My work

Thursday, July 11, 2013

P J Tool Jewelry Supply and Fun in San Francisco

The last week or so has been a whirl wind of activity for me and my family. Not that I have not enjoyed it but I don't have the energy that I used to so I am taking it a little easy today.

At the end of last month I got an e-mail from P J Tool Jewelry Supply about a new product that they have called Bezel Effects. I was fascinated and immediately ordered four colors: red, buttercup, blue and gold. My mother-in-law, June Panusis, was coming for a visit from Seal Beach on July 3 and I was sure that it was something we would enjoy playing with.

Kirk picked June up at 8:00 am at the Oakland Airport and by that afternoon we were elbow deep in making pendants and bracelet links.

It was so easy. You just choose a color and add a layer to your bezel. Then you put a few drops of another color.

The paint mixes itself and creates this beautiful marbled effect. On the two holed bracelet findings I took a tooth pick and moved it vertically through the drops of buttercup. The next afternoon we added a layer of ICE Resin and let it cure for 24 hours.
I love the way it came out.

Gustave Caillebotte, Regatta at Argenteuil, 1893, oil on canvas

The next day was July 4 and we decided to go south across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco and visit the Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum. They are having a special event called "Impressionists on the Water" showing the artistic side of nautical life through paintings by Impressionists such as Monet, Caillebotte, Renoir, and Pissarro.

This is the entrance of the special exhibit. The boat displayed is called a Gig. It is a two person rowboat featured in a painting by Renoir.

Pierre-Auguste Renior, Oarsmen at Chatou, 1879, Oil on Canvas

Claude Monet, Sailboats on the Seine, 1874, oil on canvas

Many of the paintings are on loan from prestigious international collections, including the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and private collections.

The Legion of Honor was the gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, wife of the sugar magnate and racehorse owner/breeder Adolph Spreckels. The building is a three-quarter-scale version of the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur in Paris. It was completed in 1924 and is the most beautiful Museum in San Francisco.

On our way home, we stopped at a view point and got a great photo of our Golden Gate Bridge with the fog rolling out. I love our Bay Area and all the pleasures it affords us. What a wonderful day.


I hope you have a "Cat's Meow" kind of week. That's a good thing if you couldn't tell.

Julie Panusis

Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Artful Gathering with Riki Schumacher

I have made two more necklaces for my "Sweet Tweets" class with the online retreat, Artful Gathering. But before I show you the photos, I want to mention something about Google Reader.

If you use Google to read my blog or any blog I hope you already know that they are stopping Google Reader on Monday and you will no longer be able to use it.

I have no idea why Google made this decision but I recommend using Bloglovin. You can use my link or go to and sign up. They will ask if you want to transfer any blogs from Google Reader. Simply follow the directions. It's easy peasy. To add new blogs to your list just go to the blog, copy their URL from the top left address block and go to bloglovin and put the address in the search box.

Now that the technical stuff is finished we can have fun.


 I made some more Nesties and this time used a brass fairy as a focal. It also tried to make my nests a little more substantial.
 I wanted a look that was a little like an enchanted garden so I used some flower and leaf beads that I got from The Curious Bead Shop with Rebecca Anderson at Etsy.
I'm in her club and get wonderful beads in the mail every month from England.

As you might have gathered, my favorite color is blue and I love the brown and champagne with it.

The next necklace I wanted to make was a Southwest look. I have lots of turquoise in various shapes and I found some red coral that I thought would look great.

I really like silver with turquoise so I made a mixed metal look with the copper Nestie.

I thought the Nestie looked a little empty so I added the three turquoise eggs and the silver wing.

I am very happy with the result and have worn it already.

I wanted to let you know that if you ever get to take a class with Riki Schumacher, do it. She is such a wonderful teacher and a darn nice person. Click here to go to her blog.

I hope you all have a productive week and happy creating.

