Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Polymer Virgin and the Heat Wave

I don't know if any of you remember my post last fall when I had been gifted a large chunk of high fire clay to play with.
How excited I was to make a bunch of these pendant pieces using a topographical model that I had bought at a garage sale. Then I found out that the steel wire I used was not going to withstand the high firing so I ended up with quite a few useless pieces like this one. Just for fun I put an acrylic wash and mica watercolor paint and a coating of hard coat Mod Podge. I'm pretty pleased with the effect but alas it won't probably hold up as a component as water can simply dissolve the unfired clay and who knows if the mod podge could protect it enough. It does give me an idea for some polymer pieces.
Up until now I have been a polymer virgin until I started seeing pieces like this paisley piece by Heather Powers of Humblebeads

There is a little bit  more about the use of sari silk over on LoveMyArt Jewelry Blog that I just wrote.

I just had to get this piece by Jana of HappyFishShop

and these!

And how could I leave out Staci's components at SLArtisanAccents
Leave it to me to turn from a polymer virgin to polymer slut overnight!

Speaking of overnight....
This was taken at 10:30 PM
It was marvelous!
An Alaskan heat wave! It's been up to high 80's and low 90's for days on end and since the sun barely sets it's been pretty warm at night too.
All of our stores are out of air conditioners, fans, ice cube trays and bug dope.
Kind of funny that the clay piece that I made at the top was during a deep freeze here.
It's a land of extremes.
Meanwhile back in my sweatshop where I make handfuls of headpins while my safety glasses slip off of my sweaty nose and I can't have a fan going because it messes with my torch flame too much I have been trying to keep up with the demand for headpins. 

Crusty headpins. I'm trying to make assortments in 3 shapes- drippy, half crystal and orbs.

I have a new assortment just waiting to model for me in the little light tent. I would provide you with a gratuitous fistful pic but I've already got them all sorted out and waiting in a queue for their shots.

Keep in mind folks that these tend to go pretty fast in most cases but I'm happy to take orders.

Another one of my sari silk chokers, this time using one of Petra's fab pieces.
Many thanks to AnvilArtifacts Janet for the twisties. I think they are perfect for this piece.

Oh and I forgot to mention king salmon steaks on the grill, we had some success!
This is how some folks catch salmon in Alaska. It's called a fish wheel. It does all the work catching them while you sit around a campfire and wait for a thumping sound which means one has been scooped up.

A little drink I invented with miniature king crab, bacon.
Actually its slivers of Trader Joe's Spiced Chile Mangoes in chilled Finlandia vodka with a splash of agave. My creativity has no end don'tcha know!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gone Fishing

Taking a day or two off to go dipnetting and fill the freezer with some fresh caught Copper River Red salmon. Seeing that this picture of me ice fishing at the end of May garnered more "likes" on facebook than any beads or jewelry I ever made! I looked pretty rough after wrastling 30 or so salmon. Took me weeks for my wrist to recover but this time I have Mr. Fishman to do the heavy lifting and wrangling.
Hoo-ah! arctic char. A good fishwyfe, I yam
I learned a bit about  the best perspective for photographing fish not unlike photographing jewelry for featuring and highlighting the focal piece.

 See y'all in a few days
 Happy Solstice almost!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stitches & Ridges

I was inspired by fancifuldevices long skinny wrist wraps/cuff/bracelets.

I have been meaning to get back to my fabric stash and sari trim haul from India. I've been stashing and hoarding bits that have been given to me along the way.
 I was all set to give this to my niece that just graduated from college when I remembered that the salmon skin leather 
  button hole clasp wouldn't be up her alley (she's vegan or do you say, "she's a vegan"?) so I'll make her an all fabric one along the same lines. Meanwhile one of my fellow vendors at my farmer's market wanted to give it to her daughter and wanted to show it on facebook for her approval and immediately another vendor came RUNNING to my booth gasping "Where is it!" The first gal decided to relinquish
it to the other gal knowing that this woman NEVER bought jewelry and it was really meant for her. So don't underestimate the power of facebook even if you are within yards of folks in realtime. It's kind of sadly telling that it was a slow day for sales at the market and any of you that do shows probably realize that when it slows down, vendors start buying from each other.
I'm getting the hang of my ridged press now. I had sort of put it aside as they were coming out al squishy and extruded mostly. Now I have learned how to make the bicones come out more consistently.
Let bicones be bicones, I say!

And they are all the better when they get the crust factor going. 

I think I had a record day for beads made a few days ago.

Here are some orfinks that are up for grabs. Speak up here as I won't be listing them on Etsy. I'll just use them myself because it doesn't matter to me if they aren't matchy. ( there are a couple of matching pairs in the bunch actually.

Limpet bead caps

antifreeze glow
and shiny antifreeze glow.

I did a guest post about headpins over at Love My Art Jewelry Blog a few days ago and there are plenty of other posts you may find interesting over there if you haven't checked it out yet.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summertime and the Living is Beady

These scrumptious crusty and ridged beads emerged from the kiln as quite a surprise. The clear base took on the color of the enamel and permeated in a most delightful way.
sometimes it's hard to tell just what the baking soda treatment will do to the colors of the glass. I have had some beautiful colors of purple turn out like this. I'll be listed more of these since they got snatched up by the first person I showed them to.
Yes, the outside ones were all beautiful shades of violet  and purple and now they are crusty cocoa

Some take it on much better.
I just did a post about headpins over at Love My Art Jewelry
You can see how many have been utilized and find a couple of tutorials on how to make your own from different materials not involving a torch as mine are.

I've been designing a lot of necklaces lately and selling them at our local farmer's market!

A BHClaysmith scarab with a bit of gold leaf added by me

A wee little Petra nest took wing almost immediately

I've decided not to sell this one with this amazing bead that actually has three faces. I had been hoarding it in my collection for over a dozen years since my first visit to the Tucson Gem Show.
I had forgotten the name of the artist and was reminded by a friend and found that she is 91 years old now and still making beads!
her name is Mary Tompkins and now I've decided (with the help of some facebook friends) that I should keep the necklace for myself.

I'm awfully fond of incorporating ceramic focals these days and they seem to help  the sales.
The large green one is by NKPdesigns
I throw in a few of my own beads so they won't get jealous.

These had their debut in Belle Armoire Jewelry this month.
They are called  "First Snow"
Those are my limpet bead caps and Kristi Bowman Designs wonderful copper paisley headpins.
It's my first time being published in that fine mag.

If you want to read something really funny try out this transizzle translator with any blog on Gizoogle.
You can read my blog with a totally different spin.
You will be guaranteed to cry or pee your pants.