Saturday, December 28, 2019

December Theme Challenge – Handmade Christmas

2014 Christmas Ornaments given as gifts to the Studio b Zumba instructors
This month's Art Elements theme challenge - Handmade Christmas. This was a fun challenge because it allowed me to go back and look at the things mom and I have made, in the past, and have given as gifts. So this was a nice stroll down memory lane. Though I don't have pictures of all the gifts I have given in the past, which was dumb.

Mom and I did want to work on a piece to make in December. We were lazy though and didn't get them completed (I should I say I was lazy and didn't feel like enameling - though I should have when it was 61 degrees out).

Mom found the pattern for the cat and dog Christmas ornaments. I think mom is almost down filing and sanding the dog (the cat was already done). If it is warm again I will work on enameling them. Once that is done we will display the two pieces in small shadow boxes.

Mom and I have created Christmas ornaments in the past to either sell or give as gifts. I think we even have a few left in the Etsy store. We even have done a Christmas ornament swap, but it has been a few years.

2016 Studio b key chains
This is the year mom helped me create key chains with the sayings from each of the Studio b instructors on them. It is hard to see what the key chain says say, but the all start with "b" because of Studio b. If you want to see how they key chains were made you can go to our EB Bead and Metal Works Facebook page. There is an album about the key chains there.

2017 Studio b instructor initial pendants
In 2017 mom helped me created 20g copper pendants with the initials of the Studio b instructors. I then tried to be sneaky by asking them all what their favorite colors were (I asked for three or more colors). Once I had their colors I went to town on the enameling. Mom was great on sawing out the initials for me (because I would have never done the initials as intricate as she did!!!!).

2018 Studio b bowls for the instructors
In 2018 I decided to go with enameled copper bowls. I still had the FB message from 2017 with the instructors favorite colors. So, mom and I sawed out the bowls and then mom pounded them into different shapes for me. There is actually a video from when mom was pounding them into shape that I posted to FB.

2019 Soap Sack for Work
This year I decided to crochet soap sacks and give soap as gifts to my co-workers. In July I started crocheting my own wash clothes, loofah and soap sacks. I also started buying handmade, local soaps to use.

I found the soap sack tutorial on YouTube. The first one I made was awesome. The next 10 I made just seem to get worse and more worse (mom said they looked fine, but I could see all the mistakes).

Mom could tell I was very frustrated. I finally told myself to stop, watch the video and write down the instructions (the links to the instructions no longer work on the YouTube video). Writing down the instructions seemed to help.

The first 10 soap sacks I made I will donate to S.A.C.K. They give out soap sacks to the homeless (I plan on making more later, but need a break) to use with soap.

The soap I gave with the soap sack is from a local business woman. She is normally at the farmer's markets and she was actually at one of the shows mom and I attended in November (I bought more soap). You can find her business on Facebook called Next to Godliness. Her soaps are amazing!!!! I highly recommended her soaps if you are looking for homemade soaps.

These are the soap sacks I made up for my co-workers. Each soap sack has a different soap for the person. I know two of my co-workers were just leaving the sacks on their desk so they could smell the soap :)

Mom and I haven't been lazy all of December :) We have been knitting preemie and chemo caps to donate. These are the preemie hats we have completed and mom has boxed up to mail to various hospitals.

We just have started on knitting the chemo caps again - I think we only have four done right now.

I am also teaching myself how to crochet finger-less gloves. I would like to see if I can also donate these for people who are going through chemotherapy. I have been told that those individuals become very cold. So, thought this might help too.

I am using YouTube videos to teach myself. Again I am doing something wrong, not sure what I am doing wrong, but I have written the instructions out. So I am hoping that helps me figure out what is going on. If you haven't figured it out yet, I am stubborn and I will persevere, dang it!

So, that is it for the handmade Christmas.

I hope you check out everyone who is participating in the blog hop.


Evie and Beth (here)

AE Team

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have a great New Year! I can't wait to see what 2020 brings!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Sale in the Etsy Shop - 20% Off

There's still time to give the gift of handcrafted jewelry, bowls, key chains and metal prints. Visit the shop on Etsy and get your orders in by December 18th to meet the USPS shipping deadline.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Shop Sale - 20% Off Everything Until December 2nd

Everything is on sale in our Etsy shop from now until December 2nd. We are also offering free shipping - the coupon code is XMAS2019.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

November Theme Challenge - Fossils

It is that time again - the Art Elements Theme Challenge reveal - Fossils. I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone has created. This was a fun challenge - as usual.

Mom actually did the searching for ideas this month and she came up with the above idea. As long as you can saw it out mom the happier I am. Though again with the small holes - those are the bane of my existence when I enamel. Though they really give the person the feel that this is a fossil pendant.

I think I rather use a dental pick to get the enamel out of the holes than sawing out the pendants. I am soooooo glad mom likes to saw.

What the pendant looks like before I start the enameling process. After mom saws out the piece she then files and sands the copper.

The enameling process. I like working in batches so I can have an assemble line going. Thank goodness it isn't too cold out yet. I think it was about 50 degrees out when I was enameling on this day. Not looking forward to when it gets colder - the heaters can only do so much when I have the exhaust fan going (it sucks out all the heat - which is alright because I really don't want to die from the fumes).

Mom and I went to our favorite bead store to look for "fossils" to go in our necklace. We ended up purchasing petrified wood, leopard jasper and fossil stones.

