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30 November 2011

Paint the World with Your Palette: 2nd Annual Challenge of Color Blog Hop!

"The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors which at every suceeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts." ~ James Allen

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Challenge of Color Blog Hop!

The reason that I started this challenge was because I was stuck in a color rut. I thought it would be fun to jazz up my pieces with a dose of color on what would normally be a gray month around here in Wisconsin. So I invited some friends to play along. Last year over 40 people accepted my challenge. I never realized that so many others needed that color jolt as well!

So this year I decided to mix things up a bit. I found a wonderful color palette blog called Design Seeds. Jessica Colaluca is the brains behind that operation that takes a fresh look at color and supplies creatives like me with beautifully rendered palettes. Miss Jessica was kind enough to let us play along with her palettes as long as we linked back to her site. So I asked the participants to choose one color from a group of twelve. This could be a complete challenge to them, or something that they loved. Either way, I sent a totally unique palette to all 54 players in this colorful game. The only rule was that they had to use the main color that they chose. At the end of this post you will find a complete list of all the hoppers. I hope you will visit each one and of course, leave some feedback for them to let them know what you think of their interpretations!

Now it wouldn't be a challenge without me going a bit overboard. I threw down my own gauntlet to myself and declared that I would create one piece of jewelry for each of the twelve palettes. AND I would try to use an art bead in each. AND I would only use what I had available - no shopping.

And I did it.

I am exhausted but proud.
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First we start off with one of our participants from afar, my friend Kirsi, all the way in Finland. Kirsi requested that I post her palette and creation on my blog, and I am happy to oblige.
teal - dragon hues

wings of a dragon - by kirsi

Kirsi chose the color teal. Kirsi is a color lover and loves to pair music with her jewelry designs. This is what she had to say about her necklace.


Hello. My name is Kirsi Luostarinen. I love colours! For this challenge I was inspired by the colour and I have always been fascinated by the dragons. I am a dragon, too. I was thinking about the Japanese new year celebration and "the walking dragons "there. The sound of music here is absolutely "Big in Japan" by Alphaville. It blows your mind with the necklace.
 
." The wings of a dragon" is made of coloured-patinated copper wire, feathers of pheasant, gemstones (mokaiitti in Finish) and artisan hollow lampbeads by Nadin Sandler.

Well done, Miss Kirsi! I am totally digging the feathers and the way you displayed the necklace!


On to my palettes! All twelve of them!
I will let the colors speak for themselves.........
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brown - chocolate chips


polymer clay bead - the lovely Miss Pam Wynn
wood, ceramic, leather, copper

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purple - flora hues

cold press clay pendant - Israeli artist Alona - Rafya on Etsy
amethyst, amazonite, peridot, gold filled and gold vermeil components

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green - caprese hues


ceramic pendant - the sweet Miss Mary Harding on Etsy
mosaic green magnesite, carved bone, sponge coral, wood and nut beads
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blue - indigo hues

polymer clay 'simple truths' pendant  - why, me, of course!
silver plated connector, pearls, seed beads, silver plated spacers
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gray - color fuse

lampwork glass bead - the ever amazing Miss Kerry Bogert of KABs Concepts
agate slice, vintage carved onyx, snowflake obsidian, gold plated spacers, steel wire
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red - red velvet hues

polymer clay message toggle - the oh-so-cute Miss Heather Wynn Millican of Swoondimples on Etsy
dyed wood beads, glass cubes, pearls, amethyst, sterling silver flower
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lavender - dried tones
pewter button - talented D'Arsie Manzella of Mamacita Beadworks on Etsy
etched and silvered lampwork round  - my new glass crush from Luxemborg, Maryse Fritszch of Glass Bead Art on Etsy
ceramic round - the nicest person you will ever meet, Miss Melanie of Earthenwoods Studio on Etsy
dyed charoite and amethyst rounds, seed beads, silver plated spacers
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yellow - pear tints

polymer clay disk beads - from my best friend, Miss Heather Powers of Humblebeads on Etsy
silvered ivory ring - created by the delightful Miss Cindy Gimbrone
branch connector, brass oak leaves, green glass, vintage glass pearls, peanut beads
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orange - barked orange

lampwork egg - created just for me by the Midwest girl at hear, Miss Kelley Wenzel of KelleysBeads on Etsy (and she is making eggs again!)
little birdie bead - my good friend, Miss LeAnn Weih of Summers Studio on Etsy
glass, wood, copper leaf connector
 
