Tuesday, March 18, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party Partner and Soup Teaser

I've signed up for Lori Anderson's latest Bead Soup Blog Party. I love these. This is the 8th one. She pairs you with a partner, you e-mail back and forth so you can get to know each other a little bit and the you create a 'soup' of beads and other materials to send to each other to play with and create something with. I've always been in awe of all the talent I see while blog hopping all the other participants in the Blog Hop. (By the way, that's a requirement. You have to have a blog so that on a specified day, you blog about your 'soup', what inspired you and what you created).
This time around I was paired with Katrina Taylor. This is her first time to participate, so I'm doubly honored to not only get to participate, but be able to help/have fun with someone new to the Party!  She just started creating jewelry again about a year ago and most of what she makes right now is for friends and family. But after checking out her blog, I wanna go out, you wouldn't guess she'd only been doing it for a year.  She loves Metal beads, Polymer and Metal clay and glass, but says she doesn't really have a style. She mainly just lets the beads and materials 'speak' to her about what to make. She makes some of her own beads and focals and loves BLUE! LOL  As many of you know, blue is one of my least favorite colors, although I seem to be using a lot of blue lately.
She is a veterinarian, so we have something in common, since she likes working with animals and we do Wildlife management here on our small Texas ranch. She also likes to eat out a lot. LOL  So here is a teaser of the 'Soup' I put together for her.

And here is the wrapping it was sent in. Can you guess the theme for her soup?  

Come back in a few days and you'll get to see the soup I sent, the soup I received and find out the Theme behind the soup I sent. And don't forget to check back May 3rd for the Reveal. Be sure to check out my shop, KayzKreationz for my other jewelry, Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass 'kreationz' for your Home and Garden.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Beautiful Leather Jewelry book Review

Here's another great book from Kalmbach books. This one comes to us from Melissa Cable, called, Beautiful Leather Jewelry, timeless techniques for today's trends. Melissa is a mixed media artist who love to develope new designs and techniques with traditional and non-traditional materials from metal, leather, wood, clay and found objects. Since I, too, love leather and metal this book really called to me, putting leather, metal and other components together in great jewelry pieces.
She starts off with the Basics for Leatherworking using her 'key' to how leather works and how you can use it in your projects. The first section covers the different types of leather besides cow leather. Things like Snakeskin, Fish leathers (which I've been hearing more and more about and what to try as soon as I can find some) and even Ostrich leather. Melissa also covers the different types of tanning, dyeing and grades of leather besides how to purchase it and even recycle it.
The next section covers the different tools to use as well as equivalents you may already have at home to use on your leather. This includes things like stamps, corrugators and even mallets/hammers to use to texture/shape your leather. Next is a section on hardware to use to finish your leather or decorate it and then finishing it to make clasps/closures for your pieces. There's even a part on Special Effects for your leather like dyes, paints, and sealants for your leather pieces.
Then she moves into Making Leather jewelry starting with Technique Tutorials and then the Jewelry projects. I really like cuff bracelet, so the tutorials on cuffs really intrigued me. The Mesa Pendant was interesting to me, too, since I love texture and the stacked pieces were cool.  2 of my favorite projects were the Four Seasons collar since I also really like collars and the textured leather discs and metal discs together combined 2 of my favorite mediums.

The next one is the Laurel Necklace, because I really love nature and loved the shape, look and texture of the leather leaves in this necklace.
Finally at the end is a section on Beads and More Jewelry from leather. I especially liked the Rolled Leather Column Beads with the rivet decoration in them. I can see myself using these a lot in my jewelry projects. If using leather is something you've wanted to learn more about in your projects, check out Kalmbach books for Melissa Cable's book, Beautiful Leather Jewelry.
Here is a Leather/Metal bracelet I made for my Patina challenge I was in that was inspired by my reading Melissa's book. It uses Leather, metal, rivets, chain, patina and cogs/gears in it.

If you're interested in my 'Find Your Way to My Heart' bracelet or any of my other jewelry check out my shop, KayzKreationz. There you will also find my Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass 'kreationz' for your Home and Garden.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Weaving Freeform Wire Jewelry

Kalmbach has done it again, along with Kaska Firor.  They sent me Weaving Freeform Wire Jewelry by Kaska Firor to review and it's a fabulous book.  I love working with wire, and this book has my mind spinning with all the wonderful designs in it.  There's 20 beautiful step-by-step projects in this book.  It covers 5 different wire weaves, the Over-over, over-under, coiling, circular and looping. I'm thinking I don't really know anything about wire now. LOL Kaska was initially studying interior design in college, but took her first class in wire jewelry in 2000 and that was all she wrote, you might say.  You can feel her enthusiasm and passion for freeform wire weaving in this book, and she has done a great job of passing that on to the reader.
  She starts off with the basics about wire, frame and weaving wires, selecting your wire, wire shapes, wire hardness, wire size or gauge and metals and colors. She also cover other materials you may want to incorporate into your weaving such as beads and stones, embellishments and findings.  There is also a section on Tools and Supplies as well as Wire Techniques.  Her pictures are very well done and easy to see/understand.  She also tells you how to fix a mistake (which I'm sure I'm going to need a lot-at least at first). Then she gets into the Weaves. And after each weave, she has a project for you to try once you've practiced the weave.  I have seen so many wonderful pieces done with wire weaving and always wondered HOW they did that. Well now I'll be able to weave myself.  After the chapter on all the weaves along with projects to make from those weaves, she added Chapter 2 which take you to the next level and shows you how the weaves and techniques you learned in the previous chapter can be used to create more advanced, multi-level designs.  I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go that far with my wire work, but it doesn't hurt to dream.  Kaska teaches classes at her studio in Cincinnati, Ohio and displays and sells her jewelry at art shows in the Midwest.  She has won numerous awards and her woven bracelet design was featured on the cover of March 2012 Art Jewelry magazine.  So if you're ever in the Cincinnati area, look her up and take a class.  It looks like from the book, you'll love it.
There are so many great designs in the book, but so far my favorite is the Gnarly Bangle on page 59 which incorporates the circular weave and the cylindrical weave.  Just be prepared to use a LOT of wire. LOL  Here it is:
Isn't it wonderful? I can't wait to try making it.  And if you're looking for some of my other Beaded wire-wrapped jewelry, Stained Glass, Mosaics, Fused Glass kreationz for your Home or Garden, check out my shop, KayzKreationz.  Please comment below and let me know what you think about the book. Thanks. And be sure to go to Kalmbach and purchase the book to get your creative wire weaving juices flowing.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Patina Challenge Blog Hop

I had my post all ready to go, had the pictures uploaded and then had to go out of town. No problem, I was taking my iPad with me so I could polish it up some before posting.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to edit my blog posts on my iPad without deleting something.  I've tried a couple of times and it always happens. So lesson learned, just don't edit with an iPad. :)  Anyway, thanks for bearing with me and here goes:
Recently Kathy at BayMoonDesign issued a challenge. She was picking 10 people to send a Vintaj compass piece to. We were to patina it any way we wanted and then make something with it.  I haven't been happy with any of my patina efforts so far, but thought maybe this would help me figure out what to do and how to patina something I was happy with, so I signed up.  I got my wonderful compass piece, started to work on it and then had to put it up to go out of town for a business conference.  Well I THOUGH I had put it up, but my Manx cat, Lata decided he could get to it anyway. And when I came home from the conference, the compass was nowhere to be found. (It still is MIA, despite having turned half the house upside down. I'm sure one of these days it will turn up. LOL) Anyway, I e-mailed Kathy and asked if I could buy one somewhere so I could still participate.  She graciously mailed me another one.  This one I made sure was with me all the time so Lata couldn't get to it. I forgot to take a pic before I started the sanding, but in this picture I've sanded the point in the center, the direction letters, the edge and the little arrows (?) all around the outside ring.

I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with it, so now to get to work using my patina's.  I used some Ranger Alcohol Inks in the Weathered Copper which was greens/blues.  But after I got it done, I really wanted a little more color so added just a dab of Cinnabar so it would have a little of the red to blend with the red leather I was using.  I painted, sanded, painted some more, then used some Bronze Gilder's paste on it and finally sealed everything with a Ranger sealer. I think I'm finally happy with one of my patina projects.
I then took some brass and silver cogs and washers I had and patina'd them. I knew I wanted a 'steampunk' look to this bracelet(although I've never done Steampunk, so this is my first attempt at that also).  After I had the brass washers done I decided I didn't like the look of the silver cogs on the brass washers, because they just faded into the background, so I turned them over and hammered them instead.  Then I got busy punching holes in the leather. I had intended to texture the leather, but forgot. I HATE punching holes in leather because I don't have a hole punch strong enough to go through the leather. So I had to use a thick darning needle to try to start the hole and then my hole punch to finish out the hole.  This was very difficult, but I finally got all the holes punched.  However, after finally getting the little clips on the back of the compass pushed through 2 of the holes, they broke off while trying to bend them back over to hold the compass. So now what to do? I really didn't want to wire it to the leather, but Karla (from Texas Pepper Jams) and I had just gotten to play with our torches a week or two ago and had made some balled copper headpins. I punched 2 holes on the inside ring of the compass on the E/W sides, then took the balled headpins which added another little pop of red to the piece, pushed them through and twisted/spiraled them together on the back side. Viola!  My compass was now attached.
I had originally intended to rivet the cogs/washers to the leather, but realized I didn't have any rivets large enough for the holes in the washers, so stumped again.  I found 2 beads I thought would go well with the piece, took another 2 of my balled headpins, put them through the beads, through the cogs and washers and twisted/spiraled them on the backside, making sure all the wire and ends were smooth enough to not rub the skin when I wear the bracelet.
Then I attached a little silver heart I had to the bottom of the leather piece because I wanted to name this piece "Find your way to my Heart" (because of the compass) And finally I decided to make it a double chain bracelet, so punched 4 more holes in the leather, made my own jump rings our of some Annealed Steel wire I had, attached the 4 pieces of chain, made a clasp out of the same Steel wire and Viola!
"Find your way to my Heart"
Hope you like it.

Be sure to visit all the other participants of the blog hop below or going to Kathy's BayMoonDesigns blog. (Hopefully the links will work, but the way things have been going for me, they may not. LOL)   Thanks for bearing with me and stopping by.
Looking for more of my jewelry or Stained Glass, Mosaics or Fused Glass pieces, check out my shop, KayzKreationz.

Hostess:  Kathy Lindemer,  BayMoonDesign 

Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Jessica Murray, Whimsical Monkey
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs

Kay Thomerson, KayzKreationz Blog (you are here)
Claire Fabian, Saraccino
Christie Searle Murrow Charis Designs