Summer & Sonoran Living

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Just wanted to let you know I was recently invited to return to Sonoran Living with the fab Terri Ouelette. This was my third appearance in the show and it fun to return. I felt pretty comfortable on the set this time around.

I went on to show people how to make simple but pretty bangles using the faux Druzy technique that Susan Lenart Kazmer developed for her book Resin Alchemy. All it takes is a bezel, ICE Resin and some glass glitter.

Take a look at Sonoran Living on ABC 15 in Phoenix to the crafty segment when you get a chance.

I’d love to show you some more behind the scenes shots but I’m on my summer vacation with my family and updating my blog from my phone is not the easiest thing to do.

I hope you are having a terrific summer so far and finding a little time to get your craft on.

Happy Independence Day!

fourth of july inspired necklace with ICE Resin and Craft Attitude

Here’s wishing you a Happy 4th of July. I hope you are getting a long weekend to have some good quality time for family, creating, art, friendship or even just enjoying the warm summer days.

We’ve got people coming to the cabin this weekend, so I’m all ready for a house full of family and friends. I so love days like this; BBQs, mojitos with fresh mint that I’ve grown, homemade potato salad and lots of yummy fresh-picked corn and sweet watermelon.

I’ve been looking forward to our town’s July 4th celebration for weeks. It’s a total small town party! We head down to the community park, spread out blankets, bring our picnic basket and then listen to the band play live music while the kids run around at our feet playing with each other and all the new friends they just met and formed instant bonds with.

Weekends like this I forget all about work. I don’t even think about art or crafting. Deadlines just have to wait. Is it like that for you too? Or are you like some of my fellow artist friends who juggle day jobs and art and use these long weekends to “catch up” on their creative work?

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Just a quick little note on the necklace above. I recently participated in a blog hop with Craft Attitude and made some fab pendants using their film that I printed on my home ink jet printer in ICE Resin. In case you missed the post, here is the free tutorial. Because I tend to work on multiple bezels at once, I had quite a few finished focals. I finished this one into this patriotic necklace using a vintage World War 2 poster image along with some of our glass glitter, crystal beads and bronze wire. This is the necklace I’ll be wearing for tonight’s festivities.

 

My latest Mixed Media Metalsmith column is out

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Looking for a quick and easy summer read? The July/August issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine is on newsstands and in subscribers’ mailboxes now. As many of you may know, I write a column each issue called The Mixed Media Metalsmith where I make a fun project each issue. My editor gave me very few rules — which I LOVE — but asked that metal be one of the mediums each time. It’s been exciting showing how metal can be incorporated into just about any kind of mixed media project imaginable.

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I particularly like this issue’s project. A little journal charm made from a scrap of 24 gauge copper, a page from an old book and some nuts and screws as a cold connection. The inspiration for this came from childhood memories of how I spent my summers. I was a big reader and spent every summer break participating in my local library’s kids summer reading program. Growing up in Phoenix means you have to stay cool. If my nose wasn’t in a book, I was making crafts, swimming at the local high school public pool or going to the dollar movies.

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Take a peek at the completed journal pendant. These make great girlfriend, teacher and thinking of you gifts! Then head on over to your favorite bookseller that carries magazines and pick up some new summer reading. It sure helps to pass the time on those hot days!

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10107-Create-teaching-CHIOn another note: Registration is going on now for my workshops at the CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreats. I’ll be teaching this August in Chicago, September in Dallas and October in Seattle. I have A LOT of new classes this year and I’m so excited to be teaching resin and metalsmithing and mixed media. Be sure to check out my classes at CreateMixedMediaArtRetreats.com. Click into the area of the country that most interests you and then click on Instructors. If you look for my name, you’ll see a list of classes I’m teaching. I sure hope to see you there.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day! — Jen

Craft Attitude July 4 Blog Hop

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I’m so jazzed to have found a new-to-me product that works Awwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeesome with ICE Resin! (Can you hear the song in my voice??? Seriously, it’s a high-pitched squeal). It’s called Craft Attitude and its a transparent film where you print images from your inkjet printer to use in your mixed media, jewelry, paper arts, craft fashion or home décor projects.

Normally, images printed from an ink jet printer will smear when resin is applied. That’s because with ink jet, the color ink feels dry to the touch but actually sits on top of the paper. Anything wet will cause the ink to run. That’s why when I teach workshops and write articles on ICE Resin, I direct people to print images from their ink jet printers but then take them to a local copy shop to get copies made with toner ink. (You can use a laser jet printer too.) I even do this for my transparencies/acetate images. BUT, I was able to print onto Craft Attitude from my ink jet printer and use it right in our Art Mechanique bezels with ICE Resin without having to seal first. You have no idea how exciting this is to me!  I could wax poetic about this discovery, but I won’t since today is really a blog hop/free tutorial. I’ll save my resin and Craft Attitude findings for a future post.

Let’s get to the project!

“She Slept Through the Festivities” necklace

Supplies: Jewelry Attitude printable film, ICE Resin, disposable cup and stir stick, Art Mechanique Hobnail bezel Medium Shield, Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer chain, 18 gauge blackened steel wire, 20 gauge bronze wire, Art Mechanique jump rings, blue crystal beads, copper heishi spacer beads, scraps from your paper stash, vintage royalty free image.

Tools: Wubbers baby round nose, Wubbers chain nose pliers, Wubbers extra large round mandrel pliers, steel bench block or anvil, ball peen hammer.

Directions: The first step involves some basic Photoshop Elements skills. Search for royalty free images on the Internet that you can save to your computer and create a collage sheet with in Photoshop Elements or your favorite digital imaging program. NOTE: If you are publishing or selling your work, it is important to use your own images, works that you have permission to use or vintage images in the public domain. For more information on images and copyrights check out this .pdf from the United States Copyright Office.  A good source for royalty free images on the Internet is the Graphics Fairy.

I create my collage sheets by opening a new 8.5 x 11 file in Photoshop Elements. I then open the image I want to use and resize. I copy the image, cut it and then paste it into my new file. I resize the image so it’s smaller and will nicely fit into a bezel for jewelry. I do this multiple times with multiple images until I create a full 8.5 x 11 collage image sheet. If I’m printing something with words on it, be sure to flip the sheet horizontal so the words/image prints backwards.

Cut image from Craft Attitude to fit inside the bezel.

Cut image from Craft Attitude to fit inside the bezel.

Rummage through your paper scraps to find something interesting to "back" the translucent image. Here I chose a paper scrap with vintage sheet music. The reason I used scrapbooking paper is that I wanted smaller music notes that what I would normally find in vintage sheet music.

Rummage through your paper scraps to find something interesting to “back” the translucent image. I do this for visual interest and to add another layer of mixed media to my work. I normally would have used vintage sheet music, but this bit of 7Gypsies scrapbooking paper fit the bill nicely

Mix ICE Resin according to manufacturer's directions

I tend to collage and work on multiple bezels at once. Here you can see the image I used for this project, as well as some others in various stages of the process. After you’ve placed your images into the bezel, mix up at least 1/2 ounce of ICE Resin in a disposable mixing cup with a craft stick for a full minute. Slowly drip the resin into the bezel using the craft stick and fill bezel to the top, letting it form a nice round dome.

gather chain and wire and jump rings

After your bezel is dry to the touch (8-12 hours later) and feels like glass, gather supplies to finish the necklace. Here I used Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer chain, but altered it to add the necessary blue to the project for Fourth of July.

disassemble pices of the chain

The Industrial Chic chain comes with the brown rosary chain and a pretty end piece of red rosary to hang down the back of the neck. I used my round nose pliers to open the links and separate these pieces to use in future projects.

Use your Wubers mandrel pliers to form a Shepherd's Hook clasp from 18 gauge blackened steel wire

Use your Wubbers X-Large Mandrel Pliers to form a Shepherd’s Hook clasp from 18 gauge blackened steel wire. Lightly work harden the middle of the clasp by lightly hammering it on a steel bench block. Alternatively, you can use a lobster clasp and attach it with jump rings. Add a jump ring to the end of the pearl chain to hook the clasp.

Remove about three inches of pearl chain from the necklace so you can create and add a blue crystal bead link

Use your round nose pliers to remove about three inches of pearl chain from the necklace so you can add a touch of blue.

You can make a wire bead link from 20 gauge bronze wire, metal heishi spacer beads and blue crystal beads.

You can make a wire bead link from 20 gauge bronze wire, metal heishi spacer beads and blue crystal beads.

create a bead link with blue crystal beads, metal spacer beads and bronze wire

Use your round nose pliers to wire wrap a 4 inch piece of wire. Make a wrapped loop at one end and then thread a blue crystal bead, a metal spacer bead,  blue crystal, another washer, blue crystal, metal spacer, blue crystal and then make a wirewrapped loop on the other end to close off the link.

Using round nose pliers open each the end of the pearl rosary chain and attach blue bead link. Attach Craft Attitude and ICE Resin focal pendant to the center of the necklace using a jump ring.

Wear your pretty and patriotic necklace to your Forth of July gatherings. Just don’t be a party pooper like our vintage gal here and sleep though the festivities.

(Note: Image originally painted by Illustrator James Montgomery Flagg for a World War 1 poster called Wake Up America. )

Here’s a few more finished pics that I hope inspire you to play with Craft Attitude and ICE Resin!

Jen Cushman patriotic necklace

 

 

 

Jen Cushman necklace

Bead and Button Show Wrap Up

Well I made it to Milwaukee and back for the annual Bead and Button Show. This jewelry show is really a crème de la crème where hundreds of the world’s top instructors in metalworking, silversmithing, beading, fine silver, chain maille, stitching, foldforming, etc.  come together. It’s an amazing show that goes for 10 full days from beginning to end. People come from all over the world to take classes and shop the event.

In addition to teaching, Susan and myself had some really great meetings for ICE Resin. We also went to dinner with some of our wonderful amazing artist friends such as Mary Hetts, Anne E Mitchell and Richard Salley, and ran into dozens of other friends at the convention center for 10 to 15 minute catch up on our lives sessions. These little impromptu gatherings are some of my favorite parts of the shows always.

The event is so busy that it’s hard for me to snap as many pictures or do quite as much social media on the spot as I would like too. However, I did want to show you a smattering of fun photos from the week.

Here's our ICE Resin booth looking all pretty and ready to go right before the Thursday night opening night of shopping. Misty Grosse, our Booth Manager and Cindy Moss, Director of Sales and John Petersen from the 2015 Creative Team did an AMAZING job with set up. Susan and I were teaching classes and at the Meet the Teachers event so the booth was their baby from beginning to end. All I provided was a little creative direction.

Here’s our ICE Resin booth looking all pretty and ready to go right before the Thursday night opening night of shopping. Misty Grosse, our Booth Manager and Cindy Moss, Director of Sales and John Petersen from the 2014 Creative Team did an AMAZING job with set up. Susan and I were teaching classes and at the Meet the Teachers event so the booth was their baby from beginning to end. All I provided was a little creative direction.

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A close up of the booth with our sign and more goodies on the tables for purchase.

A close up of the booth with our sign and more goodies on the tables for purchase.

Here's a selfie taken at Meet the Teachers right as the door opened. I love getting to talk to people about my work. I forgot to take a pic of my table with all my necklace, earrings and cuffs laid out. It was an abundant amount of work for me.

Here’s a selfie taken at Meet the Teachers right as the door opened. I love getting to talk to people about my work. I forgot to take a pic of my table with all my necklace, earrings and cuffs laid out. It was an abundant amount of work for me. The lighting is always so bad in the hotel rooms!

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Luckily my dear friend Suze Weinberg took a pic of my earrings on their sweet little cards made by moi and posted it over on her blog. If you really want to see this year’s Bead and Button Show head on over to Suze’s blog for three full days of Bead and Button. Impressive Suze!!!! http://www.suzeweinberg.typepad.com/

 

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Me and Susan Lenart Kazmer hamming it up in front of Anne Mitchell’s booth at Meet the Teachers. It was the end of the night and Anne needed to excuse herself and asked us to briefly watch her stuff. Of course Susan and I decided to be silly so we took this selfie and then posted on Facebook that there was a 15 minute only clearance sale of Anne’s work. Thank goodness no one actually stormed the booth looking for it or we’d have been in trouble. It’s A LOT funnier than it sounds at 10:45 at night with only 15 minutes left to go of the event and after being up since 6 a.m.

 

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Our team — Cindy and John — ran hour long demos with a Make ‘N Take in the area right outside the show floor. There were only 26 seats available for the MNT and the ladies lined up 20 minutes before the event to get a seat. We were full. It is so gratifying to see the overwhelming response to our Iced Enamels program.

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Speaking of John Petersen here we are in the booth. This man is sooooo darn funny that he can make me laugh and laugh and laugh like a girlie teenager again.

My Saturday class that I love to teach called Layers and Depth. My students here are learning how to use Iced Enamels in our gorgeous Art Mechanique hobnail bezels. They had the best time playing with color!

My Saturday class that I love to teach called Layers and Depth. My students here are learning how to use Iced Enamels in our gorgeous Art Mechanique hobnail bezels. They had the best time playing with color!

Speaking of luscious color, this is one of the large hobnail hearts that my student did when she applied the base layer of color with Iced Enamels. This is our Raspberry Pink with our brand new Carnelian orange. It feels so 1960 retro -- bright and happy. I adore it! I wish you could have seen the imagery she went on to layer on top of this but I forgot to get a pic of the final piece. Oops!

Speaking of luscious color, this is one of the large hobnail hearts that my student did when she applied the base layer of color with Iced Enamels. This is our Raspberry Pink with our brand new Carnelian orange. It feels so 1960 retro — bright and happy. I adore it! I wish you could have seen the imagery she went on to layer on top of this but I forgot to get a pic of the final piece. Oops!

 

Art Journal Sneak Peek

Vintage Summer by Jen Cushman

I’ve been in my studio finishing up some projects and tying up loose ends at work before I head off to teach at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. I’m teaching four classes from June 4th through the 8th. While online registration is now closed, you can still sign up on site if you’re going to the show and looking for a class or two to fill in between all that great bead and jewelry making supply shopping! Actually, I have a list this year of things I’m needing to buy for classes and I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favorite vendors again. The easiest way to see what I’m teaching is to follow the Meet the Teachers Link and click on my name. It will take you to the workshops with days and times.

I’m always thrilled to be at this show. Some of these faculty are people whose work I’ve admired immensely as I was learning and growing in my mixed-media jewelry making. I love seeing the new work these talented people bring to the show. It’s so inspiring be there amongst the best of the best!

In between packing and making some more class samples for my students to see, I was also working on a little project for Jenn Mason, Director of Content Marketing at F+W and editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. She and mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer are hosting a new online weekly show called The Mixed-Media Workshop. While I’m not appearing on the show in person, I am giving a little instruction as part of my magazine column The Mixed-Media Metalsmith. Most of the art samples are already waiting for them in Loveland, Colorado where the filming studio is located. This journal (sneak peek top pic) and a few other cast resin pieces were out the door today. I’ll let you know when the segment airs, but if you see any PR for shiny things then you know you’ll be seeing some of my casting work.

I’m planning to take a bit of a break from blogging this summer. I’ll be checking in here and there, and definitely be on my social media, but the kids are home for summer break AND I’m going into my office for all of July to write my next book on Iced Enamels. For those of you who’ve done book publishing before, you know it’s a pretty time-consuming undertaking. While I’ve gotten pretty good at juggling work and family and teaching, book writing is something that requires my full focus. After the Bead and Button Show, I’m home until CREATE Chicago the middle of August — the perfect time to write, write, write, edit, take photos, edit photos and write some more. Thankfully, most of the art pieces have already been completed over this past year.

I hope you stay with me through the next few months. I promise, I’ll have lots of new information and new art content to share when I get to the other side.

Here’s wishing you a truly ARTFUL day!

 

I’m an honorary Stencil Girl today

I’m thrilled to be a Guest Artist today over on the Stencil Girl Products blog. (NOTE: I was originally scheduled for press today but the post was inadvertently published last Wednesday while I was teaching in Miami. Below is the permalink to it though!) I did a little tutorial and made a mixed-media collage piece. I challenged myself to move a little bit outside my comfort zone for this post by working in a more neutral color palette and using a soothing nature themed stencil. I’m pretty happy with the results.

Here’s a quick sneak peek. To read the full post, hop on over to Stencil Girl Talk now.

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