Monday, July 31, 2006
What a wonderful weekend we had here! I couldn't have asked for anything better. I decided to basically take the weekend "off". But you know me, I wasn't totally off... I still did loads of stuff.
Friday night we finished up the second half of Totally Twisted after a couple hours of beading and shopping that afternoon. The class went great and the students are now on their ways to becoming world renouned wire artists, lol. Either that or making great jewelry for family and friends. When I got home from class, the kiln was full of the beads I had made that afternoon and I squealled with delight when I saw them. But more about that later in this post.
Saturday was Andrew's birthday. And just like I said before... we did lots of things that he loves to do. The movie "Cars" is adorable... if you have kids, especially boys, take them, they'll love it. After lunch and the movie we came home for a good old fashion backyard cook out. Unfortuately, as we fired up the grill, a huge round for thunderstorms plowed through so the party got moved inside. Andrew didn't mind because it ment he got to play his new Rachet and Clack video game while the adults visited. At around 10pm when all was quiet and I was tucking Andrew in, I asked him if he had a good day and he said "The Best!" and that's all that matters.
After the party, Ron went to play paker with friends. I put the kids to bed and then I sneaked down to my desk and worked on "Revolving". Cool necklace huh? It's design came to me while taking a shower one night last week. The construction is simple, just wire wrapped links but the beads are the center of attention. They are all handshaped (I didn't use a press for these) egg/oval shapes with dots that spiral from one end to the other. The spiraling dots reminded me of people walking down spiral staircases, all single file. And the name "Revolving" popped into my head. I think it has a very "Suessian" feel to it... I just love it. Very attention getting, bold but simple. And since it is black and white, you can wear it with anything. So, one down 7-8 more to go. My mind is overflowing with ideas, I can't wait to get out.
Sunday was a perfect day. And it is also the reason I called this post "Zen Moments". Everyone once in a while you have a day that is just full of little instants where you can't help but feel all is calm and right with the world. That's how yesterday was for me. We did simple things like clean the garage and play in the pool. I took a few hours in the afternoon and weeded my gardens, sat on the deck and just talked with my husband. We all sat and watched a movie before bed, "Nanny McPhee"... really sweet movie. Then I tossed and turned in bed for hours thinking about random things like the color I would like to paint my studio someday, necklace designs, flowers I would like to plant, school supplies I for got to get... I think it was 3am before I finally fell asleep.
Anyway... that was my weekend. Now back to the daily summer grind. It is going to be a hot couple of days, until Thurs/Fri when it'll cool down into the 70's. I will be working on beads most every evening. I need to get goodies together for you all, for the wineries, for "Clothesline", and there is lots of swimming to be done too.
Friday, July 28, 2006
I thought I would give you a little peak at the new bead design for a new necklace. But just a little peak. I hope the photo is abstract enough that you get a hint at what I am doing but that you are not completely sure. Hmmm.... a mystery. I finished up the last of my orders last night (which means I am open to new orders if you need anything) and I got to spend a couple hours working on some beads for my. It was very theraputic. It was late, I had my tunes on, just me ang the light on the torch.
A free beads update for everyone... Sorry, I just can't send confitmation emails anymore. Which is a good and bad... good because you all are sending so many votes my way, bad because I just can't keep up on the emails. I usually like to at least reply with a "thanks" to let you know I got the votes but that is just getting to be too much for me. There are a bunch on you that send messages along with your votes and I LOVE THAT! Those that actually take time to write to me, of course I am going to take the time to write back. But when you send me "I voted" and the message is blank, those are the ones where I will add you to the fish bowl and probably not respond. I feel terrible but that's just the way it has to be. I appreciate your support! And I promise to make a new set of free beads today.
Tonight is part 2 of last week's Totally Twisted and then you probably won't hear from my much this weekend. It is Andrew's birthday tomorrow! My baby boy is turning 7! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANU!!! We have a fun filled day planned for him tomorrow doing all his favorite things. We are going to have "Chinesse Chicken", see "Cars", cookout on the grill (he requested hamburgers, beans (brown not green) and corn on the cob) then swimming cake and ice cream! I looked for a baby photo of Andrew to share like I did on Lauren's birthday back in March but alas, we didn't have a digital camera back then.
My Mom offered to have the kids for the afternoon so I will be getting a much needed break. I am going to do a tiny bit of shopping and a whole bunch of torching. Check ya later!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
This new necklace has a very interesting story behind it. It starts a few months back at one of my Totally Twisted classes. My student, Andrea, came to class wearing two great necklaces, one she made and a simple wire one. I was immediately drawn to the wire one. I loved it. It was simple but just gorgeous. I asked Andrea where she got it and she said "Blueground Jewelry". Hello? I know Blueground! I wasn't in the shop at that time but had been to visit. The next time I was in Blueground, I looked for the necklace. I came so close to buying it but I really thought it was a simple enough design that I could figure it out for myself.
Well, time has past, months in fact. And I have had the necklace in the back of my mind just waiting for a chance to make it. Then... last week I was cleaning my desk and sorting old magazines. I was flipping through the Fall 2005 Step By Step Wire and THERE IT WAS! A tutorial on how to make the necklace I had been waiting months to make! I was so excited! I put it on the top of my paperwork pile and yesterday I finally had a chance to make it. It is an easy project. And I had two made in less then an hour. I, of course, have already changes things up a bit and changed things from the tutorial. I used lighter gauge wire and made my own clasps too. It has sparked 3-4 necklace & bracelet ideas too for my lampwork beads.
If only I could find the time to make any beads! This dang heat, Jacob's soccer, birthday parties and just an all around busy past few weeks has put me in a rather down mood. And it is mostly because I just can't find the time to do what I want to do. But since I did a load of Bead Box beads this week and since I put off the Park Ave Fest... the next few weeks should be all me. I am going to get these 10 necklace ideas (remember I was inspired in the shower last week too) and I am going to work on winery stuff too. Don't worry that doesn't mean I don't love you all anymore, and it doesn't mean I won't make you Bead Box beads either... it just means I am going to get a few of my projects done first. So those lime, orange and turquoise beads I mentioned the other day, I will be doing them, but probably not until the middle of next week, okay?
