Tag Archive | mixed media jewelry

Hopping down the trail necklace

JenCushmanBunnynecklace

Happy Easter weekend everyone! Since Spring is in the air, I thought it would be fun to make a brightly colored hopping bunny necklace using pieces and parts I have lying around my studio along with Iced Enamels.

Like everyone who makes jewelry, I have odds and ends of things I’ve picked up at bead shows throughout the years. When I was rummaging around in my charms, my fingers found this sweet little rabbit. I had originally planned to drill though him so I could make a pendant dangle, but I just never got around to it. A quick hunt in my brass box yielded this red brass medallion.

I knew I wanted cover the brass with Raspberry and Ivory Iced Enamels and then add some fun “grass” of our new Art Mechanique German Glass Glitter colors (coming next month) under his paws. I Cold Enameled the medallion and let the metal cool. Then I mixed up some ICE Resin and took out my trusty disposable paintbrush and brushed on a thin sealer coat to seal the Iced Enamels. ICE also provided the perfect amount of “glue” to hold the glitter I sprinkled on the bottom. I painted a dab of resin to the back of the charm and placed the bunny right on to the medallion. Resin as an attachment creates a strong, long-lasting bond.

After the piece was dry I took one of my fab crystal drops from Connie Crystal and wired it up organic briolette style and attached to the bottom of the charm with a jump ring. Lovely pink and bronze ribbons added more color and completed the necklace.

My daughter has a brand new Easter dress to wear. Me? I’m trilled with my new festive Cold Enameled necklace.

Just a little side note: Iced Enamels are amazing! They work on every type of substrate. How many tired old charms do you have in your studio? Think about giving them a Spring makeover with some quick Cold Enameling.

Jen Cushman Bunny Necklace Full

My Talisman Word for 2014

JenWOY1lrwm

New Year’s resolutions are just too hard to keep. Like most people, my good intentions the first week of January quickly go out the window long before Valentine’s Day. So when I saw a group of scrapbooker start word of the year projects a while back I, too, decided to skip the whole resolution idea and instead focus on a power word for myself for the year. Being a wordsmith, I responded well to this idea and have incorporated it into my life for past five years now.

Picking my power word is a process of reflection that usually happens the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I tend to go over the big events of the past year in my mind’s eye. I think about all the things I’m truly grateful for and send this love and gratitude into the Universe. I also think about what I’d like to accomplish in the next year and write down a list of goals in one of my art journals. Then I pick a word that helps me set my intention for the year. A word that sums up what I hope to accomplish on an individual level and also in my career. For 2013 my word was “Focus.” As you know, there’s a lot going on right now with ICE Resin. My word was appropriate because last year was another huge building block year for our company.

Jen Cushman Talisman necklace

I thought really long and hard about my word for 2014. I thought about the things I love in my life, the challenges I’d like to address and what I want to draw more to me. I’ve been working so much that I really miss spending time with friends and family. My girlfriends have been patient the past couple of years as I’ve been running too hard and fast to get together. I want to make more time for personal connections and real intimacy with the people. On a business level, I’d like to start working a bit more with other likeminded companies and other artists. Being asked to participate in Seth Apter’s book last year was really enjoyable because it made me feel part of a community rather than always working along in my studio/home office. What I want to draw to me in 2014 is to once again feel this strong sense of community the mixed-media art world offers. My word for 2014 is “Collaborate“.

To that end, I made a necklace using ICE Resin, Iced Enamels, our fab Art Mechanique Hobnail Oval. Since hearts are still a huge symbol in my life, I hand-formed a Paperclay heart and painted it with acrylic paints. That gorgeous texture you see was made by adding delicious Relique German Silver on the surface and then a coat of ICE Resin for permanent color.

I hope you read more about our Talisman project over on the ICE Queen blog. There you will learn about the project, who is participating and how you can get involved if you wish. I’m truly hoping this will resonate with you as an artist and that you take the time to make your own power necklace this year. After all, it would be an awesome thing for us to collaborate on!

