Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Sale on Beads!

Save 50% on all ceramic beads now! Save on all ceramic beads and pendants now through the end of May! Use coupon code SpringBeadSale on the checkout page to receive the discount. Discount applies to Ceramic Beads and Pendants only. May be used Multiple times through the end of May. However, beads are first come first serve. Does not apply to special orders or any jewelry items.

New bead sets will be listed June 1st!
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Breathe Handmade Ceramic Bead Set
http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Triumphs and Tragedies Kiln Batch 8

Beads from my 3rd Glazed firing
I began my adventure in ceramics just about a year ago. This past week was only my 8th glazed kiln load to date. As of yet, I am self taught in this medium. Learning what I can from my experiences, a few books on the subject and all I can find online. With every firing there are lessons learned. As much as I hate knowing that there will be failures with every load, I am learning. That is the upside! 

And this time was no exception. 

 
This time was a lot of new and experimental pieces. I have some new clay to work with for starters. I purchased some brown clay from Georgie's called Trail Mix Toast. It starts off looking like terracotta when wet and eventually turns to a lovely medium brown when fired to a cone 6. 

I love the color - I do not love the texture. It has a lot of sand in it making it difficult to work with on the very small scale needed for beads. But with some practice and more experimenting I am sure I will grow to find my way with it.

Last week I posted some images of glazed pre-fire beads I had high hopes for. However, two colors on one piece is more difficult than one can imagine. This bead was sculpted with a wooden clay tool, finished with a Tree Bark pigment and glazed around the edge with Nassau Blue and Aqua. In my mind it was going to look different-- and a lot better! Learning... 


Other tragedies include bells. I wasn't sure how to fire them since they are glazed all over. I had seen somewhere online where someone had propped things up on rods and stuck the rods in kiln posts. I thought- this might work! 

The only problem was that when I set the next kiln shelf on- I didn't notice how tall the bells/ rods where sticking up and they stuck to the shelf. Here you can see part of my kiln shelf is now part of the bells... 

 Sad, sad, sad.
lesson learned, and moving on.

A lesson I have already learned but apparently keep on learning is make sure holes are big enough for rods and clean glaze away from holes well - just enough so that it doesn't stick.
I'll probably end up hammering them off (wearing safety goggles of course!) if I can't loosen them with my muscles.

My daughter had asked for some flower pots to hang by her desk. I made several. These two are OK. But smaller than I would have liked. Maybe too small for any use. I like the blue glaze but the brown leaves something to be desired. Lesson learned, moving on.
Glazed with Georgie's "Brown"
Glazed with Georgie's Northern Lights, Peanut Ash under-glazed
The best pot I made --
Ceramic flower pot
Still really small but big enough for a little succulent plant!

 These are really funky but I think they are still very pretty and worthy of listing...

 and finally, some triumphs!
Midnight Blue Ceramic Disk Beads
Orchids Ceramic Bead Set
Green Peanut Ceramic Bead Set
Aqua Bead Set - SOLD
Sunny Yellow Flower Ceramic Beads
Ceramic Glazed Bells -NFS
Olive Green Ceramic Bracelet Bead
Olive Green Ceramic Sand Dollar Bead
Ceramic Bell Flower Beads
  You can find these and more handmade ceramic beads at
http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/

Monday, April 27, 2015

What's New Blue?

Beads, and clay and more beads and more clay.
 Every batch seems to take months although it's only been weeks. It feels like a long long time from building and shaping the clay to the day they are finally fired in the kiln with glaze. I feel like I am working two jobs lately. That's okay, I'm loving every minute of both sides.

My work space is a bit scattered and disorganized but I have faith it will all fall into line soon. Some days I have clarity and feel like I can do anything... those are the days that I concentrate on and focus my energy into. Some days you have to walk away and go with the flow.

This week I have faith that I WILL finish glazing and WILL fire my 8th kiln load. With every batch and every glazed fire, I learn and grow and build on that for the next time. I'm sure this batch will be no different. I try to put that at the back of my mind for now though. And just try to gather my creative energy and imagination for the glazes I am painting.

This part of the process is still new and green and really raw for me.

To try and imagine what the final outcome will be. How the glazes will melt together and flow. And what glaze will look best on what beads... it can be overwhelming. It's all forethought and imagination.

Here is a little work in progress photo. This pendant was sculpted with a wooden clay tool, fired to cone 04 and now I'm working on the glaze. I have used a pigment color as my base. These pigments are really cool when fired. A really rustic matte EARTHY look to them. It takes very little- and I have watered it down considerably. And then wiped back with a sponge. On top of that I have added a bright blue glaze. Afterwards, decided maybe it was too bold so I painted a layer of aqua on top of that... who knows what this will look like in the end... hopefully it will be beautiful!




And here's another experiment. I used another pigment for the underneath. This one has a reddish tone but still earthy and a bit brown. It's called Wormwood. The petals are glazed with a bright red and then outlined in brown. Can you tell? Nope! Keeping fingers crossed... 

I will post again soon with the outcome. Until next time...
Peace & Blessings
http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2015

As Mother's Day approaches I think of my own mother and other women who have been mother figures in my life. I remember all they did for me and I think of the last time we hugged and the sweet way she would always say "I love you sugar" when we were hanging up.

If you are one of the lucky ones to still have your mother near you...  be sure to tell her how much she means to you. Not just on May 10th, but often.
My Mom (and brother) 
I love this picture of my mom because it shows her classic smile and the sweetness in her eyes. What I remember most about my mom is her kindness

On this Mother's day, I honor the memory of her and so many other women in my life who were like a mom to me. 

Of course I know that jewelry is a wonderful gift for any mom. And I've put together this little Mother's Day gift guide to help give you some ideas.
http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/collections/personalized-jewelry/products/personalized-monogram-necklace-sterling-silver-jewelry
Personalized Monogram Necklace

For the proud mom... personalized jewelry with her child's name on it is a true classic and always a favorite! Check out the Personalized Jewelry Collection for more.







http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/collections/color-burst-collection/products/oxblood-red-color-spot-earrings-handmade-ceramic
Oxblood Red Color Spot Earrings



Contemporary Mom... she might be a working woman with classic style. She likes things simple and beautiful at the same time. She doesn't need or want much to accentuate her own natural beauty. Check out the Color Splash Collection for more. 




Silver Moose Earrings


Rustic Mountain Mom... she loves hiking and being in the woods. Her best evening is spent at the campfire with family. Check out these sterling silver moose earrings with tiny fine silver hoops for her.





Breathe Beach Glass Necklace


The Mermaid Mom... She loves the beach and anything from the beach. She'd most rather be in front of the ocean most days. Beach glass jewelry is her style. Many styles to choose from and many that are ready to ship as well as some that can be personalized. Check out the Beach Girl Collection.





Yoga Mom... What can I say? She is down to Earth and always good for a hug or a listening ear. She likes simple jewelry that expresses her inner beauty and connection to the Universe. Check out the Yoga Inspired Jewelry Collection that features Om.







Creative Mom... she likes making her own jewelry and loves beads! Anything handcrafted means more to her. Especially handmade beads. A selection of handmade beads can be found in the Ceramic Bead Collection.






Gardening Mom... she loves to get her hands dirty. She could dig in the garden all day and be exhausted- and happy. She loves flowers. Any kind or color. And although she loves getting flowers, she'd really love some that never die. Some that she could wear... check out the Flower Jewelry Collection here. 


And lets not forget Grandma. She's all of these things and more. She's your mom's mom and just as creative, proud and maybe she even does Yoga! 

I hope these ideas inspire you. If you still can't decide you can always message me. I am happy to help you pick something out or figure out personalized items. 
Hiking at Wahkeena Falls with my daughter.

