Green….like Spring!

I don’t know about you, but I have had enough of winter….the white stuff still covers the ground outside.  I can’t wait to see those pretty little flowers showing up.  I need Spring and everything green.  Here’s a little bit of green for you all.  I recently made this green bracelet and listed it in my etsy shop BohemianIce here’ the link http://www.etsy.com/listing/67795227/green-multi-gemstone-and-pearl-bracelet

Well, I figure that I can share with you, who may be newbies to jewelry making, how to make a bracelet like this.  First, I used what’s called memory wire….it’s hard, coiled wire that can be used for making jewelry.  I like to get the good quality kind.  Snip off the amount that you want (how big a bracelet) with a, and this is very important, a not so good pair of heavy duty wire cutters…(DO NOT USE YOUR GOOD SNIPPERS OR WIRE CUTTERS…YOU’LL RUIN THEM).  Then file smooth both ends of the wire.  Next, take your round nose pliers and turn back the first end…you can add a charm here if you like.  Next, just add all of your desired beads, gemstones, pearls, etc.  Finally, finish off the finished end the same way that you did the first end. 

Happy jewelry designing!

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Big Summer Blowout – Prices Reduced at Bohemian Ice Jewelry Etsy

At Bohemian Ice Jewelry Etsy, many prices have been reduced for the End of Summer Blowout…..necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.  Also, I am happy to announce that the shipping fees have changed to $2.00 on first item…$0 on the rest of the items in your order.  Yes, that’s only a total of  $2.00 shipping on any order.  So, have a look at my artisan bling.  Satisfaction guaranteed.

Having a Work Space is a Great Thing For Any Artist

Having a work space is a great thing for any artist….but, not everyone can afford dedicating a good portion of their “space” for use in their art or craft.  I have been blessed recently with moving all of my art paraphernalia, from the back room and from a bunch of nooks and crannies all around the house, to the nice sized middle room in my house.  My sweet husband, had a suggestion of moving around the rooms in our house, so that I could have a whole room to myself for painting, photography, jewelry making, and all the other artsy stuff I do.  After all, this is my life’s work….and I love it and it’s great having a place for all of my stuff.

It was a lot of work moving things around, but we got it done and I just love it.  I have a work table and my jewelry making table off in the corner near the two windows….outside the windows, we have huge rhododendrium outside covering the whole window but still letting light in….these stay green year round and have big beautiful pink blooms in the spring.  Our wood stove is in this room, so it has to stay, but it’ll be nice and cozy in there during the cold weather.

On the other side of the room, I have my two large cabinets to store a whole lot of things….it’s so nice to be able to find things again.  I actually know where everything is now.

As I said, it’s nice having a work space of your own, but not everyone can have one.  I know myself, there was a time where I had things stuffed into big tupperware containers jammed into corners.  I guess the biggest advantage to having your own art space is that you can start a project and leave the project for a while, without having to put everything away each time your take a break from it…..and knowing where you put things …having some sort of organization is wonderful.

First, if you don’t have your own room, the best thing to do is to try to organize everything into categories and separate with different storage containers.  Next, if you can spare even a small part of a room (that is out of the way of traffic) or even a closet, try using this smaller area the best that you can.  Once you get organized, it makes things easier and more enjoyable.

How the Sunflowers are done…art instruction and kind of an art supply review.

In this painting of sunflowers, I used “Arches” 140 lb. cold pressed paper and “Winsor & Newton” and “Grumbacher” watercolor paints.  In my opinion, Arches is the best and most professional art paper to use for most art projects.  It is durable and takes well to scrubbing and excessive water and brush lifting back of color.  If you’re a watercolor artist, you will probably understand what I am saying about the need of a good durable painting paper….actually, to get really specific, Arches is made of 100% cotton rag.  I’ve used many other papers, but I have to say that Arches is my favorite…and I’m really into using the watercolor blocks.  Arches also comes in 300 lb., which is nice and thick….I have a friend who uses nothing but that….and also comes in the usual hot pressed, rough, and what I prefer, cold pressed….and it’s available in sheets or blocks.  If you watch your art supplies sources, you can usually find Arches on sale frequently.  In all, I believe, it’s really worth using.  Now this,…just for the newbies to watercolor…I used to wonder this too, before I got really into watercolor painting, so don’t feel dumb….watercolor blocks are basically several sheets of “paper” kind of glued together on all sides, like a note pad might be on the top, forming a thick block of paper…you can only get to the top sheet to paint on, until you gently cut around the sides to remove that top paper.  So when you are painting, you are painting on a thick hard surface.  Ok…now on to the paints….

I’ve been using “Winsor & Newton” and “Grumbacher” watercolors for a while, and I’ve used others before, so I’ve got to say that I really like using these two professional brands.  They work beautifully….I love the product and the result that they produce.  Like the Arches, these too can be found on sale frequently if you watch your art supply sources. 

