Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slacker of the blog

Ugh. I have been such a blog slacker lately. I am still tripping around in some kind of burned-out funked-out sleep-a-thon stupor. I'm getting better, but it's a slow ride, for sure. The weather has been wonderful and my little baby seedlings are just about ready to be planted now that the danger of frost seems to be over. I would like to spend more time outside as that seems to distract me from sitting and staring into space. Work is a good distraction as well and thankfully I never seem to tire of that. Today will be a day in the studio. Yay!

I have stocked the Extra shop with some goodies including peacocks and various connectors. FYI the peacocks will be making their debut in an upcoming publication (June 1st). They are pretty excited about it. :)

Is anyone else totally bummed that Adam didn't win on American Idol last night? I mean, Kris was great, but Adam.... Adam is the man! Oh well. At least he doesn't have to record that horrendous climbing mountains surviving hurricanes song. :)

PS - Thanks to everyone for their very sweet and kind comments about my heart necklace (you can still cast your vote here!). And congratulations to all my fellow bead-heads who also made it into the Bead Star finalists. "You're all winners!!!!" (anyone who can tell me where that quote comes from wins a special prize - just leave your guess in a comment)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yay! I'm a Bead Star finalist!

I came home from rabbit supply shopping (my entire life now, it seems) to discover that my entry in the Bead Star competition has made it into the next round. Yay! I'm pretty excited especially considering that I only entered one piece. I didn't feel that my style of work would fit in to most of their categories (they realllllly need a ceramics category, don't you think?) so I decided that the Hearts category would be the place for me.

I started with two of my large porcelain heart focal beads and joined them with an antique mother-of-pearl ring from which I hung a cluster of tiny porcelain hearts and frosted glass beads.

I am most proud of my handwrought copper heart chain (I love it so!). I am so tickled that an idea I came up with while driving home from the studio one night actually worked just as I had hoped and looked even sweeter than I imagined. I will be making lots of bracelets and necklaces with this link in the future, for sure. :)

If you want to participate in the voting please go to the Bead Star website and cast your votes. You have until May 30th. There are nine different categories with 20 finalists in each. Some of the work is just amazing so voting was a difficult task for me - except, of course, in the Hearts category. Hehe. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Emma finally sat still long enough for me to take a picture. I have dozens of photos of her with a blurry face because she is in constant motion but yesterday I was able to snap her looking oh so bunny-cute.

I moved her upstairs yesterday, away from Petey, Laurel and Finch, in the hopes that those three will continue to bond without the distraction of the new little one. Once the trio is all happy (if that is actually possible) I will bring Emma downstairs and try to make it a foursome. Has anyone out there in bunnyland had any success bonding multiple rabbits? If so I would welcome any advice you might have.

In other news, I still have two people to feature from my creative exchange (which was already a million years ago). Heather and Lynn, I have not forgotten you!!! Their features will be coming very soon. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Roberson Clayworks Spring Pottery Sale

If you live in the Binghamton, NY area be sure to stop by the Roberson Museum to check out the studio's Spring Pottery Sale this weekend. This sale features the work of the instructors, assistants and many students so you will find a nice mix of things. :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rabbit me

This has been Petey's pose for the past few weeks. I think he is feeling a little crowded with all the bunny activity lately. The new rabbit (we named her Emma) is causing quite a stir even though the others haven't even seen her yet. They can smell her. And that is enough to send territorial, insane rabbits into a frenzy. Petey alternates from hiding under his blanket to sitting outside the bathroom (where Emma is living at the moment), at the door, like a crazed celebrity stalker waiting for an autograph. I will be moving Emma upstairs soon in an effort to hopefully restore some kind of order downstairs. Let's hope it helps.

In other news, I have been feeling a bit like Petey these days. I go from wanting to hide under the covers to running around a like a deranged freak. I'm in a bit of funk and it's not fun. I've always been a pretty good stress manager but lately (OK, read that as for the past five years) my ability to deal has been tested. Certain ongoing situations mixed with financial difficulties and my own workaholic-deny-everything creed makes for a rather unholy trinity. I know these situations are temporary and just knowing that provides some comfort, but the meantime is not friendly.

