Charity Wings adventures

I’m off to one of my most favorite places in the world this week — San Diego and Charity Wings Art Center. As many of you know, I’ve been a supporter of Charity Wings mission and vision for about five years now. Elena, the founder of the Charity Wings non-profit, and I hit it off one year at a Craft and Hobby Association convention and we’ve become good friends ever since. Even without the dear friendship, I’d still be a huge supporter of this organization because as far as I know, it is the only non-profit that truly works hand-in-hand with the crafts industry.

Each year, I donate my time to Charity Wings to teach various mixed media techniques. Most times, it’s jewelry, but mostly I try to listen to what new skills and techniques the Ahmazing volunteers and supporters of the Charity Wings Art Center want to learn. Of course, resin is always right up there on the list. The BEST part about this year’s visit is that it is in conjunction with the organization’s Art Decade*nce Celebration and big come-one-come-all free festival that culminates the activities on May 14th.



My classes are Thursday this week. There’s still time to sign up. The metal etching class is almost sold out, so if you are interested, I’d suggest you jump on board toot-sweet (Ok, it’s actually spelled tout suite in French and is an idiom for right away, but I think this spelling is much cuter. ūüôā

Here are some photos of what I’m teaching. In the caption is the individual registration link. Remember, taking my class at Charity Wings is like learning for good or learning with a cause. How cool is that?




ICE Resin Basics and Beyond class — Registration link:




Metal Mania etched copper pendant necklace:


I sincerely hope I see you there so we can have a truly Artful experience together.


Going, going. gone…Art is You registration

AIYlogoGetting down to the wire here with Art is You Santa Rosa. I hope you will be joining me, as I’m super excited about this new teaching event for me. I have only a couple of spots left in my Peep-Pie journal class, but more openings in both my Wild and Free Gypsy Heart and Bronze Bambino workshops. These classes all focus on some really awesome ICE Resin techniques – pouring, mixing, coloring, layering, embedding, casting, resin paper. In addition I’m teaching wireworking and beading techniques in a skill-building way.


Not in the Northern California region? Check out my class offerings for 2016¬†at Bead and Button in Milwaukee (search the teacher list for my name and you can see all my classes. Here’s my resin layers one) and also Bead Fest in Philadelphia. For you Phoenicians, remember that Art Unraveled is the only time I’m teaching locally, and this year¬†I had to limit it to¬†two workshops due to other projects in the works.

Oh and you San Diego peeps, remember that I’ll be at Charity Wings in May 12-14 for their 10 year anniversary Art Decadence celebration. I’m on the Board of Directors for this 501(c)(3) Non-Profit crafting organization¬†and art center and have been a big supporter of Elena’s mission and vision for years now. When I teach at Charity Wings, I donate my time. The class fees collected are¬†earmarked for educational programs¬†of the various special needs organizations/students who attend weekly. I’ve had the sincere pleasure of being at the art center during some of these classes and I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart and reaffirms my belief in the good of humanity when I meet these amazing people. There is one woman with the most generous spirit who always gives me her project when she sees me. She tells me that seeing me smile¬†when she gives me her art is what makes her happy. Seriously, brings tears to my eyes every time I’m such a softie. Here are links to my two classes; Metal Mania and ICE Resin Basics and Beyond

Til next time. Hope you are having an Artful week.



It’s that time of year: CHA

cha_logo_designersI hope everyone had a seriously amazing Christmas¬†or¬†Hanukkah and a Happy New Year. It’s Monday, Jan. 5th and if your life is anything like mine, you’re easing back into work and/or just happy that your kids are back to school. Not that I don’t love the family time. We had some really great quality time together snowed in at our cabin in Northern Arizona where we spent days/evenings hanging out, watching movies, playing games and getting all bundled up to play in the snow. Why is it that you spend more time putting on the snow clothes and taking them off then the time you actually spend in the snow itself?

