Monday, December 22, 2008

Felting Fun

This weekend I went to Maurine's house for the first time to learn how to felt. I had a great time meeting Maurine and enjoyed all of her wonderful hospitality. She also has some amazing looms one of which is computer manipulated. This is a felt bead that I made that day that I glued onto a ring base. I haven't strung the necklace or bracelet yet but isn't this ring too cute! What was so funny about this whole process was that Maurine had cards to use on the wool for another project. They looked just like the cards that you use on actual sheep. For those of you who don't know I showed sheep from age 8-18 in 4-H. Then we washed the wool in Ivory soap which is exactly what you wash sheep in to make them really white and pretty for the fair. It really made me chuckle.

Charm Bracelet

I finally got my charm bracelet together from the charm exchange. As you can see everyone did something really different. I LOVE my new bracelet and will wear it proudly. Thanks fellow charmers!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Jewelry Exchange

It was that time of year again to draw a person's name from the stack and gift them with an original handmade item. The party was held at Margaret and Peter Jung's house which was amazing. They should've charged admission just to see all of their beautiful artwork they have collected over the years. Thank you so much for being such wonderful hosts. Margaret drew my name this year and made me the most beautiful necklace and earrings. The necklace is a 15 strand weave.
I drew Chelsea's name this year and she had on her profile that she loves junk jewelry so that is what I made her. I took an old keyboard apart, filled the back of the keys with black resin (thanks for the tip Mandy) and drilled through to create a hole for stringing. She loved it and plans on going salvaging soon to continue making her own keyboard jewelry. I couldn't pass up the chance to make a delete key into a ring. Everyone should have one of those!

Chelsea opening up her keyboard jewelry!

You Know Who You Are

A special friend made me this. I couldn't resist posting it because I LOVE it so very much. Thanks a million and by the way I think you're a true artist too.

Pierre Le Chat

My friend Jean is very crafty and when she told me she was going to start making sock dolls, I couldn't wait to see the results. Last week her and her boyfriend Coy were sewing away making the cutest sock dolls you have every seen. I was gifted with Pierre. I named him that because of his beret. The got their inspiration from the book Stray Sock Sewing by Daniel.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jean, Jean The Dancing Machine

Jean, a student who works in the office, is always creating. For two years now she has made the entire staff awards at the end of the year. This year I only thought it fitting to make something for her too, so check it out.Jean's creation last year, the paper plate awards. I was voted "Most likely to wear handmade accessories".

Jean's creation this year, buddy pokes. Doesn't my buddy poke look just like me? Thanks, Jean!

Jean sporting her pendant that I made her with paper that I collected in Chinatown when I was in San Francisco.
The other side of the pendant pictured on my lovely wire lady that I found at Ross. Can you believe it? Yes, I said Ross.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Charm Exchange

Oh what fun we had last night at the charm exchange! A special thank you to Debbie for making all of us feel welcome in her home and preparing such a yummy meal for us. Here are a few pictures. I will post a picture of my charm bracelet when I get it finished.

Debbie had place cards for all of us with very pretty table settings.

I couldn't resist posting a picture of the lovely toilet paper in the bathroom. Everything was in the holiday spirit.

Jerry and Tanya with their birthday purses that Mandy handcrafted for them.

Jackie putting together her charm bracelet before we even left Debbie's house. We are so jealous. She's got mad skills.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Charm Exchange

The monthly ladies jewelry group, ok sometimes more than monthly, decided to do a charm exchange for the holidays. We each were responsible for making 11 charms and will each come home with 11 different charms that we are going to trade with each other tonight at Debbie's house. I decided to use soldering for mine, since it's my new favorite thing! I took little glass blobs and put homemade paper behind them and cut words out of an old book that I found at a local library sale. This one says voice but all of them are different. These are the words I chose: vogue, hope, queen, heart, luck, chic, she-wolf, sweet, star and wink. It truly is amazing what words you can find in books. I do have to share though that it is very difficult to solder glass blobs (insert one burnt up soldering iron, cursing, frustration and an emergency trip to the Glass Art Studio for a new iron here). It was a great learning experience though and even though they have a few imperfections I'm very proud of these little charms. Like my friend Angela says "It's handmade girl, if you want something perfect get it made in China". I can't wait to see what the other ladies all came up with for their charms!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Anne's Birthday

