Thursday, May 31, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We are finally HOME!! I just got in couple of hours ago. I quick got all the food away and now I am sorting through emails.

Cape Cod was great!! The weather was absolutely amazing. We really lucked out. The forcast had been mid 60's, but while we were there it was mid and upper 70's... perfect beach weather. The drive is about 8 hours. Rough with three kids. They fought and fought the whole way. We kept rotating one kid out into my parent's car. It was crazy, there is only one road in and out of Cape Cod. And on our way in, everyone else was leaving... there was a 17 MILE traffic jam. And the locals said it was all in the news and paper, they are guessing everyone was trying to leave at the same time.

We arrived at a decent time, around 3pm. We unloaded the car and then headed to the water. It was about a 5 min walk from our "apartment". The motel place was nice. I a little dated but you couldn't beat the price. My parent's suite was really really nice, with a view of the water. The dunes by the water were really amazing. The one we went down to get to the water was about 40feet high. You kinda slide down it. The kids were in awe and impossible to keep out of the ocean. We dressed for a walk on the first trip to the shore but it didn't stop Jacob from getting wet from head to toe. He is such a water baby. And, dang, the water was cold!! It had to be around 60degrees.

Our first night was nice, we had a picnic cook out at the apartment and yeah, we back to the water. But the second day was GREAT! We went to the end of the cape, to Province Town. I found a bunch of goodies. My favorite is a necklace I got at (click on IMOOI Jewelry or got to ). We didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked. My Mom was having a rough time walking and the kids can't stand shopping. Everyone was eager to get back to the beads. But not before hitting the taffy shop and the two buck t-shirt place on the way back.

After the "shopping", we went home for an afternoon at the beach. It was most excellent. Ron and my Dad set up a golf course and the kids ran in and out of the waves. It was wonderful just being lazy and enjoying the sun and water. Tuesday evening was for me and Ron to go out to dinner just the two of us. We went to a place called "Land-Ho" ( and I had a CRABCAKE (Ron had fish & chips)!!! It was delicious. I am hooked. This one was very different from the ones I had when in VA. It was deep fried and really crispy. It was yummmmmy.

Wednesday was the "all day at the beach day" with a short break in the middle to go into town and Oh did I find something extra special. We went to a shop called "Yak Art" ( , really wild/weird/eclectic stuff. Ron found them first and I agreed.. a pair of book cases made out of old shutters. They are really COOL! And we got the pair for $115!! It was an incredible deal. The owner wasn't there and the girl working the register didn't know what she was doing. LOL. So we had to have them. I also found a shop called "Weekend" check out its the kind of store you'll spend $60 for a t-shirt and $500 for a sundress. Needless to say, I didn't buy anything there... but the shop called me from a mile away so it just goes to show the kind of taste I have, lol.

I have to tell you what Lauren said on the beach yesterday. She was playing and playing... squealling everytime a wave hit her. Then at one point she ran up the beach to us and said (and I quote) "this is so FREAKING awesome". LOL! I think she heard the boys say it. But she had the emphasis on all the right words. It was hard not to laugh at her it was so cute. Oh you know know how sun burnt I got last week? Well, I was so worried about sunscreening my back so it would happen again that I totally forgot about putting stuff on my legs. So now they are burnt too, lol. See, I told ya I am an idiot. At least I can laugh at myself.

Then last night we had ice cream cones on the beach and watched the sunset over the dunes. And that is where my Mom got this great family photo. It was lovely. We left at 6am this morning leaving behind a 60degree day with rain! Home is a muggy upper 80s and sunny. Go figure. LOL.

I have lots and lots of photos to resize and edit. Tons of movies too. I am actually thinking getting a account so I can share them. For now, though, check out all the links I collected while away. I still gotta takes picks of the goodies I got too. I am trying to get all my emails answered and I hope to get to the post office tomorrow and get everthing mailed out too. Busy busy.

Here are a bunch of our family photos from our trip!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Vacation

I am sorry to say, I don't have anything fabulous and clever to leave you with while I am away this week. So, this short post will have to do. I am bringing my laptop with us and if there is an internet cafe anywhere I will try to get y'all an update.

Until then... go check out the "Earrings" I posted in my Jewelry Shop on my website and all the wine bottle stoppers too!

See you in a few!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Packin' Up

The house is a frenzy of activity today. We are leaving around 6am on Monday morning and driving to Cape Cod! So, today is being spent doing laundry folding packing and tomorrow we'll do the grocery shopping and load up the car. My washer and dryer hasn't seen this kinda action in ages. I am a very slow load here and there kinda lanudry gal, lol.

Everyone is really excited about this official family vacation. We aren't really the vacationing types. Well, actually Ron isn't the vacation type, the kids and I love it. He, unforutantely, is a home body that hates to leave the comfort of his own back yard. But, I think even he is excited too. Friends at work gave him the name of a place in Cape Anne where you can get $5 lobster. yum. The last vacation we took was 4 years ago to North Caroline to visit with one of my aunts for a long weekend. Other then that... nada in the 13 years we have been together... just sad isn't it, lol. I hope to twist Ron's arm about getting away like this a little more... hey maybe even once a year. Wouldn't that be something?

