Friday, June 26, 2009

Havana Daydreamin . . ., Out of the Studio

Tradition. There's something very special about tradition. It's that time of year again - time for the traditional trek to Great Woods, aka Tweeter Center, aka Comcast Center. Jimmy Buffet is doing his show in Mansfield, MA a little early this year. Usually it's on Labor Day weekend but the fans here are very ready to take that trip to Margaritaville. The weather here in the northeast has been very, very wet. As a matter of fact, we've had SO much rain that the mushrooms growing in the grass now look like some science experiment - kind of like little black blobs that are connected with goop. The forecast for tomorrow looks good - we have yet to have rain on his concert day. . . so we're due for a beautiful day. And boy I'm just dreaming, my life away.

So with company for the weekend, there will be no time spent in the studio. Time to relax and enjoy. In the meantime, here's a few items that came out of the studio this week. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I've been without internet/email service for the past three days. Kind of feels like I was missing a limb. No communication with the outside world - very unsettling. But yet, it's not like I didn't leave the house or anything during that time. It's just so weird when you know you can't get on-line, especially at night, and just "check" a few things (usually getting sucked into that deep pull of "just one more click" and then I'll really shut this thing off). And, by the way, this comes after just getting over losing my whole computer access (burnt electrical problem) this past weekend. Aaargh! Is there a message from the universe here?

I thought I would share with you what I did on my "vacation". CLEAN. Yeah, all the things I really never get time to do. Drawers, closets, and my studio!!! Yay! And of course there was that floor in my "special" bathroom. My daughter had some friends sleep over and one of them ate, well, too much junk food. She ran upstairs and whoosh!!! - need I say more? I've now washed that floor for the third time (as well as the baseboards and walls that also got hit). Poor kid! But close to the end of my scheduled appointment time, Comcast arrived with a smile on their face and "fixed" the problem. We'll see. So if I disappear for a little while - and you hear the whrrrr of the vacuum, you'll know . . .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Marvelous Monday

Nature or nurture? I guess that's what I was wondering when I came across this Etsy artist. Origami artist Benjamin Coleman began nurturing his soul when he rediscovered a childhood art form. He had been in the business world when a fortuitous event took place that led him back to origami. He since has written two books on the subject. One is titled Origami Bonsai and the other Makigami and Origami Bonsai Ferns. Here's a few photos from his shop. Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Check out his bonsai chess set! How cool is that?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Etsy Friday

Well, seeing as my photoshop program is inoperable at the moment - blame it on the a a a a a alcohol - sorry, couldn't resist. My friend's three year old son loves to sing that song, in public . . . not good! I thought I would share a fabulous Etsy find with you. Are you up for a reptilian adventure? I think Unearthed has some of the coolest anticlastic and synclastic cuffs going. They're made from authentic snakeskin, alligator tail, calfskin, frogskin, and even stingrayskin! Hope you enjoy them as well. Some of them buckle, bangle, snap and spring (I think I did all that in the gym this morning)! This is the work of two sisters who obviously dance to their own music. To learn more about the materials they use, click here. Their shop is exploding with eleven pages of really cool bracelets. Oh, and if that's not enough, they also sell card cases, flasks, clips, earrings, pill boxes, compacts, bags, and belts. And guess what? They now have a sister sight called The Refinery. Here, you'll find cuffs embellished with fabrics. Be still my heart . . .

Here are a few of my favorites!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Polymer Clay Book Review

Last week, I was thrilled because a book I had been waiting for finally arrived. It was just released earlier this month and it was so worth the wait. I have been a fan of Ronna Sarvas Weltman's work since the day I discovered her online. I was excited when I heard she was writing a book. For any of you who may not know the title of the book, it's called "Ancient Modern - Polymer Clay and Wire Jewelry".

First of all, the photography is outstanding. I actually found myself looking to see who the photographer was. His name is Doug Yaple and his work is beautiful. I did my usual "flip" through the book from cover to cover and found my mouth opening more and more :o). Ronna's sense of color is amazing. But, as usual, I didn't have the time to really sit with the book due to other committments. But fortunately for me, I had a hairdresser's appointment later that week and knew I would get a big chunk of time to really go through the book.

I started with her Acknowledgements and Introduction to learn a little about Ronna. The opposite page of the Introduction had a full page image of a section of one of her bracelets (Desert Abundance). I was hooked. From there she shared her design process, color inspiration (New York Times Sunday Styles section . . . who knew?), some of her tips, working with wire and finally polymer clay (shoe polish, really?). Then she had 15 well-written step by step projects with all the materials and tools listed that you would need. My head was now buried into the book and I swear I never saw my hairdresser! Colors galore! If you like hot colors, you'll love her Mama's Mambo bracelet and her Aria's Dream Necklace. I also noticed that the presentation of color on the first page of each project in combination with Ronna's work is stunning. It adds such a beautiful touch. Although this is definitely a coffee table book, I just have to live with this book in my studio. And did I mention her gallery pictures? I think my heart skipped a few beats when admiring her designs. Especially "Slightly Mad" - her colors and textures are so rich. I know I'll be picking up a couple of her tools. Hint - one of my favorite discoveries of hers can be found at a fabric store - thank you Ronna!

