From the Studio


Now that my studio time has become limited to evenings and weekends since my return to full-time work 3 months ago, I have slipped into a comfortable rhythm as I dip into one art project and then another. Depending upon my mood, my energy level (especially after a day of work) and whatever else is going on, I choose my project and settle in for some blissful art making. Lately, my choices have been between my knitting, weaving beads for jewelry pieces, and my art journal.


My knitting is a dear old friend, with its cozy and comfortable rhythm, always there to wrap me in its warm embrace. Using a newborn sock pattern I recently found online, I’m making a rosy pink pair of booties for a colleague’s brand new daughter. It took me a couple of practice starts trying to find the right gauge and now I’ve settled upon using size 2 double pointed bamboo needles.


My beadwork is constantly evolving as I try new and different weaves to express the beauty of nature and how it touches and resonates within my soul. I love the color palette I used for my Spring free-form bracelet and do not want to let it go just yet. Using the bead soup mix I found left over on my bead mat, I created a 2-drop peyote cuff.


I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily this cuff came into being and am excited by the range of ideas floating in my head on how I can use it for a background for polymer clay work like canes, cabochons and buttons. For this particular cuff, I think I will create a glazed polymer clay face cabochon in soft pinks as a focal point. I haven’t figured out yet what I will do for a clasp. I want something that will go well with the design and colors of the cuff. I feel that if I add a metal clasp that it might be too jarring for the rest of the design, especially with the soft colors of this palette. Any ideas?


My new love is my art journal. Sarah Whitmire’s wonderful Soul Journal prompts have taken me gently by the hand and guided me as I start out on this self-discovery journey. Now that I have almost completed the 22 days of prompts, I find my wings starting to flutter open. I want to fly on my own across my journal pages and see what happens.


I am having so much fun mixing and layering paint colors on the pages. I’ve discovered the “My Studio” line of inexpensive acrylic paints at A.C. Moore and everytime I visit I am compelled to get just a couple more colors! I also find myself looking around the house for interesting elements to add and use for stamping and texturing my pages. Inspired by my dear friend Judy, my next step is to try my hand at molding paste to bring a lot more texture to my pages. I’d like to use that for the cover of my journal. If anyone has any tips or stories to share about your own art journaling/collage experience, please do!


I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

~Pablo Picasso

8 comments on “From the Studio

  1. Snap says:

    You’ve been busy! I’m retired now and I can’t get this much done. You Go Girl! Can’t wait to see the final bracelet. Your journal pages are wonderful and I’m going to use the baby sock pattern (thanks for the link). My niece will welcome her first child this summer — August — so I have some time to figure out the pattern!

  2. judysheart says:

    Karen… so lovely! The colors are just wonderful. The bracelet and bootie colors are so warm and summery. I love your journal and what you’ve been doing… Yes, get daring and go for the molding paste…or just go to the hardware store or dollar store and by some kitchen and bath caulking.. less expensive and just as good. Oh and then painting the dried textures.. oh my… that’s exciting; I’m getting all worked up… (giggle).. I want to see everything you’ve done SOON. Judy

  3. nina says:

    karen, the colors and cuff are wonderful – as are your pages….
    i like to take random words from vintage text – one word, or four, three or six or an entire sentence – and work from that. when paired with one image, a story begins. that is the entire base from which my jewelry work stems…..
    i’ll think of you tomorrow as i sip my first cup of tea xo

  4. Lisa Clarke says:

    How about a coordinating clay toggle button and seed bead loop?

  5. doras_explorations says:

    Beautiful stuff, Karen, all of it !!! The journal pages are especially inspiring. For someone who works full time, you sure are productive, I’m very impressed ! I like Lisa’a idea of using a button and seed bead loop for your bracelet, especially one made of clay to complement the colors.

  6. artandtea says:

    Thank you ladies! GREAT idea Lisa!

  7. Gorgeous work–all of it! I particularly love the woven beadwork–the intricacy and the way the random color placement creates a visual excitement.

  8. […] exactly 2 years ago, I wrote this post about stitching a 2-drop peyote band from a bead soup mix that was left over from this freeform […]

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