Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gala Beads

Here they are! All finished and mailed to SGB-MA to pass along to the Gala Folks. Perhaps these are a bit bigger than the "size of a quarter" that we had been asked to make, but this was what I seemed to end up with after the first few, so I went with it! I used a lot of silver leaf and reactive frit, so there is a lot of glimmer that you can only see in person!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Now...the Beads

Finally, I'm getting some new lampwork beads done! The Greater Washington Bead Society 3rd Annual Gala is fast approaching and the Mid-Atlantic Society of Glass Beadmakers is providing the commemorative beads. This means 10-20 beads have to be made by each lampworker who volunteers for this challenge! Here are my 1st 4, 16 (I hope) to go! I am also experimenting with all the frit I have been accumulating and getting some fabulous fuming colors and glitter! They do seem a bit on the "dark" side, but they are quite charming in person.

Here are a few more...not very focused, but these are mostly for sale at the next bead show (or on my Etsy shop soon). Only the big one in the center on the right photo is for the gala. Some of the smaller ones in the bottom photo are samples from the last couple of lampwork classes that I have taught at CCBC (Community College, Baltimore County). I will be teaching another Lampwork class this fall, as well as Beginning and Continuing Silver Smithing, and a Chainmaille class. Check the website at and look under the Life Enrichment classes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Snow Monkeys

Dave and his Sonora Sunrise rough. We had a busy group on Sunday at Gem Cutters! No less than 4 folks cutting rough! Dave has been collecting more of this strikingly colorful Sonora Sunrise (Jasper?) and he also had a sweet little chunk of Nova Scotia Agate with awesome red flames along one section.

Steve Page, on the right, our fabulous Intro to Gold instructor - owner of Baltimore Rocks, a special little rock and jewelry shop within a short walk of Meadow Mill and our Gem Cutters Shop. Steve does it ALL - facet, cab, cast, wax carving, fabrication, even makes his own gold alloys. If you are in the area, this is a must see - especially the wall-o-rough indoor fish pond!
Mary back at the Genie - I remember that passion for cabbing! Hours at the wheel went by in a flash! Now I have gobs of rough and too many other interests!

I did manage to cut the little slab I bargained with Wayne for at the Gem Cutters Picnic - here are the before & after pics:
Now, can you see the Snow Monkeys? This looks just like the snow monkeys lounging in the hot springs in Japan. There are actually pics on U-Tube of this...Google "Snow Monkeys, Hot Springs, Japan" and you will see these little faces peering up at you from a fur "hoodie"! Even if you don't see the monkeys, this is a fabulous plume agate cab! It is a little larger than I generally cut them, but I didn't want to leave out any of the monkeys!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another Card

Leapfrogs Birthday - one more birthday coming up, so this card went into the mail today! Stampin Up's vintage set, Leapfrogs, is so much fun! I used Kiwi Kiss paper, and two different sheets from a K&Company paper pack. The frog and lilypad were stamped in always artichoke on a green/patterned sheet, then cut out close to the stamped image. Happy birthday from just-discontinued Hostess Set "Older & Wiser" fit perfectly in the oval punch, stamped and edged in always artichoke.

Saturday at the Shop

Saturday at the Gem Cutters shop - Mary at the Genie and Tim after a session at the slab saw!

I was inspired by a lovely agate slab - the result was a very pictoral 31mm x 21mm cab.

Hopefully, this cab will become a sample for part of a "Rough to Riches" pendant project that is being taught at Gem Cutters this fall. Students will have 3 full weekends (6 days) to design a pendant, choose their slab of rough, cut and polish a stone to fit the design of the pendant, fabricate the pendant in sterling silver and fabricate a chain in a style that will coordinate with their pendant. Three of our fabulous instructors (including moi) will guide the students through all aspects of this comprehensive class. We are only requiring that students know basic soldering, so this is a great opportunity to learn lapidary, design, and how to take a project from a beginning sketch to a finished, fabulous pendant!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A few good cards...

Here are a few cards I did last month, BB (before blog). They were sent in either July or August, but I just realized I had the pics on the 'puter, so here they are!
Frolicking Frogs - a REALLY vintage Stampin Up set - but Fun! As usual, I needed a guy birthday card - even though it was a little on the "cute" side.

This is one of my very favorite cards so far! A vintage Stampin Up set called Asian Art had this great Geisha stamp. This actually ended up as a thank you card.

This sweet bicycle is from the spring '08 Stampin Up mini catalog - and the set is called Time for You. This is also a birthday card and has been mailed!
Finally another oldie but goodie, Honey Bear, doesn't it remind you of Pooh???

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday nite - Dinner at John Stevens in Fells Point - great seafood and a perfect evening. We ate outside and I was quite surprised that these pics came out so well...another of my friend David, and my niece Raven and her main squeeze, Justin.

This week I received the Rusche paper and LuminArte' water colors that I had ordered. I am not a water colorist, but these colors are so shimmery and exciting and easy to use, I want them ALL! I used the Twinkling H2O Radiant Rain spritzers for these two cards and love the results...

