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!

 

Stamps and ink and ICE, oh my!

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Little known fact about me: I was a rubber stamper long before I was officially a mixed-media artist. My journey in the crafts industry began in 1999 when my son was born and I was a stay at home mom for six months. I joined a local MOMS Club and met a mum who was a Creative Memories consultant on the side. That’s how I got hooked on scrapbooking.

However, after a couple of crops, I grew tired of the rules and began to bust out artistically on my cardstock. That meant using non acid-free materials, ripping paper, using rubber cement for glue, sanding my photographs, adding stamped images and watercolor paint. Ahhhh….the freedom! Little did I know it was my birth as a mixed-media artist. I thought I was being my usual crafty self while getting out of the house for a couple of hours with my new girlfriends. Despite the fact I received fewer and fewer invitations to crops as my inky, paint-y, chunky layering style emerged, I managed to catch the eye of the owner of a local scrapbooking store. She asked me to teach a class. Soon I was a paper arts instructor.

Stampendous Blog Hop Jen Cushman

{NOTE: Keep reading to the end for a giveaway!}

I started working with resin in 2006 after taking a workshop with Susan. I also signed up for a semester of silversmithing at my local community college. Thus my love affair with metal and resin began, and has pretty much dominated my creative life ever since. However, the techniques I use for mixed media — stamping, painting, doodling, layering, inking, etc. – all come into play in just about everything I create.

I truly {heart} how beautifully Stampendous stamps — especially the new charm size for jewelry– and Tsukineko StazOn ink and ICE Resin come together like a perfect storm of crafting perfection! Hopefully you’ll get dozens of new ideas and inspiration on this blog hop from all the amazing artists taking part.

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Unfortunately with my schedule I wasn’t able to do a tutorial for the hop. However, I did make a necklace using the ICE Resin/Stampendous/Tsukineko trio. I can tell you the inspiration came from the fab Steampunk stamps. The story in this piece is the feeling of  being whisked away to Paris in a dirigible by a dashing raconteur. This man is definitely NOT the guy a lady settles down with, but he is for sure Mr. Romance.

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This necklace features one of our large Art Mechanique hobnail circle bezels. This Stampendous set called Steampunk Charms is full of great images to use inside our bezels. And, of course, StazOn ink is a must because it’s a solvent based ink and won’t run when you pour ICE Resin on top of the stamped images.

I love Steampunk and have for a long time. The only thing that bothers me about the aesthetic is the limited color palette of browns, blacks, bronze and gold tones.  Color is tantamount in my work.  For this piece, it comes in our Art Mechanique glass glitters and amazing shattered opal inclusions.  Of course, I also used Iced Enamels. My work wouldn’t feel complete without it.

Stampendous and ICE Resin Jen Cushman Necklace Detail

As always with any hop, I like to do a giveaway as a thank you to all the new folks who are dropping by and learning about my work for the first time.  Leave me a comment about your favorite Stampendous, Tsukineko ink or ICE Resin product and why you like it and I’ll be giving away a copy of my book Explore, Create, Resinate and a bezel and ICE Resin plunger.

After you leave a comment, be sure to hop to the other blogs for more inspiration!

May 1 – Thursday:  Jennifer Dove *Rhea Weigand * Misty Grosse * Tatiana Allen *Linda Lucas *John Creighton Petersen

May 2 – Friday:  Jennifer Dove *  Kristine ReynoldsPolly Hendrickson * Jen Cushman {you are here}* Cathy Andronicou * Sharon Morrison

May 3 – Saturday:  Asia King Debbie Cole Jamie Dougherty  “Maureen Cronin  

May 4 – Sunday:  Kristine Reynolds Lea Kimmel * Candy Rosenberg * Carol La Valley * Naghma Husain * Baerbel Born 

Teaching in Tucson

Gearing up for Tucson starting this weekend and my upcoming classes. Here’s a quick round up of what I’m teaching starting Friday Feb. 7th and running through Monday Feb 10th. If you are planning on attending the To Bead True Blue Show, or any of the more than 20 gem and mineral and jewelry shows that take over the city this time every year, please be sure to stop by our booth to take a look at our art samples and new ICE Resin/Art Mechanique and Rue Romantique products just released for 2014!

