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Before I go into my art for the day, I just wanted to say Happy Halloween!

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You know us proud parents, we just can’t help but share pictures of the kids!

We had a wet, warm and windy Halloween here in Rhode Island.  I think it may have even been in the 60’s.  It was a perfect night for trick-or-treating.

Let’s just say their buckets runneth over and I lay claim to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!


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Today’s piece of jewelry focuses on a few things.  I have some tiny seed beads and I have Chinese Laser cut crystal beads.  If you’ve ever seen these crystal beads, they sparkle like nobody’s business!  The two are paired up and fastened to jewelry straight pins.  This means you take a straight pin and pliers and bend the pin to create an eye.  Let’s say for this project, roughly 60 times.

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Next each bead combo is attached to a silver chain.

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I also added clasps.

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and now I have one super sparkly necklace.

Have you noticed a theme this week?  Maybe that I create rainbow jewelry?  That I add every color under the sun to my jewelry pieces?  Guilty.  I do.  I love every color under the sun!

You may wonder, well what in the world would you wear them with?  surprisingly, everything!  Of course black clothing helps showcase my wares, but I also like to wear a lot of olive, red and emerald-green.  Sometimes my outfits contain every color under the sun and on those days super-charged highly-colored jewelry is perfect too!

I’ll leave you with what my sister constantly says to me “Mary, if I wore what you wore people would think there was something seriously wrong with me, however on you, it’s perfectly normal.”

Yeah, I take that as a compliment!

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If you’ve been following me this week, you know I’ve been bitten by the jewelry bug!

I have a function to go to Saturday night.  I don’t see myself shopping for a new outfit, so I better put something over-the-top around my neck as a distraction!

I named this necklace “Princess Berry Sprig”.  Isn’t that wonderfully silly?


That was the vision I had the other day.  What if I strung all my favorite globe beads the way one would create a berry wreath.


Of course this required wiring hundreds of little beads!


After I finished winding the beads, I just knew there was NO WAY I would be comfortable wearing wires around my neck.


So I created a satin ribbon buffer.

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I simply love the result.

Ya know, for many years I filled orders for stores that liked my designs.  However, I’d get these crazy little notes attached.  They’d say things like “Customer says no yellow” or “blacks and purples only please” or “store owner really loves hearts…can you add some?”  And of course I did.  I’m a decade older now and when I think of these silly requests I think of how those stores never really received “My Work”.  Can you imagine telling Kandinsky to only work in purples or maybe he should omit all yellow from his paintings?  What it did, was throw off my designs.  My natural talent and intuition is what comes out, if you ask me to change it, I’m just not sure what you get.

My point is, the past couple of days I have made pieces just for me and it feels great.  They are my colors and they are my style.   Now that I’m a little bit more mature, I feel like I can say to the world “You want more traditional? – Go to Kay Jewelers” , “You want something a little more earthy? – Go to your local smoke shop!”, “If you hate the color yellow, then probably my work is not for you.”

There are so many artists in this world and we are all so different. I used to worry about people stealing my ideas or copying my work.  I don’t any more.  I’m going to put my art out there and expect that it is not for everybody.  It is for very specific people and somehow I will figure out how to connect to those people. If every artist tries their hardest to stay true to their own vision and their own style, then there is room for us all.

When this 365 is over, I’ll probably set up an Etsy shop to sell all my wares.  And guess what?  You can count on there being yellow in my work, just a little purple and probably not a lot of hearts ;)

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I started calling these my “Ikea” bowls because they remind me of some of the motifs found on Ikea fabrics.


OK. I’m on the final step with these.  I built them, under-glazed them, bisque fired them and now they are getting a clear coat of glaze to make the colors bolder and give them a glossy finish.


I made black and clear stripes on the back sides.  I want them to be super-playful.  I also deliberately speckled the backs with black too.  I love un-perfectness!  Does anyone remember the designer Mackenzie Childs?  She always has black & white checker patterns in her work.  For me, it’s definitely stripes.  I don’t know why, but they keep showing up in my pottery pieces!


This is a test piece for the bunch of little bowls I have in the works.  It is clear glaze, on white pottery, with a marble fired on it.  The glass marble melts to the lowest point in the pottery piece, the glass then crackles from heating and cooling and the glaze adheres the crackled glass to the pottery.  I have a tiny black and white striped bowl.  I glazed it today and threw a marble in it.

