Studio Wednesday

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This week I finished the crochet chain necklace and attached my polyclay swirl pendant to it. I fashioned a hook and eye clasp from 18 gauge sterling wire. A little liver of sulfur dip made it a cool bronzy color to match the bronze crocheted wire.

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I crocheted 6 chain segments in all, 3 for each side, and left long tails for wrapping. I threaded the tails through the pendant and then wrapped around the chain on the other side to secure them in place.

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I am so enjoying bringing my love of crochet into my jewelry creations. I recently purchased a skein of Berroco Seduce yarn, a simply luscious blend of silk, linen, rayon and nylon. I’ve got some ideas floating around in my head of crocheted bracelets using this yarn and some polyclay beads.

Who knows what women can be when they are finally free

to become themselves?

~Betty Friedan

Studio Wednesday

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In the time I have between my physical therapy treatment and my favorite tv show “LOST”, I’d like to share with you what I’ve been working on this week.

With the limited range of motion in my frozen right shoulder, I haven’t been able to do a creative activity that I absolutely love: mixing colors in polymer clay. Cranking the pasta machine is torture on my shoulder. I solved that problem by treating myself to a motor and foot pedal for my P.M. What a difference! This has opened up a whole new world for me.

I love my new motor.

My first color mixing project was to mix up some muted neutral colors for a cane I wanted to try out from the new Donna Kato book I picked up from the library. It’s called “The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiore Techniques: Projects and Inspiration for Creative Canework”.

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There’s a lot of cool cane ideas in this great book. Now that I’ve returned it to the library, I’m even considering adding it to my library permanently. The cane slices above were created with a rolled Skinner Blend plug, wrapped and squished and rearranged. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really into creating canes because I like a more organic look to my work instead of geometric precision. That being said, there are some fun organic cane patterns to play with.

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I had some fun with the cane ends I sliced off and rolled around. Here’s a scrap cane that ended up looking like crescent moons from another world.

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Ever since I received a small piece of plexiglas in a goody bag from the first Klay Karma retreat 4 years ago, I love making swirly lentil beads with cane scraps. The larger one with the cane slice bail will be used as a pendant in a necklace. The smaller one could be used for a freeform bracelet. That would be fun to incorporate some polymer clay beads in my freeform work.

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I thought that I’d do something different for the swirly pendant necklace. Using a very thin gauge black wire and some bronze colored size 11 seed beads, I made several lengths of chain stitch. The wire was a bit tricky to work with at first because there is no “give” as there is with fiber. It takes time to figure out how much wire to wrap around your crochet hook to allow you to be able to pull the wire through the loop. I found that working looser rather than tighter is best.

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I made some more chain stitch lengths using bronze wire and black seed beads.

This weekend I’ll work on putting my necklace together.

“Once there were two color kittens with green eyes, Brush and Hush. They liked to mix and make colors by splashing one color into another. They had buckets and buckets and buckets and buckets of color to splash around with., Out of these colors they would make all the colors in the world.”

~from “The Color Kittens” by Margaret Wise Brown

My October Journal Page

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My October page took its own long, slow time to unfold. A candle image started teasing into my imagination during a meditation several months ago. I meditated some more on this candle image and it grew into thoughts on illumination and wisdom. I originally wrote about the candle illuminating and unmasking my Higher Self but this changed as I beaded the page.

November was a busy month with preparations for my jewelry show and then Thanksgiving not even a week later. So, finding time to bead was a challenge. When I actually sat down to bead, my mind was crammed full with all of the things on my “to-do” list. An inner voice kept droning on and on that I should be doing this and I should be doing that. My gremlin voice. Hmmmm… As I let my mind settle around all of these thoughts, I began to imagine my illuminated candle, not the figure, as my Higher Self. The figure represents my gremlin. Though she looks serene, almost like she is sleeping or meditating, she is always there, a ghostlike figure, watching, waiting for the perfect moment to find my cracks. She feeds on what lies in the cracks of my psyche, my guilt about not being “good enough”, a good enough artist, a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough partner, a good enough person. She tells me about all of the things I should be doing and, if I don’t do them, I am a failure. I cannot get rid of this gremlin because she is a part of my psyche, my inner critic. Instead, I let the light of my Higher Self, who I truly am, illuminate her and unmask her for what she is. And then I embrace her as a part of me.

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This page was a struggle for me but it also brought me deeper into myself while I was beading it. My gremlin voice tells me that I am behind with my beading. My Higher Self tells me that I am not too far behind and it will all come together in its time.

And now I turn my attention to starting my November page which marks the halfway point on this wondrous journey.