Thursday, May 28, 2015

Painting Hummingbird Pendants in 5 Easy Steps by Dry Gulch

In today's blog post, we're excited to show you a little step-by-step about our painting process!  We hand-paint all of our pendants and charms, and then seal with resin for an enamel effect.  Let's get started!


♦ A charm or pendant needing some color (any metal will do)
♦ Vintaj Patinas (you can find these on our website at
♦ Resin sealer (we use Ice Resin, found on our website at
♦ Paintbrush
♦ Paper towel
♦ Cup of water
♦ Sanding block (optional, this creates a distressed look)

Step 1:

Vintaj Patinas work just like an acrylic or watercolor paint; they mix well with each other and can be used with water to dilute and extend the paint.  We wanted our hummingbird to look like a traditional Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, so we started by mixing greens, blues and yellows for the body.  Tip: To get the effect of changing colors for the hummingbird body, don't mix the green-blue-yellow on your palette; instead load the tip of the paintbrush with the colors so that they can deposit onto the pendant in layers.




Step 2:

After we added the green to the body,we started to add red and orange for the throat.  This was treated in the same fashion as Step 1; red, yellow and orange were loaded onto the brush so they could deposit in layers onto the throat.


Step 3:

Next came the wings and tail base coats.  We used the Bronze metallic Vintaj Patina with lots of water for a more watercolor-like wash over the wings.  I also added some green and black.  We just wanted a translucent feel to the wings, so the more water added to the paint the better for this effect.

Step 4:

Now the fun part; details!  Using white paint and a tiny brush, we added a white eyebrow, belly stripe and tail tips.  A little black was added for the beak and eyes.  Touch-ups were added with more green, yellow and metallic paints.  There's so much color and detail to a humming bird, so working slowly in layers and adding water where a watercolor effect was wanted helps to build that illusion of detail.

Step 5:

Now this is optional, but we love to distress our painted creations for that vintage look.  Take a sanding block and lightly scratch at your hummingbird.  The underlying metal will shine through the paint and bring forth that dash of vintage flair.

That's it! 

Your painted creation is complete!  And dashing as ever, too.  The final step is adding a sealer.  This must be done because the Vintaj Patinas will flake off over time otherwise.  There are several sealers on the market; like Ice Resin or Vintaj Patina Sealer Glaze.  Now you have a bit of hand-painted flair ready to use in your jewelry designs!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop Reveal!

The Dry Gulch gals are excited to reveal our creations for the 2015 Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop!  Hosted by Linda Anderson at, the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop is an event were we swap beads with our partners, create jewelry with the beads, and then reveal what we created!  For this Swap, Dry Gulch was partnered with Annica Larsson from  We sent her a collection of pastel colored fibers, handmade pendants, lampwork and stones.  Annica sent us a great earthy mix of her own handmade ceramic beads and pendants.


Without further ado, here are our creations made with Annica's collection!  There are four of us Dry Gulch girls, and we each took pieces of Annica's swap mix and began creating. 


First up is Deborah's creation!  This necklace features Annica's Raku fired ceramic pendant and red leather.  Deborah added wooden cheetah print beads and crystal chain, and Cat stamped a small dangle charm that says "... Courage dear Heart...".


Next up is a necklace made by Gianna!  Using Annica's lampwork leaves and quartz drops, Gianna made a chain necklace using frames that she soldered together!  The frames were definitely tough to make, lots of filing and making sure the corners joined up well.  The little boxes give extra dimension to the electro-plated quartz.

Jennifer took several of the Czech glass beads and semi-precious stones that Annica sent and created a multi-strand bracelet.  So earthy!

Catherine created two pieces for the Swap!  The first showcases a handmade metal-smithed pendant made by Cat using sawing techniques on copper.  It also has little handmade ceramic drops from Annica.  Also included is leather, sea glass and vintage seam-binding ribbon.  Cat has been on an asymmetry kick lately, and this piece definitely shows that!

Catherine's second piece was made with the amethyst, wooly wire and geode slice from Annica.  Cat also added sea glass nuggets to the necklace.  This is Cat's favorite of the two, probably because purple is her favorite color!  The swirlies on the geode were made with iron wire.

Thank you to Annica for being our Swap partner!  And thank you to Linda Anderson for this fabulous event.  Hop on over to all the other Peeps' blogs and see what they're doing.  Thank you!

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop 2015 
Partner List  

 Our Hostess: Linda Anderson from http//


Linda Anderson
Marica Zammit
Jessica Hocutt
Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Debbie Jeffries http://wordpress/debrasdivinedesigns/
Rosantia Petkova
Shalini Austin
Catherine La Vite
Annica Larsson
Lori Schneider
Divya N
Mowse Doyle
Fay Wolfenden
Kathy Lindemer
Claire Fabian
Janice Warden Bergeron
Natalie Davidson
Deb Fortin
Inge von Roos
Karen Mitchell
Robin Reed
Marie Covert
Alicia Marinache
Nan Smith
Johana Nunez
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Lori Blanchard
Sue  Kennedy
Shai Williams
Niky Sayers
Melissa Trudinger
Candida Castleberry
Erin Guest
Nicole Rennell
Ien Temaluru
Robin Showstack
Sam Waghorn
Marianne Baxter
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Shai Williams
Lee Koopman
Jayne Capps
Marti Conrad
Tina Bosh
Eleanor Thomas
Jeanne Steck
Gloria Allen
Rachel Mallis!blog/c1jlz
Andrea Glick
Stephanie Stamper
Chris Haussler
Betony Maiden
Kari Asbury
Jenny Kyrlach
Colleen Foley
Marybeth Rich
Marcy Lamberson
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell
Ginny Lones
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Loretta Carstensen
Dolores Raml
Michelle McCarthy
Louise McCormick-Glazier
Heather Richter
Tammy Adams
Shirley Moore
Seed Beaders
Susanne Stelljes
Sheila Prosterman
Pallavi Asher
Jami Shipp
Peggy Kosier
Andra Weber
Catherine King
Krafty Max
Sierra Barrett
Lois Sherwood
Katy Heider
Rebecca Robertson   (White)
Heather Richter
Brandy Collier
Stephanie Haussler
Lori Blanchard
Kathleen Breeding
Becky Pancake
Renetha Stanziano
Tami Norris
Ginger Bishop
Peggy Johnson