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Bad news on the tray front.  One of the trays has cracked.  I am waiting for the other to be fired.  I have to decide if I want to go ahead and put the time in glazing it, in hopes that I can glue it back together, or just scrap it… I’ll make my decision next week.


I spent the rest of the class trimming & cleaning up  all of my potential mugs.  Next week I need to add the handles and embellish them a bit.

If you know me, you know I can’t just leave well enough alone!  I see pottery vessels as blank canvases. I have some ideas bubbling inside that brain of mine… but those ideas will have to wait until next Tuesday!

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#301 - Not for the timid wearer (2)

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I dropped the ball today.  Minor case of the Mondays. I didn’t take any photos of my process!

By the time I thought of it, I was here:

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…and then I flaked again and didn’t take any more photos until I was done.

Sorry about that.

It appears I have gotten into a little bit of a jewelry mode.  It’s strange, at least 2 or 3 times during my creativity challenge, I’ve attempted to get into jewelry making and I’ve lasted only a day. I designed jewelry and sold it to gift stores for almost a decade. So in that sense, it may have just been old-fashioned creative burnout.

Now, I’ve finally gotten to the time and the season. I personally feel like I need to spruce up my own jewlry wardrobe.  I NEED SOMETHING NEW!  I own SO MANY jewelry components, I would not dare buy a piece of jewelry from a store, so that forced me to get my creative jewelry cap on.

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Here’s my faithful friend…always at work interfering with my photo shoots!

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Here is yesterdays necklace photographed in the day light. I finished so late last night I had to take yesterday’s photo in the dark!

OK. I have one more piece rattling around up there in my brain…

I’m going to go try to figure out how to make it!

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Sixty-five days left baby!!!

Guess what I’m doing on January 2nd… NOTHING!

OK. Now I can get back to my jewels…


Today and yesterday were spent on the road visiting relatives.  I decided to try making a beaded floral necklace while sitting in the car. I realized, I didn’t really show how I was making each flower yesterday.  Here is a break-down.


After I made all the flowers, I then wired each single flower to another thicker gauge of wire.


To protect myself from scratchy wires I glued black satin ribbon to the back.


I finished up with some black beads and I am now in business.

It’s perfect timing too, I have a fancy fundraiser to go to next weekend.

Instead of picking some jewelry to go with my outfit, I am going to have to find an outfit to go with my new necklace!

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Greetings from the road!

I knew I’d be away this weekend so I needed to find something creative to do on my car ride.


I’ve owned this necklace for years.  It’s my favorite. I love it!

I always wanted to try making a wire floral necklace. Today seemed as good as any!


First I had to choose the right beads for the project from the hundreds I’ve accumulated in my basement.

I was looking for discs, ovals and tear drop beads.  I figured out all my possibilities and then reduced my selection to a few.  Next, I poly bagged them so I could work on one small flower at a time while in the car.

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This is as far as I got.  It took longer than I thought.  Each bead gets its own wire.  This meant I probably twisted over a hundred wires!

Tomorrow I still have a few more flowers to make and then I have to figure out how to wire them all together.  I don’t have a book or tutorial or anything, I’m just making it up as I go along.

Hopefully it works out.  I itch for new things as the seasons change.  You know, as the weather changes, your clothing changes.  Everybody likes a little something new. Luckily I don’t have to look any further than my basement!

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This still life just came calling to me from…from… my counter!

It’s an 18×24″ watercolor on 140 lb. cold-press paper.

This was the last of our orchard apples.  From here on out, it’s back to the store-bought variety. tear.

The bowl is one of the first bowls I ever made in pottery class.  I can only imagine what my pottery teacher was thinking as she watched me randomly painting a bowl with glazes (most potters dip their pottery to achieve an even beautiful finish).  Yeah, I painted on the glaze. It dripped and speckled and became very uneven and quite frankly that’s what I love about it.  It’s silly, I’ve made many other bowls since then, but this little cereal bowl is still my favorite.

Here is the progression of the painting:


I’ve slowly learned to always add the shadows before using red or black paint.  If you so much as touch either of those two colors with water after they are down on paper, they run all over the place.  Keeping that in mind, I was able to keep my whites white.  See, look at that.  It only took me 298 days to figure that one out!

