Monday, October 28, 2013

Day of the Dead Blog Hop

The end of October is here and what better way to celebrate then with a Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop hosted by Diana at Suburban Girl Studios.  I decided it would be fun to focus on the Day of the Dead since there are a lot of activities and events going on now through the first week of November in the Phoenix area, where I live.

Day of the Dead originates from Mexico, but it is celebrated throughout the southwestern United States and other parts of the world. It is a joyful celebration for family members who have died.
This celebration can be considered a blending of Aztec and Catholic traditions.

Here's a fun video of a Day of the Dead celebrated in Hollywood California last year:

And here are my jewelry pieces :
Handmade Polymer Clay Skull Beads
Copper Wire Work
Hand Made Polymer Clay Skull Beads
and Colorful Howlite Flower Beads
More Polymer Clay Skulls Formed and Painted By Me
Stop by and see more great designs by these participating artists:

Kathleen Breeding
Dianne Miller
Lisa Liddy

Toltec Jewels

Laura Medeiros

Veralynne Malone


Jenny Davies-Reazor


Stephanie LaRosa

Nicole Valentine Rimmer


Sarajo Wentling


Dawn M. Gallop

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Natural Dyes...

Had some fun this week experimenting with natural dyes on cotton lace for a mixed media jewelry piece. Have never worked with natural dyes before so I contacted KathyInOzarks who forwarded some great tips and simple steps for beginners. Here are examples of my results using strawberries, cranberries and coffee.

To get these results I started by preparing a fixative that the lace would need to be soaked in before dying. The fixative helps the fabric maintain color after dying. For the berry dyes I used a fixative made from 1/2 cup of salt mixed with 8 cups of boiling water. For the coffee I tried vinegar mixed with water. The lace was boiled on the stove for about an hour and then dropped into the various dye bathes for 4-5 hours.
For the first dye batch I used equal parts of chopped strawberries to water and boiled them for 1 hour. Then I strained out the berries and soaked the lace in the remaining liquid for about 5 hours at a low boil.
The top two strips of lace you see in the first photo are my results, kind of a light antique pink color. O.K., this is nice but I was hoping for something a little darker so I thought perhaps I would try a second dip in cranberries. After the second five hour dye bath using cranberries I got a surprise; the wider strip of lace actually rinsed out lighter while the thinner strip of lace turned a deeper brown (3rd and 4th lace strips in the first photo) -Not exactly sure what happened but I did get some new colors...
That was fun! For more information and natural dyes to try check out:
Also be sure to look for some of this lace ribbon in my upcoming jewelry piece for One Kiss Creation's Vintage Wooden Spool Rolling Blog Hop.
Enjoy Your Saturday!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Holiday Boot Bracelets

Are you thinking about the holidays yet? New boot bracelets using "Tis the Season" Cousin beads and jewelry findings are looking good on these western boots from Saba's.

You can find "Tis the Season" beads and components at A.C. Moore on the east coast
and Beverly's out west.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Vintage Neckware

1940's era silver necklace and earrings made in Mexico.
Still very wearable today.
Enjoy your Sunday

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hoops Boot Camp

It's time for another Boot Camp project hosted by Love My Art Jewelry. The focus this time around is metal hoops.  I decided to try soldering a few 16g copper wire hoop rings which I have not done in a while. This first pair of earrings include some glass lampwork beads by Moderntrails.

The second pair of earrings I completed are similar in style to the first with more glass lampwork beads by Jewelweaver. Just love that green glass!

Be sure to stop by Love My Art Jewelry for some great tips on making hoops and more great designs.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Raining on Clouds

I really did not notice the affect of rain water falling on clouds until later looking at the photo...

Kind of neat, don't you think?
Stop by The View From Right Here to see more great photos!
Weekly Top Shot #103

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Muse

Mini-pumpkins sitting on an old sunhat picked up at Walmart.

Stop by A Rural Journal for more great photos: