Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!!!!

Hi everyone,
Well, I am finally back! Hopefully you will forgive my absence. I have a good reason..and a doctor's note. I have been really tired and dizzy this past year and added to that is hearing my blood rush in my right ear(24/7) and boy, does that become annoying! Anyway, this fall I started getting really bad, constant headaches so I went in to the doctors and finally got a good one! With the military medical services, you have to hope the luck of the draw gets you a good doctor that you see more than once. Luck was with me as this doctor actually listened to what was ailing me. So, I went and got my blood taken and had a CAT scan done....mixed results...brain still there (mind may be gone!) and no extra bits inside the skull but the blood tests had more exciting results. Seems I almost gave myself a heart attack by having my iron and potassium so low. I was actually having spells of arrhythmia, which is when your heart actually stops working for a couple of beats and then starts up again. My low iron also explained my headaches and love of naps! I have been on my new meds for a month and a half now and now I don't have any headaches (unless I earn it) and I am sleeping better and have lots more energy! I even lost 20 pounds this fall for the simple fact I didn't do anything but sleep! So, getting squared away has made a huge difference in my outlook and I think my work will reflect that.
I have already started my first project of the is a surprise....I will tell you when I am allowed to. I am thinking about doing RAW on anyone else doing this? I found out about RAD too late to do that and I think my naps would have gotten in the way! I think I could do the Ring A Week without too much trouble.
I am planning on making up a schedule for pieces I want to make just to get back into the swing of things. I have some experiments from this fall that I want to expand on and some new projects that I want to start....hopefully you will still be here to watch what I make. I will post some photos next time since I don't have any new ones to show....I did take some of the lunar eclipse but they aren't that, please bear with me while I get my feet back on the ground.
I hope everyone had a great holiday season (you know what yours are) and will have a great New Year! Have fun in the studio and I will work on getting something done to show you all....Kelly

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Belated Happy Birthday to me!

Hi everyone,
   I know I haven't posted lately but I haven't been doing anything that would be exciting to anyone......I have been trying to organize my studio and my thoughts!  To that end, I have designed a project planner for myself that I can add photos and color samples and texture ideas to along with cost and time quotes. I can then fold up the planner to go in a file box until I am ready to work on that project. I even found some plastic cases that will hold all the supplies and beads that are needed for the projects and keep them all together.  Normally when I design, I work on 20 to 30 ideas at a time, since one idea leads to another....then I wait for a few days and look at them again...the strongest ones are the ones that get made.  I am hoping that I won't feel like I am working in a tornado.....although fun, I am sure I can get more done if I organize myself!  
   I am wishing my self a Happy Birthday so those of you who don't follow Facebook will understand what I am talking about when you look at the photos I posted.....they are some of the lovelies that I got yesterday when I went out to celebrate my birthday with Debbie and Carol....we went to a huge antique mall and then when we were shopped out there, we went across the street to Savage Mill. It is kind of like the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Va. but with more than just art studios. There are antique shops there and french bakeries and hair salons and clothing boutiques and of course, The Queen's ink, a fabulous rubber stamp store....lots of great stuff.  I did a lot of damage to my wallet in the antiques shops and Debbie did hers in the Queen's and Carol did hers in the antique shops too....although, to be honest, she was looking for a dining room table set....I think she won!  I got some great old postcards for resin work and of course, some great spoons.....if I could play the spoons, then maybe I could understand my obsession, but I don't......although, I am planning some fun small box beads to use them with, so maybe that is the obsession.   So, I will be playing in the studio some more....
     I still have more celebrating to son, Brandon is coming up from DC for dinner tomorrow and then I am going out with Gloria and Terresa sometime next week and I am also going to be seeing some friends at the bead show in Newark(Delaware) this weekend for dinner ....and there will be cake!  Morgan and I have been having Moroccan food a lot this month...all pot cooking, easy and flavorful!  how can you go wrong...I am having couscous tonight made with the broth from the tagine we had this weekend....yum!  Ok..well, that's enough about about some about you?  comments, photos of your work....hello's......anyway, take care and have fun in the studio, Kelly

    Just a quick note....Carol, Debbie and I will be teaching a three day class at the polymer clay retreat next summer that happens prior to the MCWC in Chicago. The first photo is the project we will be teaching....Carol will be teaching how to do the metal clay frame, Debbie will be teaching how to do the enamel work and I will be teaching the polymer part and showing everyone how to put it all together. 
    The second photo is a idea I am playing around with.....I made the copper sheet in Gordon's class back in Feb....
    And the last photo are some of my new birthday toys.....aren't they lovely??? I did get more but I shouldn't show you everything, should I????  Anyway, have fun, K

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

some new stuff.....

Hi everyone,
    I am still in the hiding mode but I am playing with a few things.....some polymer ideas I have been thinking about and wanting to see if I could make them work.  I saw some beautiful gold brocade fabric that I thought would be beautiful as a polymer plate. Well, I am still experimenting to get that look.....what I thought would work ....didn't!  and I was kind of surprised at that! So, I thought about it some more and changed directions a bit, but I still didn't get the look I want....and number three and four didn't work any better.....but I think I may have a winner with idea number five (although, I thought I had a winner with idea number one!), so we will see..... 
     I also wanted to make something fun out of PMC just for myself to wear. I don't normally make anything for myself but I got these great stones at Bead and Button and the PMC Conference so I decided to use some.....and I got a beautiful tiny spoon on the way to the conference when I was driving with Debbie and Carol.  I wanted to make a little steampunk kind of piece...I love the look....Victoria's swirls and frou-frou with scientific lines....kind of like experimental artwork for the first, I was just going to make a sweet little charm type box bead with the bullet stone rising up from the center but when that didn't quite have the feeling I wanted, I started doodling and came up with a frame for around the frou-frou part. I was going to cut out the back of the frame to make a skeletal type frame with the curvy part suspended in the center but I was afraid it would buckle in the kiln so I left the back in tack. I was thinking about cutting out the back(after firing) in a fancy type design and filling it in with resin so it would appear light and glass like. I decided against all of those in favor of the beautiful butterfly wing I found in the studio. I sealed the wings in resin and set the stones...a total of 9 layers of resin and drying times.....I am still trying to decide if I should lightly sand the resin behind the curvy part.....I wonder if it is too shiny....I think I may be trying out this bead in different ways to work out some of these questions....working in a series again, always useful.
   I hope everyone is having fun in their studios whether they are hiding or not....Kelly    

   P.S.  the first photo is the front of my steampunked piece and the second is the back with the opal. The third photo is one of the polymer experiments I tried and didn't work.  It is kind of cool, just not what I was working towards....time for more playing with polymer.....hope you like them...K

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

it has been a long month....

Hi everyone,
   I hope this finds you all doing well.....I have been working thru the the passing of 6 people that have been in my life in one way or another. That is tooo many for one month!  I will be glad to see the backside of September. I feel for all my friends that are dealing with their loses and it is hard to know what to say to help. So all I can do is be there when they need me. 
    I have been in Virginia helping my friend, Carol Hamilton, with the loss of her mother. She had a big show to get ready for and then we had a class proposal to put together with our friend Debbie Taylor to do. We got our proposal done....metal clay, polymer clay and torch fired enamel in one project. We have some more little bugs to work out but it is looking good. I will post a photo soon. I had also made a small keepsake for Carol to carry a tiny bit of her mothers ashes but her sisters wouldn't let her keep any ashes so I will be adjusting her keepsake. Carol and I are thinking maybe some of the dried flowers from the memorial service. I will post photos of that later too.....
     Since I have been home from Va.  (I was there for three weeks out of the four)....I have been working on some ideas of my own. Right now I am waiting for the resin to cure on one of the pieces. I have set real butterfly wings into the open panels on my pendant. I still have to set the three stones and put on the front medallion. For a pendant that isn't but a inch and a half at best, it has taken a lot of work to make.  I am also redoing some sweet little angels that I made about ten years ago.  
     On a side note...I did get a wonderful surprise the other day....I had been talking to my dad and normally it is about a 15 minute chat about how we are and what we have cooked lately.  We try to out do each other in the ideas of what to make for dinner. My dad is a great cook, but there are a lot of ingredients that I would push to the side.....anyway, I was telling him that I didn't have a mixer anymore and he bought a KitchenAid mixer and sent it to me as a surprise!!!  He also got the attachment to grate down potatoes to make your own hash browns for Morgan.  Time to have fun in the kitchen!  
     I am going down into the studio now to add yet a bit more resin to my pendant....and starting a couple of new pieces....I am trying to take my time to get back to my real style and making pieces I love instead of what I think may sell. I hope you will like them as well.  So, have fun in your studios.....Take care, Kelly 

    The photos are (from top to bottom) of my little be made of metal clay and it will be a little tinier and a bit more detail in the wings and dress.  The second photo is the bottom of the class proposal piece that Debbie, Carol and I are working on. The design has polymer clay pressed into the opening for a slightly raised feel. And last, the third photo is the class proposal piece with the polymer clay "seed pod" set into the bezel and the torch fired enamel leaf set next to the class we will be attaching the leaf before setting the polymer but since I had set the polymer by mistake, before attaching the leaf, I now have to make another leaf and figure out how to attach them.  The fun of creating!! Hope you like them, K

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I am back...finally!

Hi everyone,
    So sorry I haven't written in a has been crazy!  Last time I wrote, I was getting ready to have dinner with Joyce Scott, Kate Fowle Meleney and my good friend, the famous, Gloria Askin!  We went to a fab restaurant in Baltimore and had a 4 hour dinner....I think the chef's and the dessert guy should be on Top Chef!  Everything was great! It was nice to catch up with everyone, and we even had a show and tell....that was a fun bit to see what everyone was up to! 
    Then I had to make a bunch of new beads for the BeadFest Show up in Philly....I was sharing a booth with my good friend, Darlene. One of my friends from Mississippi came to see me while I was there. She moved up to Wilmington after Hurricane Katrina tore Bay St. Louis and Waveland off the map!!  I used to go to her antique book shop and buy lovely little odds and ends to use in my work. I even helped her re-design her house...and then it was sucked up into the bay with the storm waters. It was so fun to see her again (it's been ten years since I had last visited with her) and I was really pleased to see her. Darlene and I had a fun time....we are trying to figure out some kits to do together...some kumihimo with teeny crystals and seed beads with PMC bead caps and a focal point....or something like that ...or a couple of bracelets...or.....any suggestions would help!  Anything you would be wanting to take a class for??? Resin? Riveting? Faux Bone? PMC?  or bead work of some kind? Inquiring minds want to know.....
     While I was at the show, I had a call from my friend, Carol, whose mother had passed away unexpectedly. So, the following week, I went to Va. to help her get ready for her show that opens this weekend at the prison. Stayed for four days and came home and got sick enough to have my lymph nodes pop out on my neck like I was a baby Frankenstein!  Three days of sleep pretty much took care of it and I have been moving ever since. 
       I was going to work on something for the Saul Bell Award but I couldn't decide which idea I liked best for, maybe next year....or maybe not.....I was thinking that the cost of creativity piece I wanted to do might be a little too much of a joke to be considered seriously. I am still going to make it is a arm, a leg and a left nut!  I am going to torch fire the arm and the leg and the left nut is going to be Kuem-bo'ed and have directions written on it on how to loosen the stress....("turn to the left to loosen") and having all the parts hanging by either a chain or a thread....I am still on the fence about that bit.  Anyway, between working on that and the teaching proposals, I have been working on some polymer beads....the kind I used to do about 5-6 years ago. It has been nice to work with some of my old bits and pieces and make them into something new. I took some photos to show you....surprise, surprise!  
      I hope you like the photos....I found out that I did take some while I was at the people, just building bits and a few flowers...but I did find out where the hotels wash the guests from 6 to 12, and then where they store them afterwards....maybe to dry??? was a pretty fancy hotel!  Have fun in your studios.....Kelly

