My work

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Art-is You Retreats International Art Card Swap 2012

In April of this year I got an e-mail from Sallianne McClelland and Ellen Legare, the birth mothers of Art-is You Retreats that outlined an International Art Card Swap and asked if I would like to be the West Coast Coordinator of the Swap. What an honor. Of course I would!

There would be five coordinators:

Julie Panusis from Petaluma, California, for the West Coast, United States

Colleen Peck from Wilmington, Connecticut, for the East Coast, United States

Carol Cantrell for Australia

Margarida Alberty for Portugal

And someone in Kent, England (I'm sorry I didn't get a name)

This is my Crazy Quilt Card

Each person would send six cards to their closest coordinator by August and the coordinators sent everything to Colleen in Connecticut to be swapped. Then after the Art-is You Retreats in September, at Petaluma, CA and in October at Stamford, CT, the cards would be sent to the coordinators to be mailed back. 

I made this lace on my embroidery machine and used my hand made paper.

Last Monday, I received a box with all the cards to mail back to my people. I was so excited. I had 15 people including me that participated and I admit, I looked at all of the cards that we got back before I mailed them out on Tuesday.

Cat Kerr

There was not a bad card in the bunch. I mean they were all so unique and wonderful. I decided to scan a few of my favorites and share with everyone.

Judy Pitts
Vickie Jones

Paula Pike
Child's card from Australia
In Australia they even had a group of children make cards. They are fantastic. If only I could be as free with my art as children are.
This card said "Eddie 2 1/2"
on the back. Wow!

I should tell you that I am partial to the fiber art cards because I come from a background of fiber arts. I even made one that was a crazy quilt. LOL

The Art Retreats are already being planned for next year and the city of Nashville, Tennessee is being added to the US Retreats.

Kirk and I visited Nashville in 2010 and it was a blast. There is so much to do and see.

Best wishes for an artful holiday season,

Julie Panusis

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Documenting My Day

I’m sitting upstairs in my bedroom at my computer looking out the window at the most incredibly beautiful day you can imagine. The sky is a piercing blue with no clouds and there’s green everywhere.
First window on the left
We get this in the bay area in the fall and early winter. That’s when we finally have some rain and within days all the gold turns to green. I’m not talking about the trees that drop their leaves. They are just showing all their glorious colors but everything else is GREEN.
 It’s spectacular and reminds of my beloved Michigan the place of my birth and the most beautiful spot on the planet.

 I often walk through my neighborhood with my camera and do what I call, "documenting my day." I feel it makes me appreciate my surroundings and helps me know how blessed I am.

It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the neighbors are having a garage sale. They have had an amazing amount of people stop by. I guess everyone is in the shopping mode as it is Small Business Saturday. You can’t get a much smaller business than a garage sale. What a fantastic idea! I am making a mental note for next year.

We wish you joy in this holiday season.

Be back soon!
Julie Panusis



Thursday, November 22, 2012


We want to wish you a Merry Thanksgiving (to the tune of Merry Christmas)

I love Thanksgiving. It is a time of reflexion about the way things were and what we have now. Believe me, these are the good ole' days.

I am so very thankful for my husband and his family and the fact that we have become reacquainted with my family in the Midwest in the last few years. There are so many good memories that I get to enjoy again and so many good people.

Last week my husband's mom, June and his sister, Pam drove up from Southern California and we had our Thanksgiving meal. It was fun to be together and enjoy their company.

I'm thankful that we got to drive up to Washington this year to see my daughter and her family and to see my sister, Debbie and some of her family.
Which brings me to Facebook. I love the fact that I can talk to family and friends every day of the year with Social Media. I believe that Facebook should be a positive place to go and enjoy each other.
That got me thinking about how wonderful it is to live with a guy that supports everything I do. My husband, Kirk, is a smart guy that is interested in lots of things and is not afraid to try new things.
In March of this year I got interested in ceramics. Not in making dishes but making art and beads. I found a studio that gave classes in hand building so I could learn the basics.
After six weeks, I knew I liked working with clay but quit the classes because a person could only make so many pinch pots and log bowls. The teacher wasn't interested in the same thing that I was so I brought the low fire clay home.
Kirk asked if he could use it. He then started using my clay tools and then studied You tube videos and bought books about sculpture. He studied and practiced and studied some more.
Soon we had masks everywhere, even in the garden. 

I'm so proud of Kirk. He knows that he can do anything if he really wants to and makes me know that I can too.

I took another ceramics class at Art-is-You Retreat in Petaluma and learned how to make clay pendants which was my original goal. (More about that later)

Best Thanksgiving wishes, my friends.

Julie and Kirk Panusis

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Metal Prong Challenge from Artisan Whimsy

Today is the day to reveal our metal prong masterpieces for the Metal Prong Challenge from Artisan Whimsy.

