Monday, December 21, 2015


I've been looking for my hot glue gun for a while ... I wanted to use it to make a few stencils for my powder printing on glass. And recently my friend gave me a bag of hot glue sticks! Yesterday I finally gave up my search and drove off to buy a new glue gun. Which means I'll find the other one very soon ....

Last week I saw a craft article where the writer used the glue gun to make wonderful snowflakes. What a cute idea! You can add them as ornaments to your tree, stick them on your windows, add them to your gift wrapping! There's still time for YOU to make some! She also added sprinkles while they were still hot so they sparkled. I googled images of snowflakes, reduced the sizes and printed a few. I used a piece of parchment paper with the snowflake pattern underneath, so that made it easy to copy the pattern using the glue gun. It took just a few minutes for each to dry. Then it was easy to peel them off the parchment paper. Here are the snowflakes I made today.

Not a great photo (and I need more practice), but you get the idea. And you need to go slow so the lines are thick enough.

Monday, November 30, 2015


Boo Hoo. Over the weekend I said goodbye to my favorite BOHO ring. It made me very sad ... but yet, as soon as the door closed and my buyer left, I jumped up and down with excitement in front of my dinner guests with cash in hand!!

Here she is ... for the last time. Goodbye, baby BOHO.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Looking forward to enjoying the holiday season with family and friends. The Prom Plus Holiday Boutique was a well-attended, fun (and profitable) event. Thank you, friends, for coming to the show and supporting this artist!! Ornaments are one of my favorite things to make. Here are a few I had on display.

The Boho Ring class ended earlier this month and am looking forward to the next class, which will be on making cuffs. I'll post a link as soon as it becomes available in case any of you would like to join in the fun.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


I've been busy getting pieces ready for Saturday's Holiday Boutique. It should be fun. If you live near La Crescenta, CA, please come visit the show. It benefits Crescenta Valley High School's Prom Plus, providing safe venues to have fun after the prom. I will have a sampling of fused and stained glass, ceramics, gourds and some metal pieces .. everything except for jewelry. Apparently that category was already filled by the time I entered the show.

The last couple days I've been making Christmas ornaments. Here are a few.


Sunday, November 1, 2015


Yesterday I worked all day and happily finished my last two rings that had previously been soldered together. These two were the easiest .... they were completed in one process ... no stripping off everything and starting over! No melted parts. Easy peasy. No, it was still not easy, but all that practice over the last few weeks has definitely enabled me to complete a ring and have it look good!

The class ends today. Sad it is over, but another will start in December or January. I've loved the FB group interaction, seeing everyone's projects started and completed. And making new FB friends.

Here are my two rings, again BABY BOHO and BOHO!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I have to share this recipe my friend made for our golf tournament last week. Our club members brought so many delicious salads and desserts, and we had platters of Subway sandwiches too. Great fun and great food.


1 box plain couscous ... general rule: 1 cup couscous takes 1 cup water to swell.

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Pepper, to taste
1 tsp. curry powder
3/4 cup orange juice

4-6 green onions, sliced diagonally
2-4 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 cup Craisins
Chopped dried apricots to taste

2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds) toasted and chopped

In bowl, mix together couscous, salt, sugar, pepper, and curry powder. Bring required amount of water to a boil and pour over mixture. Add orange juice and stir once. Cover tightly and let stand a few minutes. Stir again and continue to let stand until liquid is completely absorbed, 5-10 minutes. Fluff up with fork and add remaining ingredients. Better served at room temperature.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Sadly, our Boho Ring class ends on November 1st, in just a few days, but I feel pretty confident in continuing to work with sterling silver again. It's been years since taking my jewelry classes at our local community college. Now we can all look forward to the next class with Leslie. She hasn't announced a date yet, maybe after the holidays, and I'm guessing it will be CUFFS.

I finished my sixth ring yesterday ... a smaller version of the regular size. Again it wasn't smooth sailing, but it turned out well. How boring this would be if it was easy! Here's a photo of it with the last ring I made. I used one of my own dichroic glass cabochons.


Sunday, October 25, 2015


I spent most of the week preparing lists, score cards and scoring sheets for a two-day golf tournament our club hosted. It was very successful, and the weather, golf course and food were all perfect.

So yesterday and today I was able to work on my fifth BOHO ring that was textured using the cupcake wrappers. The texture was so beautiful, I wanted to make this ring very simple. I domed two cut flower patterns and added silver balls in the center of each. And added a decorated flattened silver ball made in the Tucker Shot Plate to the shank. I love the stone, which is Chinese Blue Larimar .... from Cabtopia, an Etsy shop .... where I purchase all my stones. Will work on a smaller ring with a smaller 10mm stone next.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I just got a new tool that I used today for the first time. It's a bending tool from Potter USA. Actually, it's called the "Joni Bender". She demonstrates using it to form a bracelet in this video.

