Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I feel like a celebrity so I'm having a giveaway

My post appeared on the Lark Crafts site last night!! I'm so excited! You can enter to win my snowman earrings. Check it out! http://www.larkcrafts.com/jewelry-beading/holiday-jewelry/

If you leave a comment here by Sunday, December 19, midnight CST, you might win a different pair of salt dough earrings! ; )

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another giveaway at CraftGossip

I have another book giveaway in progress at CraftGossip. Check out my post to see if you would be interested in winning any of these 3 titles. I LOVE the origami one! I also wrote a review for another Lark Book that will be given away as well. It's from Lark's 500 Series - 500 Judaica. Check out the review and enter for a chance to win this one, too!

Next week, I'll have a guest post on the Lark Crafts site. I'll keep you posted so you can read my tutorial for making salt dough jewelry and enter for a chance to win the earrings I made.

It's a good day

Have you ever experienced a time in your life so wonderful that you felt guilty and scared it would end all at the same time? My friends tell me I deserve this happiness and more but when I look around and see those who are struggling, worried, stressed, and down it makes me wonder at the injustice of life. Why are all my prayers being answered when so many seem unheard? I'm VERY grateful and know life holds ups and downs for everyone...I guess I'd just like it to be a perfect world where everyone has what they need and gets at least some of what they desire. I hope the Universe is listening!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book giveaway at CraftGossip

I have three new, signed Lark Books for giveaway over at CraftGossip! They are from the Lark Books Beadweaving Master Class series. Head over and leave a comment for your chance to win if you are interested.

November 12 - a "box" for my ring ;)

I took vacation time Friday to help paint the boy next door's living room. I gave the very-unenthusiastic-about-painting boy excuses to run errands including an oil change for my 1995 Honda. When he came home he asked, “Can you take me somewhere?” I covered the paint, walked out to get my car and saw the 2011 red, hardtop Miata in our driveway and asked, “What’s that doing here?” His reply - “It’s yours, Babe.” I already felt like the luckiest girl on the planet to be dating him. Then he proposed. Now a new car. If I’m dreaming, there will be hell to pay for whomever wakes me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hers


I posted a wedding anouncement on the Little Rock Mamas Forum.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When the cows come home...

Juline finally received her cake topper in the mail last Thursday and all in one piece! Pieter glued the cows to the base and it's ready to go THIS SATURDAY! I can't stand it that I won't be there. Hope the weather is beautiful for their happy day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm engaged!

I'm still in shock but oh so happy! The boy next door proposed to me Sunday morning. It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and perfect temperatures. He caught me completely off guard and he absolutely takes my breath away. May we always make one another as happy as we were yesterday!

While talking about what to do for the day, he threw in, "should we get married?" I thought he was joking for several minutes after all the wedding talk generated by our trip to Vegas. After I realized he was serious, it didn't take me long to say "YES!"

We haven't decided any details yet but I'll keep you posted! : )

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Keeping my fingers crossed

The wedding cake topper still hasn't arrived safely in South Africa. There's only three weeks left until Julines's wedding. I sure hope it gets there in time! *sending good vibrations to my cows in transit...*

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I know some gossip...

CraftGossip, that is!

CraftGossip tag line

As of September 1, I am the new jewelry making editor. Come get the latest gossip!
http://jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com/

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wedding cake topper for Jules

My friend Jules is getting married in September. Although I can't be there for the wedding, I want her to know how happy I am for her and Pieter. I made a cake topper with her favorite - cows! I hope she loves them and they make her day a little more special. The cows are made from wire (copper eletrical wire and a coat hanger for the thinner parts), aluminum foil, and polymer clay. I added some glass bead details to the "wedding dress," ribbon roses for the bouquet, and some mica powder to make the bride's costume shimmery.

wire and foil skeletons
adding wedding dress details

finished cow cake topperWishing Pieter and Juline all the best on their day and forever after!

