Friday, August 31, 2007

A Week Recaped

Hold on to your seats people!! I have pictures of SEVEN new Playground bracelets here!!

First up is one that needs a little help with it's name. It's a perfect match to the beads up on eBay right now. Lots of yummy metallic plum and copper green. PLUS, it has a new kinda of twistie called a Wig-Wag. Sarah Hornik had a thread on LE about these a few months ago and I couldn't figure out how to make them. Then, all a sudden, the other day... light bulb... I figured it out!! A wigwag twists this way and that. Kinda twisting back and forth. Very cool.

This one is a stellar color combo!! Classic too. It's silvered ivory (which is ivory glass that I burnish fine silver foil into), black and clear, and called "Cosmic Playground". SI is really amazing. When you drop clear on it, it looks like there are galaxies under the surface of the clear. Just mesmerizing.

This one is called "Fudge Factory". Brown on brown with more brown and let me see, some more brown. I love this bracelet. It is so earthy!! There are few beads with a dabbling of raku too. I like all the stripes on this one.

Who remembers "Afternoon Sun"? This one is right up the afternoon sunny alley, but with a bit of brown too. I am calling it "Climbing Fall Trees". Doesn't it look like a maple tree when it is at the peak of Fall color? I think so. LOL.

After the early part of the week full of darker more muted colors, it was time to pull ALL the colors out! Meet "The Triplets", every playground has a set of triplets doesn't it? Each one kinda looks like the others, but each with their very own personality. I didn't want to go too bright, so to deepen the colors, I changed red to dark red. With the darker shade of red, all the colors are so much richer.

Besides all these Playgrounds, I went fabric shopping with my friend Lindsey, I took the kids to "Meet The Teachers" and I had a private class yesterday too!!

It has been a nutty week!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Absent Mind

I am happy to hear everyone is having fun watching my video! I added a link on the right hand side so that anytime you wanna watch it, it'll be easy to find. I would have liked to have it be the lead post for a full day or so, but I GOT BEADS TO SHOW YOU!!

Check out "My Absent Mind". I had fun with the write up about the beads in the auction. LOL... I just so happen to be an extremely absent minded person. These beads are so cool!! And fantastic colors for Fall. They look black in the photos but that is a lush eggplanty purple color with copper green. FABULOUS!!

HURRY UP!! Go get a bid in on the beads!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Watch Me Make Bead!

Check it out!

Hit play and watch me make a bead!!

Ain't that COOL!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hot Momma Shoes

You are gonna have a fit when you hear how much I paid for these shoes!! LOL! Today we had a "cleaning" day. Ron and I spent hours cleaning out the boys dressers and closet, pulling everything too small or too worn out or too "last season"(lol, that is funny cause my kids have shirt 5-6 years old and they are only 8&9). It all got bagged up and carted off to charity. But we couldn't leave the boys high and dry. After all the sorting was done, we hit the stores for back to school clothes shopping!!

We stopped at Kohls, TJMax, Old Navy and Target. Nothing but clearance stuff for this budget conscience family. The boys new shoes were regularly upwards of $45-$50 each.... we got them for less then $10 each!! Now, wait for it.... my hot momma bright red Vintage Candies with the peep toes.... regularly $50.... $5.99... OH SHUT UP!! How could I put them back on the shelf!?!? Lauren's shoes are sweet and sneaker-y on the bottom for running too. Everyone loved modeling their new shoes. Do you remember new school shoes? Did your Mom let you wear them before school? Mine never did!! I don't know if I will be able to listen to the whines and cries if I take these away!!

After shopping, I spent a few hours on the torch... and you know what I did? I made what I think is gonna be a freaking awesome eBay set of beads. I know, you are saying "Kerry, you should be getting ready for a show? What are you doing making beads for us?" Cause I love ya!! That's why!! No really, I thought of a color combo and I couldn't resist. So be sure to come back tomorrow to see pics of those good things!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Drive By Blogging

I am being a "drive by" blogger tonight. I have tremendous guilt about not posting yesterday... but I am too tired to give a proper post tonight. So you are gonna have to settle for a drop and run. We had a FIVE hours scrimmage for football today and friends over for dinner tonight... I am a walking zombie.

This here is "Copper Cola"... I think it rocks!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Remember these....

Well, do you remember these? Yeah, I forgot about them too!! But way back in May, I had the idea to make felted cuffs for Fall. (Really who wants to wear wool in summer... I know.) I made like 6 of them, gave them to friends and family... then let them slip away into some dark reaches of my mind. Then... last week... I was working on a "secret project", that needed photos of some projects. As I hunted and pecked through my files of photos... what should I see? Why those fabulous fuzzy cuff pics I took. I said to myself... well DUH!! Fall is finally around the corner... it's time to make some cuffs!!

