Monday, April 14, 2014

Shibori Ribbon Blog Hop Challenge

I had never laid eyes on Shibori Ribbon before out host Tanya Goodwin of a Work in Progress posted that she wanted to do a blog hop with this newly discovered stringing material.    But once I saw it I knew I was seriously smitten.  So I asked to join in.  And lucky me, I was one of the folks chosen.

Tanya sent each of us a piece of shibori ribbon about 9 inches long.  Here is what mine looked like before I went to work.

Shibori Ribbon

I began by cutting a 2 1/2 inch piece off the end.  I did not want to cut the ribbon in half since I was not certain of exactly what I would make.

My first idea was to bead embroider a small oval of the ribbon and use it in one of my handmade bezels    

I needed to refresh my bead embroidery skills and reached for my Robin Atkins One bead at a Time book that  had been such a help to me when I participated in her Bead Journal project.  I cut out an oval in ultra suede and basted the ribbon piece to the ultra suede with a piece of parchment paper underneath to help stablizie the silk and ultrasuede. This "sandwish" worked well.  I began by affixing one of my handmade stoneware  ceramic beads to the oval and then began to free form bead embroider around it and elsewhere until I felt the piece was finished.  Later I realized I might have left more of the ribbon unbeaded to show off the silk better.  Below is a picture of the back of the bead embroidery showing my stitch work and the paper used to stabilize it.  Not very pretty but I thought it would be informative.
backside of the bead embroidery showing paper used to stabilize the stitches and reduce puckering

Front side of the bead embroidery

Once I had the bead embroidery done
I had to put an edging around it that would hold all the  pieces of that original sandwich together.  I tried several sizes and stitches with seed beads but they didn't look right.  Then I had the great idea to stitch some of the colored ball chain I had just purchased from Ornamentea.  The stitching on of the ball chain went along quite well.  Even when I cut the chain, it could still get the loose ball to fit in well.  Luckily the cloth pendant was flexible and I was able to get everything into the bezel

Bead embroidery on Shibori Silk fitted into the bezel

Then I drilled the stringing hole and finally glued the pendant into the bezel with E6000 glue.

Next step was to decide how to string the bezel.  In the end I chose a long strand of antiqued brass very small ball chain.
                                                Shibori Ribbon Bead Embroidery

Since I had quite a bit of ribbon left I decided to make a necklace with it.  First I tied about a 1/4 inch of the ends with some waxed linen and slipped them into some brass cord ends --also from Ornamentea--  which I had already filled it up with glue.  The waxed lined cord around the ribbon was enough to fill up the cord end and it was easy to make a secure and attractive fit.

Then for stringing the ribbon:  I decided on a small gauge antiqued copper chain with a few colorful jump rings attached to the cord ends and one of my own toggle clasps.

                             Shibori Ribbon necklace with 3 of my handmade ceramic charms

I hung 3 of my handmade ceramic charms from the ribbon. The suppleness of the Shibori ribbon was a boon to them falling nicely .

Thank you Tanya for this wonderful opportunity to try out Shibori  Ribbon.  I am looking forward to trying it out in a bracelet in the near future.  The other participants in this blog hop are listed below.  Enjoy some great eye candy!!

Mary  you are here

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Treasury Posting with Craft Cult Widgets

I have found this Craft Cult Widget that will work on Blogger and other blog formats for posting a Treasury. You can find it here. The HTML code generator for Treasury posting I  had been using no longer works.
This one is quite similar.
A few tips: You need to be in HTML mode to get it to work.
You can only test that it is working by publishing your post.
You can choose what size you want.
You can pick a screen shot version or a dynamic view.
The dynamic view will show changes and SOLD listings.
Much easier to use and you can access all of your Treasuries from a drop down menu.
Seems reliable.
The code is short.
You cannot  test how it is going to look in Preview mode.
You have to publish you blog post to see how it is going to look.
Centering the Treasury in your post is a bit complicated but they are working on making it easier.