So, if you've been thinking about getting this book, wait no more - you won't be disappointed. It's great from cover to cover!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Marvelous Monday

Nathan Bennett started out studying illustration but soon found it wasn't the path for him. He did many different jobs when he went to work at a fine art foundry. There, they cast bronze sculpture for some of the best known sculptors in the country. Soon he was given an opportunity to learn how to work with patinas. At the time, the master-patinuer at the foundry was pursuing his own sculpture career. Nathan was apprenticed to him and picked up the process naturally. Before long, his skill had increased and he was being sought after by sculptors. Most people at the time were doing a simple process patina. One day, a random act occurred. One of his pieces had been tilted on its side when he realized the patina looked like a landscape. Soon, he imagined in his mind a detailed landscape being created with patina. Before long, he was creating beautiful patina paintings. Because he had entered this new territory, there was no existing works to learn from. Only by what he did. Soon he was being hailed by collectors who were looking for new and exciting work. When he finishes a painting, he not only engraves his signature, but he also leaves an imprint of his thumb on the back of each "patina" painting!

Here's a few of his paintings, but be sure to go to his website for a visual treat. You might end up like me, scratching your head and wondering how he does that! Enjoy his rich and wondrous works and have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Feeling the Love Friday

This week, I had the pleasure of being in This Bliss's beautiful treasury called "You Know What I Love - Aubergine & Charcoal". Sure glad she found my aubergine and olive necklace and included it with this fine grouping!

I'm sending the love back to ThisBliss for taking the time to make this treasury. I'd like to share her gorgeous sunset at the lovely Cape here in Massachusetts. Can you hear the seagulls in the distance? The Cape is one of my favorite places! Thank you ThisBliss!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Out of the Studio Wednesday

I made this necklace to wear to one of my shows recently. When I put it on, it didn't look quite right. By the way, these are flat lentils (even though they do appear round). I took it off, and wore something else. So today, I finally got around to taking it off my bench and trying to make it work. I added a few beads. The middle bead really is larger than the other two. Once it was around my neck, I realized I wanted it to drop down more in the center, like the letter v. I'm still trying to figure it out, so I guess it's going back on the bench for now. Hopefully, some fabulous idea will come to me - but apparently not today.
Here's a few other beads I made. One other recent development, I starting signing my one-sided work!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marvelous Monday

I'm drawn to share some beautiful flower photographs today. Perhaps it's because I managed to eek in some gardening time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in New England. Sure wish my flowers looked like these! Claudia Lord is a seller on Etsy. She sells photographic prints that she mostly digitally enhances. She does this by using a variety of Photoshop techniques and effects. I love the watercolor-like effects she's created and found myself clicking on many of the photos in her shop. Here's a few of my favorites.

Click on the photos and explore! Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Feeling the Love Friday

This week, I had the pleasure of being in Splurge's beautiful treasury called "Platinum". I found some unusual items and new artists in this platinum treasury. My Jakujo necklace was included in it.

I'm sending the love back to Splurge for adding me to this treasury. Thank you! Here's some special platinum and square pearl earrings. Browns, and greens and golds . . . oooooh!

The next treasury was a complete surprise. I had logged onto Etsy to see a pair of my cuff links on the front page. Someone from Etsy Admin put this together by doing a search on the site. Made my day . . . Etsy rocks!

I also was able to snag a treasury I called simply "Chartreuse - You Gotta Love It!"

And last, but certainly not least, is a treasury called "Summertime" by SmadarsTreasure. Another beautiful job curating with a great assortment of artists. This particular treasury is still "live" so you can visit!

So I'm sending the love back to Smadar and visiting her shop. Well, I'm sure you'll agree this beadwoven necklace is really quite exquisite!

Thank you for taking the time, and sending that Etsy love! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Out of the Studio Wednesday

Just a quick note to share some new pieces. Using Henri Matisse's "Harmony in Red" as my inspiration, I made this first bead. On the bead are two separate techniques. One is a mica shift - although it's very suble on the butterscotch. The other is from an original silk screen design I made. I blogged about making a light table here. I did the graphic through Illustrator which I'm having a lot of fun learning that program. I find that if you know how to do Photoshop, the transition to Illustrator isn't too bad. Well, almost. The other bead I call "Doorways". It kind of has a feng shui feel to it.

And one last note. I said I would show a picture of my niece's wedding gown (backside) when it became available. Not that the front was shabby my any means, the back was just so stunning. And I guess I really should post a picture of the newlyweds. So, here's Jaime and Brad on their wedding day. A little happy, wouldn't you say? They should be somewhere in Crete right now - next stop Amsterdam. Hey, we've got sun here in MA too! (Where's that Oozo?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I've been out of the blogging groove. Gardening has taken up any free time I've had. I'll try to get back to my usual schedule next week.
Today, I headed over to the Etsy site. I love when this happens . . . wham! There it is. One of my items on the front page. This treasury must have been made by one of Etsy administration because it's not listed as a treasury. Apparently it was made by doing some sort of search.