Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fresh Snow, Fresh Website!

Volume 11 Issue 2, February 2014

What's New in February?
Fresh snow, fresh start. There are several inches of new snow lying on the
ground. It is pristine, as in Blu has not gone out and munched on it yet. He
seems to view snow as his own personal ice cream field. He grazes upon
the white fluff like a kid in a bucket of ice cream. I may not get the attraction,
I do get the desire to enjoy something fresh and new.
While I wait for the new buds to open and the new birds to arrive, I am looking
at all my beads, findings, designs and projects. It is inventory time, and I am
having a wonderful time playing in all the relocated beads. There is something
about a handful of loose beads to jog the creative spirit. At least, that is how
I see it.
Since I have rebuilt within the last six
months, I have been gearing up for a great 2014. While working on the site,
I began noting things that I want to do to share more of my creativity with you.
My bead kits and my bead giveaways are just the beginning. I want to help
you design and create your own jewelry. As much as I enjoy stringing my
beads, I know that you want to string your own.

Here is the latest voting on the beads Blu and I are giving away in February.

Which Set of Beads Will We Give Away Next?

I am working on a tutorial schedule to go along with the blog. If you haven’t
already, be sure and sign up for my newsletter to get more information on
bead giveaways, tutorials, new jewelry, beads and canes. I did a lot of
spring cleaning, and I am ready to create some great new products.
Thumbtacks! We found these were a fun way to decorate bulletin and cork boards everywhere, so we went silly creating these fun pushpins. Of course,
I have lots of designs to create for future thumbtacks.
Canes! I am planning my clay cane production for the new year, and I am
looking forward to playing with new techniques and designs.
Everything is in my Artfire studio, my Etsy shop and my
Until next month,
Julie & Blu


New Products:
New Watches—New beads will start finding their way onto new watch bands as the spring flower creation begins. These watches are not listed yet, so stay tuned to when they will hit my studio.
New Necklaces— Lots of simple chain necklaces with pendants are on the way to the studio. New donut beads will be added to other necklaces and to my studio.
Make your own jewelry with my bead kits

Julie and Blu

Don’t miss our next bead giveaway! Sign up today to receive notice when it is time to enter to win a set of beads!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Which Set of Beads Will We Give Away Next? 

Help me decide which set of beads will be included in our next giveaway. I am basing the vote on popularity, and I will close the voting on the 31st of January. The set with the most votes will be offered in our February giveaway.

Thank you for your vote.

Julie and Blu

P.S. - Don't forget to sign up on our mailing list to be notified of the bead set giveaway! If you already subscribe, we will be sending a notice for the next giveaway.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Building the Bangle – Part Two

The last post showed the roughly formed and shaped bangle bracelet blanks using my old worn out scrap clay. After all the sanding and forming, the next step is to design the actual bracelet.

Since you should create your bangle on a form that is smaller than you actually want the finished piece to be, I chose my middle sized form to work with for the final bracelet. I wanted the finished piece to be about the size of my largest bangle, so it made sense to me to work with the middle size. I am looking for chunky and large bracelets, so the larger one will be used for a wild colored finished piece.

This bracelet is not quite complete; it requires an inside finish that I am currently working on adding. I am concerned about the inside piece squeezing the size down smaller than I want for the completed piece, so I am working on really sanding down the center using a very rough grit to chip away at it. I don’t need it now that I have the rest of the bracelet built.

I wanted to work with a faux wood finish for these bracelets, so that is what I created for my veneer. I envisioned a lot of translucent swirls and lines. I think everyone knows that I love to work with ghost effects on my beads. I added three different colors of leaves to the bracelet before adding my latest Indian red flowers with white spots. These little flowers are a bit different than I usually create, which made this bracelet the perfect place to show them off.

I did not think that the finished bracelet needed any other color once I put these little flowers on my veneer.

The bracelet needs more work, but I wanted to share it.

Remember these?


That one in the center is now this:


Dsc_0030 Dsc_0025

Dsc_0026 Dsc_0027 Dsc_0028

As you can see from the photos, the inside is still unfinished.

You can purchase the flower cane here:

My leaf canes are here:


Julie and Blu

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hearts on Fire - The Perfect Valentines Day Poster

A New Art Poster

I have been working on getting all of my fractal art out and in reprint. I have hundreds of artwork that has been printed over the years, but the last ten years, it has all been sitting while I did other things. It is time to start working on revising and reviving all of these wonderful images. My fractal art has been popular, and it never ceases to entertain me. You can purchase this poster through my Zazzle store.

  Hearts Fractal Art Poster Wall Decor Graphic Arts
Hearts Fractal Art Poster Wall Decor Graphic Arts by julielcleveland

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inside Bangle Making – Part One

New year, new projects.

Like many creative folks, I keep a running list of things to try. My notepad sits next to my PC, and when I see something that I would like to try, I jot down a note about the project, and then go on to something else. These notes and notebooks may not always yield a new design, but often the entries spark further creativity or expansion. I do try to add a new product line every year, and it is amazing how fast the years fly by.

This year, I am trying out some bangle bracelets. I am currently working on design ideas for the 2014 Primetime Emmys that I want to gift products to at the end of the year. In the meantime, I am working on designs and ideas for something that will not make me crazy when I make 100 of them. These bangles are an idea that I have been playing with, and if I like them when I am done, I have a very long time to create 100 of them.

Once I started on these, I discovered that the amount of handwork involved in smoothing the dome of the bangle blank will be too hard on my hands to complete 100 of these without a lot of pain. I do plan to make a lot of these cool and fun bracelets, but maybe, not 100 of them. My thumb is still angry with me today for the use and abuse from yesterday.

These blanks will be home to colorful patterns and designs in polymer clay. They are not very attractive at the moment, but the blank is not supposed to be attractive; it is supposed to be functional while using up a lot of that box of scrap clay that I accumulate regularly.

These bracelets are probably going to be a bit on the small size once I get them done, as I made them a bit too tight. It happens. They will still fit a 6 inch wrist, but twisting knuckles through them may be a tight fit. It depends on how thin I can get my interior color for the finished piece.

I did three different sizes, and I look at these as my blank canvas. I do not have my final designs mapped out yet, nor do I have any idea of how these will all turn out. I only know that they will not look like they do today when I am done.

I will probably use any of my polymer clay canes or kaleidoscope canes from Blue Morning Expressions.

They have been through three bakes and a lot of 240 grit sanding to get the edges knocked off and ready for the final veneers.

BangleMake3 BangleMake1 BangleMake2BangleMake4 

Stay tuned for the next adventure in bangle making.

Julie and Blu