The other day the kids and I had a lazy library movie day. It was gray and rainy... nothing to do but veg out and watch movies. So, I pulled out my giant bag of wool (feltable) yarns. I crocheted 10 of them in about 2 hours. Not bad. I am still experimenting with sizes. I am not a felting expert by any means... so I don't realize how much things are going to shrink or not shrink. And I don't know which yarns act certain ways and which others don't so... it is really a learning experience for me. That and I still can't get over the fact that after I run these through the washer and shrink them up that I can cut holes in them and the whole thing won't unravel. It's amazing, really.

Anyway, this time around I decided that instead of torturing myself with trying to make off mandrel beads then adding a shank on them so they are buttons... I thought... I should just layer up some discs!! Everyone thinks they are buttons anyway, right? (insert annoyed eye rolling here) I really wanted the discs to make a statement so I made them BIG!! HUGE PEOPLE!! Huuuuga! They are about the size of a half dollar which is the same size as the beads I use for pendants. BIG!! I think they turned out too cool. I still need to work on making more beads... and crocheting more cuffs that will shrink to more appropriate sizes. But I am so happy I remembered them!!

Oh what? You wanna know about the secret project? Dang... I thought I was going to get away with just hinting at it, lol. I am not telling you what it is... let's just say.... you'll know about it soon enough.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Grungy Fall

Here they are... the first of the latest Fall Playgrounds. They aren't all "fally" but the purple ones are, and the teal one is. Oh, and the watermelon looking one... it matches the sage green cord pants and pink t-shirt I am wearing! And it looks fallish. Isn't the blue one just totally FUN! I love it!! I have beads for more on my desk, sorted, waiting to be strung. But I need black cording for 'em and I am out. Rut-roh... but it's ordered... I'll have it soon.

This one is cool, isn't it? Kinda grungy. I got lots of compliments when I was wearing (um, I mean 'testing') it today. It is very much like those beads with the moving parts, only, this one is on wire. Oh, you didn't know I was grungy? I was... really... I spent most of the 90's in one of my Dad's button down flannels with a pair of ripped jeans wallowing in the songs of Pearl Jam. My sister calls it "Complaint Rock", lol, rather then "Alternative"... she's right. But I think it is just the dark rusty colors of this that reminds me of "grunge". I love jewelry you can play with!! Those moving rings are irresistible.

Hmmmm.... I wonder what I will have to show you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Autumn Reeling

I seem to be on a roll! I am not gonna say that its a "groove" quite yet. But lots of cool things are getting made these days.

This one is "Autumn Reeling". I LOVE these colors!! It is much more purple then the photos give it credit for. This will match my new playground bracelets swimmingly. But you are gonna have to wait for tomorrow to see those. :P

I spent a major portion of the day making beads. My Mom was gracious enough to take my monsterous children for the day so I could work. I have three more playgrounds in the kiln right now. That sounds silly doesn't it... "playgrounds in the kiln"? Weird. And I was able to string/wire up 2 more new necklaces. YOO HOO!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thanks for Playing!!

I have a couple things to get to today and I know I am gonna forget so... let's just get going.

First, check out "Rambling" my latest variation on my "Been Around" necklace. This one is much more sophisticated... more rustic then playful... more muted then bright... just plain fabulous for Fall. Don't ya think? I noticed something yesterday as I was finishing up this one and the new one I am going to show you tomorrow... I am working with longer lengths. I think it has to do with the season. Before you know it, we'll be pulling our cowl neck sweaters outta the closet. Longer length necklaces compensate for the bulk of clothing that everyone wears in cooler weather. A necklace has to know how to hold it's own against the folds and layers that seek to swallow them up.

I love the colors in this necklace. I mixed 5 shades with opaque and transparent reds with black rolled in raku and encased in clear. There is just the slightest hint of khaki, denim and sage under that clear encasing. I think it rocks! And it really happened by accident. A couple of rings met one day on my desk and said "Kerry, please, we are in love, we wanna be together, always... make us into something so we never have to be apart." How could I tell them no?

Anyway, in other news... CONGRATS TO JULIE V! This months FREEBIE WINNER!! Yoo HOO Julie! Thanks so much to everyone for all the support you have given me and my site with your votes. I have come to the decision though, that it is time to discontinue the voting thing. I have had enough of it. Not that I don't love your "I Voted" messages... it's just that I have done it for over a year now and I think it is time for something different. Are you up for that? Trying something different? Cause you know, it isn't that I don't want to give away free things... cause I DO! I love giving things away... ask anyone... anyone who comes to my studio hears me say "you can have it, no, really, just take it..." So... here is what I am thinking... we are going to come up with different games each month to win free things. I might randomly say "First to email me gets a mini set of beads"... or it might be a trivia contest and all the right answers get a chance to win something... or anytime we have a Bead Box update, and you buy something, you'll get a bonus bead... we'll figure it out as we go!! What do you say? Are you game?