The bender has three aluminum tubes, the largest one for bracelets, the smallest for rings. The middle one? Smaller forms, I guess. Here's a photo of it in my cute little bench vise that swivels from Harbor Freight ..... another new tool I bought this past weekend.

I used the smallest tube for forming my BOHO rings today. I finished forming two rings in about 30 minutes ... from flat metal to fitting my finger. They were first formed in the Joni bender, the seams soldered, then reformed after soldering. What a time saver! The photo shows a scrap piece of copper in the slot you use. It'll be interesting to try a ring with an additional layer on top that previously took me 2 to 3 hours to bend! I know the Joni Bender will make it easier.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


It's always exciting to find a new texture to use with the rolling mill. I recently ordered some filigree cupcake wrappers from Amazon after seeing a post somewhere. I'll definitely be adding a few more patterns with my next order.
I don't quite understand how they are used with a real cupcake. You usually bake cupcakes in cupcake papers, right? ... so do you just wrap this wrapper around the cooled cupcake as an attractive way to present it? The paper is quite heavy so it would be reusable ... unless it got covered with frosting!! And it could probably be rolled through the rolling mill a second time too.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I still have some finishing work to do on Ring #4, but it is looking good.
It was also looking pretty good a few days ago, all polished and ready for the stone setting. I had the stone in, formed the bezel wire around the stone, but one scallop on the bezel just would not sit right. There was only one thing I could do .... remove everything from the top of the ring and start over. YIKES! (I think I may have used another word at the time).

Here is the ring with the bead wire and bezel removed. The red stuff is yellow ochre which is mixed with water to form a paste that you brush on. The mixture prevents the solder from flowing in nearby areas. I also took off the two balls still showing.

I was able to work on the new additions yesterday and finished it this morning.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

BOHO Rings -- 3 Started, Waiting for Cabochons

I started three rings Friday and hope to get my new cabochons Monday or Tuesday so I can continue. I made a new template for the smaller ring and really like the way it fits. The regular sized one has a new addition, a second design layer on the top. Forming two layers into a narrow ring was a nightmare! It took several annealings, all the tools I have, and lots of pounding! Surprisingly, my bad shoulder still feels pretty good.

I made a second one the next day ... and for some reason it was easier, probably because I knew just what to expect.

Hope to show you finished rings later this week!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I won't go into the gruesome details, but these two rings went to hell and back! I had completely different plans for them, but when "things happened", saving them was my next plan.

This little one suffered the most. After realizing I had forgotten the beaded wire ... when I thought the ring was finished ... I had to remove all the silver embellishments from the ring. That's when I melted the end of it. So becoming a short cute perfect sized ring is the result. I love it.

The other ring didn't suffer as much, and a lot of filing and sanding save it too.

Maybe a day of rest tomorrow. And I need to clean my work areas before I can continue!

Saturday, October 3, 2015


My first Boho Ring was quite an experience. Everything that could go wrong ... did go wrong! But I got the Bad Boy done this afternoon and it looks good.

I added one of the decorated shot plate balls to the shank too as an added element.

I tumbled it, polished it. Fortunately I did the polishing in my garage work area. The new cotton buff wheel shed tons of stuff ... I was covered with "chicken feathers" (if you've ever lived on a farm).

I put the Beauty on my finger, came back into the house, fed the dogs, and decided to photograph it for the BOHO Ring FB group and this blog. If any of you are like me, in our older years we misplace things at least ten times a day. I couldn't find the ring anywhere! But, of course, it was on my finger. This ring is SOOO comfortable! I'm so pleased with it. Tomorrow is another day, and I have two more formed rings....and more cabochons! Hope it gets easier.


Here is a photo of my progress from yesterday. It was exhausting, and I was in bed at 8:30! The ring looks good, but there is a problem. With all the filing I did to form the bezel to the ring's curve, the bezel is very short. Was it Gilda Radner's character who said, "It's always something ...." Well, onward. I'm going to deal with the stone this weekend ... finish it somehow ... and show you my final polished beauty soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


In my previous post I was etching sterling silver in order to make a Boho ring. I also listed the website of Leslie Kail Villarreal where you will see examples of her beautiful work. (It's not too late to check out her class and join her Facebook group.) I ordered her on-line class and WOW it has been a lot of fun ... and frustration. But I remind myself I haven't done metal fabrication and soldering in a long time. Just want to share photos of my progress so far.....

