Monday, December 29, 2014

I Heart Hello Kitty!

Last week I went to Los Angeles for a very important exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum. "HELLO! Exploring the Supercute World of HELLO KITTY" was all I had hoped it would be. It was Hello Kitty heaven...

Kitty White, also know as Hello Kitty just turned 40 this year. This exhibition celebrated her life, her empire, her cuteness. I learned a lot of very relevant info about Kitty that I am ashamed to have not already known. The biggest wow, is that Kitty is not...a cat...

It is not actually clear what Kitty is, but no, she is not a feline. Other pertinent info: she has a boyfriend named Dear Daniel. They look so much alike, but instead of a red bow, he has spiky hair.

Hello Kitty is all about the goodies, and there was tons of cool Kitty stuff from the early days, now considered vintage, to current Kitty gear.

Part of the exhibition also included current artist re-interpreting HK, and incorporating her into their artwork. There were many famous and amazing artist included and I am quite jealous of them all, for this would be a dream exhibition to be a part of.

If you are in the LA area, the exhibit runs until April 26th. Here's the link for more info:
I can't believe Hello Kitty is 40, she doesn't look a minute over 29. I suspect we will grow old together, and I hope I age as gracefully as her...


Friday, November 28, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Heart Jewelry Artist Magazine!

I have to admit, there is kinda nothing as great as fetching the evening mail to find an awesome magazine with one of my articles in it. This issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist is another great one. There are lots of very informative articles and tutorials, including my article on incorporating wood into your jewelry making practice.
Here's a peek:

And, the coolest thing about writing for Jewelry Artist, is that there is always a section called Their Turn, which shows a piece from each of the contributing writers.

To learn about how to incorporate wood into your jewelry, check out the zine!
And, stay tuned here, for I will do a quick synopsis of the processes I used for the pieces in the article.

Sadly, there was also an over due car registration bill in the mail today, and my warm fuzzy feeling has been slightly diluted by a pissed off feeling...but alas, that's a rant for another time...


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Do what you love!

Do what you love, this is my new motto. I guess more specifically, make what you love. Not that I don't do and make what I love, but I think I have been trying to create work that other people will love. From this point forward, I am creating work that I love, that may not have the wide commercial appeal a girl needs to make a living. Screw it, I am making what I want...

This recent trend started with my Doodlery line, which are wild and weird and wonderful, not unlike myself...

The current piece I am working on is from what is turning out to be another body of work, using my beloved laser cut Plexiglas organic rings.
I could pretty much play with these rings all day...

I have lots of ideas based on these rings and I pretty much want to keep cutting more of every color. Here is the current piece I am working on. Very much a work in progress:

After walking Bonnie and Bailey, we will all head down to the studio where they will curl up under my workbench and we all will be doing what we love...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bead Fest Santa Fe, Here I Come!

I am super excited to be teaching next year at Bead Fest! Bead Fest is a huge jewelry conference that happens 3 times a year, in various cities across the country. The Santa Fe workshop I will be offering is in acrylic ring stacks. Here's a pic:

I love acrylic so much, I can't wait to share my knowledge with other like minded folks.

If you are in Santa Fe in March, or have always wanted to visit, come to Bead Fest. Here is a link for all the cool workshops offered.

And, in Santa Fe, I for one plan on buying way too many silver and turquoise cuff bracelets....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My New Favorite Artist: Mark Lovejoy

In the past few months I have become a bit of a Pinterest fiend. I can spend all day looking at art and jewelry and Danish interiors that I wish were mine. Recently, while looking at an abstract art board, I found this amazing trippy, colorful marbleized painting. After hearting it, I noticed the description below said it was a photograph. I gasped! What in the world...?

This is the work of Mark Lovejoy. Yes, his last name is Lovejoy and I am totally jealous of such a cool name. Mark is a photographer and commercial printer. He has been creating images for years, from landscapes, to having published photography books on gardens. His printing career and his photography passion merged in 2012 when he began shooting the inks he was mixing for his press.
These abstractions are reminiscent of topographies, and also reference landscapes.

To me they are pure beautiful abstraction. Abstraction that combines the qualities of randomness as well as control. The fact that they are photos of ink, prior to becoming an identifiable images, adds more layers to them conceptually, but I will leave Plato to explain that. In the meantime, I will just oooh and ahhh...

You can see more of Mark's amazing photos here:

He also has beautiful silk scarves printed with his images in his Etsy store:

Pinterest, is kinda like pasteries. They just call me to come to them, to consume. And I, am a girl, who could use a bit more self control...
Happy Pinning!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thank you Pattern People!

I am so happy to announce that some of my patterns have been included in a new cool ebook called Pattern Mix. It's a fantastic collection of patterns and surface designs from designers all over the world. 

I have three pieces included in the book...

I am doing a give away for a copy of the book (the file really) on my FB page,  so like my post to put your name in the hat.

Check out Pattern People, they are a fantastic resource for patterns and the surface design industry. They have lots of other cool books to.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blog Hop Part 2

The International Creative Blog Hop continues, with me handing the torch to two amazingly creative, talented, beautiful women: photographer, Dianne Jones and jeweler,Victoria Skirpa.

I have know both these ladies for a while now, and have always admired their work. Their careers in their fields have been long and varied, and they have both created unique niches for themselves. 

Dianne has done everything from shooting live rock shows (including my beloved Elliott Smith) to capturing the process of babies being born! Learn about her path and creative process at:

Victoria is a jeweler and metalsmith, and makes fantastic sculptural objects as well as gorgeous fancy jewelry. In addition to her own jewelry line called VRS, she also has a cool sustainable jewelry company called Sulusso, where she designs custom wedding rings for her clients. Learn more about Victoria and Sulusso here:

Dianne and Victoria have just published their blog hop post, so go check them out. In fact, writing about them has inspired me to start a series called "My Amazingly Talented Friends". Thanks girls, I am going to get right on it...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Get On Board the International Creative Blog Hop!!!

Welcome to the International Creative Blog Hop everybody! I have been invited to participate in this hop by my friend Yasmin Sabur, who is an incredible textile artist. Thanks so much Yasmin!

We have all been asked to answer 4 questions regarding our creative process. So here goes...

1) What am I working on?
Lots of fun projects! If you have been following my blog you know that I do a lot of different projects, from art to jewelry to design and crafty projects. Currently I am working on a line of jewelry called Doodlery. 

Jewelry that starts with a doodle...

I am also working on an article for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine. So stay tuned for details on that.
And, I am always adding to, and sprucing up my new Etsy shop.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmmmm, that's a kinda tough question. I hope that my work differs because of the way I use far out material combinations, colors, and designs, but do so in a very refined and technically proficient way. Does that make sense? The juxtaposition of wildness and refinement.

3.) Why do I do what I do?

Honestly, I have no choice. It might sound cliche, but being creative is my life, my blood, my breath, my everything...(sappy, I know!)

 4.) How does my writing/working process work?

It really depends on what I am working on. At this point I am pretty much making something everyday, or if I am traveling I draw in my sketchbook. For the most part, I tend to work on multiple pieces at once. For the Doodlery pieces I am working in batches of 5. In the beginning of a new piece/project, I get  really excited about it, to the point where it's actually stressful because I just can't wait to see how they will turn out, but I know how many steps there are between the beginning and the completed piece. I work hard, focused and fast, for roughly 85% of the piece, then I chill out, and the momentum tapers off. The last 15% can be less exciting, the steps towards the end are less creative and fun, they are more technical, less free. 

A blast from the past.  I thought this piece would get the better of me. I got 90% done, then became frozen with fear of ruining it all. It was majorly stressful.

 I would say that this description about my process could be applied to most of what I am doing, be it writing, or designing, or making. Once I am nearing completion, there is usually another project on my mind, that really wants to get out of my mind, making it harder to focus on the piece at hand. 

I think and write a lot about being pulled in many directions, but I would definitely rather have too many ideas than not enough, so I am grateful for this...

And, I am grateful to Yasmin for including me in this hop.  Check out her awesome clothes and textiles at:

Next week I pass the blog hop torch along to 2 other amazing artists. On Wednesday I will announce who they will be, so stay tuned...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Doodles + Jewelry = Doodlery

If you are a creative person, which undoubtedly you are, you know it can be hard to find the time to create everything you want to. For me, I actually get stressed out because I can't make all the cool stuff I want to, all the stuff that keeps me up at night, clamoring around in my head, trying to find a way out. This is obviously a good problem to have, as an artist I would much rather have too many ideas than not enough, but, let's face it, it can wear a girl out...

So, I have spent years doing a lot of different art work: fine art, design, jewelry, and it's hard fitting everything in. But alas, I have finally found a way to combine all the techiniques, processes and materials that I love to use, and it's called... Doodlery. At least that is what it's called for now. And, I am not completely sure of the spelling, so if you have any thoughts on how to spell it, please let me know.

So Doodlery is my new series of jewelry pieces that start with a doodle.  

A doodle...

Once I have done a batch of doodles, which are pens on watercolors, I then cut out wood shapes using my jewelers saw. After I have sanded and refined my shapes, I cut out segments of my doodles, and adhere them to my wood shapes.

Wood shapes. I am also adding collaged elements in addition to the doodles.

Working this way enables me to combine everything  I love to do, so I don't feel as though I am being pulled in a zillion directions. They are the perfect combination of jewelry and art. These parts determine the rest of the piece, and it's really exciting to see what direction the piece goes in. It is always, a mystery...


Monday, September 15, 2014

Cover Girl! Jewelry Artist Magazine!

Yes, I am beyond happy to say "I'm a cover girl!"