Now I warn you, you better keep sending me emails though. I don't want a suddenly empty email inbox because I am not giving away stuff all the time. You better not be those kinda people that only like me for freebies. I want ya'll to keep letting me know how the kids are... what you did over the weekend... new flavors of wine I should try... if at anytime I feel email-neglected, I'll let you all know and you can be sure to send me messages.

See, I knew I was gonna get going and start forgetting what I was going to say... oh well, there is always tomorrow!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Theraurus Needed

Dang it, my clever title block is on again. Here I have a fabulous fun new necklace and nothing to call it. LOL. I have actually had a couple variations on this design floating in my head since I made my first "Temporarily" necklace a few months ago (WOW, I just checked and that was way back in MARCH!). The design kept changing even as I made it. This is just so so fun! It reminds me a lot of my "At The Playground" from way back in August 2006. This is one is different though. The beads in that older one were tiny, about the size of a dime. These ones are thick and chunky quarter size ones. But I think it is a definite merging of styles... "Temp" meets "Playground". COOL!

Have I mentioned lately (insert dramatic eye-rolling here) that I am getting ready for a show again. Oh, I am sure I have mentioned it. Well, I spent a little time this morning unloading my jewelry case and sorting out the goods. As I said before, I am excited to start focusing on Fall colors... along with my usual BRIGHTS too. I actually think I am in a pretty good position to be very well prepared. Did I just say what I think I just said? Me? Feeling prepared? Really? LOL. That is weird!! Maybe Ron is right... he said this morning that I am a veteran now when it comes to shows and I should be worried. I guess I sorta am. I have a good plan of attack ready so all should be well.

I'll have pics of yet another new necklace for you tomorrow. Plus those Playground bracelets I mentioned and the kiln is filled with beads for a new Fall version of my "Reeling" piece. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Finally!! It feels like it has been ages, doesn't it? Did you ever think I would have a new piece of jewelry again? My stars!! Well, check out the latest... "Refined". This one is a more refined version of my "Outta Ordinarily" necklace from a few weeks ago. This beauty is all sterling silver with more then 50ft of wire in 3 different gauges. It is just amazing. (Even if I do say so myself.)

There are 3 different size glass rings. The green ones are etched copper green, the large ones are a base of black rolled in raku then encased and the others are a very light transparent brown. I don't think you can find a more perfect Fall color combo. But really... when couldn't you were this?

I finished this one up yesterday, along with another surprise piece I'll share tomorrow. We spent 5 hours at a football scrimmage this morning and I can't tell you what a reprieve it was to get on my torch this afternoon. There are beads for at least two new Fall Playgrounds. I can't wait to string them up!! Think... amethyst, avocado khaki, terra, raku, dark red brown and ivory... yeah baby... killer colors, huh?

For now the kiln is cooking and it's time to chill out in the cool air on the deck.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Call Me A Kab

Is there really any wonder why this is my favorite wine ever? Come on now... hello, the bottle is really cool! Black label... even a black cork. They spelled my name wrong, but I can forgive that, lol. My name has been spelled wrong all my life. I just LOVE it!

I felt bad about not getting pics from last night's book club for you so, I figured I could take a pic of one of the many empty wine bottles we had. I was lucky enough to have the owner of Miles Wine Cellars give me a case of wine for tastings at book club. We got to try this one, their Pino Noir, Chardonnay, Ghost and Wisteria too. (Don't worry, there were designated drivers.) Miles wine is simply the best!! When I poured my friend Chris a glass of this Cab, she said "I could just bury myself in this... it is heaven." The bottle matched the book for last night perfectly too. We read The Great Gatsy which is set in 1922 (Thanks Lindsey) and there is a very pivotal moment centered around a big yellow car and a lady wanting a ride. I won't give it away, lol.

So you wanna know what a cooked?!? Get ready to drool!! At book club we eat lots of appetizers. Finger foods galore. I made a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, fresh from the garden brushetta (diced tomatoes, basil, garlic and oil) on toast with goat cheese, basil and monterrey jack cheesey triangles of phyllo dough, homemade guacamole (avacados, dice tomatoes, garlic and jalapenos) with blue chips (I LOVE BLUE CHIPS), and an assortment of crackers to go with a creamy brie drizzled with caramel and pecans. Then for dessert, we indulged in a triple chocolate cake with Ron's homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. I thought everything was deeee lish! I hope everyone else did too!!

I think the funniest moment of the night was when there was a line out of my bathroom to laugh at my "bouquet of colorful toothbrushes". LOL! Yes, we have lots of toothbrushes. Everyone has at least two. Don't ask why... I don't know.