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teal - flora bright

lampwork glass ribbed bead - my friend from down under, Miss Jenni Connolly
green hollow lampwork bead - Miss Kerry Bogert of KABs Concepts
striped and dottie lampwork beads - from the laugh-until-it-hurts friend in the shiny shack, Miss Julianna Cannon of Julsbeads
silk strands - expertly color coordinated by my friend, Miss Marsha Neal of Marsha Neal Studio
colored glass disks, upcycled silver plated ball chain
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beige - shelled tones

tiny lampwork beads - the crushworthy Pinocean on Etsy (I hear there is a shop update today!)
Swarovski crystals, rhinestone headpins, pearl rondelle spacers, gold plated bead caps, 14kt rose gold ear wires

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pink - agate pink


gold filled ear wires and spacers
mother of pearl mosaic tear drop beads
dyed crazy lace agate rondelles, Swarovski crystals, silver spacers

lampwork glass beads - lovingly created by my friend Miss Julianna Cannon, also of StudioJuls fame
rose quartz, silver plated spacers, sterling ear wires
For sticking it out until the end of my very long post, I have a chance for one lucky person to win either pair of the earrings inspired by the pink palette. To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do. This giveaway is exclusively for those who are stopping by to comment and is open to anyone in the world. Winner will be announced on Monday, December 5th.

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So, what did you think? I feel energized that I was able to complete this challenge and it is gratifying to know that I did it by dipping into the lovely beads that I have been hoarding for far too long!

 I also have a heaping helping of great prizes exclusively for the 54 players to win. Wish I could gift you all, but know that I so appreciate you! For the players, we have the following goodies:

Gift Certificate to Brandi Hussey's new Freshly Hued store filled with colorful goodies galore! Check out the new do-it-yourself holiday cards. I can't wait to get mine!
One lucky winner. Value: $12

One tutorial from LaBellaJoya on Etsy - you pick! (Thank you, Miss Marcie!)
One lucky winner. Value: $12

Design Seeds is now available for your iPhone/iPad. I will personally purchase a copy of the app as my gift to you! How great to carry color with you wherever you go! (Makes me want an iPad of my own! ;-)
Two lucky winners. Value: $5.99 each

One of my newest designs in the 'simple truth' line is a long stick pendant perfect for your fortune cookie message. One lucky winner will receive the pendant shown above.
Value: $18



And thanks to the generosity of some amazing artist friends, and my attempt to create from my stash, I have an amazing group of beads to give away - many of them art beads - in all twelve color families! Beads shown will be divided equitably and include art beads from Round Rabbit, JulsBeads, Birgitta Lejonklou, Marsha Neal, Sally Russick, Jeannie Dukic and Beth & Evie McCord. Also included are stones, wood, lava and pearls. And who knows what else might jump in the box!
Value: Priceless

All participants in the list below are entered in these drawings just for playing along (no commenting necessary). Just my way of saying thanks!

All winners will be announced on December 5th.

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So tell me which of the palettes I completed was your favorite! And after you leave a nice comment (with a way for me to contact you if you win the earrings - kindly turn on your email in your profile!), please start your hop here and work your way around the world on a colorful magic carpet ride!

1 Norma Turvey ~ Teal ~ Color Crave
18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones

28 November 2011

Cyber Sales, Computers and Ornaments...Oh My!

