Monthly Archives: May 2006

Yuri’s B-day

My friend Yuri’s b-day was last week but we weren’t able to get together until tomorrow so I have yet again underestimated the amount of time it takes to do something! I’ve been working on his presents most of this afternoon until… oh, now. 🙂 I made him a bracelet from one of my favorite tin cans of all time, a treacle can from England, and a mosaic mirror. He’s Mexican-American and he loves to travel and recently took two large trips. One to England and one to Mexico, I wanted to incorporate these milestones into his present, hence the bracelet and Mexican themes in his mirror. I really hope he likes it. I included some glass pebbles, crowns and a milagro in the piece which should cover everything he likes… jewelry, sparkly-ies and sparkly crowns!


These are some of my new favorite necklaces to wear. They were the charms I made when practicing in the soldering for Virgins class Sally Jean taught. I really love the simplicity of them but the little girl with the initial charm is a favorite and I think I made it in about 30 seconds just to have something to solder. It just goes to show you that sometimes thinking to much can really get in the way!

Loooong Week

I’m really looking forward to the weekend. This has been a rough week. It’s been fun after work, catching up with people but it really makes itself felt when you’re only getting a few hours a night. Last night we went to a screening of X-men 3, it was great, but my husband likes to point out that I’m a huge geek… it’s mostly true. Tonight, we met friends for dinner and then went to see Kinky Boots. I can’t recommend this enough! It was fabulous and I can’t wait to get the soundtrack!

This weekend I’m using it for inspiration to make a b-day present for a friend of mine, he’ll love it! I also want to make a collage piece using milagros and Mexican ephemera mixed with clay tiles, as he is Mexican-American, and I think he would really appreciate an homage to his roots.

I’ll keep you posted. Have a great Friday and a safe weekend!

Mom’s Collage

I posted back in February a collage I did for my Dad as part of his b-day and it’s got his baby picture on it, I think it’s really cute. My Mom called a few weeks ago and requested her own collage and I was swamped with several other projects … and kinda forgot… until now and I finally did it last night when I was having trouble sleeping. Note: staple gunning at midnight when hubby’s sleeping is really just asking for trouble! Anyway, I finished it last night and my husband just needs to make the frame and it’ll be ready to ship north to Mom.

I should explain that my Mom is ultra-feminine and girly. For Mother’s day one of the things we got her was a hot pink polka dotted faux fur lined dog carrier so she could carry her 6 lb bichon around with her… yeah, Nikki and Maya the Akita are not friendly. 🙂 I wanted her collage to be reflective of her personality so this is what I made. Pink and chocolate are one of my favorite combinations and the colors go perfectly with the rose. My mom has loved roses and worn a floral/rose scent for years so I always think of her when a smell roses.

I hope she likes it.

Mixed Media Herbal Collage

Over the last couple of days I’ve been working on a collage piece using a large tile I made when I was in my tile making frenzy. I added a button and covered the black clay in pearl-ex prior to baking then I went through several ideas of what to use inside of it. I originally wanted to find a renaissance or Elizabethan period costume and add charms but I decided to search through a reproduction herbal book I have (it’s okay to cut up and use for art… Maya chewed most of the pages and completely destroyed the cover when we first got her) and I found an image I liked and added it to the wood base. I decided to keep using my new found border technique with the torn paper, I used vintage sheet music a friend gave me, but added paint and charcoal pencil rubbing to add texture and interest. I finished it off with cut out text of a German herbal and decided I really liked how it turned out.

I’m sure it’s still not to hubby’s taste but maybe I’m getting closer!

Viola.. I have a mirror!

I finished my brother’s mirror today and I’m just letting everything sit up and harden overnight but then it’s ready… I’m kind on the ball with Christmas gifts since it’s just May but I’ve been making tiles for two weeks so it does require a little pre-planning. I’m absurdly proud of myself and how it turned out. The thousands of tiny cuts on my fingers was entirely worth it. Now I just hope he likes it. My husband looked at it and said, “that looks like a lot of work” to which I replied “Yep , you hate it right?”. He looked very sweet and thoughtful and replied that it was not to his taste but they would love it. So I appreciate that he recognizes the hard work and clearly the hint here is don’t make us one and hang it in a high traffic area where he has to see it. 🙂 I want to make a version of it in creams, pinks and chocolates with a Parisian girly twist… we’ll see how it turns out.

