Monday, August 5, 2013

Customers Work - Mary Harding.

I love seeing what my customers make with my glass and recycled supplies. This time I am sharing a piece made by one of my favorite ceramic artists Mary Harding. I am just in awe of her work, especially her naturals. They are to die for.  Her pendants and beads are favorites of many artists and have graced the pages of many magazines. 

To learn more about this incredible artist. 

The piece she made is inspired by the book...The cookbook collector. From the comments left by other members, it seems Mary did a fantastic job bringing this book to life. This is a book I will have to read.

First I thought I would share the components in the piece. This is what she purchased from me.

Orange Capacitors.  These are still available along with lots of other colors.


Some tiny light bulbs and some spools of fine gauge colored copper wire. ( no longer available.) 

She altered the pieces to make these cool little beads.

She also made these fantastic realistic looking ceramic beads. I loved reading about her process on her blog.

She also soldered a copper bezel that she filled with capacitors and jewelers resin and dangled some more capacitors and a little light bulb.

Here is the completed piece...I just love it! 

Mary can tell the story better than is a link to her blog post...Please stop by and tell her what you think!

A few pieces of Mary's work...just to tease! :)

To learn more about this incredible artist. Here are links to her shops so you can check her out.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please leave a comment...I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Resin and Recycled Computer Parts Tutorial.

As you know I have been having lots of fun using all the recycled computer parts I snag from my honey. I have also started selling these great pieces in my shops.

I wanted to show you how great these pieces work with resin and how fun and easy it is to make sweet little pendants.
I am using Ice Resin epoxy doming resin by artist Susan Lenart Kasmer.

They are very easy to use…have great clarity and dome nicely.
You can order kits and Susan has tons of great ideas and tutorials on her sites and blog.

First I gathered together some aluminum rings and discs to use as bezels.


These are open so they need to have box tape put on the back to hold in the resin. Make sure to burnish for a tight seal.

The resin is mixed with 2 equal parts. Stir gently till mixture turns clear 1-2 min being careful not to mix in bubbles. Let the resin sit and rest for 5min.
The Popsicle sticks are used to slowly drip the resin into the bezel. I put a small layer on the bottom add my flowers or whatever then fill to the top of the bezel.

When I am finished pouring I cover these with a box to keep the dust out and let sit for 24 hours. Then I pour the second dome layer. Then cover and let sit for 48hrs. I also used the resin as glue for the bails…some great little parts also from computers. I just mix a small amount and brush it on the pieces secure the 2 together and let sit 24hrs.
A great tip from Susan…pour in 2 steps to avoid run over and get a nice domed effect.
Another little tip I found is the aluminum pieces shine brightly using pro polish pads.

I hope you will try resin. It is great fun and there are so many things you can do.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Late Post on my Poor Neglected Blog.

I'm so sorry. I posted the results for Upcyclers creativity challenge everywhere else but not on my own blog.
So here are the winners.

"Though the entries were few, they were some really good ones and I had a bit of a hard time deciding.

The runner up is Our Childrens Earth with her storage containers. It is such a great practical item. It is a simple project to make and It uses all recycled items. It is also a great way to use up all those scraps.

The grand prize goes to SwooshbyScrollwork for her incredibly adorable Hobbit House. The piece is so creative. I absolutely love her use of very different items …like kitchen scraps. Just amazing!

Thanks to all who participated! This was great fun and some really great entries!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Time to Pick a Winner for the Upcyclers Team May Creativity Challenge.

This month I was choosen as the judge of the upcyclers team creativity challenge. The medium I chose for the group to upcycle was plastic coffee cans or creamer containers. I have to admit my reasons were a little selfish, as my house is overflowing with these. I also know so many other coffee lovers I figured these would be easy to find. I was just dying to see what everyone came up with. The group is full of so many creative people. I am always amazed at the items this group creates.

You can learn more about the group here...

Well, the entries are in! This group did not disapoint! Such fantastic ideas from the pretty and practical to the wow! wow! How did you ever come up with such a great idea?

Here are this months entries. Now the problem is picking just two.
Here is my entry although I'm not including it in the judging.

What do you think? Which two would you choose?
Thanks for stopping by! I hope this inspired an upcycled project for you!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Upcyclers Creativity Challenge for May. DIY Birdbath Planter.

