Saturday, June 30, 2007

Poppin' in Person

Boy have I had a fun couple of days. Thursday night was my favorite night of the month.... BOOK CLUB!! I really love those gals. This time it was at Chris's house. And I swear I so totally wanna be her when I grow up. She and I are the book ends of book club with her being the eldest and me being the youngest. We get along swimmingly.

Anywho, on the way to book club, I dropped off those funky beaded pens to their new home. Marcia was a sweetheart... she loved the pens and she says my stuff... it just "Pops in person". Not that the photo on my website and this here blog aren't fabulous. Just seeing my stuff in person makes it pop! And now I can't get the phrase out of my head so I figured it would make a good post title.

I took a load of jewelry to book club too for proper evaluation. It was so fun having a show and tell. We were round robin-ing everything. The gals were all darlings and said they loved everything. With each one finding something that just loved. Unfortunately I wouldn't let them buy anything!! I told them if they really wanted it they would have to come see me at the show in a few weeks!! Not a very practical business decision, I know. But hey, book club is for wine and books... and I can't be setting up empty tables at Corn Hill either.

The time without the kids has come to a close. They are all home and up to their old antics. Pestering, annoying, fighting and picking on each other. Should be a really fun summer. (insert eye rolling here) I was very fortunate to have the quiet time I did. And I got loads done!! There are about 30 pairs of earrings all strung up and waiting to be oogled. Plus I had finished those necklaces earlier in the week... so that was good. I am going to keep plugging away. Turns out Ron has the next 5 days off from work so , YOO HOO... still even more torch time!!

I'll see what new things I can come up with for next time!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Afterglow & Dusty

I never made it back to post my fabulous new necklaces yesterday!! There are loads of reasons. First... I was running around buying pizza making goodies, a shower head and getting my kids to my Mom's. Then I needed to refresh my energy with a yummy Raspberry Mocha Frappacino. And then, I spent HOURS on the torch and went on a date with my hubby.

Let's chat a bit about the date with my dearest. (I think there has been way to much jewelry on this blog as of late, and it is about time we just gabbed.) Were this the very first date that my husband and I went on, and we had not been married for 9 years (together for 13) and raising 3 children together... the man would NOT have gotten a second date outta me. Ron decided we would take advantage of the kids being with my parents and go out to dinner at Aja Noodle... not cause it is one of my favorite restaurants, NO, because Mr. Thrifty had a coupon. When he got home from work, he said he wanted to make an outing of the evening. I was game... I said SURE!

The "outing" started with a stop at Target. No, not to look at all the cute bedding or cool toys, new electronic gadgets or dvds... NO, we walked (an quite quickly I might add) around the perimeter end caps at all the clearance stuff. And he had the nerve to say I had a case of the "gimmie I wants" because I picked up a $3 bottle of pomegranate and mango body wash!! It was a buy one get one free deal, people!! TWO BOTTLES FOR $3 and he says I got the "gimmie I wants"!! If that wasn't bad enough, we pass an end cap (you do know what an end cap is right? it is the end of an aisle) that is over flowing with clearance chocolate. I find a tub of chocolate covered toffee popcorn that is regularly $10 marked down to $5 and he says... "you can't eat that stuff, besides the chocolate is a funny color." I could have smacked him.

I just kept taking deep breaths, letting things go... this was a nice outing with my hubby, totally kid free and I wanted to enjoy it. We finally get out of Target with my body wash, a jar of salsa, and hot chili pineapple grilling sauce and head over to Aja Noodle. It was great, there weren't many people, we got a seat really quick and we start browsing our menus. I didn't really need the menu, I already knew I wanted my favorite... "Chinese Black Bean Rice Bowl with Chicken & Shrimp". Ron starts in on me about how I never try anything different. I know he wasn't trying to piss me off... but can't a girl just have a bowl of noodles for crying out loud!!

By that point, I really wanted a glass of wine. But to Ron's chagrin, glasses are $4.50 each and don't you know you could buy a whole bottle of that at the liquor store for $6.00. (Insert dramatic eye rolling here.) Fine, whatever, I skip the glass of wine with the promise that we will get a bottle of wine on the way home. We also decide to stop at the grocery store to see if they have the plain Thai rice noodles that I love. While roaming the store, I come across the video department. There is this big bin of $7 dvds. I am checking them out, seeing if there is anything good for the kids when I see "Space Camp"!! YOO HOO!! I LOVED that movie when I was a kid!! I show Ron he shakes his head and says "that was a stupid movie". And I rebut with "I loved it when I was a kid, and maybe Jacob and Andrew will like it too". I get... "why don't you see if the library has it". I know the library has it. But I want my very own copy to love for ever and ever. Needless to say, I left the grocery store movieless.

The ride home was fine (don't all dates have there "fine" moments"). We got a bottle of wine, we checked out some houses for sale, we picked up some strawberries... it was fine. We get home, I put away our purchases from the big "outing" and go to open the wine when Ron chimes in with "maybe you should save it"? WHAT? Okay, okay, we'll "save" the bottle of wine... whatever.

Next we decided that since it is 89degrees out, maybe a late evening swim in the pool would be fun. Ron gets his suit on, and heads outside. I get a glass of ice water, change into my suit too, and hop in the pool. About a half hour later when I am shaking cold having swam alone the whole time, Ron has finally finished watering the gardens and gets in the pool. I was on my way out by that point cause my jaw was chattering!! LOL! I called the boy no less then a dozen times to tell him to get his skinny backside in the pool already but he just kept on watering!!

We finished the evening just watching a movie. And that was our big kidless outing and dinner date. Have we just been together too long? LOL... have we really gotten that comfortable and boring? I guess so. But I will say this, while walking through Target he held my hand. He opened the doors for me where ever we stopped and he said I looked pretty in my skirt. So he is a sweetie, and I'll keep 'em. At least a few more years, lol ;)

Now, real quick... the jewelry. Up top there is "Afterglow". (YEAH! I love that INXS song.) LOTS of wire in that bad boy right there. The potato chip style discs were inspired by earrings I saw in the 2008 Glass Art Calendar by Divali Glass Jewelry . The bottom piece is "Dusty" and I have actually been working on it for a few weeks. I would make those big spotted beads here and there until I had enough for the necklace. Those guys are CHUNKY!! Really BIG!! I am telling ya!! And one of the things I love about this is the short pieces of chain. I made that chain. Yep, me. I hand-forged it with sterling wire and my torch. I am really happy with how it turned out.

The kiln is busting at the seems with more beads as I type. It needs several more hours to cool from this mornings torch session. In the meantime, I am heading back to my desk for some earring assembly time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Do I "Blow Your Dress Up"?

LOL!! Funny post title huh? Well, Lori Greenberg linked to a post by "This Electric Life" about a funny blogger contest. The winner of a pervious contest is goign to be the judge and basically all you do it submit you humorous blog posts to be read. Write something new, submit some thing old... whatever.


I am going to submit "My Alter Ego"... cause I nearly peed my pants reading it to my best friend over the phone the day after I wrote it!! You got a blog? You think you are funny? GO SUMBIT THE LINK!
Oh, and check out the new profile pic! That's me in my didymiums!! What are didymiums? They are the special glasses that lampworkers wear to block out the orange flare of the torch flame... too cool!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Style Combining

How remembers last summer when I made a couple of necklaces that were half seedbeads and half lampwork & wire? Well take a look at THIS, THIS, or THIS to refresh your memory. At the time I had come up with the idea as a way to conserve wire (since I was pretty new to it and thought sterling was insanely pricey) and second it was a way to turn bracelets that had turned out "not how I wanted" in to necklaces that worked.

At some point yesterday while I was making beads, I had a "heeeya" moment were I stopped and thought... "wait a minute, how would one of these look with that?" The "one of these" was my "New Industrial" style necklace and the "with that" was the seedbead stringer in the back. A number of people who try on the New Industrial necklace get frustrated because their neck muscles in the back are large and make the necklace sit in an odd way. This new twist fixes that!! YOO HOO!! I am so glad I thought of it!!

I will style make the other style necklace because A: I like it a lot! and #2: my neck doesn't have the extra defined neck muscles so I like beads all the way around. But, these are really fun to do too. And since I only have 10 mandrels that make the beads for these necklaces, I can either make on "Combo" style necklace a torch session or a "New Industrial" over two torch sessions. With a show deadline looming, I am liking the idea of being able to do one a torch session instead of one in two sessions. But, we'll see.

For tomorrow, I have yet ANOTHER twist on the "New Industrial" style. This time with lots more wire... hmmmm... wonder what I could be doing? You'll just have to wait and see!! Tomorrow is going to be eventful all around. THE KIDS GO TO MY PARENTS!! YOO HOO!! My Mom is being an angel and taking the trio for a sleepover so I can get some uninterrupted work time in. THANKS MOM!! I am devoting an entire day to earring pairs. Wish me luck.

Lastly... check out the latest beaded pens!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Someone on LE used the word "Flabbergasted" as the title of a post and that word has be bumbling around in my head since I saw it. It is a word that really should be used more often. It also is the perfect word to express how I am feeling at the moment!! I absolutely can not believe how well my auctions are doing!! I AM FLABBERGASTED!! I always hope my beads will do well, but never expect them too. I am just in total shock. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It is such a compliment to know how much my beads are appreciated. And don't you worry, I won't let you down. I'll keep coming up with more beads. I already have ideas stirring.

But first things first... the lastest things I have been working on!! The top two photos are of some new BEADED PENS!! Aren't they cool?!? A customer/student of mine asked me to give beaded pens a try so she could gift them away to some very special graduates. I order a couple extra pens while I was at it and these are some of the first I have done. The very first ones are for Marcia, but these two will be ones I bring to the show in a few weeks. I have a coral orange, turquoise, lime green and lilac ones to bead too. I have seen so many beaded pens done by loads of different artists. So it was hard to know how to really make them "my own". Then a light bulb clicked on (literally) and I saw some coiled wire on my desk. I mixed it in with the beads and hot dang! They are totally unique and completely "KABs".

I am getting flabbergasted in more ways then one... not only are my auctions flabbergasting me, but all this jewelry creation is too!! I am really surprising myself. I am getting LOADS done. But then again, I am making so much "stuff" that I am running out of the energy to come up with clever names for everything, lol. So this little purple number is as of yet unnamed. Feel free to give me suggestions. Up for tomorrow, I have a new "twist" on this necklace to show you. And boy is it cool!! When Ron saw it his jaw dropped and he said "WOW! Now that's cool!" You gotta know it is good if it prompts comments from my husband, lol. So that'll be the pics for tomorrow.

My Mom and Dad stopped in this afternoon for a quick visit and jump in the pool. I thought you all might like an update on Miss Penny, Mom & Dad's 4 month old English Bulldog. She is as cute as ever and turning into a moose!! Dad calls her "Hatchet" cause he thinks it looks like half her face got chopped off!! LOL!

Who couldn't love a face like this?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Definition of "Eye Candy"

OMG!! I am going to take a few moments to completely and totally blow my own horn! Please excuse my arrogance, but HOLY MOLY!! These beads turned out INSANELY AMAZING!!

I didn't mention these yesterday cause I was really worried about how things were going to come out of the kiln. I started these early yesterday morning. I spent a few hours working on them. Taking brakes here and there to do stuff with the kids. I kinda went all zen like and the glass was really just flowing perfectly. I can barely believe I actually made all these.

There are more the 30, THIRTY, one-of-kind discs in this necklace, "Rusty Swings". There are double discs, there are triangles, there are squares and the traditional rounds too. I made lots of twisties to wrap the discs. And not just regular twisties, I made complex ones with 3 and 4 different twisted colors. There is encasing and is lots of spots and dots... just so much going on here!!

Now I know what you are thinking... you are saying to your computer screen... "Kerry!! OMG... is that for sale!?!?" HECK NO!! LOL. I wanna hang on to this for a while. I wanna hold it, and wear it, and show it off at The Corn Hill Arts Fest in 3 weeks. Anyone who really wants it would have to offer me a ridiculous amount to get me to part with it. So for now, just eat it up in the pictures.

When you are done cleaning the drool off your keyboard, go order yourself a plane ticket for the weekend of July 14-15th. Come up here to NY for the show and see this thing in person!! See this, and see me, I love visitors.

Alrighty I still got lots more work to do. I am working on more and more stuff. I got loads of pendants, more earrings, gotta get more bracelets going... it is just endless. At least I haven't left all the work until the very last minute, lol. I got 3 weeks. I'll get it done. For tomorrow, I have photos of another new necklace, and some beaded glass pens (a special request by one of my students!)

See ya then!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Girly Girls Rock!

Both of these have sold - THANKS!

"No Boys Allowed" - This has sold - Thanks!

I went completely girly yesterday and had lots of fun with pink and purple!! I even reworked an old bracelet and spiced it up!! Gotta love girly girl colors!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

In need of a nap...

I am totally beat. The days and nights of bead making are really catching up with me. I have been up past 1am every night this week, then up by 6:30 each morning too. I am such a baby!! I need my sleep or get cranky. So I am making an executive decission to put off the B&B shopping post until a day when I am not falling alseep at my laptop. Instead, enjoy pics of the results of last nights torch time.

First up, "Another Rusty Swing". Everyone loved the last one so much I decided to make another one. This one has a lot more Terra in it and a lot less ivory which gives it a darker feel. I also used a darked brown coffee colored cording too. I thought it was a good idea to take pics outside while the sun was bright and beautiful. But you know, I think you can make out more detail in my regular photos. This is almost over exposed and washing out the real colors. Maybe after I take a nap, I'll retake the pic my usual way.

I am totally lovin' these giant discs. I have a few more cooking in the kiln right now too. They are so comfortable to wear!! They are going to be $40each. If you see one you love, just send me an email. I am not going to post these on my website until after Corn Hill in a few weeks. So you are gonna have to act fast if you can't live without one. I know when people see these at the show (in person)they are gonna love 'em as much as I do.

Okay, I am exhausted!! It is officially summer vacation... the kids are on summer break as of 12:30 this afternoon... the breeze is blowing... the sun is shinning... I think I'll go swing in my hammock!!


* Since posting this, I have gotten a couple emails about "Another Rusty Swing" and it's matching pendant. THEY HAVE BOTH BEEN CLAIMED!! I have a new very pink girly girly set of beads in the kiln right now. So, if you missed this one, you might like that one. Thanks so much for all the wonderful compliments, gang!! I am totally thrilled you love this bracelet!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tag... your it!

I don't normally take part in these "chain" type things but for my blog, I am changing my policy. It seems I have been meme tagged by Teresa Laliberte and I have been nominated for a Thinking Blogger Award by Melanie Brooks Lukacs.

For the Thinking Blogger Award, my blog makes people think and I am supposed to nominate 5 new people who make me think. I have to say, this is really really hard. I read a lot of blogs, but they are mostly fluff. More eye candy then substance. So it was difficult to decide who to nominate.

#1 - Lindsey L. is blogging about her "Crunchy Life". I have shared this blog before, and I LOVE it! Lindsey is awesome and her posts (even though this is a new blog for her) goes really get me thinking.

#2 - Lori Greenberg is always a fabulous read. She has a few blogs going and she has been nominated by others before. So this shouldn't come as a surprise. I love reading about her studio and seeing her fabulous bead photos.

#3 - K-Style is a blog that makes me think in a different way... makes me think about what I like and don't like when it comes to design and style. I check it out daily!!

#4 - Donna M is always sharing cool links to various places in the cyber world. Plus she has some pretty fabulous beads!! Her blog is on her homepage and I check it all the time too.

#5 - Sarah H has a fabulous blog. And fabulous beads too. Her blog has great content and I enjoy her point of view on things. I think if I didn't have kids, I would be the same type of selfproclaimed hermit that she is.

Okay so there are my Thinking Blogger Award Nominees. If you have been nominated, here are the rules to carry on the meme:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award'

Now to address the tag by Teresa, lol. (Man this is a long post.) For this one, I have to answer a bunch of questions that let you all get to know me a bit better. Then a "tag" 5 new people to answer the questions too. (Told you it is a "chain" thing.)

Here are the questions:
1. “What were you doing 10 years ago?” - Ten years ago would be 1997, I was home preggers with Jacob. Eating until I nearly exploded and was working in a deli at the local grocery store.

2.“What were you doing 1 year ago?” - Same as I am doing now!! I was prepping for CornHill, I was a nervous wreck, and the kids were just getting out for summer recess.

3.“Five snacks you enjoy:" - 1:chocolate covered almost anything 2:nachos 3:chocolate rolled in more chocolate 4:granola bars 5:margaritas

4. “Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:" - Every single song in Disney's The Little Mermaid (sad I know)

5. “Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:” - Open a boutique, get a Mini Cooper, hire a maid, buy a bigger house and go to Ireland (never been there).

6. “Five bad habits:” 1:I clench my teeth 2:I crack my toes (ew) 3:my desk is always messy 4:I like margaritas too much (though I don't get to drink them very often) 5:I don't exercise enough.

7. "Five things you like doing:" 1:reading 2:swinging in my hammock 3:holding hands with my hubby 4:brushing Lauren's hair 5:digging in the garden.

8. "Five things you would never wear again" 1:glasses that look like they are upside down 2:giant bow hair clips 3:tafita 4:bicycle shorts 5:?

9. “Five favorite toys:” my rollerskates, Candy Land, my torch, DVD player, and my camera.

Now I am tagging Lindsey, Cindy, Yee, Cassie and Holly! You so totally don't have to do it if you don't want to. I am not gonna give you bad bead karma or hex you or anything. It's just for FUN!! Now I gotta go tell everyone they were tagged, lol.

Realy quick, before I go I'll tell you about the jewelry pics!! The top are some new pendants I made last night. GIANT discs. I am talking HUGE! They are bigger then a half dollar strung up on some beautiful silk cording I got at B&B. Below is another playground style bracelet. This one, all brights. It would seem that people have been waiting for Playground bracelets!! The two from the past two days have already been scooped up and are one their ways to their new homes. Just means I am gonna get to make more!!

I finally got a cable for my camera so I am gonna download all my pics and I can tell you all about shopping at B&B tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Metallic Slides

Looky looky, I did another one!! Check out "Metallic Slides"!! You remember when we were all little, before playgrounds were made of recycled tires and plastic? Way back when there was nothing between you and the ground but gravel and metal. When I strung this bracelet up, I was reminded of the days when there were those huge metal slides that, as a girl in a skirt, you squeaked down. You know the sound of the squeak I am talking about... the sound of skin and hot metal, lol. They would get so hot that you would have a burn on the backs of your thighs half way down the slide!! Ah... the good old days.

I seem to be a torching fool these past few days. I made beads yesterday morning, then again last night, then again this morning. And I will be out there this evening too. Discs are actually more time consuming then they look so other then the beads for the two bracelets the past two days, I haven't made beads to make anything else. So, it might be time to switch gears and get back into more of a "production" mode. I use that term very loosely, cause production, for me, doesn't mean giving up quality and it doesn't mean making the same things over and over again.

All the torching of the past few days had me out of O2 again!! So, after lunch today I threw the kids in the car and headed to the welding store to get a replacement tank. We drove right into a massive down pour. I went from driving 62mph to 30mph in a matter of seconds. Nice timing huh? But I am so thankful for the rain!! As much as I like nice sunny days, I am a hermit at heart and like to be indoors, working, reading, or just snuggling. When it is sunny, I don't feel like I can do any of that. I feel like I should be outside making the most of the beautiful days. Too many nice days ends up putting me in a bad mood. Weird, I know. I am just not normal.

Andrew was home sick today too, on top of everything else. He seems to have that phantom fever that struck Jacob last weekend. It only lasted 24 hours with Jacob and I am hoping for the same with Andrew. There are only 2 half days of school left and I would hate him to miss all the fun parties and field days at school!! How fast the kids are growing up... somedays it hits me harder then others. Jacob is going to be in 5th grade next year and Andrew in 3rd. Hey, wait I minute, I remember being in 5th grade. It doesn't feel like all that long ago. (Sure it was like 20 yrs but sometimes it feels like only yesterday.)

Okay... so I am feeling like I am going off on a bunch of tangents. Oh well... as far as beady things go... I am already bored with one focusing on one color at a time thing so my new plan is this... I am going back to my moto... "when in doubt, pull ALL the colors out!" I have been looking through a lot of my old photo folders and I wanna revisit some of my old favorite color combos. I wanna make some fiesta style beads. I think I should do another "all color" playground bracelet. I think some margarita beads are in order too! I'll have photos all along the way... keep coming back!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bronze Bells

I was walking around my yard watering this evening when I suddenly realized where I was seeing my latest color combination. It had been right in front of my eyes for weeks and weeks. See this bell? It's the Cosanti Bronze Bell that Ron got for me back at Christmas. Doesn't it look just like the colors in my new beads?!? I took the bell's photo a few weeks ago when Ron hung it up on my arbor. Look, the trees have no leaves, lol. I can tell you they are loaded with leaves these days.

I can finally send a few minutes tell you all about the beads I posted on eBay yesterday. We'll talk about them in the order they were created. The first set I worked on was the "Shadowing" set. I have mentioned a few times that there were some gemstones at the B&B Show that were screaming at me... they said "look at me, look at me... I am beautiful and insanely overpriced... don't you want me?" Of course I wanted it, but come on now... when was the last time you saw a gemstone in any of my work? So you know what I did? I pulled out my sketch book (I told you I always have it), and I wrote down the colors in those beads that were talkign to me. My dunce-ness shows though, cause I didn't write down the type of stone it was, just the colors. But Holly, my roommate tells me it was a form of Jasper.

Anyway, the base was a light ivory-grayish color. The foreground color was a beautiful bright amethyst color. Around the amethyst there seemed to be a dark gray that outlined or shadowed they yummy purple. The outlines faded into that light base. It was just fabulous. I loved the colors and the idea of making shadows. So when it came time to make some beads, I first thought I would use ivory, gray and transparent amethyst... but then I was standing in front of my glass rack and pulled out two shades of gray and metallic silver plum. MSP creates an awesome oily iridecent texture to the surface of the glass. TOTALLY AMAZING stuff that is!! Besure you bid like crazy on these ones... those flawlessly shadowed stringers were really had to do!! Click HERE to check out the auction.

Next up were the "Attic Finds" set. I love the way etched copper green looks with Terra (the newest silver glass by Double Helix). I pulled out Terra, copper green, ivory and clear then went to town!! For a while now I have thought it would be fun to go a set mixing my plaids and cubes. One of the cool things about Terra is the silver in it and the way it reacts with ivory. Silver really ages the ivory, creates a dusty brown look on the surface. I shared photos of these beads on the Lampwork Etc forum and got lots of rave reviews. There are already a bunch of watchers on the auction too. Click HERE to get over to the auction and place your bid!

I liked working with these colors so much that when I snuck out to the torch at 7:30 this morning, I stuck with it. I realized I hadn't made a "Playground" style bracelet in ages. So I made loads of discs with this in my mind the whole time. I plan on making a "Shadowing" one too. The colors are just making me so happy. Can't you see this with a nice seafoamy colored tank top and lovely linen capris? OR how about a dark mocha colored sweater and swaying silk skirt... just perfect!! I think I had gotten out of the habit of making these because I did like 5 of them in one week and sent them away to a magazine. I have made a mental note to myself to do at least 5 of them for Corn Hill.

After all your waiting... I finally got to pick the lastest freebie winner!! YOO HOO to Cindi H!! Congrats Cindi and thanks to everyone who has been voting. I think we are gonna stick with this once a month drawing thing. I will work on something extra special for the July drawing.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Check out "Attic Finds" & "Shadowing" tonight on eBay!! Just use the link under my photo on the left.

Time to hang out with my husband on this fantastic Father's Day!! More about these beads tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Somethings Brewing!

I just had a fantastic torch session!! I haven't been this excited to see kiln goodies in a long time!!

There are two sets chillin', doing their annealing thang. The first set is an idea I had to play with shadows. It was inspired by some gemstones I saw at Bead & Button last week. And the second set is made with ivory, copper green and they very hot Terra by Double Helix!! Think plaids and cubes!!

I will just have to wait and see if they come out as cool as they went in. If they do, I will post them up on eBay tomorrow. Come back and check out the slide show (or blunder photos) then!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bump in the night....

Ever have one of those days that reminds you that parenting doesn't come with a handbook and since you don't have directions, you are really screwing things up? Yeah? Well today was one of those days for me.

It started in the wee hours of the morning. I hadn't realized that my "Momma Ears" have reverted to my pre kid days. Not making sense? See, when I had kids I suddenly had something happened in my ears that made it so I would wake up at the drop of a pin. I used to bolt awake to the slightest sound. At some point around 5:30am Jacob fell out of the top bunk of his bed. It was loud enough to wake up Ron (in bed right next to me) but not me... I just kept on snoozing. Bad Mommy Moment #1 of the day.

When I finally did wake up an hour later, Ron told be he heard the thud and that Jacob had fell. He also told me he seemed fine and that Andrew had let Jacob sleep in his bed so that Jacob wouldn't have to climb up to his bed again. I checked Jacob out. No bump to be found. He said that his head hurt though. I gave him some Children's Tylenol and sent him on his way. Really, who would keep a kid home from school just for falling out of his bunk bed with just 4 days of school left?!? That would be Bad mommy Moment #2.

I ended up getting a call from the school nurse around 11am that Jacob had a bad headache, stomach ache, and his pupils were "sluggish". Lauren was in the bath tub at the time so it took me 45mins to get her out, dressed, hair brushed and in her car seat to get to a school that is 2 miles from my house!! For those keeping track, that's Bad Mommy Moment #3!

By the time Jacob got into the doctor's office, he had a fever of 102degrees. Turns out he has a stomach bug that is going around. No worries of a concussion but I am supposed to watch him for vomiting with confusion. If he gets sick without the confusion it's just the bug. Weird huh?

Let's all cross our fingers that Jacob is the only one that comes down with whatever it is he has. We all wanna go strawberry picking for Father's Day!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Resin Flings

I just couldn't stand it any longer!! I was literally biting my nails trying to figure out what to do about my total lack of a camera cable. I have taken so many photos that my camera card is FULL! Then as I was finishing up these new earrings I had an AH-HA idea. I thought... "I'll use my old camera!" All my photos of B&B are still trapped on the other camera but at least I could snap a few pics of my latest and greatest.

I was telling you about my resins class the other day and I mentioned a little bit about an idea I had to add resined paper to my "Summer Fling" earrings. This is the first experimental pair using that idea!! I LOVE THEM! The construction is the same, but for these, instead of glass discs, I cut discs of resined tissue paper instead. There are 12 tissue paper discs, 4 each of three colors. The profile is very thin even though it is 12 pieces of tissue. They are sandwiched between two sterling silver that I punched a hole in and textured with a stamp tool. There is also a PMC spacer too. The spacers have different patterns, and I like it that way!

Another experiment you might have noticed it the background for my photo. I recently purchased a sheet of photo paper that graduates from white to gray to black. I have read on some of the internet forums that juries for art shows prefer not to be smacked in the face with a bright white background. It is like flipping on the lights in a dark room. So in my never ending presuit of the perfect set of slides, I bought the paper to get the more subtle backgrounds. My website will still have the white backdrops, I like them better. But from time to time, you'll see these. I think it makes the piece look very hoity toity, don't you?

These earrings weren't the only thing I was able to do today. It was productive all around!! I am finally finished with my big writting project. I mentioned a few weeks ago (after the ArtJewelry tutorial let down) that I had been asked by the editor of Step By Step Wire magazine to be a contributor to a new wire jewelry book coming out next year. I hadn't realized just how close my July 1st deadline is coming. So, today I focused on tieing up tutorial loose ends. I finished writing the last one, constructed the last few pieces that will be sent for the professional photographers to snap away at, and the other pieces were polished and packaged. All in all I will have 6 projects in the book!! Can you guess which projects will be in it?!? Kinda of exciting being in a proper book!! I have so much to be thankful for and to look forward to when it comes to my writing. Between the new book, my pieces coming up in Step By Step Bead, Step By Step Wire and Bead&Button... my stuff is going to be all over the place.

I did all this today and I did it WITH a nasty head cold. It seems I am either suffer at the hands of the cottonwood trees or (what I am hoping) just a bad case of the sniffles. Why would I hope that it is the sniffles? Sniffles go away, allergies linger. For now, I am heading out to the back yard to watch the kids swim.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cable Line Catastrophe

Man what a quiet couple of days it has been. Literally... cause nothing in our house has worked!! Early yesterday the cable guy was working on the box near our house. At some point he sliced the cable line in two without realizing it. So we have had no digital phone and no internet access. It just goes to show me how cyber dependant I am... I felt so deprived and like I was being punished!! But thankfully after a little more then 24 hours, it is all back up and running. I'll I am waiting on now is my replacement video cable for my digital camera. Once I have that, it'll be back to posting as usual with lots of pics.

I have used my down time (down in itallics cause it is just like the system going down in an office, lol) well. I have been making beads... YOO HOO!! I am working on some special orders and some test beads too. This will be my last week for experimentation before I start to really bunker down and prepare for my first art show of the summer. I have already reworked a bracelet and started another one. Lots to make!!

I have a post on Watch Me Create today. It is all about my number one asked question/comment. Go check it out!! And while you are over on pop into the blog of my good friend Lindsey (hope you don't mind me sharing the link Lindsey). She is one of the most enviromentally conscience people I know. Living "green" is really important to her. She has some interesting views on consumerism that can really get you thinking. She loves getting comments too, so don't be shy about letting her know what you think.

Ron is out golfing so I am cooking pizza!! I am hoping to have that camera cable really soon, so look for more pics in the next few days!! In the meantime, I am gonna bead my brains out.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bead & Button Show ~ Part 1

Da Classes ~

I have lots to say about my trip to the big, huge, gigantic, Bead & Button Show. So, I figured I would break it up into a couple of different posts. Part One today is all about my classes. But before I jump into all that... I am home, I am safe, I am sound and I am totally filled to the brim with new ideas!! I think it is going to be a really cool couple of weeks coming up. I can't wait to share all that I come up with as the mad dash to the Corn Hill Arts Festival approaches.

Now... B&B!

Does anyone remember way back to last summer when I announced that I was going to go to B&B? Okay, I am guessing not. But maybe a few of you remember back in January when I told you about the classes I would take. Check that post out HERE if you wanna refresh your memory.

My first class was Exploration of Resins with Susan Lenart Kazmer. There is a link to Susan's site in my last post, scroll down to check it out again. You know, it has taken the past few days for me to really let that class sink in. I signed up for it because my roommate was really psyched to take it. I didn't know anything about resins and one of the reasons I wanted to go to B&B was to expand my knowledge. So, I figured "sure, why not... I'll learn something totally out of my elements". What I didn't count on is my roommate not getting in the class. It sold out so fast, she missed a spot! She ended up signing up for a different class with Susan called Filling the Hollow Form.

For those of you that follow my blog and know my creative process, you might already know what I am gonna say next... I didn't have a plan going in to the class so pretty much every thing I did I think is crap!! LOL. When I don't really think through what I want to make, I tend to go blank and not know what to make. I sort had ideas, I knew I needed "found objects" and I knew I was going to set things "in" resin but other then that... heck if I knew what I was gonna do.

I have to say... I DID learn a lot. Even though I think most everything I made in the class belongs in the trash. I do think that I got a lot of interesting new techniques out of the class. And I am hoping to translate a few of those things to my own designs. One of my favorite new techniques is resining papers. There is a process by which you wipe papers (like newspaper or tissue paper) with resin. Tissue paper will become slightly transparent and plasticised. I think it would make really cool additions to my "Fling Earrings".

The image above is of one of the pendants I made in the class. I used a bottle cap I found on the beach in Cape Cod, set a bunch of "things" in it (a glass ring, a scrap of satin cording, a sterling disc and some wire). I poured the cavitiy with resin and allowed it to cure. It is hard as a rock now and ready to be strung on a piece of cording. Totally NOT my style but it is nice to work out of my box once in a while to get the juices flowing.

Speaking of "out of the box" work... I have to say, I am pretty proud of this bracelet. Susan has a kit for a "Talisman" bracelet available during class. It was the only one she had, as far as I saw. And I snatched it up. When looking in the catalog, this was the "Susan" class I really wanted to take. Come to find out through chatting with Susan, the class itself was more about working with metals then building a talisman, so the kit was really a good way to go, for me. A talisman is a really special thing, or so I have found out since starting my special project. You have to put "yourself" into it and it is thought to be a piece of protection. So the "Self" I put into it are my glass beads you see floating through it. And a few extra things that were added after this photo (this photo was taken in the window of my hotel on a sheet of white paper, believe it or not!!). I worked on it all week!! I kept adding more and more. I gave myself a challenge and didn't let myself trim a single headpin. They are all twisted this was and that. The bracelet is actaully surprisingly comforatable to wear. I love it. With all the "extras" I have put into it, it has really become a special keepsake from my first experience at this big ol' event.

My second class was Rio Grande's: Exploring PMC class with CeCe Wire. I don't know if I have ever told you all my special relationship with Precious Metal Clay. It has been a bit of a torid affair. Very hate-love. I convinced myself that I could teach myself PMC a year or so ago. I never bought a book, never researched a thing, I just bought the "kit" from I thought, hey... it's clay, you flash it in a torch... it's silver, tada!! MAN WAS I SO WRONG!! I hated every minute of working with the stuff. It was dry, it was cracking. I just hated it and swore it off. I returned everything I bought and said I wouldn't do it again. Then came B&B... I thought that maybe with some proper instruction I would learn the secrets to this stuff everyone raves about and finally learn to love it.

It worked!! CeCe, even with an aweful stomach bug and turning green, was a great teacher and now I am excited to reorder that PMC kit, work with the stuff the RIGHT way and finally start adding it to my work. I can't wait to get started!! CeCe's class couldn't have been more different then the class with Susan. Their teaching styles were polar opposites. Susan's room was a free for all most of the time and we were let to run wild creating to our hearts' content. CeCe was much more structured with handouts, tutorials and set projects.

I can't tell you all that I got out of this class. I could probably fill a week worth of blog posts with what I learned. Just look at all the stuff I made!! I did buck the system a little bit, how could I not? This is the kinda class environment I really enjoy... the "supposed to" projects were a real spring board for ideas. The piece in the top center is my version of an African mask. I went for more of a Picasso Elephant. I love that little guy. I finished him fast enough to get to play with my left over clay and I got about a dozen shiny discie spacer thingies made. They will ROCK in earrings and bracelets!!

That pendant to the left strung on cording is my twist the "Stamped Pendant" we were supposed to do. What I love about this one is the patina. I learned something really cool... I have only ever thrown a piece of silver into Liver of Sulfur to turn it black. BUT!! If you dip it once then dip it in cool water... it goes gold... dip it again... it goes green... dip it again... it goes blue... you can even get magenta and pinks too. Who knew?!?! I can't wait to play with the patina in my silver wire designs!!

I wasn't alone in my class!! Holly, my roommate took it too. :) Check out the cool stuff she created.

See the patina on the earring pair at the top there... see what I am talking about?!? Very pinkish don't ya think?

So... all in all... the class experience at B&B was fantastic. I love that I picked things I never thought I would do in my "real" jewelry life. And out of both of those things, I got amazing new skills out that I think will help me grow as an artist.

Now, I think I might have left my special usb cable for my digital camera in my hotel room... so the pics from the second half of my trip are trapped on my camera until I can get a new cable. All that means is that I will spread these B&B reports out over a few days. And in between, I'll give you updates on other stuff I got going on around here!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Update From The Show!

I am here, I am safe and sound, I even took my first class already!! This place is insanely huge. I can't even describe how big it is. I am rather intimidated by what my roommate and I are going to see tomorrow when you go to the marketplace (the vendor area). I peaked in the door yesterday morning before class and GIGANTIC is the best word to explain the magnatude of what we are going to walk into. Intimidating but overwhelmingly exciting. I have a list of the vendors I wanna see and things I wanna purchase.

My first class yesterday was with Susan Lenart Kazmer. I have lots to tell you about it but you are gonna have to wait cause I need to hop in the shower quick, run to Starbucks and get to my second class that starts at 8am. It's Rio Grande's Introduction to PMC.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Gonna O.D. on B&B

I have so much nervous excited energy and anxiety about the big B&B Show that I could vomit!! Not the best blog opening sentence ever, I realize that, lol. But my nerves and excitement are bubbling over. I am like a kid on Christmas Eve (before you found out Santa was your parents). I can't wait!!

I checked out the website for the hotel we are staying at and they have wireless internet service so I will be bringing my laptop and letting you know all about the trip. So stay tuned!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Watch Me Create

New project update time!!

I am very excited to be involved in a great new project called Watch Me Create. Some of you might have noticed a few weeks ago when I added the link to the right hand menu. Well, it's finally up and running.

This project is the brain child of Lori Greenberg. Lori had the idea to start a coopperative blog that follows the creative process of several bead artists. This is a team effort, we are all "contributors", so that means there will be posts/articles by all of us. To start off, each artist wrote their own introductions. Mine is up TODAY! If you are interested in finding out more about me, head over there for a read.

In the coming weeks, there will be lots of posts about all sorts of bead related stuff. What goes into someone's creative process.... where we find inspiration.... how someone does what they do... and one of the goals is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and come up with NEW designs more frequently. And everything doesn't have to be a huge sucess, we'll be blogging about failures too.

Go check it out!

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Alter Ego

Everyone has one, right? A strange side to them that comes out from time to time. It is the polar opposite of their normal everyday self. Maybe for some of you the jewelry/creative part of you is your alter ego. Well, let me tell you about mine... she was out in full force today. And as I sit here, it's late and after 11pm... I have no idea where the day went, and that is one of the signs that my alter ego has been running amuck.

Don't worry, I am not a total lunatic. My alter ego is more a different side of my personality then an ego, per say. I haven't gone and named that side of me, lol. Though, my sister was calling me "Ker" today, which she never does and I can't stand. And it isn't a voice in my head, either. ;) My other side has extreme obsessive compulsive tendancies, likes organizing and sorting, doesn't mind scrubbing a dirty bathroom, and loves to move furniture. Okay, maybe I need to take back that "I'm not a total lunatic" comment, cause yes I did just say I don't mind scrubbing a dirty bathroom. Ekk.

Where is this all coming from? My Sister, Bonnie. She moved into a new apartment today. She lives in a large Victorian mansion (one of the many that fill the City of Rochester) that has been converted to apartments. They are really cute. Her old apartment she has been in about a year and a half. A few weeks ago a larger apartment in her building opened up so she literally moved down the hall. The new space is awesome! Big rooms, high ceilings, glass doors everywhere. Really cute. And let me tell ya really freaking dirty and unorganized when I got there around 2pm this afternoon. Our parents had been by earlier in the day and actually had all her "stuff" in the new place in about an hour.

When I got there, I literally started twitching and that's when the alter ego took over. By the time I left, the living room was set up (right down to the books on the shelves), the bathroom scrubbed, her room set up with her new bed frame and bedding (hospital corners too), and the kitchen was up away. Now, don't think I am some miracle worker when moving. No, I am not. But what I am good at is bossing people around. "You do this while I do that", "that needs to go there and put that here", "what's in this box, it's empty... take it to the trash", "where is the hammer, let's hang the curtains". I actually found it hard to leave. I was rearranging things until the moment I walked out the door!! I am sick, aren't I? LOL. Good thing it is an alter ego that only occassionally pops in.

In more exciting news.... my cousin Charity had her baby today!! YOO HOO!!! I am an "Aunt Kerry" now. (Yes she is my cousin, but we were raised like sisters so it's "aunt", you got that?) Amber Rose arrived at 2:59pm this afternoon weighing in at 7lbs 4oz, & 20 3/4in. She is an absolute sweetie. Bonnie and I took a short break and ran up to the hospital to visit. I didn't have my camera, but I will when we visit her later next week. Amber was bright eyed and awake when I was holding her. We were to chatting girls, her and I. She likes sucking on her index finger nuckle like our Mom's (the twins) used to do. She is a bit of a fussy bucket when she gets handed around so I made sure I held her lots while I was there. No handing off when I am around, lol. And babies are in the air.... my friend (and bead loving customer) out in Ontario CA, became a grandma this week. Her daughter had a baby boy, Luke, earlier this week. If they weren't a nation apart I would say there was love in the air for Luke and Amber, but alas long distant relationships rarely work out. ;)

Alrighty... I am gonna head to bed. I am beat (even though my alter ego is dying to wash the dishes, start a load of laundry and clean the bathroom). I plan on hitting the torch tomorrow. I am working on some new things. And tomorrow I have a really exciting new project to tell you about too.