Monday, July 20, 2009

Phew, that was close!

Celeste with the baby babette
The baby shower for my sister in law, Celeste, was on Saturday. I didn't have much time to work on the blanket last week because I was getting ready for my class on Friday. Soooo, I was up til 2 am Friday stitching squares together, and again Saturday morning! I finished everything but weaving in the yarn ends, which I will do soon. I wished I could have had it totally finished, but I was just happy that it was all put together. Mom's friends all really liked the blanket, and want me to teach them how to do the kool aid dyeing.

This is the quilt that mom made for her first grandchild.
The zig zag quilt pattern is from Anna Maria Horner. I love the way this turned out.

Karen, Kathy, Mom and I
I'll post more detailed shots of the blanket soon. Oh, by the way my jewelry class was a hit, and I'll tell you more about that too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Weekend-Fiesta Time!

Doesn't this arrangement on top of my new(ish) table runner look like a fiesta?! Mom had this embroidered piece of fabric, from India I think, and it is the perfect size for my table. We are about to grill fajitas, and tomorrow we are attending a Cervantez family wedding. So yeah, it is fiesta time around here! Happy weekend.
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Gradation Brooch (and I) Won an Award!

Tonight is the opening reception for a show that my Gradation Brooch is in. I won't be able to make it, unfortunately, but if you are in Denton I hope you can. Apparently I won and award as well, how exciting!

The 125-Mile Exhibition was initiated in 2006 to establish a regional, high-quality juried art exhibition for artists living within a 125-mile radius of Denton to compete and show their work. This year's juror is Chris Bergquist Fulmer, professor of art at North Lake College in Irving. The exhibit will run July 7-Aug. 6 at the Texas Woman's University Fine Arts Gallery.

An opening reception and awards ceremony will be on July 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery.

More info here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Getting Sidetracked

My day has been thrown off track. I am about to get back to work, I swear. I just spent way too much time playing with this image in photoshop. I love lomo photography, and wanted to make this shot look like one. A fake lomo if you will. I think it looks pretty cool, even making my dirty window fit right in!

By the way, this is my four hundredth post on this blog, can you believe it?!
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Pebble Drilling Tutorial

I wrote this tutorial with the help of fellow jeweler Victoria Takahashi. It was originally posted on the Etsy Metal blog, but I thought I would share it with my readers as well.

Ashley Akers and Victoria Takahashi are two metalsmiths who utilize pebbles in their jewelry designs. Each artist drills holes in their pebbles, both as a means of connecting the pebble to their metalwork, and as an integral part of their designs.

Ashley and Victoria use similar, but slightly varied pebble drilling techniques, which they will share with you here.

Both artists use a few basic tools.

A means of drilling: Ashley uses a dremel tool and Victoria uses a drill press.

Diamond Coated Drill Bits: Ashley uses hollow core bits and Victoria uses cylinder bits.
*more on this below

Water in a shallow dish: Pebbles need to be drilled under water.

The key factors in drilling pebbles are:
Drill under water

Go slowly

Back your drill bit out often.

Backing your drill bit out of the pebble allows the water to flush out the slag, or debris, that builds up in the hole. Don’t push down too hard, but rather allow the drill bit to do the work. Be patient! As Victoria points out, “if you go to hard or fast you will completely overheat and melt off the tips and they go "squeeeeeeeeee" really loud, oopsy, $ cha-ching!”

Ashley finds it helpful to start out with a small pilot hole that you can drill outside of the water. This helps because the water quickly clouds up and you can’t see your hole, but have to go by feel. The pilot hole will be very shallow, just enough so that your drill bit doesn’t move around on the pebble.
*Ashley uses hollow core drill bits but is not completely satisfied with them. They are more costly than the cylinder type, and the small ones clog up very easily. After trial and error Ashley has decided that starting with a smaller drill bit and working your way up to the size you need the hole to be is quite helpful. The less material you take out at one time the easier this process is, and incremental drill bits allow you to do just that.

Don’t get impatient and push through the pebble on the back side. This will cause a fractured look where the bit breaks out a bigger section of the pebble. Sometimes even if you are patient this can still happen. Trial and error as well as patience are essential parts of this process.

You can expect to go through a lot of the diamond coated drill bits in the beginning. They can break and the coating can wear off, but this lessens with practice. It takes a while to get the feel of drilling pebbles. The denser the pebble the harder drilling will be, and longer it will take.

As always, it is important to take safety precautions when drilling. Be sure to wear safety goggles and keep hair and loose clothing out of the way.

Have fun, and happy drilling!

Here are some Pebble Jewelry Designs by these two artists.

Victoria Takahashi

Ashley Akers
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Zinnia Colors

I talked about my love for zinnias last week. Well, I'm still enjoying my zinnias from my cutting/veggie garden, and plan to all summer. It struck me yesterday how similar my kool aid yarn colors are to my zinnia colors. Obviously I'm drawn to bright colors!

I blocked the crochet squares that I had finished already. I couldn't believe how easy and effective it is. It was my first time to block anything. I just wet the squares, pinned them to a foam board, and let dry. It didn't take long for them to dry in the hot Texas sun. They turned out so neat, flat and square. I can't wait to get it all put together.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Good morning. I just wanted to share some pretties with you. The zinnias are from my garden, the roses from Central Market.