the beads are in the middle stages of being finished...some need the fancy border and then some need to be antiqued....I like that there is a image on both sides....K

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

same title, actual words to read....

Hi everyone,
   Well, you see what happens to me when I am away too long....forget which buttons to push. A lot has happened since I last, here goes...hope you don't get too bored.  Last time I wrote, I was getting ready for my adventure with Carol Hamilton and Debbie Taylor....riding in a car for 12 hours to go to Purdue for the PMC Conference. I started on Monday and we left together on Tuesday (Carol and I), to pick up Debbie in West Virginia for the rest of the ride. As we got close to Debbie's, we passed a "lovely", "gentleman's club" know, the kind where they do lap dancing....and under the sign for the club, they were offering a lunch special of....CRAB LEGS!  Too funny! I almost wet my pants laughing! What a way to start a road trip!
  We had a fun time laughing and talking and took a break in Columbus, Ohio for the night. Carol gets some really great upgrades at Hilton and we lucked out with a suite to work in to finish the "Charms for Charity" for the raffle. The next day as we were finishing the drive, we swung into a small town to go antiquing as a break....we did some damage as I taught Carol what to look for in antiques. Debbie bought a beautiful little Santos and Carol got some fun texture bits and bobs and I got some great pieces to make molds from.  Once we had spent our money and made alot of strangers laugh, we continued on to Purdue. 
    We started by setting up the display booth and Carol was selling more tickets for the raffle and then around 2, the keynote speech was delivered by Linda Darty. I had the good fortune to take a three day class with Linda a couple of years ago....very good teacher and nice person. It was interesting to see how she took her inspiration of a tree house and her children's drawings and transform them into enameled little jewels. Then it was on...three days of going, going, going! I only got to one of the early morning lectures...early morning is hard on night owls! But I did make it to my own demo in time...whew! I think it went well...I heard a couple of comments later by people in the audience who said they are going to try my antiquing with paint idea....didn't get to show all that I wanted too, but it was a start. I went to Mary and Chris's demo...that was fun...Mary is a no holds barred kind of girl...probably why I like her. I have known her since the 90's when we were both into fiber....and she is still the same girl...nice! I got to a couple of the lectures...Patrik's was fun...I love it when the person doing the talk starts by throwing chocolate around the room! How can you go wrong? And a talk about thinking outside the box! Perfect! 
   We had a fun time at the raffle drawing. Tim and Nettie had arranged for a room with cocktails and nibbles for before hand like a big social. Too bad only about 10 people won anything...everyone else who won, wasn't there! 39 bracelets and one necklace....but they all got shipped out...alot of people pitched in for the postage since all the money raised for the bracelets went to the charities.  Thanks to all of you would did!  
   Then it was time for the dinner that Rio put on...Carmen on stilts was the headliner! The food was pretty good and the company was great!  A group of us ended up closing the place down...Tim politely kicked us out (and you should have seen them trying to get those huge balloons onto the shuttle bus! They wouldn't fit thru the door and they were beating up the poor bus driver with the bounce back!) and then some of the girls wanted to go bar hopping....we could hear the bar a block away! That was when my friend Gloria and I gave up! I was so happy to be going back to the hotel to put my feet up! You should have seen Gloria with her balloon though...two or more could have flown her back to Baltimore with a good wind behind her!  Wish I had a photo of that! 
    Then it was time to go....we left Sunday after the brunch....and went back to our suite in Columbus for the nite. We ate at Spageddies and you should have seen the meal they brought out! Huge!  Three people could have dined out on what they brought just to me! Of course, the next day, on the way home...we stopped at another antiques shop and stayed for a couple of hours!  and we only got halfway through! did pretty good there too! They had a huge bin of antique silverware for a dollar a piece....good thing I have studied silver....I went through it one piece at a time till I had about 50 really great designs. Alot of Art Nouveau and Victorian go with all the fab stones I got at the Conference!  
    And I got some nice drusy's and faceted stones....non-fireable, so we will see how good I can get at stone setting!  I also got the kits for enameling that Yolanda had made up. She did a lot of research on the copper clays and it looks like fun! Debbie also got the kits and we are going to take a couple of days to work with them and see what we get....should be fun!  Yolanda's examples were beautiful! 
     Everyone who went to the Conference got a package of Bill's new FastFire Bronze clay....I am looking forward to trying it out.
      We were doing good by then although I had hit my hand on the car door and it was so swollen by the time we got to Carols that I thought I had broken something! Can you believe by the next day, it wasn't swollen and I didn't even get a bruise?!  
     We had some fun as we were nearing the end of our ride...right on the border of West Virginia, a car passed us...three guys and a blow up doll...who waved to us! You should have seen Carol and Debbie scrambling for their I-phone cameras! Debbie got a photo of them...and then a van passed us with two guys and a plastic owl! The owl looked out the window as they passed and then as we passed them again, it was doing a little dance....I bet those guys (all of them) were having great trips...can you imagine the stories?  Then as we were waiting for the light to turn, four guys got out of their car and played musical was a long light! Although, I do worry about the guys in Maryland and West Virginia!  I spent the night at Carol's again and went home on Tuesday! What a long week! And I have only told you a little bit.....
     So, after I got home from all that excitement...I wanted to get to work on some proposals for teaching at Bead and Button for next year...but you know Murphy's Law...what ever can go wrong, will...and it did...maybe I will write them up as step by steps. 
     I have been working on some fun polymer and metal clay beads for the BeadFest show in PA...August 18-22...I am sharing a booth with Darlene...hope you will come by and say hi!  I am revisiting some of my older designs and combining the two mediums helps keep the cost of the beads down...and hopefully, you will like them. I am having fun working in the studio on them....may have to keep a couple for myself!  I will try to post some photos tomorrow since it is too dark outside to get a good photo right to you tomorrow...or the next day...I just got invited to go to dinner with Gloria, Joyce Scott and Kate Fowle Meleny....a night of polymer, lampworked glass and beads...should be fun!  Have fun in your studios til then, Kelly

