Monday, December 31, 2007


I know it is the last day of the year and I should be reflective and all.... but I am actually feeling really fresh and excited! So why not end 2007 with a new design? Why wait until tomorrow, saying I made it in 2008? LOL!

I have hinted for a few weeks that I have lots of new designs in my sketchbook. And yesterday (while the mousse was setting and my kids were sticking their fingers in it) I finally got a chance to just sit at my desk and play. It has literally been weeks since I could just sit, without expectations, and play with my wire. This new piece is one that has been floating on the edges of my thoughts, working itself out (fabrication wise), and teasing me as it was there.

Come on Kerry, make me... make me... it'll only be a minute.
No bangle you have to wait... I have to get these orders done.

This started formulating in my head one day when I was browsing the BeadingDaily website. They have loads of free tutorials, including one of mine! If you hunt, you'll see my tutorial that was featured on the Step By Step Beads website for making Disc Beads. The project, Gypsy Wire Bangle, really stuck with me. I really like the technique the author used to make loops on the bangle base for adding embellishments. But how to make it my own?

I didn't think just adding lampwork beads was enough to really make it my own. Rather then making a full bangle, all the way around, I decided to go back to my Sandy Lanterns style bangle (Step By Step Wire Spring 2007 & Step By Step Jewelry Holiday Edition 2007).

Ta Da!! Now it is more my own!!

I made the base bangle about a week ago and waited on the beads. Lots of different ideas popped into my head and I don't really know what made me go with these beads. But dang if it isn't the absolute funnest bangle I have seen in a long time!! I am thinking of calling it "The Cup Cake Bangle". I just found this new (to me) blog by Betz White and I love those felted cupcakes, plus I think these bead clusters look like these fabulous cakes at Cake Nouveau. Check out the "Kerrytown" cake on page two!! Or the "Cuppy Cakes" on page four. But, Ron hates the name so it might get changed... who knows.

Warning about this little number... it is an attention getter. It is one you'll be playing with (I sat at a green light for an extra 15 seconds or so yesterday playing with it, lol) too. It looks like it would get in the way of things and I'll admit, it bugged me when I was wearing my coat (my sleeve kept shifting it) but I will say, the minute I took my coat off at the party I went to, it was fine. Family picnics are a good test for any piece of jewelry in my opinion... we played games... we drank wine... we ate tons of good food... we chatted with our hands... we gave lots of hugs... and not once did it bang something, get stuck on something, and put itself in any sort of peril. So I say it is a keeper!! This is a really terrible photo of me wearing it, it really looks so much cooler in person!!

Who caught that? Did you read that closely enough... I said I sat and played with wire yesterday but I also said I made the bangle base last week.... hmmm... I wonder if that means I will have new designs tomorrow too?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Random Life Question

Why do kids think it is okay to open the refrigerator door and stick their fingers into fresh cups of mousse made for a family picnic just hours later?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Never Tired

I have been making these Playground pieces for over a year now and I still love every one of them I make. I know it doesn't sound like all that long a time, but coming from someone who bores very very easily, doing the same thing for a year is saying a lot.

I have been working on this custom Playground Necklace for the past three days. I am so very thrilled with how it turned out. I am lovin' the colors in it. I used persimmon red, coral orange, squash yellow, lime and grass greens, sky blue, light turquoise and dark periwinkle. And that was just the opaques. I also have transparents in ink blue, teal, grass green, light blue, and red.

Anne at AnneMade Jewelry gifted me a fabulous sheet of gradated photographic paper. I have read that when applying to juried art shows, it is better to have a black to white background then to have a solid white. Solid white is like flipping the lights on in a dark room. They make the jurors' eyes hurt. So... in my never ending pursuit of the perfect set of jury slides... I give you photo one and photo two.

Hey... if you were me and... you were having slides made and... you could only pick one of these two photos... which would you choose? The top one or the bottom one? Leave your choice in the comments!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back On Track

You know, lots of people ask me if I give glass and/or jewelry as gifts. Usually not. I don't know why but I think that would be too easy and not all that thoughtful. My family and friends can get jewelry from me any day of the week, so why would they want to open something like that on a holiday? Well, I guess if I made something totally different, that they have never seen before that required lots of effort and it is super special... then I would make it. That is what today's photo is!! Those are hair sticks that I made special for my sister. She loved them!! She also was the recipient of that first time knitting project I showed and a homemade artist smock.

Things are slowing getting back on track around here. We had a wonderful Christmas. The kids were up bright and early (7am) and they ripped through all the gifts by 8:30, lol. It is okay though, I think getting everything open fast means more family time. We get to have playtime together. We have been playing Othello, and riding the boys new RipStiks. I have been mesmerized for the past two days with Andrew's new Rubik's Cube... but I am very happy to announce that I solved that bad boy a few minutes ago thanks to, lol. I wouldn't have been able to go on with my life had it not been solved.

For Christmas dinner we travelled up to the city to my sister's apartment. (When I say "up to the city", I mean to Rochester, about a 20min drive, lol.) It was her first ever holiday hosting!! She was so excited to get to have everyone over to her house for once. It just isn't fair that the single member of the family always has to travel to where the families are. I think it will be a new tradition to travel to the single gal's for a holiday at least once a year!! Bonnie spoiled me with the best gift!! She painted me a pair of Mark Groaning inspired windows. I love them and can't wait to have them hanging in the studio.

I know I have been saying it for a few weeks now, but... I AM working on new designs!! Really, I am. I don't think right after Christmas is the best time to share them. I am sure every one's wallets were stretched thin filling all those stockings. But, I will share photos anyway as I finish them, and give details about when they will be available. I am working on color combos for "The Spring/Summer '08" line too. I would love to hear suggestions!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Recess

It seems I have neglected my blog for a few days. And I thought I should pop in to let you know I am going to neglect it for a few more. We are doing fun holiday family stuff. I have Christmas tunes on, sugar cookies in the oven, spagetti sauce on the stove and the kids are going crazy all around.

