Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday at the Studio

Hello again,
After my exciting class on Monday I blogged about below, I went into my studios (Yes I am so lucky to have three entire rooms all to myself!!!!) and realized they were totally unorganized and I was not working efficently due to this fact. Here is my set-up. I have one large room which I have as my sewing studio. It is set and designed so two people can work comfortably. This is due to the fact that Kathy (my assistant) comes 3-5 times a week to work in there with me. This was suppose to be my studio for everything.
Once I really started to make jewelry I realized it was better to have these two work areas separated, due to the fact that jewelry making can get messy, dusty and using chemicals around fabrics just was not a good idea. So I took over a spare bedroom, put a workbench in there and started to take over the room. Now I had part of my jewelry supplies in the jewelry studio and part of them across the hall in the sewing studio. I also had stored some sewing supplies in the spare room that became my jewelry studio. So being the way I am, I tore apart both rooms on Tuesday while I fired my PMC3 pieces I showed in Monday's post and got the correct supplies in each room. The jewelry studio is now set up and organized. I feel very comfortable and the area works for me. Now on to cleaning up the sewing studio and finally I will clean up my office (the third room). I am posting a picture of the Jewelry studio here and will add the other two rooms once I get them organized.
This is my excuse for not having a piece of jewelry the last couple of days but now I am set up and ready to go. Until next time.....

Jewelry Posting for Monday

Good Morning...
Well it seems that one piece of jewelry a day is a little ambitious with the style of jewelry I am trying to create. So I think I will just say I will work in my jewelry studio at least everyday. Which I have been able to accomplish. So here is what has happened this week.
Monday was my first Jewelry Fabrication class class at Mesa Arts Center. This is an eight session class that covers hammers, forging, daps, and rolling mill. It also covers how to solder with a torch and sawing metal. I am really happy I did not start here in my jewelry learning quest. It has been challenging and fun though. It turns out I am the only student who has not worked with a sedaline torch or soldered.
I am posting a photo of my first unfinished bezel. It is not very pretty now but I will post it again when it is complete. I cut and created the bezel to fit my stone. Soldered the ring together (not an easy feat for me). I then cut my metal back plate using a jeweler's saw (only broke one blade in this step :) ). Then I soldered the bezel ring to the backplate (which is only partly done). Next week we will finish it up.
I have to say I just love this class even after only two sessions. Jewel Clark is my instructor and she great. She explains things clearly and in steps that are easy to follow. She also has an amazing understanding of what it is like to be a beginner even though she has an extensive background. I also have to say it is worth learning new skills no matter what it may be. I found myself challenged and frustrated at times and that is a good thing. A person cannot grow if they only play it safe. My dear friends Mary always said if you don't get frustrated and sometimes make mistakes you are living life too slow. Until next time.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend of jewelry making

Good Morning,
I took yesterday off from blogging. So I have two photos for you today. I did not make any finished pieces this weekend but instead focused on creating some pieces and parts for my next jewelry pieces. I try to make every part of the jewelry from the beads, to the cords and now I am looking at making my own clasps. Each piece I make is unique. I can make five necklaces that look similar, but there will always be some variety between the pieces because of how I make them. So on to what I am showing you here.
The first photo is wool roving that I made into beads, then took brown and copper aluminum wires and twisted them together to create one wire. I created cages for each wool roving ball to complete the beads. I spent Saturday night and Sunday night working on these.
The second photo are pieces I am working on using PMC3 silver clay. I have decided to make a piece for a meeting challenge this week with the theme of fall/nature. That is what the leaves are for. The paint splat pieces I think are for a bracelet. The idea is still in my head but once I start working the pieces my have another idea in mind. I rarely end up with what I envision. This is part of the creative process for me. Never get an idea set in stone or there is no where for your idea to grow. I still need to sand and fire these pieces. This is what I did on Saturday. Sunday I spent most of the day photographing my finished pieces.
Today I off to my first metal smithing class at the local college. I hope to have photos to show you later this week. Until tomorrow.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quiltmakers' "Follow the 100 Blocks" blog tour-WINNERS

Good Morning and Happy Saturday. First thank you to the overwhelming response to out blog on the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour. This was our first internet blog tour and it was fun. I would like to announce the winners of our Blog Tour participants.
1st Prize- Julie Stellingwerff won a copy of "Quiltmakers-100 Blocks" magazine and an autographed copy of Heidi Pridemore's book "Dazzling Designs

2nd Prize- Aiane King won an autographed copy of Heidi Pridemore's book "Dazzling Designs
3rd Prize- Esther Lenaham won an autographed copy of Heidi Pridemore's book "Dazzling Designs
4th Prize- Mary Stark won an autographed copy of Heidi Pridemore's book "Dazzling Designs

Congratulations to all of our winners. I have sent each of you an email with the winners information on how to claim your prize.

For today's piece of jewelry, I created this necklace by needle felting wool roving into beads and then creating a sterling silver cage around each bead. I then created a linking bead with this cool iridescent acrylic beads. I really do love the look of fibers mixed with metals.

