Monday, November 30, 2009

It finally worked! Copper Etching with Salt!

One of these pieces of copper is the final, successful result of etching copper with salt. I wish the photo were better. Which piece of copper do you think was successful?

Let's take a closer look.

I found a tutorial on Lampworketc about etching copper without harsh chemicals. The writer of the tutorial used salt combined with low voltage electricity and an aquarium bubbler. The name of the tutorial was Copper Etching with Salt. Included in that tutorial was another link to another tutorial on etching copper with salt in Art Jewelry Magazine. I wrote my list and headed out to Radio Shack, Walmart, and Menard's to obtain the objects on my list. I came home and saturated the water with salt to begin the etching process. The water was saturated, the battery was hooked up and ready to go. I dipped the anode in the water and I waited. This photo was the result. All I did was to corrode the copper because I had put the battery into the battery holder BACKWARDS! Oh, well, time to try again!

This time, the battery was hooked up correctly. The resist was applied, and I began the process of etching again. Unfortunately, my brushing was too vigorous. Piece #2 was sent to the copper graveyard. I gave the process a rest until today. This time, I changed the salt I used. In the last two tries, I used the salts that were recommended in the tutorials. I didn't realize that these 2 salts had an agent added to them to prevent clogging. I found another batch of sea salt at the store. This time, the salt did not have anything else added to it. The result, a beautifully etched copper bead!

The design was simple. Dots. It is lovely! I hope to try more complicated designs in the future!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What If

What if...








What can I do to make your day





What if?

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I have 3 beautiful vessels in my Etsy Store. This one is called Posh Purple Vessel! It's really a lovely piece of jewelry. It's even big enough to put a little bit of something you want to hold close to you whether it be a touch of fragrant oils or child's first tooth.

This is another vessel in my Etsy Store.
I call this one Midnight Skies. It's a small item, but it's unique. With only 31 days to Christmas, you might want to order this beautiful little piece of wearable art soon. Think about it!

Last, but not least, is the Buried Coral Reef vessel. Although not shown, this comes with a chain so that you can wear this. I love to make vessels! I need to clear out my current stock so that I can make more. Not only that, these vessels would make wonderful, unique gifts for that special person on your list.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Look What Someone Did with My Discs!

Isn't this an amazing work of wearable art? You can find it in Lynspired Jewelry's shop on Etsy, and, guess what! Lynn bought those discs from me! I am so impressed with what she's done to turn them into such a wonderful piece of jewelry!

Lynn titled this amazing piece of jewelry "Funky Exuberance." I love the color combinations she used!

You need to check out her show, now. She's having a HUGE sale! She's got necklaces, bracelets, earrings, holiday items, scarves, kids' stuff, and unisex items. She's got something for everyone on your shopping list!

Be sure to visit her store. You won't be disappointed if you do!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wily Wren Fibers at the Art Show and on Etsy

I met Liza Domeier at the St. Peter Art Center's Holiday Fare last Saturday. Liza is a fiber artist and sustainable farmer here in Southern Minnesota.

Liza brought some of her yarns, felted items, and her spinning wheel to the Holiday Fare. I was lucky enough to be in the booth next to Liza, and I was able to watch her spin and see her wonderful products!

As you can see, Liza brought her spinning wheel and gave some demos at the show. Her husband sheers the sheep, and Liza turns the wool into beautiful yarns and felted products.

Liza has a web site called Wily Wren Fibers.

On her website, you are able to see her wonderful hats and other items that she has available for sale.

Things I learned about Liza. Liza has a Master of Arts degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with an emphasis in fibers and ceramics. Liza and her husband have a 30 acre bio diverse farm that includes a lot of sheep. Guess where the wool comes from that Liza uses? Not only that, Liza is the clay coordinator for the St. Peter Art Center. She teaches classes in clay and fiber. Liza also works at a local nursery where she is the vegetable grower. In the summers, she also has a sizable vegetable garden. To relax, Liza fishes for catfish in the river, and she plays the banjo. Oh, I almost forgot, Liza also has an Etsy store. I don't know how she does it all!

Now, you get to see what I bought from Liza at the show!
I bought a pair of her felted wool fingerless gloves. Aren't they amazing?

Thanks, Liza! It was great to meet you!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All right! How Do You Make a Cupcake?

Without thinking, tell me, what do you see? I thought so. You don't see cupcakes do you? I've tried and tried, but no matter what I do, I can't make a cupcake bead I like.

I made these beads in holiday colors. They are listed on Etsy, but they don't look like the cupcakes I saw in my mind when I started.