Here's a selfie of me wearing my new power necklace. Yep, lovin' the red. When it comes to your chakras in the body, red is your base chakra and it represents you family and tribe.

Here’s a selfie of me wearing my new power necklace. Yep, lovin’ the red. When it comes to the body’s  chakras, red is the base chakra and it represents your family and tribe. A great power color and also goes well with my 2014 Talisman word of “Collaborate”.

Heading to CHA

JenNecklaceSampleCHA1lr

It’s that time of year where we head off to Anaheim to the Craft and Hobby Association trade show for Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin. This is such a huge show for us as an exhibitor and manufacturer of our products that preparations start a full six months before the show. By the time the show arrives, we’ve done everything we can behind the scenes to do our level best to make it a success. I’m always super excited — and a little nervous with butterflies in my stomach — today and these next few days of final prep and set up. However, when the show starts it’s always amazing because so much business and networking happens at lightening speed, it’s like living corporate dog years of 5 months crammed into 5 days.

For those of you who might be going here’s my schedule for the show.  The rest of the times I will be at our booth — #652 or in meetings. Please track me down.

Saturday Jan. 11th:

Noon: Booking signing for my book Making Metal Jewelry at the F&W Booth.

3:30 – 4:15 Stampendous and ICE Resin collaboration demo.

Sunday Jan 12th:

3-5 p.m. ICE Resin Fundamentals workshop where I’m teaching

Monday Jan 13th:

Noon -2 at the NABA booth

 

cha_logo_designersBe sure to follow our ICE Resin blog and also us on our social media. Jennifer Priest, our Social Media Manager, is at the show and she’s be Facebooking and Tweeting and Instagraming throughout the entire show. I’ll be Facebooking as well, so if you want to see pics and sneak peeks, be sure to “like” me on JenCushmanArtist on Facebook.

Here’s a sneak peek of one of the art samples I made for our booth using Iced Enamels and our geometric Talisman shapes that’s a new release at the show. In addition to my work, there will be loads of art on display from members of the ICE Resin Creative Team, past and new team, as well as from Susan Lenart Kazmer and Kristen Robinson and some guest designer friends like the Crafty Chica. If you really want to see all the brand new hot releases at the show, along with talking to some of your favorite designers, sign up for CHA Live with Charity Wings. Elena and her crew do an amazing job walking all over that show floor and giving a behind the scenes taste of the excitement that’s the mega show.

Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful, creative, ARTFUL and successful 2014! Happy New Year.

Halloween Roundup with Friends

Jen Cushman Halloween Necklaces

A few of my craftalicious friends have teamed up with the idea of sharing more of our work on our blog and then also pointing our friends over to each other’s blogs by issuing art challenges amongst ourselves and motivating each other. Our first roundup has a Halloween theme. It’s no surprise to people who regularly read my blog to know that I am so NOT the best at making holiday-themed projects, unless they’re for a deadline. So when the challenge came in to do  something Halloween, I was a little befuddled. But then I realized — Hey, I have some cool Art Mechanique hobnail bezels using Vintage Halloween imagery and ICE Resin in my done bezel stash from this summer when I poured a half dozen pieces for my Sept./Oct column for Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and my column “The Mixed Media Metalsmith.”

I went to my stash and finished off a couple of cute bezels into necklaces with some chain, charms and beads. Viola! Halloween jewelry. I’m thrilled for this challenge because I now have something to wear this month and can now take my daughter trick or treating and this can be my costume. Score!

Here’s how to make these necklaces:

Jen Cushman Vintage Pumkin Necklace

1. Grab one of our signature Susan Lenart Kazmer Art Mechanique Hobnail bezels from your stash. (Don’t have one? Get ‘em here, or at your local Hobby Lobby store or call your favorite local bead store and ask them if they carry the Susan Lenart Kazmer and ICE Resin line.)

2. Locate a vintage Halloween image. Personally, I’m a fan of ArtChix Studios and all of her great mixed media art supplies. Check out her Vintage Fairies images. You can get this exact pumpkin face royalty free here at Craft Jr.

