Friday, September 1, 2017

Running With Scissors ~ Inspired By Reading - August 2017

Wow - Has it really been a year???

I have read many of the Inspired By Reading Book Club selections. I've even been inspired to create.
I just haven't posted.

Hopefully this is more than just a guest appearance.

For the month of August, we read Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burrows.
It took a little bit to get into the story, but then I was hooked. It amazes me that the book is actually a memoir.

Without giving too much away, I will say that Burrows' mother suffered from mental illness and when he was just a young boy, she gave his guardianship to her psychiatrist. Dr. Finch was also a bit unstable and the household quite chaotic.

I set about to create a pendant that represented the various and very different characters that came together in Augustus' life.

The pendant consists of leftover scraps of copper and silver. My interpretation of chaos coming together.

The three silver balls (melted down scraps) are actually covering holes in the copper .

I related to several of the cultural references, such as, Jean Nate and the polyester McDonald's uniform - both vivid memories from my teen years.

I'd like to read Burrows' more recent memoir.

Friday, September 2, 2016

THE SILVER WITCH ~ Inspired By Reading ~ September 2016

I enjoyed reading and listening to The Silver Witch, by Paula Brackston.
It was the September selection for the Inspired By Reading Book Club, hosted by Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery. 
The story is told by two narrators on a Welsh lake - Tilda, a contemporary ceramicist and Seren, a witch and shaman in Celtic times.

Tilda finds what she believes is a bracelet with a Celtic carving of 3 dogs and 3 hares in a circle - seemingly chasing each other. 
I knew I wanted to, somehow, incorporate that image in my design.
After much research, I settled on a Celtic image I wanted to use.

I used a laser printer to copy the image onto glossy paper.
Then heat transferred the image onto 18 gauge copper and put it into the etching solution for a few hours.

The middle image was printed twice, resulting in a heavy build up of toner.
*Lesson learned* Less toner is actually better and gives a clearer impression.

 Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Inspired By Reading ~ The Fault In Our Stars

I'll admit it - I over-extended myself with way too many events in April and May. It was great to step back and travel in June and scale back even more in July. This has given me the chance to read and dive back into the Inspired By Reading book club started by Andrew Thornton.

For July, we read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, a poignant story of two teenagers battling cancer. I hope to see the movie someday.

Hazel, a main character, finds parallels in her life and the life of the main character in her favorite book. That character's mother fell in love with a "Dutch Tulip Man".

I was inspired to create tulips - 2 ways, on copper ovals cut in the hydraulic press with Potter USA's spoon shaped pancake die.

First I etched a flower design that I colored with alcohol inks.
I kept this design simple with a dangling carnelian bead and copper chain.

My next tulip is enameled on copper. I mixed the powdered enamel with Thompson's A-3 Holding Agent to create a liquid I could paint with.

Originally, I had planned to hang the pendant from a simple mixed seed bead necklace, but it needed something more. I love the way the little carnelian dangles on the silver chain tie the piece together.

Finally - a pair of sterling silver earrings with stamped stars.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Honey Do List - July 2016

It's always fun to see the challenge Eric Wentling has cooked up for the "Honey Do" list.
His goal is to encourage his wife, Sarajo, to stay creative. It's a bonus foe those of us who play along.

Here's what Eric, an accomplished photographer had to say about this month's challenge:

I'm a huge fan of the beauty to be found in nature, especially that hidden within the depths of the earth.  The random patterns of these stone pendants are a work of art unto themselves--some abstract, others more defined.  The challenge this month is to incorporate such a patterned natural stone into your jewelry!

If you've been following me or a while, you know I can't resist unique gemstones.I thought it would be difficult to choose, but I was immediately drawn to a unique ocean jasper cabochon I picked up in Tucson a few years ago.

I tried to follow the lines of the pattern with my wrap and decided to simply string the pendant on a copper chain to keep the focus on the stone.

Thanks for stopping by.
Don't forget to visit Sarajo's blog to check out the rest of this month's participants.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Honey Do Challenge - Reflecting Pool

When Sarajo Wentling posted her reveal for the June “Honey Do” Challenge, I realized I never even saw the intro..
Where did the time go???

I overwhelmed myself in April and May – scheduling events every weekend for 6 or 7 weeks. The business side of me took over and creativity took second place.
(to be honest, so did  family- not a good thing)

Memorial Day weekend was the turning point – We drove from NC to Colorado to celebrate our “nephew”, Ryan’s graduation from the US Air Force Academy. It was such an amazing two weeks. 

Then for the last two weeks of June I traveled back to Long Island and The Hamptons for a working vacation. It was great to see former colleagues at retirement parties and catch up with friends and clients at The Sag Harbor Arts and Crafts Fair and the Southampton Farmers Market. Of course, I cherish the time spent with my daughter.

Now that I’m back in NC, my creative side is beginning to emerge again. I’m ready to take on the challenges that fell by the wayside.


I was excited when I saw the photo Eric Wentling chose for the June challenge. I loved the blue palette and was pretty sure I had a piece started that fit perfectly. 

I used a die from Potter USA to cut a rectangle from textured copper in my hydraulic press.

I put the rectangular pendant together when I was experimenting with my powdered enamels. I started with a transparent blue base on textured copper. Then attempted to follow the swirl pattern with white base coat and a third firing with the same transparent blue.

Blue agate rondelles were wire wrapped onto sterling silver chain to complete the necklace.

Visit Sarajo's blog to see who else has played along.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Honey Do Challenge ~ Black and White and Shades of Grey

I have so much fun playing along with Sarajo and Eric Wentling. This month Eric challenged us with some black and white photos - very different from last month's bright orange, yellow and green.

Right away I thought of liver of sulfur on silver.  

This cuff started as 20 gauge flat sheet of sterling silver. 
I cut a 3/4" wide rectangle and rounded the ends. After stamping the borders, an oval dapping block created the the slight dome and curved the cuff.

Naturally, "Shades of grey" brought labradorite to mind. 

These beauties have been lingering in my stash waiting for the right accent to bring out the amazing flash. None of my other gems did it any justice, so I decided to try something different - I knotted the piece with dark blue silk thread.
I love it!

And, just when I thought I was all done, I re-discovered a jar of white beach glass. Silver wire wrap, liver of sulfur and a few moonstones for accent...
2 more necklaces.

Thanks for visiting!

I hope you'll hop over to Sarajo's blog to see what everyone else has created!  (click here)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Honey Do Challenge

It's time for Sarajo Spurgeon Wentling's "Honey Do Challenge". Her husband, Eric, created a color palette from one of his amazing photos. The palette immediately reminded me of a fun bead
from Andrea Pirkey that I've been hoarding for a few years...

I kept the design simple to highlight the glasswork - just green aventurine and iris brown Czech glass.

Thanks to Sarajo and Eric for the challenge!

I hope you'll check out the other participants listed below.

And do come back and visit me again sometime!