Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Our buttons are now available for sale at Di-Versity Quilting Supplies in Pritchard.  It is a real priviledge to work with the owner and world renowned quilter, Dianne Jansson in creating specialty buttons to coordinate with her quilting projects and classes.

I finished some sets of assorted seashell buttons for a beach-themed class she will be teaching soon.  These were fun to make and I can not only picture these on a quilt but also on a sweater or jacket.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Faux Turquoise

Turquoise is one of my favorite stones and after a lot of practice, I have developed my own faux turquoise from clay.

I generally like to make a large batch at a time and then use it straight or create veneer sheets for covering.  I start by mixing in real dirt and paint with my clay and can look like a real mess!

It is hard to believe that it eventually turns out like this:

The beauty of making your own is you can create pieces in any shape or size imaginable.  These are some of our latest jewelry pieces.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blog Debris - Color Scheme Designer

Here is a fun site that you can play with and explore the color wheel and color combining.  It is called the Color Scheme Designer and you can drag your mouse to select the colors in the wheel as well as all other kinds of settings.

If you are really into Pantone colors like I am, check the tab at the top that says "color space" and click on "Pantone colors".  The colors adjust to the pantone shades and when you hover your mouse over all the colors it will give the Pantone color swatch numbers that match. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Clay Veneer Sheet Storage Tip

I was reading a clay book some time ago and the writer had suggested storing clay veneer sheets in plastic page protectors.  I wasn't really sure how well that would work but I was keeping them stored in containers and wasn't really happy with that system.  I would forget what was in the box and had to pull everything out to find what I was looking for and some of the sheets would start to dry out and crack.

I had several types of sheet protectors and decided to test them out to see if they would react with the clay.   I would check them every day and after several weeks there was no reaction with the plastic whatsoever. so I proceeded to fill them with my clay veneer sheets and pieces I had stored.

I liked the clearer type protectors as I could see through them much better and went with those.  I cut down the one side leaving the bottom seam still attached.  I could then fill the sheet up with all my clay pieces easily and then "reseal" it again.

It is really cool how the clay sheets stick to the plastic sheet keeping it sealed and you can turn the pages in the binder without them falling out or moving.  It also keeps them nice and clean and dust-free.

This is such a handy way to keep them and I store them in the same binder as my Clay Color System Recipes, etc. so everything is all together.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tutorial - Making a Large Bead into a Fan/Light Pull

I've been asked how we attach the wire to the ball chain in the large textured tube beads in my Textured Tubes & More tutorial.

To make a ceiling fan/light pull you need some ball chain, couplings and adapters (in silver below right) that provide a way to connect your wire that is attached to your bead to the ball chain.


We had a difficult time finding the adapters and so I improvised a little and will show you a method that I use.

Supplies needed:

* A large bead with a large hole or one that you can drill a hole in at the top
* Ball chain
* Heavy 18 or 16 gauge wire in the same color to match your chain
* Two couplings that fit the ball chain
* Strong metal bead or bead cap
* Round nose pliers
* Wire cutters (heavy duty type)
* Drill bit - 5/32" or 4 mm (optional)

1.  Cut a piece of wire long enough that will go through your bead plus extra for finishing at the bottom end.  With your round nose pliers, make a small loop at the one end like you are making an eye pin.  You want a nice tight loop that will fit inside one of the couplings.  It doesn't have to look pretty as it won't be seen afterwards.

2.  Insert your wire into one of the couplings from the inside going out as shown:

3.  Attach the ball chain to the opposite end of the coupling

4.  You can make a large hole at the top of your bead before baking or drill it larger afterwards, whichever you prefer.   Make sure the hole is only large at the top part of your bead and not all the way through.  It should also be deep enough to hide the coupling end of the ball chain.

5.  Insert the wire through the top of the bead so the wire comes out the bottom end.

6.  Pull it all the way through until the coupling is hidden inside the top making sure it is nice and snug.

7.  Add a bead or bead cap to the bottom and then loop your wire.  The bead acts as a "washer" to anchor your wire and your bead on.