This is my first ring using the silver that I etched.

It really looks great ... BUT unfortunately with all my filing and futzing, the ring was too small for me. Even after annealing and stretching, annealing and stretching, it still would not fit. Leslie had a brilliant idea which enabled me to save the ring and make it fit. It worked beautifully! That was yesterday morning. I had also used the rolling mill to texture two more pieces of silver and got them soldered as well! Here are the three rings from yesterday.

This afternoon my order from Rio Grande was delivered, so tonight I'm making bezels for the rings and hopefully can show you progress maybe tomorrow or .... when I have something! The hard part is just starting, and it will be quite a learning experience. Adding a bezel to a curved surface is just the beginning!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015


I have not worked a lot with sterling silver since taking jewelry classes many years ago in college. Recent posts by Leslie Kail Villarreal in one of my Facebook groups have really perked my interest. If you search for her on the internet, you'll find many of her videos on YouTube. She just started offering on-line classes, and her first one featuring her boho rings is now available. Check out her website. She has a free video there on etching silver, which is what I did today!

The first thing I had to buy was a laser printer. A few weeks ago I found a nice B&W printer on sale for $150 off! The price was then $150. But sadly the extra cartridge was almost $90 ... Hopefully the cartridge in the printer and the new one will last a long time. Leslie recommended looking through coloring books for adults for designs that interest you. I found tons of them at Michael's.

The etching video recommended using glossy magazine pages on which to print your design. It doesn't matter if you print over images on the magazine pages, as the toner on top is what you want. Of course, it is easier to see your design by using pages with blank spaces. So I selected a design, reduced it to fit my future project, and printed it on glossy magazine paper using my new laser printer. Yeah! I increased the darkness by a few numbers, just to be sure. (Thanks to my good friend Drewcilla for saving magazines for me! Keep saving ...)

I found my old coffee warmer which works for small projects like mine. Flattened my sterling silver piece and cleaned it well. I had to cut the corners of my metal so it would fit. I'm ready! It was suggested that popsicle sticks would work to hold and then burnish the paper. One broken so that it would work inside the edge of the coffee warmer.

I found that an old grapefruit knife worked well as a burnisher, once the image had stuck to the metal. In case you're wonder why you are seeing the toner image, I printed on both sides of the paper. It confused me too!

After several minutes of burnishing, I took the metal off, cooled it, and then put it into a bowl of water to remove the paper. I was so happy to see an image on the metal! That left edge apparently didn't get any burnishing. You have to have a "plan" so that every part gets burnished.

Here's the whole piece ... it looks good.

So the next scary step is to etch the metal. I used Ferric Nitrate that I bought from Science Company. You mix one part of the crystals to 3 parts of distilled water. I protected the back of my metal with packing tape and taped on two pieces of "this stuff" I've been saving so that the piece would float in the solution.

Here is my etching set-up. The prepared piece is floating in the bowl of etching solution. The bowl is sitting on top of the coffee warmer. The bowl is next to and touching my tumbler. The vibration of the tumbler agitates the etching solution.

It was suggested that the etching process would take 1-1/2 to 2 hours. After one hour I checked and was shocked to see that the metal piece had separated from the floating device and was at the bottom of the bowl. The protective tape from the back of the metal had also been removed. Holy Moly. Did the solution get too hot? Anyway, I got the metal out of there so that the back would not get etched any further. It got rinsed and placed into a bowl with baking soda to neutralize it.

Happy to say that the metal has a nice etch on it! Maybe in a few days I'll show you my first boho ring .... ?!!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Continuing with the kokopelli stencil I cut successfully a few days ago... As I was screening the clear powder onto the iridescent glass, I wondered how this would look. The kokopelli was the only part getting the powder and it would be glossy, but the rest of the glass was covered with the stencil, so how would it look? There was only one way to find out. Here is the finished piece 6" square piece that was slumped last night. I thought it turned out well. But want to try the reverse in a few days.

I had a nice new rectangular mold and wanted to use it. I placed my make-shift cut-out leaf pattern on it and attached a couple handles with painter's tape. It fit pretty well. Really, I have to make some real stencils with leaves soon!

Here is the finished piece. It measures 4-1/2" x 9-1/2" and fired nicely in the mold.

Then another 6" square piece on dark green transparent iridescent.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


The Cameo Silhouette is an electronic cutting machine. I first became interested in buying one when I worked with metal clay. You can put a sheet of rolled out metal clay on the cutting mat and cut the design you have created! Amazing! Of course, if it cuts clay, it can also cut paper, card stock, stencil material, vinyl ... You can create your own stamps, engrave on metal, print stickers with your computer and cut them out with the Silhouette ...

