The process...

Necklace made with fireline fishing line

orange and green aventurine necklace
I made this necklace the other day with orange and green aventurine beads. The smaller beads are agate. I had the beads for sale in my store and I kept seeing them as a necklace so I made a long necklace using fireline fishing line. Someone told me about fireline fishing line years ago. I haven't used it much but I like it because it's thin and strong. I do a Peyote style stitching to lock the strand. I am going to use it with pearls in the future.
orange and green long necklace

My kiln repair

broken kiln
My kiln broke and I tried to repair it with some old kiln cement I had and it didn't work...so sad. If I had had a good kiln cement it would've worked beautifully.

broken kiln:2
Now I have to take it all apart and clean up the mess.

drill bit for kiln repair
This is a great drill bit. I got it at a garage sale. I bought it because the guy said it was a great drill bit. He was right!

L&L hi-temp kiln cement is the best
I had to wait for the kiln cement to arrive.

wet hi-temp kiln cement
This is what it looks like.

kiln element care
I'm always gentle with moving the element because they get brittle over time. If I break it then I have another repair! But I already found a great video for that.

repairing a kiln
I had to do this in two stages. You can see how I measure the pieces. I cut them with my mitre saw. I always have the shop-vac on when I'm cutting or grinding. I used fire brick from my old kiln which matched the fire brick in the kiln I'm repairing.

protect the elements!
I try to protect the elements, but I usually get something on them. It can damage them if I get cement on them.

butter the fire brick
Butter the surfaces after you dampen them with water.

kiln repair
It's like frosting a cake.

the kiln repair
The cement seems really secure when dry. I hope it works! Otherwise I have to buy a new kiln! Even if I get another 6 months out of this kiln I would be happy!

I used
this video as a guide, but a different cement than the one featured.

shaping clay to look like fabric

folded fabric kiln fired clay raku
I love taking clay and shaping it to look like fabric. I am also an admirer of George E. Ohr who manipulated clay in interesting ways.

house bead with metal roof

metal roof house beadshouse bead with metal roof
House beads with metal roofs. A fun way to use my copper matte raku glaze.

clay beads

clay beads
Now I have to decide.

Raku bead cleaning

cleaning raku beads
I was able to fire some beads this week. Yay! Now I have to clean them. Boo!

He heals the broken hearted

broken shells
I was blessed to go to Florida recently and I walked on the beach and went in the ocean.  It was the Atlantic side and it was rough so there were only broken shells on the beach.  I walked the beach picking up the shell fragments, studying them I found one was more beautiful than the other. I was kind of shocked to realize they were more beautiful than a perfect shell.  I loved all the scars and holes.  I loved the way they broke and each shell had a different unique pattern.  I was stuffing my pockets with shell fragments and filling my empty coffee cup with them. My mind was planning how I could use them in jewelry.  It made me think of God's mercy, bringing beauty out of broken people and using them in His plan. 


He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3



Lake Michigan beach stones cut in half


lake michigan stones cut in half:2
lake michigan stones cut in half:1

lake michigan stones cut in half:3


It's fun to work with such beautiful material. When I look at the variety and complexity of each rock I marvel at how awesome a creator God is. He has hidden such beauty inside a rock. No one will ever see it until it’s cut open.

Before and After

clay beads:raw

Before....




kiln fired clay beads raku

After.





love rocks

love rocks:1love rockslove rocks:4

love rocks:2
I love cutting stones in half and seeing what's inside. They are still the same stone, but now separated. I thought these are a nice symbol of a relationship separated...long distance relationship, death, parent separated from children. Each stone represents one relationship. Each member gets one half and keeps it and holds it as a reminder of that relationship until the two are reunited bringing the two halves together. Sappy? I like the idea anyway.

raw clay beads

raw clay beads

redo oil painting

painting overpainting over 2

redo
For some reason I love this theme...


I started these paintings years ago and have lost interest in the idea so I'm painting over all of them. I am also trying to use up my old oil paints. I had set aside oil painting because I can't seem to ventilate well enough in the house when I paint.

I like to use mineral spirits as a thinner. If I paint in the basement the dryer burns off the vapors making the clean clothes smell like turpentine.
"Ugh! Now I have to wash everything again!!"

Yesterday I painted in the kitchen. I opened the window and lit a candle trying to burn vapors and ventilate. Later I turned on the stove and had the same problem...turpentine! I had to burn off the mineral spirit vapors in the stove before I could cook dinner because no one would want to eat food that smells like turpentine.

I'm going to try the upstairs bedroom today.


redo oil painting
I kind of wish I had left the face as part of a landscape design. Oh well!

redo oil painting 2
redo oil painting 3


redo oil painting 4
More changes to come...

9/13/17
red bushes


painting over old oil on canvas
Hmmm...what should I do with this sketch?

The Bead and Button Show 2016


bead and button show 2016:1bead and button show 2016:3

bead and button show 2016:2

I went to the Bead & Button Show today. It is held every year in Milwaukee; that's about 15 minutes away from me. I looked at the classes this year and wished I had signed up for a couple. They all look like so much fun. Maybe next year!

Starting over

My daughter was cleaning the computer and accidentally threw out my website, so I'm starting over! It may change a lot over the next few weeks.