Studio Wednesday on Thursday

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Last weekend I nourished my creative spirit as much as possible as I adjusted to my new schedule. I dedicated myself to creating and finishing a necklace for my “Grow” polymer clay pendant. With the help of my brand new mini bead spinner, I threaded a bead soup of pale blue, green, yellow, ivory and crystal seed beads onto my hand dyed silk cord. It was a little tricky at first to slide into the rhythm of needle and spinning bowl but I finally got the hang of it and then the beads literally jumped onto my needle like eager participants in play. As I eased myself into the flow of the spinning beads, I was reminded of my early school days when I loved jumping Double Dutch. You really couldn’t think about it, you just had to close your eyes and navigate by your inner compass and spacial instinct. In other words, jump in!  Once my cord was saturated with tiny beads, I started crocheting a simple chain stitch, catching one bead in each chain. I made 3 strands like this and tied the ends together.

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My next step was to create small bead caps/cones by weaving the beads in a herringbone stitch. I covered the knotted  silk cord ends with my beaded caps.

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I found a small textured silver toggle clasp in my stash and attached it to the silver loops coming out of the bead caps. I’m still deciding whether I like this clasp for this necklace. It is very easy to put on and take off the necklace so that’s a big plus. And it’s small size goes well with the delicate feel of  the necklace. I’ll have to wear it a couple of times to see how it works.

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Using 20 gauge sterling silver wire, I created a curled spiral bail for my pendant and threaded the strands through the curls.

Curls of soft misty colors. Silvery rebirth spirals. Crystal drops of rain.

Spring is here.

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Studio Wednesday

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This week I finished 2 projects – my glazed polymer clay heart and pearl necklace and my first knitted pair of socks.

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I sculpted a heart out of white Premo and after baking, carved some words onto the front and embellished with thin, extruded polymer clay snakes. Using acrylic medium and mica powder, I created a glaze and applied at least 4 layers to the heart, letting dry overnight in between applications. Using 20 gauge antiqued copper wire, I created the metal components of the necklace. The faceted lavender pearls are knotted on hand dyed silk cord. As I carefully put this necklace together, I thought about my dreams, especially the one about buying my own house.

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My second sock knit up more smoothly as I knew what I was doing the second time around. I now understood about not knitting the whole round with the “waste” yarn and adjusted the instructions accordingly. Since I used bigger knitting needles – US 10 – and very thin yarn, the pattern came out lacy looking. They’ll be perfect to wear in the warmer months ahead.

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Today I worked on a free-form peyote bracelet, a custom order in a fall color palette. It felt so good to get back to placing the tiny beads on my needle once again, if only for a little while. I find my shoulders hunching up with tension very quickly while I bead so I need to be very careful with that.

Today was my last official Studio Wednesday. I felt sad but am excited to begin the next phase of my life. A new adventure. A new house. All my own.

He is the happiest, be he king or peasant,

who finds peace in his home.

~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Studio Wednesday

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I finished my first sock! I have to say though that I found this very challenging despite my many years of knitting experience.I think that there was a typo in the directions when it said to knit one round with “waste” yarn. When it came time to remove the waste yarn and place the stitches on my needles, I ended up with the sock being split into two pieces. When I read the directions and saw that I was supposed to have a lot less stitches than I actually had, I knew there was an error somewhere. So, having just learned the Kitchener stitch to weave the toe stitches together, I wove part of the 2 pieces together (the sock “front”) until I was left with the correct amount of stitches to make the heel. Then I continued with the directions as they were written. Whew! Now that I have started my second sock, I know what to do about the waste yarn knitting round. I think… I do like the yarn but it’s very thin and would work better with another pattern and smaller needles.

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For my glazed heart pendant, I created some copper wire components, antiqued them and then glued them into the pendant with epoxy. I have a whole pile of antiqued wire pieces to be cleaned with steel wool first and then I can start assembling the necklace.