The amazing staff at Jewelry Artist Magazine has been so fantastic and supportive, and I thank them all for including me in so many cool publications.

The cover story is a tutorial on how to make Plexiglas and silver rings.

Behold, my first, and I hope not last, cover...

If you have been considering a subscription to Jewelry Artist Magazine, then I must admit now is the time, because I will also be contributing a regular column. This is going to be dedicated to incorporating different materials into jewelry, and how to combine alternative materials with metal.

In the meantime, if you want a cool, fun tutorial, check out this link, my most recent post on The Jewelry Making Daily:

Now, it's time to get off of the computer, and hit the studio! Thanks for reading. xo

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Leather Challenge

Thanks to Art Jewelry Magazine for including me in their leather challenge. I was one of ten artist whom they sent 2 pieces of leather to, for us to create any kind of jewelry we wanted to out of them.

I was given a black piece, and a dark brown piece, both which are clearly not part of my normal color scheme, so I was immediately challenged by that to begin with.

Creating these pieces definitely pushed me to come up with original and innovative ways to use the leather. Since I had not had any previous leather working experience, I did feel like a novice, like a student trying to master a new material, new techniques. In honor of my students, and really understanding again what it's like creating something with unfamiliar materials, I have named my 3 finished pieces after 3 of the best students I have had over the years. Behold...




I have to admit, I am pretty happy with the way these pieces turned out. I now have lots more design ideas for future pieces because of the explorations I did for this challenge. To see all of the challenge participants check out:

Shoot outs to all the awesome students I have had over the years. xoxo Ms. N

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hip to be Square

 I am so lucky to say, I love my day job...

I teach jewelry/metalsmithing at the coolest high school on the planet. This means I am constantly exploring new materials and techniques that I can use in my classes. This past semester I began exploring with copper pipe.

Here is a tutorial on how to make my super cool and easy square rings. Once I had my squares I knew I wanted to do something to them, so I did torch fire enameling on some, and resin on some. Check it out...

Copper pipe comes in a range of sizes, for these rings, use 3/4inch.
Get a quality pipe cutter from the hardware store. Practice a few times until you can cut like a pro. A tip: go slow in the beginining until you have really established your groove. If you go too fast you won't stay in the groove.

 I cut a bunch of rings of varying heights. I like stacking rings, so I made some pretty narrow ones and wider ones. I work in batches of 6. Once you have your rings cut, you must anneal them.

Now to form them into squares, this is the really cool part. Using a square ring mandrel, slide your band on as far as it will go and use your plastic mallet.  Hit on one plane, rotate the ring, hit another plane, rotate, etc...until it is square.

You can also add texture once they are squares, by keeping the ring on the mandrel and using stamps and hammers.

For the enamel, I sifted enamel onto 1 plane, then heated up the rings from below.

Formed, textured, enameled.

For the resin rings, I explored with  paper, glitter and pigments.

Coating the paper in glue before covering in resin. At least 2 coats.
Carefully applying resin. Enough to slightly dome, not too much or it spills over.

I am pretty in love with the resin rings. The enamel ones are actually pretty soft from heating them up so they can tend to move and then you risk cracking the enamel so you need to be more gentle with them. But the resin ones are durable and water proof.

I really love making and wearing these, give it a try, if you have any other questions, feel free to send me an email.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pinwheel Table

My new old table!

It's spring break, one of the many perks of my amazing teaching job. Time to take care of house projects that I have been postponing. So, I decided that my vintage shabby chic dining room table is really only shabby, not too much chic going on there. Now that I am seeing the before picture, I am horrified that I thought it was okay to live with such a yucky piece of furniture, my bad!

One distressed mess!

This table was my big spring break house project, and it was a big project indeed. I used all zero VOC paints from Kelly-Moore so there was no stink, and I am hoping that means no toxic fumes as well. I started by priming the whole thing, then painted the legs green and the top white. I was not sure about how to get the stripes properly spaced so I just started with north, south, east and west, using a seamstress tape measure to measure around the periphery. I used blue tape for the stripes.

By the time I was ready to do the pink stripes, I had a better understanding of the math and the tape, and I was able to tape up all the pink stripes at once.

Note: I was not precise enough with the tape when it reached the center, so it is a bit sloppy. In addition, I would recommend waiting a day for the white paint to dry before laying down your tape, I ended up removing chunks of white paint and primer when I pulled off the tape, this also really mucked up the center. The blue taped also leaked quite a bit, so I went back in with a small flat paint brush to clean it up. The final step was 2 coats of polyureathane to protect it, because it's too darn pretty for me to let it get mucked up...

It's like eating dinner off of a huge candy. 

Luckily I have plenty of cute polka dotted bowls and vases that can sit in the center to hide the imperfections. I am learning to embrace imperfections anyways, to be okay with a bit of shabby, so long as there is a whole lot of chic...