Monday, May 31, 2010

60 Years Married

My family celebrated my parents' 60th wedding anniversary this past weekend.  It was nice to get together for such a special occasion.

One of my sisters made a yummy carrot and pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting (our parent's favorite) and I created a picture frame that held their wedding photo to go on it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Something fishy

I've been extremely busy this last week getting ready for our two big shows for the summer.  With father's day around the corner we've been working on some new items for men.  With so many lakes in our area, fishing is a huge sport and so I've been creating pieces with a fish theme.  I found an interesting bead and created a mould from it to make my own pins and pendants.

We've also created a series of textured tube beads to make beaded necklaces and bracelets.  Of course a lot of these beads are great for women as well.  They are a lot of fun to make and I'm working on a tutorial for these that will be published shortly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Necklace for the 2010 Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts

I'm looking forward to taking part in the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts again this year.  I'm working on a few pieces for the juried show and a lot of our jewelry will be for sale in the gift shop.

I was asked to submit a necklace and earring set as one of the Raffle prizes for this years show.  I feel it a real honor to be asked and so I created the necklace and earring set shown below.  You can see it along with the other raffle prizes on their website.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CaBezel Tips

I've been experimenting a little more with the CaBezels.  I've had to improvise with a few of the tools to find what works best for me.  The instructions suggest using the end of your acrylic roller to rub the back of the template to form the bezel or cabachon.  My clay roller is hollow so I found something else that works just as well.  (See note at bottom of this post)   It is a stainless steel piece you use to remove garlic and other odors from your hands when you wash with it.  I'm not sure if it really works since I've never tried it but use it with my clay instead.  I mainly use it as a "slump" mold for larger curved round pendants like the one below.  Because it is stainless steel, I can bake right on it.  This works well for me as I generally bake my piece, finish the back and then bake it again.


I discovered that this metal piece works great with the CaBezels.  I can apply a lot of pressure and because it is  smooth, it almost glides back and forth on the back of the template and creates a bezel or cabochon within seconds.

The other tool required is "patty paper" to go under your clay when creating your bezel or cabochon.  I don't have this kind of paper and not sure what it really is.  I discovered, however,  that using a wrapper from my Kato clay underneath works great!  I've used this same small wrapper over a dozen times and my exacto knife doesn't cut the wrapper (Premo wrappers tear) when I trim the bezel or cabochon and I can slide it around while cutting very easily.

The CaBezels have their limitations as you can only create your pieces in the sizes and shapes provided but I heard they are working on more designs that will be available soon.  I thought they were a little pricey but since I took the plunge and bought the whole set, I found them to be well worth it.  They are a lot of fun to play with (almost addicting) and the end results are a real professional finish.

Note:  I have since tried using my hollow acrylic roller and discovered it works just fine after all and you do not need a solid roller with a flat end.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another Etsy Treasury

Our giraffe print buttons were featured in another cool Etsy Treasury titled "Giraffes a-plenty!"


The treasury was created by Expressions 123 who makes unique notecards, magnets and table arrangements.  I love these colorful note cards she created.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

My New Cabezels

Our clay order arrived the other day along with some CaBezels.  These are a type of "mould" that helps you form a cabachon and a bezel that fit together.  I was dying to try them out right away and I must say I was delightfully surprised and quite impressed with how they work.  I had so much fun experimenting with them I got carried away and started creating all sorts of things.  These are just 2 pendants and some post earrings made from some left over canes.  I did some experimenting to figure out a system that I liked.

I prefer a hole going right through the piece rather than a channel attached to the back.  This way I can finish the backs off with a pretty texture.

I have more pieces made but they are still in the sanding and finishing off pile with more ideas I plan to work on.  I will keep you posted.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Tiger Treasury

My tiger print beads are in a really cool Etsy Treasury called Everything Tiger.

The treasury was created by Sparkling Bliss who makes beautiful beaded jewelry.  I love the Tigress Linked Bracelet shown below that matches the Tigress Earrings that are in her Treasury.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Tartan Brooch for Mother's Day

I finally finished the tartan cane for my grandmother's family clan.  I wanted to make something special out of it for my mom for mother's day and decided on a brooch pin.  She hasn't seen this yet since we will be seeing her in a few weeks when our family all gets together to celebrate her and my dad's 60th wedding anniversary and I can give it to her in person.

Had a difficult time taking a good photo.  For some reason there was a real glare even though the piece is not shiny at all.  It is textured to look like cloth which is also hard to see in the photo.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo (Mexico Independence day) and Dave and I began to reminisce of the time we lived in Mexico.  We have so many fond memories of our years spent there and with so many wonderful friends we made that were like family.

I was going through our photos and found a few to share with you:

This is the "Rio Caliente" that we loved to go and spend the day to relax.  It was basically a river that flowed directly from some underground hot springs.  The water was extremely hot in some areas and very comfortably warm in other spots.  Our dogs, Chewy and Rufus, went everywhere with us and they especially loved the warm water.

We lived in the interior of Mexico but loved taking our vacations to the coast.  Here is a photo of Dave and I with a friend's pet iguana.

And here is a new family of clay gecko's that are not like the real thing of course but in a fun amethyst purple and lime green.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dreaming of May Flowers

Now that spring is here, we are waiting for it to warm up a bit more before we can plant our flowers outside.  In the meantime, I've been dreaming about May flowers in clay.  Here are some fun cable chokers with floral beads and bangles that match.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More Watch Bracelets

I showed you one of my sets I made before heading off on our trip but it was missing the interchangeable watch bracelet.  I finished it while on vacation so I could wear it and here is a photo of my complete set.

Here is another fun set I made for myself with some pieces made from the extruder swirl cane that can interchange with the black and copper textured pieces.

The watch bracelet at the top is reversible and is actually a leopard print on the opposite side.  It will go with my leopard print set that I haven't finished yet...  I love the copper watch face that goes really well  with these pieces.