Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Flowers are Blooming at Blue Morning Expressions

Volume 9 Issue 5, May 2012

What's New in May?

While I sit here writing this, we are seeing a late April snowstorm of sorts. The snow is definitely falling, but the green grass is showing through and all this new snow will quickly melt, leaving all the colors bright and cheerful.

I saw a beautiful pot of blooming daffodils the other day and thought, what bright pretty yellow flowers. The lilacs are starting to bud and the mountain flowers have not quite peeked their heads up yet, but when they do, I will be up in the meadows taking photos.

As I wait for the mountain meadows to bloom, here are my flowers that are blooming around my work bench. New flower canes are showing up in my beads and new jewelry.


ChaCha Bracelets— New and fun bracelets. I have been wanting to learn how to make these bracelets and they were the perfect place for my 10mm polymer clay beads. I have one bracelet done and lots more on the project board. I need to make lots of new beads.

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.



Baseball Time again!!

Here are the baseball earrings that you need to go out to the ballpark!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain

But, if you are to believe oceanographer, Dr. Jeffrey Nytuen, the rain that falls from the heavens is the fundamental component that makes up our climate. It is said to affect the heat, momentum, water and gas exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere.

Dr. Nytuen listens to the rain as it falls on the ocean by using microphones that can pick up two different sounds. The slapping of the rain on the surface and then a pinging sound as the bubble created from the raindrop as the air is trapped under the surface pops.

The scientific community is very interested in rain, including distribution and intensity as rain releases energy into the air. This energy drives our climates and when how rain falls is understood, metrological predictions are easier to make.

The rain falls mainly on the plain, but the rain that falls in the ocean is the most sought out information from climatologists because ocean rainfall can create the most significant changes in the global climate.

Now that I have bored you to tears – which is another form of rain – I want you to see these gorgeous oceanic creations from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Artfire.  April showers bring more than May flowers.

Blue Ocean Pendant Sand and Surf Necklace

Desert Wind Designs
From the designer:
Blue pendant is handcrafted from polymer clay; no mold used. Necklace features blue and beige polymer clay beads that are evocative of sand and surf. Strung on natural colored waxed cotton beading cord and accented with seed beads.

Cocktail Ring UNDER THE WATER Polymer Clay and Resin

Grays Crafts
From the designer:
"Under the Water" Cocktail Ring from the "Precious Little Things" Collection
The ultimate gift. Get it for someone very special. Or for yourself.
Unique original HANDMADE design. Gold, silver, and blue combine to make this statement highly fashionable cocktail ring.
Make a splash with this awesome aquatic design!

Ethereal Art Pendant Necklace Teal Blue Polymer Clay and Glass Beads

Ecclectic Ladyland
From the designer:
This teal blue polymer clay art pendant has a shimmery piece of shell embedded in it, surrounded by an ethereal design. What do you see in it? Bubbles, tendrils, sea spray? I made this one-of-a-kind necklace using gradient shades of pearl clay in custom colors that I dyed myself. Warm and cool blues and greens with silver compliment the shiny piece of mother of pearl. Everyone sees something different when they look at this piece, as it should be, but all agree that it's beautiful.

Lifes a Beach

Mortimer Inc.
From the designer:
Life's a Beach pin. There's nothing like lounging on a chaise on the beach, under a palm tree, and contemplating the wonder of the ocean. And there's no better place to do that than in Jamaica. So here I am with my big pink hat and Jamaican flag towel. The pin is made with polymer clay. The beach section is transparent clay mixed with sand taken from Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica.
Julie and Blu

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Death of a Necklace

This post is more about buying the right materials rather than the demise of one of my necklaces that I so painstakingly beaded.

It all started with a handful of newly minted polymer clay beads in caramels and winter blues and whites. Each bead was given an eyepin that I cut and created by hand using a headpin. This in itself is a time consuming task, especially when there are so many beads and I am trying to execute a move that I am not that familiar with. By the time I cut and created eyepins for all the polymer clay beads, Czech druk beads and the Swarovski bicone crystals, I was rather proficient in eyepin creation. If nothing else, I learned a new skill.
Here is where it went wrong.

I did not give that much thought to the chain that I wanted to use in my necklace and I wanted to create a bib style beaded necklace using all these beads. The chain was large enough to accommodate all the beads I wanted to put on it, it just was not strong enough.


I really liked the necklace and was pleased with the fact that I did get it all wrapped up and managed to learn how to create an eyepin that I could attach to a chain. The problems started as I was attaching all the beads. In order to get the look I wanted, I needed to fill up the links with all the different beads.I also needed to bead around the links to get a fullness for the necklace.

The links were too weak and began to break apart under the stress of the weight of the beads. These are not heavy beads, but they were too heavy and I was stressing the links too much by trying to add more beads to each one. Even by adding them one by one and carefully, it was too much. I tried to reinforce the links that had the beads on them by wiring them with additional wires throughout the beaded area. It must have worked, because as the links began to seriously fail, the wires held the piece in place.

This was never going to be a piece that I was going to put in my store. It was going to need to be completely redone before I could add it to my studio.

So, it sat on my bead board for the last three months.

The first thing I did was look for SOLDERED curb chain and Holly of Royal Metals got me set up with a 100 foot spool of soldered silver chain.

The new chain is perfect for some bracelets, but I did not get large enough links for my necklace. I could either see if Holly could get me another piece of chain for the necklace and I start over, or I could stare at it awhile.

I stared at it for awhile.

Everyday, it sat here and looked at me while I worked on so many other things and completely rebuilt a website. It just sat here staring back at me.

I have a list of things I would like to try and on that list was chacha bracelets. I think they are cool and I love the idea of packing them full of my beads and anything else I can think of to make them move. I am part of an Artfire Guild that makes bulk purchases at a supply store and since the prices were right and I had the need to spend money but did not really need anything, I bought three chacha bracelets.

Guess where the beads all went.

While one project failed, another one was born and this new project was the right project for all those wonderful and fun beads that I had worked hard to add eyepins.

I really like this bracelet and I am even more pleased that I was able to put the beads in the right piece of jewelry and they are no longer staring at me every day. Unless, I am wearing them, because this is a fun, lightweight and comfortable bracelet to wear.

Moral of the story is, buy the right materials to start with and you will not need to spend all your time trying to fix a bad design. Happy beads make a happy beader.

I learned to make eyepins, I got to do two designs that I really wanted to try and I was able to purchase chain for future bracelets. Never mind, that I got my share of opening and closing eyepin experience. :)

Julie and Blu