I am glad you all liked how the chairs turned out. Thanks for all the emails! I hope it inspires you to paint something too. And just so you know, you can click on the images in the slide show and it will take you to a screen where you can scan through the pictures in a larger format and at your own speed. They both have two coats of poly on them now and are close to being ready to use!! I love them!!

I hit the torch for an hour this morning experimenting with a new color combo. I don't know how I am going to go a whole week with no jewelry or bead making... YIKES!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I am completely and totally toasted, roasted, crispy fried, burned to a crisp, flip-her-over-she-is-done, kinda sunburned!! I set up my painting project on the deck, out back, around 11am and just now came in and it's 6:15. I knew it was sunny, but figured the deck is in the shade by 1pm, I'll be fine. It was HOT, but so nice, I couldn't resist the sunny sun-ness of the day. I had to be outside. I lubed Lauren up with sunscreen but who can put sunscreen on their own back? So I went without. OH am I regretting it!! I can feel that tight dry sore skin as I sit here. I am thinking Ron is going to rubbing all the aloe in the house on my back when he gets home. LOL, yeah, just shake your head and laugh at me... I totally deserve it... I am an idiot!

BUT on the bright side... my chairs are oh-so-very close to being finished. I am thrilled with how they are turning out and I can't wait to share them. They are really raelly wild... did I mention that before?LOL. It is totally sidetracking me beadwise though. But the sooner I get the chairs done, the sooner I can sleep at night (yes I haven't slept since Tues night cause I am thinking about what I will paint on this part or that of the chairs, it's just sad) and once I am sleepign I will be able to make beads. All the wild and crazy things I am doing on the pieces of the chairs is giving me ideas for new beads too. There are definitely goona be some painted chair beads in the future (and scarf ones too, I should start a list).

Ron just came in and he just saw my back. He is rubbing some aloe lotion on and just said "this was dumb." Told you it was bad and I am a total idiot!!

Andrew just picked the FREE BEADS winner and it is Mary L!! YOO HOO MARY!! We are going to do something different over the next few weeks for the free beads drawing. I am going to be out of town for the next two drawings so... here is the plan... I am going to let the votes pile up and the winner is going to get a pair of my new "Fling" earrings!! YOO HOO!! The winner will be drawn on JUNE 18th. Alright?

Okay.. I gotta get some dinner on.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Realizations & Reactions

My stars... I am finally getting settled down. Yesterday was a FANTASTIC day and I have loads to tell you about. First, this picture today is of my good friend, Lindsey, and me at Fox Run winery after our delicious lunch. But... I am getting ahead of myself.

Where I should really start is with the start of the day. Lindsey came by my house bright and early to keep my company on my trek down to Seneca Lake. It is actually a really beautiful drive and the weather was fabulous. First we hit Miles wine cellars. The new earrings, and lariats were a HUGE hit. Suzie picked out lots of great things and I got most of them marked "sold" on my website this morning. She also grabbed a few things that I hadn't had a chance to photograph either. SO, you'll get have to make time to visit and see all the goodies she has. Surprising though, I put a lot of work into all those neckwires and wiestoppers but they seems to be in the mood for the snazzier stuff this visit. I will spend the next few days photographing and adding the new (& still available) stuff to my website.

Next up was Anthony Rd... Liz and Ann found more goodies for their shop. It is funny how you put the smae things in front of two groups of people and they end up picking completely different things. It works great because you aren't seeing the same things at every place you go, but I think it is neat to see what people are drawn to. AR has a bunch of beautiful single bead pendants and "Sandy Lantern" style bangles. And they have a new grandbaby on the way too.

After the selling was over... it was time for lunch and the fun picture above. The cafe at Fox Run is delicious. They have very different things and it is nice to have the change. The deck overlooking the lake is perfect for a midday meal. I could have sat in that sun all afternoon!! It was so funny taking this picture... Lindsey had it set on a concrete "thing" the a lamp post was grounded it... she set the timer then tried to race over to where I was sitting. She made the silliest face when she ran!! I will never forget it, it was a giant smile... I like those kind of memories. Shopping followed lunch... those of you that have been with me and my blog for a while know that I have a post winery tradition of stopping into a little bead and accessories shop of the way home. And almost everytime I buy a new handbag. This time was no different. I got a really cute one!! And a great scarf too that is all maroonish browns with seafoamy green, light misty green and petal soft pink... I am thinking there needs to be some scarf color beads the next time I am at the torch!

I know there are a bunch of you waiting to see the CHAIRS!! And they are really really COOL! I am not ready to debut them just yet though. They are only about 1/2 way done. But I plan to work on them more today and I have lots and lots and lots of pictures from workign on them. Some from every step of the way. So I'll post them soon.

Now... why the "Realizations & Reactions" title for today. Working on packing stuff up for the trip yesterday, I organized all my bracelets... I grouped them by colors. There were blacks, browns, purples, blues.... and then.... it just stopped at blue. I DON'T HAVE ANY COLOR!! That is just crazy! So, here is the reaction... every week for the next few weeks while I work to get ready to Cornhill (my first show of the summer) I will be picking a color for the week. I am starting with GREEN. I will do several projects with the color of the week as the focus. I gotta brighten up my stuff. I think I have made so many bead box beads in brights, I forget to do them for myself.