I highly recommend taking Laurie Mika’s class if you ever get that chance, she’s great about really telling you what works and what doesn’t. She’s also inspiring and pushes you to work outside your normal comfort zone. Her class was really fabulous so, thanks Laurie!

A Plethora of Tile

So I’ve taken pictures of the tiles I’m making for my brother’s mirror and they have over run the kitchen! As I said in an earlier post I want to have lots of choice to play and swap them in and out. I think the colors are turning out really pretty and I feel especially artistic when I get to play with paint and brushes. The Betty Boop-like tile is for a project for a friend of mine and I like the dice stamp. I put seed beads in for the dots on the die to add a little sparkle…gotta have the sparkle!

Mother-in-law’s Mother’s Day Card

I just realized I never posted my mil’s card. I think it’s kind of cute to go along with my Mom’s card. The only problem is that they’re never seen as a pair… oh well, they’re a pair in my mind and on the blog. I had a lot of fun tearing all the elements and piecing them together. Ripping paper helps get rid of any frustrations you might’ve had for the day!

Mentioning of frustrations reminds me that my hubby is being really, really patient with me as I’ve taken over the kitchen in my making of polymer clay tiles. I have a couple of specific projects and gift projects in mind and I really want to have an overabundance of tiles to choose from so I can pick just the right one. You know, like shoes. 🙂

He’s a very sweet man and even I’ll do a post-Mother’s Day thank you to his Mom, she did a great job!

Paris Panels

This is what we made in class today for Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. A lot of people made very romantic and vintage family panels but I was really moved to do something focusing on Paris … maybe I finally got a chance to focus on the theme of the retreat and really embrace the romance and magic of Paris. I had a great time making these pieces and am really happy with how they turned out. I’m really getting the hang of soldering although I’m starting to become slightly phobic about jump rings! I’ve learned to just be patient and keep working until they work out.

A good friend of mine took the class with me and it was a blast. She’s got a great sensibility and is an amazingly talented artist in her own right. She makes gorgeous stained and fired glass pieces. I’m lucky enough to have a piece she made for me. Having a friend in the class really made it fun and helped keep us motivated as 6 collage pieces could be kind of a challenge. I don’t usually make that many pieces as once. Sally Jean also encouraged us to work outside the box and do something different than our usual style. All in all, I’m really happy with my finished piece.

Art is being done!

I haven’t had too much time to post as I’ve been over-run with art to-do’s with all the good inspiration from Art & Soul. I took Sally Jean’s Soldering for Virgins class on Sat morning and learned a valuable lesson that tools really can have a huge impact on your work. I’ve been really frustrated by soldering (see earlier posts) and jump rings were a nightmare but I used one of her soldering irons and it was a breeze. All her pointers and tips worked great and now I can’t wait to make the upgrade. I’ve gone a little nuts with the art purchases lately so it could be a while before I make the soldering iron investments.

In the meantime, I stayed up half the night last night working on polymer clay tiles. I really am inspired to work on a mirror using the techniques I learned from Laurie Mika. I’ve even been working on deconstructing the tin cans like Opie O’Brien demonstrated but that will take a little more practice and maybe wrangling the hubby into it.

I am having a great time with the art break but am a little manic in my goals for getting stuff started and just playing. I love my new job but dread going back to that routine and the long hours that make it really hard to find studio time. I love spending the afternoon painting tile pieces while background boards dry and new tiles are in the oven. I daydream about making this work beyond presents for friends with a few sold pieces here and there but I can barely make the time to get a couple of projects a week done and then the flood of questions about how realistic that is and is it fair to even contemplate that kind of thing given the sacrifices we’d have to make as a family… oh well, I have one more day of art goodness with Sally Jean’s Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood class I’m taking with a friend tomorrow so I’ll have even more great art inspiration!

Hope you had a great weekend guys.