Now about using “quality” supplies….as an artist, I’ve found, that it’s worth a couple of extra dollars (and usually it is only a couple of extra dollars if you watch for sales) to buy and use the professional quality art supplies.  When you create something, you want it to turn out great and last forever, especially if you are selling your artistic creations….you want your customers to be very happy with their purchase.  I know that is important to me as an artist.  If you are just starting out and don’t want to make that investment yet, it’s understandable to use the less expensive products, but as soon as you get more serious about your art, it’s worth the investment in the long run….start out with one good paper (or canvas, or strand of gemstones, if you’re a jewelry artist, or any supply for whatever facet of art you’re in) and maybe the three basic primary colors of  paint (red, yellow, blue….you can mix your colors)….I know, I’ve been there!

Now, to the “Sunflowers”……I like to make my backgrounds by wetting the paper (this is why you need strong, durable paper/rag) in small sections and adding watered-down pastel paints to different areas and letting the color spread, but also guiding the color with my brush to control where I want it.  I keep doing small areas until I’ve covered the whole area….but, gently blending in one small area into another.  I use different colors where I want ultimately creating a diffused background…kind of what you get when you photograph flowers and you see the blur of the rest of the garden in the background.  After you get it the way you want, now it’s time to let it dry….and I mean, leave it alone for a while to really dry….this makes a big difference in your next step of adding your subject.

I want to interject something here, right now…..when you do watercolors, if you are at a point where you either cannot get something the way you want or you feel something is missing or not right or you’ve worked at it for a while and it’s frustrating you…..STOP and LET IT BE….walk away from it for a few hours…a day….when you go back to it, you may be very surprised at how it looks after it dried.  It’s amazing.  I can’t tell you how many times it’s surprised me.  You also may have a different perspective then and can complete your piece. 

Now it’s time for the actual subject, the sunflowers.  I collected several photo references of sunflowers (you can use your own photos, or ideas from magazines etc…) and slowly added in the outlines of my subjects (you can do this in whatever way works for you…like a light pencil drawing to guide you or you can lightly paint a faint outline of each by using a watered-down pale color that will blend into your final subject)…I find a real watered-down sepia works for many outlines.  After all of this preparation, it’s “paint away” time….of course in this painting I used MANY shades of yellows and browns….I find, I like using many shades usually, especially here in the petals of the flowers to create a luminous look.

I decided in this painting to make my sunflowers different in the centers and their position….when you paint, let your artistic flair loose….this is art, express yourself.  Everyone has a different style and way of doing things.  It’s important to enjoy yourself and be expressive…paint what you see, not what someone else tells you to see. 

If you or anyone you know may be interested in purchasing my painting, please click on the link below or contact me if you would be interested in prints or cards are anything else this starving artist is selling….thanks 😀

http://www.etsy.com/listing/50701813/original-watercolor-floral-painting

Wedding Jewelry

Wedding Jewelry - Bride

I love to do custom orders….it’s so rewarding to make something for someone and have it turn out just the way that they want it.  This photo is just part of an order that I had for an upcoming wedding.  This necklace and earring set was made for the bride.  I used freshwater pearls in white and cranberry….the white pearls had Swarovski crystals embedded in them…what sparkle!  I used Swarovski crystals to accent the pearls also, and an awesome rose clasp with crystals. 

I also did the bridesmaids jewelry, the flower girls jewelry, and the mothers of the couple.  Anyone interested in having their perfect piece hand-crafted by an artisan, I would love the opportunity to oblige.  Check out my other jewelry at Bohemian Ice or email at bohemianice@gmail.com.

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion…..UGH!

I’m a fine artist….digital artist…..photographer…..jewelry artist…..gardener…..don’t you think that I have enough to do…..and then add in daughter, wife, friend….mother….Christian…and the list goes on.   I’m not trying to sound harsh or anything, but don’t you think I have enough to do besides being an advertiser, salesperson, blogger, small business data entry person…the list goes on…….I HATE PROMOTION!!! 

WELL,  now that I got THAT off my chest!!!!   It’s just so hard for people who aren’t salespeople, to be salespeople…..I want to sell my stuff, but it just gets crazy sometimes……create the item (the part I enjoy)….add it to your online store (not my favorite, but I’ll survive)….twitter it…..twitter it….twitter it again…..facebook it…..blog it…..and on and on…..the list seems so endless!   I’m just a shameless complainer 😀

Well, do a girl a favor and check out my stuff here Bohemian Ice Artisan Jewelry and here Alive With Color (art and photography…still adding to this one)…..thanks….that feels better 🙂

Freshwater Pearls are the Bomb!

As a jewelry artist, next to Swarovski Crystal, freshwater pearls are my favorite to work with….when making a piece of jewelry with them, it’s like instant gratification seeing how nice the piece is turning out.  Pearls are so classic and beautiful.  They go with everything. 

I just finished a necklace and earring set done in green freshwater pearls and unakite (a green and brick colored gemstone) and I’ve just posted them for sale in my etsy store “Bohemian Ice.”  The earrings are gold-plated (earwires & dangle) and the toggle on the necklace is gold-plated also.  I always try to use quality materials in all of my creations, and that includes jewelry, painting, photography, etc.  

Here’s the links to the necklace http://www.etsy.com/listing/49738703/green-freshwater-pearl-and-unakite  and the earrings  http://www.etsy.com/listing/49737907/green-freshwater-pearl-and-unakite?ref=v1_other_2