Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018 Dutch Touch Steampunk Doll

This year’s Dutch Touch was designed especially for our Florida group – The Steampunk Girl!  We put in our order and boy did Ankie Daanen and Marlaine Verhelst, also known as the Dutch Touch, deliver an awesome workshop!  They also taught the Fish Boy to those who had missed the workshop a few years ago.  Either way, you win being able to learn from the master Dutch Touch doll sculptors!

Ankie Daanen & Marlaine Verhelst --- The Dutch Touch

These amazing women travel from the Netherlands and Spain to teach us their craft.  It is always such an honor to be able to learn from Ankie and Marlaine.  They make the most complicated look so simple (you notice I said LOOK so simple) and they will have you on the floor laughing.  Let's just say "What happens at Dutch Touch, stays at Dutch Touch"  LMAO!!!

I am especially blessed to have attended this year’s workshop.  I did not think it was going to be something that would ever happen again, but miracles are out there.  And angels abound.

I was one of the students who requested the design of a steampunk doll and I am over the moon in love with my Steampunk Girl who I have named Jessamine.  And her adorable dog #10.  Number 10, which was my special mark during the workshop.  

Jessamine by Deborah Apodaca

I was so intimidated with sculpting her hands.  I have been known to have very “manly” hands and not delicate and ballerina-like as Ankie’s hands tend to be, but the teachers loved them!  I have to say that they were a lot easier. 

Practice does make perfect…..well, maybe not perfect yet, but getting closer.

This year there was a different technique for sculpting the eyes.  A technique I prefer to the previous doll I completed.  I didn’t seem to flatten out the orb when blending in this time.  We also learned how to make high heels.

I do need a lot of practice with watercolors though.  I tend to be heavy-handed (as you can tell from her eyebrows), but watercolor is not a medium that I use - so it will be practice, practice.  What I really need to do it just make heads.  And then just make hands.  And then they can decide later how they want to be mated up.  Once their personalities come to life.

Another reason to attend the Dutch Touch workshops are the friendships that you make.  Amazing women coming together in art!  It was so nice to be reunited with the women I met in my last two workshops along with making new friends.   We keep up with each other on Facebook, but there is nothing like giving a girlfriend a hug!

This year’s workshop happened to be in my hometown and so two women I know personally were also able to attend.  They are jewelry artists, but both had a blast and are looking forward to sculpting another doll.

Here are all the completed Steampunk Dolls and the Fish Boys, too!  There are 3 missing Steampunk Girls from these photos.  They had to leave earlier in the day for travel, but hopefully, they will be sharing their completed dolls soon!

 If you liked my blog, please share it with your friends!  Hope you will stop by again 😊

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Meet My 2018 Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop Partner

I want to thank Linda Anderson for once again organizing this event and for giving me a chance to participate.  It has been a long journey the last few years, but I am so ready for this challenge!!!

So let me introduce you to my partner for the 2018 Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop!!!

 Palak Udeshi

Palak is from India.  India, a place of saris and silks and strict traditions.  Far from the shores of my home in Florida.

Palak is a teacher of textiles and is an AMAZING beading artist!!!   If you have a chance, check out her blog at Art in Beads and Thread and on Facebook.  Her work is breathtaking!

I have borrowed a few photos from her blog to share her beautiful beadwork.

Look at this amazing beaded bowl!

A BEADED Mandala!!!!  Absolutely beautiful!

Her work using textiles - crocheting and embroidery

Wire and Metal

And, of course, her favorite Peacocks!

I can't wait to see what she designs using the beads I have gathered especially for her.  I am so glad to have the opportunity to not only meet her but to have learned more about her culture.  I am looking forward to our continued friendship.

If you enjoy my blog, please share it with your friends!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Introducing Myself to My Bead Peeps Swap n Hop Partner

I am so excited to meet my new Swap n Hop partner and hope I can do justice to whatever treasures I receive for this blog hop.

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Deborah Apodaca and I am a mom (both two and four-legged), a stepmom, a grandmother and an artist.  The last 5 years have been very difficult for me filled with personal and health issues which led to a divorce last December and multiple surgeries.  All my life is packed up in PODs and ready to begin my new journey, alone for the first time in 56 years.  I am so excited to finally have ME time and have no commitments or responsibilities to any other person than myself.