Anyway... I would love to hear what you think about the necklace I fell in love with. Yes, that is my neck. I am only slightly embarassed to be showing my neck in public, lol. See how tan I am! Really, this is tan for me. I think it is mostly my freckles growing together that make me look so tan. It's that pale Irish skin I have. I will be posting these for sale on my website if you want one. In the photo I am wearing the 16 gauge one but I also have it in a finer 20 gauge size. Just let me know how long you like to wear your necklaces!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Ain't my Dad (Tim) handsome? Well, today is his birthday! Look at those blue eyes. He is a ripe old 54. Aren't these photos great... I took them over the winter. My Uncle Pat was making a photo collage as a gift for my grandparents and he needed pictures of each of the 13 kids I told you about the other day. So I took a few minutes, stood my Dad against the wall and snapped away. He hated every mintue of it. But I am glad to have a nice photo of my Dad. Now if only I could get my Mom to hold still for a few minutes so I could get a pretty photo of her...
Sorry the photos are so large, I am posting them quick and never took the time to edit them. My uncle needed the high resolution/large photos for his own editing. So I just left them alone. Anyway, we will be heading over to my parent's house this afternoon for a birthday cookout. Followed by a 7:30 soccer game for Jacob. We were late for his Monday game. I thought all his games were at 6:30 but it turns out everytime is different. But the team won Monday so a late arrival wasn't noticed. The Tornados beat the Monsoons 6-1! Go Tornados! It is so cute, when the coach yells "Tornados Twist!" the kids all change positions.
In jewelry news... I have an interesting story about a new necklace to share with you all. But that is going to wait for tomorrow. I hope to get to make some beads tonight after soccer, but we'll have to see how hot it is first. Other then that, I am plugging away in the studio here. Making stuff here and there as I can, trying not to get too behind. I want to be ready for my next show early so there is no last minute craziness. The next show also happens to be the first week back to school for the kids so things are going to be nuts.
Can you believe it is back to school already? Dang... Target has all their school supply blowouts going already. Yesterday I got Crayola Crayons for 20cents, 10 spiral notebooks for a buck, 10cent glue sticks... it was wild. I always buy enough to last the WHOLE year and I have a flat bin stuffed with supplies under my bed. So in January when Andrew says "Mom I need more Crayons" I just grap a fresh box out of the bin and he is ready to go. No need to remember to get some at the store for $2.99. I can't even tell you how many supplies I got yesterday and I only spent $35! SWEET! If you got kids... go stock up!
Check back tomorrow!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
First example is for Kathy in SD. She saw my "Carnival" bracelet on my sold page and loved it. To change things up for her design, I used her favorite color combo of green & purple. Gotta love green & purple! I am calling her version "Promenade". I LOVE the plaid bead in this one... makes me want to do more purple & green bead box beads!
Second example is for Christine. She wrote to me about my "Be Square" necklace. And this is her version, "Squared". Same style but the beads are done in the new Zoozii nugget shape rather then the Zoozii pillow.
See what I mean now? Same great looks still totally one-of-a-kind!
Alright... time to go grill up some supper! I will be working on the finishing touches of my "Sandy Lanterns" tutorial. I tought it last week and also had a request from Australia for a paper version of the instructions so I will be getting that done asap!
I forgot to tell you... Debbie M. Is this week's free beads winner! Yooo Hooo! Congrats Debbie! And thanks so much to all of you who vote time and time again. You make me so proud. Not because you had me #2 on and off all week but because I have people who are out there thinking about me and coming to support me day after day. I love you girls!
I know, yet another week when I don't have the photo for the new beads ready to go. Sorry, I am running low on beads, lol. I will have to make you something special!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Did ya see 'em? Huh? Huh? Well, what did you think? I know the new Bead Box beads aren't your everyday color combo... but they are really cool and I think they would work year round. I think they are bright, playful and fun! And I know if you don't scoop them up, I have loads of ideas for them. These are the kinda beads you wear with a white blouse/teeshirt and black slacks/bluejeans. Looking at the photos again, the inky blue purple is looking black. It is definately dark transparent purple.
If you want to check out my inspiration for these new beads... check out Target's new Fall Collection. In the store the blanket was folded in a way that all you saw was the area of colored stripes. It doesn't have nearly the impact in the online photo that it did in the store. Because the blanket was striped, I had stripes on the brain while making these beads. And I kept thinking of a tutorial I saw on www.wetcanvas.com what taught how to make plaid beads, so I gave it a try. And I love it! I will try and remember to throw a few plaid in with other color combos too.
Next up (when I get more torch time) will be lime green, coral orange & turquoise!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
We could not ask for a better day for today's Kester Gang Reunion! The weather here was awesome today... sunny, 70's, NO humidity, and a light cool breeze. Seeing everyone was great and the kids had a lot of fun too. We all kept busy visiting, playing tennis and SPUD, grilling and just relaxing. Almost everyone made it this year. Aunt Ruth and here klan couldn't make it up from NYC and a bunch of my cousins were missing too. So with the no shows, no one wanted to rally everyone together for a group photo. But I will dig up last year's for you. Today's photos are from the very first Kester Gang Picnic in 1983. I was 5 years old!
See where Lauren gets her curls from? That is my little sister Bonnie. The picture quality isn't the best, sorry. For one, they are more then 20 years old and two, I was talking a picture of a picture with my digital camera. I think the weirdo in the shorts is my Uncle Dennis but I can't be sure, lol. I love flipping though the photo albums and watchnig everyone change year to year. There are several photos that need burning though, lol. One with me and a giant yellow bow in my hair and glasses you wouldn't believe. Turns out my Dad is going to be in charge of next year's picnic. And I have been drafted to help. The kid in charge has to get the location, set the date, send out invites, and plan the kids games. Yep games.... with 30 plus kids you gotta play some games. Everyoen gets divided up into ages groups and does things like backward crab walk races, hoolahoop contests, peanut pick up and marshmellow golfing.
I am pretty beat. So I am going to turn in early with a movie. I did get the beads all cleaned strung and photographed so we are on for tomorrows bead box update. Speaking of which, a few of my cousins were asking about my jewelry and I showed them my stuff. When my aunts saw my case they all swarmed in on me. So a few of the earrings are gone, some beads and a bracelet & wine topper too. Oh... Aunt Peggi & Uncle George won the water balloon toss... my moron husband seemed to think that my hands were around my ankles so our balloon broke after 3 tosses because he threw it too low. Oh well, maybe next year.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Anyway... Totally Twisted was great last night. There were 5 fabulous women in attendance. Bonnye, Lesley, Chris, Penny & Melinda (HEY GIRLS!). All worked hard and have gotten their wire wrapped loops in order. I am sure they would still say they have to practice but I know they are well on their way. I ended up getting out really late though. See the studio gives students 10% off the night of their classes (the studio is also a bead merchantile, aka mini bead store). So everyone stocked up on wire tools and other goodies. Only trouble was that I had to hand write up all their receipts and do all the credit card transactions. Not my favorite thing to do, but with Marilynne (the studio founder) out of town at "The Gathering" (lampwork show & get together) all the store stuff fell to me. Not that I am complaining, I don't mind doing it but I didn't get home until 11:00. Yuck! And I came home to Andrew and Lauren in my bed sleeping. Andrew has a fever too.
My Mom stole my eldest child yesterday before I left to teach. Jacob is gone to play at her house for the WHOLE weekend, all by himself. He really needs the break from the younger ones. Hopefully he will come back with a bit more positive attitude then he has had lately. The grump. LOL. Lauren is playing at Ron's Mom's house for the afternoon. And poor little Nanu (Andrew) is curled up on the couch trying to feel better. I hate mystery fevers.
So.... exciting news for you bead lovers!!!!!!! BEADS ARE COOKIN G IN THE KILN!!!!! We will have to wait and see if they are any good, lol. But either way... I busted my tail today working on beads for you girls so you better like 'em. I started to torch up at 9:30 this morning and just came in at 3:00. I made some 50 plus beads. There are gonna be tons in the Bead Box on Monday. See, I always keep my promises. I promised BeadBox Beads on Monday and you are gonna get 'em. Tomorrow I will clean all the beads, strung them and photograph them.
Speaking of tomorrow... we are going to our annual family reunion tomorrow. Did I ever tell you what I big Irish Catholic family I come from? Well, my dad is one of 13 children (10 girls & 3 boys) almost all are married and all married have kids. I am the 2nd of 36 grandchildren! Every year one of the 13 hosts the annual "Kester Gang Reunion". This year we'll be going to Webster Park and it should be a blast. It is tradion to have a big water balloon toss between the adults and the kids play games too. Everyone wins a prize! I will try and get a good "group photo" for you all to see just how many of us there is!
It's time to go relax with a glass of wine and visit with my hubby.
Friday, July 21, 2006
My Tiger Rose is in bloom... again. This pic doesn't do the color justice... it looks too pink. The real color is a deep blood purple with the verigated petals. Isn't it perdy?
I know, I haven't posted the free beads yet. I will today, I promise. I have been plugging away at orders and today I need to photograph everyone's sets so they can see what is heading their ways. So while I am at it I will get those free beads up. I will give you a little heads up about what they are... a earthy lentil focal with some black & teal discs plus some spacers too.
Tonight is going to be another fun Totally Twisted class! This class is full! SO it should be a blast. I will definately bring the camera along and get some pics tonight. I did bring it to last week's "Sandy Lanterns" class and I had it on the table the whole class but suddenly is was 8:45 and I had forgotten to snap pics. Tonight it will be on my mind, so no forgetting this time.
Soccer season has started in my house! Jacob is playing on the Tornados... he had a practice last night, that I hear went very well. I skipped it so that I could make beads but I will be going to the first game Monday night. Andrew starts soccer is September when Jacob finishes. I love watching the kids play soccer. It is sort of family tradition. I played a little in high school, not much because I blew out my knees running track... but my Aunt down in NC played in college and now my two cousins Jackie & Jessica are on FULL scholarships because of soccer. Jacob is good, loves to play offense (but I think he would be a better defender) and Andrew is really really fast! He is an awesome rover. I know they are only 8 & 7 but who knows maybe they will be the youngest MLS players ever, lol!
Oh... last night... while in the shower... I was struck with inspiration! I had to hope out of the shower and grab my sketch book... I kicked out 5 new necklace designs! I can't wait to get started on them. I am keeping the designs hush hush but I will show you photos when they get completed. I need to start working on stuff for the "Clothesline Arts Festival".
All right... time to go out into the soupy sticky muggy backyard and get some pics taken.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
First the website stuff... I think I have things situated the way I want now. Did you check out the new "Beyond Jewelry" link? (Thanks to Holly over at Silver Lotus Studio for the phrase.) It is the little nook where you'll find my wine stoppers and knobs. I am warning you now... if you see a stopper you love, get it... I will be heading down to the wineries that carry my jewelry in a couple of weeks and I know they will take ALL of them. I finished fussing with the layout of the "Jewelry Shop" and I like the new pics. Oh, duh... (almost forgot) how do you like the "Neckwires & Bangles" page? Did you all even know I did those, lol? I think everyone who loves lampwork needs a neckwire. Why? Because they are the perfect place to display your favorite beads. I have one client, Carol, who has a big collection going. She started with a few beads from a single artist. Then found some when on vacation some where, which were followed by some from me. Carol's collection is mostly purples and greens with dashes of blues. So now I carry spare loose purple beads in my pocket to shows. She always finds one or two that she has to have. She was even daring and threw a Copper Green nugget in the mix!
Second... kid stuff... my kids have been really wound up the past few days. They are wild and crazy loons most of the time. So today I needed to get them out of the house and moving around. We went to the playground for a while and then over to their Gee & Pappy's (my Mom & Dad). Pappy got their razor scooters out of the basement and they were popping wheelies all afternoon. It was good to get them out of their normal boring playstation zoomie existances. lol.
I MADE BEADS! Yes, me, I make beads, did anyone know that? LOL. I know I made beads the other day but it seems like ages ago, don't know why. Anyway... I am still working on the orders that backed up durning Cornhill. I am almost done. Unfortunately, I realized tonight that I probably won't have Bead Box beads until this weekend. I wanted to have them tomorrow but the wicked heat of this week kept me away from the flame. So, I am making a formal promise... I will make beads just for the Bead Box ALL weekend! Pinky swear, lol. Then there will be a big batch of beauties for you Monday afternoon. Can you wait until then? My Zoozii press I won last month finally arrived so you'll have a fun new shape to try out too. As far as the ones that I made this evening, I am excited to see a few of them. I worked on some "Space" beads in blue, yum... and a few mosaics. If you are wondering what my mosaic beads look like, check out "Frog Prince".
Finally ROCKSTAR! Anyone else as hooked to this show as I am? I love it. I usually hook on to one show a season that I can't get away from. This season it's Rockstar Supernova. I am glued. I am rooting for Ryan Star or Lukas. In the winter I like Survivor, 24, and Prison Break. I don't have cable... does anyone else figth with rabbit ears to get a few channels to come in? LOL! Ron seems to think that cable is a waste of money and I tend to agree although I would like to see "That's Clever" once in a while. Since we don't have cable, we have a HUGE dvd collection. As I type this, Ron has turned on "Gangs of New York" and the Irish & the Natives are having their bloody battle, gross. But who doesn't love Leonardo DiCaprio?
That's about it for today. I will have a photo of the cool new space beads for you tomorrow :)
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Why are the batteries in my camera out of juice? Well it is because I took over 200 photos yesterday, that's why! I grapped my jewelry case and my photo board and started snapping away. I always take 3-4 photos of each item to make sure I get the angle and lighting I like. Then I do some simple editing in Photoshop before loading it up to the site. The first little chunk of my updating just went into effect a few minutes ago. I started with the earrings because it needed the most work. Then a little reorganizing of the "Jewelry Shop" page. You'll see, when you check it out, that I added a side menu for easier navigation and some new links too. If the link doesn't work it is probably because I haven't added the new page yet. But I will get to it, I promise. I need your opinions... I want to add a page for "Wine Stoppers" & "Glass Knobs". Right now you get to the pages by going to the "Glass Gallery" and scrolling down. But that makes them hard to find.... where would you like to see them? Should I add the links to the menu on the homepage (is that getting too full) or should I added it to the menu in the "Jewelry Shop"? Let me know your thoughts!
Oh, I forgot to tell you... tonight is Book Club! AND I am tonight's co-host. Which means, I am making ALL the food. How our book club works is one person hosts and does absolutely everything while everyone else just enjoys themselves. Then at the next book club, when someone else hosts, you get to kick back and relax. It really is a great system. My house is too small to host properly and it is way out of the way for everyone so Susan was nice enough to offer up her house. So, thus the co-hosting. Susan just moved into her house about 3 weeks ago! So I told her, just work on getting boxes out of the living room, and I will do everything else. I will be making Dump Cake, Guacamole, Bruschetta, and something else I haven't narrowed down yet. I will let you know which book we choose to read for next time, you can read along with us! As host, you get to pick the sellections for the next book, Susan is choosing two and I am choosing two. One of the 4 will be the next book. I researched on Amazon.com my two. I picked "The Stolen Child" and "The Limits of Enchanment". Two modern day fairytales for adults. After "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult, we could use something not so heavy.
Oh, I know what I wanted to tell you gals about... StoneWood Art Studio. Pat Kester, the scultpure, is my uncle. And his work is AMAZING! Use the link to check out his work. His little page of photos is hosted on my Aunt Heidi's jewelry website. Heidi and I did all the jewelry shows together last year and will be having a Christmas Open House together again this year. Send Pat an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know what you think of his work.
Back to the updates... I will chat more later!
Just a quick second update... the next round of website charges are up! I have added the "Sold Items" page, pages for what's available in the shops I am at and all new stuff added to the bracelets and necklace pages. Tomorrow I will figure out what to do about those wine stoppers and then the neckwires & bangles!
Monday, July 17, 2006
I thought you gals might enjoy seeing some of the custom orders I have been working on this past weekend. This order is for a custom set of "Rain Beads", aren't they beautiful? I am thinking I may do a set in all blues for Ebay, but we will see when I can get to that! LOL!It might be a couple weeks off. I do really love making these beads, no two ever turn out the same AND they are TOTALLY original! I have never seen anything like them anywhere! (Of course now that I say that, they will pop up all over Ebay.)
I did manage to get those 2 orders done that I mentioned yesterday day so now I have 4 down, just 3 to go. Then... I will be able to get these Bead Box beads I have floating in my head out of my brain and into my hands. Man this heat is really getting to me though... it seems the only time I can torch is 6am or 10pm. With the higher temps, it effects the glass more too. It just works a little differently. It doesn't cool as fast when I bring it in and out of the flame to shape it. I know, I am such a cry baby... but I hate HEAT! I lived in Fl and TX for large chunks of my childhood so I know what real heat is and I know what we get up here in NY is nothing compared to there but hey, that's why I live up here!
You remember the "Berry Beads" jewelry I shared before Cornhill? Well a really great woman bought the bangle and asked for a neckwire and corkscrew set to match. SO here is a photo of her new set. Bright and cheerful huh?
So... on to the reason for the post title I have... I was talking to my husband this weekend about some concerns I was having about my jewelry and stuff. I really want to get into more shops in the area and he thinks... "why bother?" He questions why I am so concerned about getting my stuff into shops and letting them take such a huge chunk of my hard work (aka profits). He thinks I need to refocus and clean up my website. He even thinks I should put some of the jewelry on Ebay. SO while this freaking aweful heatwave is on, and since I can't make beads in this heat anyway, I am going to do just what he suggested. I am going to clean up the website. I will add a "Sold Items Gallery" so you don't have to hunt and peck to see what is actually available, I am completely changing the "Earrings" page because, frankly it is extremely outdated. I am doing all wire and glass earrings. Not the beaded stuff you see. Plus, I need to get the "Wine Stoppers" page into an easier to find location too. But for argument sake, I wanted to get in more shops to get my name out there as a jewelry artist. On the other hand, there is something to being available exclusively at one shop. It is a great central location, fantastic environment, and then my jewelry doesn't compete with itself. I don't know, I did get the names of some places from clients that were at Cornhill so I might go after one or two new locations but we will see. There there are the wineries to think about! I talk to them today and let them know since the fall, things have gone in an ALL GLASS direction for me, and they were surprisingly excited for me and can't wait to see what I have been doing. I am going to work at least one day a week on getting a special collection together just for them. Stuff that won't be anywhere else!
