Charm swap – sneak peek

Here is a peek at the charms I’m working on for a swap with the JouJou Girls. The theme is Valentines and who doesn’t love roses for that particular holiday? I am so excited at how they are turning out – even better than the picture I snapped with my cell phone (if I do say so myself). I just have the wire wrapping (ala the Deryn Mentock technique) left to do. I made some extras for other uses… maybe an addition to my OWOH giveaway!

Charity auction and Christmas swap

The Charmsters, a charm swapping group that I belong to is holding a charity auction on eBay. The auction is for a beautiful hand crafted charm necklace. This necklace features 15 soldered, Christmas-themed charms. Each beautiful charm has been created by a member of the group. We collaborated to make a very special work of art which can be yours just in time for Christmas. You can leave the charms on the necklace as shown or remove them to be worn individually. This would be a perfect gift for someone special. All you have to do is go out and bid on the item.

One hundred percent of the sale of this special item will benefit A Place to Bark. This non-profit is a no kill foster and adoption rescue dedicated to the welfare of animals and was founded in 2001 by artist Bernie Berlin.

Please help us support Bernie’s efforts by bidding!

Here are thumbnails of the charms from the swap.

Here is a charm on the necklace but not in the swap.

My newest site

I found this really cool new ecommerce site. Setup is free and easy to use. Transaction fees are $.20 plus 2% of the sale.

You may use this coupon code (SPECIAL10) to receive a 10% discount from your purchase greater than $15. Plus, all items are listed with free shipping! Click on the picture below to access my site.

Hmm hmm hmm hmm to me!

Just celebrated a special occasion. Unfortunately, they’re sneaking up all too often these days. I think this is the year I’m going to start lying about my age… I think I can pull off 39. Who’s going to know? Ha! Anyway, I bought myself a beautiful gift at the Art & Soul vendor sale. This is a beautiful painting by the very talented Stephanie Lee. I love the colors, the way she finished it with wax, and the composition. It’s so lovely! And I deserve it.

This painting can hang either portrait- or landscape-wise. Because the area above my sink is such a weird space, I have been searching three years for the perfect artwork to hang here. I am so happy I finally found it.

It could probably be bigger but I think it works… I didn’t want something that over took the whole area. What do you think?

This weekend is the JouJou Workshop with the wonderfully gifted Deryn Mentock. It is going to be such a great time. We still have some spots open AND there is still time to register. Let me know if you can make it and we’ll get all the details worked out ASAP!

Art, art, and more art!

This coming month is going to be jam-packed with art. I cannot wait! On Sunday, the Muse Council (aka Washington County Mixed Media Artists) is getting together. These ladies are most talented and a lot of fun to hang out with. We’re going to be working on soldering.

Art & Soul starts this week. I’m taking the following classes:

Thursday & Friday: Step Into the Story–Jewelry Technique Workshop with Nina Bagley
Sunday: Gridlocked with Lisa Kaus
Sunday PM: Face Cabochons–Tricks & Techniques with Jessica Acosta
Monday: Charm School with Lisa Call

Check out the links. I can’t wait to see my out of town art friends. Laurel, Dede, Leslie, Keli, Kecia, and Zhulia will all be there. And there will be some other locals attending too: AllegraMelissa, and Michelle. On Saturday after shopping the Vendor event, Melissa, Diane, Dawn, (maybe) Sue, and I are going to get together for a drink. Too bad we didn’t plan ahead, it would have been fun to have a girls sleep over at the hotel that night.

The following week is my birthday. Not sure what’s going on for that but I’ll be 39 (again). 😉

Then the weekend of October 18 & 19, is Deryn‘s JouJou Workshop! That is going to be so much fun. There are still spots available so if you’re interested in attending, let me know! A juju is a charm or amulet with “magical” powers. The word “juju” is derived from the French word joujou meaning “toy” or “plaything.” In this class, we’ll spend a fun first day playing with charms. We’ll assemble all sorts of joujou charms and create a beautiful charm keeper pendant designed to hold them.

Deryn is a wonderfully talented artist; originally from Hillsboro, she now lives near Houston. Hurricane Ike devastated parts of Texas but Haiti has been particularly hard hit this season. Take a look at her blog to see the beautiful necklace she’s auctioning. She’ll match and donate the proceeds to charity: Double Harvest‘s Benevolent Housing Project to build housing in Haiti. Not only can you own a piece of original art to wear, you can help out people in need so bid, bid, bid!

Charming charms

I was so excited when I got home and found a package waiting for me. I had heard a lot of buzz from different bloggers about Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae‘s book, A Charming Exchange. I knew by looking at the cover that I needed to get my hands on it as soon as I could.

Yay! The book is a wonderful work of art in itself. So many amazing artists collaborated to make this a masterpiece. The photography is stunning; the artwork is gorgeous; and the instructional demo-like lessons are very detailed; not to mention, the wealth of valuable resources referenced. I didn’t realize one of my art-friends is a contributor… way to go, Marci! And one of my favorite artists, Deryn Mentock, also contributed some beautiful pieces. Oh, how I love vintage coin purses. If you share my passion for those old, worn, kiss-locked pieces of leather, you’ll also die for The Shepherds Amulet… it is enchanting and delightful. Go out and get this book… it will definitely wake up your muse.

Speaking of muses… I have so many ideas swirling around. I only wish my “studio” was better organized so I could work in there. I have a professional organizer coming on Saturday morning to help me get a plan together for working through the mess. I am hopeful that change is just around the corner and I can become more engaged in my creative projects. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I am really thrilled about a round robin charm swap I will be participating in and eager to get started. There are 10 participants and it will take months to complete. The participants are all members of the Charmsters group I belong to. Each participant has taken their time to decide a special theme for either a necklace or bracelet. Each of us will create our own first charm. I am planning on using one of the soldered pieces I made in Stephanie Lee‘s class and embellishing it to fit my theme: Architectural Garden. My vision of the theme includes rough stone, weathered statues, patinas on tin, old architectural pieces, salvaged gates and finials, song birds, garden angels… a special place of peace and sanctuary. Everyone’s themes are so heartfelt; it’ll be a reverent exercise creating each unique piece. I’ve been making some eBay purchases (take a look at this, this, this, and this!) lately and hope to use some of my found objects in my work. I can’t wait to begin!

Bird swap charms

Here are the thumbnails of the pictures I took of the charms from the Charmsters bird swap I participated in. I wish I was a better photographer. I don’t know if it’s me or the camera. I guess I need to experiment more. But just look at the wonderful charms everyone created. I can’t believe how much detail everyone put into these lovely pieces of art.

Suzanne Redmond

Suzanne Redmond

Pam Kirschenbaum

Maya Macauley

Carlee Ragsdale

Lori Guerin

Lore Caldwell

Kristine Zakarison

Kecia Deveney

Kathy Lefleur

Julie Saunders

Christine Hendry

Cheryl Connell

Betty Hooper

Zhulia Abrok

Terri Nickelson- Williams

Sharon DuBois

Michelle Geller

Melissa Merrill

Maureen Baranov

Jennifer Griffin

Janet Wilson

Connie Williams

Carol Moore

Denise Mares

When I was at Art & Soul in Hampton, Kecia and I decided to do an individual swap. I gave her one of my silver clay charms and she agreed to send me a unique charm in return. I love what she created. She is such a talented artist. If you don’t already do so, check out her blog. And if you love her artwork as well, she has a site on etsy.

1 for 1 charm swap