Kamis, 30 September 2010

The Glass of Murano, Italy

Murano in the map by Jacopo de'Barbari.  Venice, Correr Museum.
When I was 22, I hit a very rough patch in my life.  In a fit of "why ever not", I threw all caution to the wind, sold almost all of my worldly possessions, and did what I'd only read of in books -- I ran away from home.  Where did I end up?  Venice, Italy.

While there, I marveled at the amazing Murano glass and listened to the shopkeepers explain the history of this storied island.  At the time, I hadn't caught the beading bug, but I certainly knew pretty when I saw it.  Having a love of history, though, I set out to learn more.

in the Murano Glass Museum
Murano glass is named for the small island of Murano about 2 miles from Venice.  I remember vividly sitting on the steps of a huge historic building, eating fresh bread for lunch and looking out over the water towards the island.  Many people know that the Murano glassmakers moved to the island to guard the secret of glassmaking, but they also moved there because they were an enormous fire hazard to Venice in the 13th century.   Oops.

some of my own lampwork beads
In the 1860's the Glass Museum of Murano was founded, and this helped reintroduce the old glass blowing techniques, which had fallen into a bit of a funk due to the glass centers for Tiffany, Bohemian, and Lalique.  The Murano glass industry continues to thrive and no longer shuts its island doors to the world.

photo via EuropeForVisitors.com
Since my sojourn in Italy, I've taken a glass blowing class, and it's amazing watching that gather of glass turn into something cool (in my case, a paperweight and a shot glass that had walls so thick it would break your toe if you dropped it on your foot).  I've longingly run my hands through bowls of Venetian beads and wished I'd bought some while I lived amongst them.  As I sit at my lampwork torch, I find myself thinking about the Piazza San Marco and Murano and glass.  

And occasionally, pigeons.  There were millions of pigeons in that Piazza.  Yikes.  

But I digress.
Basilica San Marco -- amazing inside and out
You probably don't want to sell everything that doesn't fit in two suitcases to venture to Venice, but as an art bead lover, it should be on your top five list of Places to Go.  My life changed so much during that trip, and learning about the beauty of glass was one of the highlights of those months.

So call the travel agent.  Mark your calendar.  Make a concrete plan, a "yes, in 2012 I WILL go there" plan -- I promise you won't regret it.

the paperweight and shot glass I made in my first glass blowing class

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs.  She writes the blogs Pretty Things and An Artist's Year Off.  She lives in Maryland.

2011 Triumph Daytona 675 SE New Edition

2011 Triumph Daytona 675 SE New Edition2011 Triumph Daytona 675 SE New Edition

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CPS 186 Part 3

Thanks Coach
Designer Kimber McGray

Cardstock: Jillibean Soup, Bazzill Basics
Patterned Paper and Die Cuts: Crate Paper
Stamps: Papertrey Ink
Ink: Stampin' Up!
Twine: Jillibean Soup

Designer: Lea Lawson

Cardstock: Bazzill Basics
Paper: Making Memories
Rub-on: Creative Imaginations
Flowers: Recollections
Pearls: Zva Creative
Ribbon: Renaissance by Design
Glitter: DecoArt
Corner Rounder: EK Success

Winter Wishes
Kim Moreno

Cardstock: Core'dinations
Patterned paper: Jillibean Soup
Snowflakes: Heidi Swapp
Chipboard and Jewels: Queen & Co.
Flocking: Flowersoft- Polar White Punch: Martha Stewart
Stamp: Imaginesce
Ink: Storage Unit Ink
Embossing folder and machine: Cuttlebug

Season's Greetings
Designed by Rae Barthel

Sponsor Product: Flower Soft Vintage Christmas Sentiment Topper
Cardstock: The Paper Studio
Patterned Paper: Making Memories
Ribbon: Hobby Lobby
Rhinestones: Michael's
Flowers: Hobby Lobby
Dies: (scalloped circles Nesties) Spellbinders
Distress ink: Ranger

This week's prize is sponsored by: Flower Soft. Be sure to check here each Wednesday to see what you could win along with some great samples from our sponsor.
To enter this week's random drawing simply share your design with the CPS readers. Simply click on this week's sketch image in the side bar. This will take you directly to the post where you can add your link. Please use a direct link to your card so the readers can easily find it.

Crafters Companion - I Love This Tool!

For the last month, whenever I had a moment, I sat down to watch the DVD that came with my Crafters Companion Ultimate. The DVD is jam-packed with both instructions for using the boards and twelve additional demonstrations to make these fantastic cards, books and boxes. I was mesmerized by how much content was provided on the DVD. Each of these additional videos is a class unto itself.

So I worked my way through each mini workshop.
These are the "stand up card with hidden message" and "double pop up card."

This is how they look opened!

These are the "hidden panel card," "dangling heart aperture card" and the classic "pop out" cards.

These little boxes look cute as is.

The first is hiding the "fold out greeting card" box and the second is an extra thick 3d card with a matching sized box sample.

These are the "concertinas memories card" and the "fold out greeting card and matching box."

I loved making this odd shaped box!

These boxes are my second favorite group of samples.

They hide the samples for the "exploding card."

I wanted to make both of these samples. The first features the envelo-box (thicker for 3d cards) and the "handbag card."