The kids spent the evening with my in-laws which meant I had some much needed quiet time with the torch this morning. I have beads cooking!! Enough, I hope, to finish 2 of my "in process" necklaces. I also had time to finish wiring up a third. It needs to get itself into some liver of sulfur, then polish itself and take its own pictures. It also needs to come up with a clever name for itself too. It should be able to get that done by tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Friendship Test

YOO HOOO!!! Book club is done (meeting was tonight, it's always Thursday nights)!! Votes say The Friendship Test by Eliazbeth Noble is the book to read for August-September. We had a fabulous night with loads of food and loads of wine. Unfortunately, I was too frazzled to take pics, but I'll let you know more details in the morning.

Have a great night!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Visual Therapy

I am here... I am perfectly healthy... I am totally stressed out... but I am perfectly healthy.

Why am I stressed? Oh, cause I am hosting Book club tomorrow. And so far I have 10 yes(es) and only 3 can't make its and 2 more still waiting to hear from. By now you know all about my alter ego... have I ever mentioned that she has anxiety issues on top of the OCD tendencies? No? Well, she does. She was even having bad dreams this morning about not having enough food or wine because all the book club gals decided to bring their extended families. Weird huh?

I have been busily trying to clean my house (yeah,even going so far as to put the light covers of my ceiling fans through the dishwasher, HA!), planning the menu, and choosing the books for next month. Plus work on beads, making jewelry, taking the kids on outtings and not to mention soccer & football. Last night, I took Jacob to football, hung out to watch practice for a bit before getting my hair trimmed at 8pm. I decided to treat myself to a little retail visual therapy at Barnes and Noble.

I was at B&N for two reasons, first... a couple book clubs ago the hostess had copies of all the books on the choice list. I liked that!! I picked a few books I already had at home and then wanted to pick out one more. I liked having all the books right in front of us rather then a copy of a list of names. After a couple glasses of wine, who can read the summary anyway?!? I much rather see the book. My books are all choices I plan on reading anyway, so I don't feel too wasteful. Second reason I was there was to see if they had a new magazine that my friend Cindy had on her blog, (Oh, Cindy has been posting some really cool new jewelry pieces in GREAT colors... go check it out!!) called Artful Blogging. Unfortuntely, they didn't have the magazine but they'll be getting it next month!! It looks like it is full of some wonderful eye candy.

So you wanna know my selections for next month? Don't worry, you don't have to read all of them... we'll vote on one and that'll be the one to read.

Here they are in no particular order:

Julia Alvarez - In the Time of the Butterflies
Lauren Weisberger - Everyone Worth Knowing
Keith Donohue - The Stolen Child
Elizabeth Noble - The Friendship Test
Sarah Gruen - Water For Elephants

Feel free to leave a comment and cast your vote for which book we should read. And if you have read any of them... give us your review!!

I couldn't help but be pulled over to the "ART" department. I call it the "ART" department but I think B&N calls it the "craft" section. (HATE that word, so I changed it) The altered art books are right above all the jewelry art books. Altered art is something absolutely fascinating and intriguing. I think it is something I would like to start exploring. It isn't anything you can learn... I think it is just something you do. But the books on it are so visually stimulating!! I can't resist. I love it... it is VISUAL THERAPY!! I picked up a book on "Artist Trading Cards". Cool huh? If I make any... I'll be sure to share.

It was such a wonderful break from my stresses to sit in B&N with my tall caramel frappachino (no whip) and flip through the beautiful pages of freshly printed books. (OMG do I love the smell of new books).

But now it is back to reality... I have floors to wash... stuff to dust... things to scrub... then food to buy... weeds to pull... twinkle lights to hang... it's just nutty around here.

I don't usually leave you all with quotes... but I saw one the other day I just loved. I think it may replace my favorite Picasso quote.

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." - Aristotle, 384-322 BC

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Phantom Virus

WOW... we have had an exhausting weekend around here. I swear the other day when Ron asked me, "What are we doing this weekend".... I told him, "Nothing".

Lets start with yesterday. Many of you will remember that my good friend Lindsey and I are a special kind of birthday buddies. Our special days are 6months apart to the day (her Aug13 and me Feb13). We make a point of going out to lunch to celebrate. For my day, we hit Aja Noodle... for her day, it was desserts for lunch at Simply Crepes. We started by sharing some crepe-adilias. A crepe layered with cheese and fresh diced tomato. Then rather then having one of the many delicious entree crepes... we had a dessert crepe! We both got the same thing. It was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme Crepe. Loads of ooyie, gooyie crunchy peanut butter with fudge and chunks of banana all nestled in a bed of vanilla ice cream. I, of course, inhaled almost all of it and in my new smaller size, I haven't been having much dairy and BOY did it do a number on me!! I was nibbling fresh mint leaves from Lindsey's garden after lunch trying to settle my stomach down. LOL... lesson learned, lol. No appetizers and desserts... I'll explode!