I have a Rottweiler (Charly) and 3 cats (Bailey, Cleo, and Pretty Cat).  They are my children and give me great peace.


Bailey and Cleo love beading with me

Pretty Cat hitching a ride

I began making jewelry when my daughter was a baby.  She turns 38 next week.  It began with basic Indian style dangle earrings.  About 25 years ago I decided to learn more about jewelry and have taken workshops and classes on almost all forms of jewelry making and design.  My first class was from Susan Barette of Beads & Baubles.  She has since retired from the retail bead business but remains a close friend.  

I was lucky to have studied under many professional beaders and jewelers.  I am currently blogging to give recognition to those who have not only taught me a wonderful technique but have been a personal inspiration.  So below I am going to post some of my work with minor descriptions or we will never get through this post LOL.

You can find out more about me and my jewelry journey at my original blog page Deborah's Jewelry Box (my About Me intro, yeah, not so much - when my marital issues began) and this my current blog.  One day I will transfer all the posts from the old blog to here, but for now packing a house takes a lot of time.

I am so excited to meet my new jewelry friend and I hope you enjoy my blog and photos.  There is no rhyme or reason to the order.  Just random as they show in my photo gallery.

Meet Flora my beaded art doll.  I have several dolls in my unfinished projects (tons of UFOs) and I have begun a baby for Flora, who of course is named Petal.

These are from a silver clay workshop.

These pieces were from my Bead Soup Blog Hop.   My partner, Elizabeth Bunn, sent me a treasure trove of beads.  The lampwork bead in the necklace was made by Elizabeth.  She does amazing work!

These are some of my fused glass pieces.  I made a bohemian fiber kumihimo necklace to match my "window pane" design.

That first class I took?  It was a peyote amulet bag.  The pattern is my own design.  Couldn't start with a basic easy technique.  It still remains one of my favorite pieces.

Besides designing jewelry, I am a teacher.  Vikings Knit is something I enjoy teaching.  All you need is a dowel and wire and it will travel anywhere.  The weaving calms my brain.

I LOVE ROCKS!!!  I have tons of rocks and slabs.  The wire wrap pendant is the first cabachon that I cut and I also did the wire wrapping.  I am so looking forward to finding a new home and getting my grinding equipment back in service!

My first attempt at faceting a stone.  Very happy with my crystal quartz stone and looking forward to cutting more stones in the future.

Here are some of my favorite basic stringing bracelets.  My EX-husband is in major league baseball and luckily the Rockies' team colors include my favorite, purple!

I learned enameling at our local rock and gem club and also took private lessons from an amazing artist.  What made her even more special was that she is legally blind.  

I have taken many many beadweaving courses over the years.

I love chainmaille.  One of my best friends is an amazing chainmaille artist and teacher.  My favorite pattern is Beez to Butterflies (2nd from bottom).  I can do it blind folded I have done some many.

Air Chasing

Copper Folding

Metal Etching

I made the silver clay centerpiece along with all the hand tooling and dying of these leather cuffs.

This piece was made for a History Blog Hop.  This was a very hard project for me, but I was very happy with the outcome.

Apoxy Clay

Wire wrapping

Knotting isn't just for pearls.  Jade and organic beads.

Cold Connections

Wire Weaving

This piece is made with items from the sea.  Sea glass, pearls, coral.... and finished off with Vikings Knit.

Torchwork with copper and silver.

2nd Annual Bead Peeps Swap n Hop.  My partner was Katy Heider.  Although I was able to share my finished dragonfly cuff and caterpillar bracelet, I was unable to complete my blog post due to health and marital issues.  I am so glad to be part of this year's blog hop!!!

Besides designing jewelry and art dolls, I recycle wine bottles and make custom serving trays.  As you can tell, I have a wide range of jewelry interests.  It keeps my brain from getting stagnant.  I move from one texture to another and different media.  I will be so glad to have an indoor and outdoor studio space again so I can get back to work.   I tend to lean towards the greens/teal/purple colors - the royal colors.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone receives and designs from this blog hop challenge.  LET THE HOPPING BEGIN!!!