Monday, February 20, 2017

Making Sea Glass Jewelry

Sea glass, sometimes called beach glass, is the name given to jewel-like shards of broken glass that have been naturally weathered in the ocean. It is found along the beach, often scattered among seashells and other ocean treasures that have been washed ashore. Sea glass is most often found during low tide. Common colors of sea glass include varying shades of green, blue, brown, amber, white and clear. Rarer colors include shades of red, orange and purple. What makes sea glass unique and desirable for use in jewelry is its worn, weathered finish caused by years of exposure to salt water, sand, and its movement in the ocean. 



Jewelry created from sea glass has an almost mystical allure to it. It's weathered, frosty appearance adds a lovely softness to its original hue, giving the wearer a soothing feeling not unlike the relaxing feelings we experience when we visit the ocean. Sea glass is mysterious. The origins of its past life are always a mystery. Sea glass is also very unique in the fact that it is something that originated as man made, but was reclaimed by nature and changed by nature.

If you do not live near a beach or do not have access to finding your own sea glass, you can create your own faux sea glass quite easily by following the instructions below. Handcrafted sea glass, if tumbled for a long enough period of time, is nearly indistinguishable from ocean-made sea glass. 




Supplies needed: safety glasses, leather work gloves, hammer, an old pillowcase, glass shards, grozer pliers, grinding stone (optional), rock tumbler, water.

Directions:

1. Wear safety glasses and thick leather work gloves for protection.

2. Collect glass shards from broken glass bottles (you can also use stained glass scraps). Break your own shards by placing the glass to be broken inside of an old pillow case and lightly tap with hammer until desired size is achieved. When you are finished with this step be sure to discard the pillowcase!

3. Using grozer pliers (available from stained glass suppliers) carefully remove any sharp points and edges from the glass shards. Sharp points and edges may also be ground down with a grinding stone (also available from a stained glass supplier) or an electric stained glass grinder. Remember to wear your leather work gloves and be extra careful when working with glass so that you do not cut yourself!

4. Place glass shards into a rock tumbler with water (following the rock tumbler manufacturer's directions for correct amounts of water). Tumble the shards until they reach the desired appearance. Depending on the finish you desire, this may take a few days of tumbling or longer than a  week.

The simplest way to make jewelry with beach glass is to either wrap it with wire (available from a jewelry supply catalog such as Rio Grande) or to drill a small hole into the glass so that it may be strung or used as a bead. A good tool for drilling is a flex shaft with a diamond bit. Novices may find success by using a simple Dremel tool. 

In either case it is most important to remember to wear safety glasses when working, and to keep your glass cool while drilling. The speed of the drill will heat the glass and you want to keep the glass cool so you do not burn yourself or shatter the glass. One way to keep your project cool is to drill on top of a wet washcloth. Apply gentle pressure when drilling so you do not break the glass or your drill bit. 

One way to achieve a successful hole is to drill the glass half way through, rinse it with water to remove accumulated residue from the glass, flip the piece over, and then complete the hole from the other side. This method will help prevent breakage. Once the hole is drilled you can gently smooth any sharp edges around the hole by using a bead reamer. This will prevent your threading material from becoming frayed due to a sharp edge.

You now have a beautiful sea glass component to use in your jewelry design! Here are some design ideas for sea glass: string with shells or pearls for an ocean themed necklace. Use an unusual single sea glass shard as an eye-catching pendant simply strung on a linen or leather cord. Use larger sea glass shards for pendants and smaller shards for earrings and bracelets. Combine sea glass shards with color coordinating semiprecious gems. Some winning combinations include; green
 sea glass with amazonite and pearls, white or clear sea glass with amethyst or rose quartz, blue sea glass with quartz crystals or lapis lazuli.



Have a great week!
 Laura



My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns



copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Time Lapse Mandala Artwork - Ink Drawing With Watercolor Painting


I've been playing around with creating time lapse videos, tooling around with the time lapse feature on my iphone... but quickly found out that the built in time lapse feature is just too fast for capturing artwork! 

I thought I would try it out while creating this doodle - a quick pencil sketch to get my design started, and then some pen and paper drawing, topped off with a little bit of color added with water and watercolor paints.  

You can see it all below in about 26 blazing seconds haha! ...but I was unhappy with the video's rhythm of my drawing, which turned out to be just too fast for you to really see what I was doing. (watch it here on my YouTube Channel instead)





Regardless, I uploaded the video to my YouTube channel and then tried to toy with the video's settings, slowing it down 2x and then 4x but I soon found out that that didn't work because when a time lapse video is filmed, there are sections of time that are actually skipped. If you try to slow down a video that you filmed in time lapse mode on your iphone, the result is actually a trippy, smeared video! 



My resolution? I just downloaded an app that allows you to choose your video recording speed, so back to the drawing board - literally. When I get some free time I will give it another shot using the app and hopefully have some better results! 





Have you ever made a time lapse video for your artwork? 
Any tips to share? 







I hope you have a great week! 
Love, Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Artists Who Mingle In Different Mediums - Spare Time Illustration



I noticed that I've been spending an extra bit of money on art supplies lately, and yesterday I told myself that I would not buy any more paint!  I just needed a last few watercolor colors, and they were on sale, and well, I might as well buy the professional grade paints just in case - by chance - I land up creating something of merit. At least that's what I told myself ha ha...

