Friday, July 29, 2011

Color Challenge

Twice a month, my Bead Art Originals team does a color challenge.  This past challenge, we were to use three colors found in any photo from this mosaic from Studio G's blog

Originally I had planned to go with the colors found in the photo with the fish.  But the colors in the photo below really caught my eye as it somehow reminded me of the colors of Jerusalem and the beaches of Eilat.  Together.  Anyway, I followed my curiosity and here's what I created.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Out of the Studio

Last week I blogged about my hollow bead beginnings.  I had purchased Christine Dumont's tutorial on making hollow beads back when she offered the online class.  I knew I would be make these large beads eventually, it was just a matter of time. This technique is a lot of fun, yet totally addicting.  I posted my first bead here.   If you haven't taken Christine's online class, I see that it's being offered again in November.  I think the class was extremely well done (not affiliated with her - just a fan of her work) and would highly suggest it. 

Anyway, as a lot of you know, I've been playing with imitating stones here, here and here.  So I wanted to make some hollow beads with that in mind.  I tried to create a similar pattern of either rose quartz or rhodochrosite.  I wasn't working with any images - just what was in my head.  But here are some images of them both.

                                                                              Rose Quartz


And here are my beads.  Getting there?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Yesterday, 3 carloads of women from the Boston Metal Clay Guild ventured up to Gemstar Gemstones of Enfield, New Hampshire to do some shopping.  I apparently didn't get my fill of looking at stones so today's post are photos taken from a website called Dandy Slabs.  I hope these patterns and colors inspire you - and have a marvelous Monday!

                                                           Australian Marra Mamba

Blue Mountain Jasper

Blue Namibian Pietersite

Brecciated Green Rhyolite

Bruneau Jasper

Butterfly Jasper

Deschutes Picture Jasper

Indonesian OrbicularJasper

Morgan Hill Poppy Jasper

Morrisonite Jasper

Palm Jasper

Ocean Jasper

Pastel Willow Creek Jasper

Pilbara Jasper

Polychrome Jasper

Purple Cow Agate

Friday, July 22, 2011

Morrisonite, Bracelet

Back in April, I blogged about making some morrisonite cabs.  At the time I was just beginning to bevel some of the edges and apparently put the project down for a few months.  I'm pleased to report that I've finally actually finished my first cab!  I had a hard time letting going of the backside because I liked the image as well.  So what I decided to do was to polish it as well and it will have more of an open bezel on the backside.  I like the way it appears as if you're looking through something to see beyond.  

Have you noticed the bracelet that's become really popular this summer? When I was in Israel, I had commented on the bracelet Triz had made.  And then just this week, Cynthia had sent a link to this DIY bracelet.  The tutorial that Triz used was here.  The bracelets are not exactly the same, but very similar.  But no matter, they're usually worn in multiples.  I couldn't resist.  Here's mine - made with silver ball chain, black waxed linen thread and black soft glass, brown soft glass or pink soft glass.  They all have a polymer button closure. 

And what's up for the weekend?   The Boston Metal Clay Guild is going on a field trip to Gemstar Gemstones up in Enfield, NH this Sunday.  Maybe I'll pick up some beads to make some of these similar styled bracelets for friends.  What I really noticed was a lot of younger kids were wearing them.  Oh well, we can pretend.

And if by chance you're interested in setting stones in metal clay, Mikki Verani gave a great demo which was blogged about with photos included.  Here's the link.  And speaking about setting stones in metal clay, Lisa Barth has a book out called "Designing from the Stone:  Techniques for Bezel Setting in Metal Clay using the Stone as Inspiration".  I'm a big fan of Lisa's work so I just ordered the book.   I should have my copy in about a week or so.  It's been getting good reviews over on the Metal Clay Yahoo group.  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Out of the Studio Wednesday and a little Israel Shopping

Sometimes you just need a little push to get that energy moving.  That's what I got when I talked to my friend Ruth and told her I was thinking of making one of Christine Dumont's hollow beads yesterday.  I'd been experimenting with new lentil bead patterns and decided put that on hold so I could finally get around to making this hollow bead from Christine's tutorial.  I originally just grabbed some scrap clay to use but figured I better try a striped pattern to see if I could make the stripes go towards the center of the bead as they're supposed to.  Not the nicest looking bead, but a good start.  Lessons learned:  these cotton balls sometimes aren't always perfectly round.  If you notice the bead on the right - the upper left hand corner has a flat spot on it.  This was from using my knitting needle a little agressively.   As you can see, the rest of the bead didn't flatten like that section did.  Also, when making your pattern, it's really best to make the stripes really straight - no warping as in my pattern.  It turned out ok in the end, but not a great way to start.


As for my new pattern - here's a cabochon I made using gold, translucent and black.  

                     front                                                             back
When I went to Israel, the first day I got there, I literally dropped off my luggage at the hotel, hopped in a cab and met Triz in Tel Aviv for a shopping trip in the jewelry district.  It was so nice to meet this talented bead artist - finally.  It's crazy how today, people do so much communicating via the internet that sometimes you lose sight that the person you're dealing with is halfway around the world.  Needless to say, I would have never thought that one day I'd be shopping in Israel with her.  And it was really wonderful having her with me to shop seeing as my communication skills were a little lacking to say the least.  We had fun combing the bead aisles - what else is new?  Here's some cabs I purchased.

And I took a photo to commemorate the moment. Thank God for camera phones!

After that, she took me to the Carmel market which is a large outdoor market.  The fruits and vegetables were displayed beautifully and there were a lot of people getting their grocery shopping done.  But they don't just have food.  I was even able to find a pair of water shoes Lily needed for the Dead Sea.  They've got everything there!  One stop shopping.


From there. she took me shopping to one of the trendy areas in Tel Aviv.  Surprisingly, I saw numerous American stores.  Can you ever really get away?  If I had known then what I knew by the end of the trip, I would have stopped in every SINGLE store!  When you're on a tour, you really don't get much shopping time so in hindsight, I should have taken advantage of the opportunity!  And then sadly our time was up.  It was back to the hotel for dinner and some much needed rest after our long flight.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marvelous Monday

My vacation is over and I'm finding it tough to get back in the swing of things.  The trip was inspiring, and there was much to see and learn about.  We did so much walking and standing throughout the 16 day tour of Israel that a visit to my chiropracter would make me really happy.  I'm one twisted sister right now. 

And speaking of twisted, these whimsical, colorful sculptures are the work of Tania Radda.  They may remind you of something that Kathleen Dustin or Jeffrey Dever may have created, yet they're made entirely from wood.  The sculptures are so fluid as the leaves and tendrils twist and turn, that I had to keep reminding myself that it's not polymer! Tania's site is filled with many wonders.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!