Thursday, December 17, 2009

Customer Satisfaction

A customer called me this week - she had purchased one of my beaded bracelets from Arts on Grand gallery in Spencer, Iowa, as a gift for her mother. The bracelet broke. This is a disaster! But it is fixable.

One of my favorite bracelet color combination is Desert Sky. This one is in my Etsy shop.


Unfortunately, those shiny little aqua size 15/0 hex beads are brittle. They don't break the beadweaving thread (I like Fireline Extra Fine) but the beads themselves break with too much stress, causing the weaving to pull apart. The good news is I have another bead of the same size and color that I am substituting and I can replace her bracelet. This is the only bead I've used that seems flawed in this way.

SO, if you have purchased this combination and the beads break just by wearing, please contact me. This doesn't mean I can guarantee all other of my bracelets from ever breaking or from accidents caused by abusive wear, but they should not just fall apart. That would be bad business indeed.

Holiday Rushes

My big rush is over - getting those granddaughter gifts wrapped and mailed was a project that had to meet the shipping deadline. But wrapping packages is one of my very favorite Christmas activities. Set the iPod to my Christmas playlist, put on my warm boots (the basement floor is cold!) and spend a few hours in solitude, creating mini-works-of-art with paper, ribbons, tags and tape. Bliss.

I also had a flurry of Etsy Christmas shoppers - Hurrah! So I recently shipped off some bracelets and some bracelet kits.


I'm working to restock my faerie gate supply, so have made a couple new wire gates.One whimsical, (4.5" x 6")


And one traditional (4" x 5")
 

Find them in my Etsy shop

Experimenting with Copper Clay

The Kansas City chapter of the PMC Guild (i.e. KCPMC Guild) met this week to exchange copper clay charms. These folks are used to using silver clay to create so the copper clay, with it's different properties and more complicated firing procedures was new to most of us. These are the pieces I received after swapping an equal number of charms made by me.



My charms looked like this. As you can see, I was the only one who opted for lots of black antiquing rather than the shiny polished look or the matte "from-the-kiln" rainbow patina. YBNRML?




To see more, go to the KCPMC guild blog.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Spring Down Under!

In the midst of our wintry weather and bare trees, its hard to imagine setting up little faerie gardens in the back yard . . . but that's what's happening in Australia. I recently sold a couple of my faerie garden gates to Etsy customers from Australia. Perhaps simple things just make me happy, but it was a thrill to ship off my handiwork to the Land of Oz!


The first gate went to a creative mom, planning a faerie birthday party for her 6 year old daughter - complete with faerie invitations, costumes and a new gate for the real faerie garden in their back yard. Check out their wonderful faerie birthday party and more at http://liscassey.blogspot.com/. (Lissy's a scrapbooker and a VERY creative mum!)

The gates are about 4" x 5" and usually made from copper, steel and/or brass tubes and wire. Sometimes I also make wooden gates, like the faerie beach-house gate below. I used recycled slats from a salvaged old rolled blind that I just couldn't throw away when we moved cross-country. Dale thought I was dingy, but those thin wood slats work just great and are better off in a faerie garden than in a landfill in Calfornia!

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Traveling Apple Core Beads

Sometimes a simple email can make my day. Two days ago I received a simple message on my Etsy conversations inbox...."I talked about your darling earrings for the craft exchange on my blog today!" with a link to her Bei Mondi blog.

I had completely forgotten that a few weeks ago I uncharacteristically responded to a "round robin" craft exchange....it was from a good friend and did not require receiving lots of emails. So I sent off a pair of my apple core earrings, added my name to the list and forwarded the exchange to the required number of crafty friends. They most likely did not reciprocate since I have not received anything in exchange, BUT I did score some blog "ink". It's always cool to know someone likes what I did. Very encouraging.

Thanks for the link, Leslie! Check out her blog here. She's another artisan jewelry artist/mom/blogger/et al.

You can see more of my apples and apple core beads in my online photo album.

They are also for sale in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feeling Slammed

It is simply amazing how little studio time I'm getting these days. I've gotten so involved with local arts groups that it seems I am only working on guild projects. Thank goodness deadlines motivate me or nothing would happen.

So, check up on me at the

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gardening with Mom

June is for gardening - before it gets TOO hot and muggy in Missouri. (We sort of overshot and managed to spend the last 4 days sweating buckets!) My sweet 82 year old mother was visiting this week and we managed to turn a corner of my yard into an entryway to the garden. We dug out patchy grass and sod, laid down that black garden weed barrier, stepping stones and a layer of bark. We planted a few baby hollyhocks against the fence and some creeping thyme between the pavers....although it may not survive the current heat. I'm watering!!