I used a vintage set from Stampin Up, Garden Silhouettes. First I stamped the image with versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder on so saffron card stock. Next I stamped the image on tangerine tango card stock with stazon black and cut close to the image. I flipped the cut out over on top of the card and spritzed with copper Radient Rain to create a "shadow", then adhered the cut out on top of both prior images. I like the 3-dimensional look this produces and the copper spritz effect adds a subtle glimmer.

I used the Radiant Rains spritzers on the Rusche paper for the Birthday Wishes card. This time I spritzed with Key Lime, Stargazer & Copper first. Before it was dry, I colored the stamp with Old Olive and Really Rust markers and stamped on the Rusche. The ink bled just a bit, giving the image a misty look. Really Rust and Old Olive card stock, and Mellow Moss grosgrain ribbon coordinate with the stamp colors, and Birthday Wishes from the new Wow Flowers stamp set is stamped in Old Olive on the bottom. Voila! Two new cards! Yay!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ok, here he is, my BFF David! A rare photo (with him smiling!) at the Gem Cutters picnic on Sunday.

It was a fun picnic, too - beautiful weather, lots of pot luck food and, of course, being Gem Cutters, lots of rough to haggle over! Next year we will have to phenagle electric hookups so we can bring the Genie and some trim saws. :-)


is a FABU spectrolite cab someone had! WOW!

Above is a sample of Wayne's Rough Drusy (left) and slabs (right). There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything! These were CRYING to be made into cabs for jewelry!

Monday night!!!
Woo-woo - Finally have my new Stampin Up catalogue! In celebration, I made this card tonite, using the last of the Cuttlebug embossing folders that I purchased last week...called Allegro. This texture will work perfectly with a vintage Stampin Up set called Musical Manuscript, but since I still have a few birthday cards to send soon, I thought it would look great as a birthday background too! The just-discontinued hostess set, Older & Wiser has a great collection of birthday sentiments, and again using the 2008 In Color Card stock, Baja Beeze, and Kiwi Kiss Ink, the card came together. Hunting around for a coordinating print, I found a K&Company patterned card stock from last year that picked up both colors, and used my SU Slit punch to hold the flap down. Serendipity rules!

Skipping back a few days....

Saturday Night Special - I love the Swiss Dots Cuttlebug Embossing Folder! Pacific Point Card stock and Ink, Older & Wiser's Candle stamp, a silver ink pen and silver textured card stock from DCWV combined to make this great card. I'm always challenged for birthday cards for guys, and I think the blue/silver theme will be a hit! I also dotted the silver ink on ALL the swiss dots in the background for "uber" contrast and that "special" touch!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The highlight for this week was a trip to the Howard County Fair. I love the fairs but I have never been to this one. Along the way I crossed paths with this young gentleman and his 4H calf. I couldn't resist a photo, and it came out great!
Another week, 2 more cards! Yes! A trip to JoAnne's resulted in 3 more Cuttlebug embossing folders, one of my favorite techniques! Floral Fantasy coordinates well with Stampin Up's new Wow Flowers stamp set which will be available on Monday with the new Fall 2008 catalog.

Perfectly Paisley Cuttlebug embossing folder goes great with Stampin Up Polka Dots & Paisley stamp set (just discontinued). I added a little beading on the paisley elements for some bling. This card also incorporates one of the new Fall 2oo8 In Colors, Pacific Point. I used the Stampin Up sponge daubers to color the embossed texture with Pacific Point also. It really brought out the texture!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This was a double duty day!!! Not only did I make cards, I actually made JEWELRY, too! The bracelet, which started as an 18gauge copper strip, was pierced and sawed with a jeweler's saw, then I formed it into a bracelet shape and added the hammer texture. Voila! This is another sample for the Jewelry I class that I will be teaching again in the fall for the Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore. I was able to make this in almost 2 hours, which included the design time.

My second project was one of the samples for the rings class I will be teaching in November for the Gem Cutters Guild. The workshop, called "Rings - Fast & Furious" will be a 2-day weekend and we will be making 5 rings, 3 of which can be made in an hour! This ring consists of a 20gauge fine silver strip and a 20gauge copper strip. I drew a design on the copper, then pierced and sawed it out with the jewelers saw. I then sweat soldered the copper strip to the silver strip, formed the resulting strip into a ring and soldered that closed. A little tweaking with the ring former (LOVE that tool) to make it round, some sanding and polishing, and VOILA! another project done. This one took a little longer, probably 3 hours as I ran into a few unexpected issues that caused extra cleanup! Yikes! The result is worth it, though, and I LOVE how it looks, although this pic is a tad blurry. Now that I see the final product, I have some other designs that are begging to become pierced rings!

Whew! inaspicious start, but I received my Stampin Up New colors and stamps yesterday, so I couldn't resist a couple of new cards - just a bit different than the Stampin Up samples...which had a few glitches in the directions I might add! Anyway - love these cards and the new colors!