DENVER! There’s Some Cool-Ass Art (and more) Happening in the City this Weekend…(Most FREE)

ImageProxy.mvcChen Man, Courtesy of Redline.

I know, it’s not my usual First Friday post (that’s actually next week) but there is some great art happening this weekend I wanted to share with you.

1st off, it’s FREE DAY at the DAM (Denver Art Museum) this Saturday.

Then it’s FREE DAY at the Museum of Nature & Science on Sunday.

And if all that Free-ness isn’t enough for you, There are TWO FREE DAYS at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Monday & Tuesday.

Now on to the ART…

There are a heap of good-looking openings on Friday night, though I’ll be narrowing it down to “Small Works” at Gallery 1261, 25 Years of Open Press at McNichols, and Evan Mann at Ironton. My top pick Saturday Night is the opening at Redline, “A New Attitude: Chen Man’s Provocative Interpretations of Contemporary Chinese Women” Reception is open to the public at 7-10pm. (Get more information on these shows and more below)


Here is the full line-up of Art Happenings, Courtesy or (click the individual links for more info on each show)

February 27, 2014
February 28, 2014
March 01, 2014
March 03, 2014
March 05, 2014

Have a Great Weekend everyone!

Ode to Chanel DIY Camelia Necklace with Polymer Clay

I love Chanel. The first thing I’d buy if I won the lottery is a big fat Chanel handbag. And some Chanel shoes. And belts, and scarves, and jewelry…ok, you get the idea. So in the meantime, I’ve created this Chanel-esque camellia necklace from painted polymer clay (Super Sculpy) and a vintage faux pearl necklace.


I sculpted the camellias out of polymer clay. I promise they are easier to make than you think. (See the how-to’s on that process HERE) Before baking, I pressed the pin-back into the clay so there would be a solid indented spot on the back to glue it into once it cooled. Though I am showing it here as a necklace, I put pin-backs on all three camellias so I could also where them on jackets, hats, scarves, wherever I need a little touch of Coco 😉 I chose to paint them black, but you could pick any color you like. They are painted in black acrylic paint and coated in a semi-gloss clear coat.


I used a faux pearl necklace I had gathering dust in my jewelry box. I made a little loop in it by simply twisting a little wire on. I could have left the necklace as is too, I just like the way this looks.


Here is what the backs look like. A bit messy I know, but no one will see the back but you. (You could certainly finish off the backs if you wanted.)



Just place the pins where you want them and voila! Use your neat old vintage pins on pearls like this and you’ll have a unique statement necklace instantly!

I love how this turned out. Ideally, I’d wear it with multiple strands of pearls like Miss Coco herself.

cameliasdonecloseup cameliasdone1 cameliasdone2

What amazing DIY project did you tackle this weekend? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

DIY Valentine Heart Painting. Give Original Art! (Yes, You CAN Do This…)


Paint your love a picture. It’s not hard, I promise! The trick is in the layers…


That is my inspiration piece on the left (I pulled it out of a magazine and the artist was not mentioned.) I started with a simple 12″ x 12″ canvas (from Meinenger’s here in Denver, but you can get one anywhere they sell art supplies), acrylic paint (I used red, pink and white, but use any color combo that tickles your fancy), a medium flat paint brush, a smaller round brush,  and a skinny palette knife. My inspiration piece had what looked like scribbles, I chose to hand-write words from that famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem “How do I love thee?” (Sonnet 43). If your love has written you a great love letter, use that! Or choose something a bit saucier if that’s how you roll.

The first later is just a dark red brushed on thick. Let it dry.


Next, I used a tick layer of a darkish pink. This is the tricky part of the project. You have to move fast here before the paint dries to scratch in the letters. I used the butt end of my paint brush and just loosely long-handed the lettering, scrapping off the top layer, and stopping periodically to wipe the paint of the end of the brush.


Let that layer dry. Next draw on your heart shape with a pencil. (I free-handed my heart, and it is not symmetrical. I’m ok with this, but make yourself a heart template and trace it on if you want a perfect heart.) I used a lighter pink and started filling in the heart with only up-down, and side to side strokes.


Then continue adding a couple different shades of your colors in the same motion to fill in, and start using that palette knife to gently scrape over the wet paint to give it more texture.