Oh... another announcement... I have decided to pass on doing the "Park Ave Festival". It took a lot of internal debate to come to this choice. But I really feel like it is more of a drinking & people watching show then an upscale art festival so I am cancelling. It will also give me more time to prepare for "The Clothesline Art Show" which is held onthe grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery. It's an awesome show! A lot fewer people then Cornhill but just as well respected.
Enough of my babbling for today... the kids are zoning out on video games and thinks it's time I get them swimming. I will let you know when the first of the updates are ready!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
What a fun night the boys had last night! Check out "Camp Bogert". The boys have had loads of pent up energy the past few days and we decided it was time to get out the tent. Ron bought this tent at Target last year on clearance. IT'S HUGE! It can sleep like 10 people! I am telling you right now, I am not a camper. We used to camp when I was little and never had good experiences. One time we went to Mass for a wedding and decided to camp out the week leading up to thte wedding.... 6 inches of rain in 3 days. One time we went for the forth of July to this "great place" about and hour and a half from here... middle of a corn field and 95 for 3 days. See, bad camping experiences. BUT just because I have bad camping times, doesn't mean I don't want my boys to make some memories of there own. Camping out in the back yard is the BEST! This was there very first outside overtnighter. And Ron and I had to go in the house. The boys wanted to be brave all by themselves. You should have heard them running around playing tag in the dark with their flashlights. They had a BLAST! Lauren really really really wanted to camp out too but when the boys were ready to go to sleep, she still wanted to play. So, she had to come in with Mom & Dad. The boys lasted until about 1 am when they just couldn't take the bugs any more. I took their "ghost story telling" pictures and thought they turned out really cool...
Friday night's class went really well. I am so flattered that my students were willing to drive from as far as they did to see little 'ol me. There were four students and each drove from an hour and a half away! And all from opposite corners of the state. They each were able to finish a practice wrapped bangle and their sterling & lampwork bangles in class. I love when the students get to leave with something in their hands. With a progect like the "Sandy Lanterns" bangle, it is all in the coiling. If you can get the coiling down you got it made. And by the time they finished their practice ones, they had it made.
Marilynne, the founder of Studio 34, has really been pushing me to get some class offerings together for the BIG shows next season. She thinks I should teach at Bead & Button in 2008, and at Bead Fest 2007, and the Gathering (a lampwork/glass art show). So who know, I might be sending an email out to those of you who have taken my classes and ask for a letter of recommendation. (You need those with the applications.) Right now, I don't think I could command a room of 20 women but next year, or the year after... definately!
So yesterday, my sister and I went shopping. I have been a little sick and tired of my clothes falling off me, lol. I keep having to pull my pants up, not very becoming. But, alas... no good stuff. It seems we are between seasons at the mall. I got a couple of cute clearance tops but no capris, pants or shorts. I did splurge and get myself some new hipster panties at Victoria's Secret (is that too much informations, lol). Hipsters are the boy short shaped ones. Lots of fun, and very comfortable. Really now, who doesn't LOVE new underwear?
I am plugging away at orders. I currently have 7 on my plate! I have 2 of those finished and hopefully tonight when it cools down, I will be able to polish off two more. I do plan on haveing Bead Box beads this week... definately! But probably not until later in the week. Stay tuned for what I cook up.
Tiome to head back out to the pool. Today is my Father-in-law's 66th birthday... we spent most of the day in my inlaws pull barn where it was 104 degrees! And Butch decided he wanted sauce as his birthday meal. Can you imagine eating pasta and sauce at 2:00 in the afternoon when it is 104!?! I need my pool!
Friday, July 14, 2006
Anyway... I am all prepped for class tonight. I think my students will really like the new spin I have on "Sandy Lanterns". I will bring my camera along to class and take a few pics for you all. I am going to be teaching how to make wire bangles! Isn't that fun!?!
After class I am meeting a girlfriend at Simply Crepes. WE LOVE SIMPLY CREPES!!!! Everytime we go out, we go there. We have a new tradion... see, my birthday is her half birthday and her birthday is my half birthday. So we go out to lunch just the two of us for our birthdays. I can't wait to catch up with her. We live in the same town but both end up getting swept up in day to day life and we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like. So, I am really looking forward to that.
Finally... have you heard about what has been happening to lampworker Debi Manning? Well, it seems she has fallen on tough times and the lampworking community is uniting to try and help her out. Kim Neely of the famous Bluff Road Glass has accepted donations from glass artists around the world (I heard about it too late or I woul dhave sent things too, dang). She has organized the donations into a serious of auctions to raise money for Debi and her son. Most of the auctions have gone way out of my price range but maybe not yours. You can use the link to see the auctions being offered. If nothing else, it is some amazing eye candy and a boost to know what wonderful giving people are out there in the world ready to help a stranger.
See ya tomorrow!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Nothing is going on around here these days. I went and picked up my fuel this morning and spent a few hours making beads this afternoon. I have all the beads ready for tomorrow night's "Sandy Lanterns" bangle class. I made LOTS of extras so after class, I will post the extras in the bead box.
I can't tell you how awesome it felt to get all hot and sweaty at the torch then cool down in the pool when I was done. I just spent a half an hour swimming in circles making a whirpool. (When you don't want to spend an hour vacuuming your pool, make a whirpool and everything goes in the center... then it only takes about 5 minutes to vacuum!) It was soooo refreshing! And relaxing. I love the water, I am such a fish... I hate having to get out. And I have to say, I love the side effects of being stressed lately and having the pool... I have lost about 15 pounds in the past month! I could stand to lose at least another 20, lol (how doesn't think that) but I am not really worried about it. But I think all the swimming is what is doing it, that and the stress of the two previous weeks.
Oh, I know what I was going to tell you about. I was surfing the web this morning and discovered a necklace done by another glass artist that almost exactly matches a sketch I did about 2 months ago. I don't think they copied or anything, it is not that... I am just wondering if I should make that design now? There are definately some differences but the basic concept is very similar. What would you all do? Do any of you keep sketch books with your design ideas? Have you ever thought of something and then seen it somewhere else before you could make it? I would love your feedback!
Finally... Bitty Kitty is in heat... LOL! (See told you this was going to be boring). She is only 5 months old and I am thinking it is early for this but she is coooing and crying and rolling around on her belly sticking her fanny in the air. I called the vet to make her appointment to get fixed but they won't be able to until August. I just hope we don't end up with kittens between now and then. =)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I just love organization... it is silly but seeing things lined up and sorted just gives me such a happy feeling. I get a wonderful sense of calm when everything is in it's proper place. Here is the load of glass I was talking about yesterday. I loved seeing all the blues and greens banded together and the reds/browns/oranges... I just love seeing my rainbow of glass! When I order my glass rods, I usually just order 3-4 rods of this or that color that I am low on. This time around I went nuts and ordered 8-10 rods of lots of colors. Eventually, I will get to the point where I buy colors by the pound, but not quite yet.
I have been surfing other glass artists website for photos of their studios to check out different style rod organizers. Ron plans on building me a second bench this weekend to work with my current one. He thinks I need more surface area. I, of course, agree. While he is at it, he is going to get something together to better organize my rods. I don't remeber which website I found this photo on but, I just love this organizer...
Today is a classic rainy day around here. It was raining when we woke up and it will still be raining at dinner time. So the kids and I will be hanging out, popping popcorn and watching movies. We will probably head over to the library this afternoon too. I think Ron may actually attempt to golf in this rain too, lol. Hardcore golfer that he is just can't get enough of those links. He actually bid on a BROKEN golf club last night! Broken! But he said something about replacing a shaft and grip... my eye just glazed over like his do when I talk about color reactions in glass, lol.
The welding supplier will have my fuel ready tomorrow and also two pounds of new mandrels. I found out that my supplier will make them for just $10 a pound. I have been paying $8 a dozen. There is about 50 rods in a pound! So good little tip there for ya. Get your mandrels made at the welding suppliers. If he doesn't know what you are talking about, bring him a mandrel and show him. Then just tell him to deburr the ends of the ones he cuts.
Alright, I have a sink full of dishes I have been avoiding all morning. I better get to 'em.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Check what appraared over my house last night... an awesome double rainbow! Look how dark the sky in front of the rainbow is compared to the sky in back of it. Can you see both rainbows? One is very very faint. This amazing thing arched across the sky last evening and it was so viberant we thought we could find both ends easily if we went looking :) There was some really wild thunder and lightning for well over and hour before this appreared so the gardens got a great soaking. Just what they needed.
So took yesterday completely off! Well, not completely, the house was a disaster so I spent the morning washing floors, starting laundry, changing bedding and cleaning the bathroom. But after that... I was totally off. I didn't do much in the way of answering emails over the past 4 days because of the show. I had some 67 emails to go through today. Sorry, but I just can acknowledge all the "vote" emails when that happens. So rest assured, I just spent the past half an hour going email by email adding all the votes to the fishbowl. (All votes that came in befor midnight Tuesday, all the Tuesday's votes have been entered in the new drawing.) I am working on responding to everyone who wrote to me. So just be patient, I will get to you! Sorry, I am so behind. After today I will be back on top of things, promise :)
Speaking of those votes... this week's free beads winner is Chrissie K! Congrats Chrissie, your beads are on the way! Thank you thank you thank you to all of you who come to my site everyday and click that button to vote for me. I can't tell you how proud I am to have such loyal customers and friends. I took the photo of the new free beads and I will get them post asap. They are bright and colorful just like I said they would be!
HEY!!!!!!!! The UPS guy just came by!!!!! He just delivered over 300 rods of glass!!!!!!! Eeeeee, I can't wait to get the box opened and hold all the rods and sort them into the color families and pull rods of all the new color combos I have floating in my head. The first of which will be "Vegetable Medley" I am thinking eggplant purple, tomatoe red and carrot orange. I know it sounds strange but I saw the most beuatiful coverlet at Target last week with those colors and I can't get them out of my head. I placed this order for glass last week. I was missing so many colors and decided to just go wild and stock up on everything! I have several orders to work on this weekend, so I won't get to make bead box beads until early next week. But I will! I will let you know when the are ready, of course.
Wow, looking at this box, I think I may need Ron to make me a new rod organizer, lol! I will take some pics for you. Gotta jet.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
*sigh* it's done... Cornhill was such a blast everyone! I loved my experience at the festival this weekend, loved loved loved it! Today was another great day. A LOT of jewelry sold. And the highlight of my weekend, my new hat. Yesterday, while sitting in my booth my sister says to me "oh my god look at her..." and pointed out a stunning young woman in a gorgeous black & white pokadot dress with the most beautiful black mesh hat that had a big over the top bow on it (differnt from the one I am wearing). I said to my sister "I wish I had the confindece to pull off walking around in a hat like that." I had time in later to walk around the block and found "the hat lady". I thought the girl we saw was just extremely fashion forward. But it turns out she was the niece/model for Moira's Millinery. I met Moira and she was just fabulous. I LOVED her hats. Each one was a work of art in my eyes. I thought about those hat all night last night and as soon as I was done setting up the booth this morning, I went back to Moira's and had ber help me pick one out. I never, ever wear hats. I never thought they looked right on me. But I am in love with my new hat. I wore it all day long! (Look at me, I did have the confidence to walk around in a hat like that and just didn't know it!) And I got loads of compliments on it. I had to smile all day! I just snapped this photo in my backyard... the one Bonnie took of me while at the show just looked terrible, lol. I HATE having my picture taken.
Of course, once my sister saw my hat she was smittened too and had to get one for herself. She said as soon as she walked into Moira's booth, Moira said "I have the hat for you...". Doesn't Bonnie look amazing! And check out the new coiled wire earrings of mine she is rocking!
Enough of the hats... I know you all wanna hear about the show. The number one question I was asked today by other vendors was "did you have a good show?" & "did you do well?" And I decided that it is a terrible question to ask because NO ONE wants to say what they made so who knows if it was a "good" show. Good compared to what? I say, yes it was a great show. I had a "goal" of how I hoped to do and I hit smack in the middle. I went through more then 400 business cards and was given endless compliments. A number of my "higher" end piece sold, including "Threads". Which I was actually really sad to see go. But it has a good home in a young fun hip woman who I know I will see again!