As for my private life, I got word today that after the political mess of speaking out against something, the parties that be, got the message.  They are meeting with us next week to fix the problem.  I’m glad something good can hopefully come from all that emotional turmoil I felt this week. We shall see…

I have a busy weekend away which always puts the “challenge” in my 365 Creative Challenge.  I’m going to have to come up with a creative project or two that can be accomplished in the car.  That’s about the time I will have.

Hmm…I’ll come up with something. Surely!

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#297- DONE AND DONE-ER (1)

I got it done!

That felt good.

I mentioned yesterday feeling miserable about confronting someone politically on some touchy stuff.

It totally threw off my energy and I was filling my brain with all sorts of scenarios…this could now happen…that could now happen…who supports me…who’s against me….

It’s what my mom calls total EGO.

I was aware of it and knew from a zen perspective I needed to quiet my mind.

I put on some peaceful “yoga” music, had a cup of tea, then decided heading outdoors was the best place to find some peace.

I walked through my neighborhood, studying the falling leaves and breathing in the newly chilled air.


I sat on a glider in my back yard enjoying the birds and squirrels when all of a sudden, I noticed something.

The maple seed pods on my table were all standing up. I thought this was the funniest thing I had ever seen.  Did my son do it? No. I sat and watched.  We have so many maple trees that when the wind blows the sky rains seed pods.  I watched them land.  Some fell perfectly aligned with the holes in the table others blew away.

What a tiny phenomenon. I was just so happy to be the observer of such a pretty thing.


I then went to the front yard to take in the beauty of my rose bushes, one last time before the frost takes them.


The last of my Gaillardia too.  I treated myself to the last of my summer garden and then sat down to get to work.

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I finished this 25″ x 35″ Day of the Dead watercolor and even had time to start on tomorrow’s painting.

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Can you tell what it’s going to be?

No. I’m not telling.

You’ll just have to wait to find out tomorrow!

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#296- So Close (1)

I’m very tired.  Something is weighing heavy on my heart.

You know I’ve complained more than a few times about national politics in my blog, but today I was tested on a local political issue and I feel like I failed.

What does this have to do with the painting I almost finished today? Nothing. Except that dramatic email messages surged through my computer distracting me from my work and raising my blood-pressure.

It threw off my entire day.

I won’t go into details, but there have been a few times in my life now, where I’ve stood and truly said what I believe.  I might still, even to this day, think what I said was right, but at what price?

Politics is doing a little dance, where you both don’t say what it is you want yet you make it abundantly clear and through subtle channels, you both get what it is you want.

Sometimes blurting out your truth, as true as you think it may be, ends the dance or may even have you losing your dance partner.

I had one of those days.  I spoke out and it will most likely have done me more harm than good.

Those them there are teachable moments.

Learning what not to do.

I’m so very tired.

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Do you have someone in your life who’s completely honest? No holds barred?

You know, that person who is going to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth, that you may not want to sing outside the shower, or possibly that you may not want to quit your day job just yet….

For me, that’s my husband.  He is the one that shows me what I may not actually want to see.  As much as it stinks not to be perfect, I thank him for it. In a world full of politeness, it is great to get the occasional reality check.

But really, how dare he!

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To criticize my last batch of mugs…how could he…I worked so hard!!!

Yep.  He told me they are still too small. Especially the mug all the way to the far right.  The opening is too small.  One can hardly stick their beak in there.


He’s right darn it.  I haven’t created the perfect mug and I hate to hear it! Especially from him!


So today, I went back to the drawing board or should I say pottery wheel, in search of the ultimate mug.


I made 8 attempts.  6 vessels are potentially good.  One completely collapsed into a fairly awesome bud vase and there is one with an opening that may be too small after it shrinks (hey I always need more vases!).

I accidentally smacked into one of the vessels leaving a dent.  I quickly turned it into an eye indentation.  Another eye-socket  and an indent for the mouth and one would never know it wasn’t done on purpose :)


That pain in the butt husband of mine always speaks the truth and I’ll tell you what, because he not only tells me what I want to hear but that which I do not, as well, I believe him.

Because of him, I work harder. I try harder.  I stubbornly try to prove him wrong.

He keeps me on my toes. He pushes me further.

I hope everyone has a great friend like that.  They are the best kind.

Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary