Monday, January 31, 2011

Operation Tackle That Bead Stash - January Mood Board

I don't even know how I discovered it, but I came across a cool blog at the beginning of the month that's all about working with that you've got.  Operation Tackle That Bead Stash.  It's as simple as that!  The editors choose a "moodboard" that's used for inspiration each month and then it's time to bring it on with the beading goodness!


The inspiration was a gorgeous collage of gold and purple--think Venice and Carnivale.  I was excited by the color combination because just that afternoon I was working on an Etsy treasury that was focused on yellow and purple...not exactly the same color story, but close enough to get me motivated to create an entry based on the moodboard.

Here it is...it's called "I'm Not Sari That I Have Too Many Beads"!  haaaaaaaaaaa


Destashing with Sari Ribbon
I've been wanting to use this recycled sari ribbon for ages, so I pulled out a purplish-golden piece and wrapped it with some thin gold-toned wire on a coiled wire base.  It worked out just as I'd hoped!  I used some big fatty faceted golden glass rounds, some roughed up nuggest of purple agate, and some purply crystal rondelles to work the front and then finished it off with some big brass chain (that I found on clearance at Michael's ages ago and bought too much of).

I've always been a huge fan of Maire Dodd...especially her use of fiber mixed with all sorts of other media.  I'm thinking of her projects from Belle Armoire, but found some examples that are wonderfully awesome at her post here.  Those ideas are what keep driving me towards fiber and ribbon purchases, so I'm thrilled to actually use some!

Finally...here's the moodboard:


Be on the lookout for how they'll set the mood for
February over on the Operation TTBS blog!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Art Bead Scene: Copper River

The Art Bead Scene challenge for this month was focused on a painting that has amazing texture, flowing movement, and wonderful color.  I decided to pick up on those themes and feature this lampwork focal from Lisa New that has texture, movement and lines all in one piece.  Playing around with some copper and coiling and squiggling gave me the idea to create a unique bail shape and make this one special bead into a pendant. 


January 597 ABS
I have a problem with overdoing a design sometimes.  I keep putting more and more into it and then the focus of the piece isn't on what's most special about it.  In this case I think I did right by the Lisa bead with a complementary bit of wire and then some simpler bits of ribbon, leather, and chain.  I didn't make the scroll chain (even though some commenters asked if I did.)  It came from Kansas City while I was visiting my in-laws.  I found a link for some, though, here.

January ABS 588

Because I was loving on the ribbon and wire, I continued on and made up a pretty matching bangle on a brass base.

Jan ABS - Flowing River

Lisa's having a sale in her Etsy shop until the end of January, just in case you're interested.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Just Got Seriously Souped

First...thank you, Judy!  I just opened up this wonderful box of bead soup and I am flabbergasted and excited and grateful!!  She made me a personalized Jen Judd Rocks tag!!!!  How cool is that!?!

Judy's Bead Soup Nametag

Before I go on rambling about Judy's soup, I have to say that I picked up a couple of bead packages from my mail box on the way home. I've had a really long day--started with a hard workout and then meetings and too much time on the computer.  Even before I opened the the packages I had to take off the combat boots, put on my pajamas and grab a beer. That's pretty much the same process as most evenings, but it's waaaaay better when there are bead packages.  Since I had the camera out to shoot the beads, I captured the pure joy of a Miller Lite and a dinner of string cheese. 

But, now that I'm finished with the cheese , I'm ready to show some more of my Judy Joy.  Here's a luscious set of blues along with some really kickass vintage pieces that she picked just for me!  A "J" typewriter key, a skeleton key (even though she doesn't know I grew up in a house where they were the norm), and a military button. 

Judy's Bead Soup Blues


As for the focal I get to work with, Judy wrote to say that she couldn't choose just one etched copper pendant so she sent them both.  There's a little bit of Paris there, but I'm in love with the butterfly.


Judy's Bead Soup Butterfly Pendant


Again, thanks Judy.  I truly appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness!  And, thanks to Lori for hosting another bead soup part! Oh and thanks to my rebel for coming out to play and helping me capture the fun and surprise and excitement of opening an awesome beady package...and getting souped!! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On the Table: Copper

I'm doing the morning routine:  English muffin, coffee (fresh today, not reheated like usual), Morning Joe on TV, and blog checking.  This is after I've snoozed for too long and am now running a little late...guess I won't have time to shave my legs this morning because my blog buds have reminded me that it's Wednesday!  That means it's time to show off some work in progress on the bead table.  I actually have something in work, so that's a good thing!


BTW Working with Copper
There aren't a bunch of beads involved in this one.  I'm working my piece for the ABS January Challenge and it's turning into a one-focal-bead piece with lots of other copper textures thrown in...a little leather, a little ribbon, and lots of chain.  Oh, and 48 different pairs of pliers stacked around the place!  haaaaaaaaaa

I was taught well by my wire mentors, Jeanette Ryan & Kerry Bogart, that practice is key...hence, the stack of practice pieces.  It's probably time to send them in for recycling.
Wire on the Table - Copper Scraps

I have to get to work and see if my piece of the Dept of Defense is the part that's going to be downsized.  :)  In the meantime, here are other bead tables around the world on this rainy Wednesday morning:  The BTW Flickr Group.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sharon B. D'Stash

I have too many beads.  I love them all, but I think the overwhelming options are becoming a hindrance rather than a help.  I sit down at the table and can't focus on just one thing.  

I love touching them all and counting them all and rearranging them and then pouring them on the table and then picking them all up again.  With the new Rebel, it's all about trying to take good pictures of them.  Nice.  I actually pull out bunches to photograph and don't even think about putting them together into some sort of project.  It's a strange impulse, but I'm going with it.
In the moments before falling asleep a few days ago I was thinking of how I could deal with the beads.  I have become more of a bead person than a jewelry person, so what can I do with them?  Can I sell them?  Other people sell things like this on Etsy, could I?  I like to think I have good taste in beads, can I come up with good bunches that other folks might want?
Sharon B. De'Stash is my new alter ego...she's going to be my destashing diva and she'll be helping me post things in my Etsy shop to share my excesses.


This bunch is listed in my Etsy shop.
Since this is the month of purple, it's all about the purple beads this time.  :)  I have one big mixed up bunch listed and then will have a few smaller batches with single styles. 

Thanks to Cindy for helping me out already!!  Sharon B. D'Stash thanks you, too!!  haaaaaaaaa

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vintage Ladybugs

I was working at Bead Haven last night with Joanne and we had a fantastic night rearranging displays so she could put out a huge selection of vintage beads.  I was absolutely drooling as she pulled out bag of vintage glass strands...seriously, I realized I was basically standing at her elbow for five minutes just staring and coveting until she finally looked and me with that "there are things you could be doing" look.  haaaaaaaaaaa 

My favorites are these big ceramic tubes with crazy, funky ladybugs!! They're huge, but I want them all!! (I settled for buying six of them when we closed up shop.) I've never seen anything like these before, and I've seen a lot of beads. If any of you are coveting and need one or a dozen, let me know and I'll go shop for you. haaaaaaaaaaa
Lovely winter cuticles help demonstrate the size of these cuties.
Don't they make you want to go macrame?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Judy's Bead Soup

Judy's Bead Soup, originally uploaded by jenjuddrocks.
Here's a little shot of the soup that I sent to my partner, Judy. I'll let her explain everything that's in there, but you can see the color families I chose. I think they'll be great with her etched copper and funky wire and metal style.

Plus, I pulled out some glass beads from an old
Bead Soup friend...okay, she's not old, but the party happened way back in 2010. Think Julianna Cannon...the girl with the shiny shack. That's one of the most fun things that happened for me because of these soup adventures. I got to visit Juls in person while I was living in Alabama and she actually let me near her torch! I melted my own glass for the first time! The ones I sent to Judy are actually Juls' work, not my sad attempts, though....so she's getting the good stuff. haaaaaaaaaaa

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lori's Giving Away Letters

For those of you out here in Bead World, Ms. Lori Anderson is probably a name you know...she's the master of the Bead Soup Parties and is even going to be writing a book about them!  The latest BSP garnered over 200 participants, so Lori has been losing her mind with spreadsheets, email, and overall managing a whole bunch of creative minds.  I can't even manage my own creative mind, so I give Lori big kudos! 


To celebrate the party and share a generous donation, there's a GIVEAWAY over at her Pretty Things blog.  PJ Tool & Supply asked her to test out some of their new stamping letter sets--these are steel stamps that are used to mark on metal and she picked a funky-cute font called Ballroom Boogie.  I love all fonts and letters, but this one is particularly cool and it's the lower case.

I think these would be awesome with my metal bangles...I want some!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shot for the Week: Frosty

Amy chose the word for our photo challenge this week. 

Frosty

I really wanted a big cold, icy mug of beer to shoot, but instead I went to the freezer...

