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Nice article written about our arts.

In this blog I want to link you the the Mazon monthly newsletter where they have written a wonderful article about myself and my Husband, Rick, and our artwork. 

Thank you Linda Burson for a great article.

To read the article click this link:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Mazon-s-September-2012-Newsletter.html?soid=1102056364185&aid=In8bzNRwz_Y

Photo: Tina did a flamework bead demo for Creative Arts Jam night....soooo interesting!!!

Photo taken by Donna Saunders

To follow my blog, click on the purple diamond on the right hand side of the screen below the links section.——>

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Knitting & Crochet Friends

Hello everyone. I am venturing back out into blogland, adding my Knitting & Crochet Friends group and fiber arts to my blog.  In these blog posts, I plan to share links to patterns I find on others websites and other blogs, share some patterns of my own that I am currently creating, and help you with any crochet or knitting questions you might have.  I hope you to feel free to ask for help.  Also I want you to meet Spike, whose picture you see here on this post.  Spike, the scuba diving doll (amigurumi), is our mascot for our group.  I will share more about Spike in a future post.

First let me share how this group got started.  It was May 2009 when my best friend, Linda, asked me to teach her to knit.  We were in Michaels arts and craft supply store, Linda, our husbands and myself.  We were looking at some very pretty yarns and Linda asked me, Do you know how to knit?  I told her that I did.  She asked me if I could teach her.  I told her I had not knitted in many years, but yes I could teach her.

We both decided to buy some yarn.  As we looked at all the pretty yarns, I started to pick out something I liked for myself, when my Husband, Rick, said, If your going to knit something, make me an afghan for the couch to cover up with when I take a nap.  Rick picked out a a nice variegated yarn in burgundies, browns, blues and tans, (to match the couch), and then I went home and dug out all my knitting needles from years prior and Linda and I started meeting every week.

It wasn’t long before more people wanted to learn first knitting, then crochet and by Sept 2009 we officially started a local group here in Bradenton, Florida called Knitting & Crochet Friends.  About a year later I created our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KnittingAndCrochetFriends

Leading this group has been a blast for me.  I love teaching.  I had not knitted or crocheted in about 25 years and I forgot how much I love the needle arts too, along with my Jewelry Design and Silk Painting Design.

Various people have passed through the group in the past three years.  Mothers and daughters learning together, from ages 6 to 70 we have had quite the variety, some rank beginners, some intermediate, and some well accomplished needle artists.  It has been fun getting to know each one.

If you in the Bradenton, Florida area, or are in the area for a visit, please join us on Sunday nights, we would love to have you.

Here is a pic of that first knitted afghan for Rick:

This afghan was my own design.  I knitted 6 rows, with the standard knit stitch (garter stitch), then I knitted one row and purled one row, for 10 rows (sockinette stitch), and alternated that pattern to create an afghan.

Over the past 3 years, I have went on to make afghans for each of my 7 grand children, and have made hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, angels and snowflakes (more about all these in future blogs).  It has been a fun adventure and I am looking forward to many more years of teaching.  I especially love teaching young people, seeing them learn handcrafts is so rewarding.

In wrapping up this post, I will share two great places to find all kinds of patterns for free.

If you are looking to find crochet patterns this is a great place is:  www.crochetpatterncentral.com

For knitting patterns:  www.knittingpatterncenteral.com

Christina

To follow my blog, click on the purple diamond on the right hand side of the screen below the links section.——>

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Upcoming Blogs

In the next few weeks I will post some blogs about free form design, i.e. designing a necklace or bracelet when you have not drawn out a sketch in advance.  As in the pic below.

This is a carved bone pendant, strung abstractly with 6 of my handmade glass beads (lampwork) and various bone beads.  I dropped the beads on the bead board and let them fall where they may, then strung them. 

Most of the time I am very symmetrical in my designs, making each side of the necklace match, left and right of the focal piece in the center, whether it be a bead, a carved bone pendant or a fused glass pendant I created, but occasionally I get a little wild and just drop the beads and string them.  (My husband likes it when I do.  The necklace in the pic is one of his favorite pieces.)

Maybe you purchased some semi-precious gemstone beads or just some glass beads, and you have been looking at these beads in your bead box for quite some time trying to figure, what am I going to make with them.  How do you take them from just being a pile of beads, just sitting around the art studio, to finished jewelry?  I will do some layout on my bead board and shoot some pics and post them to give you a concept of how I get creative, whether symmetrical or abstract, how does one come up with a design. 

How do I get ideas for my designs, you ask?  I look at the seasonal color charts that are published and I look at clothing magazines and jewelry design magazines.  I get ideas from various places, nature, leaves, flowers.  I never copy anyone’s work.  All my pieces are my originals, but I can look at someone work and get a basic idea and then create my own unique piece from there.