It took most of the afternoon to get feeling myself again... but eventually I did. And I made some new test beads for a new pendant design bubbling in my brain. Ron and I enjoyed a quiet night waiting for the dark to come so we could try to see some shooting stars. But then... my sister called and asked if I would come up to the city for an impromptu outing. I feel like I never really get "out" anymore so I said sure! I haven't been to a 'bar' in years, LOL! It was fun people watching (man do I feel old in a room full of girls that look like teeny boppers in halter tops), playing darts (me and Bonnie's friend Dan won!) and laughing so hard I just about peed my pants! I have to say, I am proud of myself... I have become very responsible in my old age. I had just one beer all night. I knew I was driving and I knew I had to get up early... so I was very well behaved. I got home very late, around 1:30am... and for some strange reason found myself up at 4:30 am pucking my brains out!! Wait a minute here... I only had one beer... why am I getting sick? I think it is a phantom virus or something. It could be what made me almost loose my yummy lunch... and what woke me from a sound sleep... and has me still queasy even now.

I wish I could say that I was able to get back to sleep and stayed in bed late... but NO!! I was up, showered and out the door by 8am for a very special baptism. My cousin Charity's daughter, Amber, was being Christened today!! And my sister Bonnie is Amber's God Mother. After Mass we spent the entire afternoon at a backyard cookout celebrating Amber's special day. Jacob and my cousin Curtis (age 24 and Amber's Uncle) are two pees in a pod. Curtis used to play football when he was Jacob's age. He was giving him lots of pointers and tips. Andrew was glued to the volleyball net with the 'big' kids. And Miss Lauren was having a blast playing with about 8 little girls from 2-5 years old. Talk about fun!!

Now we are back home... stuffed to capacity. I actually put on my loose yoga pants when I got home, I am so stuffed. We are gonna just relax the day rest of the day away.

As far as beads and jewelry goes... I have loads of new bottle caps made... everyone who sees these gets one! They are a huge hit around town here!! I have been consulting my fashion guru sister and I hear "jewel tones" are very in this Fall so I have started pulling out all my dark rich rods of glass. I will be spending this week working on new "Fall Flings" in these jewel tone colors... I have about 15 new color combos written down for Playground bracelets too... plus those projects I teased in one of my other posts this week. So, I should have loads of "stuff" to share in the coming days.

I am very excited to see what a huge hit "The RETRO Dozen" has become. It's on the eBay Pulse Page... did you see? Thank you so much for all the bids!! What till you see what the proceeds of these last couple of auctions is going towards. It is gonna be a BIG surprise! Stay tuned!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A 'Honey-Do' Project

A few weeks ago, Ron found a diamond in the rough and he has taken on his first BIG project. Check this out!! It is a 1955 Seeburg V200 jukebox (or juicebox to Lauren). My Dad has had several jukeboxes through out the years and Ron has always said he wanted one. Gotta love internet classified ads... a woman asked if anyone knew anyone who did jukebox restoration. Ron said... "why, what have you got?" One thing led to another and suddenly this gem showed up in our garage.

When I say it's a diamond in the rough, I mean it in a lot of ways. First... these photos are making it look good. It has been in a barn for the last 20yrs and unfortunately it's primary inhabitants were rats that peed a lot!! IT STINKS!! I actually couldn't make beads two nights this week because it was so hot and humid in the garage. Normally I would suck it up and sweat through the torch time, but the humidity makes the smell worse. Yuck! Each and every part is going to have to be cleaned by hand (my suggestion to Ron is with ammonia). The chrome needs polishing, the glass had a half inch of grim... and someone really liked whatever tune was in the "M" section, cause that key has a hole in it.

Another reason it is a diamond in the rough is that Ron got is for $400, but several jukebox restoration websites quote it's value around $12,000 when expertly restored. One even sold on eBay in this same condition... not working... for over $2000!! DANG!! Anyway... this is Ron's new pet project. He works on it a little bit everyday. I can't wait to see it light up and have those old 45s cranking. I told him it will make a perfect addition to my studio if it gets done right :) or to my shop (which I want to open and he still insists I can't). Click HERE to see what a restored one of these looks like.

I'll keep you posted on this adventure of his as it goes along. I am already thinking we need some dark maroon and turquoise beads... it's the original colors after all.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Promised Pics

When I say I am gonna give you pics... I deliver. I told ya I had some new stuff brewing. Up top here is the new Playground bracelet I made this week while making "The Retro Dozen". It's called "Napping Nannies". How fun is that?!? It got it's name from another B&W Playground I did called "High Class Nannies". I just love B&W Playgrounds... I think I will probably make another... lol. Since I have all the colors out anyway.

I am not sure if I have hinted at this next one or not. So many posts get jumbled in my head sometimes. Anyway... something I have at shows, that I don't put on my website, is single bead pendants. And last week I had a sorta 'AH HA' idea of making long sleek versions of some of my classic designs. I made 3 and love all of them! I used my "Zoozii's Kelara Long & Lean" press to shape these. They are very thin, which give them a very low profile on against your skin. I love the huge 'canvas' this press gives you to play on. LOVE 'EM!