January Frosted Peas 471

and found these peas from a month or so ago...all that frost doesn't really make them all that more appetizing.  haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I love the accent on the frost crystals, though, so I still think it was a good composition.

There are some other shots out on Flickr you can check out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Playing Wire Freestyle

I joined the Bead Haven team at a show on Saturday at the Hampton Convention Center.  It was a long, long day as shows tend to be, but I got to be the demonstrating designer of the day, so I got to sit most of the time!  haaaaaaaaaa

I spent most of the time on crimping and stringing since it was easier to have those supplies, but there was also some wire coiling and wrapping on the schedule.
I haven't done much with wire like this lately because I usually use sterling silver and that is just waaaaay too expensive to play with nowadays.  But, I picked up some 16g plated wire that Joanne, my BHBF (Bead Haven Boss & Friend), keeps in stock for people like me to try.  I was afraid it would be too hard and my pliers would dig into the finish too much, but, as it turned out...it was just fine!  And, I just sort of went freestyle, added some coils, and came up with some pretty funky designs.

I'm kind of excited to try some more--especially with the gold-tone metal since I did up a quick swirly pair for Margo, the third member of the team manning the booth on Saturday.  I was surprised at how nicely they finished up!  I wouldn't say I have my groove completely back, but it feels good to come up with something new and unique, that's for sure.  :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yellurple & Pullow Treasury

I was in a bead shopping mood tonight but don't really need to buy anything, so I "window" shopped on Etsy.  I picked purple for my January color and bright yellow because this week's photo challenge with Amy means I have to find some yellow to shoot!

You can go to the treasury and see these artists...lots of wonderful handmade beads!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bright Yellow Posie Poses

The Rebel's adventure for the week was to find BRIGHT YELLOW.  I'm still working on macro challenges with my Copper Diem friend, Amy. 

L
uckily, my sweetie Curtis sent me a big flower arrangement that had some big yellow posies that were perfect for the shoot.  I kind of tore the flowers up and out of the basket to get them posed the way I wanted and lighted the right way, but I think he will appreciate that I was able to put them to good use!
Here are a couple of the blossoms laying out on the denim pillows from my fave old couch that we don't have any more.  I like the close-up shot; the macro setting on the camera seems to give me the best results.  I have to learn more about the aperture adjustments and then work on taking pictures before it's all dark in here in the evenings.


January Macro - Yellow Resting


And here's a similar shot with a little different composition.  I like the touch of orange from the curtains in the background. 

January Macro - Yellow Fleurs

I didn't really like any of the other posie poses that included the other colors in the basket, so these are the ones I'm standing by this week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

BTW - Shinies, originally uploaded by jenjuddrocks.

It's a little late in the day, but it's still Wednesday so I'm joining the BTW posting party.  Heather of Humblebeads fame came up with the idea and there are already 14 of us in the Flickr group--check out what everyone's working on.

I'm all about the metal flower pieces and the bangle blanks. I can't stop! I've been digging out all the bead caps I haven't used in years--they're perfect to layer with the big flowers petal pieces.


I had a few good hours tonight with my little Reb, so I'll have more pics to post later in the week including the BRIGHT YELLOW challenge I took with Amy F.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Overly Expressive At Work

One of my folks was taking pictures during a luncheon today and caught this shot.  Apparently I make this expression when something doesn't make sense or someone has done something I think isn't all that smart--which must happen frequently.

We were saying goodbye to a boss who's on her way to Germany and she said that she was leaving the office in the good hands of a "crack pot of folks" to which everyone remarked that I was the main crackpot of the bunch.  haaaaaaaaaaaaa  I'm so proud.  :)

At least I got a bigger desk today...the restructuring of all the modular cubicle furniture is almost done.  So, I have to give credit to the captain who took this picture because she's also taking care of all the new furniture drama.  :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Perfectly Macrolicious Sunday

It was just about a perfect day.
I got to talk to Curtis.
I took a great nap.
I had leftovers from a yummy dinner I cooked last night.
I got a pretty pink pedicure
I saw and purchased a new jacket at Chico's at a major discount.
I caught up with my friend, Alicia.
I got six loads of laundry done.
The only bad part is that I had to drink three-day old coffee (that's the max I go in old coffee, I swear) this morning.