Julie Panusis

Monday, June 10, 2013

Artful Gathering Mixed Media Online Retreat

I apologize for being a little lax in blogging lately but I have a good excuse. On May 22, I went to the hospital for surgery and had a hiatal hernia repaired. I never knew what a hiatal hernia was until I found out I had one.

It seems that your stomach goes up through your diaphragm at the hole where your esophagus goes down and you end up with part of your stomach in your chest cavity where it shouldn't be.

They do the surgery laparoscopically  so I have five holes in my stomach area that were covered with super glue to heal. I have been careful not to sneeze. I am doing much better now but I have been very weak and I nap a lot. LOL

That leads me to the subject that I really want to talk about. I needed to find something to occupy my time while I was recuperating. I eventually discovered an online mixed media art retreat called Artful Gathering. The workshop I am taking is called "Sweet Tweets" with Riki Schumacher.

It involves making jewelry components with wire and silver bearing solder and I am having a ball with it.

Kirk helped me set up a soldering station outside by his new green house so I wouldn't have to worry about smoke and fumes. It's a cozy little spot with the green house blocking the breeze.

My soldering set up before I started

These findings have been soldered and scrubbed
After they have been brushed with patina

My finished findings after trimming and polishing

They will be part of a necklace that I am building with the help of videos by Riki.

I will post photos of my finished necklace next time.

I have been very slow about posting my photos for "Focus on Life" my online photo challenge.

For Week 19, Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime, posted the prompt: Hope.

At first I couldn't think of a photo that I had taken which would evoke that feeling but then I remembered.

Often when we have out of town company, we take them to Dollar Days at the races. Now I don't gamble on the horses, I just love to watch these magnificent animals.

That doesn't stop us from picking our favorites and hope they win. In fact it is so much fun to cheer your horse on to the finish line.

The prompt posted for Week 21 was the word: Reminisce.

I took this photo about twenty-one years ago this month.

It is my sweet daughter Kim and her first child, Rakaiah Christine McClelland; my first grandchild.

Kya turned twenty-one at the end of last week.

I just can't believe it. The years just fly by. Enjoy them while you can.

I would like to end this post by introducing you to our beloved cat Reggie. He was a rescue and lived with us for nearly seventeen years before he went to heaven.

Reggie is the reason I call my business is called: Cat's Meow Co. and he will never be replaced. He was top dog in our family.

RIP sweet Reggie
Have a wonderful week!
Julie Panusis

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Catherine Witherell's New Studio

On Monday, May 13, our little group, The North Bay Makers Guild, met at Catherine's new studio in Petaluma.

Catherine in her new studio

We were all quite honored that Catherine let us be the first to work in her studio as they had not moved into her house yet.

Well, I must say this, it is a dream come true for any artist and Catherine is a multi talented one. She has been planning this for many, many years and I am so happy for her.

The idea for our project was to bring some metal or unfinished metalwork and finish it at the meeting.

Catherine in teaching mode. She's the greatest.

 Marion (in the beautiful yellow gold) was working on an original bracelet made from enameled mesh, resin rings and silver buttons. It is going to be stunning.

I was working on a multi metal bracelet with copper and brass which will be wire wrapped and beaded.

We had our lunch first and then started working with lots of starts and stops for show and tell and laughing.

Judy was working on a pendant that she started in her metalsmithing class at Marin College several years ago.

She actually finished it by using small brass rivets. I love the way it came out and the beautiful color she achieved on the metal.


Here Donna is giving us all some great polish cloths that I think she scored at a show. Thank you, Donna.

To say that we had a good time is an understatement. Each time we have a meeting, I think it can't get any better but it does.

 Have a fantastic remainder of the week and a spectacular next week, especially my friends at Bead and Button in Milwaukee. I am thinking of you.

Julie Panusis

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 20 "Looking Up"

As soon as I read the prompt for this week in our 52 week photo challenge, I knew what photos I would post. Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime gave us the prompt, "Looking up."

Last May in Northern California we had the pleasure of being able to see a partial eclipse of the sun.

 My husband Kirk, has lots of welding equipment so he passed out welding masks to everyone who came outside to view the eclipse.