This week I was blessed with the return of my computer. Yeah for Computer Magic!  Like a new-born babe, all clean and shiny with no memory to speak of and history yet to be written. So I am attempting to get this baby back up to speed by teaching her all the old tricks. Frustrating to say the least. House training a new puppy might be more fun!
The Virtual Craft Show over on Lori Anderson's Pretty Things Blog is in full swing. 70 artists. 70 giveaways. 7 days. And most of them have special discounts in their shops. Mine was up on Sunday. Comment (on Lori's blog, not mine!) every day for a chances to win these fabulous arrays of prizes and goodies, perfect for gifting to others (or hoarding for yourself!;-).


For my own gift, I will enroll one lucky commenter (on Lori's blog, not mine!) in the Simple Truths Sampler club for 3 months. That is a $54 value people! Includes shipping! Limited edition pendants NEVER sold to anyone else! International friends welcome as well! Just hop on over to Lori's blog and comment everyday for a chance to win. Oh, yeah, and as if that weren't super-duper special enough, I also have a special discount code good on anything in my Etsy shop - yes, even the custom made-to-order pieces (sorry, not available on the sampler club - that is already a great deal!). But the discount vanishes when 2011 does, so stop on over and stock up! New designs being uploaded right now!


On Wednesday I hope you come back to check out what me and 54 of my friends from around the world have been working on in the 2nd Annual Challenge of Color blog hop. I am really excited to see the palettes that everyone has and how that inspired them. I have already heard from some participants that this challenge has literally changed their life. Heady stuff! For my part, since it is my challenge, I threw down my own gauntlet and stated out loud (or as out loud as you can be on a blog ;-) that I would be making something for each of the 12 color families. I have been working on that, (okay, not this past weekend where I made the mistake of going shopping on Black Friday, despite all my better instincts!) and I think that I have at least 4 more to go. Check back on Wednesday to see if I can make it.

We decorated our front porch and put up the tree this weekend. But there is still so much to do. My son Rocket went upstairs to pop some corn and came back holding the handle to the microwave in his hand. "It just fell off in my hand!" he declared. Of course it wasn't a clean break, the screws are still in the door (I suspect there was some hanging on the door to make this happen). And tonight as I tried to carefully access the microwave door, I knocked off the plastic doodad vent cover at the top so now that is a pretty sight. I guess a new microwave range hood is in my immediate future. Maybe there is a sale.... Happy Christmas to me!

And last but not least, I was talking to my art peeps at the Gallery Q where I sell my work and I noted that with all the gifty items that are stuffing the gallery, there was not one Christmas ornament. Of course they encouraged me to make some. I realized that my 'simple truths' settings would look just as pretty on your tree as on your neck, so I came up with several designs. (That is why I don't have my challenge done, darn it!) I talked a store owner into selling me her really cool rustic metal bare branches tree to display them on and carted them to the Gallery today when I worked my shift. I entered them all in the computer. No sooner had I done that then three sold! (Here they are, Miss Kristen, as you wish! ;-)

{Stamped images courtesy of Michelle Ward. The Holiday Botanicals: mistletoe, pin, holly and poinsettia. The bezel setting is larger than my usual pendants at 1 1/2" square. Available in either silver or just a slightly smaller antique gold color. What do you think? With or without the embellishments?}

{The Snow Series. You will recognize my 'let it snow' snowman. Perfect as a little ornament with a cute snowflake ribbon, and then after Christmas just slide it on your favorite chain! I am still taking custom orders for these with more sold each week! I also made some new snowflake designs I like very much with a subtle wash of color. The messages on the back varied, but I like the two above. And lastly a little glitz for your tree... Blingcicles! Sparkly octagon crystals dangle from an icicle of Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and other beads.}

{Stamped images courtesy of Michelle Ward. The Nutcrackers. I have very fond memories of the Nutcracker. Particularly the music. I have only seen the ballet a handful of times but it always leaves me feeling so nostalgic.I have these larger rectangle bezel settings in 1x2", just the right size to put a little message. Some of these have a loop at the bottom so I wired a cluster of holly leaves and berries on each one. Or they could be left without any embellishment... or adding the embellishment as an add-on? What do you think?}
So I think I have a possible new custom made-to-order to add to my shop - ornaments! Tell me what you think about these and if I should add them to the shop with embellishments (like holly beads and little pine cones and ribbon) or if they should just be sold plain so that you can do with them what you wish? Or maybe they are sold plain, but the added embellishments would be a little extra? I would love your feedback!