This weekend I celebrated a friends' birthday and have to tell everyone about it because of the delicious restaurant that we went to. Anne chose to go to the new Aliante Station to the Pips restaurant. It was so yummy! I had eggplant stuffed salmon with butternut squash risotto with shall I say a few glasses of white wine. It was a great atmosphere and the food and service were amazing. We got seated by the owner who used to be a chef at Cesar's Palace and got a tour of the wine vault. I would highly recommend it!

The picture is of the earrings that I made for Anne. They are from the Dixie Young collection and are vintage crystal. Elegant just like Anne.

Welcome Home Dice

Last weekend I couldn't resist adopting Dice. She was available through the Heaven Can Wait Animal Sanctuary. I had kind of been looking around for a friend for Dash for awhile and finally found one. She is 8 months old and is very playful. I asked the people to find me a playful boy or girl about the same age as Dash. After petting her for a few minutes she rolled over on her belly and started to bite me. As everyone knows this is exactly how Dash acts. Dash was so excited when I brought her home and never even hissed or growled at her. He follows her around everywhere. I tried to tell him he was coming on too strong but he wouldn't listen. After about 5 days they became good friends and are cleaning each other and playing like you wouldn't believe! So now I have the perfect match of Dice and Dash.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pincushion Cupcake

This weekend I made this pincushion cupcake at Carole, the ribbon lady's house. I can't believe that I actually made this because I can't sew. I don't even know how to sew on a button! I learned how to back stitch and knot off and sewed this by hand. Much thanks to Tanya and Carole for explaining all of the techniques to me.

Collage Pendants

I made these two double sided pendants for birthday gifts for Tanya and Jerry. I took my own layered collage work and put it behind glass and soldered it into these pendants. I am very pleased with the collage work and the soldering. I'm getting better and better at it! I actually finished the pieces with blue ribbon instead of chain to hang them from. I forgot to take pictures of the finished pieces before I gave them away.

Kumihimo Anklet

Oh my goodness, I haven't posted in so very long but I'm back and I have things to post! I made this bracelet in October using the Kumihimo technique. Well it was supposed to be a bracelet but it was so big it turned into an anklet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

She Learns How to Solder

This last weekend Mandy and I took a road trip to a class instructed by Beth Quinn at the Blissful Living Studio in Phoenix. It was a whirlwind trip as we left on Friday and came back on Saturday night but it was so much fun. Beth Quinn made soldering seem easy and I loved the class and the studio. Check out the two pendants that I made in class. I enjoyed it so much check back for more soldering projects soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ann's Here..

..From England. I had not seen her in such a long time, I had to make something to give her. She has red hair so I thought that green stones with copper would be perfect for her. Plus, I've been really into copper lately. She brought me jewelry too. So we literally exchanged. She brought me these beautiful silver earrings that had the Keltic symbol on them. They are so pretty. They came all the way from Leicester England where my friend Ann lives now. Wish you were closer, I love you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Birthday Art

A couple more bday presents that I thought I would share. Thank you to everyone. You can't see the back of the ATC but it says: "While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats." Mark Twain. I love that quote!

Friday, September 5, 2008

What a Birthday!

A big THANK YOU to all of the ladies in the jewelry group for all of their wonderful gifts. I am putting up a group shot of all of my presents but it really doesn't do them justice. They all deserve pictures of their own but you can zoom in and look at most of them pretty well. I feel so lucky to have such creative and talented friends.

I also have to thank all of my non-jewelry making friends for their lunches, dinners, well wishes and gifts too. My students that I supervise at work even got me flowers. They are so sweet. The arrangement has this really cool vine in it!