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I’ve also returned to my bead crocheting, this time with some gorgeous Montano hand dyed silk cord. I was concerned about whether the silk cord would be a good choice for bead crochet so I wrote to Lydia over at the Beadwrangler website. She was kind enough to write back, telling me that I could use any kind of cord I wanted as long as it worked for my project. She went on to say that she has experimented with many different kinds of cords, including silk, and encouraged me to do the same. Thanks so much Lydia! With a “bead soup” of coordinating colors and this silk cord, I want to create a multi-strand chain stitch necklace for my “Grow” pendant.

It is with great sadness in my heart to tell you that in a couple of weeks I will no longer be in my studio on Wednesdays. My life circumstances have changed and I find myself having to move again into my own place. So, I will need to work full-time again. That being said, however, I will still be working in my studio in the evenings and on the weekends and will be glad to share whatever projects I’m working on at the time. Even though I won’t technically be in the studio on that day, I will still be exploring the Artful Life and I invite you to join me in my explorations to be shared with you in my Studio posts.

A dear friend recently shared this poem with me. Called Love After Love by Derek Walcott, it really resonated with me at this time. Enjoy!

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,


and say, sit here.  Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine.  Give bread.  Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you


all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,


the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit.  Feast on your life.



Studio Wednesday

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Today brought a warm breeze and 65 degree temperatures to tease us out of the winter doldrums. I definitely have spring in my thoughts as I create my glazed polymer clay pieces.

An egg sits on her nest dreaming of possibilities…

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I had used my Makin Clay extruder to create polymer clay spaghetti strands for my glazed heart. Then I started playing with the strands and created this little nest.

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And these balls of yarn. Just playing but in my play some ideas were born.

I’ve started doing some research on the sgraffito technique. Practiced in painting, wall decoration and ceramics, this technique produces a design by scratching through a top layer to reveal the layer underneath. I applied many layers of glaze to my egg and didn’t think that it was exactly what I had imagined in my mind. My carving tool was close by so I started carving into the glazing. I would like to explore this technique further.

I’ve also started a few new knitting projects this past week. Last week, I knit another pair of handwarmers for a friend/colleague at work. Since I had some of this positively yummy cream and pink yarn left over, I started a cozy neck cowl. I found a really cool pattern here at t does wool’s blog. You knit a 6 1/2″ x 20″ strip in an interesting ribbed pattern (what does knit 1 in st below mean anyway?) and then create a 2 button and loops clasp so you can secure it around your neck. I’ve never seen anything like this before but I discovered that it’s apparently very popular with knitters. It reminds me of my free-form bracelets with the buttons and loops clasp.

Hey, I just got another idea…

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My Mom sent me some “sock” yarn in autumn colors. As you knit, the variegation of the yarn creates stripes. How cool is that.

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Do you see the stripe of blue yarn? Well, the pattern I’m making (called “All That Jazz” textured socks from the book “Vogue Knitting On The Go: Socks Two”) called for knitting one round with “waste” yarn. I wasn’t really sure what they were talking about but I figured that it wasn’t the yarn I was using to knit the socks with. Hehe So I just grabbed some left over yarn and knit around. At some point, I will need to take that yarn out and transfer the stitches onto my needles. Sounds rather tricky. I’ll keep you posted.

I find myself jumping around from project to project these days.  Polymer clay. Knitting. Art journaling. My acupuncturist told me that people are starting to feel spring energy already. That restless, jumping around, things ready to be born and burst type of energy.

I’ve got to prioritize my projects here…

Studio Wednesday

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I first discovered polymer clay in the early 90s when I wanted to expand my bead collection for my jewelry making.  Over the years I’ve tried many different polymer techniques ranging from caning to faux stones to mokume gane.  With the exception of free-form mokume gane, none have resonated with my spirit like sculpting and carving polymer clay and glazing it with soft colors.

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Getting back to my studio after a several month healing period has brought me to a new place. A place of awakening forms and carved thoughts, covered in gentle glazes. Knotting pearls one by one on hand-dyed silk cord.

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I feel myself moving in a new direction with my jewelry. I don’t know where this is leading me. Like Persephone being drawn to the fissure in the earth, there is a softening and opening in my psyche that is calling to me. All I need to do is listen…