Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yes, I won Something!



I never win anything. So you can imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from a fellow blogger, telling me I won one of her pins.

At first I thought it was spam. You know, like I would click on it and get a link to viagra or something. I am so jaded sometimes..............But no,  it was from this wonderful beader,  Cenya  Eichengreen of Oregon. I sent her my mailing address as she requested and lo and behold, today I received my pin. You can see it above. Isn’t it lovely? I am so astounded. I really am. That someone who doesn’t know me would send me such a lovely gift. Somehow I think I need to pay it forward, yes?

When I return from vacation that is exactly what I intend to do.

Thank you so much Cenya!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Packing for Vacation

house with plants by Roberta Warshaw
house with plants, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

We leave this Saturday for our annual trek out to the Berkshires. For two glorious weeks we have a whole house to ourselves and a wonderful swimming pool as well.

I am bringing lots of beads with me since I won't be able to work on any clay pieces. Polymer clay is not very portable. But I am very behind on my Bead Journal Project so perhaps I will get caught up on that. I also plan to work on some of the wonderful beady triangles from Diane Fitzgerald's book. Sitting by the pool with bead work is really the ultimate guilty pleasure for me.

So if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks, don't worry. I'll be back!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finished piece with faux bronze beads

I finished this piece today in between taking my dad to the eye doctor and picking my grandson up after school.

I really like the way it turned out. I am happy that I found a way to use some of the gazillion beads I am making. The tubes are like tiny canvases for me.

One of my online friends suggested that I try Gilders paste. Right now I am using pearl ex and I just love what it does for the clay. But I am going to give the Gilders paste a try as well and see which I like best. Perhaps both.

I also ordered some alcohol inks and will give them a try as well. I have seen some very interesting things being done with alcohol inks and translucent clay. I can't wait to try it but right now I seem heavily wedded to black and bronze.

There are so many roads to go down with polymer. I find it a source of endless fascination to see what other artists are doing with this material. Everyone has their own special unique look.

There is one artist in particular who really impresses me with her creativity and what she does with translucent clay and gold leaf. Her name is Donna Greenberg and her work can be found here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Faux Bronze Beads

Faux Bronze beads by Roberta Warshaw
Faux Bronze beads, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

My name is Roberta and I am addicted to making these beads. It has been 2 hours since I last made some. When I am not making them I am thinking about making them. My head is ready to explode!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

House by the Sea

House by the Sea by Roberta Warshaw
House by the Sea, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I was cleaning out my studio the other day. I got rid of five bags of stuff! While I was doing this I came across an old applique of mine that I did circa 1986.

At the time I was living in a wonderful little house in Key West on the appropriately named "Love Lane". I did quite a few of these appliques in those days and then proceeded to give them all away. This photo is all I have left of them.

I just thought I would share it with you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another set of Beads

A new design by Roberta Warshaw
A new design, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

In between my parents move and filling out financial aid forms for my grandson's piano lessons, I managed to make 2 beads.

I will be glad to get back into my studio routine. Any day now.....sigh

They don't call us the sandwich generation for nothing!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Move is Complete!

Well, it has been an exhausting week. As the move got closer my mom got more and more stressed. I was so worried that she would not survive the move. She really did not want to leave her house in the suburbs at all. My dad is really the one who was pushing for the move. He has been wanting to move for a long time now.

But move they did. Thank heavens for the packers. I don't know how we would have managed without the three young men packing all their stuff. Mind you they moved from an 8 room house to a 3 room apartment. From 6 closets to 2 and a half. From 2 and 1/2 bathrooms to one single bathroom.

As the apartment filled with boxes the stress levels were rising. The apartment has 2 bedrooms so we decided to put all the extra boxes into the den for now as storage. Once we get the rest of the apartment organized, we will tackle the boxes of stuff that should not have been brought. But my mom would not part with anything.

The building where they are living has an in house home help service. So as a house warming gift I gave them 10 hours of help with unpacking, organizing and whatever else they need. I was quite sure that a stranger would have better luck with my mom as far as getting her to throw things away. I was right. Gina came yesterday and while we were unpacking lamps and "chotchkes", Gina and my mom tackled the kitchen. Gina looked at the date on every box of food and my mom agreed to get rid of all the expired food. Some dated as far back as 2003. So the kitchen is organized and no longer overwhelming.

On Monday Gina will come again and help my mom organize the bedroom and bathroom. She will also do the huge pile of laundry that has accumulated. That will be the next challenge. Allowing someone else to do the laundry. My mom is not up to the task but does not admit it. I think once she sees that having someone else do the cleaning and the laundry, she can be freed up to enjoy her life more. Pleasure is not something that comes easily to my mom. She is a child of the depression after all.

Yesterday we emptied all the boxes in the living/dining area and kitchen. Then we will start on the boxes in the den. This will be hard because there are things in there I tried to get them to throw out or give to the junk man but they wouldn't. Things like an old Bell and Howell movie camera, an old movie screen on a tripod, old cleaning supplies, mops and brooms from the garage, books that should have been donated to the library, and many, many other items that really cannot stay. It is clutter at best and a fire hazard at worst. But having help with this will be a godsend.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is not to have to drive an hour to see and help my parents. I can now walk to their apartment. Their building is like a cruise ship that stays in one place. The newspaper is delivered to their door daily. No more wet papers. The dining room is on their floor right near their apartment as the rent includes 2 meals a day. Except on Shabbat when there are no meals. Both the trash room and the elevators are right near their apartment as well. They are making fast friends with the trash room. Especially the chute..........down the hatch!

The view from their living/dining room is not to be believed. All of downtown Boston, Brookline and even Logan airport can be seen. It is a million dollar view.

And amazingly enough there are people in the building that my dad went to college and high school with! So they already have old friends and are meeting new ones every day. This is the best thing of all. They will no longer be isolated from people. I think my mother's cloud will lift. I am quite hopeful. She sounds better already when I talk to her on the phone!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jecru (No not J. Crew)

Some new beads by Roberta Warshaw
Some new beads, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I recently bought a book (yes another book. I can't stop, yes it's a problem).

The book is called "Patterns in Polymer" by Julie Picarello. At first I was a little disappointed because it is about Mokume Gane in polymer clay and I am just not quite there yet. It looks interesting to me but complicated. Perhaps sometime I will give it a try but not right now.

What I did find was an amazing color she has created. It is called Jecru and it has as its base ecru. But Julie adds some punch to the color that really has to be seen in person to be appreciated.

Yes, it is an ivory-like color. I have tried making ivory colors before but they always seemed very flat to me. Julie's formula adds translucent and pearl in varying amounts and the result is a very versatile and stunning color.

I am using it on these beads you see here. She also adds it to colors for a muted effect that enhances the package colors in a simple yet effective way. In other words, it is not a complicated mixing process and all your colors relate since they have the Jecru in them.

I have some in the oven now in which I mixed some Jecru in with turquoise. The color is quite stunning in its raw state. I hope it keeps its color. I'll see in a bit and take some pictures for you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Some New Beads

Some new beads by Roberta Warshaw
Some new beads, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I just thought I would post some new things I am trying. I may try to list them in my Etsy shop as supplies rather than finished jewelry.

I am making far too many of them to make finished pieces out of every one of them.
I really enjoy experimenting with new designs on these beads. I really like the second one in from the right. I like the way the negative space works on that one.