Monday, March 31, 2014

Hierloom Plaster Covered Journal

Kim Beller and I will be teaching a GREAT 2 day class coming up at the Cameron Art Museum School! If you love texture, playing with paint and collage, and want to mix that with bookmaking... well then, your prayers are answered!

Heirloom Journal Making – with Textured Plaster Cover- All Levels
2 Day Workshop / Limited to 15

 Saturday May 3 10:00 am – 4:00 pm   Sunday May 4  12:00 – 4:00 pm

Tuition: $115  ($100 CAM member)
$50 Materials kit includes: 3 sheets of 300lb. watercolor paper,  2 pre-cut wood substrates for covers with canvas straps, plaster for cover, bookbinding needle and waxed linen thread, 1 Stabilo Marks All pencil

click here to register

In this collaborative workshop Kim and I will teach you how to achieve gorgeous texture on your books cover using plaster. Then you'll learn a simple method of binding pages of wonderful thick Italian watercolor paper to your cover. Then it's no holds barred art play! We'll transfer, so bring some copies of images you might want to use and your mixed bag of favorite journalling supplies such as, paints pens, pencils, a glue stick, maybe inks... If you have no clue then no worries, we'll bring lots of supplies of our own to share with you.

More pictures coming soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Japanese Boro

I have just today been plunged into another new love: Boro. Not glass.... but Japanese cloth.

"Boro was born of forgotten values of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste’. Boro is the clothing that was worn by peasants, merchants or artisans in Japan from Edo up to early Showa (17th – early 19th century). In feudal times, the majority were peasant farmers. Not everyone could afford the lavish silk kimono and vivid obi worn by the aristocracy. Clothes were crafted from cheaper materials, but were no less beautiful than those worn by the upper classes. Literally translated as rags or scraps of cloth, the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times."


Now I know what I will do with all the clothes I've saved that were either stained or torn, but I just couldn't bare to part with.  ...Well, when I find the time!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Latest Obsessions

One of my best, life long friends and I are planing a collaborative show in July. My latest obsessions have been ancient cultures, mythology.... Norse mythology....  Skyrim... the History channel show Vikings.... Ancient British Isles history.... Tolkien....  My artist friend Danny Samppala is Finnish so I am exploring Finnish rune singers and the Kalevala. The Kalevala is the Finnish National epic poem that was largely handed down through centuries orally by rune singers who memorized the stories. It was finally published in 1835.  I'd love to incorporate some essence of this in our collaborations. In my searches I found these beauties and thought I'd share:

Akseli Gallen-Kallela  "Forging the Sampo" 1893
Smith Ilmarinen is forging the magical artifact called Sampo which would bring good fortune to its owner and is a centerpiece in many of Kalevala's stories.

Harald Oskar Sohlberg "Natt" 1904

Akseli Gallen-Kallela "Kullervo Departs for the War" 1901  

They story of Kullervo is a fascinating one and was studied by JRR Tolkien. We even see deliberate similarities with his stories of Túrin Turambar in his  "Turambar and the Foalókë" or in the posthumously published and edited by his son Christopher Tolkien, "Children of Hurin".
"The germ of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kalevala. It remains a major matter in the legends of the First Age (which I hope to publish as The Silmarillion)"
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 257, 16th of July 1964 
Akseli Gallen-Kallela "The Defense of the Sampo" 1901

The scene depicted is taken from the 43rd song of the epic, where the hero Väinämöinen,
shown wielding a sword, has stolen the precious artifact the Sampo from the evil witch Louhi who is seen attempting to reclaim it. The battle for the Sampo is also given a deeper connotation as a battle for the soul of Finland.
Harald Oskar Sohlberg "Winter's Night in Rondane" 1914

 Akseli Gallen-Kallela  "Aino Myth, Triptych" 1891

Depicts a scene from the Kalevala where Aino Joukahainen's sister, is promised to the old and wise Väinämöinen in marriage after Joukahainen lost a magic singing match against Väinämöinen. Aino instead decides to drown herself.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


 My new Greenman Bottlecap Pendant on Etsy:

Woodwose is the ancient "Green Man" of the forest. It literally means, "the woods are alive". "Wuduwasa" in Anglo-Saxon.

I love images of Woodwose. This is a 15th century tapestry depicting him.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Viking Knit

My new obsession... Viking knit. I just can't stop. It's so addictive. I have also become obsessed with making little end caps for my pieces. I was dissatisfied with store bought caps. They were too cone shaped and didn't transition well. So make your own I thought! Aren't they sweet?

To purchase go to:

I've also spent hours on line looking at examples of Roman woven gold chain and Viking chains in many of the Viking hoards found in England.

Cool images abound, such as this image from 1389 of drawing wire:

I even found this image of an ancient Viking drawplate, used to compress the knitted tubes of wire, found in the town of Sigtuna, situated in Lake Mälaren just west of Stockholm:

And this one from Gotland:

This Viking era knitted chain is in the British Museum:

This image is actually an Roman era chain of gold from the Hoxne Hoard in England. Lovely example of knitted wire:

And a yummy image of the Cuerdale hoard. These chains appear to be loop-in-loop and other types, but isn't the stamping cool? ya just gotta love history!

And I've lost track of where I found this image :-(

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Faerie Pods in my Etsy shop!

These are two new pairs of my Faerie Pod earrings. They're made out of sausage casings!

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Friends

I recently have made a few new friends on Etsy. I've spent probably way too much time admiring other folks work. I love simple cool design, or a brilliant cold connection method, or ingenious wirework. So, Beatnheart and I traded this week! So much fun!!!! I recieved these:

I love how they are simple materials, steel wire, ingeniously connected. I love the ancient, relic like quality. Can't wait to wear them to work! New acquaintances that are birds of a feather make the world seem so much smaller!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Obsessions

well, it's not exactly new for me. Right after undergrad, back in the late 80's, I spent four years going to ceramics class two nights a week through extended ed at our local community college. LOVED it.
But once the metal/jewelry bug began I only rarely busted out the stoneware, until now! I recently became enamored of some of the etsy shops I see that have AWESOME clay

I just can't say enough how I adore all these Etsy shops! So I went out and bought myself a couple of different clays. A terra cotta red and a dark chocolate stoneware. I've been making beads and here they are!

I realized in the process of giving them their patinas that colors were all around me in my workroom, some yarns I've yet to make anything of and journal pages from this past fall:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Thought this was both amusing and fitting with the new year:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Year Challenge

Two of my favorite people have a challenge in the works! Check out Coast 2 Coast Creative
Artists and friends Jenny Davies-Reazor and Cooky Schock plan to follow along and do each lab in my book Jewelry Lab in the coming year. What FUN! Wanna come along for the journey????
I can't guarantee your safety... but I can guarantee you won't be the same! ;-)
(In fact, I believe it takes Bilbo almost 52 weeks to get to the Lonely Mountain and deal with Smaug!)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit!

My family and I have been preparing for the local premiere of The Hobbit for the last month. We both made and purchased costumes. I admit I was slightly worried about being the only nerds dressed up, but that was not the case! Here's some pictures from the premiere last night. I made the crown for my daughter out of Nugold a type of jeweler's bronze.  It was pierced with a jeweler's saw, chased and cold connected. And I studded my belt with etched cinquefoils (I'm the gray old lady on the end in navy), and I repousse'd (is that a word?) and enameled the leaf pin that my daughter's boyfriend, 'xcuse me that Frodo, is wearing. Gee whiz, it was fun!