Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BTW: Makin' Some Beads

Since I'd generally consider myself a bead "user" more than a bead "maker" I'm thrilled with the results of my first special paper beads and want to share what's on my bead table/kitchen table on this Wednesday update.  I posted over the weekend about the fun I was having with the gorgeous colors in India Ink and just going to town with different palettes.  The last couple of evenings have been kinda late ones at work, so I used sitting quietly at the table playing with scissors and glue as my relaxation method of choice.  Here's my "hint of storm" paper and the resulting beads:
I made just a few beads with some of the papers including a saffron shade, a sunset shade, and a blue-purple shade (that I can't think of a good name for right now...the first thing that came to mind that's blue and purple is a bruise and that's not exactly a good bead name, I'm guessing) along with the stormy rainbows.  It's 0600 and I'm dealing with crappy lighting on the kitchen table but I think they still look awesome.  I have to finish them off with some sealer now that they're all dry.  I may try to list some in my Etsy shop.  :)
I've been wanting to make paper beads since I got my little Paper Bead Girl roller.  I saw the feature for it in BeadStyle magazine in April and found Vicki's little invention in her Etsy shop.  I'm really tickled with how uniform they all came out...I guess using a template to cut the shape actually works, go figure!

There are lots of other tables on display in the Bead Table Wednesday flickr group.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thai Lunch Macro

I know it's not "Macro Sunday" but I took a couple of shots over the weekend when Curt and I went out for a Thai lunch...orange creamy icy goodness.
And my favorite soup, Tom Ka Gai with a this pretty green cilantro on top.  Cilantro always makes me think of my mom because she hates it--says it tastes like dirt.
I love the mix of colors and textures in these fresh rolls...
And that's the last picture because I got all caught up in my panang curry and forgot about taking any other shots.  I'm hungry.  Shocking.

It's almost my 400th post and my 40th birthday...I've gotta come up with a good way to mark these occasions.  :)  Maybe watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding will give me ideas.  haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  I can't turn it off!  The tulle is unbelievable!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Of Muffins & Earrings

Humblebead-y Heather threw out a challenge this week on the Art Bead Scene that required planning, creativity, and a muffin tin.  I decided to go with my mini-muffin pan because I always have it on my bead table to collect good bead combos.  When I start working on something I like to see if beads fit together or coordinate and sometimes there are happy accidents that I don't want to focus on right that moment but eventually want to purse--I put a couple of those beads into one of the muffin cups for inspiration later.  I actually had some earring pairs started in this pan so I filled out the rest of the cups with little earring "recipes."  I decided to start with artisan beads for each of them and round them out with pieces and parts from my stash--nothing new allowed!  I rocked this challenge, if I do say so myself...I have 12 lovely pairs of earrings that are little works of art plus a couple of extra pairs that feature wood and stones that were leftover from a few of the cups.
Here's the layout of my muffin tin results!  I numbered them so I could highlight the artists behind the handmade beads in each pair.
1.  Gardanne - enameled oval beads in a yummy purple along with some bubbly findings by Ezel that I picked up back in April at Bead Fest Wire in Philly
2.  Suebeads - long enameled beads in a pretty turquoise-ish green finish and a couple of vintage silver circles that I'm "upcycling" from an old necklace.
3.  Cherie Ranfranz - purple & yellow etched lampwork glass combined with some vintage lucite flowers and copper
4.  Julsbeads - lampworked glass with awesome raku & texture combined with a big copper ring
5.  Donna Millard - clear blue lampworked disks and vintage tin bead caps are the highlight
6.  Julsbeads - more yummy lampwork from Juls in a rich chartreuse surrounded by a bit of copper
7.  Suebeads - loooovely rounds in blues with a slight green and black accent that I paired with some "Roman" glass, lava rock and vintage Czech glass.
8.  Brendan Blake - lampwork glass in a bubbling boro finish featured in a long dangling arrangement with a silver oval and a chunk of pyrite
9. HMB Studios - lampwork glass "wacky chunky" disks combined with some bright blue pearls I picked up in Hawaii and some clear resin dangling loops
10.  Brendan Blake - a green tone of lampwork glass with brown lava rock rounds and a sweet bit of silk sari ribbon that I just got from Darn Good Yarn.
11.  JEN JUDD! - I dyed these wooden rings myself with a mix of turquoise and blue Indian ink.
12.  Barbara Lewis - pretty blue enameled flowers along with vintage copper floral pieces and a pretty copper spikey dangle


My muffin tin is empty so I guess I should go start over!  This time I'm going to take a little more than a week.  :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Hint of Storm

