Sunday, December 14, 2008

Humbug? Just a lil' bit....

I love the Christmas season, so I am usually ready and raring to put up decorations right after T-day turkey leftovers have made there last go-around in the microwave. But this year, not so much... It's already Dec. 14th and my gifts are not wrapped or shipped... in fact, I still have quite a bit of shopping to do yet and I have not put up ONE decoration or a single twinkling light.

I think the stress of whats going on in our world, nation and in my own little universe has knocked some of the wind out of my sails (and sales) this year. However, I am sure I will be bummed if I let this season pass without putting some of the 'icing on the cake' though. I know the decorations are not even close to being the true reason for the season, but it is still one of my favorite parts, so I am hoping my inner elf kicks in soon!

At least I can say my Scrooginess has not extended to crafting. I did make quite a few Christmas themed decorations and jewelry pieces for my online stores and the craft bazaar I did at my office last month. Here's one of the posters I did for it:
It was very casual. We each just had one little folding table set up in a hallway. Unfortunately, we had several participants cancel at the last minute so the selection was not too great. Also, it was right during one of the scariest financial times and just after some jobs and departments were eliminated, so people were not exactly in the shopping mood and they said so as they just walked on by. But it was still a good experience overall and I donated a small amount to charity as a result of sales. Next year will hopefully be better.

On a more upbeat note, check out the sneak peak in my Etsy store 2 showing in the left margin to see some of the ho-ho-holiday items posted recently. Click 'em to see the listing! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Twilight twinkles...

Well since I am now a full blown fan (to put it lightly) of the Twilight novels and the movie myself, like others, I have been inspired to create some art based one some of the surrounding described in the books. Living in Washington and being a tree lover, it's only natural that the scenes that talk about flying through the woods and the vine maples that form arches around the edge of a meadow hit me with intense visuals. Here are a couple of the pieces that I have recently added to my store.

Cullen's Woods


To make these pendants, I carved a relief in a large rubber eraser, pressed precious metal clay into the mold and when it was at the leather hard stage, I used a needle tool to make tiny holes in the area I wanted to be darker so that the antiquing medium would pool in them. I guess that would be pointilism in the literal sense. The pieces have been kiln fired, tumbled, antiqued then hand polished.

Gear Up for Twilight!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yay! It's finally out! And still out of my hands...

I have been waiting and waiting for the Winter 2009 edition of the Belle Armoire Jewelry quarterly magazine to come out and it's finally available!

The reason I am excited is because it contains a feature on my silver tree jewelry. Sadly, none of my local stores have it in yet but they should in the next week or so. In the meantime, it is availabe on the Somerset Studio (Publisher) website here.

A few months ago the editor contacted me because she saw my work on a website and liked it. She asked me to write an article and submit 3 pieces along with instructions and photos of the work in progress.

Below there is a tiny sneak peak per the proof I received from the editor showing my article, my hands at work and their photography of my pieces.

For a full size readable version, please pickup a copy of the magazine!! Michaels and Ben Franklin craft stores and other large chains sell the magazine. Also many bead stores and larger magazine stands. Barnes and Noble and Borders have it sometimes too.

I received an email from the editor today asking me to submit another article for their next issue by Jan. 15th! I better get to work! I have an idea in mind for what to write about, but it's a secret. Neener, neener. =oP

Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Tis Officially the Season

Thanksgiving is over and now we are on to Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho!! I am working on getting in to the holiday mood by creating some holiday jewelry and decorations. This year I decided to make some soldered glass ephemera collage ornaments with some beautiful angel and St. Nick images I have been saving for something special. I used scalloped tape around the edges and high quality solder with a touch of real silver in it. I used twisted and plain silver tone wire to hand form the hooks and filigree hangers. Many have genuine chandelier crystals and other beads attached. They were fun to make. I hope people like them. I have started adding them to my store today. More coming in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with those you love.

Photos copyright Lisa Whipkey, Kamera Kat Studio

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight and the Twinkling it Inspires

The Twilight series of books by author Stephenie Meyer is talked about EVERYWHERE these days in case you have not noticed. And now that the movie is coming out, the planet has a bit of vampire mania.

I have always loved vampire stuff and might even be a closet goth somewhere down deep and since the book and movie is set in my home state of Washington, I am really falling under the spell of Stephenie's work myself and I cannot wait to see the movie.