Help! What do I do? Cupcakes are everyone's favorites! Any suggestions? I'm more than willing to listen! Thanks so much!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sea Shell Mania

I know that it's just the end of autumn, but I have already started to get cravings for the beach. I doubt that I will see the beach this year, but I do love sea shells!

Here are some Sand Dollars. I call them the flowers of the sea. What do you think?

Here are some scallops that you might find on a beach. They've just begun to bleach!

How about these Chalcedony Shells with winter white spacer beads. I love Chalcedony glass. Look at all the colors that developed in the flame! Love, Love that glass! Again, you can find all of these shells in my Etsy store.

Don't you just love the beach?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yeah or Nay? Iced Tea in the Winter!

I get it. Minnesota winters will put hair on the most delicate of chests.
50 degrees is considered tank top and sandal weather. So, why is it getting more difficult to order iced tea at a restaurant in the cool months of the year? Beats me! Restaurants are taking it off their menus!

What do you think: Yeah or Nay for iced tea in the winter?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When Mother Nature Dresses Up

Mother Nature
dresses up,
her frosty veil
laced on the grass,
seasons morph,
scraps of summer
to be
we slip
into winter
and crusty leaves
eternal frost.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All Right, It's the Teacher in Me Coming Out of Her Cocoon

When I used to be a special education teacher, one of my duties was to teach a math class to my students. As in all areas of the student body, one of the complaints I heard the most frequently was, "Why do I have to learn this? I'll never use it again!"
I know, we've all said that, and karma comes back to bite us.

My passion now is melting glass into beads and small sculptures. Oh, my, math, math, math.

What size mandrel do I need: 1/16". 5/64", 3/32"? Hmmmm.

What is the COE (Coefficient of Expansion) of the glass? If I use different COE's, my beads will crack and break. (All right, on that one physics is involved, but Math and physics work together.)

I thought I would make a list, and, if you like, you can add to this list of ways to use math in every day life, whether it's in your crafts or your cooking. Here's also a great interactive site you might want to visit. It's called Math In Daily Life. You'll be amazed at the ways those things you learned in math class help us get through our days.

My Math List:
melting glass
heat of my torch
calculating postage
computer programs that I use
measuring bead sizes
measuring time
temperatures inside and outside
buying clothes
buying shoes
using money
clothing sizes
shoe sizes
calculating gas mileage
paying taxes

That's just what I could think of in a minute. What can you add to the list?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Describe Your Life in Six Words

On Saturday, The One Minute Writer offered the prompt:
Describe your life in Six Words.

I thought about this one, and here is my contribution.

My life - a journey and adventure.

Now, describe your life in six words!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Trouble with Tribbles

I used to be a true Star Trek fan! I guess I still am. At the time, the special effects were really special effects! By today's standards for special effects, they were nothing. I found this segment, posted on YouTube, from my absolute favorite Star Trek show. The video is a little long--about 9 minutes. I hope you enjoy The Trouble with Tribbles as much as I do and did! You can find more of this show on YouTube. Do you see any beads here?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Metals and Lampwork Beads

I love making lampwork beads! I love copper! I love wire!
So, what do you think of this pendant?
I learned to make the pod bead in Sally LaGrand's class at the Bead and Button Show last June!
The holder for the pod came out,
so I was able to add it to the
copper pendant
with small scrolls.
I'm keeping this one!
I have also been wanting a copper cuff.
What do you think of my new cuff?
I used a chalcedony lentil bead to the copper.
do you like my new jewelry?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What are you dreaming!

At first, it's just a quiet yelp,
then, a growl,
a bark, and
finally a roo!
Pixie is sleeping,
like a baby who smiles while cradled in it's mother's arms and sleeps through thunderstorms, smiling all the while,
I wonder,
What are you dreaming?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FaceBook Challenge

The other night on Facebook, I posted a question that said, "Please Challenge Me." I was so pleased to see what other people had in mind. My son, Nick, even joined in the challenge me. I had so much fun today working with these challenges! Here are the pictures of what I made.

Nick said, "Can you make a dolphin?" I didn't know. I found a tutorial on Etsy for making a dolphin and ordered. Here are the results. I had so much fun with that tutorial, I made 3 different dolphins. (Only 2 out of the 3 looked like dolphins)

I don't know what kind of fish this looks like, but it is supposed to be a dolphin.

This dolphin was supposed to be orange. I grabbed the wrong color rod. Tomorrow, I'm going to make an orange dolphin.

The next challenge suggested was to make Xmas balls for ornaments. I was very pleased with these. I made hollow beads and decorated them. Now, all I have to add is the wire work.

The next suggestion was peppermints. All right, so this wasn't the greatest. I couldn't remember how to make them. This is an alien piece of peppermint candy.