Stay tuned to see all that I come up with...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lovin' Lariats

WOW... I have so many pictures today I was tempted to do a slide show... but nah, this is fine... you might wanna get yourself a snack and somethign to drink though. If you make it to the end of this post, you'll have been here a while!!

You know what a huge fan of "Before & After"s I am... so that's where we will start. This top big pile o'beads are a load of rings I made yesterday. I just started randomly making rings, making sure to do a couple in each color. And before I knew it, I has used up all my large hole mandrels. That isn't hard to do though. I only have 3 in each size, but what I do is put 3-4 rings per mandrel and that makes them add up fast.

Now for the after....

Check out all these lariats!! You gotta click the picture and see it in the larger screen. They are soooooo fun. It took me about two hours this morning to put them all together, but it was totally worth it. I think people are gonna love these. I know my sister has several color requests in already and the book club girls all want one too. The are just so many possibilites with these. The color combination possibilities are just endless. I really enjoyed wire-ing these together. I used sterling silver chain that I purchase by the foot from

These two are my favorites... I am thinking I am really into green at the moment!! All of the lariats are packed up and ready for a trip to Miles Wine Cellars and Anthony Rd Wine Company tomorrow. I have to say... I am totally beat. I have been running myself ragged the past few days (especially today) to be ready. Everything had to be created, polished, priced, packaged and packed in the van. Add in normal life with my family (and priming two directors chairs) and I am just plan dog tired. But, I finally think everythign is done and all I need to do is go to bed... then head down tomorrow. Kinda exciting to see what they are gonna think of all the new stuff I have been doing.

So, yeah, I made neckwires... even though I was being a brat and didn't wanna. But it's funny how life works... see I was saying I didn't want to make bangles and neckwires, did it anyway... then went in the drawer of my desk where all those wires are.... ALL GONE!! I thought I had some left from the end of last season, and I did have a bunch of the neckwires... but NO BANGLES!! Ugh... subconscience self sabatosh? most likely. LOL!! I will just put them together and mail them down later this month I guess.

What your looking at now is two sets of neckwires. I thought it looked neat spliting them into groupings of "hots" and "cools". Aren't they yummy?

Okay.. so that is it for now... tomorrow is the big day!! I will be heading out bright and early. And I am so excited to have my good friend Lindsey coming along to keep me company tomorrow!! (Hi Lindsey, see you in the morning!) Then on the way home I am going to paint those chairs. I already started the process photos for how to paint them. Stay tuned to see how they turn out!!

I am too tired to do the free beads today... I will let you know tomorrow, when I get home with the winery report.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flying Weekends

It seems like just a second ago it was Friday... does anyone know where the heck my weekend went?!? Hmmm... maybe if I tell you about all the things we did I can find where the time went.

Saturday was a full day. I spent the morning cleaning (just like very other day of the week) then snuck in a little torch time. I made a few more pendant focals and some neckwire beads too. I am most excited about the afternoon I had though. My old friend, Concetta, the glass artist I used to graphic design work for, came over for a wire lesson. We chit chatted and wired away a few hours. It was great getting to visit with her and talking about anything and everything. She is off to a great start of wire wrapping. But we talked so much we only got through half a Totally Twisted class in the 5 hours she was here!! So, she'll be back again in a few weeks to continue her lesson. I am really looking forward to it.

Last night, we made some AWESOME fancy grilled cheese burgers. Love fancy grilled burgers.. they are those ones in the meat department of the grocery store that have cheese and spices in them. Ours were asiago and basil... heavenly. A movie with the kids before bed that was the end of that day. Wait... I am forgetting, I was up until midnight reading the latest book club book... it's good people... real good. I am hooked.

Today was a day for a little family fun!! Ron and I decided to play a trick on the kids... we told them to get in the car, we are going shopping. Jacob loathes shopping more then anything o the face of this earth. I think he would eat mushrooms instead of shopping... so you should have seen the look on his face!! He stomped and brooded but got in the car. Ron and I talked the whole time about what we needed to get at the store. All the while we knew what the real plan was... we surprised the kids with a trip to the movie theater to see Shrek the Third!! They loved it. They started hooting and hollering in the car. They were so excited (and relieved not to be shopping,lol). The movie was cute, but the 2nd is still my favorite. I would say wait for the DVD, don't waste the ticket price.

After that it was back home and time for some torching. I got lots and lots of beads made. Enough for a half dozen more neckwires ( I think I'll have 18 or so to take now), and I made LOTS of different color rings for more lariats. I am looking forward to mixing up the colors and making some fun combos tomorrow when I put them together. Speaking of putting things together... I have spent most of this evening putting together all the stuff for the wineries. I have been boxing and bagging and tagging. I hope to get it all done tonight so it is a slow, quiet day tomorrow. I need to prime the chairs I am painting Tuesday evening with my Aunt!!