But I'm drawn to drawing. I like to not just sketch out images, but I like slow, semi-intricate creative drawing, like the feathers in the photo above. These are things that come directly from my own imagination. I create them for fun and for relaxation, and I just started drawing a few on watercolor paper so that I might be able to add color to them if the mood strikes later on.


A few months back I shared this photo on my Instagram and laughed when I realized it looked like I was drawing wire and bead jewelry designs in my drawings. You can join me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/laurabethlove/




I like to use black pens and different types of black ink, and pencils too. When I draw or paint, it's like a break from the constant jewelry making that is my day to day effort. 

You might think that when an artist takes a break from their artwork that they might participate in a completely different activity - and I'm sure this is often true - but lots of artists find great relaxation and rejuvenation in playing around with and experimenting with different creative mediums. 

I think that's why you often hear of illustrators who were once textile designers, or potters who like to play with paint, or painters who like to work with jewelry. 

Sometimes our hands and minds need something else to do, something new to try. The stream of colors and shapes and designs and ideas never stops coming, but sometimes it's like my hands and brain want to organize them - and give them to the world - in a different way. 



Ink and paint illustration 



There is something magical about a fresh new pack of paper. Maybe it's the possibilities. No matter how you plan, you never quite know exactly how things will play out.

I like the small tubes of paint and the power that they hold. It's almost electric, and you can feel it all inside you if you just give it a chance.

I like what I draw. I like to see my imagination and personal creativity on paper instead of always in metal, wire, and gemstones. It makes me happy, and I think this is because I draw only for myself, without much concern of what other people think. There is great difference of freedoms between creating for yourself - for the sake of just creating - and creating to impress. I think you forsake your freedom in the latter.

What are your favorite creative endeavors? 




I hope you have a great week! 
Love, Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cool Cat Houses For Cool Cats - DIY Cat Houses


Hello everyone, my blog topic for today is how to make a house for your cat. As you may already know, it's very important that your cat has his or her own house. If you did not know this, you may have noticed that you cat has been trying to hint this to you by jumping into and laying down in any various open cardboard box that you may leave lying around in your home. Every time your cat does this he is in fact saying, "please make me a house." So there you have it. 

Now that you know what kitty has been trying to tell you, read on to check out some cool cat houses (and cat trees) for cool cats, and hopefully they will inspire you to create one for your own feline friend. 
Very cool cat metropolis from eatsleepmake



Wood slice and tree branch cat tree


Cat condo of cardboard boxes via reddit


How to turn old boxes into a cat house by Tricia at Cuteness



Learn how to make a cat self-scratcher with this DIY video from Cat Lessons







I hope you have a great week 
Love, Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


Monday, February 6, 2017

Amazing Upcycled Ideas For Your Kitchen


I think one of the most amazing things about decorating is that it is something that is completely personal. Everyone's style is completely unique, and you know what's awesome about that?  No one but you has to like it! 

I say surround yourself with the things that you love and the colors that make you feel the way you want to feel. Even better? Pull out those favorite thrift store finds, family hand-me-downs and heirlooms from the attic and enjoy them by incorporating them into your home decor, or by upcycling them into something completely new.  

For example, I love the kitchen. I think it's one of the homiest parts of the home - but it certainly shouldn't be the homeliest! Check out these amazing ways that some creative minds turned old, salvaged pieces into amazing personal statements of style for their kitchens!


Old bed headboard is now a new display shelf




Sculptural silverware hanging decoration




Three red wagons transformed into a minibar from Inhabitat
This could also be used for storing extra tableware, serving bowl, etc. 




Old spoons and serving pieces can easily be turned into drawer pulls. All you need is a drill and some screws.




Pallet kitchen island by Beyond The Picket Fence (be sure to check out her new book too!)




Globe stand turned kitchen towel holder from lovely etc.




Small chandelier made from kitchen implements from junk aholique




Old book knife block from theownerbuildernetwork




Clean salvaged wood scraps turned into pot storage




Antique dresser turned into a kitchen island from Heir and Space



Upcycled kitchen colander via Pinterest



What do you think? Do you have any upcycled items in your own kitchen?



Did you enjoy this post? You might also enjoy: 

Upcycled: Awesome Kitchen Islands Made From Old Dressers



I hope you have a great week 
Love, Laura


My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


Friday, January 27, 2017

Banish Winter Blues (& Whites!) With Colorful Bohemian Brights!

Who says winter has to be a whiteout?

Why not give your winter decor a bold burst of fun color that will not only brighten 
your living environment, but will brighten your spirits too? We already know that the
seasons can directly affect our moods and emotions. Lots of folks complain of winter
blues and seasonal affective disorder (aka SAD or winter depression) during the winter
months. Believe it or not, some folks suggest that part of the cause of these winter 
blues is due to the decrease in daylight from the winter days being shorter. I think
I have to agree with that! I anxiously await summer. 

Whether you prefer to go for bold brights or rich jewel tones, I believe that adding 
pops of unexpected color - especially if they contain unique patterns and luxurious textures - can help turn your mood around. Check it out!