Here are the results of our efforts....
BEFORE:


and AFTER:

I think I'll eventually decide to bury the downspout pipe, when it cools off a bit. Quite an improvement, huh?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gone to good home!

Thanks for all the interest in the letterpress cabinet. It has gone to a good home in Washington state - and one of the movers had a couple old empty drawers he was selling at a garage sale, so I still have some empty spaces for workshop storage!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More about the Letterpress Cabinet

There are 20 drawers (sorry, my memory was bad..) and 3 are empty. View more pictures here.
Price is $1000 plus shipping - or you can come pick it up. Bring a truck - the cabinet won't fit into a car! I have tried!
The cabinet measures 25.125" wide x 20.75" deep x 44" high. I suspect that some font sets are split into two drawers, but not sure. The top of cabinet overhangs slightly, measuring 26.5" wide x 21.5" deep, not quite 1" thick.Weight of the 20 drawers with type (sans outer cabinet) is 188.9 lbs. An empty drawer weights 1.5 lbs. so the type itself weighs 159 lbs. I'm estimating the empty cabinet weighs 45-50 lbs but have no way to weigh it.

There are 3 sizes of
Greeting Monotone™ Std Regular view font here

and several sizes of a Times Roman style including an italic, 2 sizes of what looks like Copperplate or Plate Gothic, a Bank Gothic Medium,
a nice script similar to this, a wide Gothic with really round C's, an engraved font similar to Bernard Modern, and a very tall, Blackletter-like title font that I cannot find in a font list. See below. Click any photo for a larger view or the view more pictures link above to see more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hamilton 24 drawer cabinet with 18 drawers of type


Anyone want a lovely oak Hamilton letterpress typeface cabinet, with type? I bought this hoping to use the letters to impress into clay for jewelry - works fine, but too tedious and slow to be something that actually works. Still haven't lived down my husband's dismay, and would like to sell it. Warning: the lead type is HEAVY. Would sell type separately. Hope to post fonts - there are a wide variety of sizes, including some great old-school stuff and some teeny tiny 6pt newspaper types.


Please contact me at bylynette @gmail.com if you are interested.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Laura's Faerie Wings

Here's a shot from Laura and Aaron's wedding - wearing their wedding wings. Laura made nearly 60 pair of wings for her wedding - to give as gifts and favors. She makes wings as gifts and will soon be teaching you how at a class at Vintiques in Kansas City.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Natural Easter Eggs

It's almost Easter and when my kids were home that always meant making cinnamon rolls, cardomom dove rolls (recipe originally from Sunset Magazine) and coloring eggs. We still do, even though not so many. But....for those who actually read this blog, here are a couple easy ways to naturally color hard boiled eggs for Easter treats or anytime.

For many shades of brown, tan, and rust - gather 2-3 hand-fulls of dry, yellow onion skins. If your grocer allows, just dig them out of the bins. Or husk them off a bag of onions you buy. The trick is DRY, papery onion skins. Put them into a stainless steel cooking pan, add the eggs and water to generously cover the eggs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit in the onion water. The longer they sit, the more intense the colors become. The ones in the photo sat overnight. This is how my Grandma used to color eggs for us.
For the great robin's egg blue - buy a small head of red cabbage. Shred it finely in a food processor and place into heat-proof strainer seated over your egg-cooking pan. Bring a teakettle of water to boil, and pour boiling water over the cabbage. Use this strained cabbage water to cook your eggs in OR let your pre-boiled eggs steep in the cabbage water. Again, the longer the wait, the deeper the color.
There's more - spinach for pale green, tumeric for yellow, beets for rose, etc. Google "natural egg coloring" or click here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bead Sources


Recently, a peyote-stitched beaded bracelet pattern of mine was published in Step by Step Beads. If you are looking for the EXACT beads I used, check here. I have listed my sources, to the best of my ability. My bead stash goes back a while and some exact beads are not currently available from the same sources.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

EveryDay Jewelry by Lynette: Polymer Clay Easter Eggs

EveryDay Jewelry by Lynette: Polymer Clay Easter Eggs
Vintiquesworkshop Blog

Polymer Clay Easter Eggs

Here's a quick tutorial on prepping egg shells for decorating for Easter egg trees - or any time trees!
1. Buy eggs- be sure they don't show hairline cracks. You'll need a small bowl, wooden spoon or kitchen mallet, a couple small needle tools and some water. I use a wire turkey lacing skewer and an aluminum potato baking skewer, but I'm addicted to kitchen gadgets and have this stuff! A skinny wooden skewer would work fine.


2. Sit egg upright in egg cup or carton, small end up. Using the smaller sharp tool and wooden spoon or kitchen mallet tap the sharp tool into the small end of the egg, leaving a very small hole - 1-2mm.


3. Reverse egg position and make a 2nd hold on the bottom with the small tool. Repeat tap with the larger skewer to make this hole slightly bigger, up to 1/4" - but be careful not to crack the egg. Alternative: twist the point of a paring knife in the hole gradually enlarging it a bit.



4. Insert the smaller skewer completely thru the egg a couple times to break the yolk.
5. Holding egg over a small bowl, carefully BLOW into the small hole forcing the egg out the larger hole on the bottom. (Eggs will be scrambled, but good to use. Put into covered container and save for breakfast.)
6. Rinse bowl and fill with warm water. Hold egg, large hole down, into water and SUCK (not TOO much - raw eggs are not healthy) drawing some water into the egg. Shake a bit, and BLOW again, releasing water. Repeat, changing to fresh water as needed, until clear water blows out. It only takes 2-3 times.
7. Allow egg shells to dry completely. 10 minutes in a very low oven (200ยบ) works great.
8. Grab that empty egg carton to carry your eggs to my class or your studio. The eggs are ready to cover or paint.





Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Experimenting or Broadening?

Last night was one of my favorite nights of the month - the night the Kansas City chapter of the PMC Guild meets. (The Precious Metal Clay Guild is a national organization for people who work in PMC). This is an eclectic group of artists who nearly all have a wide range of interests and skills who also (have, are or will) work (ed) in PMC.
Now, if you know me or you've seen my stuff, you know I do beadwork, play with wire (copper, silver and iron), create with polymer clay (check out the KCPCG), fabricate in sterling silver, do a lot of sewing and creative cooking and am a retired computer geek. And now I'm also trying resin and learning to sculpt doll heads from my friends at MCODA.

To me, this is normal. I may have ADHD and I know I'm easily distracted. And production work is NOT my thing. I'd prefer to make 100 pieces that are all different than make 3 of the same thing.... But it was brought home to me how not-normal this is to some people when one of the members said to me (at least twice) "You sure do like to experiment!" And it's true. I also like to learn new techniques. Just because I've never done something is no reason that I can't.

So, here's my latest experiment: a little creature, sculpted and clothed with polymer clay on a wire armature. I'm not sure what his name is yet, but I think he's British, somewhat Tolkien-esque. Maybe Algernon or Digby. In the photo he's holding a strand of hand-twisted yarn, but he's currently standing in my living room with a small basket waiting for spring flowers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Teaching Classes at Vintiques

Classes have started at a new location in Kansas City - at Vintiques, the coolest (and largest collection of) ephemera in the Midwest. Sheila and Craig have a wonderful place to browse, imagine and get your creative juices flowing at Vintiques at 3rd and Grand in downtown KC, MO. Since their winter remodel, they now have a great classroom space, stocked with equipment for all kinds of art and crafting. Check out the upcoming classes at the workshop blog.

I taught my first class - a beginning wireworking class - to a couple of highly creative students who should be teaching themselves. Oh wait, they ARE going to be teaching too! (Making soldered glass window charms, I think...) What fun we had, sharing techniques, exploring ways to use treasures from our stashes and making something wonderful.

Next up from me: a Beginning Polymer Clay Caning class (Saturday, April 11) and during Faerie Weekend, we'll be learning to Make a Faerie Door (using polymer clay) Saturday, April 25. And my daughter, Laura, will be teaching a class to make your own Faerie Wings.

I'm also working on more classes - covered switch plates, more basic wire work, peyote stitch beading, and more. If they had a kitchen, we could also do some cooking classes, but that might be too much. How about Easter eggs - out of clay, of course.

Apple Core Bead Featured in Bracelet

Original Sin
One of my customers has used an apple core bead she bought from me in an bracelet for sale in her Etsy shop! Check out Freshwater Designs' Original Sin Bracelet . Her website is http://freshwater-designs.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 9, 2009

Profile

Jewelry should be affordable, fun and made from anything. Re-cyled, re-purposed or re-used, unconventional and easy to wear daily. This blog will be about my art, my inspirations and who knows what else.

When my husband retired 2 years ago I became upemployed, and I love it! Who really needs to do network management when you can hammer wire all day? My jewelry studio moved from a small, dark bedroom to a roomy daylight basement and I can finally get at all my tools at once.
Now I am making jewelry (nearly) every day, experimenting with new techniques and beginning to use use huge bead, wire and found objects stash accumulated over the last 45 years - yes I really do have jewelry I got when I was ten! Working in beads, wire, silver, copper and steel, polymer clay, and PMC. Next on my list: resin. Someday I would like to try lampworking and stained glass.

Non-jewelry hobbies include sewing, theater costume building, gourmet cooking, travel and feeding the birds in my backyard. And I am still doing computers....helping other artists get their websites started.

Basic Wire Wrapping Class




What a great time we had yesterday in my first Basic Wire Wrapping class at Vintiques in Kansas City. (Check their upcoming classes.) Two great students, a few beads, wire and tools made the afternoon fly! We used bits and pieces of old jewelry, 20 - 22 gauge craft wire and designed components built with "wrapped loops." Students learned some basics about working with wire, and the tools that help (bench block, bench pin, rotary tool, center punch, rawhide mallet, round nose & chain nose pliers, crimping tool and flush cutters).


We practiced making wrapped loops, learning to manipulate the wire with pliers or fingers, first following the rules, then breaking the rules on purpose. I showed them a custom wrapped loop hook clasp (download my free tutorial) and

custom hook how to improvise a closure using existing bits from old jewelry. We also demonstrated making a wire spiral, work hardening wire with a rawhide mallet. It was great to see how different personalities,
styles and stashes produced such different results.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Published!!



The March/April issue of Step by Step Beads (published by Interweave Press) has arrived, along with my first published beadwork pattern. I usually don't get too excited, but I have to admit, this feels really cool, especially since they used my bracelet project on the cover.

This gives a serious boost to the confidence and makes me want to do more. NOTE: If you can't find this in stores, you can purchase it online.

Are you also a beader, jewelry artist or other creative type? Look for opportunities to show your stuff. Seriously, you might have come up with something other people would love to see or try. Step by Step Beads has two things going right now - the 2009 Bead Arts Award has a categories for clay, glass and mixed media beads, plus jewelry and beaded objects. Deadline is May 1. They also have a Colorworks challenge - to make jewelry using the orange-purple-green tertiary triad.

Look for calls for submissions on the websites of your favorite art and craft publications.

Check the links, read the rules, take some pictures, and send your creation to someone! The worst that can happen? They say "no thanks"....but they might want you! Go for it!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

International Sales

Made my first international sale this week - to someone from Spain who loves my apple core polymer beads. Hand sculpted, aged, sanded and polished by me! They are about 1" tall and ready for making into earrings or charms.


They started as the solution to visualizing "lost innocence" and I think they are much more interesting that a perfect, uneaten apple. Some are more aged than others....some are freshly eaten. The whole apples must have a bruise or a bite or a worm-hole.

See more on my Etsy site or here in my online album.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Joining

In metalsmithing, you join metals with hot joins (solder) or cold (rivets and other fun stuff) joins. But I have also recently experienced several WARM joins....and feel like I'm getting more connected with the Kansas City area. The people at these places made me feel not only welcome, but at home. By the way, my jewelry is available for purchase at all of them.

Gardenology, a very cool shop in Lenexa, Kansas tool some of my apple core and wire/bead earrings as well as a display of beaded bracelets to sell. They were appreciative of my jewelry and made me feel great. Check out their online shop too.

Images Art Gallery in the Kansas City Crossroads District has accepted me as one of their 3-D artists. Most of the gallery is filled with 2-D art (paintings, seriographs, fiber art, etc.) but now I'm there too, along with some other gifted artists.

Arts on Grand in Spencer, Iowa is considering my beaded bracelets - but I must pass their jury process first. Since my sister, Kristin, who lives in Spencer and pushed me into applying there, I'm hopeful that they will want to have me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Step-by-Step Beads Magazine


What an honor! My even-count peyote stitched bracelet pattern is being published in the March/April issue of Step-by-Step Beads. Thanks to this bracelet being in my Etsy shop, it was seen by an editor and she liked it. This bracelet is one of my favorite color combinations for this pattern. The closely-related greens work well and the use of tiny size 15/0 seed beeds make the bracelet seem delicate. Of course, I love the sparkle provided by the irredescent size 8/0 hex beads. To see more color combinations of the same basic pattern, you can check out this photo album.