Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Polymer Clay

Today I went Over the Bridge to Barnes and Noble to take a gander at the new beading magazines and stumbled over "The Complete Book of Polymer Clay".

"Hmm," I thought.  "Why not?"

So I bought it and have added it to the stack of books that lie in wait of exploration.  I know what my polymer clay style would be like -- sanded, painted, maybe some transfer work -- it's just getting there, knowing the right kind of clay to use and how to cure it. Or bake it.  Or cook it.  See, I don't even know the proper terminology, I'm that much of a novice!

The lampworking is coming along.  Today I played with BullsEye and even tried working with BullsEye frit and encasing it all.  It looked good going in -- let's see what it looks like coming out.

Tonight, I'm reacquainting myself with yarn and crochet hook and taking it easy.  Who knows what I'll do tomorrow, since Zack is off school for a week of spring break.  But whatever it is, it'll be fun.

(PS - click here to take part in my 1000th blog post giveaway!  Deadline is April 5th!)

Lori's work can be seen at and she also writes the blog

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Made Some Beads!

I've been spending the past few days in the studio, making beads and trying to get them to be even. I'm also trying to keep from switching from the left hand to the right hand (which is apparently a big bad no no). I've also been playing with frit, which is tiny crunched-up glass that can make pretty decorations. Ignore the bead release, and you can see:

I tried my hand at encasing these in light amethyst, too, and encasing is a skill all its own, I quickly discovered! I'll put that on the back burner for a while longer.

Today I went out and ooooh, Rick bought me some Moretti Alabaster. Let's try that.

BLAMMO! OK maybe not -- the stuff is either shocky or I was doing it wrong -- a huge chunk exploded off the bottom the minute I wafted it through the flame. That got bundled up and put back on the shelf for later.

(Picture from

Bottom line -- I'm getting out in the studio and trying. I don't have huge chunks of time right now but will next month, and I signed up for a class in August at the Philadelphia BeadFest, so that will help. I'm trying to stay positive, and trying to remember that for every spectacular bead artist I see, there was once a newbie.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mine, Not Mine

In my curio cabinet.

Not in my curio cabinet.

In my closet.

Not in my closet.

How I feel this week.

NOT how I feel this week (but wish I did).

I need a nap.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Please Cross Your Fingers

It seems strange to ask you to cross your fingers for something I can't quite tell you about yet, but please do? It could be something big for me, and I'm crossing everything that can be crossed. It would also be a milestone in my art exploration, so is apt for this blog!

THANKS, and when I can, you'll be the first to know!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Painting With Fire with Barbara Lewis (and friends)

This past Saturday I had the utmost pleasure to start my exploration into classes by taking my first of many for the year -- "Painting With Fire" with Barbara Lewis, a metal enameling class that I'd been looking forward to for many reasons. One, the class is very cool. Two, I was going to get to meet some blogging buddies I'd yet to meet in person (always a fun thing).

Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio took some awesome pictures of the setup:

And Barbara Lewis who is the master of this technique ....

And of me when I wasn't looking. (Eek. I hate photos of me).

Notice that I have my finger in the water? Wondering why that is? I was the first burn victim. I very carefully avoided the hot flame and the hot mandrel but had no problem chasing the hot bead. Yup.

These are my beads:

I have a lot to learn -- I need to coat the beads more fully with the enamel, for one, but I actually quite like the more rustic look of the beads. You can see Barbara's professional lovelies at her web site, Painting With Fire, but hurry because her beads do go fast! You can also buy the tutorial and materials you need to get started on your own projects.

All I need now are enamel powders (I bought an arsenal of metal beads). I can see so many applications where this style of bead could be a beautiful addition in my work. I've got a birthday coming soon -- maybe I'll treat myself!

Thanks to Jeanette Blix and Cindy Wimmer for putting on this workshop, and to Barbara Lewis for sharing her talent!

Lori also writes for

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Modge Podge Experiments

I have a Yahoo group related to the Bead Soup Blog Party I recently ran. The group is an informal, chatty little group that does smaller swaps and is just a fun place to relax and talk about beads. If you'd like to join, just go to
and be sure to give me your blog in the comments as it's a closed group to keep out spammers but open to jewelry designers. And don't worry - any of the Bead Soup Blog Parties will be announced on my Pretty Things blog, so you won't miss a thing as long as you're a follower there!

ANYWAY! Our latest project was to buy a large matchbox, decorate it, fill it with beads from our stash, and swap it with a bead partner. I've never worked with Modge Podge before, so after one woopsie and a new match box, I made this:

I put raised dots under the butterfly to give it some height, and then filled it up with goodies:

So there you go! One small step to a new medium I've never tried before!

More on the enameling "painting with fire" class I took later!

Lori designs jewelry for She also writes at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Going Zen

This year, I made a promise to myself try new art forms. I’ve tried lampworking and fully intend to keep it up. I have some other classes scheduled for late spring, but in reading blogs, I ran across Got Art? and her post about something called Zentangles.

Just the name intrigued me. What was a Zentangle?

I emailed her and she directed me to their web site and I bought a kit.

I’ll let you go to their web site and get their story, but for me, this is what a Zentangle is — a way for a non-doodler, a non-artist, to get their doodle on. Seriously, this is some cool stuff. You can stay within the simple parameters of one “tangle” per space, or get funky with it and mix two or even three in a space. I found that as I made my first Zentangle, I could feel my brain uncrunch and smooth out, and I could see where, yes, that might indeed go there, or oh, I don’t want to do this that they tell me to do, but explore this, which my own imagination chose on its own.

Here’s my very first Zentangle.

Mine is very simple, but a huge step for me. You know why? I overcame a fear. I tried something new. I bought something and didn’t put it on a shelf to collect dust like so many things before it (PMC, anyone?).

I absolutely plan on doing these again. They’re small, and they’re fun. I plan on doing these with my seven-year old son on a grander scale, with larger paper and colored markers – he’s very enamored of the dice you roll to see what pattern you draw.

I hope you take some time out today to doodle!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for She also writes at She now loves to doodle.