Enjoy your Holiday!! How ever you celebrate it!! And I'll see ya in a few :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Favorites

Everyone else is doing it, so I guess I should too, lol. No, I wouldn't jump off a bridge too. But suggestions for blog topics are always welcome things. :) Lots of bloggers are sharing their favorite holiday things and I figure I should share too.

My favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Story with It's A Wonderful Life a close second. Though, for some reason, the movie Jack Frost always makes me cry. Poor kid with his harmonica wishing his dad would come back after he dies in a car accident.... it is enough to make anyone shed a tear or too. LOL.

My favorite holiday beverage is Peppermint Mochas at Starbucks. I love peppermint... peppermint is my favorite. I would bath in peppermint if I could. I want a peppermint plant (do those even exist?). And right up there with peppermint with Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls. I freaking love those things. I could eat a hundred. You know those... a ball of peanut butter dipped in chocolate, chilled and served on cookie dishes. Yummy.

My favorite holiday gift I have ever gotten... tough one. I remember so many!! There was the New Kids on the Block tee shirt when I was 10. There were those homemade pj pants from my Mom a few years back made out of Valentine's fabric (I am a Valentine's baby, remember), they were so warm and snugglely. Oh, Ron got me that towel bar one time (insert eye rolling here). I am teasing him. My most favorite thing Ron ever made me was the glass rod holder for my desk. That was the year he really embraced the idea that I might be able to make this glass thing work. And that was a huge gift.

My favorite holiday song... the Trans-Siberian Orchestra one... that one with the electric guitars... I always forget the name of it... I think it is the bells song. Love that one.

Hmmm.... movies, food, gifts and music... any other favorites I should have included? I mean there is silly things and sappy things, of course. I love the sound of the kids sneaking down the hall in the morning to see if Santa came. I love seeing what is in my stocking. I love it when it snows. I love the kid-made ornaments that come home from school. I love trying to stump my Dad on what is in his gift... he always seems to be able to guess.

I would love to hear your favorites... leave a comment!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where is my torch?

Have you seen my torch? No? Me neither!! I haven't gotten to sit behind my torch and make beads in what feels like ages!! It's actually been more like a week or so but still, I miss it. I think this hiatus will prove to be a blessing in disguise. The more I am away, the more ideas I am getting for things I want to do when I get back to it.

I guess there is no real rush to get back though. Last week's Bead Box update was a huge success (THANKS TO YOU ALL!!) and eBay stinks at the moment. So anything I would be making would be for me. Well, there are those few "I'm-in-no-hurry. Get-to-it-when-you-can." orders that came in last week. Once those are done though... nothing to do but play with glass!!

I am in the midst of pre-holiday frenzy. Who isn't, right? But I have a list, I have checked it twice (gotta make sure everyone is getting their fair share). I know which kids were naughty (no PS2 games under the tree this year, I am tellin' ya) and which ones were nice (I can't wait to hear Lauren squeal when she opens her new doll house). The boys pj's are all done and wrapped up under the tree. Lauren's poncho is finished too. And anyone else's gift I am making, I can't talk about because I don't trust people not to check here to see what they are getting. (Mom, I am talking to you.)

Tomorrow night is the annual Book Club holiday get together!! We are headed up to Bisque & Brush, another Paint Your Own Pottery type place. I am bringing something very chocolaty and a yummy bottle of red wine. The party place happens to be round the block from my sister, so I think we are hitting her place for our after party/book exchange.

I feel this may be one of the most boring blog posts I have had in a while! LOL!! I hemmed and hawed all day about what to write. Oh well... maybe I will have something more clever for you tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sorta Snowed In

I am guessing you all have heard about the snow here in the NorthEast. I try not to have too many weather report blog posts but getting 15+ inches of snow in a day can't go unposted.

Views from the backyard::

The kids were thrilled this morning when they heard school was cancelled. It was more for the high winds then the snow. You can see the wind on the surface of the snow in the last picture. The drift there around the pool is about 3 feet high. We actually got a lot less then was predicted. I really enjoyed staying inside yesterday... all lazy in my pjs for hours on end. I finished up some of the projects I was working on and got to start a few more.

I am hearing the call of my torch. I can't decide what I want to work on. I have a couple orders that need finishing up. But more then anything, I want to play with some rods of Goldstone glass that I bought last week. I don't usually do gold, but this glass is so sparkly, I couldn't resist. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa Talk

I have been reading on a few different blogs about parents having "The Santa Talk" with their kids. I thought I would share our experiences with that talk around here.

When I was little... I got the Santa talk well after I knew. I would say I was 9 or 10. It is the reason I got the talk that is the story. We had, in the living room, one of those old style black trunks with the brass rivets all around the edges. You remember those. It was Mom's classic gift hiding spot, although I didn't know it at the time. One evening, I remember getting in sooooo much trouble because I was accused of going in that truck and moving the Christmas presents around. I swear upside down and backwards that I never touched that trunk!! But that lead to the talk. (Turns out... years later... that it had been my little sister, Bonnie, that was snooping in the trunk!!!)

My Dad told me how knowing the truth about Santa is a very very big deal. It sort of inducts you into a special club. And as a member, you are responsible for continuing to keep the magic alive for others. I take the advice my Dad gives very seriously. He is sensible and rational... having led a life what I think would have been very much like Ralphie's in A Christmas Story (only times 6 because he was one of 13 kids). When he told me that I was waiting too long to tell Jacob about Santa, at first I thought he was ridiculous... then I found out he was right. Dad insisted he knew as young as 1st grade.

Jacob got "The Santa Talk" in 3rd grade (Christmas 2005). I remember it like it was yesterday. It went something like this

While driving at night to something on a wintry evening....

Mom: "Hey Jacob, what do you think about Santa?"
Jacob: "I don't know."
Mom: "I think you are old enough now to be let in on a secret. But if I tell you, you have to promise not to tell Andrew. If I tell you, you are part of a special club and you have to help me. Do you want me to tell you?"
Jacob: "Yeah, tell me..."
Mom: insert the big news here... "... did you know?"
Jacob: "Yeah, I already knew... David & Caitlin told me last summer... but I wasn't sure."
Mom: "So do you think you can be my helper and help keep it magical for Andrew and Lauren?"
Jacob: giddy with the idea of getting to be in on a magical secret "Sure!"
Mom: "So, are you okay with me telling you?"
Jacob: "Well, I am kinda sad he isn't real, but I am glad you are done lying to me."

That last line always makes me laugh when I retell it to anyone. There was more to the conversation then just that, but you get the gist. Now... on to Andrew. My Andrew is in 3rd grade... same age Jacob was. To tell or not to tell... that is the question. Andrew's personality is so very different from Jacob's. I have been asking sly questions giving him every opportunity to ask me out right... he hasn't done it.

So I pinned Jacob down and asked...
Mom: "Does Andrew know? Tell me the truth."
Jacob: "He has no idea."
Mom: "Are you sure?"
Jacob: "Really Mom, he doesn't know."
Mom: "Do you think I should tell him?"
Jacob: "No."
Mom: "Why not?"
Jacob: "Two reasons... one: because he doesn't know already... I already knew. Two: I don't trust him... he'll tell Lauren."

And that is where we are at this year. Jacob knows, he has known (from me) since he was 8. He, at 10yrs old, is still excited at his club membership and actually helped the other two to write their Santa letters on the computer this year. Andrew is 8 and has no clue. And Lauren expects him to arrive any day now, lol. The more I think about it... Andrew will probably never get "the talk". I think we will just let time go by, let him learn on his own, and let him come to us. If he asks, we'll tell.

I would love to hear your Santa Talk experiences!! Please share!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Piece by piece

This week has turned into crafting central!! My Stars!! Is this an art bead blog or a craft one? I hope you'll bear with me while I let other things take over my creativity until the 25th.

I have projects all other the place. I feel like I am in a creation tidal wave. I have my secret knitting project for a mystery recipient going. And as I knitted the other day, I decided that I don't just want to make things for the usual people that I make for (Mom, Dad & Sister), I want to make things for Ron & the kids too. Things that aren't from Santa... things that MOM made special because she loves them.

So, I started to crochet Lauren a poncho. I am modifying a pattern I found online to make it little girl size. It is a wonderful purple color (I'll share pics when it is done) and I think I'll be adding a yummy glass button to it. And I have decided to make the boys pajama pants. I usually get them each a couple pairs from Old Navy, but there is no reason I can't do it myself. For Ron, he is tougher. I haven't really narrowed that one down yet. I am thinking maybe matching PJ pants to go with the boys'.

I know what you are thinking... "Kerry, what does matching pjs and a poncho have to do with these quilt pictures?" These are what I spent my morning doing with my Mom. She come by earlier and we spent a few hours piecing together the face of a quilt she is working on. She had all the blocks ready and we sewed them together, adding all the edging. I love my multicolored pins don't you?

All this making of things has me wondering what kind of homemade projects you all are working on? Drop me a comment and let us know! Are you making your own Christmas cards this year? Are all your sisters getting pretty jewelry you made? Did you knit or crochet some goodies? Are you painting your own Christmas village houses? Don't worry, I don't blame you if you are having a store bought Christmas! Goodness knows I have made more trips to Target in the past 2 weeks then I would like to count and I don't even want to know what the credit card bill is going to look like!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Me & Knitting

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't knit. I find it fascinating, I mean I don't have anything against it personally. But what can I say, we learn from those we love and my Mom crochets... so I don't knit.

I have attempted to learn in the past. There was this one time over margaritas.... lets just say that margaritas clog the mind and just cause you were doing it the night before, doesn't mean you can do it the next morning. And we'll leave that margarita story at that.

I have struggled with what to do/make for someone special this holiday (who shall remain nameless just in case she pops in here). She is picky, and moody, but very dear to me. I like to make things and just couldn't think what to do for her. During an exceptionally long Esty daydream (aka surf session), I found a bunch of really cool capelets. What is a capelet you ask? Well, basically it is a shoulder wrap. I decided that was it... the thing I had to make the mystery gift recipient.

I stared long and hard at lots of different capelets and decided I couldn't do a make shift crocheted Kerry version. It was time to try again at knitting. I winged over an email to my good friend and favorite knitter, Lindsey. And yesterday we made a whole day of it!!

There is a local yarn shop going out of business. Everything is 50% off... YOO HOO!! We loaded our girls in the van and headed out on the knitting adventure. I found lots of beautiful yarn (the one above it Gedifra Byzanz #1645, I love the little flecks of metallic) for this project and future ones. And I might even go back again tomorrow. We then hurried back to town, dropped Lauren at preschool, and hit the local Panera for my first lesson. After all the yarn shopping, we had to have hot chocolate!!

Lindsey is a wonderful teacher. She taught me all the things she said she wished someone taught her when she was learning. I can cast on all by myself (don't I sound like I'm 4 yrs old... "all by myself"), I can knit in one direction and purl in the other. AND most importantly, I don't freak out when the needles fall out, lol. AND I can do it at home with out her watching me!! Next lesson will be finishing it off, cause this little number is almost done.

Now don't be going all crazy. I don't want any questions about needle size, yarn gauge, stitch size or the number of rows. This knitting thing is just like when I learned to play the clarinet in 4th grade. I couldn't read a note of music, I played by ear.... right now, I couldn't read a pattern to save my life, I am knitting by sight, lol. But I am very very happy to have a warm and snuggly new winter pass time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beads Beads Beads

Alrighty then... the beads are up... go nuts!!

I kinda wimped out on descriptions last night so I will elaborate here. As I was going along (all last week) I thought I was being inspired by my painted chairs that I use at art shows. But then I started grouping the beads and I thought they were looking more like quilt blocks. Cool huh?

I toyed with lots of new designs. My favorite is the "quilted" or "tuffed" style beads that are in Quilter's Block 1 & 2. I also had fun making lines wiggle instead of perfectly straight. You are gonna see things that I have never offered before too. Like HOLLOWS, yoo hooo!! I think I have finally started getting consistent size and wall thickness on these so I can now start work on my hollow necklace (can't wait). Oh, and BUTTONS!! I get asked all the time (I mean a lot) if I sell buttons. I made a set of BIG discs, wired them up and ta da... buttons!! And how could I forget... BHBs... big hole beads!

I could think of cool things to do with any (and all) of these beads. I hope you'll love 'em too!!

Quilter's Blocks

I'll be listing these and loads more beads at 11:00am EST. Watch for them!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Wish List

Many times when I am bored (aka avoiding things like working or laundry, HA!) I find myself wasting lots and lots and lots of time lost in the land of Etsy.

I thought it would be fun, since 'tis the season for wish lists, to show you the things on Etsy that have me drooling. I get to kill two birds with one stone for this... I will get my daily fill of cool etsy-ness and my family gets to see the things I am wishing for. Not that I would want them to buy any of this stuff... lol. I like wishing for these things... I find these things inspiring visually... but, lots of it is just stuff. I have no place for it and I don't know what I would do with it.

So just have fun browsing...

A Wildly Colorful Hat ~ Quilts for the kids beds ~ Some Recycled Art ~ Funky Felted Jewelry ~ Art to Inspire Beads ~ Groovy Carpet Bag ~ More Funky Felted Jewelry ~ A Scarflette I could make myself but don't have the time to do ~ Lampwork Necklace (GORGEOUS) ~ Commission a protrait by this artist ~ Crazy Circle Art ~ Another Cool Bag ~ Mod Mugs (Too Cool) ~ Strapping Tunic ~ Retro Ray Guns (I don't let the kids play with guns but you gotta admit, these are cool) ~ Dots Dots Dots ~ Painted Pottery

That should keep you busy for a while.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Dress

Lauren and I sewed a dress today. Well, I sewed a dress for Lauren this morning. She hung out next to me and got a burned nuckle from getting to close to the iron.

I love that she lets me play dress up with her like this. Purple swirls and lots of purple stripes!! Can you tell she is a Kab's kinda girl? She picked the fabrics!

I wonder if she'll let me make her prom dress?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Working On It

Here are a few of the beads sitting in my cleaning bowl waiting to be strung and photographed. I am playing with brights and my Zoozii's Kalera Long & Lean press. And I am using my show chairs as inspiration!!

I know they don't look like much right now... but you just wait... they'll be too cool when they are ready to post!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Playground Evolution

I have been thinking for some time now that I needed a way to take my Playground bracelets (and necklaces) to the next level. Why, you say? For one... doing the same thing endlessly is boring. It has been a year since my 1st Playground piece. Another good reason, with the article out in Step By Step Beads, they are sure to be springing up all over the place. It is time to give them a new look.

It has popped into my head a few times that I should some how add wire to the mix. It has been popping in my head for about 3-4 months now, lol. Hey, I have been busy!! Over the weekend I was working on Bead Box Beads. Yesterday, when I went to the kiln to pull out the beads from Sunday, there was a full set of discs. I had intended to put them in the Bead Box, but something about them said "no Kerry, you wanna use us... you love us too much... don't let anyone else have us...". How can you tell talking beads no?

So, I started this bracelet the same way I do all my Playgrounds, with the button knot clasp loop. And then I started making 2 inch long coils of colored wire on BIG mandrels. I had to use a larger mandrel so that the cording would slide in easy. As I was knotting things on, I thought "hey, I should put jump ring on to add dangles... oh or add discs on their sides!!" And I did. Funny how not planning ahead goes though. When I made the beads they were a set for someone to buy, not for this bracelet. So I had made an even dozen. But I realized about 1/2 way through the bracelet that this new design needs about 18-19 beads. Luckily I had some spares on my desk that worked as the filler I needed.

The colors are fun. I used transparent dark lavender (which is nightmare to photograph, it looks gray under my 5000K lights), opaque lavender, turquoise, gray and transparent gray too. Where did the color combo come from? I think I have used it before, actually. BUT, I will give some credit to someone else... you know on Etsy how you "heart" people. I found the coolest glass artist who hearts me and I hearted her back. She has fabulous jewelry... check out Kristin Perkins Glass. She had THESE earrings with lavender, turquoise and sage. I replaced the sage with gray and ta da... my color combo. Kinda reminds me of THESE I made in February.

Oh, something else I should tell you... these aren't going to be the color for the Bead Box update, lol. Oops. I changed my mind. It is okay. I hadn't made a ton of beads in these colors... just a couple. And I am not thrilled with the other ones. Yesterday afternoon when I set to torching, I decided to pull out my BRIGHTS. That is what you all said you wanted anyway... remember the last update? Because of the sudden change in color plans, and because I am out of O2 again, I am going to plan on doing the Bead Box update on Monday. I'll share some previews later in the week. :) I'll give you a hint though... I am using the patterns on a painted project last May as the inspiration.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Festive Freebies

Don't you just love post titles that have "free" in them? LOL. Yesterday, while it was blowing and snowing out, I made these adorable Christmas ornaments. Well, at least, they are adorable to me. I over estimated the amount of fabric I needed and ended up with a couple dozen!!

