Saturday, January 23, 2010

Auntie Mary's Lace

If you take bits and tatters of vintage and well-loved lace,  encase them in little soldered glass frames and embellish with creamy, vintage pearls, you are left with dear, nostalgic keepsakes...
If you have a cherished china plate, chipped and cracked from years of loyal use,  and you just can't bear to throw it away....

put a shiny silver frame around it and suddenly it has new life as an exquisite pendant:

And if you have a word that perfectly expresses your attitude toward life,  make it sparkle and proclaim it to the world...

All of these unbelievably beautiful charms were made by our terrific students in our first "Girly & Glittery" class this past week.  I described how they did it in the previous post, below.  The next class is this Tuesday, Jan. 26.  Download the flyer in the sidebar to the right for more info on how to register!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best. Class. Ever.

I have loved ALL of our classes to date, but last night's was the   most fun for me from a crafting perspective.  We're calling this particular class "Girly & Glittery", which is kind of a dorky name, but the 3 soldered charms we're making are on the feminine, glittery, lacy end of the spectrum---perfect, really, just before Valentine's Day.

The first charm our crafty students work on is fashioned after one I bought a while back from Sally Jean Alexander, and I want to make sure and give her credit for the inspiration.  I took her concept of choosing a simple word, affirmation, whatever-you-want-to-call-it,  and then surrounded it with a frame of glitter.  We use a German glass glitter, which is composed of tiny shards of silver glass (unlike the typical crafting glitter which is usually plastic, and/or foil, die-cut in uniform shapes) that is the same type used in vintage Christmas decorations and will tarnish over time to a wonderful patina.  Pairing the glittered charm with rosary-style pearls was how I made this design my own, and I love the X-treme Girliness of the combo:

These are ones I made recently for a sale.  I'm still soldering the ones the ladies made last night, and will be sure to post those photos later, and include the cute treatments they put on the reverse sides.  They all worked really hard and after their first charms were finished, it was time for an M&M break:

Our second charm is a wrapped and soldered shard of china.  Working with the "Girly" theme, we take beautiful old floral-patterned plates, break them into shards, and then further shape them with nippers and grinders.  Once the piece is smoothed, it is wrapped in copper, ready to be soldered with a silver frame.  This project took a bit more elbow grease, but the results are RIDICULOUSLY gorgeous!  I'll post the finished charms once I'm finished soldering, but here are pics of our gals hard at work:

With all of the china shards flying around, oh-so-fashionable protective goggles were a must!

The first step is nipping the shard into the desired shape (here we're shaping a heart):

Then, using a grinding stone, smoothing down the roughest spots:

Finally, the wet electric grinder is used to get all the edges perfectly smooth:

After they are wrapped and soldered, the charms turn out like this (these are ones Chris and I made for samples last night, and I believe Chris wore the pink one to school today!):

Lastly, Chris worked with the ladies on the final "Girly" charm.  Using vintage lace (and I do mean vintage:  Chris brought in bits of her Auntie Mary's bridal veil from the 1930's!  We also had some vintage French lace I picked up at an antique shop),  a charm was made by sandwiching snippets between two pieces of glass.  The resulting charm is transparent, highlighting the lace beautifully.  Pictures of finished charms will be posted later, but here are our fearless students, still hard at work:

Now I am off to finish the rest of the soldering.  We'll have another "Girly & Glittery" class next week, and there are still a couple of spots open.  If you want to take a FUN class with FABULOUS end products, call me!   You'll love it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

December Classes...a month late!

(warning: really long post ahead...)
I have been meaning to post photos of our December session of Collage Collage, as well as the two Holiday Ornament classes, but, as was probably the case for most of you, December got a bit hectic. Better late than never, let me introduce you to the third group of lovely ladies we hosted for this latest "College":

(I made these name-tags in the style of a collage artist whose work I admire, Marsha Jorgensen.  You can check her out here).  Everyone got right to work, finding the monogram initials they liked and then creating their little house-and-map charms. Busy, busy,busy....

And here are the final products (be sure to click on this one to see larger):

Aren't the 'wonky' houses cute?  Wish my photo was clearer (didn't get the fancy camera for Christmas....)

At the second class, everyone worked diligently on their coasters, combining a variety of images to make some wonderful collages.

Nancy looking awfully cute as she gathers her materials. 

Nancy pulled together these pretty rosy pink stamps and images, but ended up not using them (love how beautiful they look in this photo, though):

Crissy showing off her handiwork.
Finished coasters:

 Robyn worked so hard, she started seeing double!
Now,on to our first ornament class.  This is the extra one we added early in December because the original ornament class scheduled later in December filled so quickly.  We used beveled glass to make some very charming 2 x 3" keepsakes for the tree.  A twisted wire (lotsa fun to twist wire with a power drill) decorative loop was added as a hanger, and baubles (chandelier crystals, jingle bells, etc.) dangled from jump-rings on the bottom. Each one was so unique.  True labors of love. Many were made as gifts---I'm sure the recipients loved them!
 crafty in-laws!

Lots of laughs with hilarious Joan:

Familiar faces...
And finally, our last class of 2009, the second ornament class.  We must have been really busy that night, because we failed to take any pictures of our students hard at work!  But rest assured.... Judy, Colleen, Kari, Beth, and Debbie all put their hearts and souls into these little masterpieces:
Thank you  to all of you who took our first wave of classes!!  We ended the year so pleased that we jumped into this new venture,  and so grateful to wonderful friends who supported us.  And now we can't wait to start the new classes in the new year!!  The flyers should have arrived in mailboxes starting today, and we already have a bunch of sign ups!   Sneak peek of new projects coming in future posts.  If you need to download another new class schedule, go to the sidebar on the right of this post, to print one out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Classes on the Calendar!

Still don't have time to do a "real" post, but wanted to let everyone know we've put our new class flyer together and it's going in the mail tonight.

We've added a couple of new classes that promise to be lots of fun!  If you want to take a look, click on the link in the sidebar on the right to download the flyer.  You can print out a copy if you'd like an extra registration form to send in.  Hope to hear from you. And HAPPY NEW YEAR, belatedly!