I know I just said this yesterday but I feel so lucky. Thanks again everybody.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


It is hard for me to imagine but last year at this same time I felt lost and confused and when asking myself and when others asked me too I couldn't even tell you where my confidence was or who I really was anymore. When literally pushed into the jewelry arena I wasn't really sure I was creative or doubted that I would even fit in...Wow what a difference a year can make! Now not only do I feel like I fit in I feel like it is a home that I never even knew was possible. See, I still believe that everything happens for a reason and had this person not pushed me towards this creative outlet I never would've found the thing that is truly healing my life. So this birthday I am truly thankful and feel incredibly blessed. Not only do I have my tried and true loving friends that have always seen me through the good the bad and the ugly, I have a whole host of new friends who are enriching my life in ways I didn't even know were possible. So thank you to the friends who held me when I cried this year, to friends who aren't afraid to shake their thing line dancing at Stoney's, to friends who like to take creative road trips, to friends who make me laugh so hard I cry and to all of you who listened, encouraged and supported me this year. I love you all!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wire Weave Bracelet

I started this bracelet in Susan Lenart Kazmer's class at ArtUnraveled and didn't get it finished until this last weekend. In the class I was really frustrated that my annealed wire kept flipping when I was trying to weave. I was ready to give up on the whole project but I kept continuing on. I finished the weaving later that night in the hotel room. When I took the piece home I went out and bought a propane torch so that I could ball the wire and finish the piece. I could not get my wire to ball for anything. This last weekend Mandy taught me how to ball wire, as it turns out I was holding my torch towards the top of the wire and not further down on the piece. Thanks, Mandy! I left my piece in a bangle and spent Saturday and Sunday completing the bracelet with fibers in black and hunter green. I wore this piece to work today and when anyone asks me about it I tell them that it is my baby. It truly feels like a piece of art and I planned my whole outfit out just so I could wear it ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

ArtUnraveled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

I am just now getting the chance to put the rest of my pictures up from ArtUnraveled. I had a wonderful time and having all of the creative energy around me really made me happy. Every night before I went to bed Mandy and I would be going back and forth about all of the things that we learned throughout the day. We would frequently be saying "well what about this and what about that". It was so much fun and location was beautiful too. The hotel sat on a golf course and one night I looked out from our balcony and saw the most beautiful sunset over the course. I just had to take a picture.
I took a Sherri Haab class called resin bangles. In this class we used the EasyCast resin for the clear bangle with the add in's. The other bangle is made out of Alumilite resin which sets up in about 3 minutes. Working with resin is a lot like working with Silver Art Clay because most of the work is in the finishing of the piece. The black and beige piece is actually finished and sanded. You start with a heavier sand paper out of the water and then finish the piece immersed in the water with finer sandpaper.

The next class that I took was the little carved beaded journal with Doris Arndt. She is an amazing teacher. I learned in this class that I didn't know how to read a ruler as well as I thought so when I got back to the room that evening Mandy gave me a ruler lesson. Thanks, Mandy! This journal literally took all day to make. The first thing we did was watercolor our pages with diluted acrylics. Then we took book board and carved out an image which we covered with black paper and then painted using rub in buff paints. We then colored our leather and punched holes through the book board and leather. We then sewed everything together. My hands we so sore the next day. I am not used to sewing let along sewing through leather and book board.
I also took a Zine Machine class from Traci Bunkers. This class was so much fun. We practiced the art of letting go by creating a journal page and then passing it to five other people to finish. Then Traci took all of our completed journal pages and scanned them into her computer. She is going to put together a book and mail it to all of us along with some of her work. I can't wait to get it. The other cool thing about this class it that we all brought some copies of our own artwork and pictures. Everyone had to create some journal pages with other peoples artwork. It was so cool to see other people's pages with my work in it at the end of the day.

The last class that I took was a Susan Lenart Kazmer class on wire weaving. It was so much fun. Mandy took several of her classes during the week and we begged to get into this closed class on Friday night. We both got in and I was so thankful. Just being in her presence gives you so much inspiration. She is actually going to be published in a fine art magazine for all of her amazing metal work. At first I have to admit that I was really frustrated with this class but after I got up to the room that night I finished weaving my piece and was happier with my result. I weaved a bracelet which is not finished yet. I have to go to Home Depot and get some propane so that I can ball up the ends of my piece and get it off of the glass bottle. I will post it when I do. So here I am sitting back at my desk at work but I have to admit with a much better attitude and smile on my face thinking about all the fun I had.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ArtUnraveled Monday and Tuesday

The adventure began on Monday evening when Mandy and I went to the make and takes. Lisa Pavelka instructed the make and take session that we went to. We picked out a picture and then made layers with UV resin. The front of the image is the actual print, which becomes transparent when set with a UV light. The back of the image is the second layer which has glitter. It was a lot of fun and didn't take very much time at all.

On Tuesday I took an all day workshop which was taught by Carla Sonheim titled Voice Lessons. In this class we explored four different mediums to discover which one represented our voice the best. This class was a real challenge because I don't draw at all but I ended up doing two series in charcoal one of animals and one of flowers.

On Tuesday night I took a class called Obsessive Paint Brush with Anne Grgich. I wasn't very happy with my outcome but I am being brave and posting it anyway.

Keep checking back for more updates from Phoenix!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I just got back from visiting my family in Illinois. The last day of my visit we all went to the Coles County Fair. My little niece Bailey (7) really wanted to climb a rock wall, clearly made for adults. My brother at first told her no but on the way back we passed it again and he agreed to let her do it. She was really too small only weighing in at 45 pounds but the guy felt sorry for her and let her do it anyway. She made it all the way to the top of the wall within minutes. All of us including myself didn't think she would be able to do it but as she got about halfway up we were all cheering her on. I couldn't believe it when she reached the top. Her arms were shaking at one point when she couldn't reach the foot holds. This single event of the trip brought so many life lessons to mind. The fact that she wasn't afraid at all, that she didn't take no for an answer and that it didn't matter if any of us believed in her at all because she knew she could do it! My wish for her is that she never loses the incredible spirit that she has and that she enjoys her medal for reaching the top =)

Friday, July 18, 2008


This is for all of us who miss out on the rapture of being incomplete. Love this song and album by Alanis Morissette.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hearts for Betty

If someone reads this before our dinner tonight don't let the cat out of the bag but I made these earrings and bracelet for Betty's birthday. I found these heart glass beads at the Whole Bead Shop booth that was at the bead show at the Alexis Park Hotel a few months ago. I found a lot of very fun beads there. Everything is sterling silver and the red heart beads are glass with a few black seed beads. Her favorite color is red so I'm sure she will love them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I tried embossing by myself for the first time last night while making a birthday card for my glass making friend Betty. It turned out alright but I forgot to shake off the excess embossing powder before turning on the heat gun. I have a very shiny kitchen as a result and a shiny outfit.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Gym Class Heroes

People who know me well know that I am a closet hip hop fan. I love it. I had the pleasure of going to see the Gym Class Heroes Friday night at the Joint inside the Hard Rock. They were awesome. My friend Katharine and I were shaking our thing and pumping our fists through every song. If you haven't heard of them you should check them out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ring of Fire

I was inspired to create this piece by the Johnny Cash song Ring of Fire. The basic foundation for this piece was created by putting paper on the canvas with gesso to create texture. Then I used acrylics in red, blue and yellow mixed with gel medium in a semi gloss to give it a little bit of shine. This additive does not change the color of the acrylics.

So here's to everyone who is currently in the ring of fire and to those who have gotten burnt beyond recognition by the fire and finally for those of us who are hoping we can carefully jump back in one day with a new love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I sent this bracelet with my friend Keri as she starts a new adventure with her move to LA. I thought it was very important that she lives life to the fullest. Just live, girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome Home Dash

I finally did it. This last week I adopted a furry friend named Dash. He is a 5 month old Bengal kitten. He has beautiful leopard spots and certainly lives up to his name as he dashes around the apartment all of the time, unless of course he's sleeping. I love him and best of all he seems to love me too.