Welcome to my blog

I'm a mother, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend. I'm a self-taught potter. I make beads from clay and jewelry from my beads. Follow me on my online journal as I toss around ideas from my life and from my studio.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Beads

I don't know about you but when I finish coloring a dozen or two eggs for Easter I always hate to throw away the Easter egg color in the cups. So this year I threw in some large unfinished wood beads I had and colored them. Similar beads were featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine last summer or spring. She used fabric dye but these came out great. These are just the large unfinished wood beads you find at the craft store. Usually for kids to string. They are great light weight colorful beads to add to your creations! Have fun.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Sometimes I make beads just to feel the clay in my hands. With no real end in sight. This clay hasn’t yet decided what it wants to be. But sometimes I have a whole finished piece of jewelry in mind. Before I can start on the project I have to go through the whole process of making the beads I have in my head. I let them dry before I can get them in the kiln for the first firing. That’s usually not so bad in the middle of summer here. It’s pretty hot and arid so they dry quickly. But in the winter it takes longer. Then there’s the firing, glazing, firing again. Sometimes it turns out just like I had anticipated. Just as often the whole thing, which has a mind of its own, turns out to be something quite different.

A lot of potters refer to opening the kiln as Christmas morning. It really is like that. I can’t tell you how many times when I was starting out, I would open the kiln when it was still too hot. I just couldn’t stand the anticipation any longer. Sometimes the results of that were disastrous. So I’ve learned to force myself to be patient. I usually leave the kiln to cool overnight and open it in my pajamas with my first cup of coffee. One of my favorite things to do.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Busy Weekend

What a great weekend! I took my new convertible to Santa Fe Beadfest this weekend. My first road trip in this car. My first big bead show. I got to stay with my sister in Albuquerque then drove up to Santa Fe for the bead show. When I went inside it was beautiful outside. A friend and I kept hearing that it was snowing outside but we were too busy looking at beads to pay much attention. Then we kept hearing that it was "really coming down out there" and we finally thought, we better check this out. We knew we had to drive back to Albuquerque and didn't want to get snowed in. When we looked outside there was about three inches of snow on the cars and it was "REALLY coming down out there". So we opted to head back. Fortunately once we got to I 40 it wasn't too bad. We did encounter two accidents which slowed traffic considerably but we made it back okay. So our bead show experience was cut short but we saw plenty of beads. The next day we had planned to hit New Mexico Clay and stock up on supplies for our pottery group. That's always a fun shopping experience. We don't have anything like that locally and we saved a ton on shipping. We probably got about 350 lbs. of different clays.

The next stop was Trader Joe's to stock up on wine. Another great shopping experience. I know. If you're reading this and you know me, you're probably thinking, but she HATES to shop. This is true. But beads and clay and wine? That's my kind of shopping.

I did take some new beads out the kiln. I love the chunky yellow ones. And the square pendants with glass were a fun experiment. I think they turned out great. I picked up some cool wooden stamps that are just the right size to stamp a design into these squares and then add glass. Stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Soak Up The Sun

My friend turned 50 and she decided she wanted a "Wake" for her birthday party. We had a great time. I have to admit it was a little creepy walking into a dark room lite with candles and seeing her "laid out" under a white shroud. She laid there so still as the guests arrived. Several of us tried to get her to giggle or something but she stayed quiet and still for a long time. There was a eulogy and then we rose her from the dead. Her son put together a video of pictures to her favorite song "Soak Up The Sun" by Sheryl Crow. I made this necklace for her in honor of that song. It so fits her. I had made the brightly colored sun buttons. I strung those with waxed linen which reminded me of rope that you often see around the beach. I added the dyed turquoise beads on one side because they went well with the suns. I've wanted to use the dyed turquoise but when I bought them I was thinking fall colors. But they really are bright. The other side of the necklace is a double strand of some water colored stone chip beads. Those really made me think of the beach. And some brass chain. I altered the copper washers and I love the copper in this. Copper always reminds me of sun. I made the clasp with another altered copper washer and copper wire. I stamped Deana on one side of the clasp and Happy 50 on the other side with my new metal stamps which I love.

This necklace is totally not my style. It's very bright and has a lot of different elements in it. Ceramic buttons and beads. Waxed linen, brass chain, copper, turquoise and stone beads. But I think you can definitely tell I was inspired by the song.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beads of Clay Challenge

Well, I finally figured it out. They call it a challenge because it's CHALLENGING!! Wow, the current Beads of Clay Color Wheel Challenge really had my head spinning. Tetradic color scheme. Four colors on the color wheel with a LOGIC relationship. That must be the part that threw me. I don't think logically. But here it is. I was determined to make myself tackle this challenge. It wasn't easy. I never would have put these colors together. Red-orange, yellow, blue-green and violet.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Empty Bowls Dinner

I collected these bowls from my pottery group for a charity event called EMPTY BOWLS. Bowls made by students at El Paso Community College and local artists were auctioned off at a dinner and silent auction on February 20 benefiting the West Texas Food Bank. The bowls can be functional or decorative. Our group was very happy to donate some of our bowls for this great charity.