Monday, April 18, 2011

Beautiful Calla Lilies from Big Sur Counted Cross Stitch Pattern

Beautiful Calla Lilies from Big Sur Counted Cross Stitch Pattern

Calla Lily Cross Stitch Pattern 0077
Calla Lily Cross Stitch Pattern

This photo and the other photo with several lilies were taken when on a trip my husband and I took to Big Sur in 2008. I had never been to California and I was captured, enraptured and wowed by all the sights.

These large lillies were growing along the side of a roadside art gallery. I saw a lot of great art and lots of gorgeous flowers. I took so many photos that I was downloading my card on my lap top as we drove along.

I used a lot of the photos that I took during that trip to create counted cross stitch patterns.

This is one of them.

Enjoy my trip
Julie and Blu

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Polymer Clay Pillow Beads with Floral Canes, Butterflies and Transclucent Canes

April 17, 2011

Polymer Clay Pillow Beads with Floral Canes, Butterflies and Transclucent Canes

Flower Floral Polymer Clay Pillow Beads LB-2011-0032
Polymer Clay Beads Filled with Flowers and Butterflies!

My all time favourite beads to create are pillow beads. I don't know what it is about them, but I can't resist creating them. I like the way they feel, I love the size of them - most 20mm - although I do have some 15mm sized beads as well.

To me, it is hard to resist what I consider a blank canvas.

I start with a blank sheet of clay; either in a tinted colour - I rarely use a colour out of the package, or a neutral.

If I am using a neutral, I will take one of my kaleidoscope canes and cover the sheet of clay before I cut them to the size of bead that I am creating. The base on the kaleidoscope cane beads will not be a part of the design so it isn't that important to me what colour it is. I will tuck it under when I assemble my bead.

When I am creating a garden of beads, I use my tinted clay as the background and generously slice thin pieces of my leaves, flowers and butterfly canes onto the background. It doesn't matter where they go, I will be cutting them all up anyway.

Before I cut my beads up for assembly, I make sure that they are smoothed out. This helps me not to have to do as much sanding as I would if there were hills and gouges. I have carpal tunnel and hand sanding is a bit hard on my hand, so I do the best to keep it at a minimum.

Once I have cut my beads and assembled them with their pillow stuffing, I smooth my edges, doing the best that I can to make them seem seamless. I usually add a 1mm hole to them before baking, but lately, I have been uping the hole to 3mm. I have been reading beaders that are requesting a slightly larger hole, so I have been doing that for them.

Polymer clay is soft enough after it is finished to allow for hole enlargement if needed.

Once my beads are baked, I drop the flower ones into a bath of ice water immediately, it clears the translucent clay right up and makes it clear.

I handsand the beads through three grits and then add a nice little shine of varathene on them before putting them up to dry.

Once they are dry, I do my photos and the next thing you know, they are here as a new item in my store.

I hope you enjoy the beads and the work that goes into them.

Must go bead,

Julie and Blu

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Orange Green Miami Hurricane Colors Beaded Charm Bracelet

Orange Green Miami Hurricane Colors Beaded Charm Bracelet

Orange Green Miami Hurricane Colors Beaded Charm Bracelet
Perfect for your University of Miami fan!

This bracelet titled "Peas and Carrots" is lush with my own creations.

This heavily beaded charm bracelet has been hand created from polymer clay beads, lentil beads, Swarovski crystals, seed beads, Czech glass beads and gold plated findings.

The beads have all been created from artist quality polymer clay and have been hand formed into either 10mm round beads, 10 mm disk beads, 15mm flower beads, 15mm heart lentil beads, 10mm round lentil beads, and smaller disks. Each bead has been accented with gold plated bead caps and spacer beads, as well as delica seed beads and ebeads.

Each bead has been lightly varnished to give it shine.

Additional beads include gold plated filigree 6mm beads.

This bracelet is 6 inches with a gold plated toggle and can be re-sized if needed.

This one of a kind bracelet will not be repeated, even though it was great fun to create the beads for and put together.

Want other school colors? Just ask, I might be able to create something along the same line.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Polymer Clay Floral Cane Chunky Bracelet

Floral Garden Bracelet
Polymer Clay Floral Garden Bracelet

This bracelet was in the making for several years, which just means that I had the bracelet blanks for several years and didn't get around to actually creating anything from them for a long time. I have a habit, good or bad, of picking up things that I see can be used in future projects. I ran across a seller that had these blanks in her store and I bought ten sets. I didn't know what I would do with them and it was before I really got into flower caning, so my coveted canes were all by other folks.

They came in and they were a lot heavier than I realized, so with a hmmmm, I put them away with other bracelet blanks that I had collected with no idea what I would be doing with them.

One day as I was rearranging my studio, I came across these blanks and took them and set them on my work bench with the intention of working on something using them.

I had just finished some new canes and was cleaning up clay, so I grabbed some white clay and built a bead to fit the bracelet. I then added thin slices of leaves and bright colored flowers.

After I baked them, I hand sanded them and added a slight coat of varnish to the beads.

I finished stringing the bracelet and took lots of photos of it.  It does have a little weight to it and it is a large bracelet.

But it's pretty and it is a definate one of a kind bracelet.

Just in time for spring.

Julie and Blu

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Purple Blue Disk Beaded Necklace Pearl Polymer Clay

Purple Blue Disk Beaded Necklace Pearl

Hoppy Taw

Yeah, that's what I named this polymer clay piece featuring my kaleidoscope canes on large cookie shaped disk beads.

