Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Newest Creation

You just must get a look-see at the newest creation.  Now remember Leia and I are still basically beginners at jewelry making, but we work very hard at it and we are getting more creative and better at our techniques.  I hope you enjoy the photo and do visit our studio at http://www.a_beaded_affair.artfire.com/ to see all the other lovelies that we have come up with.

I hope that everyone is getting ready for Valentines.  I have made one item so far and it was just to see if we could.  You can find the Heart & Bead necklace shown on a past post if you just travel down a bit.  It was not made for sale, just for our own use.  It was made by looking at the photo of the Heart Throb Heart earrings seen on beadingems Life Collection.  This was not intended to infringe on any copyrights just for practice and showing our improvement in the art.  I wear this with pride in our work.  Please visit the beadingems Life Collection, make a purchase or find a way to make a donation to cancer research.

Now for the photos of our latest creation.  Here we go folks.  Please, Please, Please, let me know what you think and how we can improve this design.



I look forward to hearing from you all.  Any inspiration and tips you have for us is always used with the utmost respect and we will always give credit to the person who provides us with tips and techniques.

I hope that everyone is looking forward to a wonderful weekend.  Here in Port Orange, we are looking forward to a 70 degree day on Saturday and beautiful sunny skies.  I plan to be outdoors, working in my yard and enjoying the day.

Do take care and may God Bless you each and every one.

Book review and giveaway: Making Elegant Jewelry

Book review and giveaway: Making Elegant Jewelry

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Newest Collection

COLLECTIONS:  This one is "All About Ears".  I have listed just a few of the many, many beautiful earrings that can be found on Artfire.  Be sure to check out all the Artisans who display their beautiful work there.  There are over 3,000 earring listings from different artisans listed there.  I hope that you enjoy this collection as much I enjoyed pulling it together. 

ROCK TUMBLING:  Stay tuned, we have moved into the polishing stage and this time I added some of my polymer clay beads to see what happens.  This is an experiment so I anxiously await the results. 

Take time in your day to reflect on all that is inside of you and pull some inspiration from all that you are.

Rock Tumbling and Finishing Polymer Clay Beads

Well yet another day has come and gone.  I am still in my search for new and fun ways to create jewelry.  I try different techniques and I read a lot.  Really, I mean I read a lot.  I read on the web until one would think I am crying.  LOL my eyes water when they are tired, but I keep reading.  There is so much information out there for the beginning jewelry artisan, it is unbelievable.  I have learned so much already, and even as I begin to try some of the techniques that I have found, I continue to read for more.  I truly feel like a sponge. 

This week Leia and I have decided to do a little rock tumbling.  Nothing extravagant mind you.  We purchased a very small, inexpensive rock tumbler from a craft store.  You can find them at most craft stores, Michael's, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby.  I purchased mine from Michael's.  Yeah Leia gets a little discount there as an employee.  Every little bit helps as most of you know.  Anywhoo, this little thing comes with a few rocks.  Now I would not know one rock from another at this point, but I am learning.  Also, note, this tumbler is not fast.  It takes a couple days to do the first rough grinding, then it takes a few more days for the fine grinding.  And of course there is still a couple of polishing cycles.  So this is not something that the impatient should try.  I am very impatient, but I am being good.  There was a significant difference after the first grinding and the instructions indicate that the second grinding could take from 4-7 days checking intermittently.  We checked at about a day and a half and decided they were looking good but wanted to continue on.  Now when we started they looked just like any old rock you see on the ground.  Oh, so not true.  What we have is a few beautiful green stones and one looks like clay with some thin black layers in it and a black across one edge of the stone.  Very pretty.  They are currently continuing in the second grinding.  we plan to check on them tomorrow which will have given them a couple more days.  I am thinking that they will then be ready for the first polishing. 

This is where this becomes interesting.  I plan to throw my first polymer clay beads into the mix during the first polishing and let the stones do the first stage of the clay finishing.  Of course there will be the polishing powder for the stones in there as well.  So we will see how this works.  I am hoping that this will be a good way to finish the clay beads.  I have some handicaps with my hands and am not able to hold onto beads and sandpaper or anything to do the finishing by hand.  So I have found through some of my web surfing which by the way has turned into jewelry tutorial and technique surfing strictly, a method of finishing clay beads using rock tumbling.

