My work

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Life as an Abbott and Costello Skit


On December 26, I fell and cracked my head open. Now you may think this is terrible and it is in many ways but as usual, things turned out to be quite funny.

We arrived at the Kaiser Permanente Emergency about 10:30 PM. No one rushed out and greeted us like they do on TV. Kirk went in and got a wheel chair and wheeled me in to the front where even though I had a bloody towel to my head, no one greeted us or even looked our way. We waited at the yellow line. The one that says: Respect Other's Privacy and Do Not Cross!

After what seemed an eternity, the Triage Nurse came over and we wheeled up to her desk. I started to tell her what happened but she held up a hand to indicate I wasn't to talk until she finished typing.

Nurse, "What happened to your head?" as she eyed my husband, Kirk, suspiciously. Me, "I fell down the stairs." Nurse, "How many stairs?" Me, "Two." Nurse, "Were you unconscious?" Me, "I don't think so." Nurse, "Were you going up or down?" Me, "I was going down." Nurse, "How did you hit the back of your head?" Me, "I was going backwards." Nurse, "Why were you going backwards?" Me, "So I wouldn't fall."

The nurse was now laughing hysterically. I wanted her to lighten up but not that much. "Hey, I'm bleeding here!" I telepathically beamed at her.

The very same conversation was repeated when I got in the room and the Doctor arrived. She too thought it was hilarious. I am so happy that I got to provide them comic relief.


Christmas ornaments made with Dominoes

In my last post I told you that Kirk and I had made lots of Christmas ornaments with dominoes but he had given them away before I photographed them. Good news! He brought two home.

Here's how we made them:

Buy dominoes at a garage sale or the dollar store or online.

Print out photos on glossy photo paper. You can also buy digital art for jewelry making online or at Etsy.

Cover domino on spot side with Mod Podge Matte and trim and place photo. Brush on more Mod Podge and let dry thoroughly.

Mix Ice Resin according to instructions and cover the art work using a tooth pick or a wooden stick.

Add embellishments to wet resin. You can use flat back rhinestones. glitter, small beads or whatever suits your fancy.

It's best to work on parchment paper, an old plastic bag or any non-stick surface. If some spills, wick it up with a paper towel the best you can but don't panic. You can remove spills from the domino after it sets up in 24 hours with a kitchen knife. Remove sticky resin from you hands with baby wipes and nail polish remover.

We found double sided tape worked best for holding the ribbon on the domino. We tried glue first but it turned dark when it wet the ribbon. You can also use a glue on bail and make a pendant.

You can personalize the back with any permanent marker or gel pen.


Have a safe and healthy New Year.
Julie Panusis

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Quick Post Before Christmas

I have been having withdrawal pains from not being able to post. I have been so busy as everyone is this time of year.

Kirk and I made 35 resin ornaments for his office co-workers and some friends. We made them with white dominoes, holiday pictures, resin and ribbon. I was so proud of how they came out and I forgot to photograph them. He is at his office party today and gave them out this morning. Oh well, I will have to find some more dominoes at another garage sale. The fun is in the looking.

I made a couple of gifts that came out quite well. One is a necklace that I designed that I really like. I was on a stone kick for awhile and bought a beautiful Kambaba Jasper pear shaped 45 mm by 45 mm stone. It sat in a box until I went searching for something green for my sister-in-law, Pam.

The Kambaba Jasper is made from petrified blue green algae that is about three billion years old. It is supposed to calm you. I designed the necklace with the clasp in the front to add interest and added my sister-in-laws favorite thing, a palm tree. What could be more relaxing?

I also made some winter earrings for my Mother-in-law, June. She loves silver so they have a ice theme going on.

I also wanted to show you what I did with the pin I made for Kirk's boss. I was having trouble with the brass that I soldered. When I pickled it, the copper in the brass came to the top and gave it an orange tint that I didn't like. I was told to pickle it again with peroxide in the pickle. That helped but it still wasn't what I wanted.

I made the pin in conjunction with the Artisian Whimsy Metal Prong Challenge. The exercise was to see if I could solder pins to brass and I did but it was trial and error so I learned a lot.

I decided to patina it with black and then polish it back to the brass color and I like it a lot better.

The last thing I wanted to share was the mask that Kirk made for his boss, Sunnie. It was quite different and I love it.

Have a wonderful holiday!
Julie Panusis

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Studio Space

My husband, Kirk, and I are very lucky to have our own space in which to work. Kirk is interested in lots of things as am I. They just don't happen to be the same things.

Kirk loves to play music and dabbles in the piano, guitar and drums. I love music and play the radio and the CD player.

Kirk loves to garden and has planted our vegetable plots for the last several years in our front and back yards.

I love fresh vegetables and fruit. I am happy to help pick, wash and cook the food.

I love to make jewelry and took up fused glass to make cabochons and pendants. Kirk got interested in the fused glass and played with fire and glass noodles until he could actually write words with glass. No jewelry for him!

It seems we are the same only different and I think that is why we get along so well. We will celebrate thirty years of marriage next June and I can count the arguments on one hand. Or maybe he is just easy to get along with. LOL

Kirk, Julie and Kim, 1980, picking blueberries in Washington State.
One day I made this loving declaration to him: "You know you don't annoy me half as much as other people do!" His reply: "Thank you, I think." Now that's the basis for true love.

When we bought our house about ten years ago, we both knew that a car would never see the inside of our two car garage.

We finished the walls and made it our shared work space. He got stage left and I got the stage right.

Julie's side of the garage
I went in the other day and started laughing about how different the sides look. My side is organized (most of the time) and Kirk's side is chaos.

My assessment is that he is probably more of an artist than I am. He is able to start a project and focus on it until it is done.

Kirk's work space for his clay sculpture
I find it very difficult to work in chaos and will go out to the studio and spend my time and energy to clean and sort things on my bench before I can work so I don't get much done. It takes me twice as long to do a project.

Is one of us right and one wrong? NO!

We are the same only different.

Happy December!

Julie Panusis





Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Believe in Supporting Other Artists

I have always supported other Artists and Crafts People

There is something so wonderful about an object made by another person's hand. I have always been attracted to that which is hand carved, hand sewn, hand knit or hand made.
My husband and I have fun each year going to the holiday craft fairs and buying lots of hand crafted gifts.
I used to try to make everything but soon I decided it was a win, win to support other craft people. I get less stress and they get more money to feed their craft.
On Black Friday I noticed a Facebook post by my online friend, Heidi Mansfield Kingman of My Bead Therapy that she was having a flash sale on her jewelry. Now I love metalwork and wirework but Heidi is young and can handle the heavy gauge wire that I can't manipulate any more.

I have often drooled over her designs and have purchased one of her wonderful signature bird houses in the past. I jumped at the chance to get a new custom piece from her.
I quickly went to her web site and found the bracelet of my dreams and bought it. I gave her the information to stamp on it and used Paypal to pay. What could be easier?

My biggest surprise is how fast it was made and sent. Heidi has a full time job, a family with children and a dog. I know I could not have made it that fast. But.........I'm not complaining!

Stop by Heidi's blog if you get a chance. She is very generous with her jewelry making information.

So, I am thrilled with my bracelet. I have worn it everyday now since it came in the mail.

Thanks so much, Heidi, for my bracelet and for being you!

Julie Panusis