Friday, March 30, 2012

Blu Print – Blue Morning Expressions Newsletter April, 2012

Volume 9 Issue 4, April, 2012

What's New in April?

The flowers are beginning to struggle their way to the surface as the snows are melting across many of the northern states, while the southern states begin to see bright colored blooms explode in gardens.

The flowers are in bloom at Blue Morning Expressions as well. We are looking at using a lot of new and different canes in our beads and revisiting a lot of the older canes that we have had in storage. This revisit is giving new life to our beads.

We have been working on bangle bracelets and shank buttons with these new flowers and hummingbirds. Butterflies are flitting across beads and buttons.



Bangle Bracelets— I have a dozen of these really cool brass bangle bracelets that are just waiting for me to add lots of clay flowers and hummingbirds to them. I managed to get a couple done, but I have SO many more ideas, flower canes and other goodies that I am overwhelmed with the project. It is a good kind of overwhelmed.

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

Until next month,

Julie & Blu



New Products:

New Beads—Here is a new series of beads that I am starting and have a few created. I decided to create separate listings for the same beads that I use to create some of my novelty jewelry that is extremely popular. These are the beads that I have been using for years and have decided to give everyone else the chance to use them to create their own jewelry.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Believe in Pink

“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and... I believe in miracles”, - Audrey Hepburn.

Like Ms. Hepburn, I, too, believe in pink. It is not as bold as red, not as royal as purple, but a subtle color that indicates something is feminine, yet strong.
Pink ballet slippers and tutus, pink heart shaped candy at Valentine’s Day, pink lemonade and ice cubes, the pink ribbon of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and of course, Victoria’s little secret. Pink says a lot about our how we are feeling on the day we wear pink or create something in pink.
When I create in pink, I am feeling like a girly girl, which is the farthest thing from who I am in my jeans and sweatshirt. But, inside I am feeling “pretty, oh, so, pretty”, as the song goes. And silly as it seems, pink is a soothing color.
The following clay artists are expressing their pink sides with these creations and each artist has interpreted pink in a visually different and exciting way.
I love the drama of this visually interesting and entertaining flower pendant titled “Fairy Flower” by KaelMijoy. She captures us with the movement of the spirals and as we are drawn in, the checks and squares stop us in our tracks. Once our vision has cleared, we continue on into the satisfying conclusion that is a spiral center and our eyes end at the finishing dot.

After the pleasant and sweet pinks of the Fairy Flower, we are taken to the dramatic side of pink in this magnificent dragonfly pendant by Kathryn Designs. The addition of gold and copper lend this pendant a deep red-pink color, which adds royalty and drama to this piece. The entire necklace is stunning and regal.

Again, metal leaf was a key part of a design when SecondSisteratMoArkJewelry combined her metal leaf with inks that resulted in a coral pink Monet inspired pendant. This color is appealing and for the adult woman. It reminds me of some of the hats that Jackie Kennedy used to wear. She was able to pull off a coral color with her dark good looks.

image A very classic look for Jackie.This photo looks like the color palette used for that Monet pendant.

EcclecticLadyland is my final choice for my pink expressions today. This particular polymer clay piece reaches up into our cosmos for inspiration and brings back some of the colors that you may see in a nebula. My favorite images are those the Hubble telescope has brought us and I love to look at the big sky and try and see the end.
Stars and Asteroids must have been inspired by the star cluster Pismis 24 that Hubble captured.

image Like a cosmic chandelier, the dazzling lights of the star cluster Pismis 24 hang over the dusty clouds of NGC 6357, a nebula about 8,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius.
I believe in pink.
Julie and Blu

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Buds, Blossoms and Baby Birds

Think spring my little clayers!
Spring is peeking its head up around the country and if you have been cloaked in a cold and white winter, those little signs that spring is coming are a welcome change. Just as buds begin to open up, tiny petals begin their push up from the frozen ground.
The clay artists of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Artfire know how to make spring sing.
Rejoice in the signs of spring like this dancing fairy from Creative Critters. Fairies are the first to know when spring is on the way, so we have to assume that she knows something that we cannot see yet. She knows where all the new shoots are hiding. 

Like dancing fairies, birds know when spring is right around the corner and they get busy building nests and collecting items to tuck away for their brides to be. The constant singing in the spring from the mockingbird goes on day and night during a full moon. While noisy, it does signal a very happy bird.
Bluebird males show the females the prospective nesting sites even though the ultimate decision belongs to her. Sound familiar?
These two little bluebirds are whimsical and appear to be speaking to each other about a nesting decision. Rather reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, these perched birds are certainly a sign of spring in the mountains. Amy Crawley has captured the bluebird in a most amusing way.

During the winter, I get to keep the hummers on my back porch as they ravage my honeysuckle vine, while my folks mope about in Illinois as a frozen hummingbird feeder blows back and forth abandoned.
As spring rolls around and my drunken robins start to get their acts together and head back north, I notice less and less of my hummers outside. I have to assume that they are headed up the coast to visit all of their northern families.
While I see a lot of different varieties of hummers, none are as wonderfully unique and delightful as the hummingbirds that flow from the imagination of Lynn at Desert Rubble. A little bird and a little steampunk, this industrial industrious little bird is quite the looker. If you see him around, it is springtime.

