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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How to make a grab button took me a while to figure out.  Wasn't hard to make the button with good ol' Photoshop but it took some time to figure out all that HTML which has to be exact.

After much searching on the Internet, I came across a terrific, straight forward tutorial on how to make a grab button.  Click HERE to not have to go through all the hassle and time that I did.  I had a lot of problems and finally realized that for some technical reason, you have to replace the quote marks in the HTML with all new quote marks...go figure!

Once my grab button showed up on my blog,  I tested it to assure it linked to my URL.  I did this by: 1. copying the HTML from the grab button on my blog, 2. opening up another window with the blog layout, 3. selecting add a gadget and selecting the choice of HTML/JavaScript from the Basics category. 4. pasting the code.   To not mix things up, I put this gadget at the bottom of the page instead of on the side with the actual grab button.   Then view your updated blog and click on the new button at the bottom of the page.  If you get an error message and it does not properly take you to your URL, you have an error in your HTML which you'll have to troubleshoot.  For me, I needed to add www into my URL.   I retested it to assure it worked and then deleted the temporary gadget.  Eureka, it finally worked and I feel so accomplished!!

My grab button with it's code is over on the right hand column with all of of my other buttons.  Now you can copy the code to your blog.  Thanks.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Meet Gracie

It's Day 29 in the Beyond Layers class and Kim taught us some new and fun Photoshop tips and tricks on how to make a triptych and an animated gif.  

Last Saturday Joe and I flew up to Boni and George's ranch in Bakersfield for the wedding ceremony and reception for George's daughter Kimi to Grant Carver.  I was so charmed with Kimi and Grant's daughter Gracie and was able to get off a bunch of shots of her and her BFF.  With today's assignment to do a triptych and animated gif, thought it would be fun to use some of the images of Gracie and her BFF from the wedding. 

Click on the image to see the animation

Kimi and Grant

Our friend's George and Boni
Joe and moi

Monday, April 23, 2012


The MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art) artisan fair and fundraiser held this past Sunday April 22, 2012 at the Long Beach residence of Susan Taylor was a big success.  In addition to each artist contributing a percentage of their sales to MOLAA, quite a bit was generated from the the sale of raffle tickets for original paintings and giclees.  The funds, which had previously been provided but subsequently cut from the public school budgets, will be used to expose students to museum exhibits and workshops.  For every $25 donated, three students will get to be exposed to MOLAA.  Good work and thank you my friend Linda Varela Oldenburg for all your hard work as the chairperson of the MOLAA docent guild and the organizer for this event.  

Beth Marx wearing her original earrings, necklace and nuno felted shawl.

Beth peeking out from behind her table filled with nuno felted goods, hand made jewelry and art cards featuring her original photography.

Linda Varela Oldenburg - Chairperson of the MOLAA docent guild

Setting up the event in the backyard

Thank you my friend Denise for making a purchase from me.

It was a joy to listen to the Rodriguez family performing Bolivian folk music.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

Flowers by Thomas Hood
I will not have the mad Clytie,
Whose head is turned by the sun;
The tulip is a courtly queen,
Whom, therefore, I will shun;
The cowslip is a country wench,
The violet is a nun; -
But I will woo the dainty rose,
The queen of everyone. 

The pea is but a wanton witch,
In too much haste to wed,
And clasps her rings on every hand
The wolfsbane I should dread; -
Nor will I dreary rosemary
That always mourns the dead; -
But I will woo the dainty rose,
With her cheeks of tender red.

The lily is all in white, like a saint,
And so is no mate for me -
And the daisy's cheek is tipped with blush,
She is of such low degree;
Jasmine is sweet, and has many loves,
And the broom's betrothed to the bee; -
But I will plight with the dainty rose,
For fairest of all is she.

A collection of my flower photographs

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Still Life - Three Different Ways

I had a lot of fun playing in Photoshop with this still life that I set up with vintage objects.  Here's the image three different ways in addition to the original which is way below.

Vintage sill life - three different ways

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3
Original image from the camera using a Canon T2i and lens 18-35 mm f/3.5-5.6.  I shot it at ISO 400, 106 mm, f 5.6.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tucker Four Ways

This week's challenge in Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers was to process an image three different ways.  Of course Tucker came to my rescue (hey I rescued him and now he's rescuing me) and posed as my model in my rose garden.  Actually at this point it's a weed garden with a few roses.  I need to make some time to get in there and weed, trim and all that but it's just not a priority right now.   But I digress... I put this collage together with the original (top left) and my three processed versions.  See them individually below.

This is right out of the camera with no Photoshop processing.  I shot it at Aperture Priority with my 85mm/f1.8 lens using a setting of ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/125.

 This is my dreamy, sepia toned version of Tucker.  I applied a Guassian Blur to soften him up, several adjustment layers and masks and KK's Happy Heart at Soft Light/100%.

I started with the processing for the dreamy image above but kept Tucker's right eye clearer in this photo than in the other.  Made changes to the adjustment layers and masks and manipulated the background to keep it dark.  Used KK's Happy Heart at Soft Light/100% and the new Abstract texture at Multiply/61%.

