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leavesI recently interviewed Julia Toussaint of the Eternal Girl blog and that interview will go live on October 28th on Serendipitini so be sure and check back . Julia in turn asked me and several other friends and sponsors to share our favorite things about autumn. It’s fun to hear perspectives people have because everyone is so different.

Here’s a link to that post. Be sure and stop by and leave a comment. http://juliaspuellaaeterna.blogspot.com

 

 

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Artist Interview with Carol Gonzales

carolToday on Serendipitini I’m interviewing Carol Ganzales, an artist who loves to work with creative reuse (one of my passions). I’ve asked Carol to share a little bit about her work.

I graduated 2004 with a BA in Art from St. Edward’s University. Carol’s Designs is the name of my business. I work in two primary areas, Surface Print Design and Fine Art. What sets my pattern design apart would be the variety of design obtained from years of research as well as the amount of detail and the sheer number accomplished. I suppose the same could be said of the variety and amount of artwork.  I consider myself an experimental artist because I am always trying something new, combining differing mediums and developing new processes and techniques usually  out of a few recycled resources. I enjoy the challenge of a dearth of materials and the problem-solving that is required, which results in something I otherwise couldn’t have planned without the methodology of accessing unusual materials and making unusual connections.

lampshadeThis is a recent process I created using a recycled lampshade. I first painted the lampshade, then cut it strategically, and reassembled the pieces. I’ve completed a series of about 30 of these.

The next recent work is a painting, mixed medium, that was accomplished with a scrap of canvas exactly as I found it, to which I applied paint, then decorated with, then decorated with designs between the paint drops.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs or artists?

So much of art is about “seeing” and I didn’t used to understand that. It isn’t just about having a vision of where it will go, though that helps of course. It’s about viewing everything potentially as an artistic material — all day, every day. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am pretty one-dimensional in that way.

You can learn more about Carol Gonzales and her work on her blog at http://carolgonzales.weebly.com

mixedmedia

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Wire Wrapped Slumped Wine Bottle Cheese Tray Tutorial

WineBottleTrayRegAmberI’ve been concentrating a lot on perfecting my ceramic pet coasters to get them ready for wholesale but recently I had time to play with slumping wine bottles.  Pictured is my first success with a regular size amber green recycled wine bottle which I slumped into a cheese tray.

You can slump wine bottles without a mold. I haven’t tried this yet. To do so make certain you have plenty of kiln wash on your kiln shelf or use the special Bullseye thinfire shelf paper (my preference).

Or you can invest in a wine bottle mold which is what I did. Below is the picture of the mold I used for this wine bottle cheese tray. I purchased this from DelphiGlass.com

WineBottleTrayRegAmber2

 

 

 

 

bottle mold

The mold helps give the bottle more contour and shape other than just flattened out which is what you get when you just put the bottle on a shelf. There are many different bottle molds to choose from.

You don’t want your glass to fuse to your shelf or your mold so that’s why you need to use the paper or the mold primer. I used Primo Primer on my mold, brushing on 3 layers (letting it dry between layers). It has a lavender hue when it is dry. There is no need to fire it before you place your bottle in it.

When preparing your glass, handle it as little as possible using a window spray to clean it from any finger prints. To remove the bottle label, I soak it in hot water for about 15-30 minutes. Then I use a sharp putty knife to scrape it off. Any residue usually comes off with an SOS pad and a little more scrubbing, although some labels can be stubborn.

Be aware that any bubbles that are in the glass bottle before you fire it will probably still show after firing.

With colored glass, if you don’t want the exposed part to have a dull hue (caused by devitrification), you can buy a special spray called Super Spray. It’s very strong smelling so it’s best to use a mask when applying it and good ventilation. Either spray or brush it on the side of the bottle that will be exposed (not the side that goes in the mold.)  I used a small, flat brush.

Once the mold and bottle are prepared, I put the bottle in the mold and placed it in my kiln. I found a slumping schedule that works for me after trying one before that that didn’t work. It may differ with different kilns so don’t be afraid to experiment.

I prop my kiln open with a wedge until it reach 900 degrees and then close it. This helps fumes and gasses escape and helps with the process.  Make sure you have ample soak times (holding) times included to help get rid of bubbles which can be a problem. If you still have bubbles play around with adding a longer soak time. You also want to make sure the kiln shelf is level as an unlevel shelf can cause bubble issues.

Wait until your kiln drops to 100 degrees or lower before opening so you don’t shock the glass which can cause cracks and breakage.

Once your bottle is slumped, if there are any sharp edges, smooth them out using a whetting stone or a Dremmil with a sanding attachment. Sand until smooth.

If you want to embellish your work you can. I wrapped 20 gauge copper wire around the neck of the bottle three times and then added a funky swirl as a separate piece. Then I added three glass beads.  You can find this wine bottle tray and other handmade creations in my Serendipitini Etsy shop.

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Turquoise Hoop Earring Give Away

Turquoisehoop earringsThis week I am giving away a set of handmade genuine turquoise hoop earrings. The artisan earrings include silver plated beads and pewter beads and lever back ear wires. Hoops are 2 1/4″ across.

To enter, leave a comment below with your email indicating why you wish to win them.

For additional chances to win like my Facebook page and/or subscribe to my ezine.

 

 

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Wine Bottle Candle Sale. 25% Off.

bluebottleI’m having a 25% off sale on all handmade wine bottle candles. These candles are made from recycled wine bottles.  There are several ways to cut the bottom out of the bottle but I prefer to use a tile saw and I smooth the bottom edges. Just lift to light.

I have two major styles. The first is the table top model like the blue table top wine bottle candle pictured here.
They come in several colors and include a pillar candle.

I also have hanging wine bottle candles.

No part of the wine bottle goes to waste.  I use the cut bottoms to make ornaments and any wine bottles that break are then either tumbled and made into my recycled glass necklaces or crushed into frit and placed in molds and kiln fired and made into ornaments, beads or suncatchers.

 

 

 

 

clearbottle

Clear hanging wine bottle candle

Here is the discount coupon code  WINBOT1014 good on all wine bottle candles in my Indemade shop.  Hurry. Sale ends 10/21/14.

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Local Hickory, NC Artist Meetup

Artists and and handmade artisans are invited to participate in an artist meetup the third Sat. of each month at A Place to Talk, 1546 Brookford Church Road in Hickory, NC. Bring a food dish to share and a project to work on. We chat and network after sharing a meal. Next meetup is Oct. 18. Contact Jeanne Schlumbohm inthesonlite@embarqmail.com, phone (828) 391-0982  or myself,  Teena Stewart teenastewart412@gmail.com(707) 980-0317 if you would like to attend.

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Personalized Sterling Silver Necklace Giveaway

CharmedNeckI post giveaways by other handmade artists. You won’t want to miss this one. Kelly of Your Charmed Life is giving away a personalized hand stamped sterling silver flower  charm necklace.  Hurry, the contest ends on 10/7/14

Please leave a comment below on my blog and then follow the link to your charmed life to enter.

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EARLY BIRD CHRISTMAS SHOPPING COUPON SPECIAL

MapMirror1I’m offering an EARLY BIRD CHRISTMAS SHOPPING COUPON SPECIAL THIS MONTH.
GET 20% OFF ANY ITEM IN ANY OF MY STORES NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 30TH, 2014
This includes jewelry, artwork, ornaments, coasters and more!
Here’s Your Code:
SERINDIEOCT14
amberneck
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Crafty Saturday Show & Sell #38, World Tourism

Show-and-Sell-250It’s Crafty Saturday Show & Sell time. You are invited to post links to your handmade items. This week we have a special theme. If you don’t have items that fit that theme, feel free to post any way. This will be my last time participating in hosting Crafty Saturday as I will be concentrating on different content including tutorials, artists interviews, giveaways and spotlighting my own handmade creations.  Crafty Saturday link ups will continue on with my link partners so you can continue to participate on their blogs.
I will definitely continue to help promote other handmade artists. If you are a handmade artist and would like to be interviewed on Serendipitini, send me a query letter with a link to your shop and let me know of your interest.
Here are my two top choices from last week’s Crafty Saturday.
doggie
Ugg Lee Dog by Ugg Lee Factory
Who wouldn’t want to adopt this precious puppy? Made of soft curly white fabric, he’s sure to bring a smile. Need a different color or fabric? Just let me know what you’d like, and I can work with you to make it happen. This little cutie is 7″ tall.
dog Harness
Custom made adjustable harness by Unknown Discoveries
Step-in dog harness
Made with cotton fabric and cotton webbing to reinforce. 
Triple stitched on stress points.


The single buckle over the shoulders is easy to put on and take off. 

The double ring leash attachment evenly distributes pressure. 


1 inch wide straps
3 inch wide tapering belly piece
Welded rings 
Heavy duty curved plastic side release buckle 


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More Recycled Magazine Crafts from Our Craft Challenge

I’ve already shared my decoupage necklace tutorial from the recycled Magazine craft challenge but I also wanted to share the ideas my blog partners came up with for this challenge. It always amazing me how you can give people the exact same challenge and nearly every time they will come up with something totally unique.

paper-bowl (16)Here’s a paper bowl Ellen of the Chilly Dog Blog came up with. You can find more about it on thechillydog.com  http://www.thechillydog.com/2014/09/craft-challenge-tutorial-paper-bowl.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

apple buntingSherri Osborne of About Family Crafts came up with an amazing apple bunting. Here’s the link to her craft tutorial 
My blog subscribers are also invited to participate. Make something from recycled magazines and post your pictures in the comment section.

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