Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, Erin of Tesori Trovati threw out a challenge for inspiration. She helped her third grader with a science project and ended up with an entire set of jewelry based on the solar system! How cool is that?! My mom was good with some science projects, and I especially love them if they involved pipecleaners, but sterling silver rings around Saturn? That's just awesome! You've got to see her pieces over on her blog. So, anyway, her word of the year is: Inspire. And that inspiration for this challenge is the Universe!
So, my piece today is not only inspired by interplanetary relationships, it's also inspired by Kerry Bogert's new book called Totally Twisted. One of the main features of the book is using wire in all sorts of fun twisted ways. The black and white pendant is made out of some kind of shell (and I got it on sale for just a few cents at Hobby Lobby, whoo hoo!) and while I have tons of interesting black and white beads that would have worked with it, I wanted to go for something more exciting. So, it's pink! Pink, twisted wire!
You can check out the rest of the challenge entries here. There's some gorgeous work by my starry-eyed beading buds!!
I'm ready to get some more coiling on with the masses of colored wire that I've accumulated at sales and shows...so, get ready! haaaaaaaa For now, though, I'm off to focus on counterinsurgencies and how air power is best used to support them. :) I have a test in the morning! haaaaaaaaa
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
www.lynndavis.etsy.com/ - Lynn Davis: mixed media & "fauxtique"
www.gailcrosmanmoore.com - Gail Crosman Moore: Wool, metal, you name it...gorgeous!
www.bluemarblebeads.etsy.com/ - Vintage beads...all different types!
www.eandebungalow.etsy.com/ - Wooden & natural beads
www.imjewelee.etsy.com/ - great selection of cool components!
moreskyejewels.etsy.com - findings, ephemera, and more
www.etsy.com/shop/Analiese - Analiese Designs
www.lillypillydesigns.com/bead.html - Lilly Pilly Designs
www.adriennedesigns.blogspot.com - Adrienne Campbell
www.lorelei1141.etsy.com/ - Lorelei Eurto's great design inspiration!
www.jamnglass.etsy.com - Hand-dyed silk ribbons
I've really enjoyed the shopping and exploring that came out of this resource list project...all stemming from one simple question: Who's your favorite?! Very cool! Thanks so much for all the support! Now it's time for me to go make something!!
http://www.studioartbead.etsy.com/ - Kate
http://www.storiestheytell.etsy.com/ Christine Damm http://www.breathtakingbeadzz.etsy.com/ - Cyndi Styles
http://www.humblebeads.com/ - Heather Powers
http://www.malodora.etsy.com/ - Malodora
http://www.klewexpressions.com/ - Karen Lewis
http://www.bijouxjardin.etsy.com/ - Sharon Palac
http://www.andreabeeler.com/ - Andrea Beeler
http://www.etsy.com/shop/grantdiffendaffer - Grant Diffendaffer
Plus, check out work by Cynthia Toops
Hope you can find some good stuff!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This one's focused on metal. I don't intend to generalize an artist into a particular category, but had to make a few choices just to make it easier--so, feel free to explore and see all the cool things these artists have to offer! Most importantly, they're not listed in any particular order...go see them all!
**Another important note that I'd like to pass along is the emphasis on "original art" which means that when designs are stolen or copied, it's not a good thing. Green Girl Studios (from the list below) is just one of several artists whose work has been blatantly copied by Forever Silvers. Please head over to Cynthia Thornton's blog for more information and to find out how you can support independent creativity and thwart thieves.**
http://www.paintingwithfire.etsy.com/ - Barbara Lewis
http://www.greengirlstudios.com/ - pewter specialties
http://www.hint.etsy.com/ - Beth Hemmila silver charms
http://www.thevintagepearl.com/ - handstamped lovelies
http://www.mamacitabeadworks.etsy.com/ - Mamacita Beadworks
http://annechoi.com/ - Anne Choi
http://www.sweetbeadstudio.com/ - Cindy Wimmer
http://www.fundametals.net/ - Specializing in metal & wireworking supplies, tools, & tutorials
Hope you have a creative day!
Monday, February 22, 2010
So, today's list is focused on earthen clay: ceramics & porcelain. Again, most of the links are shops but some are just for inspiration! I don't intend to generalize an artist into a particular category, but had to make a few choices just to make it easier--so, feel free to explore and see all the cool things these artists have to offer! This is just a starting point for your adventures...I know every artist isn't on here, but we have to start somewhere. I've done some major shopping and am loving some of these new treats. The blueish-purple rustic zinnia pendant from Classicbead was a treat in the mail today!
http://www.maryhardingjewelry.etsy.com - Mary Harding
http://www.ornamentea.com/ - Elaine Ray
http://www.seaurchin.etsy.com/ - Lisa Stevens
http://www.classicelements.etsy.com/ - Unique clay creations
http://www.jangles.net/ - Jennifer Heynan
http://www.artisanclay.etsy.com/ - Kristie Roehder
http://roundrabbitextra.etsy.com/ - Nancy Schindler
http://www.etsy.com/shop/summersstudioetc - Summer's Studio
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetpeaCottage - Sweetpea Cottage
http://www.jubilee.etsy.com/ - Jubilee
http://www.indigoturtle.com/ - Indigo Turtle
http://www.clayriverdesigns.com/ - Clay River Designs
http://www.littlecup.com/ - Sabine Brunner
http://www.etsy.com/shop/classicbead - Classic Bead
http://www.gaea.cc/ - Gaea
http://www.rafya.etsy.com/ - Alona Lahav
http://www.earthenwoodstudio.com/ - Earthenwood Studio
We can continue to grow this list...please let me know if any of the links don't work so I can fix them up. :)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
3. Donna Millard, 4. Libelula, 5. Lori Greenberg, 6. Pinocean
http://http://www.pinocean.etsy.com/ - Mika Collins http://www.charlestonbeadworks.etsy.com/ - Charleston Beadworks
http://www.pattylakinsmith.etsy.com/ - Patti Lakinsmith
http://www.lisafletcher.etsy.com/ - Lisa Fletcher,
http://www.polychromebeads.etsy.com/shop/PolychromeBeads - Aimee Milan
http://www.etsy.com/shop/gardenpathbeads - Maria Grimes
http://www.etsy.com/shop/FireBirdFlamework - Deb Batten
http://www.blueirisdesigns.com/ - Blue Iris Designs
http://www.michelegoldstein.com/ - Michele Goldstein
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jelvehdesigns - Jelveh Javarian
http://suebeads.etsy.com/ - Sue Beads
http://seashoreglass.etsy.com/ - Seas Shore Glass
http://www.etsy.com/shop/rufusandroxy - Rufus and Roxy
http://www.anlukaalampwork.de/ - Andrea Grassl
http://www.etsy.com/shop/JSavinaBeads - Jeanette Savina Cobb
http://www.etsy.com/shop/sassyglassdesigns - Sassy Glass Designs
http://www.ellendooley.com/ – Ellen Dooley
First, I'll tell you about the winners of these great Lisa New bead sets:
I'll get in touch with the winners via email or blog and get these mailed out ASAP!
Now, secondly, I accrued a wonderful list of artists, sculptors, bead makers, artisans, crafters, and bead mavens...so I'm going to post a series of resource lists in the coming week. They'll be broken down into categories, just for easy of posting, but there are an AMAZING array of beads and bead-related goodies out there so I hope you enjoy the lists!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The big focal is a HUGE awesome button from Nancy's Round Rabbit.
I used the colors and roundness to drive my choices for other beads...there's a slab of garnet, some mookaite spacers, a few bits of Roman glass (from Happy Mango Beads) and a lampwork art bead that I bought on ebay years ago. The chain is from a shop in Kansas City, but as soon as I started going "round" it jumped out as the perfect complement. (Get it?! haaaaaaaaaa)
My pictures aren't exactly perfect, but I hope you can see the color scheme...
Thanks to Kristie at Artisan Clay for the reminder to get this thing done! haaaaaaaaaaa
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
And, not only are there Lisa's beads, I've rounded out the selections with some bits from HMB Studios, Linden Avenue Designs, and Blue Heeler Glass. There's also a really cool ceramic bead (the big blue one) that I got from a guy at a craft show in North Carolina and I don't know his name because he talked so much I couldn't ask! haaaaaaaaa
I'll randomly select four names from my commentators, so if you don't have a blog, please leave your address so I can track you down to send you the goods. Plus, if you blog about my Carnival giveaway, leave me a comment and I'll give you another shot in the drawing!
I'll draw numbers on Sunday, 20 February (I meant the 21st...haaaaaaaa nice, it took a week for someone to realize I don't have a calendar!! haaaaaa)...enjoy the Carnival!!!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
So, here's the story. Last summer I was out on a Friday night at happy hour at a bar in Alexandria, Virginia celebrating one of my pieces being published in Stringing. I also happened to be in uniform since I was on my way home from work on the Air Staff. Well, there was a writer from the Army Times sitting next to me and she got caught up in my celebration; we exchanged business cards and that was that. Or so I thought. She contacted me a couple of weeks later to ask if I'd be interested in sharing my story about my part-time business in her company's new publication called "The Edge."
Several months later, after I moved from Virginia to Alabama, I got a call from the interviewer and we spent about an hour chatting about my business ventures. Then, a local photographer came over to my house to do a full-up photo shoot. It was hilarious! I had so much fun!
Cut to a couple more months later...I get an email at work from an old boss who has seen my picture in the magazine, which comes free once a month with subscriptions to Air Force Times. I ran over to the library to find a copy, I ask if I can have it, then run back to my classroom where my 12 classmates are wondering what I'm all wound up about now. I hand it to one of my buds and he starts to read...
"It took a lousy love life..." I start laughing hysterically thinking that he's joking. But, no, the article, which is a feature about three different people who "moonlight" at other jobs, actually says that about me! A lousy love life! haaaaaaaaaaa I was dying laughing!! When I did the interview, I was being pretty flippant about how the dating scene in D.C. was such a wreck I didn't really want to waste any more time on it so I started being more productive doing something that was actually rewarding, making jewelry. Apparently, that stuck in his mind.
Plus, the other great quote he picked up on is, "hey, this is what I do." That's exactly how I tell my supervisors and co-workers that I have an arts and craft business. haaaaaaaaaa Can you imagine?! Yes, I'm a little outspoken, but I'm not crazy! haaaaaaaaaa
Anyway, if you want to check out the article, it's here...Military Times article. At least the picture's pretty good...
And, I'm thankful for that lousy love life that settled me down into crafting and helped me realize that the love of my life was sitting in the cubicle right next to me, patiently listening to all my crazy dating stories, and waiting for just the right moment to sweep me off my feet. :) Take note that in the magazine picture there's a photo from our wedding day. haaaaaaaaaa I get to see him tomorrow! I'm so excited!!!! Because, "Hey, this is what I do!" haaaaaaaaaa
I just thought it was so cool that I had to share...plus, now I'm going to look through all the binders for some fresh inspiration and ideas!! But, not until after this nutty HGTV show is over because I have to see the end now that I started it. haaaaaaaaaaaa
Happy hearts to all!!!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Some Cocolicious cards in honor of my girl!!!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Another cool tip I learned from Julie was this trick for photography with the "spotlit" background...makes it look like a really professional feature! haaaaaaaaaaaaaa
This "Soup" created some great inspiration:
- I've come to love working with copper...it's been in most of my pieces in the last two weeks.
- I'm not afraid to deal with jump rings to hold things together
- I'm now willing to spend hours reworking designs, even if that means taking most of it apart!
- I dig blogging and all those folks out there who are doing the same thing!!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
But, what's more exciting is that there'll be party goodness on all of these sites and I'm going to see them all!!! If you're one of my non-beady friends or my family, you don't have to see them all but at least now you'll know that I'm not the only one who obsesses over stuff like this. haaaaaaaaaaa
1. Lori, Pretty Things Blog (Our Host)
2. Mallory, For the Love of Beads
3. Terri, Blooming Ideas
4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
6. Kerry, Kab's Creative Concepts
7. Erin, Treasures Found
8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry (My first wire teacher. :)
9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs
10. Nan, Spirit Rattles
11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique
12. Nancy, Beading From the Heart
13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings
14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle
15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks
16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
17. Lisa, Lo and Behold
18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas
19. Judith, Judith B.
20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium
21. Maria, Garden Path Beads
22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design
23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life
24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things
25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa
26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea
27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design
28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals
29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction
30. Leslie, Bei Mondi
31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta
32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry
33. Kathie, The Bead Cult
34. Patty, Plays With Fire
35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef
36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire
37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry
38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle
39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio
40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini
41. Marcie, La Bella Joya
42. Suzann, Beadphoria
43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks (Uh, you're here already.)
