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.


Wonderful weekend

I attended a wonderful workshop at Sally Jean‘s gorgeous studio in the Pearl. Her studio is heavenly and her personality and style is imprinted on every single square inch of the place. Spending time in her studio is an inspiring experience. If you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of Where Women Create… you will be amazed. And Brad was the photographer! His photos are wonderful and he’s got a couple more spreads in the next edition. Great work, Brad!

The women in class were so very creative. It is always fun to meet new people and learn about their lives. Watching how others compose their artwork is always interesting. It was truly a pleasure to see everyone’s finished work. What talented artists! See for yourself…

I apologize I didn’t get everyone’s name to give them credit for their work. 😦

Going back to Sally’s lovely studio tomorrow for round two: soldered angel tree topper! Yippee!


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!

Mosaic cutting questions

I was looking online for ideas for a swap I’m in. I found some jewelry made from pieces of these beautiful plates. Does anyone know how to cut porcelain or china into perfect little hearts, ovals, or circles? Do you think they used a grinder to get the detail after they got the basic form cut out?

Here are a couple links to pictures for a better idea what I’m talking about:

Broken Plate Necklace 1

Broken Plate Necklace 2
Broken Plate Necklace 3
Broken Plate Necklace 4
Broken Plate Necklace 5
Broken Plate Necklace 6

Aren’t these really beautiful?

PS: These amazing works are for sale by these artists on eBay: Vintage China Treasures, Dishfunctional Designs, and Charmed Ware.

PPS: I just bought these items on eBay.

Not sure what to do with them but I thought they were really cool. Any ideas?

Junk Drawer: Stephanie Lee

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to take Stephanie Lee‘s Junk Drawer Metalsmithing class. The class was held at Diane Havnen-Smith‘s studio in Clackamas. Diane served a delicious lunch and the smaller class size provided a more intimate gathering. Diane has an amazing little cedar house in her back yard which was a heavenly place (I need one of those)! Stephanie shared so many of her techniques. I wasn’t feeling my creative best but I managed to fabricate a couple pieces that I am happy with.

My next tool purchases will be a quality butane torch and a bench grinder. I used a tripod in a class I took with Jane Wynn last year so I think I’ll need one of those too. That should allow me to do all the cool projects I have in mind.

Several of my yahoo charmster friends attended the class. It was great to put faces to names.

If you get a chance to attend one of Stephanie’s classes, I would highly recommend you do! Also, if you are thinking of taking a class hosted by Diane, you will not regret it!

I went back to work today. It was a long day.

A&S: Sally Jean

I took two classes at Hampton Art & Soul taught by Sally Jean Alexander and her husband, Brad: Little Pink Houses and Bottle-icious Broaches. I respect Sally’s no-photo and no-visitor wishes. These policies add to the value of the class as well as increasing the demand for her jewelry and classes and protecting her business (smart and savvy, don’t you think?).

Sally is very organized and professional. Each student is presented with the class materials in a neat package. Brad whom she affectionately refers to as her man-slave, is always there to save the day… he does much of the heavy lifting (glass cutting and such). These two are simply good people and it’s evident they have a great personal and working relationship.

In class, Brad demos glass cutting and grinding, and takes the fear out of using unfamiliar tools. Sally generously shares vintage ledger pages, other decorated papers, and cool little bits of ephemera. She seemingly effortlessly creates her mini-collages and puts them under glass sparking everyone’s creativity. The charcoal pencils are one of her finishing touches as is her signature Sally Jean blue paint—the recipe for which she so kindly shares. Her flair with a soldering iron is wonderfully beautiful; smooth and/or bumpy but oh so shiny and perfect!

Sally’s artwork is incredible and her booth is always the most popular at the vendor fair. If you have her book, Pretty Little Things, you know how wildly talented this woman is; if you’ve taken her class, you realize how genuinely nice. I was particularly touched by Sally’s family Christmas tradition—what a loving legacy to pass on to your kids.

Sally travels to many locations sharing her soldering secrets. She also offers smaller weekend workshops at her Portland studio (there are some spots left, I think). The ultimate would be the Cortona, Italy trip in the fall… oh how I wish I could go!

Here are some pictures of the pieces I created in Sally’s classes. I took away so many ideas for new things I want to create. My next purchase will certainly be a glass grinder!

Hampton Art & Soul

I returned home last night from a wonderful art-filled vacation in Hampton, Virginia. I am so happy I went because I made so many new friends. That is a big accomplishment for me. I am usually very shy. Often I feel uncomfortable around others who I perceive to be superior to me in some way or another. As you may or may not know, I’ve been working on my self-image in therapy. I made a conscious effort to take a risk and expose my true self to others. Maybe some people didn’t like me but that’s okay. I met some wonderful, beautiful, creative women during my adventure and you know what? It was damn well worth it. I know I will see many of these ladies again and will keep in touch with many others. Connecting on a creative level with these remarkable individuals was enough to make the trip priceless.

By the way, I am going to add a new blog roll category to spotlight friends and acquaintences from this trip so you can meet them too (stay tuned). Thank you all for inspiring me and accepting me… flaws and all (you know what I’m talkin’ about!). Sincerely, I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with you all.

I LOVED every class I took. I will be high-lighting each class in separate blog posts but for now, I wanted to give a glimpse of some of the artwork I created.