This was a new technique for me so I decided to go simple this time and make a pin. Now that I know how to do it, I will be making pendants. I really like the results.

I made this pin for my husband's boss, Sunnie, who is an attorney. Her friend gave her the sun rock and she wanted it made into a pin to wear on her black suit that she wears to court. She loves gold so I used textured brass and cut out some sun shine. I didn't want it pointed so I made it soft and mellow like she is in real life.

I still have more polishing to do but I didn't want to miss the post deadline. When I pickled the brass it got copper on it. If anyone has any suggestions besides using the flex shaft with various grinders let me know. I have been doing that and I also used Penny Bright.

Thanks for the challenge. It was lots of fun.

Stop by and see what everyone made.
The Beading Yogini,
Caroline Dewison, Blue Berri Beads,
Mary Harding, Mary Harding Jewelry,
Dawn Horner, Northern Adornments,
Gina Hockett, Freestyle Elements,
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy,
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things,
Melissa Muir, Melissa Muir Jewelry,
Melinda Orr, Melinda Orr Designs,
Staci Louise Smith, Staci Louise Originals,
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame,
Jo Tinley, Daisy Chain Designs Jewellery,
Francesca Watson, Francesca Watson Designs,
Linda Younkman, Lindy’s Designs,
I will talk to you again soon!
Julie Panusis

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Last Wednesday I was telling you about how much fun I had at the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza in Oakland. I said I would post more tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here.

The next two people I saw when I went into the hall for lunch was Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley. Janice and Tracy are business partners and often travel together to teach at the different venues.

They are both wonderful teachers and each has a distinctive style. Their website is Wired Arts and tells all about these fabulous gals from the Pacific North West.

Janice and Julie on Halloween at Wire Masters
I first met them at Wire Masters Weekend when I took a class from Janice. The name of the class was Crown Jewels and I am so proud of the piece that I made. I have had many compliments. Unfortunately I can't find it now so I can only show you the example from the Class. Mine looks just like that only different. LOL

That same year I discovered BABE and got to take a class with Tracy. I learned how to work with metal and resin. Boy did I enjoy that. I made a pendant with a shell shaped bezel and filled it with tiny shells and sea weed and then resin. It was like being a kid again, hammering on metal and playing with bits and pieces.

My pendant "She Sells Sea Shells"
Tracy Stanley at BABE

Both gals helped me acquire a love of working with metals, especially copper and I really enjoy working with resin.
They have written an exceptional book and believe me I was one of the first to buy it. It is rated five stars at Amazon. The name of the book is: Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques.
Both gals teach in jewelry stores, bead shows and have online classes with Beaducation. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
Well, I'm gone for now. I will see you again tomorrow.
Julie Panusis

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BABE Comes to Town

Boy have I been busy for the last six days. BABE was here!

What is BABE, you ask?  Why it’s the largest bead show on the west coast, with over 150 artists and exhibitors showing handcrafted, vintage, ethnic or carefully selected beads, gems, stones, findings, jewelry making tools and completed jewelry.
All that combined with beading classes and jewelry-making workshops. BABE has stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metalsmithing, torch enameling, metal clay, polymer clay, glass and more.

Why do I like the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza? Because it’s held at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center which is less than a hour drive from Petaluma. I also get to see my many
friends and take new classes. It’s once a year and a little like a reunion for me.

Last Thursday Judy and I took a Metal Clay class from Christi Anderson.  I will post photos when we finish the project.

Our friend, Catherine Witherell, was assisting.

Catherine is in our Metal Clay Group and we get to see her at lots of events.

Christi had two pieces chosen for Saul Bell finals this year. She won 1st place for her Fairy Queen Castle; Queen of Keys. She has been the recipient of many awards as well as being featured in several magazines.

Anat, always there to help
 On Sunday, I took another wonderful class from Joe Silvera called Fused Sterling Rings.

Who knew you could fuse sterling but I am here to tell you that you can.

The whole idea is to use your sterling scraps. We started out with pristine sterling, textured it, cut it up and put it back together. It was sort of like making a quilt. You take beautiful material, cut it up and make something else beautiful.


I still have to polish, tumble and maybe patina the ring but I am very proud of it. Pretty soon I am going to run out of fingers. Then I will have to make a ring wearing schedule and everything. Oh drat!

As I said, it was old home week for me. The first friend I ran into was Steven James.

Steven is a full-time elementary school teacher, who has made appearances on the DIY and HGTV network and teaches classes in creating at lots of Bead Shows including Bead and Button and BABE. He lives by the mantra - “what are you gonna make today”. He has endless energy and enthusiasm and is a joy to know.

Steven was the first one to teach me that you could enamel with a small torch and I have been stalking , I mean following him, ever since. To learn more about Steven go to his web site:

I will save the rest of the story about my time at BABE for tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day. I will see you soon.

Julie Panusis