India ink is one of my new fave things.  I've never really painted before so I don't know any "official" way to manipulate ink or watercolors.  But, that didn't stop me from going to town sweeping big brushfuls around onto watercolor paper to see what happens.  My intention is to cut the papers up and roll them into beads.  I'm so excited by these color mixes and the unplanned but but completely awesome drips and blends that it might be hard to slice them apart.  But, then I reminded myself that I can make more...as long as there's a sale on paper and ink at Hobby Lobby...haaaaaaaaaaa  Oh, and this post got its name when I showed these to Curt and he commented that this one looked like "a rainbow with a hint of storm."  My very non-artsy-craftsy husband came up with such a lovely, descriptive thought...what a sweetie. :)
I love this yellow and orange piece...brings saffron to mind.  
And this big mix of sunset reds, pinks, oranges, and golds...luscious!
Whooo hooooo....have a colorifically wonderful day!

Artisan Clay Design Team Reveal: Smoke & Stones

Artisan Clay Design Team reveal day was yesterday...it's the last Friday of every month.  I didn't realize until yesterday morning that the it happened to already be the last Friday in June.  Nice.  I thought I had another week!  Oh well, it gave me an excuse to get up early this morning after a bit of an "extra social" evening celebrating at my promotion party.  I got to enjoy some yummy coffee with skim milk (because the creamer is gone) and get my Artisan Clay inspiration on...this lovely smokey donut was my starting point:
It looks similar to the piece I worked last month, but I love that design concept so much that I figured I'd keep with it but go with the neutral smokey tones and add some complementary stones.

I actually spent more time stringing the bracelet strands because I kept rethinking how I wanted to arrange the lights and darks.  I dug into the stash and used some Beadalon crimp ends that I've had forever.  I found a lot of great stones that would work with this smokey theme...
Many thanks to Kristie for the great piece and for being understanding of my calendar challenges.  :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tackled Stash in Blues

Met another June goal!  Whoo hooo!
I wanted to do a project inspired by Operation Tackle that Bead Stash and those luscious blues.  Well, the project expanded when I saw all those blue beads on my table and realized that I could also make a few blue bracelets in support of The Global Genes Project's 7000 Bracelets campaign.  All my blog worlds collided because this month's Art Bead Scene challenge also featured blues for inspiration to generate some bracelet support, too.   Anyway, here are my tackled bead stash creations:
Tackling the Stash with lots of Blues
Pieces and parts:
~ The necklace features a glass disk from Bronwen Heilman of Ghostcow Glassworks that I picked up probably two years ago and have had it stashed since then.  I used memory wire, clear rubber tubing, deep blue suede and steel wire to highlight the big blue in a circle-y design.
~ The coordinating bracelet is tubing-covered memory wire with some little steel wire twisty beads that I made.  Then I pulled these matte blue stones out to create dangles for the ends--don't know how long they've been in my stash!
~ The matte blue beads let to another bracelet and I wanted to carry the "clear" theme and found these rough quartz nuggets in the stash and made a little focal grouping.  Those beads I've probably had for five years.  Nice.
~ Speaking of five years or more, the big quartz oval piece in the last bracelet has been in my collection for a realllyyyyyy looooong time (and I still have lots more!) so I matched it up with some of that deep blue suede and a handmade steel hook clasp.  I can see more bracelets similar to this in my future.

Here's a shot of the OTTBS palette:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bigfoot Brando

It's another Thursday morning so it's another fight for me to get motivated before heading to the gym to meet up with the rest of my unit and workout wearing the most uncomfortable and unflattering PT gear ever.  Then, after having someone in a knee brace run past me commenting that it sounds like I have asthma, I'll stand red-faced and panting wondering how on earth this is so hard and why I'm always hungry.  I'll finish off that adventure in a locker room that only has four showers and 14 people trying to get dressed.   Then, off to work where I'll have a headache the rest of the day.  Awesome!  haaaaaaaa  Here's a little bit of my lazy kitty looking comfy cozy on the couch...thumbs and all.  :)
Bigfoot Brando

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BTW: Starting with Earrings

I've had some random pairs of earrings hanging around on my bead table for a long time now so on this Bead Table Wednesday, I'm sharing progress!  I think I made them back when I lived in Alabama so it must be at least a year since that's how long I've been in Hampton.  My goal has always been to make up a necklace and bracelet to go with each and create a full-up set.  They sit over in a little bowl waiting for me to get inspired.  I know we all have different selling experiences, but I've found that I frequently get asked for something to go with whatever piece I create...so I've gotten better about making things that coordinate.  I try not to get too matchity matchy so that each piece can stand on its own.  Long story short is that I finally got some of these sets done. 