To be honest however, my trial and error technique here is different from the technique I located on the web.  I must give credit for the idea to Desiree McCrory.  If you are interested in the river rock finishing for polymer clay beads, I would highly recommend this link http://www.desiredcreations.com/howTo_TLTumbleSand.htm

Desiree McCroy is the author of the information at the above link.  There are lots of interesting techniques she has listed there.  The river rock tumbling sounded like a really good idea and since I don't have any river rocks or a ready supply of them.  Expense is always a matter to be considered for newbies.  I did not want to spend a lot of money trying new things with jewelry that may or may not work out for me.  So I will try the method I have described above.  if it works, then I have my own method, plus I get some really neat stones that can be used in our jewelry as well.

Of course, the final results of the experiment will not be available for a few days, however, I did want to get the link for Desiree up without delay. I thought her information was great and very very easy to understand.  She has a way of explaining her techniques that anyone could understand. 

Come back in a few days to see the results.  I will post photos as soon as I have some completed.  Keep your fingers crossed that they will turn out well.  If not, then I move on to another technique.  I will always try anything once, if it does not work out, I move on to the next thing.  Jewelry making is such a wonderful addiction, that I just can't put it down.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FreeCraftyLinks

FreeCraftyLinks: "From talented artists in any medium to DIY sites to supplies, you can find it here! Don't forget, anyone can add a their art or craft link & we're FREE!"

As Promised a First Look at Polymer Clay Work - UNFINISHED

Good morning bloggers.  As I promised a couple days ago, I am posting some photos of my first work at polymer clay work.  These are the very very first things I have ever done.  They are very rudimentary and I am well aware that my techniques need a whole lot of work.  LOL.  Just wanted to put them out there for everyone to laugh at.  These items taught me a lot of lessons about polymer clay and how it works.  Hands on ---- that is how I learn best, it seems.

There are several photos of the same items but differnt view and hopefully better photography.  Photography is not something that I do well, but as in polymer clay, I am learning so bear with me.  Grab a cup of coffee and a cinnabun and have a "hoot".  It will make your day, I am sure.






Now as you can tell, they have not yet been sanded and polished.  I did a little bit of sanding on the hearts, however, as I was doing this sanding, I was reading some information on the web about finishing polymer clay work.  Well guess, what, yes I should have read it first.  Perhaps then I would not have run up to the Home Depot and picked up 300 and 400 grit sandpaper.  I would have gone to Ace Hardware or maybe Walmart and picked up wet/dry sandpaper in many grit variations.  I also read that the finishing can be done quite successfully with river rock if done properly, so I may try that as well.  With the open heart I call "Life's Hearts" it will not be possible to put into a tumbler with river rock. It is much too delicate.  It is very thin and even though it baked an appropriate amount of time, it is still slightly pliable.  I have not read in any tutorials regarding this phenomenon.  I will by the way, keep reading. 

I read on an artisans blog today, "Crafts by CAG".  She was showing off some of her beads and pendants.  She says it was her first attempt at beads and pendants.  Well let me say, you absolutely must go take a look at her work,  it is absolutely spectacular.  If that was her first work, I don't think that I should even continue.  But I will.  If it takes me years, I want to be able to do beads and pendants as good as that.  But in her blog page she has an archive of some photographs of polymer clay artwork.  From my perspective, anyone working with polymer clay, should really go take a look at that archive.  It has some of the most wonderful art that I have seen in a long time.  In fact, some of the work though from a few years ago, was just amazing.  I am not sure I can think of enough adjectives to describe the beauty of the work.  You must go take a look. 

Below is a couple of photographs of a piece my daughter has been working on and it is also not yet finished.  There is some filing etc that is yet to be done.  We are waiting for a shipment to arrive with some files and other tools that we have needed to do a better job with our wire.  She has another piece that she did for practice from a free tutorial she found on line as well, and I did photograph it but unfortunately again, my photography skills were just a bit lacking, actually more than just a bit, there was no way I could put those photos up on the blog, it would not have done justice to the job she did.  This was her very first wire wrap pendant and I will be sure to get another photograph of it tomorrow for posting.

