Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Baby Rebel

My husband came through the holidays with flying colors in the gift department.  Since he's still not back, we skyped and emailed about how we'd celebrate--and made plans for how we'll celebrate together next year.  It's going to be so cool when he gets home in less than 60 days, even if he will still be living three hours away.  Anyway, I digress...

Taking pictures of jewelry has been a complete pain from the beginning of my crafting ventures.  I think I've improved significantly by reading books and taking the advice of my fellow bloggers on how to get the best results from a point-and-shoot camera.  But, I have been more and more enamored, lately, with getting good shots, not just for documenting my craftiness, but for capturing a bit of everything around me.  After spending hours and hours playing with photo editing software and loving (almost) every minute of it, I'm realizing that I need to follow this passion path.  My sweetie understands my need and agreed that we'd add a new Rebel to our family.  After doing lots of comparison shopping, I picked one up on the way home from work the other night, got the battery charged and then started shooting away.  My first random shots around the apartment left me with 113 takes (about 10 worth keeping) and lots of excitement.  I headed over to B&N for some books.  My photographer (and Army aviator) friend, Brad, recommended some books by Scott Kelby, so I've fallen asleep reading the first volume every night.  I'm all about working the macro shot...I still don't know exactly what that means, but I'm excited!  haaaaaaaaa

This is a piece I made up a couple of years ago when I was practicing my wrapped loops (the little things that each of the beads is hanging on) and I've always loved it.  My sister actually wore it a couple of times, but it still hangs around here most of the time as a piece of wall art.  Now, it's blog header art!  It was an overcast day yesterday, so I used that lighting and my black desk to set up a little baby studio for an hour.  I apparently need to dust off the desk!  Brando, my white cat, has his touch of fuzz in most of the pics, too.

I have tons of good post ideas and a resolution to write more, so I guess tomorrow will be a great place to start!  I have tons of bead porn that I can't wait to shoot...and since I'm realizing that my stash has grown a bit too unwieldy, it's also time to share some with destashing in my Etsy shop and some giveaways.  In the meantime, I have to go get a massage to finish off 2010!

Love to all my blog friends and family...and especially to my Rebel daddy, Curtis!  haaaaaaaaa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

At Ma & Pa's House

I've been missing for a while because it was a frantic week of finishing up taskers at work and then getting packages together to mail out for family across the country...but, now I'm all settled in at my parents' house, relaxing with a cup of coffee, and spending some quality time doing nothing!  Whoooo hooooo!

But, before I really get into doing nothing, I have to share...I recently discovered, well, more like re-discovered, the Bedford County Arts Council here in my hometown.  A couple of months ago, my mom asked me to send some jewelry for the council to consider for consignment.  Well, I went in to see the display and take in a few more pieces yesterday and, man, was I surprised.  In a good way....the shop is really looking fantastic!!!  I just pulled this pic from the shop's website and it really doesn't do it justice, but you can get a taste of the goodness...look at those amazing dyed blouses!


The shop is in one of the historical buildings downtown--The Anderson House, which was built in 1815.
 

I will go back and snap some pics of the very cool purses that are crafted out of repurposed fabric with vintage brooches.  Or, more likely, I'll soon own one and then take pics!  haaaaaaaa

Anyway, I have to go find some of my mom's cookies so I can get properly fueled for my visit to the gym later.  It's all about balance, right?

Merry Christmas Week!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Zebra Stripes & Shells?

Obviously!

I fell in love with this Donna Millard bead as soon as I saw it.  I just loooooove those stripes and the whole organic feel of it.  I have serious problems when I see her updates--there really isn't any of her work that I don't love and I have to hold myself back because I already have a big stack of them!  I'm just happy that I finally sat down and crafted something up with this one. 

So, how about those little striped shells?  I've never seen anything like them and when a little Happy Mango holiday coupon came out, I did a little splurging.  They're called "Columbilia shells."  I think they're just perfect little zebra striped bits!!  It's all mixed up with amethyst, green garnet, & lava rock rounds along with a couple of HMBStudios lampwork disks.   It has been hard for me to go symmetric, but I really think it was the best thing to do to really feature this bead.  I was able to go asymmetric on the bracelet instead.  haaaaaaaaaaa

I'm off to get these babies posted to Etsy...then if I sell them I can buy some more of Donna's beads!  haaaaaaaaaaa

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Call to Create With Lisa New

I thought I blogged about this already, but apparently not...and, since I'm sitting in Dallas for about six hours, I have time to get some writing in!

During the Love My Art Jewelry (LMAJ) Call to Create for November, I submitted two pieces.  The first was one featuring the LizaJayne bead that I wrote about a week or so ago.  The other one features art glass by Lisa New as the focal piece to a bunch of pink and brown strands.  I'm not normally into multi-strand pieces, but I had just enough of these big pearls to do about six inches.  And, it turned out, I had some tourmaline chips and some brown coral to do just that length, too.  I had a bit of drama when it came to finding a cone that would fit over them and match the antiqued look of the chain.  I figured out a way to use some colored wire to create my own and they worked out perfectly!

Winter Pink Necklace available on Etsy
Apparently this inspiration bead was my lucky charm because I got randomly chosen from the entries to win a massive set of Barbara Lewis beads!  The Call to Create went out in late October with a unique color palette that included the pale pink that I decided to use.  Well, you never know what might come of an entry into something like this...at a minimum it's finding new friends and inspiration.  To actually win the giveaway takes it to a whole new level.  The prize that Barbara generously provided is a set of all the beads from her Autumn Bliss cover piece on the latest issue of Handmade Jewelry:

Now that I'm feeling lucky and have new Hawaiian beads to motivate me even more, I guess it's time to sit down and work with the LMAJ December Call to Create color palette:

Bring on the bright yellow kukui nuts!!  haaaaaaaa

Monday, December 6, 2010

The End of Aloha

It's my last vacation day in Hawaii.  I'm relaxing here in my room overlooking the service entrance to the catering and reveling in the peace of trucks backing up.  The room was a bargain...haaaaaaaaaaaa  I really can't complain, though because I have palm trees swaying right in front of me and the sky is a phenomenal blue.  Oh, and I have powdered sugar all over my lap and computer from the donuts I just had--I did some sort of exercising almost every day, so a few munchkins won't kill me.

Monica and Kyle's wedding was gorgeous.  I cried.  But, I think it was less the joyful emotions and more the extraordinary amounts of fun drinks I had.  haaaaaaaaa  Remember in college when you learned not to mix different types of drinks all in one night?  Well, I apparently needed to remind myself.  Beer, champagne, wine, Mai Tais...all landed me home with a bra full of little orange umbrellas and an entire day lost to a hangover.  Many thanks to my friend, Beth, for keeping me safe and sound.  :)  And to my sweetie, who called from 13.5 hours away and got me at 0730 the next morning.  That was probably a great conversation, but I don't remember it!  haaaaaaaaaaaa

While the wedding was the highlight of the week, a close second was my trip to The Bead Gallery.  I found this shop back in 2008 while visiting with my friends Lauren and Marc.  I couldn't wait to go back and was not disappointed!!  I have all my treats packed up to head home, but will eventually share pics...tons of vintage lucite and plastic flower pieces, some gorgeous pearls, and then just pairs and trios of random beads from all around the store.  They have these little tiny bags of seed beads that are just $1 each, so they're addicting...I think I have at least 20 of them.  Until I get some pics, though, here's a quickie of some cool starflower cactus thingies that we saw while hiking up the trail at Koko Head.


Aloha!

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About Me

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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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