Okay, now for an update on yesterday's situation. I received messages from Crystal Myths via a thread I had posted on LE ( about how I was handling the situation. To summarize, their responce tells me I need to 'prove' that either the instructor of that class has seen my article or 'prove' that I influenced her work. Without knowing her IP address (sort of a computer signature) how can I check if she has ever been to my website? Of course I can't 'prove' the things they are suggesting and nor can they 'prove' the opposite. So it is just turning into a 'she-said-she-said' situation. I asked the moderators at LE to close my thread. I did not set out to ruin reputations nor meliciously attack anyone. I feel like my hands are completely tied so I am just dropping it. Ron says I need to adopt the attitude that makes me tell myself... "I am so freaking awesome, everyone wants to be me." It is a lot easier said then done, but I'll try! LOL.

Okay... last pic... a little sneak preview of a new piece I am working on. I'd love your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Eventful Days

It has been an interesting an eventful day around here.

In some good ways, and some not so good ways. First... I got couple of cool new things started and some done. But unfortunately I am doubled over with a stomach ache due to either "girly" things or bad Chinese. So, I am being lazy and don't want to get the camera out. But I will tomorrow, for sure!

I was sent a link to this CLASS being offered at a bead show in September. I am sure all you hardcore "Kabs" followers will say... 'Hey! That is your Sandy Lanterns Bangle!'. I said the same thing when I opened the link. I sent emails to the class instructor and to the group hosting the show. The instructor doesn't feel that my design was original, says that she doesn't subscribe to SBS Wire Jewelry Magazine and that it is a simple design anyone could have come up with. I haven't heard anything from the group hosting the show. But I just find the whole situation terribly frustrating. I know I am not the be all and end all of wire working. I know 'bangles' have been around since the dawn of time. And I would have considered this coincidence if it wasn't for the lampwork beads being the same size and shape... the layout of the beads being the same... and those small spacers right at the ends before the coils. It is just too similar. I truly think I came up with something original when I made my Sandy Lanterns bangle. I'll give the artist the benefit of the doubt... maybe she didn't intentionally set out to make the same bracelet. Maybe she saw mine way back in Feb 2006 when I posted it on the B&B Forum or here on my blog even. Maybe she saw it in one of the wire forums where people have tried my project... who knows. But I think she was in one way or another definitely influenced by my project either consciously our unconsciously and it should be acknowledged that I am the original designer.

Now it has been argued that 'hey, you gave up rights to the design the minute you gave it to the editors of a magazine...' To that I say "take a look at what the editors' themselves have to say..." On The Bead&Button Magazine website you can download the following from the magazine's editor, Mindy Brooks.

Beaders' Ethics
Mindy Brooks
Editor, Bead&Button

When, if ever, is it acceptable to sell or teach another person’s designs? That’s a question we hear frequently at Bead&Button, and it tells us that many of our readers care about the ethical and legal issues involved when it comes to the money-making aspects of beading. Unfortunately, we also have firsthand experience with beading’s darker side – the dishonest few who cause heartache and financial harm by cashing in on another person’s original work. And when unethical people profit from ideas that don’t belong to them, it hurts us all. Maybe it was inevitable that as beading became more popular, people would look for shortcuts to exploit the growing number of lucrative opportunities, and maybe there is nothing one editor or one editorial can do to change that. So, it’s gratifying to know that my concerns about the ethics of beading are shared by the editors of other beading magazines, including Cathy Jakicic of BeadStyle, Marlene Blessing of Beadwork, Pamela Hawkins of BeadUnique, and Leslie Rogalski of Step by Step Beads. They will also be covering this topic in upcoming issues of their publications.

To address the question presented at the start of this editorial, Bead&Button’s position on copying designs is as follows:
1. It is unethical to copy an artist’s work to sell without the artist’s permission.
2. It is unethical to copy any work that has appeared in a magazine, book, or website and represent it in any venue as an original design.
3. It is unethical to teach a beading project that has appeared in a magazine, book, or website without the artist’s permission.
4. It is unethical to teach a beading project learned in another teacher’s class without the teacher’s permission.

If you agree, please help disseminate this message by including a copy of these statements with your class materials, your kits, and the pieces you sell. You can download a copyright-free version at Mindy BrooksEditor, Bead&

I also wanna encourage you jewelry makers out there to read THIS ARTICLE also published by Kalmbach on the rights of jewelry designers, the rights of beaders (the magazine readers) and a bit about copyright law. I found it very informative.

Okay so that was a big chunk of my day. The other parts were spent running the kids around to doctors appointments... disabling blowout fights over who's turn it is on the PS2... and wishing I could make beads. I unloaded my football and soccer responsibilities for the night on Ron and I am gonna just lay down and relax.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Retro Dozen

Here is the LINK to the auction for "The Retro Dozen"!
It starts at 9:00pm EST.



