bluemorningexpressions' Blog

Blue Morning Expressions Artfire Blog
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Winter's Morning Polymer Clay Canes


Friday, November 18, 2011 Winter’s Morning Yesterday, big heavy and wet snow fell from the afternoon until evening, blanketing me in almost a foot of soft white snow. Branches bent under the weight and the white made the night bright and crisp. This morning, I was greeted by a beautiful sunrise on the snow. The blues, greys, browns and pale oranges began to shed light over the fields and because this was a treat for my eyes, I grabbed my camera and tried to capture the colors. The mountains lit up with the morning sunlight and because it was s... » Read More

New Polymer Clay Flower Canes for November 2011


New Polymer Clay Flower Canes for November 2011 New canes! I have been so busy doing so many silly things that I have gotten zero clay work done, so, I made it a point to take a lot of my extra clay pieces that I have had sitting here and make flowers. I ran into some problems with sticky clay when I started working on my kaleidoscope canes, so I went with flowers, they were not annoying me. :) I have a half a dozen kaleidoscope cane designs created and I am determined to get them done, but I have to leach my clay and that requires me to know what the heck colors I am going to work with first. This is more trouble t... » Read More

BluPrint November 2011 Polymer Clay Canes, Beads and Jewelry


Monday, October 31, 2011 BluPrint November 2011 Polymer Clay Canes, Beads and Jewelry 7:10 PM | Posted by Julie L. Cleveland | Volume 8 Issue 11, November 2011 What's New in November? Banana Bread! - Ok, this is a bit different than my usual post, but I have to share this wonderfully easy and moist bread/cake recipe. All you really need is a couple overripe bananas. • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed • 1/3 cup melted butter • 1 cup sugar • 1 egg, beaten • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1 teaspoon baking soda • pinch of salt • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour This recipe is really easy—sma... » Read More

Handmade Christmas Gifts for 2011


Handmade Christmas Gifts for 2011 10:18 AM | Posted by Julie L. Cleveland |   Shopping has begun for the 2011 season, many folks began to shop last Christmas, but some of us are just beginning our Christmas shopping and are opting to shop handmade for all of our gifts. When you shop handmade for Christmas, you help to support local artists and their families. They may not be local to you, but many of the artists are from small towns and rural areas and by supporting them, you help their smaller communities thrive. Small artists are a vital part of their community; they attend local arts and cra... » Read More

Hurray for the Red, White and Blu!


Since moving to Montana, I have lost track of the time of the year. There is a good chance that in the next day or so, we will have high elevation snowfalls again and the daily temperature is in the 50s- 60s. I do enjoy the weather, since I know back in Florida it is in the triple digits and my coastal community is looking at 90 plus, plus. So, I forgot that the 4th of July was coming up, until I had a customer buy my Stars and Stripes Necklace and one of my 4th of July bracelets. Both of those pieces featured the beautiful lampwork beads of Jacquie Maruri and were created with Swarovski, glass pearls, seed beads and my polymer clay star be... » Read More

Essential tools needed for making beaded jewelry


Essential tools needed for making beaded jewelry Julie L. Cleveland The first time you admire someone’s necklace, bracelet, or set of earrings, your mind begins the “I can do that” thought process. It is a safe bet to say that if you would like to learn how to bead a fantastic new pair of earrings, bracelet or necklace, you will learn how to do it. There are many, many articles, magazines, books and websites dedicated to teaching you how to create anything from wild tribal necklaces to dainty flower earrings. To begin your adventure into jewelry making .... Read More Share | ... » Read More

A beginner's guide to bead stringing materials


A beginner's guide to bead stringing materials Julie L. Cleveland With over thousands and thousands of different beads, websites and craft stores, it is easy for the beginning beader and jewelry maker to get overwhelmed before they even get started. When you create your first piece of jewelry, you will realize what a rewarding craft this is and you will begin to string beads for yourself and your friends. To begin your adventure into jewelry making with beads, ... Read More Share | ... » Read More

Jewelry Basics Word Search Puzzle


For fun, I created a word search puzzle - print this out and enjoy! Jewelry Basics Word Search     U U W P L P E G I R W K S U V J E W E L R Y N K S E R E S H Z G X S C X S I S G A Z B F W W N P J W H O G V N V V R L U N I K P C W V N O I I S A C B A D R L W E I I R D N S C R L S A O J P V R R A N G E E Y S G E W Y J I J T W I O C L S N N B M T Q T F S S F N A E T O I H O W G A Q N I Y C L T A H R A O D C E E X T X M K S L C R P L T S R A C D Z M C T S O A P Q I Z C A K Y B I E N X B E Y E Y R E Q P D U C N V X A K Y S E E D B E A D S D A J C... » Read More