The Hoppy Taw was a staple of my childhood. No self respecting 3rd grader ever played hopscotch at school without a Hoppy Taw of one's own. They seemed to be magical and could make you stand on one leg a lot longer. This silly thick rubber disk was some marketing genius's bread and butter. In fact, it wasn't until a couple years ago that I even checked to see if it was really called a Hoppy Taw or if that was some misheard lyric type situation of childhood. It was in fact called just that.

When I created these disks, that was the first thing that came to mind. They are large, colorful and can probably make you stand on one leg longer than anyone else.

Each disk has been double drilled and hand sanded smooth and had a light coat of varnish added for some shine.

The potato pearls both between the beads and hand wrapped on the chain have been dyed to an iridescent blue and purple which is one of my favourite colour combination.

I merged the sets of cable into a single strand and loaded it up with delicas, plated chain and wire wrapped additional potato pearls and Czech glass beads.

The clasp is a pewter rose and the ends have been double crimped and double crimp covered. I used E6000 cement on the crimps and covers to secure the ends.

This has been designed to curve and will automatically do that when you wear it. The length is a comfortable 24 inches.

It is a lightweight piece but it does have a bit of bulk to it due to the size of the disks.


Golf Ball Pot Holder Magnets by Blue Morning Expressions

Playing Through

Handcrafted Polymer Clay Golf Ball Pot Holder Magnets
When you live in Florida, you are surrounded by both the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean and miles and miles of golf courses.

Like a lot of my goodies, these started by those wonderful three words that we all love to hear, "Do You Have ....." which is a variation on the theme of "Can You Make..."

A friend of mine needed a gift for a lovely lady golfer and she saw some ladybug pot holder magnets that I had done and asked how hard it would be to create golf balls for her friend's kitchen. I thought about it a minute and said, "well, I could do a set of two for your friend, if you give me a couple of days to get them done".

It was a mutually beneficial exchange, she had a set of magnets that couldn't be found anywhere else and I had a new product line that given my locale, made for a popular gift.

I used Fimo Soft to form my golf balls, I added my hook and glued it in before baking. I attached a heavy duty thick magnet on the back, and now these are ready for a place of honor on any golfer's refrigerator. Priced right and fun, those are two things that I strive for in my creations.

Most of all, fun.

See you on the 19th hole.

Julie and Blu

Polymer clay heart lentil bead dangle earrings

Polymer clay heart lentil bead dangle earrings

Heart Polymer Clay Swarovski Crystal Dangle Earrings
Heart Lentil Beads - I created a set of these on a whim for the Peas and Carrots bracelet that I did and was so pleased with the results that I decided that I would create a couple dozen little earring sets.

My idea to create earring sets has been spurred by my adoration of the lampwork artists and their earring pairs. They are just affordable enough for me to buy a set of beads and create my own crystal and glass earrings. I wanted to do the same thing with polymer clay for folks that didn't want to get a whole set of eight beads. These earring pairs work up quickly and nicely - just in time for an evening out with friends.

I seem to be drawn to anything shiny, so I have a natural affection for Swarovski crystals and try to use them in all possible ways. These earring beads just begged to be dressed up a bit with dangling and shiny crystals.

I wrapped each crystal with wire so that I could attach them to jump rings and waterfall them down from the bottom of the heart. I used a lot of 4mm crystals in these earrings - they seemed to be the best size for the 10mm hearts.

Because I love black as a design option, I chose the black, yellow and red clay to use as my base bead. I knew that the yellow would contrast nice in the bead and give me the possibility of an orange combination. That also gave me an excuse to use my all time favorite Swarovski color - Fire Opal.

These earrings are fun and affordable and I know that I will be making a lot more of them, they just will all look different due to the combination of the clay used. I have a huge box of crystals in dozens of different colors, so I am not worried about any of these earrings looking the same.

See a pair of beads that you would like created into a similar set of earrings? Just let me know and I will create the earrings for you.

Enjoy shiny things,
Julie and Blu

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BluPrint Blue Morning Expressions Newsletter April 2011

Volume 8 Issue 4 April 2011

What's New in April?

Bead 2011 has selected some of my polymer clay beads for their annual edition. I will have to wait with the rest of you to find out which ones they chose!

New styles for you earring pairs fans. I modeled these after a lampwork lentil bead that I saw at a show. I used the lentil heart in my “Peas and Carrots” bracelet and I really like the way that it looked.

These little pairs make great little earrings for all occasions and they can be as simple as you like, or bedazzled with chains and Swarovski. I am working on a tutorial that I will post on my website as soon as I get the samples done.

Packing to Move. After spending the last 25 years in Florida, we are off on a new adventure! At least for the summer and fall, that is. We are trading in the beautiful beaches of the east coast of Florida with their soul soothing musical waves, to settle in the majestic mountains of Montana. When I write the May newsletter, my view will no longer be a shuttle launch from my kitchen table, but the amazing heights of mountains with magical names like, Bridger and Gallatin ranges. I am looking forward to the new inspiration that the west will bring to me, my beads and my designs.

It will be business as usual with the exception of maybe a week of processing orders out of the back of my truck.


Floral Pillow Beads—with all the flowers that are blooming in my yard, garden and surroundings, I have created a number of new floral pillow beads and have had to add plenty of butterflies to all the sets.

These beads have made their way into

and along with some brilliant lentil beads, are the newest additions under the beads section.

As always, thank you for all your support and emails.

Until next month,

Julie & Blu