Back in the land of the living.....

Friday, July 23, 2010

I can't believe it!

Hi everyone...
   I can't believe I just did that again!  I thought I was doing so good with the computer.....maybe I should stick to metal and polymer clay!  Anyway, I was going to show you what I have been up to before I pack it all up to go to Purdue and the PMC Conference.
    I have been good about cleaning the studio, so I thought I would reward myself and play with my DREAM Machine.....yeah!  To just sit down and actually play without having to make anything for anybody....just the best thing in the world!  I started by making some tearaways and then experimenting with the plates and some things I have had on my mind lately. I think they have possibilities! 
    The plates have been inlaid with a number of different things and then the BIG "jewel" is a tearaway that I hand colored and poured resin on and then embellished with copper foil. I think I may have to break down and get that electro-forming set up to do fun things to the tape. Easier than painting on the design.  I like doing experiments so I can see what works and what doesn't. I found out that I need to use a heavier hand with the color pencils so they don't disappear when the resin is poured onto the surface. And to maybe make the "jewels" a bit smaller...if I put this "jewel" into a necklace, that would be something else...not sure what.  Although, maybe a necklace of a bunch of huge jewels...that may work too....may have to try it out and see...sometimes you don't know until it is all sitting right there in front of you!  
    The other thing I have been working on is the display for the "Charms for Charity" bracelets and my demo for "surface techniques"....I am going to demo some fun techniques on all the metals ....bronze, copper and silver....(well, maybe not all the metals....not gold or steel or white bronze...). I hope to see you there....come say hi, travel safe, Kelly

Something new.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where have I been????

Hi everyone,
   I didn't realize how long it has been since I last wrote a post....sorry about that!  I went to Pa. with Carol Hamilton, Debbie and Terresa to make up the bracelets for "Charms for Charity" at Holly Gage's house. Carol has gotten a new RV so she and Debbie can travel around and teach classes, so we were the trail run! She and the girls drove up to Baltimore and picked me up and then we drove up to Pa. (4 hours) for bracelet making and dinner!  Carol got us all traveling sunglasses that she made us wear when we rang the bell at Holly's! Too funny!  We had a fun time. We got to meet Holly's daughter, Megan and her son Ryan, and some of us had already met Chris.  Chris was cooking a great pork and tomato sauce to go over the pasta and it smelled (and tasted!) great! Then it was done to business....Carol started passing out charms and paper for the names of the artists who sent in their charms, and we all set to working....and talking, and laughing. There were some grapes and white....then Holly called in a substitute and then sat back and watched. We made about 25 to 30 bracelets...I will be taking photos. I am also in charge of making up the display for the conference for them. Have to get some fat black foam core to hang them on....want them to look stunning!  I was amazed at the variety and quality of the charms! Really nice!  
    Then I had a private class with my friend, Darlene,....all polymer and resin!  Did some fun designs with Robert Dancik's Faux Bone ring blanks.  We also played with some special techniques in polymer. I have talked about polymer for years to Darlene while we have shared booths at bead she knows why I like it so much! She said her brain is still swimming with all the possibilities. She was in the studio for 10 hours...and we didn't get half done!  Her resin piece came out great, considering that she kept sticking her finger in the resin to "check and see if it was done?"  I finally had to make her step away from the resin!  
     It was the first time I had been in the studio with "new eyes" and I realized how much I needed to clean it that is what I have been doing since then...and, boy, does it feel good!  I was smart this time and I bought storage boxes that are clear so I can see were I will have hid everything. I normally hate cleaning since I can't find what I have put away! Now, I will be able to find most everything! Yeah! Labels are going on everything else.... 5 tables clean and 4 to go....Morgan has been helping and keeping me company, last night we went down to the studio at 11:30 and then came back up around 2:00....not a bad night's work....
    So, there is your update....I am going back down to the studio to do a couple of tables and then I have to start working on my presentation pieces for the conference. Barbara is probably done with hers....maybe I will wait and work on mine on the drive out to Perdue....don't want to do anything to soon!  (That's a joke, Barbara!)  I hope everyone is having a good time in their studios and keeping cool....Kelly

The photos....the first one is one of the pieces for the Conference presentation and the second is the girls and I.....with our funny sunglasses....mine are chili peppers, Terresa's are "princess" glasses (bling included!), Carol's have a purple flocked cheetah pattern, and Debbie's are cactus, since she wants to move to the wild, wild, west! I have a feeling Carol will make us wear them all the way to Perdue!  Lots of fun travel with the "girls".....see some of you soon, K

Monday, June 28, 2010

The lull before the storm....

Hi everyone,
    I have taken a couple of days to do nothing....and it felt so good!!  I actually bought some new novels by Elizabeth Peters (I think they were suggested by Barbara Becker Simon at the last conference) and they are nice little holidays for me as a armchair traveler!  No airports, no shots, just relaxing.....
    In between reading, I have been working on a new set of classes that when all the classes are strung together, they make a great necklace/bracelet set!  I need to track down some strange supplies but I think it will be worth it.I am excited about making up the prototypes. I may offer up a couple of practice classes for the pieces to see how many days they each take. I think they will be great classes!  
    I have been also thinking about moving the studio around ....I thought I had a system that worked but it doesn' it may be going back to what it was before.....damn, it is a lot of work to move everything around.....but it does help to find things I have lost in there...I know I have a bag of rings somewhere in there that I haven't found in the two years I have been looking. I know it is in there somewhere!  I have some new ideas for a series of rings that I have been thinking about since B&B, and it would be nice to see them against the older rings. I guess that is a new goal to reach for!  
     So, I am off to Target for boxes to store stuff in....maybe I will get organized before I die.....although I doubt it!  and maybe I will stop by Lowe's for a torch or two.....woohoo!  I hope you days in the studio are as fun for you as mine are.....or better..send some photos of your studios....maybe I will see something that would work for me! Have fun, Kelly

    P.S. One of these photos is the inspiration for one of the new bead classes....can you guess which one???  and how???   and don't you love the storm cloud from the other night? the color was just beautiful!......have a great day! K.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sketching and planning....

Hi everyone, 
     Well, I have been trying to get all of my ideas from Bead and Button down on paper and deciding what I am doing next.... I know I have to clean the studio and make room for my little photo studio and my Dream Machine (actually I have some new experiments I want to try) polymer and PMC.  I am also wanting to get back to working on my Master's registry projects. 
    I will be writing a couple of articles for Art Jewelry...another cool ring project and one on surface decorations.  I will let everyone know when they go to press.  Probably next year always takes so long....
    So, since you have been waiting...I thought I would post the rest of the photos from my Bead and Button trip.  On Sunday night I had taken a class with Leslee Frumin and wasn't feeling up to snuff, so I got the class kit and the instructions and left early ( I have never done that in a class and luckily, I had two other classes with Leslee later that week so she forgave me!). Then jumping forward to Wednesday, I had a class with Vickie Hallmark....learning how to paint on glass and then to fire it into a pmc box bead/pendant. We learned to paint in the morning...and I think we all would have been happy doing that all day. We made our box like surrounds after the glass had been fired to secure the paint to the glass. It was too bad there were problems with the kiln...some pieces fired fine and some didn't....mine was one of the ones that didn't! That will teach me to concentrate on trying to finish a project! I usually just concentrate on the process! Lesson learned! My box got crystallized but not fired completely to size. Time for some design opportunities!  The little paintings came out well though and I got to sit next to Mr. Gordon Uyehara and not out in the hall! And he snuck in a photo of me...(maybe it makes up for the sleeping photo I got of him)....although, he hints that it isn't! It was a fun class! Vickie is a very good teacher! 
     On Thursday, I took a class on fusing fine silver with the fun Anne Mitchell....with this class and the torch firing class of Susan, I may be over my fear of torches! I made a really fun bracelet...I was just concentrating on the process and ended up with a bunch of fused rings and just started to join them together. Voila! A bracelet! Then I made a "J" hook...the first one I melted (I think I was the only person to swear out loud in class) but I tried again and made one with no melted bits. It sounds like a belly dancers that part a lot. I bought some sweet little lampworked roses from Dolly Ares to hang off the bracelet. I think it will be quite fun to wear.
     On Friday, I took I took Sherri Haab's class on putting images on metal clay and faux bone. It was a fun class even though I just watched.  Sherri was nice and excused me from class until after lunch so I could shop. The class was working on making their bracelet parts out of metal clay and firing them. I came back for the important bit. The process works really well. She also had her books there and it was nice to see my photos in them.  A little bit of "oh, wow" is always nice to hear from people who don't know what you do. Then a quick bit of dinner and then it was off to a another evening class...this one with Donna Kallnor and we did transfers on to fabric.  We got to actually color photos with fun on a Friday night! and a ice cream for dinner before and a Brie LT afterwards. Donna was a fun teacher and very informative. I can see ways to use this technique. 
     Saturday and Sunday were classes with Leslee Frumin....Saturday was a necklace class, very smart technique and both days projects were so lovely, that I bought all of her instruction books. Trying to catch up on all these techniques is tiring. Anyway, I hope you like the photos of what I made....I haven't done much of the bead work but I am looking forward to it. Evening work...
     Well, the photos are backwards again....Leslee's class from Saturday is first, then Vickie's class and then the bracelet from Anne's class....enjoy and have fun in your studios, Kelly

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photos that were promised.....

Hi again everyone,
    Here are some of the photos of the pieces I made at the Bead and Button show....starting with the beginning of the week...we have the glass casting with Susan and Shari (or is it Cheri?) Kazmer.....the pink heart petite four was done by caring our design into/out of a plaster mold and then learning how to break a billet of glass to fit. These were then all fired and while they were being fired, we made a shape out of polymer or earth clay and then poured our plaster over it and when it hardened, we removed the shape and filled the plaster mold with glass powder and frit. While everything was being fired, we worked on our metal backings for our cast billets. That was a fun two day class.....then I got to take another one day class with the girls...torch firing  on copper. I did some pink flowers and some wrapped wires covered with liquid enamel.  Tooo Much Fun!  There were a couple of women who didn't understanding the concept of sharing and keep the enamel areas clean but a few words and they still didn't get it.....oh, well...what are you going to do?? I have decided that I am going to have to get myself a torch and tank....anyway, hope you like this set of photos....I will post the rest later on.....Kelly

PS...of course, with my great computer skills, I posted the photos backwards.....just flip them around as you read the descriptions.....K

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back from the big show.....