But here is a wire cross that she did,  I finally got a better photograph of this and am posting it here first, then I have to go update my artfire studio with the better picture.  This was a first for her as well.  It is also done from a free tutorial that was found online at http://www.jewelrylessons.com/ and the teacher was Donna Spadafore.  It was a pleasure to make and she has made several of them.  Tell us what you think.




I love this and it wears beautifully on a medium size chain.  It is light enough to wear on a delicate chain however, the wire on this cross is not really suitable for a delicate necklace.

I hope you all enjoy the photos I have posted here this morning and I hope that you will leave your comments and suggestions for better work. 

Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Newest Piece in Progress

Good afternoon.

I just stopped by to make sure everyone remembers to follow this blog or my tweeter.  You may be interested in some of the very exciting folks that I follow daily.  Some free giveaways, contests and other exciting news.  Stay tuned for more.

I also wanted to show a photo of the piece we are currently working on.  Please keep in mind that it is in progress and has not been completed yet.  It is one of our first Valentines pieces so we wanted to get it out there for any feedback that you may want to give.  As always feedback is appreciated.

Make sure to follow us on this blog or tweeter for more news and pieces as well as news from others that we think may be appealing to others.

Take a look



This piece is, except for the beads, complete hand made.  We have to thank others for their inspiration and instruction.  Teachers who give of themselves and their designs are the backbone this business for everyone and we must always pay respect to those people.  I hope that our work brings them honor.  Of course, as I said, this piece is unfinished and therefore not shown anywhere but here and tweeter.

Thanks for taking a look, please leave comments.

Application: Jewelry Design Business Development Grant - Halstead Bead

Be sure to check this out. It is a great opportunity for new jewelry designers.

Application: Jewelry Design Business Development Grant - Halstead Bead

Monday, January 17, 2011

Love My Art Jewelry: Very Cool Focal.... Free

Hey everyone take a look. This bead is gorgeous and she is giving away free. Just click below and see how it is done.

Love My Art Jewelry: Very Cool Focal.... Free: "and created by Patty Lakinsmith. how, you are asking..... pretty simple..... Just answer the color poll on the sidebar and let us kno..."

My Latest Project - Polymer Clay

Well, here I am again.  I have completed my first polymer clay project ever.  LOL Yes it was funny.  They, of course, did not turn out all that well.  But, hey, it was my very first attempt ever.  I can't display photos of them yet, they just came out of the oven.  It was a learning experience.  I learned not to work the clay to much or you lose the colors you are working with.  I learned that I can not form a round bead by rolling it in my hand.  I get egg beads.  I also learned that I can not seem to form a square very well.  LOL.  Trust me when I say these did not turn out very well. 

Now I am not getting down on myself for not succeeding, my daughter, Leia tells me that she will definitely use them in some design or other.  I can't wait to see that.  However, I have to say, it took me about 2 hours to make 16 pieces.  some roundish, some roundish flat beads, some barrelish beads, some squarish beads.  So that is not bad for some very rudimentary bead creation. 

I am sure that other polymer clay artists did not have perfect work the first time they made the attempt either, so I am going to continue in my efforts and I will keep you posted on the progress.  I will post photos of some of the work I did tonight in a post within a day or two.  Then you can laugh all you want, does not bother me.  One of the reasons that I find that I will definitely continue in this medium is that I smoke less.  Smoking less is something that I very definitely need to promote.  I am not supposed to be smoking at all with  a heart condition.  But my day job is very stressful right now and the economics surrounding my day job don't appear to be sunny right now and may not be for a while.  My day job is real estate.  So I have been smoking much much more than in the past few months and  making jewelry is helping to stem that flow a bit which is a very good thing. 

Things always appear darkest before dawn. 

Making jewelry makes me happy, and it helps to make me healthier to a point.  Of course, I would love to just sit and make jewelry or communicate through my blog or the forums to which I belong and get to know some of you truly great artisans better, but I do have to get up off of it and go for walks as much as I can.  Thing is, it has just been too cold for me lately even in Florida.