I am testing one I made last week for First Friday Art Walk.  It has come out fine.  I am so happy!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

New In My Etsy Shop

Handmade Ceramic Birds  Set of 3  Brown and Blue  Folk Art Style
Bird Beads  Ceramic  in my Etsy shop
I blogged about these on Art Bead Scene here

Some new beads in my Etsy Shop.  Have been trying out different bead shapes, bolder toggle bars, urban style stains and glazes and a new leaf style.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

A Pair of Heart Pendants  Grunge Green and Dark Metallic Green   Leaf Pattern

Ceramic Hearts Urban Chic style  in my Etsy shop
Handmade Pendant Pasture Plant Leaves of Vetch Ceramic Clay Hand Painted

Pasture Leaves  by Mary Harding  in my Etsy Shop

Folded Bead Ceramic  and Bail  all in one   in my Etsy Shop
Handmade Rustic Ceramic Toggle Clasp Tomato Plant Budding  copper bar
Toggle Clasp Faded Blues  in my Etsy Shop

Handmade Rustic Stoneware Ceramic Clay  Toggle Clasp  Browns and Blue

Stoneware Toggle Clasp with bolder toggle bar in my  Etsy Shop

Heart Pendant Birch Leaf Rustic Style
Birch Leaf Heart Pendant in my Etsy Shop  

Handmade two hole Earthenware Ceramic Beads Green Rustic
Two Hole Beads in my Etsy Shop

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Inspired by Reading Book Club: The Enchantress of Florence and Difficult Loves

Andrew Thornton's Inspired By Reading Book Club  selection for January was The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie.  We  have doubled up for this month's blog hop and are also including the current selection for February Italo Calvino's Difficult Loves.  I found inspiration in both books but favored the charming slightly surreal stories of Italo Calvino in  Difficult Loves.  I had never read any of his stories, except the Fairy Tales, and was surprised and very pleased by their simplicity, charm and unusual imagery of bugs, sea creatures, and beautiful plants.

For today's blog hop I am sharing the necklace I made inspired by Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence.  I have found during this year of creating jewelry related to the books we have read, that what I choose to make often comes to me as an almost full blown vision when I come across a passage or idea in the story that "speaks to me."  I think these epiphanies are what make it so exciting to participate in this Book Club and undertake the reading of books I might never have chosen myself.  I was never sure it would happen in The Enchantress of Florence but persisted (due to my personal connections to Florence and Renaissance art), until I came across the following passage:

"According to legend the Medici family possessed a magic mirror whose purpose was to reveal to the reigning Duke the image of the most desirable woman  in the known world."
It seems that after some time the mirror no longer worked and "fell dark."  And then after the election of Pope Leo it began to work again. In order to find the beautiful woman revealed in the magic mirror, the famous painter Andrea Del Sarto was summoned by the reigning Duke to paint the likeness within the mirror, but it only reflected back  an image of the artist, as the mirror was not so easily tricked. 
The idea of Andrea Del Sarto's reflection in the mirror sparked the idea for me to make a  Florentine  Mirror with an image of one of Andrea Del Sarto's art works, since he is an actual painter from the Renaissance period.  When I looked him up, I was captivated by one of his chalk drawings of a young girl. I fitted a copy of the drawing into a shallow bezel cup that I had tinned to a piece of copper and made an ornate bail for, and then I poured resin into the bezel.
I used a simple Vintaj etched brass chain, added a couple of ornate copper beads from Fusion beads and a decorative oval toggle clasp that I made from copper clay to reflect the classic necklace style of the time and to focus attention on the marvelous image in the mirror.

                                                 The Mirror of Andrea Del Sarto Necklace        
                                                               The clasp

As I mentioned, Italo Calvino's short stories are charming and full of wonderful unexpected imagery and are often happy and pastoral in feeling.  I liked many of them but was captured by The Adventure of a Reader.  Funny and lighthearted, the story poses the question of what is more real and more desirable, the story or real life.  I have not yet finished my piece for this book but hope to at some point in the future.  

Thank you Andrew  for continuing the book club on into next year.  We have only 2 more selections for this year, March  is  An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor and April is The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Thank you for stopping by.  Since this is a blog hop I hope you will take a look at the wonderful creations of the other participants:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Celebration of Ceramic Clay

'Ceramic Bead Collection' by MarshaNealStudio

Here are a bunch of handmade ceramic beads (Earthenware, Stoneware, Porcelain) that are finished in a variety of ways: all unique to their creator. Want to learn more about ceramic beads:

Pendant Maple Leaf Seed Pods...

Lentil Shape Hollow Focal Be...

Petite Crystal Heart Bead Se...

Pastel Teal Hearts Ceramic B...