As most of you know I am part of a team on Etsy called Upcyclers. I’m sure you have seen some of my entries from past monthly challenges. I am thrilled to have been chosen to be the judge for May’s challenge. The medium I chose to be upcycled was plastic coffee cans or creamer containers…really any plastic container will do. I had a bit of a selfish reason for choosing this item as my house is overflowing with them….ahhh coffee!
I found a cool birdbath on Pinterest that had used clay pots and a light cover. For the challenge I substituted with painted coffee cans and used one of my fused glass bowls. The project was really easy and the materials few and inexpensive. 6 Plastic coffee cans, spray paint, 5' concrete rebar ( bought a scrap piece at Home Depo for $ 0.99), a plastic bowl or light cover.  

Here is a link to the site...

The original used 6, instead I used 5, one of my bowls, and copper wire recycled from an electrical cord.
I also chose a textured paint to try and hide the logo. It covered well although the hammered texture of the paint seemed to level out some. I cut an x in the bottoms.

I drove the rebar into the ground and put on my first can at an angle and supported it with rocks and just kept adding cans.

I found out the hard want to fill them with dirt as you go.

I chose to use one of my fused glass bowls. They are a bit heavy and I could just imagine a squirrel knocking it down. I wired it on to the rebar with heavy gauge copper from an old electrical cord. It is still a little wobbly so I am going to weld on a vase camp from and old lamp to set the bowl in and then wire it.

It was a fun project and I got to use quite a few cans. I am very happy with it! It has added a nice splash of height and color to my garden and the birds love it! I can't wait to see how it looks when the flowers fill in.

Hope this all inspires you to get out and create!
Happy Upcycled Garden All!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Late post. The 3rd Reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party!

I tried to use auto post. I guess better luck next time. I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday with my family.  Then I forgot to check it. :(

This is the 3rd and final reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party.
Created and hosted by Lori Anderson of Lori Anderson Designs.
Lori has paired up artists who will swap bead soup mixes. The soups have to consist of a focal, a special clasp and coordinating beads. Something to challenge your partner and something you would be proud to give to your best friend. We then have to create something using at least the focal and the clasp…and have these ready for the reveal. We all visit each other’s blogs to see their finished pieces and learn more about them and the pieces they made. 
You can check it all out here!

I am having a wonderful time! a big thank you to Lori and all for such a wonderful event!
Enjoy the hop!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The 2nd Reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party!

It is time for the 2nd reveal of the 7th. Bead Soup Blog Party. This time around the party is even bigger with the addition of a contest and prizes.
This has been my second time participating and I am having such a great time.  It is so cool seeing all the different soups and designs that came about. I have met some fantastic people and was just blown away by the work and some of the great blogs out there.
I have to give a big thank you to Lori and all those who helped make this possible…you all did such a great job and this was no small feat!
Created and hosted by Lori Anderson of Lori Anderson Designs.
Lori has paired up artists who will swap bead soup mixes. The soups have to consist of a focal, a special clasp and coordinating beads. Something to challenge your partner and something you would be proud to give to your best friend. We then have to create something using at least the focal and the clasp…and have these ready for the reveal. We all visit each other’s blogs to see their finished pieces and learn more about them and the pieces they made. 

You can check it all out here!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's Here! It's Time! The First Reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party!

First I want to say thank you to Lori and everyone who made this possible!
Second I want to say thank you to my partner Stephanie Weiss. It was wonderful to have her as a partner. I really like her work. It was great exchanging emails and learning more about each other. We have alot of the same likes and are both learning to work with metal. We are also hoping to meet up at the Bead and Button show this year...sweet!
I am so excited to see what she made and to see what she thinks of my pieces. This is her first party. I'm sure she will have a blast.
You can learn more about Stephanie and see her pieces here...

Here is the soup she sent.

Gorgeous stone and copper, some lampwork glass and handmade copper clasps.. a really gorgeous color pallette. For an extra surprise she sent everything in this cool little tin.
There was enough to make multiple pieces.

The first piece was made using one of the focals. faceted red glass beads, and a large copper bead sent by my partner. I mixed in a couple of my lampworked beads. a very large, very gorgeous amber bead,goldstone,new jade, and some recycled copper components I made.

The second and third pieces. A necklace made with hand wrought heavy gauge recycled copper wire and some gorgeous stone briollets and handmade clasp sent by Stephanie.
A bracelet made with recycled roofing copper that I cut and textured as a base for the cabochon and riveted it on with strips of copper. On one side I made a chains with the small jasper beads and alternated it with chain. The other side I used heavy gauge copper wire to make a sort of chain maille.

 The fourth piece I made a center piece of hammered thin gauge copper wire. I wrapped in some square pillow beads of smokey quarts and hung the gorgeous jasper focal. I made a chain using square copper beads and jasper beads sent by stephanie.

Here is a little reminder of what I sent stephanie. Can't wait to see her pieces!