The first pair of earrings that I decided to tackle feature lampwork by Kathy Perras (I just went back to make sure I cited this artist right and figured out I bought these in April of 2010, nice.)  They have a great periwinkle purple and grassy green that I paired with silver and aquamarine.  (I just noticed that both earrings have the nugget on the same side instead of being opposite as I would put them now...will have to go back and switch one around.)
I stayed with the periwinkle color and added some Donna Millard lampwork and a couple of her new vintage tin bead caps then finished it off with a summery green suede cord and my new fave steel wire. 
 I went for a different look with the bracelet and used lots of the aquamarine nuggets to highlight a focal group with more of Donna's glass, a little wood and more vintage periwinkle glass.
 Here's the whole set together...it's listed in my shop now.
The second pair of earrings I decided to work with have a different feeling to them...more earthy with the turquoise and forest green Barbara Lewis enameled rounds.
 This necklace took me off the artisan bead path and over into my semi-precious stones where I picked out this big green garnet nugget for the centerpiece.  It's highlighted with some rolled paper beads, turquoise heishi, a little brass and then steel wire to finish and connect to the smooth brown leather.
 I went with memory wire for a simple bangle with little danglies at the end.
 And here's the whole thing all together which is also listed as a set in my Etsy shop!
Hope everyone's having a great, productive week clearing off the bead tables on this Bead Table Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I've Been Seen at Art Bead Scene

Many thanks to Lori, my Pretty Things friend and a contributor at the Art Bead Scene! 
 She picked my design from this month's ABS challenge, Ophelia, to feature this week!
I have to share the love on this because it's all about the Art Beads!!
- My friend, Sandra, bought the set last week from my Etsy shop!
- Juls' ribbed turquoise glass rounds are amazing
- I just bought a couple more sets of disks kinda like 
that yellow one from HMB Studios.
- I'm going to another Barbara Lewis class in July to learn how to 
make more beads like that blue enameled one in the middle.
- The blue and green disks came from Donna Millard with some amazing little vintage
metal bead caps and now I want to try to make some myself.  I only
cut myself once on the first try.

I need to try to sell some more stuff so I can justify the $ I spent on more artisan goodness this week.  I'll share some bead porn later this week after all the fun little yellow envelopes make it to my little mailbox.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ink Experiments

India Ink + Picnik = messy hands and a pretty palette.  The original pic had cool color but then I had to spend some time playing with the hue slider.  Can you tell which one is the original?
Spin my Palette #2

Spin my Palette #3

Spin my Palette #4

Spin my Palette #1


And the beadiest part of the experiment are these wooden disks and rings that I tried giving a little dressin' up with the inks
 I'd love to say this was my own idea but I've been wanting to do this since I saw a tutorial over on Happy Mango Beads.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Heart Macro - Ocean & Etymology

I'm still working on beach/summer-themed projects so I busted out some of my bezel hoard stockpile and decided to work with old dictionary text and teenie, tinie seashells.  It's fun to flip through these vintage dictionaries...I love words.  It must be part of the etymology interest that comes from my Dad, the Latin teacher.  Isn't it appropriate that it's Father's Day?  :)  Hi, Daddy!!!  Love you!
It could be just the words, but the little tiny pictures are the best!   
I didn't use the peccary pig picture in these pendants because he didn't really go with the shells...
My little ocean words, though, worked wonderfully!
The rest of the macro Sunday crowd hosted by Studio Waterstone is out there in blogland...linked at this button:
studio waterstone

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lark Books Call for Entries: Beaded Jewelry

Lark Books 500 Beaded Jewelry Call for entries.
Deadline is 15 July and there are very detailed specifications for photography so it'll probably take that long to get the photos right.  :)


There is another call from Lark on the same page for "Prints on Clay" that's focused on ceramic work featuring image transfer techniques....might be some of you interesting in that one and the deadline isn't until September.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Purple Pieces for a Thursday Morning

I just got back from the track and while I cool down/sit here and wish I didn't have to get dressed for work I just wanted to post a few pics of the summertime pieces I've been working on.  These are two of the purple sets.
Kick-ass purpley-pink faceted magnesite rounds are the standouts here, but there is still some fantastic glass goodness from SueBeads, some vintage glass and some pearls...all finished off with my new leather luv and a steel wire.  I'm psyched about how cool the clasps look 'cause I made them myself!
And, of course, the matching bracelet. 
A four-artist masterpiece:  a Barbara Lewis enameled bead, a Cherie Ranfranz lampwork focal and then a Gardanne enameled pendant...who's the fourth artist?  I'm taking that credit because I'm so proud of my little twisted wire clasp. :0
Another matching bracelet with a Barbara bead and a pretty little glass round from SueBeads all arranged with some leather, brass and steel.  Love this one!

Sh*t...now I'm going to be late...haaaaaaaaaaaaa

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Join Me in a Toast

to amazing weather that lets me sit outside at a bar...
to Apple computers that work outside same bar...
to cool summer necklaces that go with everything...
to black and white photos that hide how tired my eyes are...
to the men and women who serve our country--no matter what service and no matter whether they're officer, enlisted, civilians--it's a big job...
and to my Air Force leaders who selected me for promotion!
I started out in the Air Force over 19 years ago and never did I imagine that I'd be this close to a possible retirement or that I'd progress from the life of a no-striper airman to potentially serve as a lieutenant colonel.  I love my career and leading others and I'm thankful everyday that they're willing and able to follow.  I guess those retirement plans can wait for a few more years.

I'm sure I'll have a few more thoughts on this momentous achievement but for now I'm just relaxing with a beer or two or three and reveling in the fact that life is good.

LOVE AND CHEERS!!

Dedication is...

driving 80 miles to the nearest Hobby Lobby because my favorite components and supplies are on sale.
I'm loving my resin lately but in order to do what I want I need bezels.  I'm not ready to start making my own with some sheet metal and a torch (someday I will but I've already burned one hole in my apartment's carpet.)   Plus, I don't want to pay a fortune because, well, I just don't want to pay a fortune.  So, I stalked Hobby Lobby and watched for the sales flyer.  I really want to have a big stash for my upcoming class at Bead Haven so students can buy extras in different sizes and shapes.   The flyer came out on Sunday night and I was in luck!  50% off my faves!  Alas, the nearest store is in Richmond which is up the road about 80 miles or so.  So, I took off from work a little early to try to beat traffic and headed north.  I ended up going in uniform because it took me too long to transition out of the office and I didn't have time to go home so I got a few odd looks as I perused the aisles in my blues--uniforms are normal down here but not so much around there.
I splurged a little since I was already going off the deep end of craftiness and picked up some more of this suede cord even though it wasn't on sale.  I loooooove the color and the softness.  I have pics of some of this in use that I'll share eventually.  This pic is dedicated to my friend, Amy, a fellow bead addict who was drooling over colored leather while suffering from a yucky cold...I sent her a little leather pick-me-up and now she's paying it forward with a giveaway at her Copper Diem blog.

I posted about my June goals back on the 1st and one of them was to go two weeks without buying any crafting supplies...I made it to the 13th which isn't perfect but it's actually better than I thought I'd do!!!!!
Other goal updates:
- I want to work on a couple of tutorial ideas that I have floating around in my brain - nope, still floating around.
- I want to finish a couple more lessons in my Photoshop Elements workbook so I can actually start using it for something productive - no progress; book is still closed on the table.
- I want to sell some beach-inspired pieces to one of the gift shops in my neighborhood - in progress - I created a bunch of pieces and now have some ideas for resin and shell pendants so this plan is still on track.
- I want to leave my office by 1730 every evening - yes!  - Heck, last night I left at 4!!
- I want to lose five pounds - work in progress - last night on my little Richmond adventure I stopped at McDonald's but had a hamburger, small fries and a Diet Coke.  Apparently there's a hamburger meal that's only $2.50--it was a total of 13 PointsPlus which is just about half the day's allotment, but it was damned good and I'm proud that I didn't get a quarter pounder like I normally would have a month ago.  
- I want to get mentally prepared to turn 40 in July - uh, not working all that well but I think that's because I keep finding gray hairs.
- I want to work on a project for Operation Tackle that Bead Stash; the color palette is gorgeous!  Plus it works into my beach-inspiration - not done yet, but I still have time and because it's blue I want to put something together for the 7000 Bracelets for Hope project.
- I want to see if I can go two weeks without buying any beads or other crafting supplies.  OOOOOH, so close!  
- I want to get something together Marcie's Margie & Me palette this month - the suede cord is my inspiration but it's not done yet.

Off to the gym...writing about the five pound goal is a little bitty reminder to get up and move.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

I've been busy with resin lately.  Here are the latest pendants added to my Etsy shop.  :)
I used a lot of different things to create little vignettes in each piece--some vintage dictionary clippings, copper washers, paint, sequins, wire and beads.  Working with these photos makes me want to go make more!
Pendant Collage

Sunday, June 12, 2011

White Chocolate Macro Chip

I was just having a bit of a snackity snack.  I had some white chocolate chips in the cupboard pending some baking.  Alas, I busted into them to get a little sweet fix the other night and now they're finished off.  Their creamy whiteness reminded me that it's "Macro Sunday" so I took a shot or two before they were gone.  Then, because I really don't feel like folding laundry, I spent some time, instead, on Picnik playing with some different effects:
White Chocolate Yummy
The rest of the macro Sunday crowd hosted by Studio Waterstone is out there in blogland...linked at this button:
studio waterstone

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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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