P.S. Oh, yeah! Sorry... one last thing... I will be the featured artist in the Art Bead Scene Studio Saturday this week (with a giveaway for the holiday season!) and I will be hosting the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge blog hop showcasing all the talented folks who inspire me daily. Be sure to stop by Art Bead Scene for some inspiration.

22 November 2011

Gratefulness

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
~William A. Ward


 

These are the pendants that I created for the small but mighty 'Simple Truths' Sampler Club. I promise them that they will get a new sampler every month that includes a pendant that will not be available anyplace else. This month, to show my gratitude for these lovely ladies who believe in me and lift me up and give me courage to keep going on, I decided that they would get a custom made 'simple truth' pendant.
I asked them to tell me their favorite color and metal what they were most thankful for. It was a great reminder to myself of the things that even I overlook. Some were thankful for their kids and family, their faith and music, nature or this beautiful earth. Even someone is thankful for creativity and the ability to express it. That made me think that there could be those who don't know that they are creative, and if they do they might not see a way to let that creativity shine forth. That is something to be grateful for indeed.

I know it has been too many days since I sat down to write. Being without a computer (in case you didn't know... my Dell caught a nasty virus, this time, at the 'doctor' right now - hoping that my photos from the past 6 years will survive) has made me hyper aware of how much time I actually spend online and attached to this keyboard. Too much. My life feels strange without it, but yet I have had more time to sleep and play and connect with those whom I know that do not have an email address or a profile picture. I am still without a computer to call my own, so my attempts to stay connected with this larger world have been limited. But I did want to check in to let you know that I am still lurking about. And I miss you.


I realized during this accidental hiatus that my 3rd blogoversary has come and gone this month. I remember when I started this blog. I set out with a plan even then that I would blog and write and get my thoughts into the world, even if no one would ever read a word. I still feel that way, although I am eternally grateful for the friendships that have been fostered through this little experimental community I have created.

I actually think of each of you as I write. I recall your names and faces (if you have a picture in your profile). I remember details of the emails that we have shared, whether we agree on things or not. I think about the things you have told me about your lives, the city where you live, the colors that inspire you, the names of your children, the causes that are dear to your heart. I think about all these things and more when I sit down to write, because although I would continue to write without an audience, it is so much more meaningful to know the people on the other side of the world who are reading this. 

For that, I am ever grateful.

It is a uniquely American tradition to share a meal on this upcoming holiday, whether with those you love or those less fortunate. And yes, there are parades and football games and enough food that borders on gluttony, but there is something more to this. I don't think that you can be truly great unless you are grateful. Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, it is a good time to pause and shut out the rest of the world, surrounding yourself with those who love you... to reflect on the passing year... to focus on those things that came to be, or those that didn't, as something to be equally thankful.... It is a good time to look back and see where you have come and look forward with a renewed purpose. That is what I will be doing this week.

Thank you for giving purpose to my passion by reading my words.
Thank you for continuing the conversation with me outside of this forum (and if you have never received an email from me, please make it easy by turning on your email in your profile!).
Thank you for supporting my journey to becoming the artist that I know I am meant to be.
Thank you for sharing a little bit of your spirit with me.

Your turn...
Sometimes the things that we hope for don't always work out.
What may seem disappointing is often a blessing in disguise.
It is easy to be grateful for those things that go our way, and play into our plans, but much harder to be grateful for the missed opportunities, the dashed dreams.
But if you can look past the initial disappointment, you will often find something to be truly thankful for.

 What blessing in disguise are you most grateful for this year?


14 November 2011

On Winning, Gratitude and Challenges

WINNER ALERT!

Karyn B of Plus Sized Bangles has a great sense of style. I am always crushing on her jewelry submitted for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenges. You win your choice of one of my class samples on faux enameling! Email me and you can decide which of the four that you would like to call your own!