Hi everyone,
   Well, I am back from the big show....and my brain still feels full!  I am in love with what I learned and now I have to figure out how to incorporate it all into my own work. The glass casting is definitely going to be used. I learned how to make my own molds and fill it with glass....think of the faces and bodies I can make and use in my PMC frames....or into my Angels in the Architecture series.....and with electroforming to look like it was been underwater for ages....with pearls and coral, "nuff said!". 
    I also took a class to learn torch firing, now I have to buy a torch! Too much fun!!!  I will take some photos of those pieces after my camera re-charges and show them on the next posting.  They were too much fun!  
    I then learned how to fuse fine silver with Anne Mitchell...I may finally have overcome my fear of fire!  Between the enamels and fusing, I had a great time and realized that fire doesn't to slow me down. Yeah! 
     I took 3 classes with Leslee Frumin to learn some of those beading stitches that I have neglected over the years. I got a few inches done on a necklaces and then learned how to do all those lovely crystal rings and bezel settings.  I have some necklaces planned for all those little lovelies.  Now I understand why all those ladies go crazy with all those crystals and rivoli's.....Bling, bling, bling!  
     One of my classes was with the nice Vickie Hallmark...we learned how to paint enamel on glass and then to fire it into a PMC pendant. Pretty fun and the famous Gordon Uyehara (god, I hope I spelled his name right!) was sitting next to me! He's quiet but he's funny! 
     And I finished it all up with transfers onto metal clay and fabric...two different with Sherri Haab and one with Donna Kallnor....both were great fun! I loved the part where I got to color with crayons as part of one class! How can you beat that as a class requirement? Then adding beads to it!  Perfect! All in all, a great week! 
     I also got to see some of my long distance friends....Heidi and Jodie, Nikki, Andrew Thorton, Ann Mitchell, Susan Kazmer, Barbara Simon, Barbara McQuire, Kathy Hoppe, Lisa Kan, Christie Friesen, sweetie, Virginia Blakelock and Carol Perround, my first bead teachers, Cynthia Rutledge and her hubby, Mark, Mary Hettsenberger,  and the list goes on and on...I even made some new friends....Gail Lanuam (hope I spelt that right) and Cris Leonard, Shari Kazmer, Susan's sister and Linda Larsen...Vicki Hallmark and Sherri Haab.....I was glad to re-meet them and get to know them all better. 
     Well, enough of me rambling on....I will post the photos of what I made tomorrow or the next day, but I will leave you with some of the girls.....have fun in your studios.....Kelly are some of the no particular order, Barbara, Nikki and Christie.....all great gals!!! I am proud to be a friend to all of them!  K..

Friday, June 4, 2010

Off to Bead and Button!

Hi everyone,
    Well, it is finally here! The largest bead show and this year it should be fun since I am taking classes and not having to worry about bringing beads and a booth set-up in my is a lot of work, setting up and taking down...good luck to all the vendors....I am hoping to learn enough that my head wants to explode...not a pretty sight, but then I will know I have learned alot! 
    I got to celebrate my son's birthday on Thursday...Morgan is 20 years old! Boy, does time fly!  I actually got a photo of both my sweeties and Alex, Brandon's partner. Brandon and Alex came up from D.C. to join us for dinner. We had a very nice time. We are going down for a weekend visit after B&B and are planning on going to the Smithsonian...we have never been. I am planning on taking the sketchbook!  
    I hope everyone will have a fun week while I am busy stuffing my brain.....I am planning on taking photos while I am there and will post them when I get back...after I catch up on my sleep!...maybe Tuesday!   Have fun, Kelly

   So, here are my guys....everyone has heard of them but no one has seen is proof that they really exist! Morgan is on the left and Brandon is in the middle and Alex is on the right.  Alex is new to the family and a really nice guy....I couldn't be happier for Brandon!  Morgan has been my saving grace this year and beneath all that facial fuzz is one of the sweetest guys you will ever meet! Take care til Tuesday....Kelly

Monday, May 31, 2010

Charging up for Bead and Button....

Hi everyone,
   I just realized how lone it was been since I last wrote....weeks are just flying by. Kind of wish I could make time run a little more slowly or backwards even! I went to a bead show this weekend to see my good friend Darlene Mansue.....she is one of my booth-mates. We have shared booths in Tucson and at Bead and Button. It is going to be strange this year, going to Bead and Button without either Darlene or first booth-mate....she is at home being a momma! Two kids and counting!  And I am going for classes...I think I am doing 9 or 10 classes....if I am not bald by the end of the week, it will be a miracle! I know I could slow down and take a lesser amount of classes but I figured, once I am spending the money for the hotel, air fare and all those extra little bits, I might as well take as many classes as I could. This week I have to start gathering up my tools and supplies. I am starting to get excited about all the possibilities for the future! Who will I see there from the metal clay world?  Let me know and maybe we can get together...I am having dinner with Gordon one night and am looking forward to catching up. I will be having some of my beads for sale at Nikki Thornburg's booth, so if you just have to have something of mine....I hope everyone who is going has a great time!  Have fun in your studios....Kelly

The photos are some close-ups of a iris in my neighbor's yard...I love the colors and the last photo is my good friend, Darlene....some of you may recognize her from some of the shows we do together....enjoy! Kelly 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Back Again.....

