Sharing the small things of my creative life.
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Sharing the small things of my creative life.
Please know comments won't show up immediately as I manually approve them to keep the spammers away from us.
Posted on 12/06/2013 | Permalink
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Yep, you heard me right, plain old plumbing copper tubing turned into bangles.
I take no credit for this idea or the design. I took an online class over at Craft Daily with Tracy Stanley and she is a not only a talented jewelry maker but an excellent teacher as well.
Normally when I take a class I end up not doing the class project, but like learning the techniques to then turn to my own designs. The actual number of classes, out of all the classes I've taken (which are many), in which I actually created the class project, I can probably count on one hand. Tracy's is one of them. I loved these so much I had to make them.
I'm going to make more so I can use up the roll of copper tubing I bought. But the main reason is just because they were so much fun to create. ;)
This week has flown by and it's hard to believe Friday is here and that next week we see the backside of January.
Your comments and emails about my jewelry exploration have been filled with kind words and I can't tell you how much that means to me. It makes me feel like okay, maybe I CAN do this.
Pam I love the classes Terri Brush teaches and have taken quite a few when she put them on a 50% off sale. My soldering iron sits by my torch for those days I want to texture solder. :)
Wishing all of you a marve3lous happy weekend and be sure to take some fun time for yourself!
xxoo ~ Gail
I'm learning to walk before I run. I have spent, oh gosh, at least the last five months reading about jewelry making, watching You Tube videos about making jewelry, ordering books on making jewelry, ordering and watching online classes about jewelry making. Sounds like school to me! :)
There is so MUCH out there! And right now I find that since I don't have a preconceived idea of where or what I might want to narrow it down to, I am trying to absorb everything that crosses in front of my eyes and brain, in case it is information I want/need. Which can lead to some moments of overwhelm.
My problem I think is that I like SO MANY styles that I wonder how am I ever going to figure out my own style? But that's not stopping me. :) Step by step I will continue my exploration and hopefully one day it will all come together in my head.
Here is what I've been up to in the past week.
Cutting sheet metal
These are the before (top) and the filed and cleaned pieces.
One thing I find I really enjoy is etching metal...
and texturing metal with solder...
plus a little solder layering (my term lol) on patina-ed and etched metal.
These I learned to do from the fabulously talented Cat Kerr and her Easy Cast Soldering class at Creative Workshops. They are now waiting for the the right use.
For years I was a die hard purple and green conniseur. Somewhere along the line my color tastes changed. So it was fun to remind myself how much I love this color combo. Doesn't this shout spring?
Excuse the multiple pics. I was trying out different ways to shoot this triple wrap bracelet to it's best advantage. I'm not sure which one works best though. I'm proud of this simply because I learned to forge and solder my own sterling silver links! Whew mama I was a nervous nellie, and they're not perfect, but I do like the artists' "hand" showing in "hand"made" jewelry...separates it from machine made. The misshapen pearls are from my recent bead buying spree. :)
So there you have it. What I've been up to.
Vickie I too love the not perfect and pristine style of Terri Brush. It's so me...not perfect OR pristine! lol I learned the making of the links from her.
Sherry I don't know much about silver fusing, I have heard the term though and think that I read it is different from soldering and uses fine silver as opposed to sterling? Is this correct? I know silver has gotten expensive and a torch is not for everyone. Most of my work I believe will be with base metals and a little sterling thrown in here and there as I can afford it. I do want to try a silver sterling bangle though!
Hope you guys are off to a fabulous week!
xxoo ~ Gail
Yesterday I went to a local bead shop!
If you saw where I lived you would know how amazing I find the fact that we actually have a local bead shop. It was me, over the holidays, wishing there was a bead shop near by, that sent me on my quest and actually found one!
Ok, granted it's about an hour away but when you live rural that's pretty local. lol She's been there about 4 years but I never had the need to look for a bead shop before I developed this jewelry addiction.
I would have gone last week, I was that excited, and I had Christmas money burning the proverbial hole, but they were closed for inventory until yesterday.
So here's what I got.
I went with the idea of breaking out of my usual colors but I was like a bee to honey when I found these and was lost to any thought of different colors.
When I laid them out together I thought, the hell with different colors when it is these I love! lol
And then as those, luscious, I want to eat them up, strands were all laid together on the counter, and Candace, the sweet shop owner, complimented me on the necklace I wore (the one I posted last week), and told me she loved my color choices, she asked if I wanted to put some of my jewelry in her shop. Could have knocked me over with a feather since I'm such a brand new kid on the block and feel like an "apprentice". lol
All these years of being an artist I never put my work on consignment, but I decided that I would "explore" this avenue for my jewlery since as an "apprentice" I am not only still honing my craft, but needing to find my "style" and a niche where I might fit.