So that brings us to now... I guess keeping so busy is what is making the time fly. Gotta love keeping busy!! I should have some new photos for you tomorrow of the new jewelry stuff I have been doing... plus I started a few test beads using a new glass by Double Helix called Terra... it's all the rage at the moment so I had to try it out. Wait till you see it!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pearly Whites

You know, I had every intention of coming back here yesterday to do a proper update. I don't know where the day went! One minute I am loading Bead Box beads and the next it's 8 hours later and I am heading out the door to Book Club. Most everything in between was a blur... there was some cleaning, some laundry, some jewelry making... loads of stuff.

Ron, I think, had a nice day. He isn't one to celebrate things. We had a nice dinner before I went out to do my thing. And the kids had fun giving him the presents they picked out. The kids and I had gone out a few nights ago to Target and tried to think of all the things Daddy likes... and they picked the gifts. We got him a new golf shirt (they liked the striped blue on blue best) and some new cooking utensils, flip flops for the beach at Cape Cod in a few weeks, and a gangster movie (he loves those). Then it was ice cream cake for dessert. And Book Club was a blast!! We are reading "Honeymoon" by James Patterson if anyone wants to join in and read along.

I am moving right along in my preparations for my winery visits next week. I now have more then a dozen stoppers... a bunch of earrings... and it's time to work on those pesky bangles and neckwires. Can I be totally honest with you all?.... I don't like doing bangles and neckwires anymore. I think I have kinda grown out of them. I don't know... I am just not in the mood. I wanna do bigger, better things. Not simple things. (not that there is anything wrong with simple things) But, it is what they like and what sells for them, so I gotta do it. My plan is to work my way through the rainbow this weekend. I am going to start with reds, make the beads for a couple bangles and a neckwire or two... then to oranges... etc, etc... I think it is the only way not to drive myself a little bonkers trying to come up with new and exciting color combos. When I am moody I have bad torch sessions... and I am now under some serious time constraints, so bad torch sessions are not an option!! Stick to a plan and things will be okay.

I just wanna take a moment to give a shout out to Cassie Donlen over at . She posted a really beautiful set of beads done in ivory on ivory that are just fabulous! Check them out HERE. I am thinking when I am done with this "have to" work, I will play with this same color combo for fun. I love the subtle-ness of it, don't you? Too cool!

And speaking of lovely white things, lol... I had a dentist appointment today. My teeth are sparkly clean and cavity free... YOO HOO!! Now I need to get Lauren from preschool and when I get home, I am hitting that torch.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Summer Flings

Does anyone remember last August-Septemberish when I made a whole mess of earrings for "The Clothesline Arts Festival"? Click HERE to refresh your memory. Anyway, I called them "Flings" and now... check out these photos of the new 2007 Summer Fling earrings!! Aren't they cool? As I mentioned yesterday, these were inspired by some earrings that my friend, Cindy, made in a class with Connie Fox. I looked on Connie's site ( to give you a link to the earrings but couldn't find one.

Her's were similar to mine in that they were made with discs, but here is where I went in my own direction... CHECK OUT ALL THAT COLOR!! I made lots of beads in brights and had a blast making the earrings today. I also had fun with the hook shapes. Squares, squiggles, bends and dips... each is totally different. I made more then a dozen pairs. The photos are of some of my favorites! These average an inch to an inch and a half long... so they are dangley, but not too dangley.

All these will head down to the wineries with me on Tuesday, next week. If I have any left, I will post them on my website and in my Etsy Shop. And make no mistake about it... I will have LOTS of these for The Cornhill Arts Festival coming up in a few weeks.

Today was kinda quiet but then suddenly hectic. I had my quiet morning, just sitting building earrings... then I realized.... hey, it's too quiet... the digital phone and internet service was down. I had no access until about 20 mins ago. I had to run out this afternoon and get a replacement modem. While Lauren was at school I made loads more beads. I should have lots for the Bead Box update tomorrow!! I am thinking I'll have 7-8 sets. Yummy!! It may even warrant a group email, I haven't sent one of those in ages. I picked the kids up early from school, raced to get the modem before the shop closed... took Bitty Kitty for her rabies shot... checked out a new bead store that just opened up across town... then closed the evening with shopping at Target with the kids for Ron. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, tomorrow is my hubby's birthday!!

Time to go relax... LOST is on tonight!! And I have my fingers crossed that Blake Lewis makes it into the final two on American Idol. LOL... I won't watch if he isn't!! Go BLAKE!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Huh? What?

Did you say something? Are you talking to me?... those are the phrases of the day. And I am the one saying it. I have had what I can tunnel hearing all day!! I can't hear out of my right ear. It sounds like I am in a tunnel or I have my hand over my ear. Everything is echoing inside my head... everything from talking, to clicking my teeth, to walking... my steps are actually echoing in my head. Weird... it doesn't hurt... I feel fine... and actually, this has happened once before. Last time it turned out I had a rare type of ear infection that forms an actual bubble between your ear drum and the membrane on the outside of it. Only treatment is steroids... so I am hoping it is a fluke and NOT the same as last time. In the meantime... turn your volume up cause I have no clue what you are saying to me!!