8.  Hang a decorative bead or dangle from the wire loop to finish it off.

9.  Attach the other coupling to the opposite end of the ball chain and your fan/light pull is ready to hang!

 Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spirals are Inspiring

There is something about the spiral shape that I find myself drawn to.  When I think of a spiral pattern it  reminds me of things in nature such as seashells or snails.  I looked it up and found out that in ancient greece, the living spiral has no beginning or end and is an ongoing process to eternity.  It is considered the essence that connects all things.

Here are some photos I found that will hopefully inspire you....

Fern Fiddlehead

And these are some of our new designs from our Ebbtide series.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our forever Yours series

I'm never one that likes sitting around and just "waiting".  If I'm standing in line at a grocery store for instance, you will find me taking advantage of the few moments and thumbing through any of the magazines at the stand that catch my interest.

I also keep a notebook in my purse for other times when I am sitting and waiting so I can constantly make lists of what I need to do or jot down any inspirations for my clay that come to mind.

The other day Dave was describing to me an idea he had for a necklace design.  We were waiting at Mr. Lube and so I decided to do some sketching in my trusty notebook I had along and this is what we came up with:

The real test was to put it into clay and we decided to name it our "forever Yours" series.



I love how things turn out just like you planned but even better.  I have a piece similar to these for myself to wear and I received so many comments on it, I think it is a keeper.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blog Debris Thursday

Grace from Create with Ease posted a You Tube video the other day that I found so inspiring I wanted to share it with you today.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Linda Kelly of Sweet Water Bronze

We met some great artists at the Cowboy Festival last weekend -- the local talent in this part of Canada is phenomenal.  One artist I want to share with you today is Linda Kelly from Kelowna, British Columbia and her art just about totally blew us away.  She creates bronze sculptures and does all her own wax chasing from her original pieces which is a very complex process.

Linda was working on her sculptures during the show and I managed to sneak in some time to talk with her.  She gave me permission to take a few photos and share them with you but if you click here you will see more of her work on the Evans Fischer Gallery website.

This piece titled "Catastrophe" really grabbed my attention and the photo below shows one side ...

And this is the opposite ....

This one is titled "size matters not"

I feel so blessed to have met Linda and have so much appreciation for her talent as well as her beautiful personality which shines through her work as well.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Howdy Partners!  We spent today unpacking all of our items from the weekend at the Cowboy Festival and reflecting on the fantastic time we had!  It was so much fun we are already looking forward to next year.  Me met so many interesting and fun-loving people and enjoyed visiting with the other vendors, guests and entertainers that our voices were almost hoarse by the end of the three days.

We were so busy the whole time but Dave would kick me out and make me take a break now and then so I would use the time for a few photo opportunities.

These two are from the historic town of Barkerville which was a bustling town in the gold rush days.  If you click on the link you can read more about this great place.   Don't you love their costumes?  We first heard of Barkerville when a theater group from there came to our town for a musical production which was one of the best performances we ever attended. 

There was plenty of entertainment the whole weekend and the Kamloops Cowboy Festival is a major stopping point for the Cowboy Poet circuit for North America. 

There was also plenty of good music which included a country music Rising Star showcase competition at the trade show where we were set up.  

There were also workshops to attend for cowboy poetry writing and yodeling.  

This lady is one of the can-can dancers all in costume for the dinner theater each evening.

Here is a vendor with some of his handcrafted leather saddles and western wear and accessories.

There was also an incredible artist I met there that I will tell you about tomorrow. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cowboy Festival & New Website

We now have two days of the Cowboy Festival under our belts with one more to go.  I planned to do a blog post yesterday but we both arrived home totally exhausted.  We are pretty tired tonight as well so I thought I would show you a photo of our booth and then share more with you about everything later.

This is the map of where our space is located.  There is a talent show running most of the time so we are entertained with some talented country western musicians.

I should also mention that we have now launched our new website in time for this big event which you can see here.  It is still in the early stages of setting up but the basics are all there.

Time now for some shut eye as we have another busy day tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mid Week Blog Debris

I came across this cool aptitude test based on the Dewey Color System.   The results will tell you what type of career you are best suited for.   You can take the test here.

Dave and I both took the test and were surprised with how accurate the results were.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bargello Bead Necklaces

I finally have some new Bargello bead necklaces that are finished to show you.  The beads and necklaces are Dave's designs and I love how they turned out.