Speaking of winning... What are you grateful for? I am grateful for family and friends, for the changing seasons, for coffee every morning and chocolate every night, and for all my wonderful supporters out in the great big ol' world. You make it seem so much smaller despite the miles and that makes me grateful. The Art Spark for November over at Love My Art Jewelry is all about gratitude. And I am grateful for the opportunity to sponsor their giveaway for this month. Hop on over to Love My Art Jewelry and show those ladies some love by creating something that shows what gratitude means to you (and maybe you will win one of my 'gratitude' simple truths pendants.) They also have an awesome giveaway of art beads in their Art Bead Love Tour. This is such a clever way to share the art bead love, I would be in heaven if I won!

Last night my computer got infected with a nasty virus. I am not sure when I will be back in the swing of things, so excuse me while I try to piece things together. I had planned to put up the final list of the participants in the 2nd Annual Challenge of Color blog hop. But of course that is on my computer. I have recreated it by hand the best that I can right now, because I wanted to share with you the lovely participants. 54 of them. From around the world. So excited!

To recap... I invited people to play along with me as I explore the color palettes put together by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds. The challenge is to take a color from Miss Colaluca's palettes, one that is either a challenge or something comfortable for you (no judging!), and create jewelry from it. It really is a selfish thing in that I need a little jolt of color during these gray winter days, plus this forces me to make things that can of course be for sale for the holiday season. The fact that 54 of my blogging buddies want to play along is just the icing on the cake! We will have some prizes donated by some of our fellow participants (thank you Miss Jeannie, Miss Sally and Miss Sandy!) as well as beads and things selected from my stash representing the 12 color palettes and even a 'simple truth' or two. Wednesday, November 30th is reveal day, a chance to hop around and see the unique color palette that I chose for each participant and what she did with it. It is always inspiring to see.

Here is the final list of participants including a link to their blog (stop by and say hi!), their color palette choice, and the unique color palette I selected for each one.


18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones

Since this is a challenge for myself, I have decided that I would attempt to make one thing for each of the 12 color palettes. Crazy? Most definitely. But it wouldn't be a challenge if I didn't push myself.

This weekend I selected the color palettes based off the pictures on Design Seeds that grabbed me and some that would be a true test of my color IQ. To further complicate things, I will only use what I have on hand and include as many art beads as possible. I resurrected the muffin tin challenge from earlier in the year as a great way to corral the pieces for each palette. Last night I made two pairs of earrings for the PINK palette and a bracelet for this one below in the GRAY palette (one that I thought would test me, since yellow is just not on my radar, but I quite like it and might even do one more!).

{color fuse}

Stay tuned to see if I can pull this off or if this will be (to quote my son Rocket) an 'epic fail'! And, of course, now that I have put it out there to all of you, you are likely going to be reminding me to get it done! ;-)

So now it is your turn...

What are you grateful for?
What color is a challenge for you in your life? What color are you most comfortable in?
Do you like to challenge yourself? Or is it better when others do the challenging for you?
 Do tell!

11 November 2011

Free Tutorial: Oh So Faux Enamel

What do you get when you combine metal, glitter paint, beads and 41 girl scouts? Why, masterpieces of jewelry, of course!

A few weeks ago I was invited to teach a jewelry making class for local girl scouts out on the town on a day off from school for a girls day out. Other places they went included a pizza place to see how the pizza is made, the local art gallery to view the displays, a bakery to make cupcakes and a pottery shop to paint bowls. In thinking about what I could do with a group of girls in a short time frame, I thought it would be fun to make necklaces. The problem is that my ideas are often really great but not realistic. Read on....

I had recently attended the Vintaj master class in Galena and purchased one of their Big Kick embossing machines (click that link to take you to a great video tute of Jess from Vintaj showing off the Big Kick. Pay close attention to the necklace that she is wearing... my 'simple truths' charms are part of it!). Tiny Dancer had a great time embossing every metal piece that I had with the folders, so I knew that it would be a hit with the girls.