Today is a little insane at Studio Cushman, as I’m running a million miles an hour to check off all the things I still need to do before I leave for the Craft and Hobby Association Show in Anaheim Wednesday morning. My darling and supportive husband is driving the ICE Resin Susan Lenart Kazmer booth out with his big truck and trailer, while I ride in the passenger seat doing last-minute car crafting for the show. Thursday is booth set up all day and then education day on Friday where I get the pleasure of spending time with Jennifer Priest during our Business Seminar called Building a Social Media Campaign¬†and later assisting Susan in her Artisan workshop called Alchemy with ICE Resin and Iced Enamels.

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.


Saturday is Day One of the show. If you’re planning to attend, be sure to stop by our booth number 647. The two other workshops where I”ll be for CHA is Sunday at our joint workshop with Imagine Crafts and Stampendous called Oh Happy Day; Stamps, Ink and Resin. This is a sold out workshop, but I’ll be sure to take some pics of it as its going on and put¬†them on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Finally, I’ll be teaching ICE Resin FUNdamentals on Monday. As of last head count, there are still a couple seats left. Other than that, I’m planning to be at the booth most of the rest of the time with the exception of a couple meetings.

charitywingsbepartICE Resin — Susan and myself — will be participating in Charity Wings Live from CHA online streaming event. Elena does an amazing job every year with this event. Participants have so many chances to win amazing swag bags from lots of¬†manufacturers and handmade art from your favorite designers. Here’s a Live from CHA link to get all the info. It’s a FREE livestream. We’ll be giving away some great stuff during our segment at 3 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 10th. Join me!

Remember, if you want to see some of the happenings at the CHA 2015 MegaShow, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Also be sure to follow the ICE Resin Susan Lenart Kazmer Facebook page too for lots of updates and happenings.


Take care and be well!


Iced Enamels and Summer CHA

Today I’m packing for Las Vegas and Summer CHA. Well, Ok, so the Craft and Hobby Association is no longer calling it Summer CHA and has changed the name to Create ‘N Connect Conference. Whatever you call it, I’m off to check out the new mid-year releases from the manufactures in the crafts and hobby industry and visit with so many of my amazing Designer friends. There are also a handful of meetings set for ICE Resin, as well as a workshop I’m teaching on Cold Enameling and our fab Iced Enamels. Here’s a pic of the cute charm bracelet people will be making at our¬†workshop Monday from 2-4 p.m.

Cold Enameling Workshop Summer CHA

Of course, my dear friend Elena with Charity Wings invited me to do something with her non-profit organization. I’ll be at the Mystery Craft Box Challenge by Charity Wings Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. If you want to see this little feat of deadline crafting, tune into Charity Wings Live from CHA. You can join her linqto room and watch the live streaming event from the comfort of your own home or office.

I was recently in San Diego teaching workshops in the brand new Metalsmithing area of the Charity Wings Art Center. I was thrilled to see my fellow Designer/Artist friend Jennifer Priest of Hydrangea Hippo wrote a post on Iced Enamels on her blog and did a little video of my workshops. I never have any teaching photos of myself because I’m just too busy working. It was a trip to sit back and watch myself on Jennifer’s video. As you can see, I just get to into what I’m doing that all I’m focused on is teaching!

I’ll be updating my Facebook status and Tweeting from CHA next week. If you’re not following my social media yet, be sure to check in if you’re interested in seeing come of the cool new craft products heading to store shelves soon. This is going to be fun for me. I’m always non-stop busy in our ICE Resin booth at the winter shows that a rarely get time to walk the floors. I’m grateful for the space and time this summer to just see and be.

I hope all of you are staying cool and using the summer heat as a great excuse to hunker down in your studios and be creative.

Artfully yours,


The CHA Bra

I realized I never did post pics of the bra I made for Charity Wings that was auctioned off at Winter CHA. Here’s a bit of background. Charity Wings did a very successful Crafty Flash Mob at Winter CHA 2012. About 100 folks took over the convention center lobby before the show opened. It was my first and only flash mob and I had soooo much fun.