I thought to myself... what am I going to do with all these ornaments? Let Lauren give them to her friends at school? Put them in Christmas cards? Oh wait, I know... I'll give them to my customers!! After setting aside ones for my family, ones for friends... I have about a dozen extra and enough fabric to make a few dozen more.

So here is the deal... as my way of saying HAPPY HOLIDAYS and THANK YOU... all month long (until Dec 31st) there will be free shipping on any website purchase and I'll send you an ornament too. YOO HOOO!!! All you have to do is put the coupon code: kabsholiday in the box when you check out. I don't have much experience with these coupons, so if it doesn't work, don't fret... I'll refund for shipping.

Now, I know what you are thinking... "yeah Kerry, that is awesome, but you have like nothing on your website". Oh don't be silly... I posted new things everyday last week!! There are earrings HERE & HERE. There are new necklaces HERE and HERE. There are bracelets HERE. PLUS... I plan on having new Bead Box Beads by the end of the week!! So there are plenty of goodies to go around!!

A little about the ornament itself... SouleMama is a blog I check out daily. I love Amanda's photograph and creative approach to life. HERE she shared about some of the holiday projects her and her little ones are working on. I loved the little stackable fabric Christmas Tree her son made for the table. I clicked the link to the Stacking Fabric Tree Tutorial, it looked easy-peasy. When I was out and about getting some paintable wooden ornaments for the kids at JoAnn Fabrics, I grabbed 3 fun fat quarters just for these. Our family exchanges handmade ornaments every year, so I knew I would make a much smaller version of the project. I think they turned out so cute!!

I wanna say a quick, yet HUGE, thanks for all your thoughtful posts this weekend about my idea of creating a "line". I think you all hit the nail on the head with "what could it hurt to give it a try". So that is the new plan!! I will spend the winter designing and creating the line and launch it late winter for early spring/summer. I'll still be making other jewelry as we go along too. Hopefully it is a win/win for everyone!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Drawing A Line

I have had something on my mind for several weeks now. I have been waiting to discuss it. I wanted to talk about it on a Friday because I want you all to think about it and give me some feedback/thoughts. Today seems like as good a Friday as any so... here goes.

I am thinking about developing a "Line" of jewelry.

What is a line? Well, for me, it would mean selecting several of my more basic (easily reproduced) designs and making a given number of them for resale. Off the top of my head, I am thinking I would use "Two Fors", "Spinners", "Fangle Bangles", and "Flings" (and a few more that are in my sketchbook too). I would research and design specific seasonally appropriate color combos. So for example... I would come up with 3-4 color combos for spring/summer "Two Fors", make 10-12 of them, and those would be the only ones of those colors available for that season. In my mind, all the jewelry would work together as a group. Meaning the colors I use for "Two Fors" would work with the colors I make the "Fangle Bangles" in.

Why do I want to create a line? Hmmm... good question. It seems to make sense from a business stand point. I would be making myself much more marketable if I had a line. I would be able to more easily put together promotional packets to send to galleries and boutiques. I would then be able to more readily fill orders for them too. I think it would take a lot of the stress out of preparing for a show as well. One of the things that I find stresses me most about show prep is the need to constantly reinvent myself and my designs. I have to fill a booth with as many pieces as I can (theoretically) but often times I run out of ideas. I think replenishing the line would be easier.

How could you give up your one-of-a-kind creations? Well that is the thing... I wouldn't. It would be my plan to use the line as filler with my OOAK things. I would still do wild and over the top creations. I would still embrace my "Kabs" style. And I even think that having some of the pressure off of needing to make a dozen different things would free up my mind to design more new things.

Okay so why haven't you done it already? I don't really have a good answer for this other then that I want to get some input from you all. You readers are the ones that buy so much of my work. Do you buy my things because they are OOAK? Would you still want a design that there maybe a dozen more of out there in the world?

Other things floating randomly through my head.... I am only one person, I can't continue to grow my business if I don't come up with a way to make more things... then again, I get moody when pigeon holed, could I commit to doing a line... am I selling out if I create a line... I would still only make OOAK bead box sets... no lampwork bead lines. I am a little excited at the idea of a line because of getting to "launch" the new designs and colors of each season. It would be something to look forward to, and I would love to see what people end up going for and what everyone hates, lol.

I found several interesting articles at Lapidary Journal's website. Have a look: Balancing Art and Business, and Supporting Inspiration (I really got a lot out of this one).

Okay, so now you have an assignment. Think on this... and let me know your thoughts!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Zoning Out

Ever have a day go by and wonder where it went? I woke this morning with every intention of getting loads done today. Suddenly it is dark out and the day is gone.

Hmmm, lemme see if I can figure out where it went...

The boys surprised me by reminding me that they had a half day of school. It is parent teacher conference time again. Our conference isn't until next week so that is the excuse I'll use for not remembering today was a day off, lol.

Lauren and I tidied up, folding laundry and making beds. We did some sweeping and dishwashing too. By the time we got through that, the boys were back home. Right about the time they were walking in the door, I had started cleaning the studio. I can't even tell you what kind of disaster was down there. And I realized I had been avoiding it, so the least I could do was have it clean down there while I avoid it. LOL.

I threw everyone in the car for some grocery shopping. You can imagine what a joy that was with 3 kids, but is was actually not too bad. Ron is going to a poker game tonight so I let everyone pick out personal pizzas for dinner. I'll be getting those started when I am done blogging. Other things we picked up bread, cereal, snacks... oh! and cream soda!! It was on sale, I love it!!

Okay now my guilty pleasure of the day... something I haven't done in ages... after groceries were away, I let the boys get out the Playstation 2 while Lauren and I snuggled to watch The Little Mermaid on my bed. And... I fell asleep. LOL... yep, I took a good old fashion nap. Can you believe it? Anyone else get a nap anymore? Two hours later I could barely pull myself out of bed... curse that down comforter. I know I am going be up all night, lol. Good thing the studio is clean, I can go play!!

So that's it... my day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Hey... did you notice I added another publication to the big list on the right? A few months ago I sent an email to Beadwork magazine with an offer to donate my beads to "The Challenge". The Challenge is a feature that appears in every issue. Artists send in three matching sets of beads, then 3 different designers come up with projects for those beads. It is always interesting to see how each designer tackles the projects.

I heard back pretty quickly from one of the editors at the magazine. They would love to use my beads for The Challenge, but the wait list is up to Summer 2009. I said OKAY! Put me on the list. A few days later the editor contacted me again. She said that she had shown my work to an editor at Stringing magazine. They loved my beads and asked if I would send in THESE beads for their "Beads To Buy" department. They said the beads looked very "outer worldly" and that they would fit their "Celestial" theme perfectly.

Naturally, I couldn't refuse! I was honored!! But, the beads they wanted had sold months earlier. I set to making a new set, just for them, with it's own color scheme. I took out the coral orange of the original set and replaced it with lime green. Fun huh? You'll have to excuse the poor image quality of the photo above, I know it is tiny. It is from the Stringing website. It is an excerpt from the page of beads to buy. Look close and you can see my beads right there in the bottom middle.

I always find it amusing when I read the changes that the editors make to my submissions. "Frozen Branches" was changed to "Dancing Arces"... "Hip To Be Square" was changed to "Connecting The Dots". And now my "Orbiters" were said to be inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Nights". I guess I can see where they got that idea, lol.

Now, I bet you are wondering what will happen to these beads next. The editors are actually using them at the magazine for a project in an up coming issue of something. I don't have any of the details yet, but once I have them, I'll let you know!

In other beady news... I plan to get to the torch and start work on new Bead Box Beads today. I have no idea what I will work on... if you have suggestions for what you would like to see, PLEASE, leave a comment. I recently bought some of Double Helix's new glass Terranova... maybe I will play with that!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Puppy Love

About a month ago, I told y'all my Mom's basset hound, Wilhelmina, had a litter of puppies. All this time I have been forgetting to share pictures of them with you!! The kids and I go to visit them about once a week. They have gotten so cute. They are now 5 weeks old and in a few more weeks, they will be ready to go to loving homes. One little boy and girl are headed to Canada. I think I heard one is heading to New Jersey. And one is staying local. There are 7 all together!!

Mom thinks she can send one over here and they are cute and all, but nope... a puppy isn't for us right now. Even if the Christmas timing is perfect, lol. I could put one in a hat box like on Lady and The Tramp, lol! Maybe someday.

Hey, if you are thinking of getting a puppy and you can't resist the love and warmth of a hound dog... send me an email. I will get you my Mom's information. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Playing Elf

I know I ranted a few weeks ago about department/discount stores shoving holidays down your throat months before the actual day. And I know I said that I didn't want to hear a note of Christmas music until Dec 1st. BUT, I seem to have been hit on the head with a shooting star or something and doused in Christmas spirit.

We had a slightly troubling weekend with some petty family drama about the coming holiday. I was really bothered by it and decided that I needed to remind myself what is most important to me about this time of year. For me, it's the magic I see in my kids. I love their awe at something sparkling and the twinkle of excitement they get. Seeing them wonder at the magic of it all makes me feel so good.

Last year, I threw out the Christmas lights we usually hang outside. (Sorry Lindsey, I won't do it again!) Most all the bulbs were blown and 90% of the strands didn't light up. So, at dinner, we put things to a vote... should we get white, bright or blue lights for the house this year? It was 4 to 1 for brights. Poor Jacob was the odd man out having wished for blue lights. I decided to surprise him with his very own blue Christmas.

Lauren and I went to the store this morning and bought a mini (fake) Christmas tree ($5), a single strand of blue lights ($2) and a box of mini blue bulbs ($2). We also bought the lights for outside while we were there too. While Lauren was at preschool and the boys at school, I put on some elf ears and set to work. I decked the tree out in blue and set it up on Jacob's dresser in a spot where Andrew gets to see it from his bed too (they share a room). I had an old one that I set up in Lauren's room for her too. I hung the Christmas wreathe (photo above) on our front door and put the lights up on the house too!!

The whole day made me want to hum Christmas carols and drink peppermint mocha coffee. I feel so warm and cozy. And it has helped ease me tension over the trials of this weekend. I hope I can make this last until the 25th!

Friday, November 23, 2007

White Friday

We aren't having a "Black Friday" here... we are having a very white one! Late yesterday, the rain changed to snow and we have about 3 inches of fluffy stuff outside. The kids are so excited to get out and do the first snowboarding of the year.

Me, on the other hand, I am doing what I love today when it snows. I am curled up inside with hot coffee. I am working on a very over due website update. I took about 100 pictures already. I am sorting through them, editing and description writing. There are necklaces, bracelets, bottle caps and earrings coming your way!!

The photo for today is of "Fiesta Too". Anyone remember me necklace from the summer of 2006 called "Fiesta"? I told y'all a few weeks ago that I would be revisiting some of my old creations and that is just what I did in this case. I decided to go with egg shaped beads instead of the pressed lentils. I can't really tell you why, I just did, lol. I like all the lines and dots. The patterns a bold and graphic, but simplistic at the same time. Just a fun, fabulous necklace!! (Hmmm... might make a good Holiday present for someone special... hint hint)

Keep your eye on my site... there will be loads of things posted over the next couple hours/days.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! From The Bogerts to YOU!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sisterly Things

Happy Birthday Dear Sister,

Yep, my little sister is now another year older. The kids and I (they are off from school for the next 5 days) popped in for an afternoon-present-drop-off-visit. It is so weird/funny to see kids in my sister's appartment... it is always a hoot. We set her up with everything she needs to get started painting. She has been pine-ing after an easel and paints for months... now she has it. If she comes up with anything worth sharing, I will be sure to post it. I have my fingers crossed that she has a bit of the artistic gene too. How great it will be to support her in art as she has supported me!!

