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Art Heart Beads - Sneak Preview

I have a smattering of new heart beads from my latest firing in my shop for your viewing pleasure (one of my new favs is that delicious aqua crackle glaze!). Look for more of these in the coming weeks, in other yummy spring and summer colors.And if you want to try a cool project with an Art Heart Bead, check out Shannon LeVart's blog post: Art Heart Bangle.Enjoy!

Friday Night Kiln Unloading

Lots of hoops, links and beads, including tube beads, heart beads, whales, fishes and birds... all in spring / summer palette.

Early Explorations in Copper Clay

Well I finally got to try copper clay. Took 3 firings in my little Paragon Caldera Kiln to produce reasonable results. Still some bugs to work out (mainly in areas where cracking occurred), but for the most part its pretty easy to handle: works much like porcelain only spongier and stickier. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is MUCH easier to work in the leather-hard stage than traditional clay. You can sand it, drill it, etc. - it's very sturdy and tough, unlike traditional clay which is much more likely to crumble or break.

Thinking about Color...

I"ve been playing around with a few new colors for spring offerings... here's a palette sketch. Many of these have already made brief appearances in my shop; a few are new. I'll be exploring/adding more in the coming weeks.

Gifty Stuff...

This was my first time participating in the Oh Hello gift swap and omigosh, when I learned that my gift partner was Lorelei Eurto, I could hardly wait to see what would arrive in the mail! I received her package late in the day on Tuesday - too late (dark) to photograph (and I PROMISED myself that I would take pictures).......holy cow I could barely contain myself but I managed to resist busting open the package until the next day...
Then.... what is that expression I see everyone using these days (?) ... oh yeah:  "SQUEEE!!!"   
I always thought that was so silly (I'm way too mature for that) ... until I opened the box...
I instantly fell in love - palette, textures, everything - just beautiful! I am thrilled to pieces!!!!
Every detail exquisite - I truly feel like this necklace was made for me (oh yeah, it WAS!): my love of owls, the woodland-mixed-with-shoreline theme (missy L was aware that that I really liked owls, but how on earth did she know of my love for beach pebbles ?! - that was NOT in the mini bio I submitted for the gift swap!)... 
These stones remind me of my girlhood days along the shores of Lake Superior - where I would often collect little smooth stones very much like these...
....so, in addition to being a brilliant jewelry designer, missy L is also a mind-reader!
In every respect, this suits me to a "T" and I cannot wait to show it off! 
Thank you Lorelei!
Hmm...it occurred to me (after I opened my gift) that maybe we were supposed to wait until Christmas day (oops) - but since I will be traveling over the holiday weekend, I figured I SHOULD open it ahead of our departure. Yup - I'm going with that. 

Holiday Plans

I will be closing shop for vacation starting Dec. 21 (midnight Tuesday night Dec 20). Any orders must be placed by 9 PM DECEMBER 19 - Final shipments via Priority Mail on December 20. I will re-open on January 3, 2012. Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Bowls, Bunnies, and Books...

... that's all.

New Jewelry

A few snaps from work I am showing at a local gallery... as you can see I kinda went bonkers over hoops! Most of the hoops and other elemetns I forged and patinated myself; a few hoops and some of the chain are by Shannon LeVart. And fishies - I have been making lots of fish and whales, and other critters (hehe). The little copper leaf (in the Precious Bird piece; second image from the top) is by Kristi Bowman. The aqua lampwork bead (in the Double Sky piece; second image from bottom) is by Amanda Bridges.

Exciting News!

I'm SO excited!!! I got my January 2012 issue of BeadStyle - my Blue Grotto Toggle is featured!!! Find it on page 98 in a new column "Retail Therapy" (whatever that means... lol). This is a first for me (being featured like this, not as part of someone else's design). That's my toggle in the lower left of the page (right side of the photo). This picture is courtesy of Ms Genea who has the beautiful glass toggle to the right of mine.

Jewelry Artists Who Inspire Me

I am so very fortunate to have bits of my work incorporated into pieces by some amazing jewelry designers. It truly inspires me to create more, and to push the boundaries of my own work. There are so many; here are just a few...
Gear Link Earrings by Lune Artisan Jewelry (Keirsten Giles)
Sea Witch Necklace by Shannon LeVart
Porcelain, Lampwork and Copper Earrings by KristiBowmanDesign
Cliff Dwellers Bracelet by Jean A. Wells
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