Anyway, Leia and I are getting ready to crack down and get some Valentine's jewelry done and up in our studio, so keep checking for new items to be listed.  As always, your feedback is appreciated.  Most folks are very gracious with their comments and I sincerely appreciate what everyone has to say and I don't take negativity personally.  I do try to learn something from every comment made regarding our jewelry and if possible put as much of what I learn from your comments into practice.  I strive to be better and better each day. 

As for my family, all are well.  I had an email from my brother today who lives in SC.  His children have missed several days of school and had a few late openings and he has missed some work due to the snow and ice they have had.  I am sure many of you have been dealing with the same issues.  I love to look at the snow, but I don't like driving in it and especially not if there is ice mixed in with the mess.  But things are beginning to get better there so things should return to normal very soon.  Let's hope they don't get anymore for awhile.  They don't generally get too much of the white stuff there.  However, this year the snow has seemed to come further south than normal much earlier in the year that ever before.  Wonder what scientists and weather folks have to say about why that is?

I have not heard from my son in Afghanistan for a few days, but I know he is well.  He has communicated with some other family members so he is doing okay for now.  Talk about snow, boy I am glad I am not there.  He had told me the temperature was minus 8 degrees the other night plus they had a lot of wind to boot.  That is really really cold.  It must be difficult for the men and women who have to be out in that on a regular basis.  Not like us, we can choose to stay indoors when the weather gets like that, or most of us can anyway. 

I would ask all who will, to pray for their safety and that they all come home safely and with as little trauma as possible.

Well it is getting very late and has been past my bedtime for quite a while now, so I will close with this.

Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly and
Leave the rest to God.
 
Good night and May God Bless you all.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What to do What to do What to do

Hi everyone.  My title today is What to do etc etc etc..  That is the $64000 question, right?  Well for me it is.  I want to do so many things within the jewelry making craft, but can't really decide which I want more.  I love the bead stringing and have done some of that, but what I want is to something spectacular.

Anyone have any suggestions.  We are going to be getting much stuff done in the next couple of weeks.  We have decided to take our jewelry to the local flea market.  A customer where my Leia (my daughter) works has given some indication that she does very well when she goes there.  According to her, she sells out every time she goes, so we are going to give it a shot.  It is important to get our jewelry out there.  Why, you ask?  Well first of all because we need to sell some items so that there is extra money to put back into supplies and additional tools.  We have a lot of items to work with, but anyone who works with jewelry as I assume most of the readers do, will tell you that there is always something else that you just gotta have.  Secondly, this is our attempt at earning some extra income to offset the hours of work that my daughter does not get at her job.  You see it is part time and that is all that is offered there or anywhere in our area actually.  There are not many other jobs out there at all and the ones that come up have over 200 people applying so why not try to earn money at something that you really really love doing and stay at home with your 3 year old son while you do it.

That brings me to another of my favorite subjects, Jaeden, my 3 year old grandson.  I hope you enjoyed the photos I put up of him and his "all day sucker".  He was hyper today, he actually went into our kitchen a couple of times and just ran in circles for 10 minutes or more.  All the while he is saying "Mimi, see how fast I run, I'm a good runner, huh?"  so cute.Running around in circles, fighting off make believe monsters and bad guys are his current best loved things to do.  Of course, I have to grab the monster and bad guys by the shoulders while Jaeden subdues them.  LOL. 

Anyway back to my original question.  What to do?  I am considering working with clay, polymer as well as metal clay.  But I have some questions.  Anyone who has the answer, please please please give me some info.  What I don't know is if a kiln is a requirement for polymer or metal clay.  If so, I may not be able to do this right now, a kiln is just not in my budget at the moment.  I have read many articles on the subject and some seem to indicate that a typical oven at approximately 110 degrees for a specified time is enough to do the job, but I am not sure about that.    I will be posing this question to any experts in the field that I can find.  But of course, we all know that those folks are really really busy and sometimes it takes time to receive an answer.  Even then because they have been doing this type work for a while, their explanations quite often go right over my head.  I am not looking for technical advice, just some simple answers to some straightforward questions.  What kind of tools are an absolute must, is a kiln required, etc. etc.  For metal clay, also is a kiln required or can a butane torch do what is needed.  I know that for metal clay, I will most certainly need burnishers, files etc.  What else.  Remember when answering, I am just a beginner.

