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The Painted Jade Pendants Are Done


China paint seemed like it would be a good way to go but, once painted, the piece has to be fired in a kiln at 1200 degrees. In researching jade, I discovered it cannot tolerate such high temperatures so.....back to the drawing board.Pebeo Porcelain paint worked best on the pendants. It went on pretty smooth and the colors were brighter than the oil and acrylic ones I tried. Once applied, the piece had to be baked in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes - and the jade was able to tolerate this low temperature.I tried several sealants - Minwax Polycrylic (couldn't get rid of the brush strokes and left the surface looking like it had a matte finish), Mo... » Read More

Oil and Acrylic don't play well together


Painting the pendants has been an adventure and I'm learning lots of new things. I started out with acrylic paints and sealed the jade pendants. This didn't work very well. The picture is small and my hands aren't as steady as they used to be. The finished product didn't look as good as I'd hoped it would. So - I decided to try paint pens - they have a very fine point and seemed easier to handle than the brushes.To my dismay, the sharp point on the pen cut through the sealant and I ended up with little crumbly things in the design. Sigh.Next, I tried oil paint. It still isn't dry.I'm considering decoupage at this point. These are a gift so they h... » Read More

Learning to Paint


I found some lovely, faceted jade pendants at a wholesale show in Greensboro a couple of months ago and thought they would be pretty with a miniature painting on them. Years ago I did some decorative painting but I've forgotten everything I learned - so now I'm taking an on line painting class to re-learn the brush strokes.I'll post some pictures of the jade tomorrow before I start painting on them and then I'll post the after pictures. Wish me luck - I really don't know what I'm doing.... » Read More

Cary Gallery of Artists


In August of 2015, I was invited to be a guest artist in the Cary Gallery of Artists in downtown Cary, N.C. The gallery is a cooperative of 20+ local artists and, if you haven't yet visited the gallery, it's exquisite and you're in for a treat. I was invited to join the gallery in October and my work is now on display there. For my Ohio friends, my work can also be found in the Trumbull County Art Gallery in Warren, Ohio.... » Read More

What Goes Into "Handmade"


In my view handmade items are labors of love and result from a passion within the artist to create something of substance, beauty and meaning. The artist spends years learning and perfecting his or her craft on their own or in classes and with other artists who are gracious enough to share their expertise, experimenting with new designs and materials, studying form and color charts so each piece seems to flow effortlessly, watching market trends to know what's hot and what's not, acquiring a substantial inventory of materials in order to create unique and special pieces and accumulating a myriad of tools for use in completing each precious work.Â... » Read More

Links to Participants of 2014 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Hop


It's time for the big reveal and here's the I tried posting the list but got a message saying the list was too long to publish.....I'm not very savvy about how these things work so took the easy way out and posted a link to Lori's page with the list. This was great fun and thanks so much to Lori for organizing the party. I'm working my way through the list and hope to visit everyone. There is so much creative energy in this group!Looking forward to the next hop.... » Read More

2014 8th Annual BSBH Reveal - Here's What I Made!


This is the soup sent to me by my partner, Patty Woodland. It contained a gorgeous lampwork focal bead along with coordinating spacers. She also included faceted raw apatite, freshwoater pearls, faceted and assorted black onyx, round vermeil beads and an enameled copper clasp by D. Lynne Bowland. Thank you again Patty for putting together such a nice collection and thanks to Lori Anderson for pulling us all together!The colors in this soup are gorgeous with lots of dramatic black, cool blues and warm golds and yellows. I really liked the colors in the large lampwork pendant and knew very quickly that it would make a stunning bracelet. I used ci... » Read More

The Fun Stuff Begins


My partner, Patty, sent me a delicious combination of lampwork, onyx, apatite, and gold vermeil beads along with freshwater pearls and an enameled copper clasp by D. Lynne Bowland all wrapped up in bright pink bows! What a festive sight that was as they came tumbling out of the box ready to become something special for the 2014 Bead Soup Blog Hop. She even included a lovely sample of her handmade goat milk soap for me and I'm looking forward to trying it - especially since it comes from "happy goats".Patty has her Soup now so here's an unscrambled picture of what I sent to her. I loved the lampwork angel focal bead so much I bought two of... » Read More