So, in times of feeling vulnerable and down I will turn to my virtual (imaginary?) friends. I want to thank everyone for the wonderful, encouraging comments that you make on my blog posts. I don't always respond but that doesn't mean that I don't read them and don't appreciate them. I truly do. And lately they have meant more than ever. So thank you. :)

(A special thank you to Lisa. I hope I can continue to inspire you and others to pursue the things you love. It isn't always the easiest road to take. But they say that nothing worth having comes easy. Your kind words lifted my spirits, so thank you. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Extra update

I have spent the past few days updating my Extra shop with dozens of new hearts, toggle rings and some new etched copper pieces. I am especially fond of these new antique key pieces. They would work so well in a Victorian inspired piece or even a steampunk look.

This tiny little crown makes me happy as well. It's just so cute! And perfect for the Princess (or Queen) in your life. :)

You might have noticed that there are no holes drilled in any of these pieces. I have decided to let the buyer tell me where they want holes drilled and how many they want. I think it makes these pieces much more versatile. So get your imagination working and think of all the ways these little gems can be used! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Antique Aqua Butterflies

I'm back from a weekend that felt like an eternity. It was a mixture of depression and panic over my ever declining financial situation and a day of hardcore yard work that was supposed to distract me from the former. It left me tired and sore. I did manage to make this bracelet which made me happy. I used my porcelain butterflies and a piece of copper that I etched as the center piece. From there I added some links I made made with rhodonite and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons wire wrapped on some handforged copper rings.

I really like the look of wire links and the connections that they make. It feels antique and the hand of the maker is visible. You can't hide anything when you work with wire. It's like the skeleton of the jewelry has been exposed. (whatever. I need to go back to bed)

Something else I have been doing lately is leaving some of my classic pieces unglazed. I'm not really sure why I have never done this before. The detail is amazing since none of it is lost in pools of glossy glaze.

All of these pieces can be found in my shop. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dabble in Mixed Media with Porcelain Blanks

As promised I have put together a tutorial on how to use my new porcelain blanks. This will give you an idea of just how easy creating your very own mixed media pendant can be and hopefully any feelings of intimidation that you might have had will disappear. Poof!

To start gather up a collection of pretty papers. Scrapbook paper works great as does Japanese Washi paper, vintage magazines... anything paper will do.

Pictured above are some of the simple supplies you will need. Mod Podge is my top choice of glue. Not only does it adhere but it also acts as a sealer which is pretty cool. Other supplies include: Spray sealer (this can be matte, satin or glossy - just depends on the look are going for), sharp paper cutting scissors, a brush to apply the glue, a pencil, a tool to smooth and burnish the paper with (I use a wooden pottery tool but any smooth tool will work, even the back of a spoon), a porcelain blank, a glueable bail and a chain.

After choosing your papers take the porcelain blank and trace the outline on the paper you want to be your background. I used the green for the background and then carefully cut around a little flower in the Japanese paper.

At this point I usually trim the background paper a little so that some of the edge of blank shows. I also round the corners a little, but that is just me. You can make it look any way your little heart desires!

Use your brush to apply a thin layer of glue to the paper and carefully center the piece on your porcelain.

Smooth the paper with your (clean and glue-free) fingers and then burnish the edges (and all over) to ensure that they will stick flat to the surface.

I then applied the little cut-out flower in the same manor.

After gluing down both pieces of paper the design looked a little boring to me so I got out my colored pencils and added a little spark. I filled in with some purple around the center of the flower and then outlined the entire flower in a darker shade of green. A simple touch but I think it really brings the design to life.

Once you are done let the piece dry completely. When dry take it outside and place on a scrap piece of paper or cardboard and spray lightly with the sealer. You can also just apply several thin layers of Mod Podge to the piece if you prefer but I like to get a nice even look that is achieved by spraying. Spray about three thin coats, allowing each one to dry in between.

Next you need to attach a bail of some sort. There are many excellent glueable bails on the market today so you certainly don't have to be limited in style. Pictured above are just a few that I had on hand. Many more can be found at Rings & Things. And if you are unable to order wholesale Delphi Glass has an excellent selection at very good prices. You can also find some on Etsy - try searching under tube bail or pendant plate.
To attach the bail I use E6000 Industrial Strength glue (which can be found at any craft shop) or Epoxy 330. Both are excellent so take your pick.

And here is the finished piece! See how easy that was? Truly. Anyone can do this, I promise! Any questions?

The finished necklace can be found in my RoundRabbit shop and the porcelain blanks can be found in my Extra shop. :)