Friday, July 30, 2010

PMC workshop

Hey,
Just wanted to tell y’all about the PMC workshop I went to on the 23rd. It was mostly basic info about PMC. Did you know PMC was created by Mitsubishi? (The metal works division, which is a sister company to the car maker.) Our instructor said it is believed the binder in PMC is cornstarch, so even the fumes from the kiln are not toxic. Really old PMC will sometimes grow mold because of this but is still usable until it dries out. After PMC has dried out, you pretty much can’t reconstitute it. You can add water to make it creamy and use it for slip (much like clay slip) to bind jump rings and pieces of PMC together. It was believed this material would sweep the jewelry industry but that hasn’t happened. Jewelers stick to their craft using torches, saws, grinders, etc. PMC really appeals more to crafters like me who don’t know metallurgy and are kinda afraid of all those traditional jewelers tools. The original PMC had much larger particles of metal, which means more air holes around them once the binder burns away. As a result, it is very brittle after firing. The newer stuff (PMC+ and PMC3) have much smaller particles of metal, so Nancy recommends them. She told about wearing an early PMC ring during a car accident where she was not hurt but the ring hit the dash and shattered. The precious metal clay with the lowest firing temp has the smallest particles – not sure if it was + or 3. During firing the edges of the metal get “sticky” but the metal doesn’t actually metal. The particles fuse together as the binder burns out.

We worked with very small amounts of clay (that was included in the price of the workshop) – we tried the silver, brass, and copper PMC. They have recently added steel PMC to the lineup, too. While the kiln was firing our pieces, Nancy showed us how to fuse copper and silver and do enameling with a torch. That was fun but the fused pieces I tried pretty much sucked. I burned out the middles of two of them with the torch. : )

fired bronze PMC pieces She showed us how to add jump rings to the backs of pendants using PMC and also how to set stones. There are a lot of stones that won’t work including diamonds. They turn back into carbon in the kiln. CZs will work, though. Rio Grande sells stones that will work with PMC. Lab grown stones work better than natural ones because the natural impurities can cause stones to break or burn out when firing. Some things, just as with glazes in traditional clay work, seem to happen by serendipity (or not) when firing PMC.

silver fused on copper - unsuccessfully
The best part of the class was learning about mold-making for PMC – you can use the two part stuff from Rio, or Hobby Lobby (I’m going to try the really flexible kind from hobby lobby like Tim Holtz recommended since I have some of this), cheap polymer clay, or 100% clear silicone caulk if you want to make a lot of molds. Did you know that E6000 and Goop are really just 100% clear silicone caulk? You can use those two products to make molds as well but the caulk is much cheaper. There was a lady in our class who brought in some really cool Chinese boxes. I made a couple of molds from them - bamboo and a dragon. (thanks Betsy!)

fired and tumbled silver PMC piece If you decide you love this medium, the start up cost is reasonable. Around $1300 will buy everything you need to get started from Rio. They have a kit that includes the kiln, a tumbler, and other pieces you need. The best part of PMC according to Nancy is that it really brought down the prices on kilns that have precise temperature controls. You can use the PMC ones for enameling, glass fusing, and small ceramic pieces as well. The tumbler helps polish your pieces and also work hardens the metal to make them stronger. You can burnish them to help strengthen and clean them but tumbling is faster and less labor intensive especially for really small pieces.

fired copper PMC piecesIt was a great workshop. Thanks Nancy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Look at what Denise made me!

My talented artist friend Denise created this wonderful piece from a vintage, hand sewn quilt block made by my Grandma Ila. I see love in every stitch! Thank you so much, Denise! It is a beautiful tribute and I simply love it. I can't wait to see the other pieces you created using her squares.

photo of Love quilt square
To see some of Denise's other works, check out DeniseFelton on Etsy or you can read what she's been reviewing -- Needlework news at Craft Gossip.com.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All grown up

I finally completed filing my taxes last weekend. I’m very grateful that several years ago, my sister insisted on showing me how easy Turbo Tax is to use. She helped me start doing my own taxes AND how to reconcile my checkbook. My sister knows a lot about being a grown up. You should see her with wiring, too. I’m loving the DVD player she connected to surround sound speakers.

It’s such a relief to have my taxes finished. I don’t know why I fret over them every year, but it’s one of the things I get really anxious about doing. It always makes me feel like a 12-year-old masquerading as an adult. I qualified for a tax credit on energy efficient home improvements, though. Yea! I love the new windows and the credit was a nice bonus. One thing I bought for myself with my return is a passport. I want to be ready when any of my friends win the lottery and invite me to go some place warm and sunny. : )

It feels so weird to be doing taxes, remodeling, and worrying about such “grown up” things. I might as well be really responsible and spend the rest of my return getting my master bath finished. I really just want to go outside and play now that spring is finally beginning to show hints it’s coming. I think I will. : )