Hi everyone,
   Well, I am finally back in the land of the living....things have been crazy busy!  Went to Va to "play" with the girls at the prison...we were supposed to play with glass clay but it didn't come in so we played with polymer....and then the next day we went to the National Harbour to celebrate Carol's was a fun day with the girls.....then I came home to find out I was late doing my Master Muse project! So, I got a week extension, whew! You can see the finished necklace on Tonya's site. It was a fun project but it was time consuming.....all that time for the resin layers to cure!
   Then I needed to work on the bracelets for the Metal Clay Artist Magazine...which had its own problems....working with new mediums on a deadline is not the smartest thing I have ever done! And I did it two times in a row....should I try for three?  No! 
   Then I had the three day class at Carol's....we had a good time! We started out making tearaways and everyones came out great, first time out! Yeah! It was nice that the tearaways all worked smoothly and the girls all made more later on....we then moved on to decals, mokume gane and resin plates. We played with glitter and colored pencils and acrylic paint. We also did copper and bronze clay sheets with our new tearaway texture plates to include in our frames. On day two, we started on the PMC+ frames.....there was a wide range of designs and some changed while we were building them. I was hoping to get in some more polymer done in the afternoon but everyones frames were complicated.....way to go girls!...pushing the envelope! I was really proud of the way they went for what they wanted to do...complicated or not! I was trying to keep up with them on my demo piece by they blew by me!  The third day we assembled all the polymer, glass and copper sheets into the fired frames. Once that part was done, we added the resins. Whew! What a busy three days! On the fourth day I had to do a make-up class for two students who missed part of the weekend and then I had to fix the bracelets for the Metal Clay article....the next day I drove stuck behind traffic for miles, waiting for the state of Maryland to sweep the streets....crazy! You would think they could do that at night.....
    So, I finally finished up the article for Metal Clay Artist Magazine....antiqued the bracelets in a fun will have to get the magazine to see what was done! Hope you like them!
    Now I have to get ready for Bead and friend, Nikki Thornburg, has offered me a space for my beads for sale. So, if you are looking for me and my beads, that's where you will find the beads. I will be in class. This year I am a student! I am taking a glass casting class, some enamel classes, a painting enamels on glass with Vicki Hallmark and a couple of crystal beaded element classes with Leslee Frumin. Should be a fun and tiring week. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of my friends that I haven't seen in a while. 
    When I get back from Bead and Button, I will be getting ready for the PMC Conference....I am doing a talk about surface techniques with Barbara Becker Simon. Should be fun to watch!  Hope to see you there!  Until then, have fun in your studios! Kelly

The photos are as follows....a cool plant in Carol and George's backyard with a "pearl" of a raindrop.....the second photo is the resin project for the Master Muse....and last, but not least, the demo piece I made in class..."Time's up" son Morgan thought that name would work well. Hope you like them....K

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting ready for class!

Hi everyone,
    I have been having fun making things this last week and a half!  I went to Carol Hamilton's studio and we were hoping to play with glass clay but it hadn't come in yet, so....that is for another day! But we did try out fused glass with pre-fired metal clay to see what would happen! I am thinking they will look better once I take a big hammer to them!  The clear glass fractured all the way around the fine silver piece (I think the silver was too thick and held too much heat) and the copper turned a dark cherry red and was kind of pretty but the bronze was downright ugly! With a capital U!! Like I said, A Big Hammer!  
    Tomorrow I have to work on my Master Muse piece for Whole Lotta Whimsy....I thought it was due next week but it is due tomorrow....doing resins!  and I might include some antique glass glitter a friend gave me. 
    And after that, I need to work on the article for Metal Clay Magazine....doing some fun bracelets!  maybe I will put some resins in those, too! 
   Then I am going to make some cool polymer slabs for my class down in Va. I am looking forward to three days of fun and laughing with the girls at the prison!  And, yes, chocolate and skittles will be on the tables for pick-me-ups!  There are a couple of spots left in the class, so let Carol or me know if you are interested. 
     I will try to take some photos of some of the things I will be making...need to re-charge the battery for the camera. Anyway, have to go draw some designs for Tonya's piece....send me some photos of what you are doing....would love to see....have fun, Kelly 

These photos are some of the kinds of frames and fillers we will be doing in class.....the first is polymer, fused glass with resin and glass glitter and hot rocks. The second photo is a piece I am thinking about demonstrating for class with tearaways and molded pieces of polymer. The third photo is a design using silver metal clay and bronze clay and polymer clay decals with glitter and image transfers.  These are just a few of the techniques we will be doing.....hope to see you....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

WooHoo! Big Class Announcement! 3 Fun Days of Clay!

Hi Everyone,
     I have had a lot of people asking when I am going to teach again....So...Ta -Daaa!  Here it is....
I am teaching a fun filled 3 day class at Carol Hamilton's studio in Lorton, Va.  I hope some of you will be able to join us!
     The Great Frame-up!      May 15th, 16th and 17th (Sat., Sun., and Mon.)   
                        $275 for the whole kit and kaboodle!  
     On the first morning, Carol Hamilton will be teaching how to use the bronze and copper clays. You will be making small pieces to use in the frames. Then, in the afternoon, while the bronze and copper clays are being fired, you will be learning how to make mokume gane slabs and tearaways and liquid polymer decals....the fun stuff.....
     On the second day, you will be learning how to make a silver frame for all your inserts. In the afternoon, you can continue to play with polymer clay while the silver frames are firing....
     Then on day three, you will be assembling everything in one nice neat little frame. If there is time, we will also cover resins. 
     If you have any special stones or little treasures that you would like to include, please bring them. We will have tea and coffee for everyone, along with directions for the local Starbucks, for those of you who need a fix, ( I know I am going to be finding out where the Dunkin Donuts and Burger King are). We will be ordering lunch for delivery or you may bring your own as there is a fridge and microwave. 
     I will send you a supply list when you sign up. There may be a small materials fee to cover some of the group supplies. I will be bringing a lot of fun things to be included if you want to use them. 
     If you have any questions about the class, please post them here or at my e-mail ( or give me a call, 410-609-0346. If you have any questions about the local hotels, restaurants or the bronze or copper clays, please contact Carol at or call her at 703-585-5640. 
    I hope some of you will be able to join us....tell your family you would like it as a Mother's Day gift....or early birthday, or late.....See you soon, Kelly
    The photos show some of the techniques we will be covering.....mokume gane, brocade, resin and bronze with a stone is in the first one. The second one includes, tearways, both inlaid and plain, liquid polymer decals, molded polymer, carved flowers with stones in their centers. The third includes liquid polymer decals, resin, molded polymer, mokume gane and tearaways. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just a couple more....

    I just have to show you all a few more...some of the photos came out amazing! Kelly   I don't know what the first two are, but doesn't the first one kind of look like a tiny orchid? In real life, it is only the size of a quarter. The third flower is the center of a pink gerber daisy....K

Flowers everywhere!!!

Hi everyone,
     I thought I should drop everyone a line in between my going wither and yon for photos of flowers!  I didn't get any great ones last year when I got my new camera but this year, I am having too much fun to stop!  So, instead of being in the studio, I have been buzzing around town, camera in hand. I had to go to the store today to pick up some wine to make dinner with and it took me three hours!...of course, I wasn't planning on stopping at the old folks home, a local school, some ladies driveway, the local cemetery (the one I fell at last year) and Lowe's!  I got some beautiful photos of cherry blossoms, columbine, clematis, wisteria, fuchsias, tulips, lilacs, iris's, dandelions (the wishing stage), pink dogwood, and a lot that I didn't even know the names of!  I even found some wallflowers! and strawberries!  I love to use flowers in the collages that I do and I used to draw flowers all the time. I am now in the stage where the seed pods are the thing....some of them would make the coolest beads! And yes, today is more flower photos!  This weekend, I got some pretty shower curtains to hang out on the porch so Morgan and I can sit out there after 3:30 in the afternoon. The porch faces the setting sun, so something had to be done. My across the street neighbor thinks it is very Beverly Hillbillies....but it works very well and looks nice...I don't think he knows what he is talking about! 
    I have been working in a way....I am working on a bracelet step-by-step for MetalClay Artist Magazine. I posted a photo of the bracelet a few posts back.  And I got my new EZ Cube set-up to take better photos of the steps so I am excited! I have also submitted a couple of ring designs to Art Jewelry to get on their schedule for a article or three....
    And hopefully, next week I am going down to Va. again to play with the inmates....and all the cool stuff that Carol got from the Vegas show. One of the things that she got was glass clay! I can't wait! I have been wanting to try it since I heard about it at the last PMC Conference. And I am taking a glass casting class at Bead and Button, so you think Fate is trying to tell me something??  OK, I get the hint!  Well, I am going to sign off....need to go plug in my camera battery before I forget and since it is 1:30...I am going to try to get to bed early for a early start on those flowers!  Have fun in your studios....Kelly       So, for the photos...the iris is from a ladies front yard and the second is the clematis from Lowe's and the cherry blossoms are from the old folks home. I took about 150 photos so picking only 3 is harder than you would think! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hi everyone,
    Well, I haven't been as busy with my artwork as I would like but I did get the taxes done! Yeah! We actually made money this year! $40, but it is better than paying out the $5000 that we paid last year!  
    So, in between getting ready to do the taxes, I have been taking photos of all the different flowers in the neighborhood.  I wasn't able to take photos last year because all the flowers were gone by the time I had gotten my new camera. I am loving the lilacs and lentil roses and little bleeding hearts - thought they would be a cool charm for a bracelet or a pair of sweet earrings. The lentil roses have some of the most interesting seed pods and the petals are so cool....and since we haven't had to mow the lawn yet, all sorts of little johnny jump ups are sprouting up all over! How can you go wrong with a purple and green lawn? 
     Since the weather has been so nice and we got the great chairs from Pier 1 last Labor day, Morgan and I have been spending a lot of time out on our porch. It is 8x10 if we are lucky, but big enough....the only problem is when it is about 4:00, the sun starts shining in out eyes. So yesterday, I went and bought some water resistant shower curtains to use on the porch and I am going to make it into a outdoor living room....I even got a cute little "pot" for a plant....a ladies head with seashells. Have to pick up a cool plant to put in her head!  I even got a glass wind chime. My grandmother used to have a little glass pagoda wind chime when I was growing up and I like the sound better than the metal ones...  
     On a work note, I ordered my E-Z cube this week to be able to do better photos for my step-by-steps. Now I have to clear off a couple of big spaces to set everything up...I feel like I am moving forward....I have also been looking at all those photos of Art Nouveau on Flickr....just awe-inspiring!  Next week I am going back down to Va. to play with all the new products that Carol Hamilton got at the show out in Vegas...she even got some glass clay! How cool does that sound? I can't wait!  Well, enough chatting, as much as I enjoy it, time to go to "work" (really it is a combo of work and play!) ....have fun this week, Kelly