I made my sister cry, but in a good way. (If you knew my sister, you would know how rare a thing that is.)The Rochester Breast Cancer Coalition was collecting donations for a silent action and I was handing them jewelry for the auction before they even finished asking and she said that touched her. I was happy to donate. Silly sister. I think deep down she is convinced she will be fighting breast cancer someday so it is a cause close to her heart (don't worry, she is prefectly healthy right now). So, the "Berry Beads" lariat will be auctioned to raise money for breast cancer research.
Oh, the amazing wire jewelry artist... her name is Bonnie Hedden. Go check out www.bonnieheddendesigns.com . Now she warned me, her prices on her website are extra high. If you can make it to see her at a show, you'll get a better price, lol. I told her I would be sending you all to see her. SO if pop into the site and love her jewelry... send her an email, tell her how beautiful it is and tell her I sent you.
I am forgetting all the other things I wanted to tell you about but send me an email, remind me of the questions you all were asking and I will post all the answers. I am off to have another cool refreshing shower and a foot rub before bed!
Saturday, July 08, 2006
SUCCESS!! Cornhill is going awesome everyone! And thanks for all your inquiring emails. I am a little tired but I had a great day so it is all worth it. Now... on to your tour of my booth... First, I forgot to share this with you last weekend. Since this was my first solo show, I needed my very own sign! I painted this last weekend and I love how it turned out. I used the fonts that are on my website and my colorful purple & green stripes. It is painted on canvas with acrylics and sealed with a matte finish. I love my sign.
Here is an shot of my over all booth. Probably the one I will use when submitting applications for shows next year. I wasn't expecting a corner spot and technically it isn't. But because the show mianders through residential street, I just happen to be next to a driveway. I have other photos the show it from the other angle, but it's isn't as exciting, lol. And what you can't see is a big 'ol tree next to the left post of my tent. And you can't see the big branches practically popping through my tent top. I am thankful for that three though... it was HOT today, but beautiful sunny with a cool breeze.
The next couple of shots are just different close ups. Rather then discribing the jewelry (which you all aready know about... ) I will share some tid bits of info that I learned today. Most importantly, serious shoppers come early. People who are at the festival to shop and find great things were there early, some an hour before the show even opened. I made my booth fee back in the first two hours! I continued to sell the rest of the day but it was in ebbs and flows. If there was one person there was suddenly a dozen, if there was no one... there was no one.
Today's HOT SELLERS were definately the earrings and bangles. You can see all the bangles lined up in their holder in this photo. I only have 3 of those left. Earrings went just as well. I have a bunch of the corkscrew ones left and my wire ones but not many of the funky glass ones. SO I will definately be having to make more before the next show.
There are always one or two items that people really really gravitate to. Today it was my "Reach for Stars" bracelet, "Mermaid Rain" bracelet, and "Threads" necklace. Ohhh did they love to pet the thread beads, lol! I saw a lot of my students, who I LOVE seeing. My sister even commented "wow you know everyone". I was "recognized" too! Which totally shocked me. I walked up to a booth and someone actually said to me "hey your Kab's right? I have heard of you... you do amazing work." This was an INCREDIBLE wire jewelry artist. I will get her website for you all tomorrow to check out. There were a lot ( I mean TONS) of jewelry people there. Some out of this world, some I don't know how they got in the show. I was surprised by one piece of jewelry I saw from another glass artist (am not sure who the artist was). But the bracelet's owner let me admire it and I noticed right away that there was still bead release in some of the beads. It was like they soaked them in water but didn't take the time to actually clean them out. I clean all my beads with a dremel and I line the transparent ones with clear nailpolish so there is NO sign of bead release anywhere. It's just lazy bead making not cleaning your beads, no matter how pretty the jewelry is.
I am so thankful to have had my sister, Bonnie, with my today. She still needs to work on her jewelry "know-how", but she is getting the hang of it and I really appreciate the company. Plus my sister is drop dead gorgeous which means guys like coming in the booth and younger girls (20 somethigns) see someone "cool" there so they come in too. It's great!
Alright... time for me to go cool off in the shower and relax before bed. I have loads more to share but that will have to wait for tomorrow! Like the first item that sold, the strange man named Adlof, and all the new tips on shops/galleries I have been given. Oh... I have to say, I had a little while at the very end of the show to walk around the block I was on. I found the most GORGEOUS hand made hats. I am not a hat person, I never wear them, but I can't tell you how tempted I am to buy myself one. Just because I think everyone should have a nice hat. These were just indescribably unique and around $150 each. So if things go as well tomorrow as they did today, I may have a hat photo to show you tomorrow.
Friday, July 07, 2006
I finished a new wire necklace and wire bracelets yesterday. I got all the jewelry labeled, sorted and pack... the van is all loaded up and all that's left are my last minute errands. I need to get to Staples for a couple of things, I need to get snack and drinks at the grocery store, I need to go to the bank and get cash box money... all those little things that are always left to the day before. It's funny, Ron took today off from work so I could get all these little things done, and I have yet too see him for more then 5 minutes today. And it isn't because I have been busy...he went out golfing with my Dad this morning, went to some garage sales, stopped at the store and now he has just left to take Jacob to see Pirates of the Carribean. So... all my running around is going to have to wait until later this afternoon. I am thinking I will work on wire earrings for a while during the wait.
I am hoping to have show photos to share with you when I get home tomorrow night! SO came back and check in.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I promised you all photos of all the stuff I have been working on... for you gals on dial up, sorry, these are going to take a while to load. The first one here is what I did with a bunch of the raku beads I made.
This here is a cluster of what came out of the Berry Beads. I was organizing some of my old jewelry stuff and found a few lariets I had made last season. I thought... well duh... you gotta make a few glass lariets. I had some fun experimenting with make square discs and triangle discs too. I just love these colors.
I played around with stripes again for this bracelet. This time dark red purple, sage green and coral pink. I really like this one, a little bit different clasp too.
I have been working on my off mandrel hearts too. I am really happy with how they are turning out. I have about 5-6 of them made. I loved the two black white and red ones from the newspaper beads but what I really really like is the transparent ones. I can't wait to play with this style more.