I ordered a ton of embossing folders from both Vintaj and from other companies. The Vintaj embossing folders are made expressly to emboss on their metal pieces and have a crisp impression to them. My personal preference is for the DecoEmboss folders rather than the DecoEtch ones. (And I have told Jess this, that I would prefer bigger folders and also ones that have a little more 'breathing room' on them so that if I just want the owl I can just get the owl and not some other motif. I understand that new folders are in the works!). The other ones that I picked up (all from the Cuttlebug line) worked fine, but because they are plastic, the detail is not as fine. But for the purposes of what I was doing, this was an okay compromise to get a wide variety of looks. These folders may not last as long because they are plastic, but for the price and the variety, they can't be beat. (Note: I have tried it and I wouldn't recommend using the non-Vintaj folders with either the arte metal or copper pieces from Vintaj. Those metals are a bit thicker than the usual brass pieces and don't take the embossing well.)

I was very encouraged by the results of these different embossing folders on the metal. I had some animal prints like giraffe and zebra and peacock feathers. I also had some birds on swirly branches, clock gears and big paisley prints. The one that the girls gravitated to the most was the cute little owl from Vintaj. And this makes me want to get more of them, especially the Tim Holtz line.

I had my trusty assistant with me that day (note to self: you owe her big time!). Tiny Dancer enjoyed being in charge of the Vintaj Big Kick and helping the girls choose their metal pieces and cranking their designs through the machine. She was a huge help. And it proves that everyone, every age can have success with this process!

After they embossed the metal, we had them put a little elbow grease in with pieces of steel wool to buff the raised areas. That was hard, they said! I told them that now they know what mom goes through when she scrubs the pots and pans, and they can offer to help next time! ;-)

Then we set about painting them. When we were buying supplies, Tiny Dancer assured me that all girls love sparkles so we opted to buy the Folk Art Extreme Glitter acrylic paint. And when they say "extreme" they mean it! When the paint is wet, it looks sort of like a glitter bottle got dumped into the milk in your cereal bowl, but oh man! When it dries the glitter is all you see. Some of the girls were very precise with their painting and some were more liberal. We instructed them to try to concentrate the paint in the recessed or darkened areas of the embossed metal, but it worked just fine if you aren't precise.

While things were drying, I let them pick from a wide variety of glass and acrylic and gemstone beads to go with their color palette. We had to work on reigning in the desire to choose one of every type of bead and color! We discussed scale (no, you can't string 6 beads on the head pin and have it work) and I taught them how to do some simple coiled loops on their head pins to make little dangles. They did a pretty good job with these tools for their first time. It was frustrating for some but a great start if they are interested in working with more tools.

I ended up with three groups of about 12-14 girls each in ages that ranged from 5-13. Whew! If you think that sounds like a challenge, you are right! I used to be a teacher, so I understand about lesson plans and the fact that things never go quite as planned, and I have a pretty healthy ability to roll with the punches. They were really great though. The older ones helped the younger ones, and they all created such marvelous things. Unfortunately, given the time frame I had to work with (only 45 minutes per group), the little overlooked glitch that paint takes time to dry and the fact that my project was more ambitious than complete beginners could accomplish in that time, they did not finish their pieces that day. But I assured them that I would take them home and put them together for them and get them back to the girls for their next meeting.

That was two weeks ago. Do you know how long it takes to make 41 uniquely different collage necklaces? About two weeks. If you try to squeeze it into your regular nightly routine and all the other things you are supposed to do. And are willing to stay up until 1:30am a few nights. Or maybe just a few days if you have nothing better to do! ;-)

We had them work on paper plates that we had them write their names on (that was a brilliant last minute decision!). They left all their beads and their painted embossed metal on them along with their choice of either a ball chain necklace or a steel cable choker. At home, Tiny Dancer and I painted a thick layer of Triple Thick glaze on each and left them to dry completely for a few days. Then I set about to make sure that each girls' dangles were well formed (some where so prolific that I couldn't include them all, but I wanted them to have the fruits of their labor, so I sent these extras in their baggies), so that the loops were closed and no wires were poking out. And then I put the dangles on their necklace for a nice collage effect. I wish that they had been able to complete this part on their own, but I think that they will be pleasantly surprised at the results.