Other then that, it really is a nutty week and weekend to come. Things are down right frantic and I am at a loss for clever commentary. So, I hope y'all don't mind if I do just a little photo sharing minus the writing over the next few days. Besides... you all are frantic with your own family things, you don't need to be reading my blog!!

Go give thanks for something!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seeing Red

Hmmmm... I wonder if I am starting to really like red or if I am feeling a little holiday-ish?
Resin setting trouble solved... and new bottle caps will be posted soon!! With lots of intense color... I love intense colors.

Monday, November 19, 2007

21 Discs

Wouldn't it be wonderful if this post was about 21 new lampwork discs I made? Unfortuantely, NOT!! What it refers to is the 21 discs it took to back up my files, lol. I spent all day Sunday doing it. There is nothing like spending hours hunting down documents in an operating system's safe mode. LOL. But it is done, the images and documents are safe, and I am happily relieved. My laptop is close to being back to normal. I still need to reload Photoshop (sorry, I know the images today are HUGE! but I couldn't edit them) and some other programs... but I am getting there.

Photos today are from this Saturday's Trunk Show at Joolz. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. It was my first time demo-ing beadmaking in public. I really thought fire would draw a crowd, and at times it did... but I have to scold you locals!! WHERE WERE MY PEPS? I missed my regulars!! But you'll have another chance... Francie and I are planning on doing this again in the spring. Next time I think I'll do a more traditional mass mailing of postcards :) email didn't grab enough attention!

While making beads at the shop, I was sitting in front of a gorgeous display case. There was this mesh/wire/hollow silver beaded necklace that was right there in my face the entire time. It was really beautiful. It made me want to make some hollows. I have tried numerous times to 'do' hollows, but with only limited success. I have 2-3 out of a dozen that actually worked. But yesterday, I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a try. Made 3, easily, I dare say... perfectly. I think it was because I was on my trusty old HotHead torch!! I love that old guy. I think he will have to be mounted on my desk for 'special' projects. I have an idea brewing for a new hollow necklace. I'll be sure to share how it goes!!

So, this is the big week... kick off to the holidays! I'll be hosting Thanksgiving this year with Ron's and my families. YIKES!! Then Saturday is my cousin's wedding!! It is going to be a busy week.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Tomorrow is the big Trunk Show and Demo Day at JOOLZ in Canandaigua, NY. I'll be there from 11am - 4pm with loads of jewelry and my torch. If you have ever wondered how I make beads, here is your chance to see me in action. For those out of state... I'll have lots of photos for you and next week I will load up any jewelry so you can get a jump on your holiday shopping too.

COME SEE ME!! And the gals at Joolz!! TOMORROW!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Total System Failure

I was sitting at my computer early this morning. As I do every morning. I was opening an email as my coffee perked, when all of a sudden my computer screen went blank. I heard the hard drive (or whatever it is) spin as it does when it restarts. I didn't think much of it. It has spontaneously restarted in the past. You know, those crazy system updates that restart the computer on you. So annoying.

I stood up and went about my morning... getting the kids ready, pouring that coffee, waking up Ron. I thought "the computer will restart and be ready in a few minutes, I 'll come back to it". When I did go back, I discovered that it hadn't restarted after all. It was sitting at a black screen that said something to the effect that Window system configuration was corrupt or non existent. You choose.

I ran to Ron in the shower... "honey, there is something wrong with the computer..." I ended up spending literally hours today trying desperately to first get the computer to just boot up to the windows screen and second saving whatever I could data wise. So no nice pretty pictures to look at today. They are trapped on the fried computer, and I am stuck on the kids computer for a few days until we get things sorted out.

Some days I wish I wasn't so dependant on cyber space.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Minute Dash - Cha Cha Cha

I am doing all the last minute things that always come before a show. I am cleaning, pricing, packaging, and loading up the car. Well, I am not loading the car quite yet, I am not that over prepared. While I am busy doing in my duties, enjoy this little number I created the other day...

"Cha Cha Cha"!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Exploding Gumballs

Sometimes, you (when I say 'you' I really mean 'I') need to put the pliers down and step away from the jewelry projects. I think if you (I mean me) pigeon hole yourself into one thing for too long you (I mean me) just go loony. As is evident in these new wine bottle toppers!!

I think I am addicted to epoxy. I love it... it makes so many new things possible!! I have not only been exopy-ing "Posters", but I have been making head pins too!! So that means new dangle earrings with a bead stuck on the end that does not have a little ball of silver out the bottom (cause the hole only goes half way through the bead).

It also means that I could bring these things to life!! I have tried in the past to 'stick' things in a bead (while being hot worked in the flame) so that something will be sticking out when it is done. I have never shown them before because they have all been hopeless failures. And maybe that comes from being self taught and not taking classes. I have never had anyone show me the 'right' way to do it. I don't know. But what exopy allows me to do is add the sticking out things after the beads are annealed. Cool huh? And the exopy is rated for up to 200 pounds, you'll have to be gentle with these but still, they'll be durable.

The first time I thought of wanting to have things protruding from a bead was for my beaded pens. You can check out a pic of a few of them HERE. By now you all know how much I love things you can play with. My sister calls things you play with "cat toys". (Like the silver spinner style ring she stole from me.... cat toy for her.) I haven't had a chance to try it on the pens... but hopefully I will soon! I have 3 or 4 blank pens that are just screaming to be dolled up.