So, here is a pic of the winestoppers with the beads from yesterday. Kinda earthy, random and organic... just like wine! My favorite is the 3rd from the right. If you wanna snatch one of these up before the wineries get their hands on them just send me an email, I'll send you an invoice. They are $30 each with the usual $3 shipping. These make really great hostess gifts... just in case you hadn't thought of that. LOL.

I have the kiln all loaded up with beads again... this time I spent the day working on earring pairs. My friend Cindy at Sweet Bead Studio took a class with Connie Fox a few weeks back. She learned something called "Swing" earrings. Which I hadn't seen by Connie, but have seen around other places. Cindy said she thought my discs would make great beads for swing earrings. Which is just what I had been thinking when I saw that style earring other places. So... that is what today was devoted to. Earring pairs for swing style earrings. I am going to give them my own twist (of course)... you are just gonna have to stay tuned to see what I come up with!! From what I hear from Cindy, I already use a completely different technique to make them. Me and my backwards thinking...

From yesterday's few comments there seems to be a tie between Bead Box Beads and me making something with the new beads. So here is the plan. While Lauren is at school tomorrow I am going to make a few more mini sets in the same colors as the new ones. I will do a traditional BB update on Thursday or Friday and if there are any leftover, I will make stuff. Good plan? I think so.

It is a beautiful 80+ degree day. I am gonna go hang out on the deck with my hubby for a while...

Monday, May 14, 2007


I hope you are enjoying the Lilac Festival slide show in the post below. I love those slide shows. It is such a great way to share a whole bunch of pictures at once. And seeing as I took over 100 photos yesterday... I figured it was the best way to show you them. I love taking flower pictures. And like a said, there are a bunch that would make really great desktop wallpaper for your computer!! Lemme know if you pick one. My favorite is the one of the purple tulips.

I have lots going on in the studio... so lets get started... first.. the bracelets shown today!! Ring-a-ding-ding... I am having a lot of fun soldering. I think I am getting the knack of it. These ring linked bracelets are really fun to wear. The bottom one is currently in the hands of my cousin Samantha that just graduated from college. CONGRATS SAM! All those rings move and play without being heavy or annoying. And they aren't as bulky as they look, they are very feminine. Only trouble with this is how addicitive they are and how fast I am running out of silver wire!! I just had to place an order. I used up all my 18 guage (favorite size), most of my 16g and I am outta 14g too. How can I get ready for my first show of the year if I am outta wire?!?

I was able to make beads yesterday and it had lead to a delimma... so, I need a show of hands... all those in favor of me posting a set of 9 cubism style beads on eBay, raise your hands. Those that want me to list them as 3 sets of 3 on my website, raise your hands. Oh... and anyone who thinks I should make some jewelry out of them... you raise your hand. I know... Kerry you are beign silly, this is a blog, not a living room full of people, you can't see our hands raised... just send me an email and let me know what you want me to do. Or leave a comment here. (oh, I had to turn the comment moderator on for my blog... you won't see your comment right away, but I check daily and will approve it as soon as I see it.)

My kiln is LOADED with beads for wine bottle stoppers. Big funky focals!! Gotta love big beads. I can't wait to get them cleaned up and on those shiny silver stoppers. I think I have 8 in there now, and I will do a few more through out the week too. I hope to have a photo to show you tomorrow.

BIG NEWS... I am so excited to share this next bit of info with you... is now live!! I am so so excited for Cindy. She started out as a customer more then a year ago and has really become a great friend. She is by far the most thoughtful person I have ever met. Like me, she is a Mom of three that loves making jewelry. I think she has a great eye for design and beads (you'll see "Kab's" beads all over the place on her website). Go, check out her site, get on her mailing list, buy up all her fabulous jewelry and tell her I sent you!!

Finally, free beads... this week's winner is... LORI O!!! YOO HOO LORI!! I have another set of beads already to go. I'll get a fresh pic and get them posted... keep the votes coming!!

Now lets see, did I get everything in? New soldered bracelets... check. Asked what you want me to do about eBay vs Bead Box Beads... check. Sent you to Cindy's great new website... check. Freebies give away... check. That's about it. I think I covered it... I'll be back with those wine stoppers tomorrow!

Lilacs Festival

Enjoy a slide show from my Mother's Day at Highland Park's 2007 Lilac Festival!! There are lots of great photos, feel free to right click and set them as you desktop wallpaper!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

For the MOMs

I hope all the Mom's (and future Moms, friends of a Mom or even former babysitters) have a great day. I am going to have some of my favorite breakfast (crepes), then we are going out to The Lilac Festival to smell some of my favorite flowers. While I am gone, enjoy these couple of pictures from the Mother's Day Tea Party I went to at Lauren's preschool. And some of the pretty tulips dancing in my gardens. I will (hopefully) have some beads and new jewelry to show you tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The "Smithie" in ME!

I did it! I did it! I did it!! I took two ends of metal and joined them!! YOO HOO!! I have wanted to teach myself to solder for as long as I can remember. Last night I made my very first connections. I am in love with metalsmithing.