Here is the list of first reveal members links.... I hope you enjoy the hop! Thanks for taking a peak!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Team Upcyclers Monthly Creativity Challenge for March.

This month’s item to upcycle was neck tie's There has been so many great ideas by other members of the team. The group always amazes me with their creativity. Please be sure to check them all out and ton's of other recycling ideas on the groups blog.

The project I had in mind was a valance for my bathroom window. Bot once again I have proven to myself that I am a disaster at sewing. I had one tie I did not cut wrong or mangle in the machine.
The mangled pieces reminded me of the sari silk I have  been using in my jewelry and have become so fond of. So I decided jewelry it is. I cut the tie into one inch strips and went trough my bead stash. I had a fused cabochon I had made with fine silver foil and goldstone on a blue background and a lampwork bead I made with the same blue glass. They were a perfect match. For the copper I used recycled roofing copper, refrigerator tubing and copper wire from a coaxiale cable.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Love 2 Upcycle: Upcycled Creativity Challenge: CORK

And the winners are....Love 2 Upcycle: Upcycled Creativity Challenge: CORK: For the first two months of the year we hosted our monthly Upcycled Creativity Challenge. I organized this challenge last spring because we ...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Entry for Team Upcyclers Monthly Creativity Challenge for February.

Whew! This is a last minute entry for me. This month’s item to upcycle was wine corks. Team captain Bee gave tons of extra ideas for this challenge.
The pieces have been sitting on my bench half done for a couple weeks now…but something just didn’t look right to me…so when in doubt add shiny pretty crystals! J
For my pieces I wanted something special for wine lovers. I found a great cork that had “The Joy of Wine” printed on it. I also borrowed a couple beads from my Bead Soup Stash a large round copper bead and little copper heart that were just perfect! Mixed with vintage crystals and recycled sari silk in a nice wine color. I cut the cork and sealed the pieces and set them in a riveted frame made using recycled aluminum and copper. I put it all together using handmade blackened steel components and jump rings.
I had a great time with this challenge. I really liked using the cork and want to experiment with it more.
Hope it sparked a little upcycling bug in you!

Happy Upcycling All!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Soup I Sent & More on My Partner.

My partner received her beads! So now to share with you what I sent.
A “snakeskin” focal and matching beads. (Made by me using a tutorial by artist Lauri Copeland.... please check her out here...  
A handmade recycled aluminum clasp w/ vintage patina.
Recycled sari silk ( Mudhound Studios’s)
Vintage glass & silver beads, dragon vein agate, yellow jade, silver spacers.
An extra little surprise of recycled computer parts and metals.

I’m thrilled to be paired this time with artist Stephanie Weiss. She married  her college sweetheart 9 years ago.  They have an amazing 7 yr old daughter. A bit of mom gushing J Stephanie works from home teaching recruiters how to find candidates online using free tools such as Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. She is also a huge Texas Aggie fan.
She has been making jewelry for 2 years now. I really like her work and I am dying to see what she does with the soup I sent. I also had great fun reading the posts on her new blog. I especially like the trips to the hardware store and cool finds she shares. Here is a link to her blog …

Here are a few pics of Stephanies work.

An extra little note: She got her start learning wire wrapping from her mother Kimberly Sciaraffa Berlin. An incredibly talented artist and author of the book Build Your Own Wire Pendants. Everywhere I look the book is getting rave reviews! So funny my daughter sent me a link to the book a few days before Lori matched partners. Check out the book here… 
Her mother will be teaching at Bead & Button this year in Milwaukee. Since I live close by we are going to try and meet up for coffee or something…how cool is that! J

Friday, February 15, 2013

My soup has arrived!

My soup has arrived! It all arrived very neatly packaged in this cool little tin. I know my partner was hoping I would use it to make components. But, it is such a great shape I can’t cut it up. I do love my little boxes. Now, for what was inside that little box!

2 small lampwork spacers by Raida Disbrow,
1 lampwork focal artist unknown, (if you happen to know who’s work this is please let me know)
3 Picture jasper focals.
2 handmade copper clasps.
A mix of copper beads& chain, a strand of picture jasper rounds, smoky quarts, cut red glass, natural stone briolette’s, felt beading pad, and the tin.

 The unknown focal...if you know the artist please let us know...gorgeous bead!

When I was going through the box I did have a few idea’s pop up. I am hoping to sit down tonight with everything.

I just love the colors and everything my partner sent. Thank you Stephanie!
You can find out more about Stephanie here…

Thought I would share a little teaser picture of what I sent my partner. Oops the picture...

Thanks for stopping by...stay tuned!!