Hand sculpted ceramic bird f...

Blossom- handmade aqua and o...

Handmade Ceramic Green Flora...

Porcelain Baby Bunny Amber w...

Word Bead: your word, custo...

Handmade porcelain hare Cabo...

Porcelain Oasis Blue Dragonf...

Blue Green White Face Barn O...

Handmade Porcelain Cabochon

Pink Porcelain Rose Charm

Clouds.... handmade ceramic ...

Ceramic charm pair tree of l...

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

Beautiful works of art handmade from ceramic clay which has been fired to high temperatures in a ceramic kiln. Beauties to behold. I am honored to be among them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday

   Free Form Peyote Stitch Bracelet on my bead table this week.

I was happy to learn that Heather Powers is starting up her Bead Table Wednesday posts.  I was part of it when she did it before.  I really enjoyed it and met lots of cool beaders as well.

My bead table has several locations.  This one is in the house.  My others are in my studio which is located in our 1850's renovated barn.
Here I am working on a free form peyote stitch bracelet.  I chose the bead colors before I found this ceramic clay focal in my handmade beads stash.  I made this bead last year out of porcelain ceramic clay which I fired in my kiln to cone 5 which is about 2200 degrees F.  It takes that  much heat to mature (harden and seal)  this mid range porcelain clay.  I love the glassy glossy feel of this focal and the wonderful range of blue colors and how it enhances the seed beads in the bracelet.  Hopefully by next week it will be much further along.  See you then.

You too can participate in Bead Table Wednesday.  Just check out Heather Powers' blog post and see how you can play along.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Saying Goodbye to a Wonderful Online Class:Homesteader's Metalsmithing: Revamped

pieces made during Stephanie Lee's  Homesteader's Metalsmithing: Revamped online class

For the past 4 weeks I have been in soldering heaven with Stephanie Lee's online class Homesteader's Metalsmithing: Revamped.  Tomorrow it will be over.  Sigh.  But wait, the class comes with an ebook of all the videos and written material and the questions we asked during class with our instructor, Stephanie Lee's answers.  So really, I just have to deal with the downtime between the end of the class and the mailing of the ebook.  But, actually an online class is more than just the lessons, it is the sharing of info and pics with the other students in the class.  Although we share on the internet, it feels as if we are all together in the same boat, posting our struggles and triumphs through pics in a Facebook Group. So I will miss that too!!  But guess what I just found out she will be leaving our Facebook Group active indefinitely.  What good news that is!!
New info.  I just learned that the class videos and instruction will continue to be available on the site until the ebooks comes to  us and that new folks can still take the course and will get the videos and everything else!!  So if you are interested in taking this class, registration will continue until the ebook becomes available .  Once the ebook is available that will be the way for new students to take the class.
Today I am sharing my favorite accomplishments from the class as a way of finding closure to a very stimulating and fun time.
The picture at the top of the page is just about everything I made during the 4 weeks of class.  Lots of learning curve pics with mediocre results.  But it's a class so no reason to feel inhibited.  We are all learning together.  That is also part of the fun.  That negative self critic has no grist in this mill.  One of my most favorite pics I did not post because I made it as part of a piece for the Andrew Thornton's  Inspired by  Reading Book Club and that reveal has been postponed until March.
But my next favorite is this one:
                     Lake Erie beach glass:  wrapping found objects that don't have holes

Bezel with one of my ceramic cabochons:  I made a very thin one to try out on this shallow cup bezel ( from Objects and Elements ( the bezel) )

Copper beads:  I had made these before the class but I tried out the soldering techniques I learned on them.  I like them even more now

Several solder techniques:  flooding; stamping; attaching a bail


My favorite stamping that I made during class.  I used African Bronze and Rust Guilders Paste to color it.  It seems to keep on aging.

Soldered link chain, Stephanie Lee style.  I loved making this and plan to do more

This is my own idea using what I learned.  A toggle clasp.  Still have to drill the stringing hole.

Stephanie Lee  thank you so much for such an upbeat and informative class.  I have had your book since it came out 8 years ago, and missed your first Homesteader's Metalsmithing class.  So I am so happy I finally got to participate in your class bringing all these exciting techniques together. You are a superb and very generous teacher!! Your videos are excellent.  Your inspiration: sublime!!!

Raku Bead Video Part III