Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cuffs For Men and Hints About A New Venture

I took some of my recycled belt leather cuff bracelets to Innova Arts in Mobile a couple of weeks ago...

Last week when I walked in, Shelley, one of the owners, asked me if I could make some to fit a man's wrist.  Well, yes, I can.  It never occurred to me that men would be interested.  I don't know why I didn't think of it, because the cuffs, especially the wider ones, are actually very masculine looking.  

So, earlier today, I dug around for some buttons and baubles that seemed manly and made some in larger sizes.  Here are a couple that are finished and ready to wear...

Leather Cuff constructed from recycled belt and vintage elements
by Judy Pimperl.


This first one features a vintage brass button from a US Navy uniform.  I layered it onto a vintage brown button that acts as a frame for the brass button.  The Navy button has a neat story...

The design of US Navy Officer’s buttons prior to WWII, in use from 1852 until 1941, was an eagle facing left standing on a horizontal anchor. On May 14, 1941 the Navy ordered that the head of the eagle face its right side. “The shift of the eagle's aspect to right-facing from left-facing is logical from the perspective of heraldic tradition, since the right side (dexter) is the honor side of the shield and the left side (sinester) indicates dishonor or illegitimacy.” 

Photo source:  http://www.usmilitariaforum.com
I love little bits of trivia like that to go along with a piece!

This second one has a vintage coin.  

Leather Cuff constructed from recycled belt and vintage elements
by Judy Pimperl


The Soviet Union Cold War era coin features a hammer and sickle and is a white metal.  It's about the size of the US nickel, and I've layered it onto another vintage button that is sort of drab olive green, or the color of an old military uniform.  This is one of my favorites.

I'm still working on more jewelry items for the trunk show that's fast approaching--first weekend in December.  More information on that as soon as I can share it.  I want to wait on the hostess to share the info first.

I also have a dog portrait to do....busy, busy.  

Oh, and I haven't mentioned yet that I'm starting a new business...I have been busy writing the business plan, making budgets, reserving a venue, having a fabulous artist create my logo, getting legal...all that good stuff. It takes lots of hours.  I'll share that too, when I have promotional materials to show and a website.  Sounds like I have more work to do, huh? Stay tuned!

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend.  I'll see you next week.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Autumn Clay Beads and Cold Brew Coffee

I just spend a few hours browsing around online, and I came across some pretty amazing things! Usually, I would just hit the "Pin it" button and stick it on a Pinterest board, but I decided to share some of my finds in a blog post today...complete with links, so that if you really like them, you can click on over and read more.  

I'm really into anything autumnal lately, for obvious reasons...Here's a great fall bead element that's made from polymer clay.  Wouldn't it be a great focal piece for a necklace?  I can see it strung on a simple leather cord--yep, that's how I would wear it.  Other fabulous pieces are available, as well, in this online store, Staci Louise Originals.

She even does a tutorial to teach her technique for achieving the crackled look with polymer clay.  It's just $16.  I'm thinking I might have to do that...I always wondered how to get those crackles.

Then I ran across this, which is odd, because I was just thinking about trying this yesterday. You see, we got a Keurig coffee maker as a  Christmas gift last year and I've been drinking a few cups a day since then.  I love the convenience of the brewer, but the coffee is so strong (even when I tweak on the options to get the weakest brew) that it started giving me acid reflux problems.  I decided to take myself off coffee for a bit just to see if that was the culprit--it was.  No more problems, but I like coffee, so what's a girl to do?  I saw on the Dr. Oz show a few days ago a guest talking about cold brewed coffee, and she said it was much smoother than coffee brewed with heat.  It sounded like something that could work for me...as I said, I was already thinking about giving it a try, and now I know how to do it.  Very simple instructions can be found here:  FarmFreshToYou--Cold Brew Coffee.  They show a glass (or jar) here that looks like it has milk and an ice cube floating in it...I have always loved the flavored frappuccinos, and this looks like it would be similar.  I guess it could even be blended with the ice for my own version.  I always drink only flavored coffees, so I will start out with flavor already in the cold brew...and I suppose you could add anything from there.  Mmmm, a little added chocolate?  Yes, drizzled over the top.

Cold Brew Coffee

There's so much more to be found out in the cyber world, but I have work to do, so sitting here at the computer all day long is not an option.  

I think I'll go start that cold brewing process.

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday.  I'll see you again next week.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Newest Silver Creation Featuring Labradorite

It's been a busy week and it has flown by!  The first part of the week, I finished this necklace and wanted to share it for the last few days but, as I said, I've been busy--lunch out with friends, dropping off artwork to clients, planning a new event that I can't yet talk about (excitement!!!) and taking a sick cat back and forth to the vet's office...Yep, I'm tired, but I'm finally getting around to sharing this with you!

I recently attended a cut stone trunk show at Innova Arts, the art gallery where I'm learning the silversmithing trade.  Mostly, we use cabochons in silversmithing, which are stones that have been cut with a domed and polished top (as opposed to a faceted top) and a flat back (rather than a pointy back).  But there are variations to be found (see image below) and the stone in the piece I'm sharing today is more of a "mixed cut" because it is flat on the back and faceted on the top.  I bought a few new stones so I've got lots of inspiration to keep me going for a few months now!

Via www.jewelrypoint.com

noun: labradorite
  1. a mineral of the plagioclase feldspar group, found in many igneous rocks.

This piece of labradorite is about one inch tall, so it made a pretty nice focal piece for this necklace. I thought the colors in the stone were so pretty, and I immediately saw a vision in my mind of the stone paired with black fresh water pearls and faceted glass beads for pretty shimmer. The colors are perfect for wearing with fall fashion--grays, lavenders and purples, peachy oranges and ambers. I've also incorporated sterling silver beads and a sterling silver closure.  I fashioned the bail so that the focal pendant is removable from the beaded necklace and can be used on a leather string for a more casual look and added versatility.  I also made the bail with two pieces that come up and wrap around the sides of a pretty, sparkly bead, that's right in the middle.  So, now let me share the pictures.  

The length of the necklace (the beaded part) is 19", and the focal pendant piece is 1 1/4" tall from top of the bail to the bottom, and 3/4" wide .  

If you are interested in purchasing this piece, it will be available at Antiques at the Loop in Mobile, Alabama for $179.  

Thanks for visiting with me today and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!  

Friday, October 16, 2015

One-Of-A-Kind Leather Cuffs

Still making cuffs and bracelets for the upcoming trunk show in Mobile, AL.  I will share details when I can...

As always, I start with old thrift store leather belts, then add embellishments that are sometimes old, sometimes new.  This series includes some of both--there's a great old piece of turquoise on one, a wonderful vintage square bakelite button on another, as examples of old, and the new embellishments include a great huge carved coconut shell button on one, and a fabulous Italian crackled green one on another...lots of variety in this series.

If you see one you like, message me for more info.

New Boho-Style Embellishment and Laced Back

New Boho-Style Embellishment and Snap Closure

New Carved Coconut Shell Button
with Leather "String"

Italian Crackled New Button

New Heart Embellishment

New Large Tortoise-Shell Look Button

Vintage Pale Green Jade with Purple Crystal

New Pottery Bead with Blue and Brown

Vintage Tortoise-Shell Look Button

Vintage Mother-of-Pearl and Turquoise with Crystal

Vintage Buttons

Vintage Bakelite Button

They feature a variety of closure styles.  The velvet laced ones are a little more adjustable in size than the others, for obvious reasons.

The snapped ones all have the size clearly marked on the inside.

Some snaps are gold-toned metal and some are silver-toned, and are chosen to enhance the embellishment on the front side.

Thanks for visiting...

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Painting Coco

Some of you may not know that I do pet portraits, especially if you're a new follower to my blog.  I guess I haven't talked about it much lately because I haven't actually painted one in a couple of years. My friend, Lorraine, asked me to paint her Coco recently, and I just delivered it last night, so I thought I would share it with you today.  

This one was a lot of fun to do...I mean, just look at that happy face!

My portraits are a little different than most--I'll explain how and why....

I really try to get a feel for the personality of the pet by doing an "interview" with the pet owners.  I just get them to talk about the furry little (or big) ones until I feel I have enough information to go on. Sometimes, I just ask for one-word descriptions, as I did in this case. Lorraine had already provided some lengthy writings (She's a blogger, too!) that she had posted on her blog back when they lost Coco, so that gave me some additional info to use as inspiration, as well.  Anyway, I then need good photographs.  I usually get several so that I can really see details that might not all show up clearly in just one.  That gives me several to reference as I paint.  I use bright colors, because I think it adds to the fun factor, but I do always try to get ideas about dislikes...for instance, Lorraine is not fond of the color red in decorating, so I only used red where absolutely needed (tongue) and stuck with a cool blue for the background.  Another cool (and fun!) characteristic of my pet portraits is the fact that they are mixed-media.  There will always be unexpected elements used in the piece. In this case, it was the Scrabble tiles spelling Coco's name.  I also let the piece tell a story that usually comes together in my mind over the course of a few days as I work on the piece.  I then cut up the text from discarded books and search until I find all the words needed to tell that story.  This part can take hours--you can imagine.  I had a hard time finding the word "wagging" for this particular painting, but I did eventually find it!  If I simply can't find a particular word, I will change my plan and maybe use permanent ink with letter stamps.  I have tons of fun art supplies available in my studio, so I always come up with something that will work.  Oh, and I didn't even tell Lorraine this, and I wonder if she's noticed yet, but the dog tag around his neck is inscribed in tiny numbers with the date that Coco went to doggie heaven.  I would have also included birth date, but I don't believe they knew that, as she was a pound puppy.  So now, with all that explained, I'll show you some more examples of some of my other pet portraits.

These pics are older and not the best quality, but hopefully you can get the idea.  

If you have a pet that you would like for me to paint, just message me and we can talk.   My prices are 8" x 10"--$50, 11" x 14"--$75.  These prices are for paintings on gallery wrapped canvas which requires no frame.  Other variations on sizes or materials can make the price vary a bit...Shipping is actual cost.

Thanks for hanging out with me today!

Monday, October 12, 2015

More Recycled Belt Leather Bracelets

I've made more bracelets from recycled leather belts.  This one was a skinny belt, sort of burgundy in color, with black accents along the edges.  I gave them more black elements, because that's what they were asking me to do.  Black studs in bracelet that was made from the end of the belt, the part with already existing holes; a vintage black round button on the one in the center; and a new Venetian glass flower bead on the bottom one.  They each close with a cord, either waxed cotton or velvet, simply tied.  Ranging in size from  6 3/4" to 7 1/2", they are slightly adjustable to about a half inch larger.  These are priced at $24 each and can be purchased at Antiques at the Loop in Mobile, AL.  

Each one is size marked on the inside and signed.  If you are interested in more details, please contact me.  

Thanks for visiting!  I would love to have you follow along...See all the ways to follow on the right hand side bar at the top.