3. Cut the image to fit inside the bezel. Use Art Mechanique paper sealant with a brush to seal the images top, back, sides so it stays colorfast. If you want it to look vintagey, you do not have to first seal your images, but take note that with dark images, they will go darker as ICE Resin permeates the paper.

4. Be sure the sealed images in completely dry before adding resin. If it’s still wet in spots, the image will get little dark spots on it where the resin soaks into the paper. if you want to add some glass glitter for extra sparkle, this is the time to gently shake some into the bezel. NOTE; If you use your craft glitters, they are too light and will rise to the top of your resin as your pour and, literally, sit on top of the resin as it dries. Glass glitter is heavy and will sink in the bottom of the bezels and not rise to the surface.

5. Mix up some ICE Resin, let it sit for 5 minutes after mixing to release the bubbles caused by stirring and then gently drip into the bezel using your craft stick. ICE naturally domes so it will get a pretty rounded top to your bezel if you keep slowly dripping. Be sure to stop when you see the doming. ICE Resin is self-leveling and ultra clear so there will be no bubbles in your bezel.

6. Let bezel dry to the touch, about 6 to 10 hours. As soon as it’s dry to the touch, you can add beads or wirewrapping or use jump rings to make your jewelry. For the pumpkin, I added another Art Mechanique silhouette charm that’s been cold enameled with Enameling Medium + Iced Enamels + ICE Resin in that order. I used my metal hole punch to make a hole and then added one of our adorable rhinestone brads for bling. I then attached to the bezel with a jump ring. I then used a piece of a chain and a jump ring to connect it to the top loop of the bezel. I left the necklace long so I didn’t need a clasp. It slides right over my head and will look great with jeans and a T-shirt.

jen Cushman Vintage Trick necklace

For the vintage girl bezel, I used my rhinestone brads to cold connect the bezel to a brass filigree (I like to buy from B’Sue Boutiques). I used my metal  hole punch pliers to create holes at the top and bottom of the brass filigree. To the bottom I added a tiny rhinestone charm and the top I attached to a piece of chain with a jump ring. I also left this necklace long so as to not have to worry about a clasp.

Now, it’s time to hop on over to all my amazing crafty peeps and see what crazyamazingwonderful things they’ve made and posted on their blogs. Check ‘em outL Eileen Hull with her line of dies with Sizzix, Jennifer Priest makes some awesome sugar skulls shoes, Tanner Bell from A Little Craft in Your Day talks about planning an awesome Halloween  party on a budget, and Liz Hicks sews a sweet tote.

Gooooo Team! #handmade bracelets

handmadebraceletsHere’s a little bit of news. Our fab friends over at Interweave — particularly the Cloth, Paper, Scissors editors, under the direction of Jenn Mason — worked hand-in-hand with us to publish a brand new 108-page ebook showing the bracelets myself, our ICE Resin 2013 Creative Team and some staffers made for actors and actresses of the Academy of Arts and Television Sciences for our recent Gift Lounge the Saturday before the Emmys. When Jenn and I first began kicking around this crazy idea of putting together a book in less than 3 weeks time, we looked at each other like we were a little off kilter. But then if there’s one thing I’ve learned working with Jenn over the past couple of years, it’s that she moves as quickly as I do and enjoys a challenge even more. (As an aside, I first began writing articles for Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and that morphed into my column, “The Mixed-Media Metalsmith” that I currently produce for every issue. I’m lucky to spend time with her each year at the CREATE Art Retreats as well.)

Long story short, as the team was working on their handmade bracelets for the celebs, as well as making all their charms for the make n’ take, Carol LaValley, ICE Resin’s Content Coordinator, started working with Paige Martin, CPS associate editor, to push the ebook to fruition and put the publishing machine into drive. I asked the entire team to document their journey with behind-the-scene pictures. Everyone also had to write step-by-step instructions for their bracelets and also talk about the inspiration behind their pieces. I even hunkered down in my studio and made leather cuff bracelets for the guys. Thank goodness for my friend Dahlia Ziffra who came to my rescue to provide the incredibly beautiful leather cuffs to use a base for my ICE Resin bezels and designs. I’ve made cuffs before, and absolutely love doing them, but there was literally no time to pull it together. What is that saying about necessity being the mother of invention?!