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We’ll be exploring the wondering of Cold Enameling in Tucson making a wrist full of Iced Enamel charms in my colorful boho bangle. Students will learn forging heavy gauge wire, shaping metal, annealing, patina, wirewrapping, cold enameling and filling bezels with ICE Resin. This is a fun piece of jewelry to wear. It always gets attention when I wear my colorful bangles. Not just a project-based class, the techniques can be translated to all types of metalwork.

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Breaking Out of the Bezel is a fun workshop I developed right after I did some piece for my Designer Showcase Spring 2013 for Belle Armoire Jewelry. I love love love casting in resin and I want to show how ICE can be used as a structural elements for layers. I decided a while ago that I wanted my bezels to have form with cast components looking like they are springing free or bursting forth from the confinement of their bezels. I added some quirkiness and humor to the pieces just to make them fun, but these techniques can go from romantic to moody depending on the objects/colors and compositions chosen.

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Speaking of sculptural forms, the combination of wire and resin paper is magical. You can make the most stunning, three-dimensional mixed media pieces using these techniques. Students will walk away with multiple pairs of earrings.

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This class Layers and Depth is another one of my faves. It’s advanced resin techniques showing how to build up color and imagery to create focals and pendants that are all original works of art. I’ll also be showing how to mix chain and fibers and how to create connections, components and clasps to pull it all together.

There’s still time to sign up for my workshops, as well as Susan’s and Linda’s and Kristen’s at To Bead True Blue. Hop on over to ICE Resin to take a peek and learn more.

Some CHA pics and wrap up

Susan Lenart Kazmer and myself in front of our ICE Resin booth CHA Winter 2014.

Susan Lenart Kazmer and myself in front of our ICE Resin booth CHA Winter 2014.

The Craft and Hobby Winter 2014 trade show and convention was a whirlwind, as always. I’ve nicknamed this show my annual “corporate dog years convention” because we do five or six months of work crammed into 5 days. There are so many things I absolutely love about CHA every year. The top one being that I get to see so many of my friends. I love being in the company of wildly creative people and get so inspired seeing all the artwork they’ve made as samples for various manufacturers, as well as the creative outfits and jewelry they’ve put together to represent themselves and their brand at CHA.

There was some amazing behind-the-scenes business relationships that were established for me and Susan and ICE Resin this show that I can’t talk about yet, but that will be keeping me busy the next few months. I’m squealing inside when I think about how these opportunities are going to fling us even deeper into the growth we’ve been expecting and working so hard for. What I can share though is that Iced Enamels was named one of the Hot 20 products of this Winter CHA show. As part of that recognition, I gave a quick 60 second presentation to buyers, bloggers and other media the Friday evening before the show began to tell everyone exactly how revolutionary our cold enameling program really is. It was a little crazy at the time because Susan was at the other end of the Anaheim Convention Center teaching her Artisan Workshop during the exact same time as our Hot 20 presentation.

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The honor definitely helps create a little more buzz for us on the show floor. Our booth is usually packed each year, but this show in particular was busy as people came to see our constant Iced Enamels demos. Some of the incredible artists from our 2014 Creative Team ( and one from our 2013 team Susan Walls) were helping us out working their fingers to the bones with demos, demos and more demos. Thanks Jamie Dougherty, John Petersen, Tatiana Allen and Candy Rosenberg for the 2014 team, Susan Walls from 2013 and our amazing Designer friends Vicki O’Dell and the totally fab-u-lous Suze Weinberg!

This show also proved 2014 is going to be the year for Rue Romantique by Kristen Robinson. All new packaging and brand new styles of backless bezels designed by Kristen were hot, hot, hot! People could not get enough of her workshop, demos and designs!

Here we are with our respective books. Jen Cushman, Making Metal Jewelry; Susan Lenart Kazmer, Resin Alchemy and Kristen Robinson, Making Etched Metal Jewelry. What a trio!

Here we are with our respective books. Jen Cushman, Making Metal Jewelry; Susan Lenart Kazmer, Resin Alchemy and Kristen Robinson, Making Etched Metal Jewelry. What a trio!