So, as I said yesterday afternoon, the UPS guy brought me a big box loaded with goodies. I opened it all up, checked it all out... was clueless as to what half of it was for. lol. I called my Dad and asked him how he solders stuff... don't know why I did that though, the only things he solders are copper pipes. Then I called Holly from Silver Lotus Studio. (She is my roomy for B&B in 3 weeks!) She gave a summary of what things were for, laughed when I tried fulling and already full torch, and basically reassured me that I just need to do it, and I would be fine.

I kept it really simple at first. I made a few small jumprings... brushed them with flux... and "pick" soldered them closed. I was hooked after the first ring. I made 5-6 rings.. then moved on to shapes. Those were fun. But I really wanted to make something I could wear. So I made a bunch of large 1/2in rings out of 14g sterling silver and started linking them together. The top photo is the results. My first handforged chain. And I have to say, now I know why artisan made chain costs an arm and a leg. A LOT goes into making chain! I had to cut all the rings, clean the ends, flux them all, solder them all, soak the whole piece in "pickle" (an acid that removed the tarnish that the torch soldering causes), then wash it, polish it, and tumble it. It is worth the work though... this is a great necklace!!

I have had these few glass rings on my desk waiting to be turned into a bracelet like "Rosy" and "Blueberries" for a while... now that I can solder... I was sucked into making something different with them. These are a bit of an optical illusion. The links are continous rings, so kinda like two rings that aren't cut apart and the ends are overlapped and soldered. Make sense? If not... don't worry about it, lol. Very fun design don't ya think? It needs a name if you have any suggestions!!

Tea this afternoon was a blast. And I'll have pics from that for you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Circulate & Nimbus

I told you I was gonna have new jewelry pics!! Here are two of my lastest and greatest. Now, for just a moment it is going to sound like I am blowing my own horn, and I am, but it just because I am excited. This first piece is called "Circulate". This necklace turned out so COOL! (toot toot!) and I have to say, as I was finishing it, I kinda surprised myself with how good it is. Yeah, I think it's that good. I love it. I am a very insecure artist... don't ask me why, it's a long story and I don't want to get into it. But everyone once in a while I make something makes me pause and think "maybe I do have talent". lol. This is one of those pieces.

The design was inspired by a class project offered in the Bead&Button Show catalog.It's a class offered by Louise Duhamel called "Mysterious Treasure Bracelet". Naturally I had to give it my own twist. I only wire wrapped one side of each of half of the intertwining links, I used 3 different guages of wire, and made the links BIG! I started building and experimenting with this Monday afternoon and since I have seen this link or ones similar in 3-4 different desings in at least 3 different publications and all by different designers. None of them look anything like mine! So I think I have successfully changed it enough to "make it my own".

If you click on this photo and look at the enlarged image, you'll be able to read that little note I typed in. It says "This little spot is driving me NUTS". I am a perfectionist, I can't help it, it isn't controlable. That little space in the coiling is screaming at me to fix it. So as soon as this comes out of the tumbler, it is getting fixed. But doesn't it look great? It sits just below my collar bone, it's length is 20inches but wears more like an 18in. Lovin' it.

This guy "Nimbus" (yeah, I was having fun with the thesaurus in word), is the bracelet version of "New Industry", "Sunrise" and "Rocker". I am infatuated with raku since I upgraded my torch. The colors floating through these are just mesmorizing. There are blues, greens, purples, hints of pink and taupe too.

The design still needs tweeking. It is a bugger to get on with the way I made the clasp. I did the same clasp that is on the necklace but it just too hard to get clasped. Ease of clasping without getting your husband to do it for you is of the utmost importance to me. So, back to the drawing board for this one.

I am currently as gitty as a kid in a candy store!! The UPS dude just delivered a goodie box from RioGrande. It contains all the stuff I need to teach myself to solder!! I have been wanting to learn FOREVER!! You can bet that is what I'll be doing for the next few hours. :) I am giving the kids a pizza and a movie so I can go out and play, lol.

Tomorrow I have been invited to a very special Mother's Day tea party at Lauren's preschool. I hope to have some cute pics to share... so till then....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Da... Da... Da... Dum...

Today is Ron and my's NINE year Wedding Anniversary. We enjoyed an afternoon picnic at the lake and dinner for just the two of us earlier this evening. We are relaxing now with some peach champagne and the best chocolate truffles I have ever tasted. I'll be back tomorrow with some new jewery pics for you!!

For now, check out these old pics of Ron and me. The top one is from our wedding, obviously, lol. And the bottom is from one of the first "family" things I ever took him to, our annual "Fall Walk". Aren't we cute (and young)?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Time is flying by...

Nope, no pics... nope, nothing to show... holy cow things are CRAZY around here. I warned you all last week that May is totally over scheduled. I have been workign on "stuff" but unfortunately I haven't had a chance to photograph, upload, edit and share pics. I'll get to it soon though, I promise.

I did want to tell you more about this past weekend. First, my little Andrew made his first communion. He was so handsome in his little suit. hehe. But the kid was quick and was in play clothes before you could say Amen... so I didn't really get any great pics of him. I am hoping my Mom got some though. After the communion ceremony, I dashed out to my very preggers cousin's baby shower. It is just a few weeks until "Amber Rose" will be making her debut. I can't wait to meet her. After that it was back home for a nice family party to celebrate Andrew!! The weather has been fantabulous so a cookout was in order. It all went great.

Yesterday was blah with everyday errands. And I officially blew through my first tank of oxygen. I ran out to the city to get the tank refilled. That with grocery shopping and a trip to the post office... it was blah, blah, blah. Though I should say, the trip to the post office was a very necessary one... JOOLZ needed to restock for the grand opening tomorrow!! I mean it people... you better get over there and check out the goodies! And not just mine, there are many treasures to find in there.

Today was filled with more mindless things. Andrew to the dentist... more little errands... but there were two fun parts. First, I was given the opportunity to apply to a fine arts show going on later this year. The deadline has already passed but I was given an extension and allowed to apply. The show is being juried on Friday, so wish me luck, I need it for this one. Second fun thing, I made a date with my godmother/aunt... my Aunt Peggi. Aunt Peggi is a furniture painter. She does beautiful folk art whimsical painted furniture from old garage sale pieces she finds or is given. Yesterday I picked up a second directors chair for my assistants to use during art shows. My aunt and I now have a date to paint my pair of chairs!! I can't wait... I want to do something fun and wild to dress them up. They will definitely be a conversation piece too. Gotta love reasons to slow people down inside your booth... gets them to not just get to know you, but to really stop and check out what you are offering. I will share LOTS of pics of me and Aunt Peggi when you paint... it'll be in a week or two.

Alrighty... time to go unwind. I have a bunch of knobs in the kiln right now. I am trying to get all those little guys done by Mother's Day for my Mom!

HEY - this week's free beads winner is HARRY!! YOO HOO!! Keep the vote coming gang. I'll post the new freebie pic tomorrow.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Just Joolz!!

I am so excite to share this post with you!! Remember a few months back when I mentioned the owner of a new shop was coming by to pick out some jewelry for her store? I promised I would have all the details for you when it opened... IT IS OPENING ON WEDNESDAY!! The store is JOOLZ, the website is, and the gal behind it is Francie Schenck. If you are in the Western NY area, whatever plans you have for Wednesday, cancel them and make plans to visit JOOLZ.

Francie found me last season at The Clothesline Arts Festival. She said at the time she was building her "wish list" of artists she would like for her shop. I am really honored to be on that list, especially after tonight. This evening there was a private preview of the store for artists and friends. The jewelry is just spectacular. She has amazing taste, I saw some incredible and very inspiring pieces in the collections on display. I was so excited walking up to the shop door because as you can see in the photo below, I am one of the local artists featured in the front window. And from what I have been told, these pieces have already sold and/or are on reserve. As well as most of the ones on display inside too.

The decor of the shop is sleek and sophisticate with every thing black and white. There is pops of colorful artwork on the walls. I loved the layout and I think Francie's vision really came together fabulously. I am going to work on some special black and white jewelry pieces just for the store.

I am not very good in social situations like tonight. I am terrible at remembering names, and I have short term memory concerns during conversations. I worry the whole time about making an a$$ of myself, lol. But who doesn't worry above going into situations where they are about to be judged? I have to say... the other artists, friends and family that were there at this reception tonight were really wonderful people. All just love art jewelry. I was swarmed in on at one point by several people and I received so many wonderful compliments. I am so thrilled to be working with such a great group of people.

So... you all have your orders... find a way to get to JOOLZ in Canandaigua, NY. I'll be back tomorrow with some new jewelry pics and details of whatelse I was up to this weekend ;) It was quite a busy couple of days!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Leave A Comment Day!!

It was exactly two months ago today that I added that "hit counter" on the right hand side of my blog. It says I have had over 6100 hits in that time!! That means I am averaging 100 hits a day. So, I thought it would be fun to have a "Comment" day!!

Just scroll to the bittom of this post and hit "comments"... then add yours. Nothing fancy (unless you wanna)... and it can be anonymous... just say Hi... whatever you wanna do!! I want to see just how many lurkers I have out there, lol.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Colored Wire is Cool

Way back when my first tutorial came out in Step By Step Wire, I was contacted by a company that sells colored coated copper base wire. They said that if I mentioned them in my next tutorial, they would give me a discount. I check out their site and thought... "when am I ever gonna use copper colored wire?" So, I just deleted the email and went on with my beady wire life as it was.

Then I was reading "The Glass Slipper" blog of Sarah H (I mentioned her a few weeks ago), she had posted the links to some of her customers that were using her beads in their projects. The work at caught my attention. You might also recognize this artist, Melanie Schow, from the most recent issue of Beadwork Magazine. Her wire work is wonderful and whimsical. I loved checking out her site. All that colored wire made me think... "maybe I can do something cool with colored wire". So, I visited and ordered up some wire. (Unfortunately, I don't remember if this is the company that contacted me way back when, oops.) I got lots of colors... red, fuschia, blues, greens... almost all of them... in my favorite universal guage... 20 guage.

I had made the rings you see in the bracelet, "Rosy", up top, earlier this week for another rendition of "Reeling". Instead of doing what I thought I would, I mixed them up with the copper wire!! I LOVE THE RESULTS. The colors in this bracelet just sing to me for some reason. They are a peachy/fuschia-ish/red/orange blend. I think this is a bracelet that would totally rock anytime of year.