ICE Resin jewelry for men

Every artist on the Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin  team made the most beautiful, inspired original wearable art for the celebs. Carol ended up editing/compiling nearly 10,000 words for this book, along with getting Paige all of the photos. Jenn, Paige and her art people designed an incredibly beautiful ebook so others can, in turn, make jewelry like what the stars will be wearing.

Interweave’CPS_IceResinWebinar-500-register[11]%20copy_jpg-130x130s marketing department is doing a wonderful job spreading the word. Take a look at what was sent out today to subscribers of Cloth, Paper, Scissors daily email blast. I’m so thrilled and proud to see another publication in our line up. I hope you find #handmade bracelets  inspiring and fun.

In addition to the ebook release, we did a webinar with Interweave yesterday. More than 1,700 people signed up to attend! If you happened to miss it and still want more information, here is the link to download it and listen in, Creative Members Pamela Huntington and Cindy Cima Edwards were the moderators, along with myself, and they rocked it!

Gifting Lounge wrap up for the Emmys

Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman as the Connected Gift Lounge

Hi everyone. Sorry for the long delay in getting to my blog. After the Emmys event, I spent Monday morning in LA in a fairly long meeting working out some future business that came from an important contact made during the event itself. Another meeting in the afternoon and then a 6-hour drive back to Arizona. Unfortunately, as a working mother I returned home to a sick little one with a raging fever. No sleep Monday night and spent Tuesday taking care of my daughter. I caught the flu myself, so most of the week has been trying to do business while half functioning.

ICE webinar banner

As you may know I was in Los Angeles last week for the CHA Connected Gift Lounge as part of the festivities surrounding the 2013 Primetime Emmys. Susan Lenart Kazmer LLC/ICE Resin was there as one of the sponsors of the event. Susan, myself and a few other ICE Resin team members were there to show off our passion for art and all the amazing mixed-media jewelry folks can make using ICE Resin and Art Mechanique products. You can learn more about the event during a free webinar being sponsored by Interweave on Oct. 2. Be sure to sign up here!

I have to say some of my favorite moments were the times where there was space to really connect on a personal level with a few of the actors, actresses, musicians and professional athletes. I know that seems like a crazy thing to say when there is this huge event going on around you that’s taking place in a dark nightclub with hundreds of people vying to get the attention of the celebrities. Sure there were folks who were there just for the swag, and others for the opportunity to see and be seen (as well as be adored by fans), but there were some authentic people who really “got” what Susan and myself are about. People like Tank and his girlfriend Zena Foster and her sweet daughter Zoey who got as happy as my little girl does when she gets to make a wearable piece of handmade art.

Crafting The Emmys Tank

Other favorite moments:  Seeing Grammy-winning musician Prinz Board engaged in a great conversation with Susan about her work and how she uses Talismans and getting a chance to speak to Tony Hale (Emmy Winner!!!) the day before the big event and how one handles the thrill of being the nominated front-runner.

Crafting The Emmys Tony Hale

I also loved when Drake Hogestyn and his wife Victoria spent at least 20 minutes at our booth picking out charms and designing necklaces for their three daughters. And I got a kick out of the actors from HBO’s Band of Brothers digging through all of our charms to pick out pieces that spoke to them. They were adorable and so fun!

Crafting the Emmys Drake Hogestyn

Crafting The Emmys Band of Brothers

I was so busy helping the celebs with the make n take Talisman necklaces that I didn’t get too many photos of myself with them. However, Susan did have me get one with Tony Denison from the hit television show The Closer and that was awesome.