My Soup Arrived


My bead soup from my partner, Patty, arrived today and it's just lovely. Patty sent me a gorgeous lampwork focal bead along with coordinating spacers.  The soup also included faceted raw apatite, freshwater pearls, faceted and assorted  black onyx, round vermeil beads and an enameled copper clasp. Thank you Patty for putting together such a nice collection.As much as I would like to get started, it's late and I just can't keep my eyes open.  I'll have to wait until tomorrow to begin.. I've been gone since Monday and didn't get home until almost 10 this evening. My sister in law was just diagnosed with colon cancer and I spent the pa... » Read More

My Partner


All partners for the 8th annual Bead Soup Blog Hop have been announced and my partner is Patty Woodland. This is Patty's first Bead Soup and we are both very excited to participate. You can see Patty's beautiful creations at:http://www.brokenteepeedesigns.comThe teaser image for this post is the bead soup I mailed to Patty today. Once she gets it and has a chance to see it I'll reveal it here along with the soup she is sending to me.... » Read More

Partial List of US Participants 8th Annual Blog Hop


Lori has completed a partial list of US participants.Remaining US partners should be available soon. Lori isn't feeling well and it's a real struggle for her to get the pairings done. This is truly a labor of love for her - to feel so bad and still do such an amazing job for all of us is just wonderful. I have a couple of bead soups ready to go. Just waiting to get more information about my partner.... » Read More

Bead Soup Blog Hop 2014 International List


Lori is not well and has been really struggling to get the partners identified. Kudos to her for a job well done in spite of everything! Looking forward to meeting my partner for the Hop.... » Read More

After Picture


I found some nice storage containers at Michaels - and they were on sale! All my wire is neatly stored now. Sterling and a little gold filled in one with copper and craft wire in another. The third large storage case holds my  miscellaneous small tools. The hand tools I use most often fit nicely on the support hinge of the table (see lower right side of the work table). They are out of the way there but within easy reach when I need them. Beads and findings I plan to use for a couple of projects are in the two smaller cases on the right. Additional findings are stored in the medium black case on the floor while the smaller black case holds hamm... » Read More

Before Pictures


I traveled south for the winter so this is a temporary workspace - but hate to admit this is how my work space at home often looks too. Once I get started on a project I seem to feel the need to get out every tool and bead I own "just in case" and then I never find the time to put them away. And the stuff seems to grow, expanding onto nearby chairs or any convenient semi-flat surface. The teaser image is what it looks like out my window when I can see over the stuff on the work table. It's more fun to look at so I just ignore the worktable.      ... » Read More

Clean Up, Fix-Up Challenge Blog Hop 2014


This Blog Hop is being sponsored by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson … http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com Participants include:  Donna Millard http://fyrebeadz.blogspot.com/ Ann Schroeder… http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com Pamela Rachelle… http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com Kristin L Oppold… http://www.yayjewelry.blogspot.com Heidi Kingman ... http://heidikingman.blogspot.com Andi ... http://strungoutjewelry.blogspot.com/ Patricia Buchanan Click “Blog” on the menu bar at http://www.braceletstoo.artfire.com Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.com/ Kashmira … http://sadaf... » Read More

Some Pairing of Partners is Done


Lori has paired the group of seed beaders and will soon have the remainder of  the 8th Bead Soup participants paired. Then the fun begins! Lori asks that we be thinking about our bead soup and try to have several ready so we don't get to the last minute with nothing to send our partner. This is my second time to take part in this creative endeavor and I'm really looking forward to it. Future posts will include pictures of the soup my partner sends me, the soup I send my partner and pictures of my project as it evolves.... » Read More
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