I was "window shopping" around Etsy and noticed that some of my fellow artists have been inspired by to create twilight-ish art. Here's a sample of the stuff I found:

An altered Art Charm Bracelet by poetsummer
Edward quote pendant in a matching tin from shadesong
A set of four scrabble tile pendants from CandyTilesLove this star quote pendant from storytales
And last but not least, check out this Edward dream quote pendant from bluembrownlee

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's always an honor to be featured in someones Treasury on Etsy. Thank you DCHStudio for picking my "Drangonfly Dame" pendant for yours. To see it live, go here before it expires on 11/24/2008.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wire that Wows!

As any jewelry lovin' artsy craftsy gal knows, there's about a million ways to make jewelry - metal clay, beads, shrink plastic, polymer clay, soldered glass, fused glass, metalsmithing, nuts and bolts & bubble gum. OK. Maybe not the gum, but you get the idea that there's lotsa ways to make bling.

Just about all of the aforementioned methods for making jewelry call for incorporating some form of wire work on occasion, either to enhance the appearance or for function. It may be as simple as making a loopy bail, earring hooks or wrapping a stone, but wire has always been an important element of jewelry making. Wire even stands on it's own as a primary jewelry making medium. Take a look around your local craft store and you will find there are many kinds of wire and tools to make it do something funky.

OK. I do about every craft known to woman so why have I not got in to wire more? Well, because a lot of what I have been exposed to in craft and bead stores, while fun, is also semi gaudy or seems to be geared towards kids or casual looks that's just not me. However, I have stumbled on some truly inspiring wire work from a fellow Etsy artist that is elegant and creative. I just have to share some of this awesome work with you.

Here are some pieces from
juliadesigns. Please visit her online store to be wowed further. She even offers tutorials so you can create some pieces for yourself:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You heart me.... You really heart me.... ::Sniff::

Aw shucks. Ya'll are making me blush. Thanks for all the "hearts". You see, on, people can bookmark their favorite products or sellers and that is called "hearting". On my main store, I just got hearted for the 300th time. Thanks everyone. You are so kind. =o)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One of my favorite things about being an online shop keeper, blogger, and all around web geek is that I get to meet and interact with talented and interesting people that I may never cross paths with in my 'real world'. (However - be careful who you meet! I met my hubby on line. What a freak! ... Just kidding Honey).

One of my jewelry customers who is a former Elite International model, produced a really cool documentary on body image and self esteem and how what we see in magazines and the runway really has an impact on kids in particular. If you are an indie film fest person, please support
Nicole Clark and her film Cover Girl Culture if it plays near you. It was recently a selection for the Womens International Film Festival.

Incidentally, she said she might be wearing one of my necklaces in the film or interviews she has done. I'm almost famous maybe! ;o) LOL.

Thanks Nicole for telling me about your project. I wish you much success.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vintage Vines Bead Featured in Etsy Treasury

Fellow Etsy seller LesTroisGrenouilles has featured my "Vintage Vines" bead in an Etsy Treasury as a collection of "A few of my favorites". A very nice honor. Thank you LTG. To see the treasury in real time, click the title of this post (only available until 11/11/08 9:18am).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Steampunk? What the Heck is That?

All over Etsy there are shops selling steampunk jewelry and fashions and there are pictures on flickr with groups just for steamy stuff. All of the sudden I started seeing this "steampunk" term every where and I had no idea what it meant, but it seemed artsy so I wanted to know!

Wikipedia says,
"Steampunk is a sub genre of fantasy and speculative that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of
H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. "

Well, I guess we've all seen fantasy/sci-fi movies seem to take place in the past but with modern tools and fictional modes of transportation at hand. For example, here are some recent movies in the steampunk genre ... Sleepy Hollow, Wild Wild West, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Around the World in 80 Days, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lemony Snicket, Van Helsing.

As I researched steampunk, I found there is a subculture of people who are really into it as a lifestyle with role playing, magazines, etc. It's sort of like how trekkies, renaissance faire lovers and S.C.A. members have their own little parallel world where just for a moment, they can be someone else living in a different time and place.

OK. So how does that translate to fashion, art and jewelry? Well, pretty interestingly actually. Gears, cogs, clock parts, Victorian lace, old leather bomber jackets, aviator goggles, monocles, antique brass filigree, corsets, computer parts, etc. are brought together to make things that are a mix of old and new with a semi-dark whimsy.

Here's an example of steampunk jewerly I saw on Etsy that got me interested in finding out what it was all about... See
Mad Art Jewelry

Also see
Mad Art Jewelry on flickr and check out 19 Moons on flickr too. (Note: The Winged necklace at the top of the page is by this artist)

There are many Etsy (and Ebay) sellers who specialize in the steampunk look too like
COGnitive Creations, E.D.M. designs, Ruby Ann Designs, 19Moons, etc.