 Crafting The Emmys Tony Denison

There were dozens of moments throughout the day at the Celebrity Gift Lounge that were exhilarating. I can say that we had fun and made some important contacts for the future. There’s an incredible amount of creative talent in Hollywood and it was really cool to be part of it for a day.  There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding things like this, and I think it can be very hard to stay real and grounded in situations where it’s easy to become star struck, but it’s important to remember that many, many of these celebrities are just like us. They want to be respected for their talent and recognized for their hard work. They’re family oriented and they want to enjoy life’s pleasures.  I was also reminded that for a lot of people ART is a common ground, a path to more authentic conversations. I’m reminded time and again that art is a language all unto its own and you either speak it or you don’t.

That’s how I roll…

My last post was an invite via a Twitter chat for the second stop on our Follow the ICE Queen to the Emmys road trip. For those of you who attended Saturday night, I want to give you a big THANKS shout out for joining us. For those that weren’t able to make it, I thought I’d share a little behind-the-scenes snafu that happened to me. It’s kind of a funny story, and my thoughts keep coming back to it as I work at my computer today.

Jen Cushman

Tweeting in the dark. My family thought it would be helpful for me to see my cell phone better wearing glow in the dark glasses. Hahaha. They are so funny.

Since it’s still pretty hot in Phoenix, my family likes to get to the cooler weather and our family cabin. This past weekend was extra special because one of my best friends for more than 13 years and her four kids were coming up. Her oldest girls — 17 and 14 are like my nieces and think I’m pretty cool. They’ve been asking me to teach them resin and how to make jewelry for a while now, so that was the plan. I had warned my family/friends I needed to block out 7-8 p.m. Saturday night for our company Twitter chat. Since  our amazing Creative Team and staffers met all of their Emmy’s deadlines with grace and ease, I felt pretty confident taking a full two days for family time.

My friend, hubby and myself worked to get bbq and dinner done so everyone would be fed and happy by the time I had to sneak away to chat. All was on schedule. I signed into my Twitter account from my computer at 6:45 p.m. so I was primed and ready to begin. I was really looking forward to watching my pals Vicki O’Dell, Tanner Bell and Jennifer Priest moderate the chat. I knew there were members of the Creative Team ready for action. All I had to do was watch, sit back and jump in every now and then to answer a question or two.

It had been storming all day, but stopped right before dinner. At 6.58 p.m. (PST) as I was watching Vicki inform people  the chat would begin shortly, the power went out. Arghhhhh! Crashed into darkness. Luckily the family was already outside by the fire pit ready making s’mores. I looked at everyone — they looked at me and we burst into laughter. I immediately sent a text to Vicki and Jennifer and put Plan B into action. That was to join the family outside in dwindling twilight with my iPhone, log into my mobile Twitter app and participate as best I could.

Our team immediately knew what was going on and sent me encouraging messages to let me know they had it taken care of. The chat went on — was spectacular actually — as more than 600 Tweets went out in less than an hour using our hashtags #CraftingTheEmmys and #ICEresin, as well as #chaswag which is CHA’s hashtag for the event.  Jennifer, ICE Resin’s Social Media Coordinator, also scheduled an Instagram party at the same time so the amazing artists who are part of our 2013 Creative Team could show sneak peeks of the handmade bracelets made for the Emmy’s Nominees and Celeb VIPs, as part of the CHA Gift Lounge sponsorship.

I have to say it’s incredible to realize that we’ve grown so well.  There was a time that ICE Resin was just Susan and myself and a part-time office person and full-time shipping person. Sure, we’ve always had a design team as part of our company (since 2008) but we now have an entire internal and external team of people who love these products as much as we do and are dedicated to making the company bigger and better every day. The Emmy’s has been an incredible opportunity for all of us to do what we do best — be artists and make cool, inspiring mixed-media jewelry, but I see it as yet another success in a long line of successes. While I may have been Tweeting in the dark on Saturday, I knew that I wasn’t alone because there’s a whole community of people  who want to share in the buzz that comes from creative energy.

ICE Resin jewelry for men

When I saw that there were a lot of male nominees for the 2013 Primetime Emmys, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to make jewelry for the guys. I had a great time making men’s jewelry! Keep an eye out, plans are already underway to publish and teach these, as well as commission work. If you saw all of them I made, I think you’d see that they really show my style as an artist.