44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass (My awesome party partner!)
45. Janiece, J Birds Garden
46. Kate, Organic Odysseys
47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale
48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure
49. Sue, Sue Beads
50. Janeen, Wild Vanilla Designs
51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse
52. Kristie, Artisan Clay
53. Regina, Regina's Writings
54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble
55. Lyn, Lyn Foley
56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz
57. Cathryn, Chile Cats
58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook
59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter
60. Juli, Jul's Beads
61. Julie, RockerJewlz
62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too
63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
64. Katie, My Life and My Beads
65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay
66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth
67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design
68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio
69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery
70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs
71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights
72. Chas, One Woman's Haven
73. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry
74. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky
75. Maire, Maire Dodd
76. Janet, Singing Woods
77. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads
78. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels
79. Joann, Jo's Jewels
80. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
81. Mel, Kookie Designs
82. Erin, Every Heart Crafts
83. Dale, Flights of Fancy
84. Dee, Runako Designs
Vestie Davis (1903-1978) New York :: Oil on Canvas, 16" x 20"
American Folk Art Museum, bequest Gloria Bley Miller 2008.5.16
"Buildings can laugh quite as loudly as human beings. A beautiful but excited sky-line is more important in an exposition than the correct demonstration of any man's recollection of the fine points of Sir Christopher Wren's handiwork!"
Mind you, I got this quote from a website about amusement park history, so I can't testify for its veracity, but I still love the spirit behind it! I think little jewelry structures can laugh on their own, too! It doesn't take the wisdom and skill of a seasoned goldsmith to create joy and amusement. Case in point....
This is my entry for the challenge and this is the first time I created my own art bead! I made the pendant using polymer clay in my take of primary colors--the basis for all good amusement park decor. I spent hours working with different combinations and shapes, much to the dismay of my crappy clay/pasta machine which finally gave out...that's a whole other story that involves a happy ending in the form of a new machine ordered on Amazon. haaaaaaaaa
I hope you can share in my laughter over this piece that's ringing in the feeling of amusement parks, popcorn, lollipops, and the all-American summer experience. :)
Monday, February 8, 2010
So, many thanks to my beadbud over at JBirds Garden for the sunshine this morning! It's my turn to pass along this little thank you for good blogness to a few of my faves...
- Credit River Art Glass - Julie's my Bead Soup Party Partner (the big reveal is in just two days!!)
- Purple Cactus Studios - Some of my new FAVE polymer clay work!!
- Pearl & Pebble - A new friend I met through the Beads of Clay color challenge...
- La Bella Joya - Marcie, another new friend I've found through the Art Bead Scene Carnival!
I think I was supposed to pass this along to 12, but just like anything, I'm happy to settle for finishing part of the project! haaaaaaaaaa
Here are the rules...
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers (or however many you want! haaaaaaaa)
3. Link the nominees within your post
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Well, this week I had a huge surprise and danced even more overjoyed around my Air Force classroom, much to the amusement of my class (who are all manly servicemen) because...I've had seven pieces picked up for publication this summer!!! Seriously! Seven!!!! In three different magazines!!
I was worried about blogging about the lovely moment when the contract emails came in because I didn't want to brag. But, I shared the news with a new and wonderful bead-minded friend and she said: Share! Share!
You might see these from Lisa New, for instance!!!
2. Take good pictures. For me, this is the hardest part. Some magazines have options for emailing submissions and some even accept pieces that way, so you have to really let the piece tell its three dimensional story in just two dimensions. I wish there was some magic I could send your way if you need help, but in lieu of that I'm going to give you this link to Julie Nordine's Credit River Art Glass blog article on her photography "secrets."