I used crackle enamel for the pendants. On the bottom pendant you can see
the crackle cells I was going for. Unfortunately the top pendant didn't get the
crackle cells I wanted. I still love how these turned out though.
I ended up taking photos of the piece outside - because again we are actually having warm weather. Plus I liked how the necklace looked against the cement walk.

Mom and I ended up using the petrified wood and fossil stones (the fossil stones are the triangle beads). I love the concept of the necklace, but I am not happy with the way the necklace lies. I think I want to make some lampwork beads to add to the piece and maybe some seed beads between the larger beads.

So, far now this is our piece for the Art Elements Challenge Theme - Fossils.

I hope you take the time to check out everyone else who is participating. Thanks for stopping by!


AE Team

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Free Shipping from Now until December 26th

In our Etsy shop
Mom and I are offering free shipping, when you spend $30 or more, from now until December 26th in our Etsy store.

I just re-opened the shop this Sunday after mom and I finished our last show of the season on Saturday.

The coupon code you can use is: XMAS2019

I am still adding more items - I have some pendants, earrings, necklaces, key chains and enameled copper bowls that I have to take pictures of and I will get listed.

If you don't see something in the shop - contact us and we can work with you to create something special.

You can see most of our work on our Facebook page - EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC.
Look under Photos and Albums.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Theme Challenge: Eyes

This month's Art Elements theme is - Eyes.

Mom and I both looked for ideas for this theme - I have a Pinterest board of Art Elements theme ideas. I think mom and I both came up with ideas for these month's theme. I found the idea of the tiger eyes and mom found the idea for the Day of the Dead.

These are the patterns glued down onto the copper. Mom will then drill pilot holes, thread the jeweler's saw blade through the holes and saw out each design. I didn't take pictures of mom sawing this time - she mostly sawed while I was at work.

Enameling for me is a several step process:

I start with a clear layer on the back of the piece first:

I then do layers of color until I get the look on want - on the back first. When I am done enameling the back - I then flip the piece and do the same layers on the front - and cross my fingers that the front will look as good as the back.

I then use an iron to smoosh the tiger eyes flat.

And again using the iron to smoosh the Day of the Dead eyes flat.

Because the pieces are flat, and laying on trivets, the heat can warp the piece. So, I use the iron to flatten the pieces out again.

Here are the final pieces:

The tiger eyes are being displayed in a shadow box.

If you guys didn't notice - the face is actually in a feather. Yes, I was totally oblivious of that fact until I started enameling the piece. Mom just shook her head at me and said this was your idea. I said all I was looking at was the eyes :)

Again, we displayed the Day of the Dead eyes in a shadow box. Sorry I couldn't get a better picture. The shadow boxes are not easy to take photos of to share.

So...that is what mom and I created for this month's theme: eyes.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else created!!!

Here is a list of the participants:

Beth & Evie  - you are here

AE Team:

Sunday, September 29, 2019

September Theme Challenge: Foliage

Leaf that was on our driveway with water droplets

This month's Art Elements Theme is Foliage.

Well, I have to say this is the most prolific mom and I have been for the Art Elements Theme Challenges. Mom and I like leaves - so there will be a lot of them.

I actually made some sketches for ideas - they suck - but gives me something to show mom what I am thinking of.

This image was actually a leaf pattern we use for our bowls, a house pattern we used for a cuff bracelet we made years ago - and then I just threw some trees on there for ideas (mom said no to the trees - which I agreed with - but needed ideas for her to see what I was envisioning).

I actually did some sawing - since these were easy enough for me to saw out. Mom is the intricate saw master - give me the easy!!!!

These are the leaves as they are being enameled. With the leaf bowls, or any bowls, I like to enamel the interior first and then the back. The leaf pendants I like enameling the backs first and then enamel the fronts. That is just my preference - I am sure everyone does it slightly different.

Mom and I actually finished the bowl and pendants two weeks ago - for us that is really good. But we had a show last week and I wanted to make sure we were done before the reveal date. The above picture is the one I shared when I completed enameling everything.

So - here are the finished pieces:

I actually made this bowl a few months ago - I used crackle enamel on this bowl and I LOVE how it turned out. So, I had to sneak it in with the pieces I actually made for this month.

This is the bowl based on the two patterns I incorporated into one. Mom made some modifications and I am really happy with the way it turned out. I am so glad mom and I can work together on ideas!

These are the leaf pendants I sawed out. These pendants will be listed in our Etsy store after I open it (hopefully tomorrow). We do have three listed already, but it will be nice to add  more of the leaf pendants. The purple leaf and the brown/yellow leaf have frit on them for a different look. These pendants always put a smile on my face!

This last piece was a last minute piece today. I have had the sketch done for a couple of years and we have had the components for longer. The pendant is one of our abstract/oblong enameled copper leaf pendant and the polymer clay I can't remember who mom bought from. They were a St. NicklausTag gift because I just loved the way they looked. If you know the artist please let me know because I would like to make sure they are named as the artist who made the pods/bird polymer clay.

I laid out the components and then said, "MOM-HELP!". Mom figured out how to add the bird (used a headpin to connect it to the bottom) and then created a loop with the pod at the top of the enameled copper pendant. I then used our lampwork glass beads and poppy jasper as accents to make the necklace. At the top is a seed pod with a jump ring, so I used it as my clasp.

Should have assembled when not tired - I assembled one side wrong.
Going to have to tear apart and reassemble - oh well. Gives me

Overall I am happy with the way my idea turned out.

Thanks for sticking until the end.

I hope you head on over to all the other wonderful artists participating in this month's challenge.


Beth & Evie  (you are here)

AE Team


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