The Last Airbender and A Day for Play

Aqua drop bracelet and earrings
Summer Beach

What better way to celebrate a holiday weekend than to take at least one day and do only fun, play kinda stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

Going to see the movie The Last Airbender was a treat, I liked it so much we actually saw it twice over the holiday. I then dashed off to Borders to get the book, only to find it’s a graphic novel…ย  can I bring myself to read a graphic novel? I can roll with the times, why not?

Summer Beach - aqua drop bracelet and earrings
Simple Pleasures

An easy beading project was just the ticket for a relaxing afternoon. The bracelet was a “build your own kit” from Alada Beads where I just had to pick the colors; my favorite colors of aqua,ย  sea green and copper. I had enough beads and components left over to improvise some matching earrings. Sometimes simple is very satisfying.

Aqua OOAK button bracelet
Aqua OOAK button bracelet

But that got me looking at the assortment of fused glass buttons on my design table. I’ve been designing buttons for a wholesale catalog. This, besides being a lot more time consuming and a lot more work than I could ever have imagined, has left me with a rather large selection of single OOAK (one of a kind) buttons. Looking at these with my freshly finished bracelet (above) in my hand was a short leap to the next project.

Button Bracelet
Button Bracelet

I raided my stash of novelty yarns and found some lovely aqua sparkly stuff, not too hairy – I don’t like hairy. I raided my stash of large beads and found some glass dangley things too (technical term, that). After a few false starts to try to achieve my vague vision, I settled on crocheting the novelty yarn with the buttons, beads and dangles not-quite randomly picked up and crocheted in the chain.

Button, button, who has the... ?
Button, button, who has the... ?

The yarn was mostly rayon and not disposed to wear as durable as I might like. In an effort to avoid strewing buttons and beads in a trail behind at the local RAVE (like I even know what one is, do they still have them?) I threaded Tigertail through all of the buttons and beads and cinched them up snugly to the right length. Adding a toggle catch with crimps was the final touch and viola! This would be a marvelous way to use any and all kinds of shanked buttons, I see more in my future!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Deb H

PS – we can see the town fireworks from our back deck, they were beautiful but Shadow (our rescue husky) did not like them one little bit. It’s a real experience when a 65 pound dogs keeps trying to climb into your lap!

The Last Airbender and A Day for Play

Choices and Decisions

So many colors, so many combinations, so many choices. I’ve been working on designing some buttons for a catalog. I’m drunk with the possibilities…

button samples
Samples, samples, samples...

Fused glass is soooo addictive. Maybe I need to make more samples and a few more notes. Note to Gayle: yes, I’m going to make myself finish it!

Pink Button
Pink Button

I’ve also been crazy busy with making buttons for the biggest Bead & Button Show in the world (according to their web site).ย  June 6th through the 13th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, our bead group will have a table in the vendors mall so if you are lucky enough to attend, look for “Glass Act!” and drool on some beads and my buttonsย  ๐Ÿ™‚

We are having a heat wave and the kiln is going in the kitchen – who said “the lazy days of summer”? Were they nuts?!?!?

Deb H

Choices and Decisions

I Love Glass Buttons!

Glass buttons ready for the kiln
Glass buttons ready for the kiln

I have always loved glass buttons. Ever since I first saw a fused glass button at a craft fair I have been in love with the way the glossy smooth surface of the bright and sparkly glass contrasts with the soft, matte surface of fiber. My darling hubby Jack, does hot glass. “Honey!” says I, “how about making some buttons”? He mostly grumbled and thought it a good idea but he has things he wants to do too and only so many hours – we all know how that feels. Well, if you have been reading here for long, you know he talked me into taking a fusing glass class with him (like I need another craft – oy)!

Pea green with envy
Pea green with envy

I’m hooked.

Toffee Delight!
Toffee Delight!

So he helped me to start making buttons. This has turned into a totally joint effort and he is as hooked as I am. We design together, he cuts, I assemble, we both run the kiln, he does the shanks and I do the packaging and listing. I’ve been loading our glass buttons in my (ours, now) Etsy Shop and I could not be happier with them. I’ve started putting glass buttons on everything!

Iceberg ahead
Iceberg ahead

The colors are so addictive.

My heart is black and blue over you!
My heart is black and blue over you!