Me? Oh, I am all those moms I listed. For sure. My top picks for myself would be - Mountain mom - because I LOVE camping and hiking. Yoga mom because working out and especially Yoga keeps me grounded. And finally I'm really beach-girl mom. Standing in front of the the ocean is the most incredible feeling you can imagine. It's how I really find peace and the best way I know how to recharge my inner batteries.

What kind of mom do you have? What kind of mom are you? I mean... none of us is just ONE type of mom. But if you had to narrow it down - what would be the top 3 to describe yourself or your mom?

http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/


 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rocky Coast and Beach Finds

Every time I say Rocky Coast I hear The Great Lake Swimmers singing... Floating over your rocky spine... the glaciers made you but now your mine.. (she pauses work to go listen to the song)

Last week I had the good fortune to be able to take a quick trip to the coast to look for rocks and whatever else I could find, for my jewelry work.
Molly dog guarding the beach while I look for rocks!
 I had looked at the weather forecast and saw that Tuesday and Wednesday would be dry days. Little did I know that Tuesday would also be sunny and give me the most spectacular ocean sunset I have seen in months or possibly even years.
beautiful evening, but VERY cold! Wished I had brought gloves. 
The thing about sunsets is that they happen every day. We don't always get to see them because of our mundane distractions, work, family, chores or just cloud cover. You also need to be open to the beauty of it. To really *see it. 

Sunset at Ruby Beach.
This image is from the overlook, walking to the beach. The clear sky is making everything look like it has a blue cast. Beautiful.
A view from the over-look walking down to the beach.
We managed to get a cabin at Kalaloch lodge. I must say the place really exceeded my expectations. I only booked the cabin because they are dog-friendly. This place even offers dog specials where they'll include a meal for your pup. The adjacent restaurant offers organic meals and they are a "green" establishment. I was really impressed. And $109 for this 2 bed cabin on the ocean is a steal! 

The cabins have wood burning stoves and they will provide you with the fire wood each day. A mini kitchen includes a 2 burner stove, dishes, cookware and even a toaster. The couch is a futon so you could have extra guests if you wanted to share the cabin stay. I would definitely go back!

Cabin at Kalaloch Lodge
  
The next morning, I was not so lucky with the tide. The tide was in. Really in! In fact I could not get very close to where I wanted to be at all. With the tide rolling in, huge logs were rolling in too. It is a dangerous place to be. Not the sort of beach you can turn your back to. You have to be aware of the tide at all times. 

Something I have never heard or experienced before is the tide leaving the rocks. If I can try to explain the sound - imagine the water rushing across the rocks - it's like a really loud crackle. If you needed another reason to love the beach? It's one of those things you never knew was there but once you hear it, you just feel gratitude for it.

We managed to get far enough up the beach were we felt safe to sit and look for stones.
John picking stones. He really found some great things. We both found a lot of shells that morning. I have never found so many shells. Most of them too large for jewelry but I have ideas for them none the less! I even found some sea glass! A rare find (for me) in WA. All of the sea glass I have so far has come from CA. (FYI) 
 My sweet Molly (Stylin' and keeping warm in her Hurtta coat). I don't know what this face is. Is she sticking her tongue out at me? LOL! 
Oh my sweet puppy dog! Not really a puppy, I just call her that. :-D 
 And who can resist the head shake? Here she is just getting ready for a good one! There's actually a book (called Shake) with nothing but dogs in mid head shake. I love it! Is there anything more cute?

Ruby Beach.
And finally, back up the trail from the beach. You can see the difference in photos from the night before. All that beach is now covered in ocean. So very beautiful. We hated to leave.

Spruce Burl Trail (beach 1) South of Kalaloch, WA
This photo is from a little trail down the 101 called Spruce Burl Trail. From what I have read, the burls are actually like a tumor for the trees. It's a beautiful trail, just on the bluff South of Kalaloch.

I have been so busy getting a batch of beads ready for the kiln,

I have not had time to drill any stones yet.
Instead I have been stacking stones all over my work bench.

This never gets old! Never, ever.

Comments, thoughts, suggestions, are not only welcomed but appreciated!

Peace. 
http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/