As I previewed in my last post, I was lucky to get picked by Erin to participate in her September Pretty Palettes challenge!

Here is the inspiration and the wonderful beads she sent me to play with from Halcraft...

For the record, I LOVE THESE COLORS!  They are right up my alley!  I immediately had in mind a style of bracelet I saw a couple times while traveling in Germany and France this spring - a multi-strand bracelet with an eclectic mix of materials.  I poked around my stash and found some suede that pulled it all together, and kept it from being too heavy. Suede and clasp are from Michaels.

As the beads floated across my bead mat and mixed with other things, I decided I wanted to fit together some of the flat flower beads into a different shape bead as a "frame," and use the lotus charms to combine it all into a pair of earrings. I added crystals too, which are mostly clear, but they look like a warm gold because of the gold wire...

Lastly, I imagined a necklace that was similar to the strings of lanterns in the inspiration picture.  I tried a couple different combos and remembered (and then finally found) some Czech glass black flower beads I had that could be turned into lantern tops and bottoms.  I had some gold chain and used gold/brass wire because I also wanted to use the brass beads in the challenge stash which also looked lantern-y to me.

You'll notice that no clasp is shown.  Because I didn't quite get this finished.  Because of him...

Meet Griffin, a 9 week old lab/hound mix. who came to live with us Monday night.  A friend of mine fosters rescue dogs, and Griffin and his 8 little mates were (obviously) too cute to resist.

The wonderful artist and lovely woman I am luck to call a friend, Erin Prais-Hintz, has asked me to participate in her monthly Pretty Palettes challenge that's part of her partnership with Halcraft.

Erin chose this fabulously colorful picture as her inspiration...

...and then sent me this fabulous riot of color to play with.

The final results will be posted on September 30th, but her is a tiny look at two projects I have done...

...and 1 project that is still a work in progress.

Come back September 30th to see the final results!

Last weekend I had the chance to take a 3 day class at Workhouse Art Center from Corina Tettinger.  It's been a while since I've done any lamp working at all, and Corina is a world renowned artist and teacher, so I was more than a tad intimidated.  I mean, take a look at some of her work:

Corina has a very direct style - while she always prefaced techniques with "this is just how I do it, there are other ways" she wasn't shy about saying "you are doing that wrong." But she always followed that with, "Here, let me show you again" and lots of laughter.  

We covered a huge spectrum of techniques and styles - I can hardly remember everything we did, but here are some of the beads that made it into the kiln:


Twisted dots

Lines and spirals (in the back are lines made with goldstone stringer that we also learned to make)

Stacked dots and pokes

Murini and off mandrel work (that glob at the top is a bail :-))

Close swirls with encased stringer (which we also leaned to make)

Beside having my brain crammed with superior lamp work instruction, I also lucked out with the best classmates.  Most belong to the Virginia Firebirds, a chapter of ISGB.  I am so excited to get connected to this great group, and stay connected to all things lamp work.

For our "big" vacation this summer, we wanted to go somewhere to scuba dive.  The inclination is to go somewhere exotic, but I hate to burn precious time off traveling just to get there, and I didn't want to overlook the beautiful parts of my own country.  Looking at pictures online, it wasn't hard to convince the family to give the Florida Keys a try. And the Keys did not disappoint!  We loved the quiet and the laid back attitudes, and the colors were just beautiful!  I can't wait to get into my studio and see if I can even come close to recreating the colors we saw...

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