Sunday, June 27, 2010


This is my entry for LibertyTown's "Bird's the Word". The idea is to incorporate art and words having to do with birds. I chose the traditional lullaby, "Hush Little Baby".

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird
And it that mockingbird won't sing,
Daddy's gonna buy you a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Daddy's gonna buy you a looking glass

And if that looking glass gets broke
Daddy's gonna buy you a billy goat

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Daddy's gonna buy you a cart and bull

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Daddy's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover won't bark,
Daddy's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Awesome Blaaazh!

I was getting in touch with my inner pirate girl while working on an assemblage piece.
My daughter said, "Mom, it really sounds like you're bragging when you say that."
"Assemblage? It's the proper term -- it's a french word."
She did the preteen eye roll and replied, "Mom, awesome is not french!"
She thought I was referring to my work as Awsome Blazh. As in the most awesome blazh, ever, dude!

Anyway... at the end of May, I had a great time taking an awsome blazh class with Michael deMeng at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston, Virginia. We had a full house of students working on Cave of Pages creations. Everyone left with a fantastic piece, or a very good start on one.

Can you see the burnt edge effect on the piece on the far right? That was achieved using washes. My piece was still looking kind of bare at the end of the class, but I came home and went to town with the washes.

I also used lots of mica, after learning the "Mysterious Frozen Caveman Trick". It is also featured in deMeng's newest book, Dusty Diablos, Folklore, Iconography, Assemblage, Olé.

The words say, Bloody Bess and her girls longed to return to the open sea.

And no piece of mine would be complete without some broken jewelry and a heapin' helpin' of epoxy clay.

I still have lots of leftover pirate-y things. I think I feel another pirate blazh comin on, mateys!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leslie Brier, Custom Collage work

This is a detail of a custom collage piece that I did for the adorable Miss Taylor.

Taylor's mom and I met at the Hurkamp Park art show, where I was showing my collage titled "Spring". The girl in the picture reminded her of her daughter. We decided that I would recreate the piece with a few minor changes. I made the hair longer and parted on the side, and changed the word "spring" to the name "Taylor".

It was refreshing to recreate a piece. It felt good to be confident every step of the way because I had already made my design decisions when I created the original artwork. It also gave me an opportunity to make little adjustments that probably wouldn't be noticeable to anyone but me. How often in life do you get a do-over?

Doesn't this remind you of the flowers in the collage? This pin is a gift from my friend Elizabeth Woodford. She creates these fabulous flowers from discarded cashmere sweaters. They are so soft to the touch, and so glamorous! I've been finding all sorts of ways to wear mine. It's my new favorite accessory.

If you'd like one, (or ten) she has them for sale at the LibertyTown Emporium here in Fredericksburg. They will definitely be on my shopping list for the holidays!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thomas Mann, Art and Soul, and the FOS

I decided that this year at Art and Soul, I would get back to my jewelry-making roots, and learn some new techniques. The first class that I took was an evening class with Thomas Mann, "Learn to Saw". I had limited experience using a jeweler's saw, and had found it very frustrating. The course description guaranteed we'd be sawing like pros by the end of the evening, and we weren't disappointed. I left feeling very proud of myself, and eager for the next day's class, Thomas Mann's Found Object Sandwich Brooch - The FOS.

I came to class prepared with an image, and some found objects, and I was ready to go. Until it was actually time to make something, and then my plan sort of fell apart.

I just had one of those days where nothing came easily to me. I lost a little piece of filigree that I'd brought with me that was a key part of my design. I left at lunchtime to set up my table for vendor night,raced back to the classroom, and got back to work, but I had missed some key information while I was gone. Luckily, I had some of the sweetest classmates in the world, who were kind enough to help me out. I left the class frustrated, with an unfinished piece.

Many of my classmates wore their gorgeous creations to vendor night. A lot of beautiful work came out of that class and it was wonderful to see the variety of FOS pins that were created.

I left my unfinished FOS in my studio, and experienced a feeling of dread every time I walked past it. Last week, I found a new piece of filigree at a local bead store, and some bead caps that looked like flowers when they were opened up. Last night I sat down and completed my piece.
I thought it would take me about 30 minutes, and it ended up taking about three hours. But I did it. I'm glad that I overcame my intimidation and finished the piece. And I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I'll probably even use micro fasteners again in the future. But every time I look at this pin, I'll remember it as the dreaded FOS!