Resin paper altered bra

Elena being Elena, she had to up the ante this year. A very dear friend of ours in the industry was diagnosed with breast cancer and we were devastated. Elena and some folks cooked up an idea to do a mob flash where all the crafty peeps created altered bras and then “flashed” them before ¬†Winter CHA 2013 show opening. No worries, the ladies wore pink T-shirts with their altered bras on top of the shirts. Because this show was a big one for us with our new releases, there was no way I could sneak out this year and participate in the fun. (sad face here).

As you all know by now, I pretty much support Elena in just about anything she does to raise money for the charities Charity Wings supports. I told her I would make an altered ICE Resin paper bra. I wanted to show the world how cool and transparent tissue paper becomes when a layer of ICE is applied to it, and well, I thought the breast area was the best possible canvas to get my point across. I bought a tiny little bra at the Goodwill, washed it up and then proceeded to cut the cups out of it, keeping the underwire, and attaching resin paper. I also made some wire leaves (a technique Susan created and taught me and a bunch of others how to do in her workshops) and added an Iced Enamels bezel and some German Glass glitter  to it. Just for the fun of it, I created an asymmetrical headband to go with the bra. When I finished the whole thing it seemed to me that I somehow channeled a modern-day Moulin Rouge costume inspired by our summer workshop in France.

The one thing I forgot to do was add extra “material” (resin paper) to the cups so the bra will need to be worn by one tiny little flat chested woman. Oops! I wasn’t exactly thinking of functional art now was I? The cool part of that all of the bras were auctioned off at a Westcott sponsored¬†party with all the money going toward breast cancer awareness. ¬†I have no idea how much money my bra raised, ¬†but I do know that it raised a few eyebrows and was the object of a some scandalous jokes. Of course I love that, as art is supposed to inspire, stimulate and elicit emotion!

Altered bra and headband by Jen Cushman

And to let you in on a little insider joke, when I finished making the bra I held it up for my husband to see. I asked him what else it needed, as in did it need any further crafty embellishments? Being the straight man he definitely is, his response was simply a sly smile, a quick sideways shake of his head and two words; “Just breasts.” I had to laugh. I really love my man!

Headband by Jen

On another non-bra related note, I’m off to Tucson Friday night for the To Bead True Blue show and more workshops and our booth. I doubt I will have time to update while I’m gone. I’ll try to take lots of pics and post them when I return.



Seaside funnies and wrap up

Me and Elena the day before Seaside Soiree began.

Me and Elena the day before Seaside Soiree began.

If there is one thing I have learned over the years making mixed-media jewelry is that my style is definitely not everyone’s cup ‘o tea. While some people truly “get” me and my funky, artsy style there are others — like my very own mother-in-law — who respond to my work with descriptive words such as “interesting” or “nice” or “wow, different”. I admit it, at one time it used to bruise my ego just a tad when I heard these things because I knew it meant they didn’t like my work. I’ve so gotten over this as I continue to make work and grow as an artist. The bottom line is that I have to like my work. No one else. I’ve learned there are, indeed, other souls who view this world through the same quirky glasses I do and, somehow, we seem to find each other.

I bring this up because of Brooke. I met her this past weekend when I was teaching at Seaside Soiree in beautiful La Jolla, California right at the Scripps Institute with gorgeous ocean views. Brooke is a former Marine and a very dear friend of Elena’s. She worked her booty off as a volunteer at the art retreat, setting up decorations and picking up trash and doing her best to keep things running smoothly. Brooke is not a crafter. She doesn’t get the fascination of playing with inks, paints, resin, etc. She swears whatever she tries to do that’s crafty doesn’t work out.

I was so surprised when Brooke came up to me at the end of the night after the ladies had all poured their ICE Resin bezels and asked to make one. She swore up and down hers would be terrible and the resin would be sticky or not come out. I shrugged my shoulders and told her that it’s nearly impossible to mess up ICE Resin. Guess what? I was right. Brooke made a gorgeous collage and glitter bezel in ICE and it turned out perfectly.

Brooke's face says it all...