The Travelin' Show


Friday, May 20, 2011 The Travelin’ Show   Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone go….. Traveling with Blu was like having a toddler in the car. “Give me a drink”, “Wipe my face”, “I’m hungry”, “I have to go to the bathroom”, “Oops, I just threw up”. We traded in the view of the space shuttle from the kitchen table, for the majestic mountains of the Rockies; specifically, the Gallatin Range. I live near places like Roaring Hell Creek now. I am fairly positive that it has that name for a reason. Shuttle launch – July 4th We spent four day... » Read More

Backgroundless Canes Continued


  As I previously posted about the backgroundless canes, I told you I would post some photos of them as I finished them. I was surprised at the size of the purple flowers when I finished them. They were smaller than I had anticipated, although ALMOST the size I needed for the project. The thing that keeps throwing me, and I mean throwing me, is the bulk of the play-doh in addition to the outer wrap of scrap clay. When I cane now, I use a thinner wrap of translucent or color that I can not only see, but can visualize as my project. I know how much clay it takes to get a 20mm face or a 10mm face.  And ... » Read More

Backgroundless Polymer Clay Canes


I am trying my hand at the backgroundless canes using the playdoh as seen on Backgroundless Canes by Idit Zoota. I needed a boatload of little 10mm flowers that I could cut for small beads and this is perfect for that. I had to go out and buy playdoh and should have shopped price before I picked it up at Jo-Anns when I got my micro crimper today. I paid too much for it and used my 40% off coupon and still paid too much. It's less than 2 bucks at Walmart and I paid 3 bucks WITH the discount. But I digress. The smell of playdoh will take you back to your childhood, but the real shock is the difference in consistency whe... » Read More

Walked For 11 Miles!


My peeps are generally well adjusted and rational, but this holiday weekend, they took leave of their senses and decided to go for a walk. Normally, we all go for a walk together - a couple miles - , sometimes they take me to places like "Drinking Horse Mountain", or The "M", which is the Montana State University M on the side of the Mt. Baldy in Bozeman. Or, mom just takes me to the dog park where I can run around 15 acres or so and play. But "Labor Day", they decided that we were going to go and see the waterfalls in Hylite Canyon. Being a Beardie, I am also game for a good walk, or a climb over some rocks, or even herding pugs in a dog ... » Read More

Polymer Clay Purple Violet Blossom Flower Necklace


This necklace is an example of how my lentil beads can be used to create a multi-strand necklace with resin flowers and Czech emerald glass beads. This was the project that I completed for a Polymer Clay Smoosher's Artfire group project on something spring-like and flowery. I love purple and the combination of both purple and green reminds me of the fresh violets that bloom every spring "up north". Check out the other lentil beads that I have for sale and see if there isn't a set that sparks your creativity and just begs for you to create a necklace for yourself. ... » Read More

The History of Christmas in July


Ah, July.   July means we are half way through the year, and while in some places the heat makes it hard to think about Christmas, but many places bring out their holly and lights and trumpet a “Christmas in July” sale.  According to some various sources that Wikipedia fanatics have amassed, the actual source of the holiday frenzy is attributed to many different angles. Some say that it comes from an opera where children rehearse Christmas songs in July which prompts an astute observer to quip that when you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.   Others probably closer to the mark, have attributed the ... » Read More

Polymer Clay Pillow Beads with Floral Canes, Butterflies and Transclucent Canes


Polymer Clay Beads Filled with Flowers and Butterflies! My all time favourite beads to create are pillow beads. I don't know what it is about them, but I can't resist creating them. I like the way they feel, I love the size of them - most 20mm - although I do have some 15mm sized beads as well. To me, it is hard to resist what I consider a blank canvas. I start with a blank sheet of clay; either in a tinted colour - I rarely use a colour out of the package, or a neutral. If I am using a neutral, I will take one of my kaleidoscope canes and cover the sheet of clay before I cut them to the size of bead that I am creating. The base... » Read More

Beautiful Calla Lilies from Big Sur Counted Cross Stitch Pattern


Calla Lily Cross Stitch Pattern This photo and the other photo with several lilies were taken when on a trip my husband and I took to Big Sur in 2008. I had never been to California and I was captured, enraptured and wowed by all the sights. These large lillies were growing along the side of a roadside art gallery. I saw a lot of great art and lots of gorgeous flowers. I took so many photos that I was downloading my card on my lap top as we drove along. I used a lot of the photos that I took during that trip to create counted cross stitch patterns. This is one of them. Enjoy my trip Julie and Blu... » Read More