Just so you know, we’ll be talking more about the 100 handmade bracelets that we made for the celebs over on the ICE Queen eZine and on our social media channels. We even have another surprise we’re working on behind-the-scenes now with one of our favorite media companies. Deets to come as soon as I can share. Also, I’ll be showing some sneak peeks of the handmade bracelets I made for the male nominees and VIPs coming up as well. For now, I hope you enjoy the one here. I’m secretly hoping this finds its way to Matt Damon for his nomination for Lead Actor in a Mini Series or a Movie 2013 as Scott Thorson in Behind the Candelabra. I’ve been a fan of Matt Damon’s films ever since Good Will Hunting way back when. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Winding down Art Unraveled

Today is the last day of the week long mixed-media art retreat in my hometown of Phoenix called Art Unraveled. I’ve been teaching three workshops and checking in with Misty Grosse, booth manager for ICE Resin, each day as she’s been running the on site jewelry store for AU and doing such a great job!. I’ve also been catching up and spending a few moments here and there with my amazing mixed-media artist friends – Seth Apter, Kari McKnight Holbrook, Pam Carriker, Leighanna Light, Thomas Ashman, Lesley Riley, Joanne Sharpe, Richard Salley, Mary Beth Shaw, Deryn Mentock, Kathy Cano Murillo, Laurie Mika, JoAnnA Pierotti, Diane Cook, Dina Wakley, Jane LaFazio,  Claudine Hellmuth, Pamela HuntingtonAndrea Matus DeMeng and Michael DeMeng, Jane Eileen just to name a few of my favorite peeps! The first night of the Meet the Artists events, Seth moderated a panel discussion with artists from his books The Pulse of Mixed Media and The Mixed Media Artist, which is available now for preorder. I’m thrilled to say I’m one of the Featured Artists in Seth’s new book. Yippee!

Susan Lenart Kazmer, my business partner, taught three amazing mixed media jewelry classes and the things the students made were, indeed, drool-worthy. My journey with ICE Resin has taken me in so many wonderful directions, and my love of mixed-media art has ensured that I have a tribe of people who’re as enthusiastic and passionate about creating/educating our industry as much as I am.

I’ve taught Cold Enameling and metalwork this week. Today, I’m teaching wire wrapping and how to make findings. I love teaching this particular class because I can show how inexpensive it is to make one’s own jewelry findings just out of a spool of wire and some great technique. Save your $$$ for ICE Resin and beautiful beads and excellent tools, rather than jump rings and clasps and chains. Plus, wireworking is a way to definitely include the what I call the “hand of the artist” in all of your work.

Jen Wireworking

Unfortunately, the week was such a whirlwind that I didn’t get to snap as many pics as I wanted to and I’m having technical difficulties getting them from my iphone camera and onto this post before class begins.  However, if you “like” my Facebook page, you can click over to JenCushmanArtist to take a peek if you have a few minutes. For more Art Unraveled wrap up pics  visit Seth’s blog to see some great Polaroid shots of the week.

I hope you are all having a very Artful day! — Jen

Kick up your jewelry with wire working

I started playing with wire before I became interested in metalworking. The two just seem to go hand-in-hand. As my organic mixed-media style has clearly emerged in my art, so has my wire working skills. I rarely use manufactured components in my jewelry, mostly because I prefer seeing what I call “the Hand of the Artist” in my pieces. This means making my own bails, clasps, links and even wire beads. Wireworking is also how I securely and creatively attach fiber and alternate materials along with my resin pieces to create wearable works of mixed media art.

WireWork Bail

Sterling Silver Wire Link

For those of you who’re interested in learning how to organically create wire forms, as well as new super-secure cold-join attachment techniques using wire, I’m teaching workshops on this summer at both Art Unraveled in Phoenix and CREATE in Chicago.