In addition to our ICE Resin company business, Susan, Kristen and myself all had book signings at the F&W booth. People were lined up to get signed copies, and it was awesome to talk to folks who are true fans of ICE Resin and all of our jewelry designs. It’s a pretty incredible feeling to know people are reading, seeing and finding value in our creative work. I did have one humorous comment during my book signing from someone who follows my blog and Facebook. “What Jen, no new book this year?” I had to laugh because Making Metal Jewelry just came out January of 2013. Knowing how much I publish, she really expected a brand new release. I laughed and told her a new one is in the works, but that it’s still a year away from release.

Every year at CHA we do a team dinner at Buco di Beppo where we bring in some form of mustaches. We started this five years ago as a lark before mustaches reached the trend they are today as an ice breaker and to get the party and socializing rolling. It’s now become our thing. Dear Kristen is over the mustache trend, but I just can’t seem to let it go. Our sweet friend and Booth Manager Misty Grosse is the one who found the handlebar mustache straws for us to use this year. Last year, it was stickers and we placed them all over the pictures in the walls of the Pope room. The cutest thing is our waiter this year was the same as last year and he even still had the ‘stash sticker on his holder where the bill goes. He was so thrilled to see us again, but sad that we had gone to straws and that he couldn’t collect a new sticker. Now that’s staying power and a testament to our craziness.

Mustaches at Buco 1

Mustaches at Bupo 2

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My absolute favorite moment this year was getting to meet Rupert Boneham, one of the most popular players ever on Survivor. My husband and I are HUGE Survivor fans. When I heard that ilovetocreate hired Rupert this year as their national spokesman for their tie-dye line, all I could think of was brilliant! I want to know who thought of that idea and I would like to hire that marketing person to work with ICE Resin. Susan and I were invited to the ilovetocreate party (which was awesome with a massage therapist and makeovers and gourmet popcorn and even a professional photographer to take new blog headshots) Saturday evening. I was sooooo hoping Rupert would show up, and he did. Not only did I get to get have my picture taken with him, but since the party was quiet at first because it was at the same time as a huge blogger event, me and Rupert grabbed a drink and sat down to talk about Survivor and Life. One of the things I adore about him so much is that you can tell he is all about his family. In this aspect, he reminds me of my husband. Just a good, solid man and human being. We had a very real and authentic conversation and I’ll remember it for a long time. Thanks, Rupert for just being you!

Me and Rupert, my favorite Survivor player ever!

Me and Rupert, my favorite Survivor player ever!

Here are a few more pics from CHA…

My dear friend Debbie Cole and me getting ready for our joint demo at the Makerspace Theater. This was a collaboration to show how incredible Stampendous stamps work with ICE Resin and our Art Mechanique and Rue Romantique bezels. Debbie totally rocked her art samples. We had a great time doing a 45 minute class showing all kinds of advanced techniques.

My dear friend Debbie Cole and me getting ready for our joint demo at the Makerspace Theater. This was a collaboration to show how incredible Stampendous stamps work with ICE Resin and our Art Mechanique and Rue Romantique bezels. Debbie totally rocked her art samples. We had a great time doing a 45 minute class showing all kinds of advanced techniques.

Anthony Ryan Auld from another one of my most fav television shows, Project Runway. He is a spokesman for the brand new Scan and Cut machine from Brother. Both Anthony and the new machine ROCK!

Anthony Ryan Auld from another one of my most fav television shows, Project Runway. He is a spokesman for the brand new Scan and Cut machine from Brother. Both Anthony and the new machine ROCK!

The wickedly-talented and ever charming Suze Weinberg. She LOVES using ICE Resin in her art jewelry.

 

Heading to CHA

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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.

Tucson registration open

If you adore making jewelry then you know that Tucson, Arizona is the place to be in February with all the shows that pop up in hotels and tents from one end of town to the other. I’ll be teaching ICE Resin, metalworking and mixed-media jewelry workshops again this year at the To Bead True Blue show. Susan is teaching some killer enameling workshops this year where students will not only play with both hot and cold enameling, but will also create Talisman shapes that will be the base for color. Linda McNulty, Susan’s sister and an amazing encaustic artist, is teaching encaustic jewelry techniques that can be translated to all mixed-media from collage and assemblage to jewelry. Kristen Robinson is also at the show teaching how to make some of the loveliest adornments using her Rue Romantique line.