 I was reminded of a 50's movie when I saw everyone standing motionless with their eyes transfixed at something in the sky.

It was a marvelous experienced to share with our neighbors.

I was so surprised at how long it lasted and really enjoyed the experience.
This photo was taken through the mask. The large reflection is not the sun.
The sun is the tiny light at the bottom left of the flash.
This photo clearly shows the partial eclipse at the lower left.
 It was taken by pointing the camera at the sky.
This is the eclipse reflection on the fence.


I am in constant awe
of nature and all the experiences and sights that we are privileged to be a part of.

Thank you, Lord.

Have a fantastic week!

Julie Panusis

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Abstract: Focus on Life and Diana Frey

Last week, Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime gave us the prompt, "Abstract" for our 52 week photo challenge. I was stumped for a while but soon was out in front taking photos.
My take on this is anything that is oriented in a different way or very close looks abstract to me so here goes. This is one of our succulents. It looks like a sea anemone to me.
The best part about being in this challenge is that you look at the things in your life a little closer and that's always a good thing.
For quite a while now, I have been thinking about a class I took with Diana Frey.
As I looked through the classes that were being offered at Art-is Petaluma last September, I came across this photo and a class called,"Madame Bijoux Boxes." I knew immediately that I had to meet the teacher and I had to take the class.

Diana Frey says she is on a magical mixed media art journey and she loves to simply "create", especially vintage-inspired jewelry. And she does just that, better than anyone I have seen so far.

I was very happy to find out that my new Facebook friend, Cheryl McCloud and one of my dear friends, Catherine Witherell, were also taking the class.

I was right about the class and the teacher. We worked with brass boxes and decorated them with solder in which we stamped, then made a bezel out of copper and filled it with photos, beads, glitter or whatever our hearts desired. Then we filled the bezel with resin and put the finishing touches on the box.

These are some of the boxes finished by other students. I got this photo collage from Diana Frey's Blog:Tattered Adornments.  She also has online classes and an Etsy Store.
My birds of Paris box

I was very pleased with the way my box turned out. It is amazing how different all the boxes are as they reflect the personality of the maker.

Art-is Petaluma is happening again this September and I am taking some new classes and new teachers. I can't wait for my next exciting adventure at another Art-is You Retreat.
Thanks Diana, you are a very special lady!

Have a super day!
Julie Panusis

Monday, April 29, 2013

North Bay Makers Guild and Torch Enameling

I have a group of friends that I love to get together with. We try to meet at least once a month at each others homes and make things.

L-R: Judy, Julie, Missy P, Catherine, Donna, Marian and Linda

On Sunday, April 21, it was my turn to host and I gave a mini workshop on two types of torch enameling. The day was glorious so my husband, Kirk helped me set up outside under our gazebo top.

Catherine fluxing her penny

The first thing we did was enamel on pre-1982 pennies. They are actually made of copper. We cleaned the pennies with Penny Bright, punched holes and fluxed the pennies, then put counter enamel on the back. Then we cleaned the front and enameled them. We ended up with some wonderful earrings or charms.

Catherine brought some sheet copper, her punch and dapper so we also made some pendants.

 Donna sifting enamel onto the front of her pennies.

Marion and Donna sharing an enameling table

Marian really got into the enameling.

Linda, Catherine and Julie
At the end I demonstrated how to torch enamel in the "Painting with Fire" method made famous by Barbara Lewis.

Those that were interested in this faster, and easier way to enamel, had a try. Fun was had by all. LOL

This is my dear friend, Judy and my husband Kirk.

Judy called this photo, "the long and short of it." She has the same humor as my husband.

Judy is wearing her beautiful torch fired enamel necklace that she made at the recent Glass Show in Las Vegas in a class with Barbara Lewis.

These earrings are an example of the "painting with fire" method of enameling. The inside and outside of the metal gets enameled at the same time.



Some comic relief from the Internet

Have a fantastic week!
Julie Panusis