Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Table Project: Day 1

I am off to a roaring start on my new teaching table. I started it late yesterday afternoon. I primed it (2 coats) and painted the edge. I knew in advance that I wants a wavy checker board edge. And for those of you that don't paint and want to try it and want to paint checker boards... DON'T draw a grid and try to fill in all the white squares then fill in all the black squares. You'll drive yourself bonkers. Paint the whole area white, then draw the grid and then paint the black squares.

Lauren was by my side all day while I was painting. My camera had more then 70 blurry photos from her. LOL. But I am nurturing her creative mind and can't tell her not to take pictures. This one, is actually clear so I thought I would post it. Yes, I am in my pj's... and yes I am okay with that. I am actually still in my pjs and it is 10 past five! Oh, there is a funny story to that Ryder Cup poster framed int eh background. Ron and I got it when the tournament was here in Rochester at Oak Hill. We went to a basement sale in the basement of the club house a few weeks after the Ryder Cup was over. The dust and mold was so bad I got a really bad cold and lost my voice for two weeks. Ron loves that poster... I really need to find a new place for it though. I hate having it in my studio.

After I finished painting around the edge, I started painting in the layered block in the center. I have this vision in the head of layers of funky retro wrapping papers. Kinda like a collage of them. Every block needed two coats. And I didn't want two of the same color touching on any side.

My plan is to use the colors of any touching block to make the patterns of the block I am working on. The colors on this next photo look terrible, don't ask me why, it is something about my camera and purple. But you can see what I mean. There are a yellow, pink, blue and fuchsia blocks touching this dark purple block. SO... the pattern is made with those colors... get it? I think it will work well to make sure all the colors are evenly distributed through the entire top.

Here is where I am stopping for today. I need to hop in the shower and get Jacob to football practice. Hey look... you can see my little soldering station in the background.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Funk - Defined

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes for Andrew yesterday! He thought it was really cool. The day was great and Andrew now has more Legos then he could every build. It seems it was a lego themed year.

Okay... on to slightly more serious things. Anyone know what a 'funk' is? Well, for me, it's a moody uninspired down time that feels bleak and never ending. These usually happen after a big build up to something (aka - that show a few weeks ago). And these funks usually last a week or two and resolve themselves.

I feel like I have been in this funk for too long. It doesn't seem to be resolving itself. I think knowing that I am in a funk is the first step in over coming the funk. But it still doesn't solve the problem at hand. I am bored, I am uninspired, I am over tired and I am totally unmotivated to create. Add to that everyday comings and goings of life and I think it is a recipe for creative disaster!

So, here is the plan I came up with today. My next show is in about 4 weeks. I need to get these funk outta here and here is how I am gonna do it... I am taking a few day creative hiatus. Yeah, that is RIGHT! I AM NOT GONNA DO ANYTHING BEAD RELATED FOR A FEW DAYS!!

Last night I put in a big order for a bunch of PMC stuff. I am excited (well sort of excited, it is a funk remember, I am only sorta excited) for it to arrive and I have lots of ideas of what to make with it. I am going to work on 'other' things creative until it arrives. And I already got started! I decided I am in the mood to paint. I have a desk in my studio that I use for teaching. It is a simple wood table. And now it is getting a make over! I'll have photos of it for you tomorrow. (In process photos, not finished, I am not that fast a painter.) I am going to make it match my directors chairs. And I think me and the kids will hit some garage sales later this week and look for some mixed matched chairs to go with it.

I also think I'll sew myself a new bag or clutch... maybe I'll get my book club book read too. Anything that keeps me away from the beads and jewelry for a few days. I know that will give me time to 'miss' it and then, hopefully, my funk will wear off and I can get back to kicking butt at jewelry making. (And I don't have a choice about it... I gotta get ready for another show!!)

I hope you will keep coming back and reading what I am up to. I know my funk it invading my blog posts. I am out of funny, witty, humorous things to say. But, I'll get my groove back... really I will.... sooner or later!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Happy Birthday ANDREW!

HEY!! It is my middle kid's 8TH birthday today!! YOO HOO NANU!! We have had a party packed weekend with a 'friends' party yesterday and a 'family' party today. Everyone should be here in just a couple hours. Andrew's favorite meal is summer barbeque, so it's hots, hamburgers, and sausage on the grill. Corn on the cob, fresh summer squash, grilled green peppers and roasted potatoes. And we are topping it all off with my world famous moister then a cloud white cupcakes. Oh, and that giant present was THIS. He has been working on it since he opened it. With more then 900 pieces, I think it'll take him the rest of the summer to build!!

If you have a second, leave Andrew a comment with birthday well wishes. I will show him them all tonight before bed!!

PS... I posted a new necklace on my website.... be sure to check out "Cola Pop".

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Plan


I hope you like them!! Doesn't this poster fit the beads to a "T"?!? I love old cola stuff and the colors are perfect for Fall. Let me know what you think!

Here is a quick link to THE BEADS!

Okay, here is the plan. I have Bead Box Beads for you!! BUT, I am not going to list them until this evening. I never got to the torch Wednesday or Thursday so I got up extra extra early to make beads this morning. There are a few more sets soaking in the kiln right now. I should be able to get them out of the kiln around 6pm. I'll clean 'em, string 'em and post all the sets then.

Check back around 8pm to see what it available!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rivet Experiment: Take One

I tried something new today. While spending the morning kid-less and oxygen-less, I decided to try my hand at rivoting with sterling wire. I had seen some pendants online somewhere (I wish I could find the site again for you but can't seem to come up with it) that were glass beads mounted in a sterling bezel. I thought they were cool but figured they were something I could never attempt. For one, I am not ordering a bunch of bezel wire when I don't really know how to use it. Second, I have really only started to solder and soldering an entire bezel seems dang near impossible in my mind. And then, well duh, I am a glass artist not a metalsmith. But still, I couldn't get the idea of a "special" pendant out of my head.

I have been letting it stew for a while. And then it hit me... rivoting! I love the new jewelry that Lori over at The Royal Bead has been posting on her Etsy Shop. I had noticed that a bunch of her designs rivots two piece of metal together. I think Susan Lenart Kazmer refers to it as a "cold connection" because it doesn't envolve soldering or a torch. I started to think... " I bet I could trap a glass bead in between two pieces of metal."

I have had a bunch of 1in sterling silver discs on my desk for a while now. I made a bunch of dangle pendants with them last summer that you might remember. With the help of those and my new (crappy) disc cutter from Harbour Freight, I set to try out my idea this morning. (Oh, the kids are at breakfast with my in-laws and my O2 tank is empty awaiting a refill... that is what I meant by kid-less & oxygen-less.)

My first experiment was a FLOP! But only because I hadn't really planned out the process. I polished up a big disc, and a smaller one, measured and cut the piece of sterling wire. I made the rivet on back of big disc, layered the beads and smaller metal disc on and then riveted the front piece of wire to the smaller disc. Looked pretty cool... then I wanted to put jump ring on and solder it to hang it as a pendant. Grrrrreat. I solder the ring and drop the piece in pickle. IDIOT! Instantly the glass was cracking!! Thermal shock... I am such a moron. The heat of the torch made the metal hot which made the glass hot... the sudden temperature change fractured the glass. What is the one of the most important rules about make beads people? THEY HAVE TO COOL VERY VERY SLOWLY. That is why they go in a kiln. I just wasn't thinking.

The second attempt turned out much better. I soldered the jump ring on the big disc first them did the rest of the steps. I was making these with left over glass beads that I laying around so they aren't very "Kabs" like in the bead design. But it is definitely a cool new design and I think I can come up with some really cool glass discs with lots of extra detail just for these. Some of you might be looking really close at these and saying "but Kerry, they aren't perfectly centered." To you I say... "I know, I did it that way on purpose." I love layered circles... they are one of my favorite things. And I love when they float and swim around, not perfectly centered. I think it gives the design more depth and interest.

I have to say, I am so proud of my little beads though. I whacked the crap out of the wire to make the rivets with the bead right there under the blow of the hammer and they came through awesomely. That is annealing people. Makes those little guys tough as nails. Now if were to slip and whack an edge that had a raised dot on it, I probably would have chipped it off. But these basic solid ones hold up really well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bogey Boys ROCK

YOO HOOOOO!! We just got home from a sensational soccer game!! Jacob scored FOUR goals and Andrew scored TWO... YEE HAW!! It was a blow out game with a score of 11 to 2.

The game was kinda bittersweet. It was Jacob's last soccer game for a while. Football starts on Monday and with four night a week practices, he won't be playing soccer. After tonight's game we went and picked up all his gear. It is just wild all the stuff that goes into football. What the heck does an 9 yr old need a griddle for?!?! I had to have a lesson from a guy who turned out to be the vice president of the football league. There are knee pads, thigh pads, hip pads, tail guard, shoulder pads, pants, cups, jerseys, helmet, mouth guard.... it is just insane!! But you should have seen the grin on that boys face! He is just so excited to start.

I have a rather nice collection of beads started for Friday. Four sets so far that I am really happy with. I hope to get 3-4 more sets made between tonight and tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Soccer Mom Season

I can't remember if I have mentioned it yet or not, but it is soccer season around here. The boys are playing together on a local park & rec team. It is the first year they are on the same team. Andrew was finally old enough to move up and it is the last year for Jacob before having to be on a travel team. Their team is the Monsoons. Games are Monday and Wednesday evening. So far, Jacob has been the star player, scoring 3 goals last Wednesday and 2 last night.

I thought Andrew deserved the photo op though. He is trying so hard! He is really fast and just loves running around after that ball on that field. Last night is was pouring and they got soaked!! This pic is from one of the games last week. It is just so fun watching them play!!

Anyway... as far as beads go... I think I will have Bead Box Beads on FRIDAY!! WOOHOO!! I already have a bunch in the kiln and sketches for a bunch more. I am going with some vintage coke-a-cola inspired colors. Dark chocolate brown, ivory and persimmon red... they looked yummy going in the kiln. We'll see how yummy they are when they come out. I think it is a very classic color combo, good for any season, but really remind me of Fall. I love Fall!!

Book Club is tonight... I can't wait! And guess what... next month, I'll be hosting!! When I host, I will be coming up with the book selections that we vote on to read for the September meeting. Post your suggestions!! I am terrible about coming up with "must read" books.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Another Kester Gang Reunion

After the tense week with the kids, the past few days have been a really wonderful retreat into some fabulously relaxing time. Friday was just plain great and I work up bright an early yesterday to race over to Target. I was there by 8:15am getting my copy of HP7: The Deathly Hallows. I spent the entire day reading and finished the book up this morning. Anyone else read it? Did you beat my 757pages in under 24 hours record!?! I loved the book. I cried several times, lol. I am such an emotion reader. I am sad to see the series end. But can't wait for the last two movies now!! Book Club gals are gonna be disappointed that I chose Harry over The Elegant Gathering of White Snows... but really can you blame me? Feel free to post your reviews of the book if you finished it. My favorite part was Harry & Dumbledore in Kings Cross Station.

I haven't made beads in what feels like ages. I am warming up the kiln as I type for some evening time at the torch. We spent most of the day at our annual "Kester Gang Reunion"! Do remember my post from last year... HERE? I excited to say for the first time ever... RON & I WON THE WATER BALLOON TOSS!! YOO HOOO!!! And it was fun seeing my 20somethings cousins having a hula-hooping contest and everyone using a gigantic plastic golf club and ball in a closest to the pin contest!! There were peanut pick up games and three legged races too. Loads of fantastic food and a great time all around. I think Aunt Ruth is goon host next year!

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Berry Business

The kids and I were driving around this afternoon looking for houses we saw online. When we came across a raspberry picking place. We pulled over, dug a few bucks outta the ash tray (it is a change tray for us) and picked away!! We picked 4 pints of berries... raspberries and blackberries too. They are some of the biggest plumpest sweetest berries ever. I think I am getting a tummy ache from eating them all!! What a wonderful random way to spend a gorgeous afternoon.

I haven't fired up my torch in a few days, but I did pull colors this morning for new Bead Box beads. Something about the cloudy 60degree morning we had sparked my feelings of "Fall" being around the corner. So I think we are gonna have a Chocolate Brown, Khaki Lt Brown and Ivory beady update next week. I'll let you know how it goes!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bouquets of Sharpened Pencils

Does anyone remember where that line is from? Bouquets of sharpened pencils... come on... you remember... it is from You've Got Mail. Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan in an email how he loves NY in the Fall and how he would send her a bouquet of sharpened pencils if he had her address. I always think of that movie (which I think is adorable and totally love) when the stores start all their back to school sales. The kids and I were in Target today to get the new Colbey Caillet cd when we saw it... the B to S section of the seasonal department. YOO HOO!!

I think I have told you all about my obsession with school supplies before, but I will tell you again so the newbie blog readers can get the scoop. I have ones of those under the bed Rubbermaid totes FULL of school supplies in my room. Every year I stock up on everything the kids need. I get about a half dozen of everything!! 20cent boxes of crayons... 25cent glue sticks... 10 spiral bound notebooks for $1... 10pack of pens for 88cents (all three colors)... I am talking everything people... highlighters, post it notes, markers, loose leaf paper, folders, new scissors... I could go on and on. I fill my cart to overflowing for less then $50. I LOVE IT! And with the box full under the bed, come mid February when the boys need new colored pencils, I don't have to run out in a blizzard and pay $5.99 cause I got 4 packs when they are $1.

And ya know, I gotta say... I don't just do it for because it is a good deal. That alter ego of mine... the one I have mentioned before... the one that has sever OCD... she loves all the nice new boxes full of goodies in a row and packed away nice and neat. Oh yeah... she is in heaven today.

For the most part, this week has been kinda rough with the kids. Summer is really setting in and they are bored. If I am not spending over moment entertaining them, then they are at each others throats fighting. Makes a stay at home Mom wanna throw her kids in daycare... I swear! But I was able to turn things around today. I let them trash the house, lol... we built a HUGE fort in the living room with all the pillows and blankets we could fine. We popped popcorn and watched a movie. Then while in Target, we picked up a jar of pasta sauce... they had one labeled Puttenesca. Which, if you remember (as my kids did), is the kind of pasta the kids make in Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events. So now everyone is very into helping make dinner tonight.