A couple days ago I saw instructions for creating a stencil on one of the Facebook groups I belong to. The member was using the same kokopelli image I had purchased from the Silhouette store. It looked so simple I thought I could do it. I did not simply want to cut around the image. I wanted to create a stencil about 6" square with the figure in the center. Then I could use it to sift powder through the stencil image onto glass. The problem was that it had the "floating" designs in the body that were not attached to anything. The instructions showed how to create long skinny rectangles using the Silhouette software that attached the loose parts.

I spent the entire afternoon and next morning following her instructions ... and it was not working. I finally posted on Facebook explaining my problem and asking her to go through part of the instructions for me ... slowly. She was so nice and posted another addition to the instructions. Unfortunately, it still did not work.

I decided to send an email to her privately ... it was kind of embarrassing to be the only one who could not do this. After going back and forth a few times, with my sending photos of my computer screen showing steps that did not work, she asked me to send the image I had. She used my image with her instructions and, guess what ... it did not work for her! She kindly said "Now I understand ..." my image would work if I would first "Ungroup", then "Make compound path". Ha. I have lots to learn, but did those two steps, then followed the rest of her instructions, and the final image was the same as hers. I slept well that night.

The problem was still not solved, as I could not print out a TRUE stencil with the image in the center. So I created more skinny rectangles that would attach the image to the stencil itself. You can see all those extra lines.

The result was that I created a real stencil I can use!! Yippee!! The final version below is printed on nice stencil material and measures about 6" square. I can make handles using masking tape, set the stencil on the glass ... then sift powder and lift the stencil up and away with the handles. A little touchup will be needed to fill in some of the lines. This was a great learning experience. Frustrating ... yet very rewarding.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


My first experiments using clear powder on iridescent glass were so successful, I cut more glass to make three more pieces. The collection of dried leaves I have is so fragile, I decided to trace and cut a few using card stock. Why not, right?

I sifted on the powder and carefully removed the cutouts. The powder looks kind of thick in places, but since I managed to remove the cutouts without spilling, I decided this one was a keeper. It measures 4" x 13".

In one of the tutorials I have using powder, the person recommended using a WaxVac, a device you would buy for your ears. I found one at the local Walgreen's. I put it together with the two AA batteries it needed, and it worked great for vacuuming up excess powder around the edges or in wider spaces. A suggestion made in the tutorial was to insert a mini straw into the device for the small spaces. Unfortunately, I had finished the three pieces before I read this, so... next time.
I used a stencil I had cut with my Cameo Silhouette for one of the pieces. A floral design in a circle. This piece is a 6" square.
Then a stencil I had with trees. This is also 6" square.
Here are the three pieces in the kiln. Keeping my fingers crossed!
When you fire in the evening, the pieces are still around 150 degrees when you get up in the morning. So you wait and wait. And you always feel like that little child on Christmas morning! The piece with the floral design turned out great.
The piece with the trees is a little too dark, and it had "wrinkles" in the corners. It's still ok ... but it gets added to my collection.
I really liked the piece with the cut out leaves. They don't look as delicate as real leaves, but passable.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


It's been cool enough the last few days that my energy level has gone up! And cool enough to work in the garage and be creative. I've been wanting to try two techniques where you sift powder directly onto glass using a stencil or dry leaves. Bullseye has videos of these processes that are very helpful.

My first projects were done with a wonderful bamboo stencil. I made two similar plates, so I'll only show you one. I first made masking tape handles for the stencil so it could be easily removed from the glass. I used French vanilla glass and dense white powder for these pieces. In this photo, the stencil sits on the glass piece, ready to receive powder.

I've sifted the powder onto the stencil.

Well, the stencil wasn't that easy to remove, as the powder weighed the stencil down so lots of it fell off and the powder image was not crisp. I dumped several stencils of powder and finally got a fairly good image. Next time I'll try adding BBQ skewers or a cardboard frame around the stencil to make it more sturdy, less droopy.

My next project was done with dried leaves I've kept in old catalogs for years. I used dark iridescent glass, added the leaves and sprinkled clear powder over the entire glass piece. Removing the leaves was a little easier than the stencil, as long as you kept a stem off the glass so you could lift up. Needless to say, lots of powder was dumped here too, as you can see! Here the powder has been sifted, the leaves removed, and you can see the iridescent glass showing.

The four pieces all got clear glass bottoms, and here they are in the kiln waiting to be fused.

Here they are after cooling overnight ... and looking pretty good!