Ok, now to all of you, would love to hear about what you are doing and what is new on your horizon.  What are your plans for your jewelry and how you plan to increase your business or change your focus if you do this year. 

On to other news.  My son in Afghanistan is doing well.  He says he is freezing and at times it feels like his fingers are like hammers when he tries to type an email to me or his wife because they are so cold.  I always have to overlook the spelling because I know that he is trying to overcome the weather.  I sent him some of these things that you place inside the gloves that are supposed to keep their hands warm for up to 10 hours.  He says the work pretty well and that without them he would have frostbite or something.  They had their first snow there a couple of days ago and it came with a lot of hail as well.  That has got to hurt when you are riding up top on a truck trying to see and make sure that big gun stays operational, while all the while watching for anything that might be unusual, out of the ordinary that could possibly be a threat.  I felt really bad for him the other day though.  He had tried to be nice to a little girl by giving her a Gatorade.  Unfortunately, another older male (child) came up took it from her and beat her up, poured out the Gatorade and threw the bottle at my son.  He told me "mom, I was just trying to be nice,"  "I don't want to do anything to cause anyone to be hurt especially a child."  I suspect that our soldiers come across this kind of behavior quite often.  However, he says for the most part, the civilians near his FOB are fairly friendly.  I guess it changes from day to day as the climate of their politics change, but mostly they just want to live their lives and be left alone by Taliban and US. I know I would feel the same way.  Just asking everyone to keep all our soldiers in your prayers no matter how you feel about what our country is doing or whether we agree or disagree, the fact is that they are there and they have a job to do and they don't get to make the decisions about what that job is.

It is not my intention to use this blog as a political "soap box".  I am not a political person.  I have my opinions but generally keep them to myself.  If you have one, you are welcome to give it.  However, this blog is basically just about me, my jewelry, my family and what is happening in our lives.  If you like it, say so, if you don't like, say so. 

May God Bless each and everyone of you and I pray that your respective enterprises becomes everything that you hope for.

Pam

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another day

Hi everyone,
I wanted to stop by and post a few encouraging words and a few photos for everyone to see.  We have a new creation we would like to share.  I think it turned out beautfully.  We were trying some new wire wrapping and this is one we found that we really liked.  This is the work of a student wire wrapper, but it was really very easy to do and did not take a lot of time. 


We have used Jet Cat's Eye beads here which I think are really lovely.  The base is made from 16 gauge gold wire and the beads are attached using a 20 gauge wire.  The 20 gauge wire made attaching the beads a bit more difficult so the next one we did we tried it with 22 gauge wire.  That turned out a bit easier to work with, but we still want to try other gauges, perhaps a 24 or 26 gauge wire.  The free tutorial we were working with used 28 gauge wire but with a 6 mm bead we decided we needed a bit stronger, heavier wire so now we will use the trial and error method.  I really think 24 gauge wire will work well for this size bead.  The 28 gauge wire is really good for a 4mm bead however.  We obtained this free tutorial from a great website that I found searching for new providers of beads, tools and wire.  This site is full of "teachers" who share their tutorials either for free or for a fee.  It is great information.  Take a look at your earliest convenience if you have not already.  http://www.jewelrylessons.com/

We have already made a second cross using a turquoise glass bead.  However, I can't show a photo of this one yet.  It seems I am going to need to take a photography class to get that part of jewelry making down.  I took probably 30 photos of the newest cross and not one of them was, show worthy.  My next attempt will hopefully go much better.  I will try in the daylight in my patio work are which is full of sunlight.  I will post a photo if they turn out well.

I also wanted to share some other pieces that my daughter and I have come up with.  Just for fun.