Oh, I should tell you about the jewelry today huh? The top up there is "Striped" a special piece just for Joolz. And the bottom one is another one similar to "Festivities", this time called "Clustered". It hasn't been decided yet if this one is heading to Joolz or not... I'll let you know. If it is... I think you can send an email to Francie at Joolz and order it. (I think) If it is staying with me, I'll get it posted on my website shortly. Did you all see just how much I have listed this week!! Dang!! Yesterday was necklaces... today was earrings and pendants... go check them out!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I am finding it really hard to turn off my brain! I have been in "show" mode for so long, that I can't seem to make the switch to relaxing for a while. I guess that is good. I am trying not to do jewelry and bead things. Really I am. I actually have a realtor coming over in a little while to do a walk through on my house. We are thinking of moving and need to get an idea on the value of our home. So I have been cleaning my brains out! But even that isn't keeping me distracted from jewelry.

You know, I think it was all the cleaning that did me in. I love a tidy work space and seeing all that empty bead free area just set me heart a twitter. I couldn't help but start to play with my beads and things. In this new necklace, "Festivity", I had this giant paper clip chain on my desk for ages. I got it about a year ago at http://www.beadshop.com/. I haven't used it until now for several reasons. 1) It was kinda thin and flimsy-er then I thought it would be so I was worried about the weight of beads bending it, 2) I kept thinking I wanted to weave something in and out of the giant paper clips but couldn't decide between seed beads or cording, and 3) I kept messing up my desk so much that I would lose where I put the chain and you know the saying... "outta sight, outta mind".

So, anyway, today my desk is spotless and I am sitting there, wishing there was something I could be making when all of a sudden, I see my paper clip chain hanging out of my light stand tray. I pull it out and start to hold it, bend it, play with it. (You jewelry makers know how that goes.) I start to roll ideas around in my head. Cord... seed beads... cord... seed beads... ugh. Then... wait a minute!! That other chain I have, the tiny one I use with some of the lariats!! That'll do the trick!! I wove the rolo chain in and out of the paper clip chain, tied them together with a wrapped loop and then though.... "NOW WHAT?"

I had a pile of loose beads (actually three piles) on my desk. I shouldn't say loose, they are in little tubs. Kinda sorted into... usable... what was I thinking... and don't use. I just started pulling beads out left and right. The majority of what I have laying around is rings and discs so that it what you'll find clustered up in this new piece.

I LOVE IT! It is bold and full of color. The weight of it is perfect. It is substantial with out being heavy. I love how it comes to a "V". It is a little asymmetrical too, which I think is really cool. Sometimes you just gotta tell your inner OCD patient to shut up and let things not be perfect all the time. I think I am gonna have to do these more often when I have bead piles laying around full of beads I think I can't use.

In other news... I was able to post a bunch of my Lampwork & Wire bracelets today. Go pop into my website and check them out!! I am planning on posting necklaces (including this one) tomorrow with earrings to come of Thursday and Friday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More from Corn Hill

Enjoy the slide show... then head over to my website and check out the TEN new Playground bracelets added!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Corn Hill ~ Day Two

IT'S OVER!! Corn Hill 2007 has come to an end. It went by so so fast. Today was another really successful day. I am thrilled with how well everything went. I have loads to tell... I have loads of pics, but they will have to wait for tomorrow. I am too tired to load, edit and post pictures. LOL... sorry, but I promise, they'll be up tomorrow.

Thankfully though, I am not too tired to tell you a few stories about the day.

First of all, "The Phrase of The Day"..... drum roll please.... the winner is.... Kerry Bogert saying "NO, they are NOT buttons." LOL. It seems that everyone thought the glass discs in my Playground bracelets were buttons. Which is a really cool idea, but nope... they really are all glass. LOL.. but then you blog readers already know that. I sold several of the Playgrounds but since I ended up making 15 of them, I have several still left. I am sure you all are sick of seeing "Sold Out" everywhere on my website, so I am going to work on posting new jewelry this week. Playgrounds will be one of the first to get posted!!

Second idea of the day is a new advertising slogan I am going to have to promote.... "Collect All FOUR!" Are you thinking "collect all four? what the heck is she talking about?" Well, I have post card size business cards and there are four different images on them. I had 3 different people through out the day ask if they could buy my business cards. I said "heck no... just take them" and they went on to tell me how they have my cards from last year framed in various area (like the bathroom) of their houses. So they wanted all the new ones to frame with the others!! Clever huh? Cute idea for a little powder room don't ya think? Lots of pics of brightly colored jewelry... I LOVE IT!!

Last thing I will tell you about actually isn't funny. It is really serious. I got hurt while packing up the booth. I am alright!! A little shook up because of how lucky I got and how worse it could have been. While loading the tables in the van, I wrapped a bungee cord around the tables so they wouldn't slide. One of the ends of the stretched cord snapped into my face just above my left eye, across my nose and against my chin. I have a welt the size of a goose egg, just like two year olds get when they are learning to walk. I have heard people say the phrase "I saw stars"... I thought I knew what that meant. I now know what that really means. I did truly see fireworks style stars in front of my eye. As I said, I got very very lucky. I could be in the hospital right now. It is definitely a learned lesson! I will probably never use a bungee cord again!! I am pretty sure I am going to have a gigantic bruise in the morning and there is already a cut on my nose. Ugh... oh well, what can I do? It happened... I'll be fine.

The whole smack in the face thing kinda ended the weekend on a sour note, but apart from that the weekend was spectacular!! Up next... The Clothesline Arts Festival in September!!

I'll have photos for you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Corn Hill ~ Day One

*~sigh~* I am so tired!! What a long and WONDERFUL first day at Corn Hill!! So where do you want me to start? How about with the packing of the car on Friday. You can see why I love my mini van. Everything fits in so easy. I only take one seat out and the rest just fold down. It really works out great. My sister and I headed up to the show around 7pm last night to set up the tent and tables. Then we went out for a margarita to calm my jitters. It was a nice relaxing night. I got home early and tried to get a good night sleep. I say tried because really.... who could sleep when you have a show the next day!?!

This morning I picked up one of my book club gals, Renee, to help me out. She was a sweetheart to come and help while my sister was having time with her boyfriend. (Don't you worry though, my sister be there tomorrow for sure!) We got to the grounds about 7:45 this morning and it took a solid hour and a half to set up the jewelry. But I was thrilled with how the booth turned out. Doesn't it look fabulous!?! Do you notice what is new this year? Yep, those white runners with the black swirls. I wanted to add something to break up the black mass that is usually my tables. LOVE it!!

The crowds this morning were just huge. I was a frazzled mess. Even with two of us, there was a line in the booth at times. The earrings are just FLYING out of the booth!!And everyone loves petting the Playground bracelets. Though, they may be a little wild for the Rochester natives. Several have sold, but mostly the raku and terra ones. A few of the big wowie zowie necklaces have went too. The "Rusty Swings" and "Playground Antics" pieces were almost bought several times, so I am thinking they may not make it through the day tomorrow. LOL... at least I hope they find homes tomorrow.

My painted chairs have been a HUGE hit. I have gotten loads of comments on them. And come to find out, there are a bunch of artists with painted director's chairs. Who woulda thunk it? Someone would say "Did you paint those?" I would say "YEP!" and then they would say "I saw so and so painted their chairs too." I thought I had come up with something really unique, but I guess not. Oh well, they are extra special to me because of the time I got to spend working on them with my Aunt Peggi. So there. LOL.

Around 3pm this afternoon, it started to POUR! It was perfect weather up until then and then it started with a tinkle, then a sprinkle, to a heavy rain. Pretty much people and sales stopped when the rain started. Not that I am complaining, I had a KILLER morning, so I am very thankful. Plus, I am figuring all those crowds from yesterday are going to be heading out tomorrow instead.

It is so much fun seeing people who I remember from last year and hearing the ohs and ahs over how far I have come in my work and my style. (Sorry that sentence has like 3 "ands", lol... I am really really tired.) I have people building a "Kab's" collection and I am honored! It is fun to turn new people onto lampwork too. I over heard someone say "where does she buy these beads?" And I LOVE getting to say "I made every one of those beads myself." People really have no idea sometimes what they are looking at. And that isn't meant to sound bad, it is just to say how flooded the market is wit jewelry. People just assume things are mass produced. It is really sad.

Alright, that is enough for tonight. I need to head to bed. I gotta get up and do this again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Bloomin' Mind

Do you ever have ideas that you can't tell if they are really good or really stupid? I had that happen last night, and I am thinking I have lost my bloomin' mind. I think the long hours and endless jewelry creating has finally wore my muse out. Then again, maybe she just whacked me on the head with something good. You'll need to let me know!

See, I have been taking old things apart here and there to recycle them into new things. I had a small little flower disc on my desk that I couldn't stop fondling yesterday. So says to myself... "let's just make a whole mess of flower discs". The glass was flowing great and I ended up making about 18 little flower discs. I strung them up into a Playground bracelet this morning and I really can't decide what I think of it. I love the colors, that is for sure. I had a rod an amazing cobalt blue color mixed with trans teal, turquoise and a new true opaque teal color. The detail is hard to see in the photo, it just looks like a big blue blob to me, but in person you can see each little flower. Hmmm... maybe I should make a daisy one?

Anyway, while sitting there torching away (worrying about the suicidal insects) I thought... I should do a bunch of these for dangles on lariats too. Again... I can't tell if it is a good idea or a silly one. I think it is my inner flower child coming out. Or I have now entered the "Flower Power" stage of my retro inspired designs, lol.

I also made this little goodie yesterday(strung it this morning), "No More Chores". That new true teal is really yummy. It maybe a new addiction. I am thinking it would be cool to layer light turquoise over this teal... hmmmmmm.

Alrighty, we need to have a little talk about the current auction "Pinball Wiz". You all have me really concerned. There is only one lonely bid. These beads are really really cool people!! And they weren't easy to make. Making all those lines criss and cross while keeping them really straight... that doesn't just happen by itself. I hope you will take a minute to go check out the auction again... oogle at all the photos... then BID on them!! THEY ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT!!

Jacob and I have a 6:30 appointment with one Mr. Harry Potter... I CAN'T WAIT!! Are you gonna see it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Insect Cemetary

I just came in from my second torch session of the day. And the only reason I stopped making beads was the suicidal insects.

I don't know what it is, but it seems that every bug in the county with depression issues can smell my torch. They come buzzing in my studio and straight into my 2000 degree flame. And the poor dears don't vanquish right away... no... most times they fly in, singe one wing, drop to my desktop, and spin in a circle for several minutes. It is torture for them and for me. I don't know what to do for the little things. Do I smack them and put them out of their misery and potentially loose a fabulous bead or do I let them spin and suffer in the name of art.

In the morning, I go back to my desk to get out the fresh beads toasting in the kiln only to find more insects gave up on life, deciding to drown themselves in my water dish. My entire work surface is littered with the remains of once vibrantly annoying insects. What is the insect world coming to?

Here is what I am really wondering... if it isn't a death wish on their parts and they only fly into the flame because they can't resist the bright light... then do they all fly into the sun during the day and that is why you don't see moths in waking hours? Isn't it the sun the brightest thing then?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Inventory Time

I think I should start this post with a warning.... it's hot, I am miserable, tired and cranky. It is a condition no one should blog in, but I don't see my mood or the temperature changing in the next couple hours. So, I am saying heck with it... and I am just gonna blog while moody. There, you have been warned, lol.

Last night I sat down with a piece of paper and created a daily "To-Do" list for the next five days leading up to this weekend's big show. Already, wrenches are being thrown around everywhere and my plans are changing, but it is definitely getting done. Today has just been nutty!! Jacob started a "Graphic Novel" writing camp at the library which means loads of running back and forth to the library and little "continuous" time working. Not that my work time is very continuous during the week while kids are home and Ron is at work anyway. But you can really get a lot more done when you don't' have to have everyone out of their pjs by 9am as opposed to when the opposite (my favorite, pjs all day) happens. I am grumbling, aren't I. You were warned, lol.

Anyway, I did take a little time this afternoon to step back and take stock of just where I am at in the jewelry department. You can see all I have in the slide show above! Sorry about the really crappy photos, but you'll have to settle, I took them quick. What is in the photos is pretty much everything I have. Except for a few neck wires I know are hiding in my big jewelry carrying case and some spare earrings. I haven't decided yet if it is "enough". LOL! It is loads more then I took with me last year, but I still feel unprepared. I think I will always feel unprepared. It is always so hard to judge. I would love to hear your feedback, especially if you are an artist that attends shows yourself. How much do you bring? More then this, or less? I would love to know!

Below here are the Playgrounds from the past few days. From left to right they are: "Wild Child", "Monkey Bar Business", "Conney Island Carousel", "Girls Rule, Boys Drool", "Sandbox Bully", "High Class Nannies" and "Imaginary Friends". Wow that is a lot of names!! Hmmmm... I wonder if I will have the energy to do anymore this week... I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Watch for Flying Wire

Ron commented the other day, after seeing yet another batch of Playground bracelets, "don't you do wire anymore?" I have had a couple of sets of beads on my desk for a while now just waiting to be wired up. After hours on the torch this morning, I decided this afternoon was going to be all about the wire.

I came up with a new wire link that I am really happy with. You can see it up close in the photo below. It is a twist on basic wire wrapped loop design. Some of the beads you may recognize from an old Bead Box Buyables update a couple months ago. I made large loops on the end links and they ran a wrapped section of wire through those loops. Voila! New link/clasp. I like it because it conforms so nice to your wrist. It makes the beads stay on top and the transition area where you go from beads to wire is right on the outsides of your wrist. Anther great thing... easy to size! If you need it short, open the ovals into circles and it is shorter. You need it a little longer, pinch the ovals and it lengthens. Love it!

I am still beading my brains out to make Playgrounds too. There are beads for 3 new ones in the kiln and the three that came out of the kiln yesterday ROCK! They are "Conney Island Carousel", "Monkey Bar Business" and this one "Wild Child"...

"Wild Child" is my new favorite. This is one you GOTTA see in person!! I used only black, raku and clear. When the sun hits that raku you can see all sorts of blues, greens and even purples. It is gorgeous! (even if I do say so myself)In the kiln right now is a black&white one I think I will call "High Class Nannies". A ivory, dark brown, and opal yellow one I think is going to be "Sandbox Bully". And then there is a lavender/lime/orange one that still needs a name. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saturday Sun

This has got to be one of the most picture perfect days ever. You couldn't ask for a nicer day. It is sunny, it's breezey and cool while still warm in the sun. We are chillin' on the deck, just relaxing.

I spent several hours first thing this morning on the torch. I have the beads for THREE more Playground Bracelets in the kiln. There is one in black & raku, purple & orange, and a lime/turquoise/orange one. Plus a bunch of beads for beaded pens. It'll be a few more hours before I can open the kiln and get those goodies out. The only thing stopping me from making more beads was that I ran out of mandrels. I seem to be on a disc kick again! I am just gonna keep riding the Playground disc wave right to the shore, lol. Goodness knows, you can never have too much inventory at an art show.

Alrighty, today's bracelets. Up top there is "Raspberry Mocha for Mom". What Mom wouldn't love to set on a park bench with a cool crisp Raspberry Mocha Frappachino while she watches the kids play? I got the colors for this straight from the source. I had one of those signature summer drinks last week. LOL. It was just like this bracelet!! Mocha blended coffee that was a swirl of brown goodness... topped with whip cream and drizzles with raspberry syrup. Heaven, I tell ya!!

Down below here is "Afternoon Sun". The best time on a playground is in the afternoon sun, am I right? So this one is a mix of transparent fuchsia pink, coral orange, light persimmon red and dark candy red. A fiery piece of bling indeed!! I love it. Red is a hard color to wear, but I know red lovers... they are hard core color enthusiasts. Watch out!

And just cause they look so nice lined up....

Time for another dip in the pool. Still haven't taken earring pics yet, maybe tomorrow! We set up the tent and I think they kids are gonna have a sleep out. We have marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate for a bonfire and s'mores too!! Should be FUN!

Friday, July 06, 2007

At it again!

I knew I wouldn't be able to resist showing you these!! Check out "Trapeze Rivalry" and "Penny Arcade", respectfully. I must say, I am extremely disappointed with you blog readers! A few days ago I asked you to send me color suggestions for Playground Bracelets and not a single one of you gave me an idea. Bad blog, bad. So, I have had to do all the work myself and come up with my own color combos.

"Penny Arcade", obviously, was an off shoot of my "Pinball Wiz" beads. I love the colors. As I have said before... turquoise and coral orange are the "it" colors of the year and I just love the way they POP off black. I have come to the conclusion that my Playground bracelets are pieces of jewelry you design an outfit around. Rarely are you going to have an outfit that already matches one of them... you gotta get something "special" to wear just with them.

"Trapeze Rivalry" (LOVE that name, lol) came from a happy accident. I had way too many rods of glass on my desk, but was being lazy and didn't want to put them all away. Really, who has time to sort rods when there are beads to make? So I have a BIG pile o' glass laying on my desk. I keep adding to said pile with the new glass of the day. Yesterday while I was working, suddenly a few rods rolled off the pile onto my work surface. (Don't worry, all perfectly safe... the rods were NOT hot and they rolled to a glass free area.) The colors that rolled down were transparent ink blue, opal yellow and an odd rod of lavender. DON'T THOSE COLORS LOOK SWEET TOGETHER?!? Very soft and feminine without screaming FOOTBALL at you with all the purple and yellow. (I just asked Jacob, he says the Vikings are purple & gold, I'd trust him on that.) I love it!

Cooking in the kiln already this morning are beads for "Girls Rule, Boys Drool" and "Raspberry Mocha for Mom". More names I love, lol. My name block has finally lift, YOO HOO!! The first one is an all blue on blue set of beads layering light and dark turquoises and the second was inspired by a Raspberry Mocha Frappachino I got at Starbucks last week. Think brown, ivory, and PINK! When I came in from making beads, I kinda freaked out for a second. I realized I didn't have cords in the colors I need to match these bracelets... CRAP!! So I just put in an order with Fran at www.deepwoodart.com and hopefully, they will all arrive early next week so I can string these fabulous things up. In the meantime... I think I will have another "earrings" day at the torch. I got lots of thumbs ups on those during the 4th o' July party the other day.

I will see if I can't get earring pics for tomorrow... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pinball Wiz

"Pinball Wiz" starts tonight on eBay at 9:00pm EST!! Besure tocome back and get your bids in.

I am on my way out the door. I need to get my O2 tank refilled... for those of you keeping track... yeah that tank went in just TWO weeks!! I'll be back!


Alrighty, I am all refueled and ready to torch later tonight. This as been such a nutty week. It seems like a second ago it was Monday and suddenly tomorrow is Friday. Holiday's in the middle of the week ROCK in the dead of winter when you are bored, but in the summer when work needs to be done, it just messes with your head.

About the new beads... aren't they KILLER!?! I love LOVE these beads. The name came to me in the shower this morning. For some reason "Pinball Wizard" by The Who was running through my head. When I was a kid, my Dad had a game he used to play with me and my sister. He has always been a music buff and would say "I'll give you a million dollars if you name this song!" while something was blaring from the radio. Most of the time it was The Who. Bonnie and I would always say "who?" but I have yet to see a penny of that million bucks. Anyway, I was running names through my head for the set and was reminded of car rides with my Dad... one thing led to another and suddenly I was saying "Pinball Wiz" is the name of the new beads.

I really think it fits!! I know the pinball game I have on my computer has a black screen with lots of bright neon flashing things. The way this tequila sunrise coral orange and scrumptious turquoisey blue POPS off the encased black is just like the game screen. According to my sister orange and turquoise are the "it" colors this year so this has got to be the "it" set of beads to have!!

In other beady news, I finished the beads for two more Playground bracelets this morning before I ran out of oxygen for the torch. And I hope to get another one done tonight. If you are lucky, I'll share the photos tomorrow. But after what happened when I showed bracelets last time... I am scared to share!! I need these to fill booth space next weekend... you can't buy them all up on me!! LOL!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


A very Happy 4th to you all! I am just popping in to let you know that I think I will have an eBay set of beads for you tomorrow. YOO HOO!! Come back and check them out!!

We had a big family gathering here all afternoon, I am beat... so more tomorrow!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bang Gals!

Bang bang bang... gals... I made bangles!! Yoo HOO! I am so thrilled with how these turned out. It is really hard to get a good pic of them but with these you get the idea. I made THIS bangle way back at Christmas time. It was just a fun way to wire up a set of beads I had. Ever since making the first one, I wanted to do a batch of them with bright beads.

For some strange reason, I never got around to making them. I think I found the idea of sitting and making "basic" beads boring. So I just avoided doing it. My mood finally clicked this morning and I decided to sit down and just go nuts making rounds. I forgot how fun rounds are!! I made 6 beads with a base of each of the six colors. So there were six red one with orange accents, lime accents, turquoise accents.... etc. Then I did the same with orange and yellow. By the end of a couple hours I had 40 or so beads. Plenty enough to make these four bangles and a fabulous pen too.

The bangles are easy to wire up. They have a 14g sterling silver core wire and then are wrapped with 20g ss. Since playing with adding coils to pens, I thought it would be extra playful to add it to the bangles. Let me know what you think!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cherries & Berries

On a whim today, Ron was in the mood to get some end of the season strawberries. There is a "u-pick" patch a couple miles from us, so we popped in. Pickings were slim but the ones we found were some of the sweetest and juiciest I have ever tasted!! On the drive over to the berry patch, I remembered that a local cider mill had "u-pick" cherries just starting. After we hunted down our couple of quarts of strawberries, we headed over there for some sweet cherries.

I was kicking myself the whole time because I hadn't thought to bring my camera!! It was a quick whim trip, who carries a camera on a spur of the moment outting? Oh do I wish I had that camera!! It was our first ever trip to pick cherries and it was SO much fun. You should have seen us all on our tippie toes reaching for every cherry we could find. Jacob had a red juicey beard around his mouth from stuffing his face. Lauren would shriek and squeal every time she found a low branch that hadn't been picked over.

When we got home, Ron warmed up some chocolate and we dipped a ton of berries and cherries! Oh, and pretzels too for the freak that is Lauren who hates fruit. Crazy girl! The kids had a blast doing that too. They are trying so hard to be on their best behavior. We are bribing them. Oh yeah, we aren't against it. While at that cider mill picking cherries I bought a dozen fried cakes and there ain' t no chance their grubby little paws are coming near them if I have to listen to them fight for one more minute. I swear I will eat everyone of them myself if I have to!!

All in all we ended up with 4 quarts of strawberries, 10 POUNDS of cherries ($1.35 a pound, no bad) and a dozen doughnuts. I can't wait to dig in later. Though I have to say, I have been popping cherries in my mouth left and right all day (no chocolate ones) so I am busting at the cherry lovin' seems.

Before this cherry and berry adventure started, I did spend a few hours on the torch. I have officially used up ALL the strands of silk ribbon I bought at B&B, so I am feeling good there. I have loads of earrings now too. A bunch of necklaces to fill the busts up... and now I need to focus on bracelets!! (Since you all stole them from me last week, lol) If you have any fun color combo ideas for playground bracelet send them to me!! I love the ideas!!