I can't wait to see what I do with these beads and I can only hope I do them the justice they deserve!
When you leave a comment on a blog do you ever go back to see if the blogger has responded to your comement or question? Most likely not. I've always tried to answer comments in the comments section but also felt that people wouldn't see my replies. Then the other day I visited a blog where the owner actually addressed questions or such in her blog post. I thought that was kind of brilliant.
And I want to try that here. :)
So Melissa no I am not a cerified decorator but you made my day by asking! I'm thrilled you like my posts and knack of displaying things and I love that you find me worthy to follow. ♥
I've heard from folks who have some marvelous words for 2015. Words like Courage, Finish, Transition. I could have used any of these words as my own!
Vickie I know exactly whereof you speak! The hardest part is the actual getting off our butts and committing to that first step isn't it!. I'm finding I enjoy using the torch and above all I keep safety in mind. And yet the other night I had my first (very minor, and probably not the last)) soldering burn. It wasn't because of the torch, but my forgetfulness and touching something hot. I've been taking online classes from Terri Brush and she uses the torch for just about everything and that helped me get over my fear, because I saw how much I could do on my own when using that darned torch...so go forth and do it NOW! lol Hugs
I thank you one and all who stopped by to comment, who emailed me. You guys really do rock my world!
Love and Hugs ~ Gail
So last month I saw conversations all over the place about folks who were choosing their word for 2015. This is something I too have done for the past number of years but this time I was really having difficulty coming up with a word I wanted to live with for a whole year. For a while I thought, well I guess I'll have to skip it this year. But it kind of felt like I was letting myself down.
Then as I was doing some reading and watching some how to videos earlier this week it finally dawned on me like the proverbial lightbulb. My word is EXPLORE! And the reason is because I have finally succumbed to the jewelry making bug. I have dabbled here and there...
but never wholly made a commitment.
But now I have. Yikes!
It started with an online class and some tools. I took Christy Tomlinson's Belt Bracelet Workshop this past summer wanting to create some for the Shabby Cottage at the Corner Nest. Things kind of exploded from there, catching me unaware. I found myself wanting to know more.
You see I have always avoided any commitment to jewelry because I knew the tool outlay and time involved would be huge if I wanted to do more than dabble and I simply wasn't sure I wanted the commitment.
I shared with you a few posts back my jewlery corner I created at Shabby Cottage.
One piece of knowledge has led to another until it has snowballed.
So 2015 will be my year to explore this whole new world deeper, be committed, see where it leads me, see if I can create jewelry I love, in more than just a dabbling way. If you don't mind I'll share my adventure with you guys, in whatever manner comes to me. I'm not giving up what I already do, I'm just adding to it.
That being said here are a few new projects started before I got sick, and have finally got wrapped up.
Here is what I like about this piece...I cut the sheet metal, folded and etched it myself. I created the clasp myself and did the coiling too. And I bit the bullet and did my own rosary links for the beads. I like it not just because I think it is pretty, I like it even more because I can say I did those things. Maybe not easily or quickly and certainly not with perfection, but definitely with a sense of accomplishment.
The back should be pretty too!
And then these bottles have been waiting FORevah to be finished!
Do you have a word or resolution for 2015 you want to share?
Happy Hump Day my friends! xxoo Gail
With all the last minute Christmas prep and then battling the flu (I'm better now) I didn't get to wish you all a Merry Christmas as I had planned, so I wanted to make sure I got my Happy New Year in!
I want to thank all of you who take your precious time to stop by my little spot in blogland, and those of you who drop me such beautifully kind emails. Your visits and words are very precious to me. ♥
I pray that 2015 is a good year for us all, that we find calm and peace among turmoil and I wish for all of us lots of creative mojo and prosperity. I think we all deserve it!
Love you guys! Happy New Year!
xxoo ~ Gail
Do you all know I have a page where I offer a mix of free images? I sadly let it lapse for a while but I am trying to do better at remembering to add more images for you. Today I added some Christmas images.
If you click HERE you will be taken to a page where you can download each of these adorable images at printable 300dpi sizes.
I hope everyone is staying stress free this holiday!
xxoo ~ Gail
I had to put my thinking cap on recently to figure out what kind of display I wanted at the Corner Nest for my jewelry. And being on a budget I really didn't want to spend any money. So I began to scrounge to see what I already had.