How totally unexpected are these? They even shocked me! I have been bouncing around this design in my head for weeks and weeks now. They are inspired by some fabric used on a bag by BlackBags on etsy. It was this "Hi Fi Aqua" bag. I never made them because I couldn't figure out what colors I wanted to use. I love blues but just couldn't come up with the right combo for what was in my head. I couldn't wait any longer and yesterday I started making these and just went for it in classic Black White and Gray.

I am calling them "The Retro Dozen". I struggled with the name for hours! But then I thought... there is a "Baker's Dozen"... there is "The Dirty Dozen"... why not "The Retro Dozen"? I have to say, I am having a really really hard time letting these go. I am so in LOVE with them. I just wanna hold them and cuddle them. If I had seen them made by another artist, I would have added them to my favorites and lusted after them. Then if by chance I could win them, I wouldn't make anything with them... I would just admire and stare at them for ages. I think they are a true "collector's" set.

I told you last week that I was hitting the ground running on Monday and I am sticking to that. I already had two torch sessions yesterday and one this morning. I got this new set made, plus the beads for a new Playground bracelet, a new necklace and another new design. I am hoping the beads for the new design turn out like I hope. If they do, I will be back out at the torch after football practice tonight making what I need to finish it. I think I am really ready for Fall and the pieces for my next show are going to reflect that. I am actually kinda excited to explore really cool Fall color combos!!

Oh, I wanted to share this with you... check out the work of Carrie Armstrong Reid on Etsy. I think these mugs are the coolest things I have ever seen! The design is incredible, and I know coffee mugs (I got a million of them!). I just had to have one!! You all better get one too!!

I'll pop back in later with the link to the auction for you. And you all better not make regret listing these... I wanna see lots of enthusiastic bidding people!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Caps Are Coming


I decided to post these on etsy to get my "sold items" number up. I hope you find one you like!

It was a great, disaster free night, so all my caps set up nicely and I am excited to show you how they turned out! Here is one batch. I have 13 in all (and will of course be making more). These five are on wide satin cording and the others are on a thinner silk. (You can see the other type of silk in the photo below.) I am going to work on posting them on my website later today or tomorrow. But until then... let me tell you all about them!!

I said yesterday that they are 'kinda' easy to make. And they are. But only in that you can kick out a bunch at a time. First, I sorted through the caps picking out my favorite ones. (When I post them later, you'll be able to see the front and back of each one, individually.) One of the things that I love about these is that they are 'GREEN' pendants... made of recycled stuff. I have a box that collects lots of silver scrap bits. I usually save scraps to have re-refined at the end of the year. But for these, those bits and pieces are great fillers. I also used frit (crushed glass) and spare beads too. Old chunks of metal I practiced hammering on... a rusty old lobster clasp... bits of satin cording... nothing is safe when filling caps. So... I sort the caps, adhere them to the surface where I will do the resin pour, then start loading them up.

Here is where the not so easy parts come in. You need to plan ahead when you make these. Each one needs something to make a bail out of later on. (A bail is the part that lets you hang it off something, makes it a 'pendant'.) And those bails need to be placed in a way that makes them balanced, and also won't interfere with the resin pour.

So now... you have your caps all set. They are filled with bits and pieces... they have bails... it is time to do the 'pour'. You mix up equal parts of resin and hardener. Stir and stir and stir and stir some more. You gotta mix it really well. Then you let it sit for about 5 mins. That gives it time to release the bubbles. Then you slowly fill each cavity. I use self doming resin so that, literally domes. It goes above the level of the cap itself and makes a sorta magnify glass type effect. Now, every once in a while you spill a little. Or one over flows (like the blue one I am wearing in the pic.) Don't fret. Leave it alone. The spill will snap right off with pliers when it is dry. And then, you can decide if you like it half filled or if you wanna re pour it the next time you make more. I happen to like this one half full.

Last thing to do is wait. Wait, wait, wait... until the resin sets. After about 3-4 hours it won't spill any more but is still tacky. After about 12 hours, it is all dry. Dry, and ready to be strung up. Cool Huh? So see, they are 'sorta' easy, 'sorta' not. Good thing is that they are recycled, like I said, and they also don't' cost a great deal to make. So, when I list them, I will be posting them for $30.

For how to wear it.... Each silk ribbon is tied off with a simple disc bead. The bead can slide a little, but only if pulled. So you can pull the disc and lengthen it to any size. My sister always wears her string that hang down in the back, wrapped around the side in the front. I have LOTS more caps and LOTS more scraps... so I will kick out LOTS more of these (while I am still in the mood.) I am trying to do some in every color... so if you have a favorite color, let me know, I'll try to work on those.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Outta Ordinarily

Here it is again... one of those situations where I don't know if I have lost my mind or if I have come up with something really cool. LOL. Check out "Outta Ordinarily"... my latest necklace design. It was these links that kept me up the other night. I had several rings on my desk already... then stole a few from lariats (shhhh, don't tell... I'll put new ones back, I promise)... then made some more. It took 21 assorted glass rings to make this necklace!!

It is very chunky... and totally funky. I love it!! I love how the rings move a little... I love all the colors (glass and coated copper too)... I like the length... I just like everything about it. But then... I don't know... it is very asymmetrical (which is cool), and it is a LOT of color... and oh, I don't know... it is that tiny bit of funk still pulling at me, making me think it might not be good. Hopefully you can let me know with some comments. I love me some comments. And comments are anonymous... so really say how you feel. As long as you aren't spamming (ex... giving a link to some pass production plant in China)... I'll post your comment.

The "one thing" about this one. The class is going to wear off the colored copper coating in parts. It just can't be helped. The rings rub in spots and those spots are going to loose color. I don't think it will detract from the look. I think it will actually look kinda cool with some shiny copper here and there.

I have been experimenting all afternoon!! Not only did I finish this piece, but I made some new test beads for pendants. And, I also got the first of several packages I am expecting this week. A few days ago, I won an auction for a big batch of vintage unused bottle caps. Really cool ones... lots of colors... cool 'words' on them... just really neat things. When at Corn Hill a few weeks ago, so many people commented on the bottle cap necklace (scroll down when you hit the link, it's the first photo) I made for my sister that I had to promise to make some for the next show. At least a dozen people wanted to buy it off her neck. SO... bottle caps... those came today and I have about 15 of them (they are sorta easy to make, I'll explain later) filled with 'stuff' and resin, curing on the my newly painted table. Tomorrow, baring any major disaster (ex... kids knocking over the newly painted table holding resin filled bottle caps), I will have lots of those to show and tell about! Stay tuned!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Table Project: Complete!

IT'S DONE!! The table is all done. Three coats of polyacrylic and all. I actually finished the painting yesterday. Then put on the first coat of finish last night, another coat this morning and again this afternoon. I am thrilled with how it turned out and I am think it makes a great addition to the studio.

And the whole process of taking a week off has really done it's job. I am itching to get back to the torch and to my jewelry desk. I have lots of goodies coming in the mail over the next few days. New PMC stuff, more Parawire.... and I got SIXTEEN POUNDS of glass last week too!! I am going to continue my hiatus through the weekend and enjoy some quality family time with the kids and hubby. Then the plan is to hit the ground running on Monday. I have just a few more weeks until The Clothesline Arts Festival. If I want to be ready... double torch sessions need to get started.

I love these shots of the patterns on the table. See... I told ya I thought they looked like cool wrapping papers or fabric. Speaking of which... if you read the comments on the last post, you'll see that Hillary posted some names of fabric designers with really cool blogs. Check out Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner! Their blogs led me to Free Spirit's website. I decided to send Free Spirit an email and asked how I would go about designing a fabric collection. I will let you know what, if anything, comes of it. You know, one time, there was this ad on the Xerox (where my husband works) internal want ads, asking if anyone knew a graphic designer to work with someone on a fabric collection. Ron sent her my name. We had several emails go back and forth but nothing ever came of it. Maybe I'll have better luck with this. Hey... you never know, right? I just really think some of my glass patterns would make for some really cool fabrics!!

Oh... almost forgot! You never got to see a 'before' shot of the table!! Here is was.

Now it is time to hit the pool!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Table Project: Day 2

IT'S WORKING!! I am feeling the funk starting to wear off!! YOO HOO!! I couldn't sleep last night... and you wanna know why? Well cause I was designing a new wire link for a necklace in my head. And you know whatelse... I was checking to see when things I ordered recently are gonna be delivered and I was actually MAD to see that it isn't until the end of next week! And that is saying something. I haven't been excited to see the UPS guy in a while.

The table is coming along well. I am happy with how it is turning out. I am kicking myself though for using that one square of pumpkin orange. It is an aweful color to use in the other blocks cause it is semi-transparent. AKA... ugly. Oh well... I am workign it out. I was thinking today that this would make a fabulous fabric collection!! So if any of you know who to talk to about starting a "Fabric Collection" let me know. I am thinking "Kab's Calicos" has a nice ring to it, don't you?

There are just a few more blocks to fill in tomorrow and I will start to put sealer on it. It is such a fun addition to the studio!! Jacob came down to see what I was working on and he says "Mom, did you paint all that?" And was like "Yeah... what did you think I was doing with all the paint and paint brushes?" He says "WOW, it looks like a real artist did it." "Honey, I am a real artist" "No Mom, someone who's career is an artist." I am thinking I will always be "just Mom".