Brooke’s face says it all…

I saw Brooke again Saturday night at the Seaside dinner and art auction. I was wearing a resin casting ring. I made a mold of a ceramic doll’s head and then painted it to finish it off. I then embedded the head in layers of resin paper and set it into one of our Art Mechanique prong rings. I happen to love my ring and wear it when I dress up. When Brooke saw the cast doll head, her expression said it all. She was so shell-shocked that she couldn’t even come up with the words “nice” or even “fine”. I burst out laughing at her reaction so loudly that Avila, one of the other ladies attending the retreat, snapped a photo.

I had a wonderful time at Seaside. It was my second year volunteering to teach to help Elena raise money for Charity Wings and I think it was even better than last year. About 40 very talented and very creative women participated and gave myself, Danita Art and Jennifer Priest an incredible outpouring of love and respect. I won’t be returning next year, as I have a pretty full teaching schedule for 2013 already, but I will definitely be there for Elena and Charity Wings when they open the doors to their new art center.

Here are a few more Seaside pics…

Me and Jamie and Trish, my roomies for the weekend. Such amazing women!

Carol LaValley, our social media curator for ICE Resin having fun painting her dress form

Carol LaValley, our social media curator for ICE Resin having fun painting her dress form

Pretty collaged and poured ICE Resin bezels and also resin paper for the journal class I taught the next day.

Pretty collaged and poured ICE Resin bezels and also resin paper for the journal class I taught the next day.

Photo tip for rings

One of the things I’m most proud of with my new book is that my wonderful editor and the kind folks at F&W (North Light Books) allowed me to do my own photography. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might remember that while I was in the middle of shooting my beauty shots (what publishers call the main photos of your art pieces/projects), I was second guessing my ability to play professional photographer.

I’ve been fascinated with photography since collage when I took two semesters and learned how to do it from shooting manual pics (which one had to do with a 35mm camera back then) all the way to darkroom development of the images. I consider myself an amateur photographer, but since I did all of my pics for my first book, I thought it would be fun to do it all over again.

It was A LOT of work. I’m not sure at the moment if I will do it again for my third book, but for now, I’m happy when I see Making Metal Jewelry and look at the way I styled my pics and shot them.

I know many of you who follow my blog make your own beautiful jewelry. One of the hardest things to shoot well are rings. They never look as good laying on their sides, and it’s difficult to get them to stand up straight. I wanted to share a tip I learned during my process of shooting jewelry for publication. Use a small dot of modeling clay or a little bit of that sticky stuff by 3M that you use to hang pictures in your kids rooms or on the fridge.

Be sure to use natural light and a neutral background surface (I have a small set of white ceramic serving plates that I love to style with because they are neutral but shiny so they can catch the light, which allows the metal to sparkle in the photo). An example of this tip is seen here. I rolled up some modeling clay, stuck it to the bottom of my ring and then to the plate, set up the area in my studio that I use for photography and here are the results. ¬† For this little tutorial, I didn’t pull out my lighting tent that I nearly always use when shooting for publication because well, frankly, I’m being a little lazy. Hopefully though there is enough here with these pics to give you the gist.

Here’s another tip, when you shoot your pictures you might see a little bit of the clay poking through. There is where it’s good if you know the basics of ¬†Photoshop Elements or another photo editing program because you can zoom in close and erase those little protruding bits of clay. I left the clay in these photographs that I would normally whisk away in Photoshop so you can see how much I used and how I placed it on the plate for the rings to stand up correctly.

I made these ocean-themed rings using real shells and a sealer cost of resin for Seaside Soiree, which I’m teaching at Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in San Diego. If you are local and want to see me, please stop by the vendor fair Sunday afternoon. I will have ICE Resin products to sell along with some of my jewelry. The art fair is free and open to the public. Elena and the girls will even be putting out sprinkled cupcakes and lemonade for free refreshments too.

Also — just so you know. These prong rings are super simple to make even though they look like complicated metalwork. Why? Well because I used the cast white bronze Art Mechanique ¬†rings available for purchase on our company website. Check them out!