when kitty gone wild interrupted my train of thought when I arrived home I lost important bits of information.  Note to self – take more notes!  Lesson learned. 
What else did I learn – and this is one of the many reasons that class rocked it.  I wrote Linda via her site Objects and Elements.  She immediately wrote back and answered my questions.  She didn’t have to be so nice.  I had my class time.  But she was. 
Thanks Linda.  I loved my class and I’ll be back for another lesson so keep designing these great projects.

This is Linda Larsen's "Captured Object" necklace - I wanted to show you what I'm shooting for.
: - )

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Class Projects from B&B

My piece from Richard Salley's class "Double Hinged Pendant"

My pieces from Salley's "Making An Impression" class.
Two of the classes I took at B&B were from Richard Salley. I had some great results in those classes. I love the pieces I made while I was there. I learned both how to stamp with StazOn Ink and how to use PNP paper to create etchings. I kind of had the basics and have etched many times before but I've never used either of those products. Mostly I've just drawn with a sharpie marker and then etched. The process was interesting, fun, and the results couldn't be beat.

The first piece with 'the eye' is etched on the outside - the doors close and you see the etching front and back.  Here we used the StazOn and stamped it.  We etched, we sawed, we hammered, soldered, riveted, and so on.  It's a fun piece with a ton of techniques to try.  Another thing I'd never used before is what I call stained glass solder - it's a silver bearing solder but very "low tech" and apparently extremely useful.  Who'd of thunk it? We used it in both classes.

The second set is from the "Making An Impression class".  We made PNP etched pieces and turned them into simple stamps.  How wonderful is that?  After that we learned to heat the low tech solder and stamp it while it was molten to add some distinction to the surface of the metal we were working with.   Again - pretty darn cool process.  I can't say my second piece turned out all that well (I'm not fond of my design choices) but the technique and the possibilities with this are totally wonderfully cool.   Am I excited?  Absolutely. 

Would I recommend a Richard Salley class - Oh hell yes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Unpacking some of the First B&B Goodies - Color Me This Patinas

I guess I am beginning to recover.  All of my B&B purchases are on a portable work table.  It’s pretty much a disaster as I’ve been unpacking, washing, and trying very hard to get a “bad kitty” situation under control.  It seems I am making progress and can take a little break to begin blogging again.  Let’s hope so! 
First I’d like to mention my wonderful roommates.  I roomed with Linda Dana, Dorra Bost, and Lisa Liddy.  I’ve got to tell you – you couldn’t find a better group to room with, although I’ll admit to also missing three others who weren’t able to attend this year.  Between Dorra, Linda, and I I think we pretty much had the classes covered.  Linda was deep into Robyn Cornelius and Joe Silvera classes, Dorra loves very precise work and took Keum Boo and Niobium classes.  I went for Linda Larsen, Richard Salley, and Hannah Rosner (me being the “I want to try it all” person in the group and I love bead embroidery).  Lisa was busy on the show floor since she is the artist behind Metal Me This…and the creator of Color Me This and was a vendor at the show. 
Bead caps with Color Me This patinas - Aren't they just awesome!

Mendi style etched design on a Toggle
It's really hard to make a decision on which color pack to choose.  And yikes - Lisa was planning even more of them while we were at the show.  For a person who loves color this isn't any easy choice.
I purchased some of Lisa’s great etched sheets to use in some pieces and a set of her colors to patina the metals.  Have you seen this product yet?  Lisa makes bead caps, bracelets, and “you name it” in the jewelry line since it looks like the sky is the limit on this.   You can also purchase freshly etched sheets/ pre-colored etched sheets/ and just the patinas if you'd prefer.  I really can’t see where you couldn’t use this for any of your metal creations.  All you need is imagination – and that is something Lisa certainly doesn’t lack. You can click on the store names to get to Lisa’s site then you can check it out beyond my meager shout out here on this blog.
As soon as I get going on some projects I’ll post the results because I’m really looking forward to using this.  Can you just see the etched metal bead caps (with matching patina) on my beads?  I sure can – and lots more!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Recovering from B&B

What's new at Bead and Button?  Well, today when I unpack my suitcases I'll begin by showing all of the new goodies.....well, at least, as much as I can.  I saw way more than I was able to get photos of or take classes of.    I had three wonderful roommates and will fill you in on all of our conversations.  They are a talented bunch of ladies and besides that they are great people.  How can you go wrong with that.  Between us four we figured that on any given day we had two and maybe three good legs between us.  And here I thought I was the ONLY one having problems making my body go the way I wanted it to go..........LOL.

So "stay tuned" and I will begin the B&B show and tell tomorrow.  It's good to be home but I know I'll miss the excitement....although my feet are saying "leave us alone for awhile...please".


Monday, June 3, 2013

Last of the B&B beads

Kind of a primary color group!
Well - - - - this is the last set of the Bead and Button group.  I'll start tagging and boxing them up tonight so I can get going.  There is so much to get done in the next two days.

I have equipment to get ready for the classes I'm taking and a suitcase to pack up.  I always hate this part of the process.  I tend to stick the suitcase out days ahead of time and begin placing things into it.  That's my usual MO on packing but I didn't get to it this time because I was working on the beads.  It looks like I'm going to rush and that means I might forget something and I hate it when I do that....makes me cranky to take a class and be missing a tool I'd like to use.

If you don't hear from me for the next day or two I'll be on my way to Milwaukee and I'll write from there.  There are always great things to post about at B&B.  I'm excited for the classes and to see Milwaukee again - I just don't want to pack.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Filling the B&B Trays

Sorry these aren't fancy pictures but my time is so limited to get ready for B&B that I'm foregoing any regular set-ups at the moment.  More hearts in different colors....I thought I better throw some bright ones in there in warmer colors too.  I have quite a few in the blue range (must have had blue on the mind - LOL - or at least my head).

Hearts with one in the reverse showing my custom hug and kiss stamp
Fronts of the heart sets with complex twisties and those wonderful petal beads.  I love making those petal beads.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blue Haired Old Ladies

My mother had gray hair - not always, probably most of that gray was brought about by me but she rarely put a rinse on it.  My MIL (mother-in-law) on the other hand loved a good rinse and once ended up a little purple.  I loved it.  So here is my new personal rinse - or rather my newly frosted hair.  Once upon a time I did pink but this time I thought I'd do something different.  Life is just to short not to have a little fun once in awhile.  Sometimes you just have to fly that freak flag for all it's worth...I'd hang my toosh out the car window but at this point in my life (1) No one would look, (2) I'm not sure I could get it up there, (3) I'd probably fall out of the car. 

It gives me a personal giggle to think of the possibility of a mug shot and having my son drive up three hours to plead my case to the judge.  My husband would just kill me.  And such is the life in the "great imagination zone" - I better settle for being a new fashioned blue haired old lady.