Have a damp rag and some water standing by in case you mess up. You can remove the paint if it is still wet. You can fill in with a little paint up to the edges of your heart if you like. Remember to keep scrapping with the palette knife in up-down, side-to-side motions.


Then comes some more palette knife fun. Get a little paint (on the thick side, not drippy) on the knife and randomly scrape it on the whole painting in the same vertical-horizontal motion for added artsy texture. I did this in a couple colors.


Now it’s time to edge the heart in a rough, uneven way, still scraping over the lines with your palette knife.



Lastly, paint a few more words (I did a few in a light pink and a few in red) on top, and that’s it! A sweet, personalized artsy Valentine’s Day painting.



Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re having a fun one.


My Big Fat Red Heart – A Polymer Clay Valentine’s Necklace DIY


Here it is, the final piece of Valentine’s Jewelry, at least for now. I saved the easiest for last…

See the other Valentine Jewelry here:

My Bad-Ass Valentine

My Bloody Valentine Necklace

My Bloody Valentine Pin

I won’t bore you by repeating how to make the heart again (you can see the how-to on the hearts HERE). The one thing I did differently on this red heart was I carved out a hollow in the back to embed the hanger into (see photo of the back below). This piece is actually 3 necklaces in one that can all be worn together or separately. The flat silver necklace the heart is strung on is an old one that’s been sitting in my jewelry project box for years. Turned out the big heart fit on it perfectly. I can easily remove the heart if I want to hang it on something else. The other two necklaces are a combination of metal bracelets (also from Ornamental Beads) and sections strung with red beads. The red heart beads came from Ornamental Beads and the other beads were left over from other projects. For the bracelets, I just removed the clasps with my handy needle-nose pliers and put them together with the strung bead sections to form two necklaces.


Here’s what the back of the necklace looks like: (Always add a bit of fabric where the painted piece will touch skin).


And here are all three layers done and worn together:


Did you make some cool jewelry for Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section!


My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart Pin in Polymer Clay with “Blood” Beads

My Bloody Valentine, Part Deux: the Pin.

In yesterday’s blog you saw the delightfully creepy Frida Khalo-esque Heart & Roses Necklace I made. In today’s post is the matching pin I made for my man. The spurting “blood” beads were actually his idea.


I will not bore you by describing again how I made the polymer clay heart, as this one is exactly the same as the necklace just smaller (Get all the details HERE). This time I added the red beads at the top and a pin to the back.

heartpinbeads heartpinassemble

Before baking the clay heart, I poked the gold wire bead holders into the clay where I wanted them to go and baked the clay with them in place to hold the holes open. I also pushed the metal pin into the clay where I wanted it to go before baking so there would be a good indent to glue the pin into later. After the heart cooled, I gently pulled out the wires and painted the heart. When the final clear-coat was dry, I cut the wires to the length I wanted and added the red beads. (FYI Bead the wires BEFORE bending to shape or you’ll have a hard time getting longer beads onto the wire.) I glued the beaded wires in place, let them dry, then glued on the back. (I used two kinds of glue on the back for extra security, both the hobby cement and Duco cement.) All Done! (Note: the beads came from Meinenger’s Art Supply here in Denver, and the beading wire from Ornamental Beads.)

heartpindone  heartpindoneonblack

Remember to be gentle with your polymer clay jewelry. It is fragile. I hope you are creating something wonderful this weekend!


Frida Khalo-esque My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart & Roses Necklace in Polymer Clay

Frida Khalo-esque My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart & Roses Necklace in Polymer Clay


I admit, this necklace is not for the faint of heart (pun intended ;-)) nor the beginner crafter, but I promise it’s easier than it looks. Polymer clay (in this case, Super Sculty) is very forgiving and easy to work with. The key is taking it one step at a time.


I based this necklace off a wall piece I made for my man last Valentine’s Day (see image at the bottom of this page). I was commissioned to make another for a collector, and I decided to make a heart necklace and a pin while I was at it. (you’ll see the pin in the next post, stay tuned!)

