Selasa, 31 Mei 2011

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Think Simple

It really is the little things that make people happy.
Over the weekend I taught two different Envirotex Lite resin classes at Mixed Minded.  For weeks I contemplated the class kits.  I selected items that could be glazed and other items for the bezel related class.  My kits were all lovingly packed up in the hopes that each student would enjoy the items I had selected for them to work on.
Then I packed the tool kits.  Plastic measuring cups, tooth picks, stir sticks & wax paper are all needed.  These are all the throw away items. But wouldn't you know it, one of my students even turned the stir stick into a usable surface!  She covered her stick with a small piece of napkin and used resin as a glaze on the first side.  She plans to use this as a bookmark when both sides dry.  Brilliant!

May Monthly Challenge Blog Tour... and a Grand Prize Winner!

"When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!"  ~Henri Rousseau

This month we visited the countryside, as envisioned by Berthe Morisot. This pastoral scene shows the rolling hills, the village in the distance, a loving mother playing with her daughter around a small tree and just a hint of blue peeking through the cashmere clouds in the sky. Our ABS friends have been hard at work taking the cue from the abundance of greens and golds, the stark white and black of the dresses, the wee houses on the horizon and the small dash of red blooms in the tree. 

May I ask a favor? To make it easier on me to do the round up of all these fabulous blog posts, and because it seems that most people are doing this anyway, please put your exact blog post link in your comments with your picture on the Flickr site (please put the specific link so that I don't have to wade through all your posts to find the right one!). That is where I have to grab the pictures from and that would save me an extra step. Thanks. ;-)

Now on with the show!

Lesley of The Gossiping Goddess (above) found this painting pushed her outside her comfort zone. But with a sweet little bird bead and a beautiful lampwork glass square paired with some soft colors of silk and bead, I think that she rose to the challenge...which is really what it is all about. Well done, Lesley!

You have to go and check out what Grubbi made! She did it all! from the wonderful detail on the etched blossom bracelet bar and the two very cute etched house and umbrella charms to a rainbow of polymer clay beads from the color palette. I am so impressed that she did it all... that is true talent!

Using a hand made focal in a lovely shade of olive green with a ruffly lampwork bead that totally reminds me of the dresses and umbrella, Birgitta of Create with Spirit created a bracelet that is sure to get noticed in her unmistakeable style!

Molly Alexander of Beautifully Broken Me chose to focus on the red of the blooms in the tree and the rusty roofs to create this fashion forward bangle (above) with lovely lampwork beads from Firebabies and Gardanne.

Loads of interest with special hand made charms populate the necklace from Intuitive Spark. She used vintage sheet music, a faux Chinese coin, a lucite leaf, a tiny mixed media charm with watch parts and a swirly green lampwork bead. Such a layered look that brings that color palette to life!

Welcome to the challenge, Hazel! Hazel, of Continuum Designs, tells us that this is the first time that she entered the ABS challenge using her own polymer clay beads in a lovely and fresh bracelet design. We are so glad to have you!

Eleanore of EBS Jewelry shares that her process for this piece was often filled with doubt...whether it would be green enough or reference the themes in the painting like "woman with an umbrella"... I find that very comforting to read! I had some similar feelings (and I bet you did too!). I think that Eleanor made a bold and inspired choice to have the mustard-colored cording anchoring the whole bracelet (above).

Keenya of The Cranberry Studio made the polymer clay beads and focal in her entry. The colors make me feel of soft breezes in the countryside. Beautiful pastel palette!

Pamela of Klassy Jools pulled all the wispy and soft greens from the painting for a lush interpretation of the palette. This looks like a bracelet that would feel really beautiful to wear with so much to look at and hold your interest.

Mary Harding (above) not only makes some very pretty nature inspired ceramic components, but I learned that she also felted the earthy wool to make the necklace and used some tutorials from both Heather Powers and Cindy Wimmer to make some wire components in her striking necklace that perfectly embodies this pastoral scene.

Creating a very modern and clean look, Malin de Koning of Sweden used some Round Rabbit porcelain rings with some very green and soft suede for a bracelet that is sure to be worn a lot!

I know that the red flower that Kristi of Dreamsome Designs used in her stunning and multi-faceted necklace was something that Mary Harding created in response to the March ABS challenge....but it totally works here! I love that this one red flower could have so many different interpretations.

The talented twosome of Beth and her mother Evie of EB Bead and Metal Works focused their artistic eyes on the parasol held by the lovely young lady in this necklace (above). This duo cut, sawed, enameled and strung up a truly outstanding piece of wearable art! You have to go over and see it!

Sally Russick of Wireworked proves that simple is sometimes best! She let the single painted polymer clay bead take center stage in this infinitely wearable design.  

I had to chuckle when I read the process that Bee Tree by m.e. goes through with designing... dumping out all the right color beads in a pile and sorting through what she calls 'creative chaos' sounds a lot like me! The result of her chaos, from the links to the hand made flower to the silk, looks like the perfect piece to wear when she celebrates her anniversary next month! Congratulations!

Another hearty ABS welcome goes out to Honey from the Bee and her beautiful interpretation featuring a Lisa Peters heart and a very cool vintage button showing a cherub with an umbrella! I love how she keyed in on the white of the dresses with her choice of beads. We hope you will come back to play with us again!

Tropical Blonde worked through her aversion to green and found that she had a lot of different shades in her stash! I love the decision to weave the three green sari silks together that remind me of the grasses in the field waving in the wind.

Susie of Jewellery Junkie used the ABS Challenge to showcase her very first art bead made of silver clap. I love soft tones she used to make her bead the star. Well done!

For my own inspiration, I am in love with the little houses in the background of the painting. I call this bracelet "Finding My Home" as I was on a quest to find any little house bead in my collection! I also made a necklace using a Mary Harding toggle. Come on over and check it out!


Sorry I missed these blog posts!

Cilla of Tell Your Girlfriends just started her new blog out. It is a pretty place where she shares her beautiful jewelry including the two pieces that she entered this month. One is very pastel and the other is more earthy yet both bracelets perfectly embody the color palette for the challenge.
Maryanne Melo of MiddleEarths shares that she never really appreciated black and white in jewelry and struggled to find a balance to add them to her bracelet. Filled with soft flowing fiber and deep bewitching greens, this bracelet is so beautiful! So glad that you shared it with us.

And I know that you can't wait to know who won all the beady goodness from the Beads 2011 Celebration post. We had a record number of comments - 481- and I did indeed read them all. More than once! We are completely humbled by the outpouring of love from all of you, our circle of Art Bead Scene friends that continues to grow (1989 at last count!). I plan to write a post that will recap some of our favorite comments soon.

Without further ado... the random winner of the entire kit and kaboodle of beads and components from the featured Beads 2011 issue is........................................................................................................

Carol's winning entry was that she posted on Facebook. Thank you for sharing the love. 

And coincidentally, Carol's birthday is today, May 31st, so this is one heck of a grand birthday present. Congratulations and Happiest of Birthdays, Carol! (Cue the confetti and fireworks!) Are you inviting us all over for cupcakes? ;-)

Please email me at to make arrangements for me to ship all this loot to you, before I get tempted to keep it all for myself! ;-)

We hope that this package bursting with art beadiness will inspire you to create beautiful things, and perhaps enter a few of the upcoming Art Bead Scene monthly challenges!

Erin Prais-Hintz writes about all things that inspire her at Treasures Found::Inspiration Is Everywhere. Her jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind made one-at-a-time. She collects quotes and dust and invites you to send her your favorite (quote - not dust!) to

CPS 220 part 2

Designer Linda Beeson
Stamps courtesy of Gina K – Perfect Pennants/Tami Mayberry
Cardstock – Core’dinations X-Press Blending Card – Copic Markers
Patterned paper – October Afternoon
Black Versafine stamp pad
Clear embossing powder – Stampendous
Marvy stamp pad
Copic markers
Corner rounder punch – Fiskars
Brads – America Crafts
Foam tape- 3M

Thanks for Everything
Designer Latisha Yoast
Card stock:  water color card stock, Bo Bunny yellow, GinaK Ocean Mist
Stamps: GinaK Springtime Silhouettes 
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black,  Colorbox magenta
Trim: Twinery Bakers Twine
Misc: American Crafts this to that foam tape

Designer Tami Mayberry
Stamps: Gina K Designs (Dreams)
Pattern: Fancy Pants Designs
Dies: Spellbinders

Hello, friend!
Designer Deb Felts
Card stock, designer paper, stamp set, ribbon, brads: 
Vintage Chic kit, Gina K Designs
Ink:  Memento
Markers:  Copic
Dies:  Spellbinders

This week's prize is sponsored by: Gina K Designs. 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.

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Senin, 30 Mei 2011

Plaster Studio

Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving by artists Judy Wise and Stephanie Lee has just been released by North Light Books and is now available for purchase.

Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving

This is a wonderful book that has opened my eyes to a whole new way to create textured art. The book includes a series of well-explained projects on painting, sculpting, casting, carving, and making books -- all using plaster and related materials. Also included throughout the book are gallery pieces created by other artists. I am happy to share that one of my artworks is in the book as well.

Stephanie and Judy have generously shared their personal thoughts for the readers of The Altered Page about the creation of their book and the process of working together as a team. 

Judy Wise...

"We started on this journey over a year ago and it seems like from the very beginning it was inevitable. Back then it was Stephanie the Plaster of Paris queen meets Judy the Joint Compound fanatic. The more we compared notes, the more we realized that we had a lot of experience between the two of us. More than that though was the friendship and desire to work together on a common goal. Whenever artists combine their vision, things get done. It has been nothing short of thrilling for me to team up with someone as talented and rewarding to be with as Stephanie. She could have easily written a plaster book on her own but I can't believe it would have been as much fun as holding the hand of a friend and riding this roller coaster together. Who knew that collaboration could be this much fun? It has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me; a real "bucket list" experience and I am savoring every sweet moment."

Stephanie Lee...

"This book has been a long time coming. More than a couple of years ago, I spoke with Tonia, my editor, about featuring the medium of plaster in a book. She was more than game for the idea knowing that there were few, if any, books that specialized in the medium. When I was exploring the medium myself, I spent countless hours in search of books that would inform me more about how I could use  plaster in my artwork. While I was having no luck finding such a book, I experimented on my own to see what I could figure out in the meantime. At one point I was whining to my husband about not being able to find ANY books on working with plaster. His [typical] response was, 'I guess you need to write it.'

Right away, I knew he was right. I had done so much research and trail with the medium that I had learned a lot about how it worked and how I could work it. I wanted the book I would write about plaster to be the very book I would have wanted to find on the shelves and so it wasn't something I rushed into. Getting the book going was a stop-start process for a long time. I didn't know what was missing until I had the idea to ask Judy if she would consider co-authoring the book with me. I admired her passion for understanding materials and her experience and wisdom with the creative process is second to none. Once she was on board, we hit the ground running and haven't looked back and I'm so glad. With a year or so behind us and the entire process of writing this book to be very recent history, I can honestly say that it has been the most rewarding creative collaboration for me to date.

I have learned so much about observing Judy's process, her approach, and her ways of being that have planted a deep and sincere trust that I can be totally and fully authentic in life. Of course in relation to my artwork, but also (and more importantly) in relation to me as a human being. She has been the best example of art-is-life for me and has reassured my belief that one can be totally and completely immersed in creative exploration and still be a well rounded human being. No one dispels the "troubled artist" persona myth like Judy. I want to be just like her when I grow up. :)

If you find yourself struggling to know how the urge to satiate your creative inklings fits into the day to day routine of life, I only have to say this: You cultivating your creativity in a way that enhances your life and your ability to be your most authentic self is a big deal. I mean that. When you listen to that little nudge that tells you to honor your creativity, even if you're not quite sure what that all means for you, you are giving a message to everyone around you that they can do the same. When we all honor our creative inklings, we honor our essence and therefore are able to be our highest, truest selves to the world and to those around us. And when we are our highest, truest selves, we vibrate with authenticity and THAT is the kind of energy that creatively finds ways to feed the hungry, clothes the naked, comfort the lonely, uplift the weary, and shine light in all the dark corners where dust is gathering. Just remember that if you get frustrated along the way of your creative journey."

Thanks Judy and Stephanie for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

The First Mixed Minded Weekend is Over

It is so hard to go back your everyday routine after a great art retreat!
Mixed Minded 2011 is now over - and a few of us are already brainstorming about Mixed Minded 2012!
I taught two great resin classes which I posted about on the Resin Crafts blog.
But I also had two wonderful felting classes.  My students created the most amazing beads and brooches!  As always, I learned a few new stitches and techniques and was inspired by some twists in my design that the students did on their own.  Everyone was very generous with their extra supplies and ideas!  
So today I send out a special salute to Karen Ellis at The Art House Studio and her volunteers for a fantastic weekend of teaching!

Designer of the Week

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features the Designer of the Week. One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is Le Clair Rose Designs. Here is what ABS Editor, Tari Sasser had to say about the chosen design:
"The colors of the elements in the bracelet reflect those in the painting. I love the unique contrast of the beads and buttons. Eclectic and they work so well together."

Cache-Cache (Hide and Seek) by Berthe Merisot

Wallpaper Of Nature

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