Here is the information for the Art Unraveled event:  Free Form Jewelry on August 6th from 1:30-4:30 p.m. This three-hour classes is technique-heavy and fast paced. You will make some beautiful pieces to wear and the projects you choose are completely up to you. Earrings, bracelet, necklace —  all with just wire or an eclectic mix of wire-and-beads or wire-and-fibers. Just like all of my workshops, students will walk out with work that’s completely personalize to the individual aesthetic. Students are also encouraged to spend class time making a range of wire components as the optimal way to experiment with and really learn all the various loops, swirls, techniques and designs.

For all of you East Coasters, here’s the info for the CREATE Chicago event. (All of the CREATE retreats are run and sponsored by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine) Organic Wirewrapping is Sunday, August 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. The information above regarding the techniques you’ll learn and projects you can make also applies to this workshop. To register online, head on over to the main website, click into Workshops and scroll down by day to see my classes.

Another great thing about twireworking is that it doesn’t take a lot of tools or money to create beautiful handmade components. A couple of spools of wire in various gauges, along with round nose jewelry pliers and a few household mandrels and you’re in business. (It does help to bring a steel bench block, but it’s not absolutely necessary if you’re trying to travel lighter with your tools/supplies).

Want to see more? Here are some pics of my work for inspiration. There’s also a lot of wire techniques in my new book Making Metal Jewelry as well. As I said earlier, this type of organic wirework is something that really gets my creative juices flowing. and it’s my sincere hope that I can inspire the same for you.

Wirewrapped Earrings

Organic Wirework Pin

Wirework Bail and ICE Resin

Sterling silver wire clasp

Bead and Button recap

Peacock headpins

I returned Monday from Milwaukee from the annual Bead and Button Show sponsored by Kalmbach publishing. This is the 4th year in a row I’ve been at the show and my first time teaching. It was really quite incredible to have my own table at the Meet the Teachers night, a big event where all of the students purchase tickets to see and purchase work from the large cadre of instructors. To be in their ranks was, indeed, an honor. I had butterflies in my stomach as I was setting up my table and putting out all of my published jewelry samples, along with some of my work for sale and my books and DVD. My work elicited some of the best comments and I was walking on air at the end of the evening. I also got to meet in real life Jo Jones, better known as JoMama, a fab artist on our ICE Resin Creative Team this year. She is a hoot!

The ICE Resin booth was handled this year by our incredible associates — Carol LaValley, Misty Grosse and Cindy Moss. These ladies worked their fannies off for four solid days. Cindy and Misty did two make ‘n takes with Iced Enamels and Misty rocked the booth demos of them out of the park. I was just so proud of our team! My workshops were awesome and so much fun. I particularly loved my Cold Enameled Cuffs class because there were a couple of students who’ve done a ton of traditional enamel work and were blown away by the grace and ease of Iced Enamels on the curved cuff form. Susan’s two workshops were completely filled and I heard lots and lots of fun and laughter coming from her students.

I got a little time the last day of the show to walk the floor and buy a few goodies to use in my work. I had to see Green Girl Studios and ogle their great charms. I also ran by Heather Powers from Humblebeads to see her gorgeous handmade beads. The pic above are some of her gorgeous handmade peacock headpins that I absolutely had to purchase so I could make a pair of earrings for myself. The star of these earrings, of course, are Heather’s clay beads. It was simple to add some crystal rondelles and blue faceted crystals and wire them up really quick. The moment I put the sterling silver French ear hooks on them, they went into my ears and have been happily hanging out ever since.

I’ve had a few days to rest and unpack. Tomorrow I’m off again for Southern California where I’m teaching a couple of metalworking classes at the brand new Charity Wings Art Center. Next week, I’m home for about 5 weeks before I have to head off to Summer CHA in Las Vegas. I have plans to do some fun family things with my kids for the summer break, as well as get some samples made for next year’s classes.

I sincerely hope you’ve been able to eek out some creative time in your studios or art rooms. And for all you parents out there who find it much more difficult to make work during the summer months, just know I’m right there with you. As soon as I get a chance to clean my studio a bit, my daughter and I will be back to spending some art mornings together painting and drawing.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful week!