As soon as I finished it, I started hunting my desk for enough rings to make another one. Alas, all I had were four lonely etched transparent blue small rings. I modified the design a bit, and then TA-DA, a milder, tamer version of the bracelet above. (With one lonely ring still left on my desk, lol.) I am definitely making several of these in different color combos for the art show coming up in July. I love these!! And what is so fun about them is that many of the rings are free floating, they can travel through the bracelet. So, you can play with them while you sit in traffic. :) The majority of the design is sterling silver, and I used a heavier 16 guage for the whole design so it wouldn't need to be tumbled. From what I can tell, I don't think the colored wire would hold up to tumbling.

We have been having a rough week around here with some family issues. Everyone in the immediate family is fine, but the extended family, not so great. I won't go into details... it is long, drawn out, depressing stuff... but there are a few of my Aunts that could use some good thoughts sent their ways. So, weither you pray, think warm thoughts, or put notes in a special people box... think of them for the next few days for me.

I almost forgot... I posted two Bead Box Bead sets... I made them a few days ago and just got around to posting them. Nothing worth sending out an email over but... go check them out. You can find them easy on my home page under "Featured Items".

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Funky & Fuzzy

Finally!! I am slowly starting to organize my thoughts again and all those things I have fighting each other to get out of my head are lining up nicely, waiting their turns and will soon make their debuts. First up, one of my recent AH HA!! ideas... felted cuffs.

I was browsing yesterday and saw several shops with all sorts of fabric sewn cuffs. Some with vintage fabrics or buttons, some with beady embellisments. I was sitting there, clicking on this and that when all a sudden I think "wait a second... my buttons!! I could crochet and felt a cuff with one of my beads for the button!!" Of course, for the rest of the day I couldn't get the idea outta my head.

I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon and decided to hit the local yarn shop on my way home. I bought a whole mess of skins of felting wool in loads of my favorite colors. The cuffs are easy enough to crochet. They take 20mins or so. I made a bunch then tossed them in the washing machine while I watched American Idol.

Then, I warmed up the kiln and made beads late into the night. It was well after midnight by time I got to bed. I was really happy with what came out of the wash and the kiln this morning!! I will still play with colors and I have more buttons to attach to more felted cuffs, but check out all these pics. These are the first ones done. I shared a photo with my sister and in her most Paris Hilton sounding language she said "hot hot hot". She loves them. I am thinking they are definitely a younger 20somethings type bracelet. Some use buttons and some use discs as the clasps. They are so funky and fuzzy... they just ROCK!!

I am heading out the door to drop Lauren off at school and go out to lunch with my friend Lindsey. I can't wait!! Tune in tomorrow to see what other things managed to free themselves from the brain!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Missing Mojo, again

I have had a few rather frustrating days at the torch. Like I said the other day... my brain is overloaded. When I get like this, my mind gets so packed with ideas, nothing can get out. Or what I do manage to make, doesn't live up to my standards and I get even more frustrated. Grrr... I am sooo frustrated that I am grinding my teeth and waking up with headaches. And I am agrivating the vertigo I recently came down with. You should have seen me walking down the hallway last night, lol. It was really rather funny. It was like I was in a fun house, my feet were on one side of the hall and I was walking with my head and hand on the other side of the wall. Kinda kitty corner.

I know what you are thinking... "Kerry, if you have no mojo, what are these cute beads you are showing us?" Well, these are all that have come out of my kiln in the past 3 days. Thanks to the help of Libby at one of the things jamming up my thoughts is off mandrel pendants. I thought it would be great to make some for the wineries later this month. I have mentioned before, they like simplier things like pendants. These are a great opportunity to play with lots of colors, stripes, dots, and what not. They are really tricky for me, but definitely something I will keep working on. Ohh, you know what I just thought off, if I put the "loop" on the back of the disc, these would make really cool buttons for knitted and crocheted projects. Wouldn't they?

In the photo below, you can see what the backs of these pendants look like. There is a small flattened dot on the back of them, this is where I took the piece off the rod of glass that I built it on. I need to work on getting that to completely melt in to the back of the disc without melting or distorting the shape or design. See why I get frustrated? Maybe I am just being my usual perfectionist self, maybe they are fine with a flat dot on the back, but for me... makes me want to through them across the room. Extreme? Yeah, I know... lol, maybe I am a little hormonal. LOL.

I made my "May" calendar yesterday and I realized that I have really over scheduled myself the next few weeks. I am really really really going to try to find my mojo again and squeeze torch time in anywhere I can find it. I don't know for sure when I will have new sets, but you can be sure I will let you know as soon as I have new things.

FREE BEADS!! YOO HOO!! This week's winner is Nicole S. CONGRATS NICOLE!! I just posted a new set of freebies... go check them out and vote!!

DON'T FORGET!! "Cosmic Crayons" and "Martian Markers", plus all those fun focals are ending tonight!! Go BID BID BID... the focals are going super duper cheap... they are so fun, you gotta get one!!