I just had to share the joy of making these wonderful little jewels.

Subtle Elegance
Subtle Elegance

Enjoy!

Golden Dragon's Eye, cabochon - just for fun!
Golden Dragon's Eye, cabochon - just for fun!

Deb H

I Love Glass Buttons!

Ginkgo Leaves on Water

Ginko-leaves-water-1
Ginkgo Leaves On Water - Water Series #1 by Deborah Harowitz

12″ x 12″ – hand dyed and hand painted cottons and silks by me and multiple artists, commercial cotton, fused glass by me, clear vinyl. Machine quilted, hand stitched and beaded. Mounted on a stretcher frame.

The quilt is actually very square, my camera does this whole fish-eye thing which really bugs me but I haven’t figured out how to avoid it – yet. Any suggestions?

I gave you a teaser a few weeks ago about an art quilt I was doing for a barely made deadline. This quilt was for a juried exhibit called Blurred Boundaries in conjunction with Fabrications Fiber Art Retreat.

Ginko-leaves-water-2
detail of fused glass and beading

I cut a hole in the quilt through all layers and sandwiched in a piece of clear vinyl to create a window in the quilt. Holes were drilled in the four corners of the fused glass (2-3/4″ x 2-1/3″) and hand stitched with beads to the vinyl window to create a floating look.

I was going to wait until September 1st to post pictures of my quilt since that is when the show will be hung. Well… I’m posting it now because I didn’t get in. But that’s OK, I kind of knew when I sent it off that it was not really blurring many boundaries as far as being a mixed media piece. The judge’s comments were a reiteration of what the show was looking for; work a bit more edgy and mixed in techniques and materials/medium. She was gracious and diplomatic in her response and her decision became obvious to me as I read the guidelines. Not only am I OK with it, I agree wholeheartedly and am excited about stretching my creative self even more in the next project. I’m also very eager to see what did get in! I did a second quilt in this series (Water Equals Life – Water Series #2, 20″ x 24′) that will be exhibited in the MQAI (Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational) traveling exhibit from September of 2009 through August of 2011. I can post pictures of that after September 11th, the show opening. And, since MQAI is an “invitational”, it was a sure thing.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Both pieces are more “quilty” than mixed media. For the MAQI exhibit, it is totally appropriate and blends well with the other entries.

Going for the "floating" look
Going for the "floating" look

As a summation, I’m very happy with my Ginkgo Leaves piece. I got to use some of my glass I made and I experimented with some techniques and ideas that were new to me. I’m happy with the colors and overall effect I got; being very much what I was going for.

Deb H

Ginkgo Leaves on Water

The Lure of Glass

Bluewater Glass
Bluewater Glass

Glass is a medium that defies (my) comprehension. It is not a soft medium that begs to be touched – although I have to touch it when I see it to see if it really is as smooth and glossy as it looks. But I’m just a tactile kinda gal.

Its the colors and the depth, like hidden universes are floating in it. Amazing!

So, here are the glass pieces from our first glass fusing class (well, first for me, DH has done this before). The rectangular blue pieces pictured at the top are mine (click to biggy-ize). Two of them are about 2-1/4″ x 2-3/4″ and the dark blue one is about 2″ x 3″. I had water in mind when I created these – and to use them to embellish a quilt. I figured if I made three attempts, at least one would be acceptable. I like them all! They have all had the corners drilled and are back in the kiln for a final fire polish.

Glass Gems by Jack
Glass Gems by Jack

The five cabochons (or gems) above are Jack’s pieces. His average about 1-1/4″ square are are perfect for pendants.

I can’t wait to see our we figure out how to hang them; wire wrapping? Hummmm.

A perk – if your feeling in a rut with your artwork, try a new medium – it’s amazing how well it will shake things up. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got a few other things done this week too. I finally got all my books left from my (now closed) Fiber Art Supply business loaded up on Amazon.com, if you want to see what I have still available, check it out.

I also made a new banner for my Etsy store and added a few more items.

The weather is lovely, I moved some pots into the greenhouse for when it’s actually warm enough for things to start popping up (a bit earlier than if left on the porch) and tomorrow is work at the Yarn Shop day.

Gee, life is tough.

Deb H

Deb

The Lure of Glass