So you may be wondering why I am working on wine toppers, of all things, when I have a show in just a few days. Like I said... it keeps me from going loony. And once the light bulb clicked on that I could make these they became idea stoppers as well as wine stoppers... nothing else would come out of my head until they did.

Anywhooo... I would love to hear your feedback on them!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Waste Not, Want Not

One day last week, when I had a frustrating torch session the day before, I found these beads on my desk. How could I have over looked them for so long? These sets were some of my favorites from the last Bead Box update. (Remember those? Not the beads, I mean the updates... remember them? I hope to have one again someday, lol)

I set to wiring up these lovely beadies and came out with a fantastic trio. I love all three. I hadn't realized how short I was on wired bracelets. Thankfully, these are starting to fill in the gap.

We had a good weekend around here. Jacob's birthday was fun. He is playing Madden 07 on the PS2 with his new controller while wearing his new jacket. He is happy. Thanks for the birthday well wishes sent his way!!

Mommy had a good weekend too. I got some much needed "me" time on Sunday that I was soooo very grateful for. It is good to mindlessly wander a mall trying on shoes you don't need. And I even behaved... I bought nada!! Just tried things out... and plugged my ears in the food court so I didn't have to listen to Debbie Gibson's Jiggle Bell Rock. It was a refreshing break from the everyday. I have some energy again and some new ideas to spruce up wine bottle stoppers!! You just have to wait and see those later. ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Big Man Turns 10

Tomorrow is my Jacob's 10th birthday. I hear people say all the time how fast time flies when it comes to kids. There are many, many days where I feel like time is standing still. Then there are days like today when you look back on their life as a whole and it feels like it has been an instant. Jacob is a strongly independent kid. He has his own thoughts and ideas, ways of doing things. He is brighter then any light bulb I have ever seen. He can be so kind and loving (and now a days, really mouthy too).

I was going though his tote bag this morning and came across a writing assignment he finished this week. Jacob has one of the most vivid imaginations (something I am proud of instilling in him!). I thought as an Ode-To-Jacob's-Birthday, I would share his story with you, in his own words, just as it was written. It was a personal narrative.

Door Story
By Jacob Bogert

There I was, standing with one hand on the doorknob. In front of the old abandoned house across the street. I slowly turned the door handle, not knowing what on the other side. 1-2-3 push! I burst into the house and began to look around. There were 36 doors in perfect rows. All of which were different! I looked up and read a sign that said: DOORS OF DUBLIN.

I walked up to a black door on the bottom row and slowly opened it. Inside I saw a huge black mountain!(At least I thought it was.) I walked up to it curiously and felt its surface. It felt smooth and warm. Then I looked to my left and saw a great big yellow ugly black eye. This wasn't a mountain, it was some kind of creature!

I was about to scream when out of the creature's mouth flew hundreds of thousands of books! I picked one up and read the cover: THE MYSTERIOUS MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF DRAGONS. I looked at some other covers too like, MERMAIDS AND MERMEN.

I gathered them all up and took them to my cabin. I learned many things and if it were for them I never would have become the greatest wizard of all time.......... Merlin.

P.S. The creature I thought was a mountain was instead the powerful and mighty dragon that lived for all time in the Doors of Dublin's great halls. I never found out what was behind the other doors. But in a book I found out that inside were other creatures that left behind WIZARDOLOGY or PIRATOLOGY and EGYPTIONOLOGY, and found their way to here in the year 2007.

Cool huh? I told you he had a vivid imagination!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

NO Wheel Re-Inventing

What are those old sayings? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..." and "you can't reinvent the wheel..." Yesterday, I adopted those cliches as new motos, lol.

I have been feeling like I am starting to burn out. I am getting moody and agitated. I am having sorta crappy torch sessions and I feel the urge to avoid. Avoid what? Everything.

It can get so frustrating trying to come up with new things constantly. I need mental brakes. But with orders in front of me and a show next weekend, (which I hope all you locals are going to stop by for!) it just isn't an option. I have to press forward and get things done. I have to be a grown up business gal and do my job, lol.

So, here is what I did... I headed on over to my Flickr photo gallery and picked a few pieces that I love... that I had wanted to try in other colors when I first made them and didn't have the chance... that made me say "hey, I forgot about those!" and ones that just sparked my interest in general.

Joolz has an overall black and white theme. And my b&w pieces sell like hotcakes for the owner, Francie. So rather then reinventing the wheel, and trying to fix what ain't broke... I fell back on the classics. I ended up with two, what I think, are super designs in crisp black and white.

I liked getting to create a little mindlessly and get a mental design brake for a day (or two). I have a few more pieces I am going to revisit over the next couple of days. I may try new color combos or I may just go with some of my old favorites. You'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dats what I'm talkin' 'bout

I love getting email suggestions!! Thanks to the fabulous Deedee, I was able to Kabersize yesterday's dud bangles. Deedee said to me "why not try wrapping some colored wire around the core in fun unexpected Kerry combinations". I didn't get to do the "unexpected Kerry combinations", I was working with what was in front of me at the time... but I think I am in love with these now. I am calling them "Fangle Bangles", you know, cause they are I like that saying "new fangled thing".

I am going to have to issue a warning with the sale of any of these... Do Not Wear While Operating Heavy Machinery. LOL!! They are just too fun, and you aren't going to be able to avoid spinning them around your wrist or jingling the rings. The rings turned out to be the perfect size to float all the way around the bangle and over the beads, but not so big that they get in the way. My stars do I love when you can play with your jewelry.

You'll see, unlike my BANG Gals!, these don't have a clasp. You have to squeeze them over your hand. That may come back to bite me, making for loads of extra work when it comes to sizing, but oh well... it takes pain to be beautiful, right?