4. Do a little research. Do you know the color of the year? Do you know what's in style for the coming seasons? Okay, turquoise is the color, but I'll be the first to admit I'm not all that stylish. I wear a uniform to work, for crying out loud! haaaaaaaaa But, I'm much more aware of the Pantone color palette thanks to my friends at the Art Bead Scene. Also, what are the latest books coming out? For instance, Interweave's Chain Style just came out (and it's awesome, by the way). I looked there for some inspiration and tried some new designs using chain as a main component. Or, another trend: thrifty girls!! I tried making some less expensive designs using base metal components and I really love the results! Great for a reader, but also great for a customer!
5. Stick to your design esthetic. What makes your designs yours? I had some trouble with this one early on. I was so focused on making something that other people/editors would like that I didn't really love the end results! And, I want to love a piece if I'm going to see it in print! My designs often feature a variety of beads and asymmetry; but, that makes a design hard to write about...so many sources, so many steps in creating the "mixed up" look in the end. With a little practice, though, now I can write those difficult projects on designs that are truly mine. As an example, A Walk in the Forest is a necklace that's truly mine but wasn't all that easy to write about.
6. Don't get discouraged. Sometimes you get picked and sometimes you don't. There are generally more of the latter for me, but the feeling of being part of the team just once makes it worth it!! haaaaaaaaaaa And, you just might end up with a hot streak in a chilly week in February like me!!!!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
As a challenge from my Art Bead Scene friends and a group of writers in the Carnival (which you'll find out more about on the 17th of February on the ABS Blog), I've been focused on "beginnings." And, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to go back to the start of my bead obsession and share the work of my very first "art bead crush." I don't think Lisa will mind that I put it that way...haaaaaaaaaaa
I first found Lisa New's work on Ebay; she's the Beadamaniac! (with the exclamation point, which of course makes me like the name even more!!!) Having just learned my stringing basics, I was caught up in the joy that is bead shopping. I won my first auction and got the little box in the mail from Lisa...it was my first set and I couldn't stop touching them. The colors were amazing and I was enthralled by the etched finish...how could this be glass? How does this whole melting glass thing work? I finally got down to making something and ened up with this bracelet called "Jumble Love" which actually won a Beading Daily glass bead challenge! I was sooooo excited! The flames of my obsession were fanned!
I went back for more (and then a few more) of Lisa's beads because the color and patterns were just so fun. I bought a couple of lots of "orphans" which are the onesies and twosies that are left from a batch or set. They were perfect for my designs because I could draw color combinations and pattern ideas directly from the bead which would then be the focus of the designs. Here are some bracelets that grew directly from the palettes of the beads. And, note the crappy photo...it has taken me a long time to get any improvement in the way of photography. Another reason why I wanted to highlight Lisa is that she actually mentored me regarding my pictures...she is the first one who really made it hit home that no matter how gorgeous your piece is when you're wearing it around the house, it's not going to jump out of the screen or your portfolio with poor quality pics. You can check out her bead photography on Flickr.
I was happy with the orphans because I can work on different pendant designs that are fun, simple, and not all that time-consuming. With the "real job" going on most of the time, I really enjoy focusing on the quick rewards that a little pendant can give. Plus, it can feature the mini-artwork of an art bead perfectly. Like this one of Lisa's that was a one-off in my stash--I combined a little wire work and a funky collection of gems and glass that all work from the focal bead's inspiration.
I've got to give some shouts out to the other bead artists featured in the pieces above...
MaryAnn at Linden Avenue Designs does yummy colors.
Monday, February 1, 2010
I hammered away on some copper washers. Then, I decided I needed some new hammers to add texture and I hammered away some more! I'm not going to show off these hammered bits yet, though, because I don't want to give away the secrets of my bead soup finale piece!
But, because I've been thinking outside the sterling silver box and trying some mixes of metal, including copper and some regular "bargain" craft wire, I focused on the metal beads on my last trip out shopping...
I picked up these vintage base metal beads right here in Montgomery, Alabama at the High Strung Bead Shoppe. They have a gorgeous patina plus they're all hollow so they're super light! Sherry has a huge selection of them, so I had to restrain myself, but I love this little bunch. And, the price was definitely right! Sterling silver will still be one of my fave materials, but I love having the different tones and textures these little pretties can bring to a design.
I really have to get busy making stuff instead of just taking pictures of raw materials. :) But, alas, I'm off to read about Desert Storm to prep for class tomorrow. Enjoy!