Saturday, December 29, 2012

Greetings from My Pine Forest

No ornaments this year - just lots of Christmas trees and a few twinkle lights.
The poodles loved it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gilding Nipples

I was going to call this post "The Three Graces" but decided "Gilding Nipples" was more festive.

My friend Martha gave me three pairs of her ceramic nipple beads to play with.

I decided what they needed, from me, was some 24k gold leaf.

So I gilded their insides and hammered up some sterling earwires for them.
Then gifted them back to Martha and her gal pal Carla, keeping a pair for myself.

The gilding is on the backs, not at all obvious, kind of like wearing fancy underwear.

Gold leafing is fun.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Full Moon

A full moon ring.
Sterling silver band with a glass moon.

I am flying by the seat of my pants getting ready for Christmas.
Yet trying to get back on track with this silly old blog.
A minimal post is better than no post, eh?
So I'll just toss up a few things that I made, and sold, during the seasonal rush that I really liked.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Purse Jewelry

I made a handful of purse charms and gave them all away before photographing them. Oops.
This one my friend Jackie graciously sent me a picture of on her new wild orange leather bag.
Looks like it found a great new home, eh?

I used a giant brushed silver-tone lobster clasp, a vintage YSL black glitter bead (from a rescued necklace), one of my glass beads (the bear), a smoky topaz rondelle and a chunk of hematite. It was great fun to make and there will be many more of these. Digging thorough my bead stash for treasures was great fun.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dirt Under My Nails

Making clay beads is dirty business - probably because clay is made of dirt.

I love adding these wee terracotta components to my jewelry.
These leaves are so light they add virtually no weight to the earrings.

I made them at my friend Nancy Valle's studio. She makes amazing giant clay sculptures and bowls. Nancy lets me make teeny-tiny things while I am hanging out in her space and then she graciously fires my piddling bits of clay for me.

These little discs with leafy impressions I hand colored with colored pencils and then gave them a rubbing with Renaissance Wax.

The little bead caps are also clay.

All of these earrings are still available (I think) at the Record Archive in Rochester, New York.
I have a trunk style show up there for the month of December with paintings and jewelry.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Q-tip, Donner & Nixon

Did you know I own a button making machine?
Who thought leaving me in charge of making the holiday buttons was a good idea?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the Professional

New business cards.

My avatar/spirit animal is the cabbage - nature's bead.

Simply Funky

Here's an idea I've been messing around with.

I want to make a simple cord bracelet that is fun to wear and easy to fabricate.
Nothing too elaborate or time consuming.

This one has left over glass beads, two carved bone skulls and some stray brass spacers.
The hook and eye is fun, but I think I want to try something with a button clasp on the next one.

I have more half-baked ideas than time these days.

Wouldn't a triple stack of these be fun?

Friday, December 07, 2012

Dead Leaves

Not the most romantic inspiration for a bracelet, but dead leaves it is.

Except for a few sloppy, wet flakes it hasn't snowed here yet, which is freaky for upstate New York.
The last of the un-raked leaves are dry and brown. Their fancy autumn colors are long gone, they're just waiting to be buried under some clean Christmas snow.

The metals are copper and sterling silver.
For all you lampworkers who like to know what colors of glass rods I used - the off mandrel glass leaves are light topaz, the big hollow ball is transparent brown and the little beads are yellow ocher rolled in raku frit with clear on top.

If you're in Rochester this weekend, and fancy this bracelet, it will be available at Craftacular! on Sunday at the Public Market. I'll be set up there with nine crafty friends selling stuff inside at Java Joe's (building #55).

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Makin' Stuff

Napoleon and I are so very, very busy making stuff for First Friday, Saturday Shops, Craftacular, the Knitting Guild's Shop night and the Irondequoit Bay Bird Party.

Why do I have 5 shows in 6 days?!?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


This Sunday is Craftacular!
I love this show, it's small and intimate, and it's in my favorite coffee shop.

I'm busy making all kinds of glassy goodies for it - necklaces, pandora style beads, rings, earrings... if you are local stop in and see me and my crafty friends.

Do you like the poster? I had a blast making it in Photoshop.
I found the old photo using Google images, then hand colored it, gave the baby pointed ears, added the coffee cup and lastly all the text.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 30, 2012

the Irondequoit Bay Bird Party

I have a painting exhibition opening on December 13th.

This swan on the poster is a detail from a series of four huge bird paintings I am working on for the show.

There are lots of progress photos to share, and they'll be coming soon.
But for now, watch a video of the fabulous Isotopes. Rochester's "premier face-melting brutal surf-core band." They will be the evening's live entertainment.

It's going to be a holiday version of their usual madness, complete with presents from the stage, go go dancing elves and much much more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bangin' Earrings

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about hammering brass buttons into flat charms.
It's an idea I picked up on Pinterest.

O Pinterest you're such a great studio buddy and muse.
You can see my old "banging buttons" blog post here.

Ancient looking earrings made with a pair of my hammered buttons. The buttons had a rich black patina in the crevices which hammered up nicely. Don't the buttons look like old coins?

The dangles on the bottom are wound from tiny glass headpins that I made at the torch on 20g brass wire.

I made the holes in the buttons with a helicopter punch - you need one of these. This little tool is inexpensive, fun to use and makes perfect holes in almost anything metal. I've even made holes in nickels with mine.

Cherry Berries Bracelet

'Tis the season for bracelets and more bracelets.

Another variation on my favorite "simple" bracelet design.
This one has off-mandrel leaves threaded onto five of the links.
It's light, comfortable and easy to wear, sort of like yoga pants but much better looking.

The berries are Effetre purple red rolled in clear frit for some texture.
The leaves are Cim's commando with raku frit.

The wire work is all sterling silver.

It's for sale in the gift shop of the Memorial Art Gallery - in case you just have to have it.

I would love to stay and chat for a bit but I am still hammering my way towards the holidays.
Check back soon, I have lots more bracelet designs to share.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bear With Me

I don't even know what made me make this silly bead.

I don't do cute.
But there it is - a bead totally out of nowhere staring back at me with a silly look on it's face.

I'm almost afraid to tag him and put him out for sale because I don't want to hear "make more bears!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fairy Berries

 A new bracelet.

"Fairy Berries" bracelet - glass and brass.

So many headpins.
Each one wound into a chain.
Off-mandrel glass leaves were slipped onto some of the links as I built the bracelet.

All of the headpins were made on 20g brass wire with hammered spirals on the ends.
Some of them have droplets on the end, some are plain.

The bubbles on the spirals are from gas the brass releases when heated.

It makes the coolest sound when you wear it.

I think I am going to make another one - all in grays and pale honey browns.

Just gotta have it?
It's for sale in the museum gift shop at The Memorial Art Gallery.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome to the Earring Factory

I am a lobe decorating machine.

Gray glass with pink baroque pearls.

My latest studio "passtime" is making the holes in pearls large enough to use a 20g wire with them.
It's stupidly time consuming but so worth it.

Little iridescent black crows with pink petals.

Bumpy dark honey hollows.

My hollow beads are getting a bit better.
I've always been horrible at making them - there's something I'm just don't do right.

One of my overly ambitious goals for the week is to make sixty pairs and deliver them on Friday the 16th to More Fire Glass for their annual holiday sale.

Come visit me (I'll be there all four days) and see the glass blowing demos!