All posts by Karen

Problem Solved!

For a couple of months, I’ve been struggling a bit with just how best to attach a fringe of beads to a copper envelope. My first few attempts crashed. After finishing a couple of pieces, I wore them around the house, as is my custom with a new design, and realized that, although the pieces looked great, they were not easy to keep in alignment while wearing. So I went back to the drawing table. Finally, just before the holidays, PICT0293 I was able to develop a double strand as pictured on the right. The two hole rectangular beads worked great for keeping the two strands separate and allowing me to attach the bead fringe to the lower strand. I’ve made a couple of similar pieces using this technique. Yet as I remained open to other possibilities, an “aha” presented itself the other day while working with 20 gauge wire. The technique on the triangular piece holds many options for further design. Before folding this piece, I drilled holes on the fold line where I wanted the bead wire to be placed. Then, I used copper wire to go inside the fold, forming a place to attach the fringe. The wire swirls on the top of the fold provided a spot to attach the beaded necklace. PICT0311

Now I have two options for pursuing my metal pounding habit. I would like to try to minimize this design for a more feminine piece before moving on to more expensive metal.

I think it was Pasteur who indicated that chance favors the prepared mind. It seems that an “aha” that really works creeps into the mind after hours, days, weeks or even months of working to solve a problem. Thus the mind is prepared to recognize the “aha”. Perhaps prior to the struggle, the mind has not learned enough to be ready for the right idea. I must bear this in mind during the “struggling” period and not grow so impatient waiting for the “chance” to appear.

Blue Blue


At the close of this Fall/Winter design season, it’s sometimes difficult to get into new color combinations; yet. color ideas and combinations arise from the most unpredictable places. While I was stuffing things back into a closet, the yarn basket spilled producing an array of mixed up hues. Some of the side by side colors produced nice complements and I will remember them as I work at the design table this morning. Perhaps I should spill things on purpose once in a while!

Unfortunately, my cat, Blue, also noted the happening and wanted to play string. When I tired of this game before he did, I gave him his own short piece of yarn (about 8 inches) with which he could play. When Blue tired of his yarn, he ate it! (yes, it was a blue piece of yarn) Can we call him a Blue Blue?

Copper Music

Although it is well after Christmas, today I was able to give a gift (perhaps it’s Happy Valentine’s Day) to my musical friend. It was good that I had extra time since my wire work took a turn for the worst. pict0306 As you can see from the finished product, I was making a treble clef sign as a pendant for her. I know to practice first with inexpensive wire and having made one treble clef from craft wire, I thought I was ready for sterling silver. Actually, the sterling silver clef turned out even better that the craft wire until . . . the hammering. The piece seemed to require a bit of flattening and I manage to strike some strategic blows that looked quite nice. Unfortunately, I hammered the piece so well that I weakened the points where the pieces of wire crossed and the bottom of the clef sign fell completely off. Rats! So, the final pendant was made of good strong copper wire, flattened a bit, but not completed smushed. Flat is not always better!

A Cat Named Blue

What’s a gal to do with a cat named Blue? He has an affinity for my jewelry light tent. I do believe that he thinks we got it just for him. PICT0183 I’m glad I moved the black velvet that was in the tent yesterday. Hmm . . . black velvet with gray cat hairs and Swarovski crystal jewelry . . . I don’t think so! I’ll be closing that tent door from now on. Sorry Blue!




It’s a Match

PICT0301 A couple of stolen hours today resulted in this bead embroidered cabachon to match a bracelet I made last night (see below). I think the multicolored seed beads add interest to the tigereye. The bracelet is freeform using both peyote and netting techniques. 


Got the Blues?

I’m thinking about color for designs today. Artists often tell us to look at nature and I have to admit the color of our Texas sunsets has often provided the hues for a design; but what about blues? Of course, there’s the sky color, eye color and the occasional nail polish, but what else . . . ? How about water blue? _DSC1434 A surprise birthday trip planned by my wonderful family for Christmas Eve day found me “in the blue” of a simulated ocean at Sea World with marvelous Beluga whales. What do you think? Perhaps a nice bead embroidery in a palette of blues and a “whale white” gemstone would do the trick. I’ll let you know if anything develops although I think it will be difficult to capture the essence of my outstanding adventure. (I have the BEST family!)

A Woman and a Hammer

All the members of my family received new books for Christmas. Since today, the day after Christmas has proven to be a time of relaxation, the late afternoon found all four of them in pleasant repose in the den enjoying the narration of various authors until . . . “pound, pound, pound” . . . “COOL” came from the mud room. Yes, I have a new bench block and stamps for metal. Sitting on the floor, I was having a great time hammering until the laugher swirled out of the den. I guess my mode of relaxation didn’t quite fit with theirs. I can’t wait to use the stamps for the many projects I have planned, but perhaps I might find a better time to work - - - or perhaps they may as well just get used to the pounding.

The Beginning


This is my very first blog post and I'm just learning how to operate the software. I'm looking forward to learning quickly and getting on with this venue for communication. I hope you will join me by reading and responding when the mood strikes you. For practice today, I'm inserting a picture of one of the more popular techniques of my designs that sold during the holidays. Although no two of the crosses are alike, the technique was the same for all that I sold. I'm hoping to make more since they have all presently gone to new homes.