Yes, springtime comes in many different colors and signs, but most of all, it comes with new life and the re-energizing of sleepy souls.
Happy Spring!
Julie and Blu

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lampwork Fanatic!


I am crazy about lampwork beads.

I have this collection of beads that I keep in a tightly sealed container and open only when I want to add another bead to it. Some day I will do one of two things. I will either take photos of all my little beads, or I will actually create something from them. I do love to touch those beads!

I have a handful of favorite bead designers who are so adept with the flame that I cannot help myself and need to hand over all my money to them. There are a couple that I cannot afford, so I just look at their wares and calculate monthly payments.

One of these days, I will spend the money for one of these coveted beads. Until then, I have to enjoy them visually only and really, they are much better shared than tucked in a tupperware box in the closet.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

There is an artist on Artfire who loves the lampwork beads as much as I do, but she is not afraid to put them into a design and share them with the world. I found a couple of her pieces that I just love and wanted to share with you.

First is this lovely bracelet from Lottie’s Trinkets on Artfire.

Her inspiration for this design was the lampwork beads that reminded her of a lily pond. They are pretty in their almost neutral colors with a hint of pink. The beads are commercially produced, but the design is a one of a kind. Lottie paired these beads with Czech glass and Swarovski crystal bicones. It is an elegant bracelet and worthy of a night out on the town.


Another of my favorites from Lottie’s studio includes this wild and exotic looking bracelet of stick pearls and lampwork beads.

I love the design and colors and the outrageous movement of this piece makes it eye catching. I bet it is a riot to wear and get noticed. Again, I love the lampwork beads and she has done a wonderful job of pairing the beads with shape and movement.

These yummy luster coated lentil beads are subtly iridescent and easy on the eyes. The pastel spring colors will make this a great Easter bracelet. I love the pairing of the purple glass beads with the yellow of the lampwork beads.

Lottie has done a wonderful job of utilizing the artistic abilities of lampwork artists. While some of the beads she uses are more commercially produced, she has an eye for color and design and it shows in her jewelry.

Who wouldn’t want to own these fun earrings?

Julie and Blu and our lampwork stash.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blog Hop!

The Perspective of Green

The color green is said to be the perception of a wavelength along the 520-570 nanometers of the spectrum. The word green is derived from the verb growan in Old English, which means “to grow” and is related to the plant world.

Said like that, green does not evoke images of brilliant leafy trees or the lush green of a tropical rain forest. However, in the hands of the talented polymer clay artists of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Artfire, green takes on a whole new hue.

Green can be muted and almost an afterthought like the beautifully created leaves supporting these pale pink polymer clay roses by Creating Cottage.


Or green can show up in so many of the selections in Tina Holden’s studio. Her playful spirit uses a lot of green in her designs and each green is a bit different, but all of them are bright. Here are two of her more “in your face” greens that are guaranteed to drop a jaw.


Not quite green, not quite blue, teal is a color that brings forth thoughts of the ocean, shallow where the swimmers dip their feet in, or the southwestern turquoise that defined a culture. TTE Designs has morphed teal with the complimentary pink to swirl these pretty beads.

Positively Charming Things has touched upon the heart of green with these thoughtfully designed imitation Jade birds, which flit about their complimentary hot pink and orange button flowers.

When green is displayed as these talented polymer clay artists have presented it, green is an invigorating color and it is no wonder that it has been chosen to represent spring, growth and yes, even money.

Enjoy these green things!

Julie and Blu

Friday, March 2, 2012

An Elegant and Simple Example of RAW

I found this beautiful right angle weave (RAW) beaded necklace in Lisa’s Handmade Jewelry Artfire Studio while out wandering around this afternoon.
I liked the necklace for a couple reasons; one, the RAW stitch is one of my favorites to look at. I love the way it travels on its way around a piece of jewelry, drawing your eyes along with it. Secondly, I like the way that you can alternate bead sizes, shapes and colors to add a flowing texture to the piece. This necklace is done in all 6mm glass pearls, but the alternation of the stitch changes the way these beads look so they appear to be different from each other. If they were all strung in a straight line, they would look nice and neat, though elegant, they would be boring.
Lisa has given the pearls life and while still elegant, they are anything but boring.
This 19 inch necklace is a perfect princess length as it compliment both a high collar and a low neckline. I love black turtleneck sweaters, long before Steve Jobs started sporting them, and this necklace would be absolutely stunning on a black turtleneck.
Lisa closed this off with a pearl box clasp, which is an absolutely perfect ending to this necklace.

If you are looking for an affordable and lovely gift for mom, this necklace will certainly fit the bill at under $20 and it has the added bonus of being completely handmade with care and comes from right here in the United States in the little state of South Carolina!
Visit Lisa’s Handmade Jewelry Artfire Studio and tell her that Julie and Blu sent you!