Monday, April 30, 2012

All Girled Up

So this was my outfit for the party.  I went with black accessories since this was an evening gala.  It was really strange seeing co-workers....who normally wear lab evening wear.  Everybody looked great and we had a good time.  I'm just glad I don't have to be this dressed up everyday.  But occasionally it's fun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm getting all "girled" up

It's going to be a busy weekend coming up.  I have a work party Saturday night.  This is no small party.  It's our entire Division and it will be at the Great Lakes Science Center

We do pretty good, drinks, dancing.  And for some reason I have decided to be a girl for the party.  You might be wondering what I am the rest of the time....mostly a tomboy.  I like wearing jeans and boots.  My most favorite store is Eddie Bauer....they get me. 

But I've got some bug about dressing up for this party. When I get dressed up it is usually in black pant suits or a very tailored black dress.  Well I jumped into the deep end of the pool this time....I bought a girly dress.  Real girly and a tad retro.  The lining underneath the skirt has netting sewn into it so it poofs out like a dress from the 50's. 

And of course I had to get a pair of shoes............. 

And a small clutch would be nice.  I want something that will pop against the green and white....I found this one.  It's a Bottega Veneta....for $1700...HA. I really would need a fairy godmother to afford this one.  I love it but I think I'll keep looking.  I do like the idea of orange. 

So it should be quite the night.  At midnight my coach will turn back into a pumpkin and my drivers back into mice.  And I will turn back into ....a tomboy!!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Metal Etching

Last Sunday Cris and I taught a metal etching class to the guild here in Cleveland.  It went really well.  It was a least for me....for our B&B class.  We had a room full...which is good because our first class at B&B is almost sold out. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Butin de Guerre from Bead Paradise

That's actually "spoils of war"...which might apply if you have to wrestle beads out of the hands of the woman next to you :))  Don't put it past me!! 
Last Saturday Cris and I went to see Ruth at Bead Paradise....absolutely the most fabulous bead store I have ever visited.  I keep asking Ruth if I can have a slumber party there.  If you ever get anywhere even close to Ohio you need to go to this store.  And if you can't make it you can always shop on-line. 

So here's the butin de guerre....

A bevy of Buddha's in bezels just ready to hang

A really cool old brass necklace with pods.  This is very dangerous looking.  Don't hug anyone when you are wearing this.  Someone's gonna get hurt.

Vintage Czech glass

Ethiopian brass pendants and beads

Monkeys....I couldn't help myself

Loving the design on the lid of this box.   

Ebony inlaid with silver from Mali

Ethiopian prayer boxes


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My weekend with Cris

Cris was here last weekend.  We had a great time.  We went to the art museum, we shopped at Bead Paradise, and we taught a metal etching class to the local metal clay guild on Sunday.  We stayed up all hours of the night and I am still exhausted.  We talk and talk and act like 12 year olds when we are together. 

On Friday we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  We went through the Rembrandt in America exhibit.  It was amazing just to see his work...let alone see them close up.  Rembrandt was a master at capturing light and detail.  The jewelry on his subjects glows and the lace on the clothing is so delicate it hard not to reach out and touch it....and I was approached to keep my hands back from the painting.  Not that I wold ever touch one...that would be sacrilege.  But there were sensors that would go off should you get too close. And I have been know to set those off.

This is Portrait of a Woman from the CMA website.  This piece is owned by the art museum.  They showed how they examined this piece with various methods and wavelenghts of light to see what was under the surface and where it had been repaired. 

We went through the African collection.  The picture below is a bow harp from the Northern Congo. 

This is a close-up of a repair area of the harp.  They used some type of cord or leather to patch the damaged area.  Sound familiar??  I use it in my jewelry.  I didn't invent it.  This and many other repair techniques have been around since the beginning to time.  BTW...I did invent pants (inside joke).

Another piece from the collection.  A Female Face Mask from the Ivory Coast.

Modigliani (one of my favorite artists) was influenced by African masks.  You can see this in Portrait of a Woman below.

We walked around the Egyptian and Near East collections and wanted to mold just about everything.  I had this idea of creating a distraction with the docents while Cris slapped molding material all over the room.  I don't think they would mind...much.

One really cool piece is this huge Assyrian piece called Saluting Protective Spirit. It's  from the 9th century.  It is about 9" tall and weights 900 lbs.  So much texture on this piece.  Below are some close-ups.

There is more to come...after I get some sleep.  I have a 7AM meeting tomorrow.  UGH.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review: Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry

I've only taken one class in torch fired enameling and it was nothing short of a disaster.  A sub-set of students were some of the most misbehaved group of adults (and I use that term loosely) that I have ever experienced.  They hogged the materials, the torches, and the teachers time.  By the end of the class the table with the enamels looked like a bomb went off.  The powder was everywhere and the colors were all contaminated. 

I enjoyed what little I did manage to do in class.  I liked the technique.  I loved the colors and it's something I've always wanted to get back to.  So I picked up this book by Barbara Lewis.  She teaches you to enameling in a different way.  You place your bead or piece on a stainless steel mandrel, heat it until it glows, and then dip the piece into the enamel.  You repeat this process a couple times until you get the effect that you want. 

Barbara shows you how to set up a workstation and goes over basic tools and then jumps right into projects. The projects include necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings and they all have that very funky, layered, organic look that I like. A number of them include ribbon, fiber, and wire wrapping.  One project I found particularly interesting involves copper pipe...both etching and enameling it. 

Amazon lets you take a peek inside the book if you are curious.