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!

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Random stuff

This week flew by. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I failed my first attempt at getting a permit… better study some more so I can learn to ride my scooter… in traffic. Even more shameful, I wasted most of the beautiful weather we had this week. I did some weeding in the yard but some of the flowers I bought died before I planted them. The ivy I planted last year is thriving, however. And the little garden area outside the dining room window is lush and so pretty. I was hopeful that my allergies would be mild this year and up until now, I have had minimal symptoms… but one day above 70° and I’m all stuffed up.

Tomorrow, Steve will be taking his dog, Bull (the toy poodle) to the vet to be put down. It is going to be a sad day; he’s had that little guy for a LONG time. I’m not sure if I should go with him or not. I know he’s going to be upset and when he’s upset, he usually doesn’t want any fuss. But I want to be supportive so I’m torn. Bull had a long, happy life. In his day, he was feisty and love to chase squirrels. He was most happy as a lap dog. As he’s aged, he didn’t have a lot of patience for the other dogs in the house so we tried to give him his own space. Most of his teeth have been pulled by the vet. There are four left on one side of his mouth which makes his tongue stick out the other side. Slowly, his hearing and eyesight have deteriorated. I think he has some other problem but not sure what—he is constantly grooming himself. Doesn’t do any good though; he smells like feet. Poor little buddy has been suffering for a long time. His quality of life is poor. It’s time to let him go.

Note: I went with Steve; Bull passed peacefully this morning. Rest in peace, little buddy.

Tomorrow afternoon, my family is getting together for a pot-luck. My cousin, Kevin, and his new wife, Elena, are coming for a visit. They are both in the Air Force and he hasn’t been home for several years. We’ll get to meet Elena tomorrow and hope we don’t scare her off. The weather should be nice so the kids can play outside on the waterslide. I made a pea salad. I got the recipe from All Recipes. For some reason, when I’m cooking, I don’t usually like to taste what I’m fixing so I have no idea how good (or bad) it will be.

I was considering going to the Flourishes sale tomorrow but I have changed my mind. No one can go with me and I don’t want to go alone. Besides, I’d have to rush from the vet to Washougal to Scappoose. I think I need to hold off and go to the next sale.

I don’t think I mentioned this before: I shared my blog with a co-worker of mine. She really liked the Morpeus Box I made in Michael deMeng’s class and commissioned me to make one for her in honor of her father’s memory. She gave me some ideas and I’ve been gathering some things. It’s going to be quite eclectic but I am so excited. She wanted the piece to be bigger than the original so I bought a little box at Craft Warehouse. I found a post to use for the spinner part. I am going to try to use a different method of mounting that part. I had been searching high and low for swivel/spinner hardware but could find nothing that would work. Finally, I went to Target and found a kid’s bathroom cup holder. It was small and spun around. I bought it and dismantled it. I am going to bore a hole in the wood and then drill a hole and put it all together with a dowel. Then I’m going to mount it with that epoxy-putty stuff. I think it’ll work. If only I could find more of the swivel/spinner things… I can think of a million and one things to do with them. Anyone have any ideas about that?

I haven’t started my bird charms… I’m such a procrastinator! I have set aside Sunday to work on them though. I’m still pondering what I want to do. I was going to do one thing but now I’ve changed my mind. It’s a plus I work well under pressure! I’ll post a picture here when I’ve finished them.

I bought this really cool ceramic casting mold of little birds. Has anyone used ceramic molds for things other than ceramics? How did it work? Could you use metal clay with them? Would you just fire the whole piece, mold and all? Speaking of metal clay, has the new bronze metal clay come out yet? I heard they’re going to have copper metal clay too! How cool is that?

Oh, I almost forgot… I went to the doctor today. I asked him what he thought was going on with me a few weeks ago. Well, could have been ovulating and since my ovaries are floating around loose inside, could have felt different. Could have been muscle spasms caused by the weird position they put you in (head down/feet up) during surgery. And there was some issue with my bladder and scar tissue. Everything seems fine now and I got the green light for baths, hot tubs, and sex… yeah, like that’s a priority these days. Oh, well… just so glad to have that all behind me. Time to start saving for that breast lift. I figure by the time I have enough money put away, I’ll have lost that extra 40 pounds too. ha! 🙂

A&S: Susan Lenart Kazmer

One of the most fun classes I took at Hampton Art & Soul was Susan Lenart Kazmer‘s Uncommon Objects in Tassels and Fringe. I had some flashbacks from a jewelry class I took in high school art. I remember learning how to use a jewelers saw, a bench pin, and a vice but for the life of me, I cannot remember what the finished project was. I’m sure I got a good grade though—I had a great teacher: Ms. Knode. She instilled my appreciation of the process of creating jewelry. The most memorable project we made in class was lost wax casting.

Fast forward twenty-some years and I find myself still inspired to create jewelry. When I saw Susan’s pieces on the A&S description, I was excited to take her class. Incorporating fibers and beads with metal was very intriguing. In class, Susan gave several demos on how to use many of the tools. Then it was a free-for-all… everyone wanted to use the same tools at the same time. But with a bit of patience, I managed to create two pieces. Susan was great at offering assistance when needed. I was so pleased at the praise she gave me. I added the fibers and ribbons after class—it was, after all, an evening course. I see so many applications I can apply to my metal clay work. The tools I’m missing, I’m planning on buying.

I received Susan’s book in the mail yesterday: Making Connections. What a wonderful masterpiece. It showcases her work beautifully and she shares so many tips and techniques both in writing as well as pictorially. She must be proud of this book, which she self-published. If you have the chance to take a class from Susan, jump on the opportunity. And order her book; you won’t be sorry.

I misplaced the second piece I made… I’ll post a pic when I find it. 🙂

Fine Silver

I have been experimenting with PMC3. I’m not sure if I like this formula very well. It’s really gooey out of the package. I think I’ll try the Silver Clay Slow Dry. I have also used some different techniques for texturing and polishing. I would like to find some brass texture plates. The texture plates and stamps I’ve been using aren’t giving me the effect I’m looking for. I have to say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my tumbler. What a time-saver! After an hour or two, the pieces come out so shiny and beautiful. I used some liver of sulfur to give the pieces that aged look but I’m thinking I like the shiny finish a lot. The liver of sulfur actually emphasizes the little scuffs and marks. I guess that’s nice on some pieces if that’s the look you’re going for but not on everything. I also tried some paint made for metal but it dries too quickly so I don’t think I’ll use it much. I liked using Sherri Haab’s transfer medium to add color. I think it would have been a nice addition to the little daisy I created from a mold. Next time I’ll have to try it. Anyway, here are some pictures of the pieces I did. I should be posting them on etsy but I will probably wait until I return from Art & Soul early in May.

And the winner is…

I did the drawing the old fashioned way. I wrote everyone’s name on a slip of paper and drew from a hat. Actually, I had Chloe pick one.

Here is the winner:

Congratulations, Jeanne! I will contact you to get your mailing info. Thanks to all for participating. I will let you know my choice on the hairstyles in a separate post.

And here is her prize:

Thanks to all for participating! Look for a future announcement of my new line of fine silver jewelry for sale.

Happy Spring!

PMC class

I attended Sherri Haab’s PMC class today. It was great. I learned a new transfer technique. The transfer solution is very interesting stuff. It can be used on many different surfaces, including mixing it with pigment and using it as a paint on the silver. Here are a couple pictures of the work I did today. Keep in mind these are not perfect… I was most interested in learning the transfer piece than anything.

Art Classes

There were issues with Art & Soul registration today. I guess the web host they use couldn’t handle 300 users. That really doesn’t seem like a lot to me but oh, well… they’re supposed to be back in business on Thursday. I know there were a lot of frustrated women madly clicking, trying to put their classes in the cart and check out before they lost their opportunity to get into all their first-choice classes. Yep, I was one of them! There are only a few classes I was wanting since I have a full schedule for Hampton. I will try again on Thursday.

Here are the Portland classes I am trying for:

Nina Bagley – Step into the Story–Jewelry Technique Workshop (2 Days)
Lisa Kaus – Gridlocked
Jessica Acosta – Face Cabochons–Tricks & Techniques
Judy Wise – So You Want to Sell Your Art (still undecided)

Here are the classes I am attending at A&S Hampton:

Stephanie Rubiano – Perching Pixies
Sally Jean Alexander – Little Pink Houses
Sally Jean Alexander – Bottle-icious Brooch
Susan Lenart-Kazmer – Uncommon Objects in Tassels and Fringe
Kathy Wasilewski – Tin Souls
Michael deMeng – Morpheus Box: A Transformation Chamber

Other classes I’m taking:

Portland Bead ExpoSherri Haab – Image Transfers on Metal Clay

InnerstandingsStephanie Lee – Junk Drawer Metalsmithing

Lisa Kaus StudioLisa Kaus – Let Them Eat Cake! & Home Sweet Home