Grab that Sculpy, start kneading it, and get to the shaping. The key is taking it one step at a time, one shape at a time. I formed each part of the heart separately, using a Googled heart image for reference. I used basic sculpture tools to form the details. You can’t mess it up. If it doesn’t look right just smooch it back up and start again. The veins are the final step. (you’ll see those Sculpy heart-shaped hearts in this project and in another one coming later this week.)


Here it is ready to go into the oven to cure. I imbedded a metal hanger in the back just before baking.

heartsculpting4 heartsculpting3 heartssculpting heartssculpting2

Next came the roses. They are really easy. Form a bunch of petal-ish shapes, start with the inside of the rose by rolling it up fairly tight, then keep adding petals on until it looks, well, rosey. The underside of your rose will get chunky, but you can just squish it together and pull off the excess. No one is going to see the back but you. Then I added a few leaves, using the sculpture tools to carve in the veins. In this case, I imbedded round hoops in the larger roses. It’s important to really get them in there deep. You can add extra clay over the back if needed. The smallest rose has a hole put through it like a bead.

rosessculpting rosessculpted

After they have been baked and cooled, it’s time to paint. I used acrylic paints. The painting was done in layers. Again I used a Googled image for color reference.

heartnecklacepaintingprogress0 heartnecklacepaintingprogress1 heartnecklacepaintingprogress

The final thing to get painted was the veins. When the paint was dry, I coated it all with a semi-gloss clear-coat.

heartpaintingdone heartpinpainted

Now it’s time to bead. I kept it pretty light using just three sizes of red glass beads left over from a previous jewelry project (I think they came from Michael’s). I used simple crimps and jump rings to attach the beaded strands to the hoops and the fastener. (Ignore the chains in the upper right, I used those for another project.)

heartnecklaceparts heartnecklaceinprogress

And here is the final product. It’s kinda Goth, kinda creepy and kinda cool.


Here’s what the back looks like…


Remember to glue a soft piece of fabric like cotton or felt to the back of your painted pieces where they will touch your skin, and be gentle with your Sculpy jewelry. It may feel hard, but it is rather fragile and can break when dropped. (I once had a large piece crack from an over-exuberant hug.) If the worst happens they can usually be repaired with glue and touch-up paint.

Go get yourself some Sculpy and get creative! Make some jewelry and have fun with it. Oh and here’s that wall piece I made last year that I based this necklace off of (Design Copyright C. 2013 Marie Vlasic).


My Bad-Ass Valentine…A Polymer Clay Black Heart Necklace DIY


I love a big statement necklace…I seriously got my jewelry on this weekend. I made 3 big Valentine’s (well more or less) necklaces and 2 pins. Today I’m showing you the “Bad-Ass Valentine” necklace I made from polymer clay (Super Sculpy) and assorted chains and beads.

First, the heart:


Massage that clay, warm it up and start shaping it. It’s easy, I promise. There’s no messing it up, just work it till it looks right…




(I also made a tiny black heart pin for my man. He wears jewelry. He’s just cool like like.) A simple jewelry hanger was stuck into the top of the heart before baking. The beauty of Sculpy is it bakes to harden at 275 degrees in your oven. After it cools it’s painting time.


(Seen here with the other projects) I used black acrylic paint, 3 coats, then coated it with semi-gloss clear coat. Now onto the assemblage…


Here are all the “parts”: A 3-chain necklace I picked up at the thrift store ($2.50), some fun black spike beads from Ornamental Beads, and some simple black beads left over from another project. I removed the black velvet bits on the necklace (they made it too long), removed the lobster clasp from the velvet and reattached it to the new ends of the chain. (Easily done with a small needle-nose pliers). I then detached one of the chains, slide the big heart onto it and reattached.


Then I strung one more chain with the black beads, the spikes and a few silver bits I found in my jewelry box. I used jump rings and crimps to attach this to the 3-chain part. Lastly, I glued a bit of leftover cotton fabric to the back of the heart (You wouldn’t want the painted heart rubbing on your skin.) The whole project cost me about $12 and about an hour’s time total. I love it! I’ll be wearing next week for sure (and beyond).

blackheartdoneonwhite blackheartdone

There’s a few more unusual (and kinda freaky) Valentine’s jewelry blogs coming over the next week. FOLLOW THIS BLOG and you won’t miss a thing!