Last week I started a new gig helping out a fellow artist. La Grave Designs creates kaleidoscope art from digital pictures. Her art is so popular that she is finding it difficult to keep up with demand. She is still doing the creative part of her process, manipulating the digital photo into a kaleidoscope and selecting the portion to print out. Once copies of the image are printed, I follow her instructions to cut out various layers and then stack them using foam tape squares. Check out her website for more details on the process and to see examples of the finished framed pieces of art.
The Dahlia. My first try made with guidance from the artist. It is more than just using scissors. There were lots of little tricks and tips she gave me as I was working on this first one. Cutting in a certain direction, how you hold the scissors, the type of scissors, moving the piece and not your hand and on and on. I have since improved greatly. This one I will keep as my guide for future dahlias.
Each layer is stacked on small sticky foam squares. They reminded me of stale marshmallows!
I cleared off a small space on one of the work tables in my studio. Light was really important for me to cut accurately. I finished all my dahlias and today I am going over to the artists house to stack all of the pieces she cut out over the weekend. Our goal is to have her well stocked for this coming weekends Bellevue Art Fair!
Despite the rainy weather I had a wonderful time at Lavender Farm Faire. I had a booth at Olympic Lavender Farm, right in the lavender field. What a beautiful location! There was a small collection of vendors and buses of folks arrived every hour to browse, listen to music and enjoy the various demonstrations.
The lavender field was just behind my tent. It smelled wonderful!
Llamas in the lavender
Friday and Saturday we listened to a bluegrass band and Saturday there was an all female marimba band.
Across from me was Tiarani Samsi and her whimsical pottery. She also had a collection of beautiful batik and painted silk wall hangings, scarves and wraps as well as notecards.
My favorite bank is the little purple guy second from left on the middle shelf. Such personality!
In preparation for the Lavender Faire I was busy making all things lavender. During my busy summer season many things sell before I get them listed into my online store - so please feel free to shop from this blog. Just send me an email if you see something you like.
All have been SOLD
This is a very sweet little necklace with lavender glass seed beads and assorted crystals.
The center crystal is a teardrop.
A magic jasper pendant with dark purple glass seed beads.
This one has sold, but I do have more of these beads.
Three strands of satin lavender glass seed beads and a pink quartz pendant.
A lavender agate hangs from satin lavender glass seed beads with a magnet clasp.
While I have seen other versions of this fun garden art, I think Julie and Carline's are the best. They were a big hit at the West Seattle Summer Fest earlier this month. You can also find them at the Fremont Sunday Market and in August at the Marysville Homegrown Festival August 12th and 13th. You can see more photos of their work on their Facebook page.
They turned me loose with their sidewalk chalk. I have to get some for future shows - how fun!!
My tent has been doing some major traveling this month so I am a bit remiss in my posts. But I will get caught up. Over 4th of July weekend I found myself at Pioneer Days in Cle Elum with Kandyse of Blue Fox Glass. To save on gas we packed both of our booths into one truck. Kandsye is quite the packer.
While there I met Gina and her Snooter Doot pals, Lenny and Bruce. Snooter-doots™ are whimsical, handcrafted, art-dolls inspired by nature, featuring vegetables, bugs, fish, birds, fantasy creatures, and edibles. They inspire smiles, foster friendship, or look cool on the couch. Snooter-doots are knit by hand from renewable wool and other animal fiber yarns before they are felted. Each Snooter-doot has a unique personality with its own name and birthday, and is looking for a good home.You can learn more about them at their website www.snooter-doots.com.
I brought home some catnip stuffed Snooter Doot carrots and Miko plays with his every day!
Looking for a weekend getaway? Then come and visit me at Sequim at the Lavender Farm Faire. Seven festivals in one! There is a lot to see and do. Tickets/buttons are $10 in advance and $15 on site. The button gets you into the farms and a free ride on the farm bus (or you can drive yourself). See the website for details. http://sequimlavenderfarmersassociation.org/Home.html
This information was originally posted in January 2010. I get so many questions about plated metals that I thought I would re-post it with a few updates.
I usually choose silver-plate over sterling silver for my metal findings (clasps, hooks, ear wires, headpins, etc) because of the cost. Making this choice allows me to keep my prices very affordable.
Many jewelry makers feel that plated metals will not hold up, that the plating will wear off quickly. I have not found this to be true. I have sliver-plated earrings that I have worn for many, many years. A few have become discolored with a patina, but most look just as they always have.
So what exactly is silver-plate? I did some research on the internet to find out for you.
Silver-plated findings are electroplated, which means a coating of 100 percent silver is chemically deposited on base metal. The silver layer is bonded to the base metal via electric current. The quality of silver-plate is determined by the thickness of the silver coating. Examples of base metals include iron, steel, copper, brass, nickel, and zinc. Nickel is a base metal that many folks are allergic to. Most of the findings I use have copper or brass as the base. Because of that many makers of findings are now using brass. The silver-plated findings that I use are heavily plated over brass. I recently purchased some new ear wires that are heavily plated silver over copper.
I have read that plated pieces will oxidize - blacken - faster than solid silver as the base metals properties overpower the plating. Again, in my own jewelry I have not found this to be true. If you damage or scratch the plating deep enough you can expose the base metal. I have never had this happen with my own jewelry. Although silver-plate doesn't carry the same "air" as sterling silver, it lasts nearly as long and is an affordable alternative.
Caring for and cleaning silver-plated jewelry:
Sulfur is the main culprit in causing silver to tarnish or turn black. You can decrease tarnish build up in between wearings by minimizing exposure to the air and humidity. Store in plastic air tight zip lock bags and add some anti-tarnish paper. Or you can use anti-tarnish cloth in the form of jewelry bags or the lining of a jewelry box. Do not place pieces in a cardboard box or on paper as they have sulfur-producing compounds in them that increase the rate of oxidation. Personally my own jewelry hangs on a rack and bulletin board in my bedroom. It is in dim light and normally is a very non-humid place. This has worked for me for many years.
In addition to tarnish-prevention, another way to avoid wearing down silver-plate is to not over-polish. Any process that removes tarnish also removes minute amounts of silver on the surface, so the less you have to polish the longer life your item will have. To remove tarnish from silver-plate you can use the same techniques that you would with solid sterling silver items.
I do not recommend using dips, polishes or pastes on your jewelry. They can be very abrasive or harsh. If your piece has stones I would definitely not use these methods as they can damage many stones. Polishes and pastes are abrasive and will remove too much of the plating with each polishing.
I do recommend using polishing cloths. I like Sunshine Polishing Cloths. They work amazingly well, are very easy and not messy. When you do polish, do not keep polishing the item just because the polishing cloth continues to discolor and turn black. When the item appears shiny and lustrous, you're done!
I love these bracelets! And this color combo really stands out - I call it Fiesta as it reminds me of a party. Yellow, red, orange and black. The way they feel on your wrist, the sound they make, the way they move - they are so much fun! Pictures do not do them justice as they are very 3 dimensional.
I have beads for another one on my work table - black and white this time. These take a lot of patience to make. I use about 180 inches of thread for each row of fringe (there are 2 rows). Slow and steady is the secret. All have been SOLD