One day I decided to do a bunch of oval/eggish shapes. They are smooth and comfortable and just roll so nice on your wrist. I used them to make another lariet too. Love 'em.
Finally... check out the latest wine stopper collection. My favorite is the second on the left. It was a challenge to get those layered dots to do that.
Well, that's not all of it, but it's a chunk of it. Let me know how I am doing. I won't be doing a whole lot more... I ran out of gas! All the torching used it all up. And it take 2-3 days to get a new tank ordered so it looks like I am fresh out of fuel. I will probably go over to the hardware store and pick up a couple of small 1lb tanks to work on some last minute things.
Hope everyone had a fun 4th of July. I posted the new free beads. Go check 'em out. I probably won't be updating much the next couple of days... I will be doing all the last last minute prep things... packing... pricing (I hate that part, I never know what to price a piece.)... going ot the bank... that kinda stuff. I will let you know who everything goes!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Gotta run... I will be back with pics.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Meet my Mom & Dad... aren't they cute? I had to make them today's photo because today is their 30th Wedding Anniversary! They were married July 3rd 1976. My Mom (Carol) was just 17 and two weeks out of high school. My Dad (Tim) was 24, the second oldest of 13 children, and still living at home. Now if my Mom were telling you this, the next sentence would be "No we didn't get married because we had to." Meaning she wasn't pregnant or anything. It was young love. I came around a couple years later, then my sister a couple years after me. Our family has lived all over the country, spending time in Florida, Texas and mostly New York. Our families are all native New Yorkers so no matter how many times we moved, we always came back here to NY. Of course the past 30 years haven't been complete bliss, there were lots of rocky moments. But fortunately love won out in every situation and I have grown up to have a wonderful example of what a good marraige can be. (Except I can gaurentee you, I will not let Ron come home everyday after work and plop down on the couch to eat peanuts while watching golf and serve him dinner. And I can also gaurentee you that Ron will never in a million years let me have 3 dogs and 4 cats either. LOL. We will let them have those little quirks.)
I am continuing to make good beading progress, though I must admit I am a little fried. I can't wait until Thursday, because after that all the jewelry will be packed away. There won't be anymore I can do. It is hard to know just how much to bring with me. I have ideas on how to set up my display. I am thinking I am going to group things by colors. Of course I will be taking dozens of photos so don't worry you will get to see it. I have loads of jewelry but I am not really sure just how much I should be bringing. Time will tell.
Since my Dad is here on the blog with us today, I thought I would share an interesting conversation we had the other day. You all know by now how excited, anxious, thrilled, overwhelmed, and excited I am about Cornhill this weekend. And I told you how that nasty insecure part of me was coming out last week. Well, I was talking to my Dad about it and he thinks it is good. He thinks artist need insecurity. It is what makes us keep evolving and pushing ourselves to do and try new things. He thinks if I was secure and comfortable two things would happen 1 ~ I would get bored and probably quit and 2 ~ my art would be boring and comfortable. I really think he has a good point. I think I need that demon inside my head sayign I am not good enough so that I keep pushing myself to get "good enough". It is just one of the ideas working around in my head that is giving me an eerie calm about the show now. The other is "The Sex & Money Theory". I can't find the link to the site where I say the theory a couple of months ago, but it was really good. The theory goes that there is a "sex" and "money" side to every artist. (ex: a photographer will shoot a catalog layout for JC Penney's during the day - money... and shoot wild nightclub sceens in the evening - sexy.) So I realized... this show is the "sexy" side of me. I get to do whatever I want and really be myself with my own ideas and creations. It isn't the "money" side of my art. (Sorry, but I have to admit, my beads are the "money" side.) So really if I go into Saturday with the additude that I am pushing myself as an artist and growing during the show, and that whatever happens, this is for fun... then it can't possibly be a bad show. *sigh* see... almost no anxiety left. LOL! You know that is just the rationaly right side of my brain talking there, right? LOL! The otherside is still biting my fingernails worried silly. LOL!
I am out to the torch... I will share lots of jewelry pics tomorrow. Come back and check them out.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
I mentioned in the group email that I sent out yesterday that The Annealer has an Auction Boutique. As this month's featured artist, I am also the featured seller. I only found this out on Thursday. You all know how crazily I have been working to get ready for the art show next weekend. And you know I need every bead I can get my hands on... but I decided to start the month off with a set of my "Sandy Lanterns" anyway. I will definately work on getting more sets together for the auction boutique after next weekend. Now I know you all are thinking "why doesn't she list them on ebay?" Well, a lot of glass artists (encluding me) are getting fed up with Ebays ever increasing fees and the overwhelming onslaught of overseas mass glass producers. As a buyer it is becoming damn near impossible to weed through the crap on Ebay and find a good set of beads. And as a seller it is almost impossible to get people to your auctions. So... the Auction Boutique is souly self-representing artist based. There are only handmade artisan goods in the boutique. And I am happy to support a site that supports artists. I hope you will take a few minutes to register (it's free) and bid on my "Sandy Lanterns". Check it out, I think you'll be surprised at the deals you'll find!
Now on to jewelry things... (side note first) last week when we had the highspeed internet connection installed, my husband had them hook it up to the "old" computer. The kids crappy slower then a snail computer I have ranted about before. And he promised to get me a wireless router for my laptop. (I'll believe that when I see it.) Since that router has yet to arrive, I have been having to climb under the computer and disconnect the cables then reconnect them to my computer everytime I want to use my laptop. Which is fine, but this morning, I am just not in a crawling under furniture mood (maybe by lunch time I will be) so all the pretty jewelry photos on my laptop will just have to wait. But I promise... I will share them soon. I have more bracelets and loads of earrings too.
Ron went golfing with my Dad at 5:30 this morning (psychos) but I have been told they will be done and home by 10am. As soon as the wheels hit the drive way, I will be firing up that torch! I would love it if you gals would send me some color combo ideas. I have been torching day and night and I am starting to run out of ideas. Usually I have days in between to get inspired by things, I am hoping you all will have ideas that get me going! Overwise, I will play with frit. Which isn't at all a bad thing... but come on people... send me a combo!