Jen Cushman Breaking Out of the Bezel

One of my brand new workshops for 2014 that I’m really excited about is Breaking Out of the Bezel. You know how much I love making molds from found objects and casting them in ICE Resin. While it’s been awesome to see my students walk out with so many cool components to use in their work, I decided it was time to take the workshop up a notch and teach some intermediate to advanced resin techniques to create truly unique and dimensional finished works of wearable art. I am seriously so jazzed about this workshop that February can’t get here quickly enough!

I’ll be talking about and showing art samples of all my Tucson workshops on my blog over the next few days. However, I wanted to start getting the word out that registration is going on now. We’ve set a smaller student number on workshops so be sure to take a look. If you’re interested, I suggest you go ahead and sign up rather than waiting. When they’re filled, they’re gone.

Here’s wishing you a joyous weekend! I’m sure most of you are attending holiday parties or involved in family events, as I am. This means no time in the studio for real work, but it’s OK. Tis’ the season!

Thankful Chicken Candy Necklace

Jen Cushman Candy Turkey Resin Necklace

Thankful ChickenWhen I picked my daughter up from preschool on Monday, she was so happy to show me the picture she made for us. “Mama, mama,” she said patting my arm to get my attention because I was talking to her teacher. “I made you and daddy a Thankful Chicken!” I couldn’t help but breaking into a huge grin because she seriously says the cutest things. Her teacher immediately corrected her to say it was a Thanksgiving turkey, but secretly I thought she was more brilliant than all the other kids in her class because it was indeed a very happy and very thankful chicken. Now that’s art!

A few weeks ago, I was shopping for some artisan bakery items for a girlfriends get together when I found these adorable candy turkeys. The head baker had just made them and packaged them up. Not sure if you know this, but I’ve been embedding candy into ICE Resin for a long time now. I’ve also covered Peeps in it at Easter, lips and hearts at Valentine’s Day, candy monsters for Halloween and sweet shoppe Snowmen for Christmas. This is my first turkey though.

Because I’m so thankful I get to live every day of my life as a working artist, writer, business woman and instructor, I thought it might be fun to share a little stepped-out tutorial on how I repurposed candy into a wearable holiday-themed art necklace. Of course, just as this little guy from A.J’s Fine Food Market in Phoenix, Arizona created by an unknown food artisan is no longer a cupcake topper, my necklace is not really a turkey. In honor of my smart, creative, miracle baby girl, whom I’m also so grateful for, this necklace is titled “Thankful Chicken.”

Candy turkeys

Step one: Prepare your work surface by having your candy items ready on a non stick craft mat. You can use a plastic trash bag (the heavy kind, not a grocery bag), but I prefer a silicone mat because the resin won’t stick to it and because it’s surface is completely smooth so the dried resin peels right up.

Turkey Necklace  Step 2

Mix up ICE Resin according to the directions and use a disposable paint brush to paint a layer of ICE all over the candy piece -  front, back, sides and bottom. Set aside 6-10 hours to dry.

When the resin-covered candy is dry to the touch, drill a hole into for attachment. For less dense candies, you can use a sharp-pointed awl in most cases if you don’t have a drill. I have my flex shaft always at the ready on my workbench, so it’s quickest for me to use my drill.

Turkey necklace step 3

Now comes the fun part. Add beads to your candy to turn it into jewelry. I drew a bead on the end of a piece of 20-gauge bronze wire and then threaded on two small spacer beads and a larger crystal rondelle bead. Then I put the “resinated” chicken (turkey) on it. I added another spacer bead and a red crystal and then made a wirewrap loop.

Turkey necklace step 5

To finish it off, I pulled some Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer chain from my stash and made a necklace. Since I wanted it on the longer side, I didn’t worry about a clasp. The necklace slips easily on and off over my head.

Turkey necklace step 5

All that is left it to wear a complimentary top for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner with my large extended family. When we go around the table like we always do to say what we’re thankful for, I will be answering my family, my work, my friends and my new chicken.

Turkey necklace finished

Here’s wishing you an AMAZING Thanksgiving and a truly artful long holiday weekend.

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.