Sunday, November 16, 2014

November is Here!

 I had my booth at the Queen of Arts at the Elverhoj. I did better than years before, but that is not saying much ;). It is always nice to mingle with adults and get people's reactions to my work. It was a very pleasant 2 days.
I got a lot of my pieces done, but the rings I made still need stones set and I hope to get some new crow and small song bird necklaces cut soon. I put out some my old paintings from college at the show as well, and it was great to get feedback on them. It really makes me want to paint. Maybe next year will be the year I get out some canvases and paint! 

I made a new batch of paper clay tags that can also be ornaments so I thought I would show some of my process here.
To start off (not shown) I roll out the clay and stamp them with either my hand cut stamps or my favorite milagro heart stamps. I cut them out, add a hole and some decorations to the sides.
After they dry, I paint them white and give them an antiqued look with a black paint wash.

I use colored pencils to color them, mixing them with multiple layers of color. This is a fun step, but takes a while. 

They really come to life when I add the last coat of thick, super high gloss. A lot of people thought they were ceramic. I never thought about that until the show. I leave the back blank so it can be easily written on. That way you can use it as a tag on a gift. They are very light weight. Then they can be used as an ornament on the tree. 
 Here are some of my birds, almost finished. I really enjoy these. I base them loosely on real birds, which makes it extra fun for me (I love birds and took many Ornithology classes in college). And below is how they ended up. All of these birds are at the Art Hus now.

 This Oriole is one of my total favorites.

 Yesterday was a wonderful sketch day with my dad and daughter in Solvang. We sat in the sun in front of the Solvang Bakery and sketched the windmill and other buildings on the street.

It was a great way to start our weekend. I still have more work to finish and bring to the Art Hus and a super awesome trip to Seattle to see my sister coming up. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Queen of Arts is Coming

 The Queen of Arts is almost here! I have no idea if I am really ready or not. Lots and lots of projects in the works. I hope to get as much done as possible. Work work work!
 Here is a peak into what goes into some of my work. This was the biggest batch of square wire rings I have ever made all at one time. I think I made over 20. I am still working on setting the stones. I am sure I will run out of stones. Here is a brief step by step:
 First the wires get cut to length.
 I then hand bend them around my ring mandrel.

 I use a rawhide mallet to get the ends close enough to solder.

 They all get soldered.
 I then pull out my hand made metal punches I made in college.
 I actually stamp the designs right on the ring mandrel (not easy but I like the effect)
 All ready for a bezel and then the tumbler. So that was my rings.
Another one of my favorite things are the red enamel heart earrings. They start off as copper sheet then I cut them out with metal shears.
 Here are my regular earrings with my ones ready for enamel.
 They all get finished, shaped, drilled and stamped.
 Then I lay on the glass powder enamel and get it ready to fire.

 I do not own a kiln so this is all done with my torch. They turn black then red as they cool. Just love this color red, it never gets old.
 Here is my newest color. I hope you like it. My daughter liked it so much, I made her a necklace with one.
So I am just buzzing along, quite lost, with all my pieces I am trying to finish. I will have my big red enamel heart necklaces back again this year to go with the earrings. I hope to get some ornaments and paperclay tags finished along with my paper mache birds, old paintings, and some fun journals if I find the time. Time to redo all my lists to see what can and won't get done for the show. Don't worry though if you miss the Queen of Arts or if I do not finish because it will all end up at the Art Hus and maybe my Etsy page.
Halloween was a bunch of fun.
 My daughter did all our face paint. She is getting pretty good.
 Halloween bought us the rain we so desperately needed and it came full force right at 8PM, right when we were finished and ready to pack it in. I have so missed the rain and the beauty it can bring.
Happy Fall everyone!!