If you have any questions, please post them.  I will try my best to answer them.

Christina

 

To follow my blog, click on the purple diamond on the right hand side of the screen below the links section.——>

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Light Defusing Photo Booth

How to make a Light Defusing Photo Booth.

Taking photos of your art work is a whole other art. Good photos will help sell your work, bad photos will turn people away from purchasing your work. Good photos will give you a better chance of being juried into art shows.

Several companies sell photo booths for very expensive prices.  As a beginning artist  purchasing an expensive booth is not an option.  So you can make a simple light defusing booth, rather inexpensively.

A plastic Rubbermaid file box with three desk lamps shining through the plastic (defused light) makes an very good light box for a very reasonable price.  Place one light on each side of the box and one above the box.   You can also place a 4th lamp behind the box if desired.  The file box cost me $10 or $12 at Wal-mart or you can probably find one at an office supply store.  The desk lamps are about $10.00 each.  I have those on my work bench already, because I like lots of light when I work.  Use a hanging file box as it is square.  Other Rubbermaid containers have rounded corners and may not work as well.

I stand the box on it’s end and set it on my work bench and put a piece of gray felt in it and place the piece of jewelry on the felt.  I turn the flash off on the camera.  Glass jewelry will have a reflective glare if not.  If the pic is a bit dark because of no flash, I can always lighten it a bit in the photo program.  (As a note, I use Picasa by Google as photo organizing and editing program.  It is free, just go to google.com and download it.)

Close up of jewelry inside the box.

Finished pic of necklace.

I usually take 8 or 10 pics, then choose the ones I like best.  I take pics of the completed necklace and a close ups of my handmade beads or fused glass focal pieces.

As an added note, a gray background is the best colored background to use.  I have tried other colors.  Black is good, only if you have a piece of artwork that is very brightly colored.  Otherwise black will just absorb your artwork and it will not show up in your photos.  White is to bright of a back ground and will detract from your artwork.  Tan is a second best color, next to gray, but can show up with a orange tent using no flash.  Through trial and error, I have discovered gray is the best background to use and a piece of felt is very inexpensive, and brings out the best of your artwork.

Close up of my handmade beads in the Necklace

Close up of 2 fused glass pendants I made, strung on Sterling Silver wire with my handmade beads and Sterling Silver beads.

Note in all of the above pics the piece of jewelry stands out very clearly on the gray background, no matter what the color, blue, green, red, black purple, gold, or teal.

Hope this article helps you take the best pics of your art work.  If you have questions about photographing your artwork feel free to ask.  Christina

 

 

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I am back

Well hello everyone.  I know, it has been months and months since I wrote the blog.  Sorry, life happens.  I have migrated all my websites over to my Son’s servers and that took a few months getting them all arranged again.  Then he moved my blog to my new website.  So it has taken me a while to get back to the swing of things.   If you were a follower of my blog you will have to re-follow me.

In the next few months I will be continuously adding new jewelry and hand painted silk creations to my website and I also plan to add some fiber arts creations to my line of “ELEGANT ART YOU CAN WEAR.”

You will find my jewelry and silk creations for sale here on my website on my products page.  I am constantly adding new products so check back frequently.

Thanks for being patient with me while I got re-adjusted.  I hope to start writing more blog entries about creating jewelry.    Christina

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Holiday Greetings

Hello everyone.  I trust you had a wonderful holiday season.  My family and I had a fantastic Christmas!!!  Haven’t done much jewelry making the last few weeks, and have not posted to the blog.  With the closing of my art gallery, getting ready to leave for vacation and being gone, there was not much time to make jewelry.  I just posted a couple of pendants to my Etsy Shop. So for today’s blog I will show you those.

This Necklace has a carved bone pendant, 2 of my handmade (lampwork) beads, and copper beads, strung on a Sterling Silver Chain.  To see more pics and find out more info click here:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/65488100/carved-bone-pendant-copper-beads-on

Blue and Red Pendant is fused glass with 4 of my handmade (lampwork) beads strung on red rubber cord.  To see more pics and find out more info click here:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/65487462/blue-red-fused-glass-pendant?ref=v1_other_2

Coming soon, I will post a blog on making fusing glass pendants.  I will also be entering some pieces in the Manatee County Fair and will keep everyone apprised on that project.


Wishing a very prosperous New Year to everyone.
Christina

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After Annealing The Beads/Design

Once the beads are annealed in the kiln (see my previous posts) they are ready to incorporate into jewelry.  Thus begins the process of design.  I am constantly seeing design all around me.  I take pictures with my cell phone, or on my camera.  I grab a pen and paper and sketch out a design.  Sometimes a design comes from something I see someone else wear.  Maybe on a TV show or walking down the street.  Sometimes I find a picture in a magazine I clip out.  Sometimes designs just pop into my head, from trees or nature.  I have even dreamed designs.

I take all the sketches, photos and magazine pics that I collect, and scan them into my computer.  I save them in pdf format.  I place all ideas in a folder I call ‘sketch pad ideas.’  Then I break them down into two categories.  The first is ‘Others Ideas’ the second is ‘My Ideas’.  I sign and date all my original sketches and write notes on the sketch.  Others ideas I do not sign, but still date them and write notes on them.  That way when I start looking for ideas I will remember when and where I saw the idea.  I never steal someone’s design, but I use others ideas as a launching pad to stimulate my mind.  The collection of sketch pad ideas are just that, ideas.  A place to start.  I look at someone’s piece of jewelry and think, how can I change that and make it my own unique piece of jewelry.

Example:

 

The drawing above was an idea I had for a necklace for a birthday present for my Daughter, Becky in December 2005.  It was drawn on my computer in Paint program.  Since then I have a computer program called Bamboo.  (My Son’s family gave me Bamboo for Christmas in 2008.)  It is a drawing tablet that looks like a mouse pad, and the mouse looks like a fat ink pen.  You draw with the mouse/pen on the tablet just like on a sketch pad, which draws right on the computer screen.  I love the Bamboo sketch pad.

This necklace was designed around the small Topaz gems.  I purchased them then had to design a necklace that would fit the small Topaz without overpowering them.  Thus the making of the very small clear glass beads.

Below is the finished necklace which has 6 of my handmade beads.  They are small, clear, wrapped in dichrioc glass and it has 5 Mystic Topaz gems, with a Sterling Silver clasp.  Topaz is the Nov birthstone, my daughter’s birthstone.

 

The closeup shows the small hand made beads.  They are about 5 millimeters, and the Mystic Topaz are about 8 millimeters.  I hope this blog post gets your design juices to start flowing or at least gives you some insight into my mind and how I come up with a design for a piece of jewelry.  Christina

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Making Glass Beads, Part 2

After I make the beads, I put them in my kiln and fire them.  The process is called annealing.  It strengthens the glass so the bead will not crack and break.  The glass has gone through severe thermal shock in the making of the bead, starting with the glass at room temperature to the very hot flame of the torch, about 2000 degrees, then slowly cooling again back to room temperature.  Annealing them takes the glass up through all the temperature ranges slowly, allowing the glass to slowly acclimate and strengthen.  I hold the kiln at 940 degrees for 30 minutes, which is called soaking, further strengthening beads before slowing cooling the kiln down.  This process takes about 3 1/2 hours.

 

My kiln is an older model, I have been using it since the 1980’s when I bought it new, but I love it.  I usually spend several days making about 75 to 100 beads.  When I have enough beads to cover the kiln floor, then I anneal them all at once.

In creating a piece of jewelry I will be selling to the public, I want a finished bead that I know will endure.  I don’t want to have a bead crack in half while someone is wearing the jewelry.

Christina

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Making Glass Beads (Lampwork)

 

I have so much fun making Glass Beads.  Working with glass is fascinating.  I light a torch, take a solid glass rod, melt it under the torch to a molten, liquid state, then start shaping a bead.  Along the process of creating that bead, I am turning, shaping and decorating the bead.  Then I slowly cool the beads so they don’t crack. The anticipation of getting my hands on that finished bead sometimes is hard, it is hard to wait to see the finished product.  It never ceases to fascinate me as to what I can create with glass.

The photos above are taken by Lin Oakerson.  The first picture is me making glass beads at the Village of the Arts, Manatee Chamber After Hours Event Dec 2008.  The second picture is me showing beads I have just completed to guests in my gallery, Lee Shore Gallery, Village of the Arts, Jan 2010 at the Village Studio Tours Event.

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Being Creative

I love being creative.  I have many of my finished pieces posted on my Facebook Fan Page.  Follow the link to find the Lee Shore Gallery fan page to see more of my work.

Here is the link to my fan page:  http://www.facebook.com/creationsbychristina#!/pages/Lee-Shore-Gallery/235022214815

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Newbee

Hello everyone. I am new to blogging. I understand it is the thing to do. I have just opened my Etsy Shop and want to promote my handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry designs and hand paints silk designs.

Check out my etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChristinaLeeDesigns

Also go to Facebook and like my Page: 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/CreationsByChristinanet/234298023283612

Thanks, Christina M. Lee