I had this plastic bust from Barr Display.
Of course you know I couldn't leave it alone right?
So, some vintage book and ledger paper, vintage sheet music and some dyed scrim later, this is what I had. But she is only good, at most, for a few necklaces.
I scrounged in my stash and found this tray which I, of course, painted and distressed. I chose this tray for the holes in the edges...nice and lacy looking, fits right in.
Out in the barn was this large left over part of a table leg. It was dirty, dark brown and had been sitting out there for years, patiently waiting for me. More paint treatment and I had this.
My idea was to marry them all together .
I had Mr Shabby screw them to one another so she won't tip..
She is now a beautiful display in our booth and can hold quite a bit of jewelry.
But still I needed yet another way to display the necklaces and bracelets.
So I turned to the basement this time and found this frame.
I thought it needed to tie in with the other display so I did a similar distressed paint treatment.
I antiqued the distressed treatment, had Mr Shabby cut a piece of thin wood to fit in the frame opening and glued cork to that.
Then I scrounged again. I pictured burlap but alas I only had a small scrap left and I was intent on using what I had. One more dive into scrounge land and I found a piece of drop cloth with a printing experiment. Just the right width but not long enough.
Then the lightbulb went off. And I just love how it came together!
Then I was ready to add my baubles.
I took some photos of the booth and the jewelry corner.
So here you go...
I've just started with the beaded wrap bracelets and have added more to the display since this photo. They all look so festive together!
Tomato cage Christmas "tree". :)
And then after all that hard work, two days later we sold half a dozen large pieces, and had to come back and re-do the booth. Which is actually a good problem to have, but left us scambling to find filler before the open house (which btw was yesterday) lol And I got to string my white showflakes on the lighting wires which I forgot to do earlier. :)
I hope you enjoyed seeing how the display pieces and the jewelty corner came together in our booth.
Have a wonderful week friends! xxoo Gail
Yes my friends I have been on studio lockdown for a while now. The Corner Nest has a huge open house Dec. 6 and I've been trying to get a pile of jewelry and other items done. I have it in my head to do a corner of our booth as a mixed media jewelry corner. Whether it is successful or not only time will tell. But I feel I need to do it right and start it with more than just a few pieces. The open house draws between 1500 and 2000 folks so I want to take advantage of all those bodies walking by my booth that day!
This is how my worktable looks in actually "not as messy as it has been" mode. That's because I've slowed down in the past two days because I had to work on some display pieces and figure out how I want to handle my price tag situation and start tagging pieces.
Sorry for a bit of a blur, I was shooting on the fly. I was sealing and counting some necklaces. I have just as many bracelets to take care of yet. And I still want to get some more jewelry finished in the time left to me.
Here are a a few examples
I love how this one turned out and call it Urban Decay.
A little resin, a little solder.
A few of the several dozen I've made so far.
Then I've had this big piece crowding my small studio.
This is my $20 chair. It was sitting in a junk store all dirty and ignored. It is very comfortable. At that price I envisioned a can or two of chalk paint and getting down with something artsy fartsy. But as I started cleaning, "she" (yes I said she), whispered to me. She said, I used to be pretty. I really only need a spruce up not a total makeover, because I'm still pretty under all the grime. So spruce up it was.
Then the photographer (ahem) totally screwed up and my next photo was so blurry I won't torture you with it. Just go with me on this...I painted over the blue with white and then glazed it all with a burnt umber.
A coat of varnish over the paint job and ta-da...call her done! I picture her preening in my booth while sitting demurely in front of my shabby pink fireplace mantel. :) She said she's happy.
I've been let out of the studio for a bit but I must head back now. Between tomorrow and next week we have a total overhaul of our booth at the Corner Nest coming up. A little space across from our booth is opening next week and the price was so good we took it. And like my chair, we're getting the booth spruced up for the open house, and much to be done! When I get my jewelry corner done I'll share some photos.
xxoo ~ Gail
Don't faint, but I have another tutorial for you this week. And yes lots of photos. How can you do a tutorial without a lot of pictures I ask? :)
When a sideboard sold at our antique booth last week we had a fairly large hole that needed a quick fill. And besides the hole I lost quite a bit of good display space. The problem was we didn't really have anything ready that didn't still need quite a bit of time to finish. Our bad! Sometimes our timing is just off.
I remembered we had a pretty table that had been painted quite a while back, and then Mr Shabby pointed out the top was bad and would need to be remade.Umm, I never did figure out why that wasn't noticed while painting?
I asked Mr Shabby to just sand the top a little and not to worry about being perfect as my solution didn't need perfect. I only needed the paint roughed up a bit because I was going to use glue and wanted to make sure everything would stick. Slick don't stick is what we say around my house.
The top had some dings and shallow dents but no structural damage. The tabletop had also been painted white like the rest of the table you see.
Isn't this a pretty shape? Notice how he sanded just a little? I think he was listening to me with half an ear, or maybe no ear. lol Unless your top is truly in dire straits, you would not need to sand it down this far. Unless you just really like to sand. Said no woman ever.
I found images I liked and sat down at the computer and began to print, laying them on the table to get an idea of how many I would need. You always end up needing more than you initially print.
As far as printing goes...
1. For paper I used Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 60lb. You might not need to use paper this heavy and could probably get away with something in the 30-32 lb. range of paper weight, just remember the thinner the paper, the more chance of wrinkling when wet. Since Mr Shabby sanded it so far down that the original wood color was exposed I was concerned that the dark might bleed through a lighter weight paper.
2. As far as the actual printing is concerned. I used my color laser printer. Not to worry though because you can do this with an ink jet. But remember ink jet ink can run or smear when it gets wet (we will be wet with glue) so simply use an acrylic spray sealer on your paper first. There are many kinds on the market and the first that come to my mind are Krylon's Crystal Clear, Workable Fixativ, or their Acrylic Sealer. But there are other brands.
I moved the table to my workroom, cut out my images and started laying them out to see what I liked.
Here's a tip...when you have them laid out the way you like, snap a photo for reference. Once you start moving them around to lay down the glue it's easy to forget.
Decoupage Matte by Deco Art is my glue of choice. I have been using it for about three years with good results. You could use something like Mod Podge or even watered down Elmers. You want to be able to spread it with a brush but you don't want soupy if you get to watering anything down.
I started with the edges first simply because of the shape. I knew I would have to lay the paper out beyond the edge for trimming when it was dry. I've used this process on many a straight edge item and then simply start where I choose.
I spread my glue and lay the paper down. Unless corners and edges are involved, I don't glue the top of my papers until the bottom is dry. Helps keep wrinkles down to a minimum.
If I get a booboo on the edge I don't worry, I simply lay the next image on top of it enough to cover the problem.
Speaking of on top. Look at these next images.
As I move along glueing I am making conscious decisions of which images will go on top or under another image and that determines which one I glue down first. This also helps manage those odd little spaces that seem to pop up as you go.
This particular table I seemed to work the edges and slowly work my way in. No rhyme or reason on that, just the way it happened to flow as I started laying things out.
Once dry, I coated the entire top with a layer of Decoupage. Once that was dry I started to trim those curved edges. And that's when I goofed up on the right side. I thought I should be able to wet the edges and then sand down and away from the edge for nice clean trim. While that often works for thinner paper I forgot this paper is heavier and the edges ripped roughly in a big time way. I had to end up pulling back some of the paper into the table area, then lightly sand rough areas. (I trimmed the left side with scissors! lol)
Here you can see where I had to pull the paper back onto the table to get rid of the ugly roughness I caused.
There was no easy out. I had to go back and print more images and cover that end again, dealing with the papers already glued down. I had to do some re-sizing and I ended up covering some edges I hadn't covered in the first place, but nothing major.
This time when I went to trim I used scissors. The thing I have learned about creativity is that your best learning comes from fixing screw ups.
After I trimmed I covered that area again with a coat of Decoupage. Then when that dried I layed down two coats of Deco Art's Soft Touch Varnish. Love that stuff!
The varnish was two fold. First for protection. Second, I wanted to ink the edges and needed to make sure the paper wouldn't grab the ink where I didn't want it. But before I inked it I used a fine grit sand paper along all the the edges...dry, dry dry! lol This helped soften those paper edges and melt it more into the tabletop. I scuffed the paint edges too for a little timeworn look. If you find any loose corners or edges, a little tacky glue takes quick care of them.
Then I inked. I used a pigment ink in brown and used a cosmetic sponge to softly ink all the edges, softening in some spots with a paper towel if I got a little heavy handed. I couldn't have softened the ink without the varnish coat first.
This was about a day and a half project because of initial drying time between the wood and paper, and my re-do corner.
We got it down to the Corner Nest as soon as it was done. I love the way it turned out and actually like that right side corner better the second time around.
I hope you enjoyed this step out and are having a wonderful week! I am headed to the studio. Yay!
Til next time my friends ~xxoo
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