How about hearts? Sueze said. Here's a heart Sueze!

Vicki said, "How about lots and lots of colorful fish?" I had honestly forgotten how to make small fish. I used to make very good fish.
I said that this would be the good, the bad, and the ugly. ooooops!

More practice need with fish.

The last challenge still has me thinking! Shoestrings! This was the best I could come up with at the time--dread coil! Any suggestions? I love a good challenge!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Form Beads - A new Endeavor

I just started playing today. The glass didn't want to do what I wanted it to do. Sometimes, it's just important to listen to the glass and let the glass guide you as you work. Both of these beads started out as a lentil that went bad. Amazing what can happen!

I call this bead The Pharaoh. This is side one of the bead.

This is side two. What do you see in this bead? Do you see a Pharaoh, too?

I call this bead the Thunderbird.

Do you see a Thunderbird, too?

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm in a Treasury! And I Snagged a Treasury!

Thank you, Patty!
What Goes Around Comes Around
Please Click and Comment.

Santa, I want
Please, if you have the desire,
Please click and comment.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Making Earrings for the Hospital Show on Thursday

My fingers are sore. I spent the afternoon making earrings for the jewelry show at the Immanuel St. Joseph's Hospital. The hospital auxiliary hosts this event, and it's a great time!

This event is held in the Atrium of the hospital, near the amazing gift shop there. There's a lot of traffic with people going in and out of the hospital, along with the staff from the hospital and clinic there.

This year, I decided to focus more on earrings than other items. These are mismatched discs that I made and, since the photo was taken, have turned these mismatched discs into asymmetrical earrings. I hope they will be good sellers at this event.

These are some of my finished earrings. I love mixing wire with my lampwork beads.

These are some of my favorite earrings. I love the colors from the Chalcedony beads, and I love the combination of the ivory and red glasses.

Hopefully, I will sell a lot of earrings on Thursday!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Day for Closure--The Transition is Made

Technically, today did not qualify as a true Indian Summer Day, but I think it was. Traditionally, an Indian Summer day is a day following a hard, killing frost, before the snow falls, that is wonderfully warm in late October or early November. Since we have already had 3 measurable snow falls, today didn't actually qualify as an Indian Summer day, but on the other accounts, it did. Our high was 67 wonderful degrees at the start of November! We have had several hard, killing frosts. The landscape has changed remarkable from summer. The leaves are off the trees now, and they are sharp and brittle. When you walk on them you hear the crunch of cornflakes before the milk is poured in the bowl.

I knew I had to finish the leaves today. Last week I raked for several hours to get as many leaves as I could to the curb before the street department brought their trucks by to suck the leaves from my front curb. After the momentous raking sessions last week, I also went to the hardware store and bought a leaf blower. Why we didn't do that years ago, I don't know. In my book it's one of the most wonderful inventions since the advent of the light bulb! I blew the remainder of the leaves to a place where I will mow them and mulch them tomorrow in about 15 minutes. This tool is an amazing tool!

As the leaves blew, waves formed and the air caused undulations and patterns. I caught myself thinking, if only I could catch that wave in a bead! I even took a video of the process, but between using the leaf blower in one hand and the camera in the other, I could not catch the amazing waves of leaves. Another day. Things are changing now.

This little garden which yielded tomatoes and herbs is still alive in spite of the frosts and freezes. Of course, the tomatoes are gone, but the herbs hang on. I was able to smell the each herb as I cupped my hands around this final aromatic supper. Tomorrow I shall cut the herbs back and bring them into the house to dry. The change is almost finished. Transition time has come full circle.

Tomorrow, we will put the lawn mower away and will bring the snow blower to the front of the garage. The herbs will be cut and dried or frozen. Pixie and I might head over to the dog park for a final romp before the cold returns along with the ice and snow. The circle will be complete. Summer is over! We are heading towards spring once again!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Playing with Chalcedony Again! Love that glass!

I've been playing with Chalcedony Glass again!
I made these two beads using Chalcedony glass,
but the bead on the left I covered with
silver leaf.
I was hoping that
the silver leaf
would bring out more color,
it didn't.
You can see that beneath the silver
leaf there was some
beautiful color development, but
when I added the silver leaf,
the colors became more muted
and a hint of amber came to the surface.
It's still a pretty bead, and
yes, the other bead was meant
to have a twisted shape!

The colors developed beautifully in this bead!
I'm going to make earrings out of these beads!

continue to
love the way
Chalcedony glass
look amazing!
I love the added touch of silver wire!

call these beauties
Slipped Discs!

Here are some mismatched
I love them!
Now, I have a question for you,
Should I sell them,
should I sell them?