Again I started with the processing for the dreamy image but changed it up.  I used KK's textures Framed at Soft Light/42% and the new Cool Grunge at Soft Light/52%.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I love metal smithing

I don't know what was more fun, making the jewelry or making the collage in Photoshop.  But I do know that I love metal smithing...oh, love playing in Photoshop too.

This fun, funky necklace and earrings feature hand-made metal etched bead caps, green magnestie beads, lemon chrysoprase wire wrapped dangles, bronze and silver wire and deer skin leather. 

I taught myself how to metal etch.  It's easy really.  I first stamped a piece of bronze sheet metal with rubber stamps using permanment Stazon ink which you can buy at any craft's store like Michael's.  You use duct tape to protect one side of the metal and then basically float the exposed side of the metal in the etching solution, which you can buy at Radio Shack, which I poured into a shallow rectangular plastic storage container.  Needless to say, this container will only be used for metal etching.  You leave the metal in the solution for about 1 hour.  Then you rinse it and neutralize it in baking soda and voila...hand etched metal. 

Using my handy dandy disk cutter, I cut out circles from the etched metal.  I then drilled them and formed them on the dapping block that Joe bought me for my birthday (oh, how did he know!).  The ear wires are made from 20 gauge sterling silver - learned how to do that in Deryn's awesome earring class. The necklace has a focal similar to the earrings attached to a large bronze jump ring that I soldered closed. The magnesite beads are wire wrapped with bronze and connect to a bronze double ball hook and eye front closure. Deer skin leather forms the back of the necklace and connects to the beads with 22 gauge bronze wire that I balled on both ends, flattened with the chasing hammer and annealed to soften before I wrapped it around the leather.

Close up of the hand made jump ring, wire wrapped magnesite beads and focal

Double balled hook and eye.  And fun, funky wrap on the deer skin leather.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Healthy and Wholesome

A healthy home-cooked meal, with recipes mainly from the Power Foods Cookbook, made for a delightful, delicious Tuesday evening with my friend Stephanie.  Steph is my dear friend and the one who turned me on to this cookbook which I think is the best around.  It features interesting and inspired recipes using wholesome, healthy ingredients.  We have both made and shared lots of recipes from this cookbook.  Here's a taste of tonight's meal.

Easy side dish of roasted cherry tomatoes.  A bit of olive oil, basil, S&P over the tomatoes and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Served this as an appetizer with goat cheese, hummus and whole grain pita crackers.

Fresh sliced fennel for the chicken breast recipe.

Chicken breasts with fennel, carrots, chopped dried apricots and sliced Greek olives served over Trader Joe's tricolor quinoa preceded by a salad of fresh shredded asparagus and radishes mixed with rocket, a bit of olive oil, vinegar and S&P.  

  My very talented and darling friend Stephanie

Finicky Tucker likes Stephanie. is good.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rustic Rhinestone

I just finished a new fun, funky, asymmetrical, long necklace using some of the closure techniques that I've learned, in Deryn Mentock's Art of Closure on-line class, including jump rings (which I soldered closed), a beaded toggle clasp and rhinestone chain crimp ends.  I added some sari ribbon which I've attached with rustic wraps made by first hammering the wire flat, drawing a bead on both ends with the torch and annealing the wire to get it soft.  I then did a funky wrap and twisted the balled ends together.  I have used bronze wire for the wire wrapping and the closures and have also strung some of the beads on beading wire and attached with crimps, some with sterling crimp covers which I patined to darken them up. 

This was a lot of fun to make and it reminds me of a fun, circus type lively necklace in purples, pinks and greens with the fun rhinestones, funky beads along with the semi precious beads enhanced with the green/purple sari ribbon.

Hand made bronze beaded toggle clasp

Fun dangles hang from the centerpiece which features a funky, purple crystal bead

Rhinestone chain and sari ribbon attached to a green crystal bead with hand made bronze wire crimps and wraps

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Expanding My Resume!!!

Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, and in this instance, I must agree.

In June 2010, my boyfriend Joe decided to repaint his airplane and asked that I create a unique design and color scheme.   I came up with what I thought was a striking design but it took some convincing to get unartistic Joe to envision it.   Of course, when the paint job was completed in July 2010,  he was absolutely delighted with my work.

Apparently Joe is not alone because in April 2012, someone else copied my design, probably from the file of the same aircraft painter, and it became the cover poster for Falcon Insurance Company.

Obviously, Falcon knows good design work when they see it!  Does this mean I can add aircraft paint designer to my resume?

Beth's original aircraft paint design for Joe's Bonanza  - painted in July 2010.

April 2012 magazine ad featuring a Bonanza copying Beth's original aircraft paint design.

Friday, April 13, 2012

molaa - Spring Artisan Fair & Fundraiser

To my Long Beach, Orange Cty and LA friends and friends of friends:  
You are invited to a artisan fair sponsored by molaa (Museum of Latin American Art), next Sunday April 22nd from noon-4, where there will be about 20 artists showing and selling their wares.  I will be there with my jewelry, felted goods and art cards.  6215 "E. 6th St.  (in the area called the Hole right off of 7th St. before the 22 Freeway).  Feel free to post this on your FB or Twitter pages.  Thanks always for your support of my handmade goods.