It's my turn to meet my end of the challenge I have with Copper Diem Amy, so here are my picture experiments while trying to take macro shots.  They're all out in my Flickr stream.  Since the inspiration is the ABS Challenge painting, I decided to go dig for some beads that could turn into something good.  Lo' and behold, I have the PERFECT Lisa New lampwork focal.  I'm so excited!  Anyway, here are my shots...

January ABS Challenge Colors

These are my favorite out of about 20 shots.  Normally I'd have to take a lot more, but in the process of manipulating the camera and little tripod around, I was starting to get pissed because I dropped the camera on the floor twice.  Nothing broken or damaged, but I had to take a break and then the sun went down and my light source went out. 


January ABS Challenge Colors

I can't wait to put this whole bit together. I was reading the latest Belle Armoire Jewelry and have lots of idea.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Magic Number: 77.5

What does that mean?  I passed my fitness test!

In almost nineteen years of service, I have never been confident that I'll pass.  Most years I can manage it--and some of it was easy because I was a triathloning skinny lieutenant--but I've had some pretty down moments.  Yesterday's was actually a re-test because I didn't pass 90 days ago.  Sure, I know I should be healthier.  Sure, I know I should go to the gym more.  Sure, I know that exercise is fun.  haaaaaaaaaa  Okay, I'm still trying to believe that one. 

There are plenty of professional consquences to being a chunk--you'd think that would be motivation enough to go to the gym.  But, instead I stress about it and almost cry as I slowly finish my mile and a half.  Get a visual on that one, it's sort of funny.

But, it's a new year and as I turn forty (seriously?)...I'm going to attempt to stay focused on being healthy.  My trainer who's a wonderful AF SNCO, has been a great help and motivation--he even ran with me yesterday and literally yelled at me when I whined that I wanted to walk.  In the last 90 days I lost nine pounds and two inches on my waist with his help.  Whoo hoo.  Plus, last weekend I got into size 12 jeans.  I almost cried. So, we'll see how it goes.

If you're not in the AF and wonder how you'd measure up, here's a link to the charts with the latest standards .
You've got:
 - One minute of push-ups
 - One minute of sit-ups
 - Your waist circumference
 - A mile and a half run.
And it's all based on your age group. 

Yes, if you look at the charts you'll see I only passed by two points, but that's still a pass and I'm happy...and two inches skinnier in my size 12 jeans.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Coast to Coast Challenge with Amy F.

The other day when I posted about my new camera I got lots of great comments and encouragement--thanks!  One note, though, from Amy F. at Copper Diem got me thinking...she said that she's been so focused on her day job and making jewelry that she's let her photography fun fall by the wayside.  So, I asked if she'd be interested in a little challenge so we could work with each other to learn, practice, and be inspired.  I heard back from her today that we're on!

The plan:  use the Art Bead Scene January challenge color scheme for inspiration--there's purple buried in there, so it'll be a great way to find interesting and exciting color combinations.


We're going to focus on macro shots--these are really up-close pictures.  Bead and jewelry shots will be a certainty, but food, flowers, and other organic subjects are also going to be big players.  I think some textiles and textures will be fun, too.

Since we still both have to work and make jewelry, we're shooting for a weekly post to share.  Plus, we're going to use flickr to share--once there's pics in there, I'll hook up the links.

It's going to be hard without a macro lens.  Amy's lucky enough to have one--she saved up for it and, to quote her, "LOVES to pieces!"  I'm going to focus on my aperture adjustments and my baby Rebel's standard macro setting.

Here's another shot of the palette from the ABS post.  I love that the purple is called "strikemaster." 
If you want to play along, feel free...nothing super-organized, just leave comments to share posts!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Raptor Leaf

Driving onto base the other day, as I handed my ID card to the security guard, an F-22 Raptor took off just to the left of the gate where the runway ends.  It was really loud and really cool.  I was distracted as I drove through and watched for the other jets taking off behind the first.  I managed not to crunch into the car in front of me, but the sound of jets is an awesome way to start the morning--even though I wasn't really looking forward to taking my bed-headed self to the gym.

I had a great workout, but realized that I left my towel in the car.  Luckily I realized that fact before I took off all my clothes--that's happened a few times before and putting sweaty clothes back on isn't really that pleasant.  Well, as I walked out to the car, I looked down and saw a little leaf on the ground that looked just like a jet!  It was a little Raptor Leaf!  Luckily my Rebel Baby was in the car because I was taking it to work to document the tearing up of cubicles (in a good way).  So, there I was...on the ground trying to get an artfully macro shot of this leaf that looks like a plane.  I was probably at it for about five minutes before I realized that I really needed to get the towel and actually get dressed and go to work.