Today I am going to play around with PMC clay. This is a clay that contains a binder and pure silver particles. It works like clay (except it has a very quick drying time) and when the piece if finished, it goes into a kiln. The kiln burns off the binder leaving behind a pure silver piece. I have made a couple of pieces this way and I am still learning the tricks to working with this medium. The problem is it is very expensive if you mess up. The good part is it is recyclable and I get 75% of the value back. I hope to have something to show in the next day or two. Happy creating. Until next time.....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wool Hourglass Bracelet-Blog Tour Day 4

Good Morning,
Thank you to everyone who signed up to win our free copy of the Quiltmaker's 100 Block issue and all your kind comments about my designs. I am still taking names so just email me at You have until 5:00pm on Friday. We will draw the winners Friday night and I will post them on Saturday.
Onto my jewelry piece for today. I created this wool bracelet using aluminum wire, wool and fabric glue.
First I took six 18" strands of aluminum wire and twisted them together. I cut the wire piece in half to create the top and bottom of the cuff bracelet. I then cut my shapes from the wool and wrapped them around the wire pieces. I added my accent pieces and then shaped the bracelet. I used another two piece of wool to each end to cover up the raw ends of the wire.
Sounds simple yet I had to make it a couple of times to get everything to look nice and neat. I think with jewelry as well as most art, the craftsmanship is what sells the piece. The piece has to be able to stand up to the wear and tear from wearing it and well as look finished. When working with fibers it is also important to add weight to the piece so it drapes correctly over the body. Hope you like this one. I have had the idea in my head for some time now and it is nice to finally have it out in reality and no longer just a concept. On to the next piece!!!!!
Until next time.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

quiltmakers' "Follow the 100 Blocks" blog tour-Day 3

Good Morning. Today is our big day for the blog tour. As you can see I have written a couple of times this week about the Blog Tour so make sure you check out all the entries for this week. I also want to take moment and thank everyone who has ever bought our patterns or kits. Each of you have supported my dream and have let me continue to design. Without all of you, my designs would not have gone any further than my head.
Now to enter to win the free magazine and other prizes I need you to email me at with your email address. Unfortunately if you send it through the blog, the blog website blocks your email from me. So anyone who emails me directly can be entered into the drawing. Sorry for the confusion, technology tends to outsmart me on occasion. Make sure to enter today for the drawings.
I would also like to let my readers know I have a new book coming out next month with Krause Publications. It is call "Fabric Jewelry-Wrapped, Braided and Sewn". I had the opportunity to work with Nancy Zieman on this project and I flew to her studios in WI in February to film the DVD that comes with the book show both of us making the different beads that are in the book. It is now available for pre-order on our website
This project has sent me down another exciting path, creating jewelry. I have to say I love it. I am not sure if I love the idea of learning so many new techniques or if it is the fact that I can wear what I create. Either way I am thrilled to be making jewelry.
Now I, like so many people, watched the movie "Julie and Julia" and I became inspired with the idea of setting up a blog that followed a journey and also creates a deadline of sorts for me to accomplish something. So I woke up this morning and thought what if I designed a new piece of jewelry each day. I can post a photo of the piece and write about how it was made. This would encourage me to keep going and lets you see what I am making and comment on it. At some point I will have finished jewelry available on my website for sale. I plan on making one of kind pieces, so if you see something you like, you will have to speak up and let me know.
Now knowing how I work, I have to say you will see other things posted here too, because I do run a design studio and sometime real work gets in the way of the fun stuff. So do not be surprised to see quilts and fabrics posted here as well.
So to start off the "Jewelry piece of the Day" I am posting a photo of the bracelet I made last night I call "Dots". I used wire wrap techniques to make the bangle. It is made from 14K gold filled and Argentium silver wire and a beautiful hand painted porcelain focal bead, I bought in Cincinnati, OH last February when I was back there doing photography for my book.
Thank you stopping by and happy creating......

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quiltmakers' "Follow the 100 Blocks" blog tour-Day 2

Good morning. We are on day 2 of the Blog tour with Quiltmaker. My block posted here shows our very popular kissy fish. We were so excited to see our block made the cover too. There are a few links for you. The first one will take you to Quiltmaker to enter to win prizes and even one of the 100 blocks done for the magazine. I would love to hear from whomever wins our block. that link is
The second link is for a Flicker group for the 100 blocks projects.
This is where people have posted projects using the blocks from the magazine. Make sure to check out these projects. the link for this is,
Above are four different quilt patterns and kits we offer with our cute fish available on our website. We have kits for I'm Outta Here! and One Fish, Two Fish listed under fabric kits. We have wool kits for Seaworld under wool & felting and finally Under the Sea is available as a pattern under fusible patterns. Also make sure to sign up for our email newsletter as well for free patterns and discounts each month.
Until tomorrow........

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quiltmakers' "Follow the 100 Blocks" blog tour-Day 1

Welcome readers from Pomona, CA. Kathy and I just returned from our last trip of the year. Oh what a year it has been. I have been from one end of the country to the other as well as the Caribbean this year, eleven trips total. I met so many wonderful people this year at the different shows and events. I have looked ahead to next year and already have eight trips planned just in the first five months. I will be in NY, Atlanta, Northern AZ and Minnesota in the months to come and I look forward to meeting more wonderful and creative souls on my travels. If you would like us to come and visit your group or show just drop me an email or check out the new lectures and workshops on our website at
This week we are involved with Quiltmaker's "Follow the 100 Blocks" Blog Tour. This is kinda like a shop hop online. Readers have the chance to visit some wonderful artist's blogs and see what everyone is up to. I was very excited to be invited to design a block and I was thrilled to see our block on the cover. Can you guess which one is ours? It was a great chance to be a part of their special magazine issue featuring 100 artists, each doing a 12" block. Not only is it fun to look at all these creative blocks, but it also a great source for the readers to use for future quilt projects. When can you ever find a magazine with 100 ideas!!! I will be posting daily this week about some of the exciting things happening around The Whimsical Workshop.
Check back daily for this week for updates, tips and to enter to win a copy of the magazine from us and other free gifts!
There are two ways to enter our drawing, either start following our blog or add a comment with your email address. We will enter everyone who signs up this week and pick winners on Saturday, November 14th.
Have Fun and Happy Creating. Until next time.....