If you are interested in making some of your own steampunk jewerly, just search on 'steampunk' or cogs on Ebay. Also check
Etsy Suppliers. Earthenwood Studio offers ceramic steamy stuff. Brass filigree seems to be a key component too and there are many sources. Vintaj is kind of pricey but they have aweseome stuff. Try Trinity Brass Co. Go to Search Etsy & Ebay Stores like B'Sue Boutique too. Ooo... And pretty blogs are all around for inspiration. Look at this post from Star of the East and Earthenwood Studios.

In the end, I don't think the steampunk look or lifestyle is for me personally, but it is visually interesting and so creative. I am in awe of the wearable art the featured designers have made.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Have a Spooktacular Halloween! I was ego surfing (Googling my name and my business names) and I found this Halloween photoshop illustration that I did on someone's Halloween blog post from last year. Wish I knew what it said! LOL!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pretties from the Past

As I mentioned in previous posts, I love Fall. I am usually out there in the midst of it with camera in hand snapping pictures of leaves like I have never seen them before. But this year, I have not had one single day of Fall photography frolicking. Too busy, too tired, too sick (had e-coli). So, I will just have to settle for some pix from previous seasons for now...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Precious Metal Clay Over Porcelain

Hi. I recently had a fun collaborative project proposed to me from a fellow Etsy member, marlasmud. She is a porcelain bisque artist who offered to send me some samples in exchange for some photos of the finished work that she could use for advertising to PMC artists on her website.

PMC-ers like myself can lay pure fine silver paste, clay and syringe clay over bisque forms and fire in a kiln to make pieces that have the look of chunky silver, withouth the weight and cost of it. (See the instructions in my previous post for making beads with this method.) I still have a few more pieces to complete when the inspiration hits me, but this is what I have done so far. Most of these will be posted in my Bead & Findings Store soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Was A Poet and Didn't Know It

Well, maybe I'm a poet - maybe not... the jury is still out, but I try on my poetic hat on occassion. There is a new magazine called Life Images by Somerset that is part of the family of artsy publications by Stampington and Company. It features 99% reader submitted content. They are looking for emotive photos with accompanying poetry, short stories or journalling. I decided to give it a try.

Now I know that not all poetry has to rhyme and that there are certain patterns (meter) or stanzaic rules I probably did not follow, but I had fun. Here's what I have submitted so far:

Sweet lonely child of stone and moss;
Anyone can sense your loss.
Your broken wing, your broken heart;
The sense of mourning you impart.
You guard a grave so small & deep;
As the shepherd guards His sheep.
Now safely in His loving care;
The soul you guard’s no longer there.
~Lisa Whipkey

Lines connecting - intersecting.
Yet divided - still two sided.
Parallel and paradigm,
As evening is to morn in time.
~Lisa Whipkey

So just what are the various forms of proper poetry anyway? Good new for me... there are LOTS, so my style is sure to be covered in there somewhere. AND more good news... puctuation rules are out the window when it comes to poetry. It's true. It is up to the writers discression whether to use a period, comma, semi-colon, dash or no punctuation at all. The one consideration is that poetry should be written with recitation in mind, so if you want the reader to pause, you better punctuate accordingly. This site illustrates how "Every poem you write has the possibility of being a new poem with the addition (or deletion) of just a few punctuation marks." which is kinda fun to play with.

While doing a quick research on writing poetry, I found this fun exercise that got my poetic juices flowing. In the end you end up with a poem written in the "Constructivist " form.

  1. On the first line write a noun of your choice

  2. On the second line write two adjectives joined by "and" to describe this noun

  3. On the third line write a verb and an adverb to describe this noun in action

  4. Start the fourth line with "like" or as followed by a comparison

  5. Start the final line with "if only" followed by a wish

Gentle and Soft
Smelling Sweetly
like a baby's breath
If only your thorns were as endearing

Give it a try! It's pretty fun and kind of addiciting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oo la la Lingerie!

Hi there... Just posted a couple of new original art pieces in my TBS2 store. They are part of my "BOUDOIR BEAUTY" series of mini artfully framed lingerie collages that I have been making for fun. Hopefully shoppers will think they are cute for shower gifts or for their girlie BFF's birthday. They come packaged in embellished boxes that coordinate with the art. I have more on the way if these do OK.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pubished! ..... Almost

What this?
It's a little sneak peak of the article that will be coming out in the Winter 08 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine featuring an article & a photo tutorial by yours truly. I am very excited! This week the editor sent me a draft copy of the layout for review. They photographed the 3 pieces of silver that I submitted for the article and edited the text a bit. It was fun to see what they did with what I sent. I'll post more about this article and how it came to be when it hits the shelves!