Saturday, March 31, 2012

Still Experimenting

WIP-earrings by Roberta Warshaw
WIP-earrings, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

I am still in the process of figuring out how to apply color to my polymer without it getting sticky.

I just ruined about 10 pieces by applying Golden brand "Sap Green" Acrylic paint to the surface of them. I am not sure why it is remaining sticky. Even after I cure it again it is only seems to get stickier.

The only thing I can think of is that the Sap Green is a different type of acrylic than the Burnt Umber. It is thinner so perhaps that is the reason. If anyone has any suggestions for me on applying acrylic paint to my work I'd sure appreciate it.

I like the direction the designs are going in though. This design was one I ended up turning upside down. I like the way the flowers appear to be tumbling down.

My pile of failures is growing faster than my pile of successes. But how else to learn right?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Experimenting with Molds

Turquoise flower beads by Roberta Warshaw
Turquoise flower beads, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
These are some new beads I made using my inverted designs. I actually like the way they look better than the original impressed stampings. they have so much more depth this way. They feel much more like a small painting to me. I am happy with the results and look forward to making more unique molds in this way.

Oh, and I have been invited to be a guest blogger on the "Love My Art Jewelry" blog. I have been following this blog for quite some time and enjoy looking at the work of their artists, many of whom work in ceramic bead making. I have to think a bit about what I want to write about since we are allowed to decide that for ourselves.

I'll let you know when it is posted. Due sometime in April.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Follow the Bouncing Ball! or I Am NOT a Bot!!!

OK everyone. I have to vent. Please, please, please disable your word verification. Pretty please. I am starting to not comment on some blogs even though I really want to. Sometimes I only have one word to say like "Oh pretty" or "nice" or "wow". I don't want to fill out that stupid form for one little word. Ya know???

Recently blogger has made them even more annoying by making them into two non words and they are really hard to read. My eyes are too old for this and my time is too valuable! I say we all go on strike against word verification! I was thinking that maybe some of you don't know how to turn them off, so here is a little mini tute for ya! Ready, get set, go!

First go to your "Dashboard" and click on "Settings"

Then scroll down to where it says "Show Verification for Comments" Click on "NO"

Then scroll to the bottom and click on the orange box that says SAVE SETTINGS!

Easy Peasy Right???????????????????
Now go do it right now. Please. All your followers will love you even more than we do now!
Feel free to share this tutorial anywhere you wish if you think it will help!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It is official!

I am seriously running out of room in my studio! Between the finished work for sale, the finished work not for sale, the unfinished messes, the tools, the computer, the scanner, the printer, the paintings...........I am piling things on top of each other. It isn't good....

It isn't like I can throw anything out. I need it all I tell you! All of it! Right down to the last piece of already popped bubble wrap. I keep buying plastic boxes at The Container Store, but hey, guess what? You need room for them too!

Anyway, I have to figure out something soon. Sigh.............double sigh.

I also thought I would share some experiments I did this weekend with inverting my stamp designs. They look so different. I was pretty surprised. They seem to have so much more substance. I am going to try doing some of this technique on my beads. Although you really can't do too much sanding on them or you will sand away the raised designs. But it is an interesting new direction to take. And I am all about new directions.

Hence, the reason there is no room left in my studio..........

 I was very excited this morning to wake up to the sale of my sugar skull beads. They have been getting lots of hearts ever since I listed them on Etsy. It is funny, I did it as a bit of a lark but everyone really liked them! I'll have to make some more!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


New pendant by Roberta Warshaw
Red Jade Pendant

I have been experimenting lately with some new pendant designs. I love this color! So rich and lovely. I have listed in in my shop as a component. I am just focusing for the time being on making components for customers to use in their own necklace designs.

I haven't really been in the mood to put anything together. There are so many wonderful jewelry artists out there, I am sure others could do this more justice than I ever could!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Faux Terracotta

Since coming back from vacation, I have not been able to work in my studio as much as I would like. My pinched nerve is still pinched and killing me. I couldn't get in to see my physical therapist until next week. I know it is long to wait but she is really good and helped me so much the last time I needed PT. So I am in pain most of the time and it is getting old.

Also, last Tuesday I had 6 crowns put on my teeth. I was in the dentists chair for over 4 hours. It was grueling and I was on Tylenol for most of the week. He did a great job and I know my teeth will look and feel much better but it has not been a great week. Plus it is freezing here and I miss the warmth of the Arizona sun.

The last couple of days, I have been playing around with a faux terracotta color. At first I tried all manner of combinations of clay colors. I tried raw umber, cadmium red, and yellow. Then there was the addition of black to that mixture. I must have made 25 color samples but nothing was saying terracotta to me.

Then I remembered that one of my Lynda Moseley tutorials had a recipe for faux red jade in it. I mixed up a batch and voila. I think it works well as a faux terracotta. All of her mixes are made using alcohol inks. I really like the way the inks and the translucent clay work together.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pinterest: Just My Opinion

Heart Shaped Cactus by Roberta Warshaw
Heart Shaped Cactus, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
Lately there has been a lot of brouhaha over the latest online obsession, Pinterest. Mostly the conversation is related to copyright issues but I have other issues with the site. Mainly the wasting of my very precious time!

I have to admit that I did sign on at first. I was pinning away and people were following me and I them. But frankly, I just couldn’t keep it up. It was a lot of work. I already have an Etsy shop, a Flickr site, a Facebook page (one personal and one for my business, a twitter site, and my all important and time-consuming blog.

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t need another computer distraction to keep me away from my studio time. When I looked at it as it relates to my bead and jewelry business, it just made no sense.

In order of importance in my daily business and making things life, I would say that my blog is number one. I have “met” some wonderful and amazing people who follow my blog. And I love reading other people’s blogs as well. I cannot tell you how much I learn from them. Not necessarily about beads although that is probably the main thing that I learn about but also writing, retirement, career issues, etc.

My second important online time use is of course my shop for obvious reasons. It requires constant monitoring and tweaking in order to keep it up to date and relevant to my work. As my work improves, I sometimes remove things that I had made previously that aren’t up to my standards.

The third online time use is Flickr. I love this site. I love the constant back and forth with people. The comments as well as the inspirations I gain are really important to me. I don’t feel the need for Pinterest since I feel Flickr fills that need by the option of selecting my favorites.

And finally, the single biggest timewaster is Facebook. You have to hand it to Mark Zuckerberg. He figured out a way to make billions of dollars on peoples need to waste their time. For me the difference between wasting time on Facebook and wasting time on Pinterest is this. I can meet new people on Facebook and interact with them. I find out all sorts of great information from all the jewelers and bead makers I am “friends” with. For me, Facebook is not just about the people I already know. I can speak to them on the phone or in person. It is the ones I don’t already know. There are people who live in another country who may have bought my work through Facebook. To me that is the benefit of wasting time on Facebook. In a way it is like the old fashioned pen pals we used to have when we were kids. But in multiples! And of course much faster.

The last thing I am going to say about Pinterest and that will be it is this: I found a few pieces of my work had been pinned on people’s boards. Now that didn’t bother me so much. It was the misinformation about the item that concerned me the most. For example, I had made an amulet for my mom when she was diagnosed with colon cancer and I blogged about it here. The amulet was pinned as a “charm against colon cancer”. I certainly don’t want anyone thinking I am making these or selling them for any other reason than my mom. Another thing that was even more disturbing was a pin of one of my texture samples using a Helen Breill tutorial. It was pinned as my tutorial and directed people to find it on my blog. I certainly don’t want people to ever think that I developed that tutorial but there it was through no fault of my own. For that reason, I want to be able to control my images and work online as I am sure most of us do.