What do you think? The Extreme Glitter paint in the recessed areas coupled with the Triple Thick really makes this look enameled to me. Very lush and sparkly. And these girls did a marvelous job with picking out beads in coordinating or complementary colors as well as charms to enhance their style. It was a lot of work for this project, and I was exhausted after this, but I am very proud of their creativity. Below are a few of my favorites from the 41 who participated. These had the most precise painting, a great grasp of color palettes and a nice collection of coordinating beads and charms. Which one is your favorite?




So, after wading through the narrative, how about a quick free tutorial on how to make Oh So Faux Enamel Collage necklaces?


Oh So Faux Enamel Collage Necklaces


Materials:

Vintaj brass blanks
Vintaj Big Kick
Various embossing folders - Vintaj and Cuttlebug
Folk Art Extreme Glitter paint (red, blue, purple, green, aqua)
Triple Thick glaze
Assorted beads, charms, head pins, jump rings
Steel cable neck wires or stainless steel ball chain
41 girl scouts (ages 5-13)
tiny paint brushes

Optional: one darling daughter helper and tons of patience


Directions:
1:: Choose your metal and embossing folder. Run it through the Big Kick embossing machine.
2:: Buff the raised areas with the nifty Vintaj buffing block or steel wool.
3:: Paint in the recessed areas. Let dry.
4:: Select beads and charms that complement your paint colors. Create coiled loops on headpins.
5:: Paint a thick layer of Triple Thick glaze on your metal pieces. Let dry.
6:: Use a metal hole punch to open up the hole in the metal piece after the Triple Thick has dried.
7:: Attach embossed metal, beaded dangles and charms to the necklace with jump rings.
Enjoy!



Your turn!
Have you ever taught something to kids? What did you do? Did any unexpected glitches happen? What were the results like? 

Would you like to get a collage necklace of your own? I have four samples that I made for the class and I will give a random winner their choice of one of the collage necklaces pictured above. Winner will be chosen on Monday, November 14th.


Just leave any comment! (But make sure I have a way to contact you - either your email or be kind and turn on your email for commenting. If you are not sure if your email is turned on, view your profile. If it says email with a link, then it is working. If not, turn it on so we can keep the conversation going! ;-)


09 November 2011

Out of the Bosom of the Air

Snow Flakes
Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.


{Fine Art Photography by CountryDreaming on Etsy}
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

{Fine Art Photography from elgarboart on Etsy}

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


{Fine Art Photography by EyePoetryPhotography on Etsy}
 The skies delivered winter whites today, ready or not.

The first snow of the season usually consists of random tufts drifting down creeping in on kitten feet. Not so today. It is as if the skies were torn open and the clouds were shook loose of their heavy wet down. It looks a lot like that first picture out my window.

{'down comes the soft silent snow' snowflake simple truth pendant available on Etsy}
 When I was a teacher, you could always tell when it was about to snow. The kids were a great barometer. So on the first snowfall I would always abandon what I had planned for the day and focus on the snow. That way we could shift our focus to what they were thinking about anyway and maybe still learn a thing or two.

I would get out the white copy paper and tell them to come armed with their scissors. We would fold and snip and make a flurry of our own in the classroom (I am sure the janitor loved me ;-). Then we would take our favorites and afix them to a large piece of colored construction paper and write poems dedicated to snow. I loved that class activity. And even though I was teaching 7th graders, they really immersed themselves in the simple beauty of taking a plain piece of paper and carving it into life.

{'let it snow' snowman simple truth pendant available on Etsy}
 While I am not a huge fan of the many months of cold and ice and deep dark that the winter brings, I do celebrate the beauty of this day. But who knows? Tomorrow it could be 50 degrees and this could all be gone. Or it may not leave until April. Either way, I know that winter will break in the spring and I will be so much more grateful for the color to return to the earth because of this blanket of white. I think I will go and make some snowflakes with my kids tonight while I enjoy a big mug of hot cocoa with peppermint infused whipped cream. But only six-sided snowflakes.



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