An anklet using seed beads and lovely little leaf charms on a stretch nylon cord. It is a lightweight piece and you hardly ever know that you have it on.  I wear it a lot and get a lot of compliments on it.  We do have one listed on our artfire studio as well.

Another piece I am very proud of is this lovely aqua and turquoise glass teardrop necklace.  We used the aqua, silver and black beads together.  The black beads actually seem to draw the eye to the necklace and then you see the teardrop.  It was designed originally for  my daughter-in-law for Christmas and she loved it so much that we decided to list it on our studio as well.  Of course we can make the length whatever the wearer chooses.





My grandson really liked the teardrop necklace.  He regularly judges my designs and my daughters creations.  This one he labeled "just beautiful".  Some he labels "chilly".  Those he calls "chilly" we know that he does not particularly like.  Actually, we have found that if we change the "chilly" ones slightly to get a better judgment call from him, then we really do like it better.  "Out of the mouths of babes" right?

I thought I would leave you tonight with a photo of my grandson.  He is the love of my life and I can't imagine life without him.  Of course, he is also a handful, but he keeps me young at heart if not in body.  He is just too cute and I thought you might enjoy these photos of him and his "all day lollipop".




You gotta love'em right?

Time to say good night.  I hope you enjoyed the pieces I have shown you here tonight and get a chuckle from Jaeden.  I will post more as he does love to pose for the camera as you can see.

I would love to hear from you so, post whatever you would like, or link to my blog and let me know so that I can link to you as well.  I am always on the hunt for fellow artisans.  Have a wonderful evening and a great Thursday.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Good Morning World

Good morning everyone. Have a great day.  Do what makes you happy.  For me, I give God the glory and thank him for another wonderful day.  I will be back later today, hopefully with some new designs or at least some new pieces to show and ask for feedback.

Have a beadaful day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Questions and Tips

Hi everyone,

Today is going to be a busy day.  What with jewelry making, inspiration seeking, chatting with beading friends and oh yes, my day job.  End of year at the day job so lots of paperwork to go through, and numbers to crunch etc etc etc.

However, I have a question for anyone who is more experienced in jewelry making than myself, which I am sure must be most of you.  I am making my own hoops for beaded earrrings and as I work with them, they look gorgeous but it seems that when completed, I have these little bends, not all that noticeable but there nonetheless.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to prevent this from happening or to remedy it once it has happened.  When I take my photos I generally do a very close up of the item so these may show in the photograph more than they actually would on the ear in everyday walk about living.

I would love to get some tips from the populace about that. 

Also, I purchased a simple rock tumbler to use for some things I have found just walking around and want to perhaps use them as pendants, does anyone have a suggestion for a starting point for wire wraping these pieces.  For example do I need a base to glue to piece to then start wrapping or just design a wrap that will hold the piece.  Will wire wrapping without glueing hold the piece securely.  I don't want anyone to have a beautiful piece of jewelry that the focal point just falls out of it, you know.

I am sure there are others that have other questions as well.  Please feel free to post your questions here.  If I can answer, or find the answer I will most certainly post a response for it.

Thanks to all who are reading this blog.  I am always open for suggestions.

Have a great beading day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and survived New Year's Eve.  Now on to a great new year.  2011 is going to be a banner year for artisans, I can feel it in my bones.  I invite everyone to post a photo of a piece or pieces of your creation here on the blog.  Just upload a photo into your comment.  I would love to see everyones' work.  If you have a market, please give me the name of your studio or site and I will be happy to add you to my market.

Go take a look at my studio collection.  I have gathered several pieces from other artisans of amber jewelry and their work is wonderful, so be sure to take a look at it.  I will be adding more collections as the next few days and weeks progress. 

Leia is also working on other pieces and we will be posting them on A_Beaded_Affair as well.  So drop by often and please leave a comment or send us a message and tell us what you think.

Also, just a quick question for anyone who can answer, what tools do you use to mold your wire that will not leave scratches or what can we do to make sure there are no scratches or remove the scratches.  Sometimes the wire wrapping looks great and others the tools leave all kinds of scratches.

I look forward to having someone help me with this problem.  I seem to be wasting a lot of wire due to scratching.

Thank you
Pam