There is always a secret addition inside!

Another pop out card and a special "K card."

This is my favorite! Small and so deceiving.

The "squash book card!"

Finally a few final "gate fold" cards and a "star book" card.

Now. You show me a tool that comes with a DVD to make all these samples!
The Ultimate has catapulted me into making thicker more dimensional cards.
Today (September 30th) is the last day you can buy the Crafter's Companion Ultimate at the special pricing.
My next project is to work through the Christmas DVD that came with the package...2 1/2 more hours of instruction!

Rabu, 29 September 2010

The Winds of Change

The wonderful Roxanne Evans Stout from River Garden Studio and I have collaborated together on a number of projects. In 2008 Evidence of Autumn was born. We each created handmade books which we traded back and forth, completing the pages based on the theme of Autumn. My book is pictured below.

The experience was an absolute pleasure and I treasure this book everyday. Our styles blended together so well and the theme resonated with both of us. So much so, in fact, that we decided to do it again, still focusing on Autumn as the theme. And in 2010 The Winds of Change was born. We again each created a handmade book we passed cross country, working on pages in both books. It has been fascinating to see how both of our styles have evolved and yet still seamlessly blend. You can see my newest book below.

With both of us being so excited about our collaborations, we wanted to share them with you. And today we are both thrilled to announce that our joint project has led to a self-published book...The Winds of Change.

This book showcases our artwork from both collaborations as well as other, related pieces. Also included are words that we each have written that were inspired by each other's artwork.

You can see a preview of the book and purchase it here. Soon it will also be available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks Roxanne for everything. I am so happy that our collaboration continues!

Some Days You Have To Believe in Faith

Two powerful words.
I think of both all the time.

This necklace started with a complex beaded embroidery. I wanted to see if I could pour resin into it if I taped up the back. Sometime, resin just gets sucked up by fibers creating a stained awful mess.
Perhaps because I believed that this experiment would work, that it really did. I added the word and resin and once it was dry I lined the back with felt.

After attaching the dangle and a few other strands I completed my new meaningful piece.

Fit to Print Book Review - Sculptural Metal Clay

I am a huge fan of Kate McKinnon's work.  I can remember years ago when I was first starting to do seed bead designs and I would find one of her projects in the magazines - I could tell it was her work instantly.  Even with seed beads Kate has an unmistakable signature.

When this book arrived it was like enjoying a gallery show.  The projects are so amazing.  And you'll soon discover they are deceptively simple.  At least Kate makes them seem that way as experts often do!

My favorite projects in the book are the findings - bead caps, clasps, decorative headpins, branch connectors. I love that she offers a collection of techniques that you can adapt to your own style to use in your creations. 

The book has three sections.  The Basics covers tools, techniques, firing, finishes and safety. The next section, the Elements, covers the components Kate uses in her projects.  And finally the last section has 10 step-by-step projects for inspiration.  The best part of this book - it comes with a DVD where Kate walks you through the key techniques to complete the projects in the book.  If you have wanted to dive into Metal Clay, this is a great place to start for a solid education and a mega-dose of inspiration.  And if you've been working with metal clay for a while, I have a feeling this book is probably already on your shelf - it's one not to miss!

Buy the book.  Visit Kate's website

CPS 186 - Flower Soft

This week's sponsor is Flower Soft. Flower Soft is an amazing pot of colored sprinkles that allows you to create text, designs and miniature floral embellishments. Along with the website, the Flower Soft blog has tons of ideas, and inspiration to help you get started, if you are new to Flower Soft!

Flower Soft is offering up the prize shown above, to one lucky cardmaker this week! It includes their fun, and easy to use Toppers, along with some Flower Soft and adhesive! What fun!

Great big thanks to Flower Soft for sponsoring the CPS sketch this week!

To enter this week's random drawing simply share your design with the CPS readers. Simply click on this week's sketch image in the side bar. This will take you directly to the post where you can add your link. Please use a direct link to your card so the readers can easily find it.

Selasa, 28 September 2010

2010 Ducati Special Edition 1198R Corse SE

2010 Ducati Special Edition 1198R Corse SE 2010 Ducati Special Edition 1198R Corse SE 2010 Ducati Special Edition 1198R Corse SE 2010 Ducati Special Edition 1198R Corse SE Wallpaper

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Tie One On

Looking for a new twist in your jewelry designs?  Add texture with silk ribbon, leather or crepe cording and  crystal chain.  All of these can be found at Ornamentea along with a collection of innovative tutorials showing different ways to incorporate these items into your work.  Check them out!

Christmas Colours

There are days when my colour combinations are completely accidental. This grouping is a perfect example.

I cut up these three fabrics for backgrounds and noticed I had just finished correcting in Photoshop these three vintage postcards. Clearly, I am drawn to the same colours over and over.

I love these beautiful Christmas ladies.

Other cards are getting finished this week. So much of what I cut this summer now seems to be finally finding a home on a card body.

The Copy Zone

My newest Creative Contribution to the MMCA Marketplace, has just been posted. It addresses the issues of originality and copying in the world of mixed media art. Click here to enter "The Copy Zone" and, if you like, leave a comment to add to the discussion.

You can find the links to all my previous Creative Contributions on the sidebar of my blog under this icon: