Saturday, May 5, 2012

Love Affair with Mah Jongg

Playing mah jongg is one of my favorite past times and I play regularly twice a week with two different groups of women many of whom I taught how to play.  It is a game of skill and chance and really keeps the brain active.  My mom played all her adult life and I have fond memories of the ladies coming over to our house in Cleveland, Ohio every month when the weekly game rotated and it was my mom's turn to host.  I remember her setting out the bridge mix.  Maybe there were cocktails or coffee - that I don't remember because it was the bridge mix I had my eye on...especially those chews.  But what I most remember was lying in my bed and feeling so safe and secure listening to the clickety clack of the tiles and the soothing sounds of the ladies, in the near by dining room, calling out their discards..."one bam, two crack, green" as I eased into a peaceful sleep.  Mom, I hope you're enjoying playing mah jongg with all your long time buddies and really cleaning up on the coin up there.  One day I'll be up there joining you. 

And as synchronicity would have it, Cleveland just hosted Project Mah Jongg, the first exhibition of its kind - taking visitors on an exploration of the game's cultural meanings through sight, sound, text and play.  
Click HERE, to watch the original documentary short called: 
Use the password:  mj

In honor of my love of mah jongg, I have created two necklaces featuring a mah jongg tile as the focal.

This necklace is made with vintage sari ribbons and sterling silver findings.
This second necklace is made with bronze chain, bronze wire and both glass and semiprecious beads.  

I twisted several sari ribbons together.  I hand formed the center ring and the closure form 14 gauge sterling.  I drilled through the maj jongg tile with a diamond drill bit.

Vintage glass and semiprecious beads hang from the bottom of the maj tile.
Who's your #1?

To secure the sari ribbons, I added a sterling wire wrap and semi precious beads on one side of the necklace. 

I made a triangular closure with bronze and soldered it closed.  The mah jongg tile acts as the toggle.

I love maj jongg and jewelry making!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nuno Felting Workshop - June 24, 2012

Click HERE to register for the Sunday, June 24, 2012 NUNO FELTING WORKSHOP.  It will be held at Claudia Grau's awesome Grau Haus in the historical Crossroads of the World Shopping Center in Hollywood, CA. 
 Enrollment is limited so register soon.


Simple Pleasures

Although I spend a lot of my time in the studio creating my hand crafted wares, some of my favorite time is spent either curled up reading a good novel or playing mah jongg which I do regularly two evenings a week.  These simple pleasures bring me lots of joy and stimulate the ol' noggin.

Forming an Artist's Collective

Another exciting evening spent brainstorming about organizing an artist's collective in one of the several spaces at Claudia Grau's Grau House at the historic Hollywood Crossroads of the World Shopping Center. The brainstorming session generated inspiration and ideas that would not have been possible, without the contribution of muttiple minds.  Of course it's not easy to solidify such an undertaking, but it's so exciting to be part of this innovative concept.  First step for me will be teaching a NUNO FELTING WORKSHOP on Sunday, June 24, 2012.   Even Claudia is going to be one of the students!  Click on the Events page and scroll down to Workshops to register.  Space is limited to eight students so sign up soon.

Upcycled garments by Claudia Grau
Me behind the lens

Claudia's B&W

My friend Linda from Long Beach

Ever the artist - Susan

Dying to have fun

Another Linda we'll call Linda Lu
Claudia and Linda admiring one of Claudia's designs

Claudia does amazing work.  Come see at the Grau Haus at 6671 Sunset, Hollywood, CA  90028

Linda admiring one of Claudia's bags

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blogger buttons - DIY

I taught myself how to do a few cool blogging tips that you might want to use on your blog.    Check it out below.

1. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:  After a lot of web searching, I found a really way to add  "You May Also Like" to your blogger.  Click HERE to DIY.

2.  PIN IT:  This took some trial and error but I got it to work. Just follow the instructions and it will work for you too.  Click HERE to add a Pinterest "PIN IT" button on your site.  Once you're done, you'll have to click on a particular blog post to actually see the PIN IT button.  To use the button, just click on it and select the image you want to be pinned and you will be guided on what to do by Pinterest.

3.  GRAB BUTTON: There are a lot of sites out there on how to make a grab button.  I tried several and finally got it.  I describe how to do it HERE in another of my posts.  You too can DIY.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Handcrafted Bronze Bracelet

Handcrafted Bronze Bracelet by jpbeth

Handcrafted Bronze Bracelet, a photo by jpbeth on Flickr.
This was a fun project incorporating a bunch of metal smithing techniques. I started with a piece of bronze sheet which I metal etched. I drilled a hole in both the flower and the bronze sheet and attached them with a little screw and nut. Drilled four more holes in the bronze, two on each side. I annealed the metal to get soften it, formed in around a mandrel and then work hardened it. I made my own jump rings and soldered them closed and attached everything with wire wrapped green turquoise beads. I patined the whole thing with several different methods. The hand made bronze closure can fit into any of the four jump rings to fit any size wrist.

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