If you're not really thrilled with the Raptor Leaf, here's an actual F-22 pic...just for comparison.  Try not to get too excited, they're only worth about $150M each.  Compare that to my leaf which is priceless!  haaaaaaaaaa

Monday, January 3, 2011

Colour Spark

New year, new idea.  Well, I've had many, many ideas in the last couple of days, but haven't done much of anything other than spend quality couch time.  Apparently I have to write things down on a list with little squares on them to check off as I get them done.  I put some notecards in my purse to be ready in case of inspiration. 

But, on a bit of follow-through, I'm going to attempt to follow a little blogging theme this year.  I want to learn more about color, which I pronounce in some weird way as "keller" so I'm going to pick a color to focus on each month.  I like the exotic extra vowel in the word "colour" so that's the option I'm going with...an extra "u" with lazy diction.   Since I settled in with this pretty purple background, that's how it's going to start. 

Purple...there are tons more ways to express that color, but I don't want to waste all that verbiage in the first "Colour Spark" post.  Here's what I'm thinking...color combinations that use purple, other artists that feature purple, art beads in purple...mind you, it won't be purple every day, but I'm excited to have a little focus.


Here's my first installation.  This little optical treat came out of a pile of memory wire rings that I cut up to make wine-glass charms.  My mom gave me a big pile of them with a cute random assortment of beads for Christmas.  Now I'm all obsessed with making my own and coming up with a class to teach over at Bead Haven.  I had a huge bunch of ring-sized memory wire and was actually able to find it in my bead room.  I sat in front of the TV watching Modern Family (thanks to my friend, Brandee), cutting single wire loops, and then turning little loops on one end of each of them.  It was a good way to spend the afternoon...now I have about a hundred loops...and about a hundred pictures of piles of loops!  haaaaaaaaaaaaa

I just had a little karmic reinforcement...on Modern Family they're on vacation in Maui and Cameron and Mitchell are going to the lavender farm.  It's not as funny as Big Bang Theory, but close!  haaaaaaaaa

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Workspace/Couch Management

I didn't realize quite what a disaster of creativity I created yesterday until I stepped out of the middle of it.  So, of course, I had to catch a picture of all those things required for me to be productive...
- photography books (multiple, with stickie notes)
- laptop (old, but functional, with lots of cat hair buried in the keys)
- four blankets and numerous pillows (in case a napping feeling comes on)
- water bottle and coffee cup are both there on the table (hydrating and dehydrating is a wonderful cycle)
- laptop webcam (in case Curtis is on Skype)
- TV remotes (because I have to switch between CNN, HGTV, and cooking channels)
- sleeping cat (because a project isn't complete without cat hair all over the place)

If I keep everything near or on the couch, I never have to leave it!  Perfect!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wink in the New Year

My big guy, Brando, has been hanging out with me this morning on the first day of 2011.  He's been listening to me discuss potential goals and resolutions with myself and has actually decided just to roll over and fall asleep because it's not that interesting of a conversation.  haaaaaaaaaa

Big Boy Brando lost an eye in 2010, but he's looking forward to lots of naps and brushing in 2011!
I took Baby Rebel on a Picnik this morning along with my one-eyed sweetie and we had quite a little adventure.  It was a good way to start opening up the creative paths in my mind and start thinking about goals and objectives for 2011.

I'm going to floss my teeth more.  I resolve to do it every year and have actually gotten better.  I think it's because I have been turning more and more into my mother and she always has a piece of floss handy just in case.  Now I have a super-sized package of the finest minty floss with me in my purse, too.

There's probably something more important than flossing that should be a part of the plan...

I'm going to get to know my husband even more.  We only spent about two weeks together in 2010, so it's going to be an adventure when he gets back in less than 45 days.  We may or may not be living in the same city--that's one of the great things about assignments, you just don't know.  But, if things go as we expect, there'll only be a three-hour drive between us.  That's much better than a 9.5 hour time difference halfway around the globe!  Heck, we could even end up living in the same town...keep your fingers crossed.

I'm going to think more.  I'm going to make more.  I'm going to write more.  I'm going to talk to my friends more.  I'm going to sweat more.  I'm going to read more.  All of these things seem reasonable, right?  I think so...on that note, I'm going to finish this writing and go work out and read a magazine at the same time.  How about that for multi-tasking?  Whoo hoo!

Winks and love for the new year from me and my kitty boys...Brando, Frankie, and Curtis, the Night Cat.


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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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