Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick ~or~ Treat

This year it's a pair of battling brothers. One a dark knight and the other a courageous hobbit.

And, of course, a grumpy old lady to tell them "Pipe Down... Be Careful... You'll poke someone's eye out."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crappy Day

I am having a really bad day and I am not in a very good blogging mood. So, lets just enjoy a photo of the latest custom Playground necklace I worked on over the weekend.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mailbox Musings

It was in my mailbox today! Did you get yours? It is the December 2007 issue of Bead&Button magazine! It is popping up in mailboxes across the country... so hurry, run to your mailbox and see if it's there.

Quick, flip to page 90... yep... that is my with my "Hip To Be Square" bracelet. (Now renamed... "Connecting The Dots".) B&B seems to be subtly changing their look. I think it is a fantastic step in the right direction. I love the whole "Wirework" section in this issue.

Now, I know there are some of you who have been waiting, quite literally, months for this tutorial. And I wish I had beads to offer at the moment, for you to get to make your own connected dot/hip square creation but, alas, I have lots on my beading plate. But, never fear... I will get beads out there soon!! It is on my to-do list.

In the meantime, if someone wants to grab up this bracelet (YES the actual one photographed for the magazine) send me an email. The length on it is comfy and measures about 8in. All sterling, as usual. And my original Mod Dot beads in black with layers of avocado khaki, turquoise and browns. Just yummy. And cost is $90, plus the usual $3 to ship. Hmmm... I wonder who will scoop it up first?!?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wearing An Old Hat

Okay, so I decided the pendants with the silver rings aren't ready for their debut yet. I need to order a couple more things, and I need to let the idea stew a little longer and then I'll share. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you one of the very special orders I am working on.

I don't know how many of you are aware or remember this... but I used to do weddings! There was one summer in particular about 3 years ago that I did 15 weddings in about 4 months. I would set an appointment with the bride. She would let me know what colors her bridesmaids were wearing. I would come up with a bunch of "samples" and she would pick her favorite. After that I would make enough for all the girls in the bridal party. All for a whopping $15 a necklace.

I think it is somewhat needless to say that brides can be nightmares. They have a vision and they are sticking with it... and most of the time they don't care who gets run over in the process. Once I started making beads, I stopped following bridal leads and started down the path I am on now. But something has come up that has me wearing my old bridal jewelry hat.... my cousin Audrey is getting married on Nov 24th. (And thankfully Audrey is a sweetheart, not a nightmare.)

She asked if I would make jewelry for her 3 bridesmaids, our little cousin Rachel (the flower girl) and for her. Her girls are all wearing the same dress but in 3 different colors. They'll be in apple red, persimmon, and truffle brown. Yummy combination. She wanted the jewelry to have a "berry" feel to it. So the photo above is what I came up with. Audrey had shown me a photo from a magazine of what I call a twig style bangle made from pearls and crystals. And simple pendants to match. And those didn't turn out quite how Audrey was hoping, so off to the bead bowl they go and out to the torch for me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another Ring A Ding Ding

If "OMG, you made that?" is the #1 question I get asked at an art show...then a very close 2nd is "Do you make rings?" I always say no, and then get an "oh, you should". Well, of course I know I should, don't you all think I want to? I know how popular rings are... I know they would be killer sellers... but I didn't really know what I could do to make rings stand out from the ring crowd. I feel very strongly that I don't want to do what everyone else is doing, so those easy wired up rings that is a piece of 20g made into a swirl and wrapped around a ring mandrel aren't for me. And I didn't want to buy premade rings that you unscrew one side of then slide a bead on either.

So, patiently I sat, waiting for ring inspiration to strike. You might remember a few weeks ago when I went out to dinner with Anne, from AnneMade Jewelry. Well, Anne has this really cool line of rings she calls Spinners/Fiddler rings. And I got to play with one during dinner. ZAP!! Inspiration struck!! You can read about Anne's inspiration for this ancient design HERE.

I have been waiting for 2 weeks now for the order of the materials to make these to come in. While I was waiting and working on orders (and cleaning obsessively), I made a few size 7 glass rings. So, for once, I didn't have to wait until there was time to torch or for the kiln to cool down to work on something new... I was all ready to experiment!!

I started by trying to recreate one of Anne's rings. (Which will stay in my personal stash, 1- because I freaking love it and 2- I have a 'no copy for profit' policy.) Then I moved on to making my version of the rings. It is a little different then what I want. So I am going to keep working on the design, but I think I am off to a great start!!

Tough part is the sizing. I need to start double dipping my ring mandrel or something, cause these are on the small side (6- 6.5). My notoriously chubby Kester (maiden name) fingers won't fit the ones with the lampwork on them. I need a 7.5-8, at least. And I am not kidding... my Dad is one of 13 kids, he has 10 sisters and 2 brothers. Not one of his sisters (even the tiniest 5 foot 100lb nothing ones) wear at least an 8 ring. Great thing to pass down in the family, huh? But the thing I really love about it is the playfulness of it. I love sitting a spinning the rings while I am talking on the phone or thinking about what I want to type next, lol.

In other news, I spent most of the day making beads. Carrie (LOL) took care of prioritizing my to do list and with that in hand, I am quickly ticking things off. I was getting rather worried there for a minute!!

Tomorrow, I am going to have new pendants to show you in this new ring design... pretty cool!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Colorful Day

You gals came so close to getting these beads in an eBay auction. I can't even tell you how close. Since my house was sparkly clean when I woke up this morning... and since Lauren has the sniffles and was zoned out watching cartoons... and since I am (I think quite obviously) avoiding working on orders right now, I snuck out to the torch first thing this morning.

I have been thinking of revisiting my "Ice Cubes" beads for while... and I have been wanting to add a dash of my latest "The Retro Dozen" set too. I just couldn't visualize how to bring the two together in brights? Sure I could do it in a monochromatic combo, or sure I could do it in a basic favorite combo... but could I do it with ALL the colors?

Like I said, I am avoiding my orders at the moment. And I think the avoiding isn't really avoiding, I am really just thinking how I can best execute those orders and I don't want to sit down and work on them until I know I won't waste my time. So, it seems kinda silly doesn't it... I don't wanna waste time... but I will sit for an hour and a half experimenting on a possible eBay set? I know... it doesn't make sense.

It took all day but by 6:oopm (about 10 hours later) theses were ready to come out of the kiln. I was so anxious to see how they looked!! I am thrilled with the results!! I was sooooo close to stringing them and photographing them for an auction. But then I realized... silly girl, you are totally stressed out about having time to make jewelry for your trunk show in November with all these orders looming... why don't you make stuff with the beads?!?! And so I did. I had enough beads for these two fun, colorful numbers and a couple more to spare.

I would love to hear your thoughts. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Psycho Cleaning Mode

Hello Blog Readers! I would like to introduce myself, I am Carrie. I am Kerry's extremely neurotic, slightly OCD riddled, alter ego. I know Kerry has mentioned me before and since I have taken her over for the day, I thought it only right that I do her blog post along with everything else. :)

For weeks now I have been patiently biting my nails, watching Kerry work her fingers to the bone creating loads of new jewelry. Why bit my nails? Well, because I have watched while she works and totally neglects her other housely duties. The dust was getting out of control and I just couldn't sit back any longer. I had to take charge.

Now, I know you really shouldn't work people to the point that their hands shake from the adrenaline of cleaning (so much so that she can't make beads today because she is so shaky). I know you should stop and eat if you need to. And yes, I know that the mess didn't happen in a day, so it doesn't need to get done in a day. But Kerry really should have expected this. If she hadn't let things go so far, I wouldn't have had to step in and when I step in things get done my way.

So far, I have had Kerry... sweep and wash all the floors... dust everything... windex the tv screens and appliances... beds are all made... base boards have been scrubbed... stairs and couch corners vacuumed ... 3 loads of laundry laundered... dishes loaded... piles of papers sorted and tossed... dvd's collected and re-shelved... Lauren's been fed, bathed and taken to school... the bathroom has been disinfected and all traces of soap scum abolished... and I may have her dusting the blades of the kitchen fan next.

Kerry seems to think she is going to keep me out of that smelly boys room by simply closing their door. But no sir not me... I can't be fooled... I know there is a rotten apple core in there, somewhere, with my name on it and I am not letting Kerry rest until it has been found! It is for her own good. I know once I am satisfied then she will breath a sigh of relief and she can get back to creating those funky new jewelry designs that are dancing in her head next to me (cause yes, I am really just in Kerry's head).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kan Disc Delight

I knew I would love these!! I just knew it!! I had so much fun at the torch on Friday. I hadn't pulled out my "brights" in a few weeks and it was about time. I am working on a couple of bright orders so as I made beads for others, I made beads for my stuff too.

As I said the other day... these are "Kandinsky" style brights in my "Two For" style necklaces. They are a little different then the previous ones (one thing you can count on with me... I never do things the same for long, right?). In the other's, I have used solid color glass rings, or really detailed discs with lots of dots or stripes. For these, I really wanted the wild colors and the size to be the focus.

Now, I know what you are thinking... "Kerry, those are really cool... talk about color... but I really don't have anything those colors... or that bright to wear." Here is what I have to say about that... when you wear something wildly colorful, you need to keep the clothes simple. So, if I was to wear, say, the big one on the right side there... it has a deep amethyst purple center, dark red, persimmon and coral orange rings with transparent red on the outer edge... I would wear the new dark purple, long sleeve, scoop neck tee, that I got at Old Navy, and a pair of my favorite jeans. And if I had a "work or businessie" type situation I had to dress for, I might pick the one on the left. It has a light minty green center with rings in turquoise, coral and the outside is a filigrina light blue. I would wear a pair of black slacks with a soft, baby blue, v-neck sweater.
See, keep it simple silly... kiss.

The other thing that sets these ones apart from the others is that I had a lot of fun with the chains. No two chains are alike (obviously). Plus, I didn't want to waste any chain "shorts" that I had so some have 2-3 different chains in one. I love that.

I really need to toss these in the tumble to brighten up the chains, but I am kinda scared to!! I am worried all those chains will come out in one big knotted mess. And I just haven't' had the chance to tumble them one at a time. But hopefully, I will this afternoon.

Why haven't I had a chance to do it yet? Well cause we had one of the busiest weekend's ever!! My Mom's basset hound, Wilhelmina, had SEVEN puppies on Friday... Lauren had her first ever sleep over party with her bestest girlfriend, Lillyanna, on Saturday... and Jacob had his last football game of the season on Sunday and broke the record for the most tackles by a rookie in the league's history!! (More the 70 tackles total for the year!!) I am looking forward to settling back into the weekly groove and getting back to my torch.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My One Liners

Last night was book club. I think I forgot to tell you, LOL. It seems I am going to be plaguing book club with late arrivals for the next 5 months. Ron is going to have class on book club nights until around March. But I don't care how late I get there... book club is my escape and I just have to get there.

As usual the company was wonderful, the wine was divine and the talk was tantalizing. I just love my book club gals. I have to tell you, I think I have become the book club clown. It seems my "one liners" always have everyone in a stitch. I don't ever do it on purpose, I swear. I often don't think before I speak, especially when I am talking about food (and especially when I have had a glass of wine). More often then not, my mouth is full when I say these things too. LOL.

When the lovely Tami was hosting, I had a piece of chocolate chip banana bread that was insanely delicious. And threw a mouth full of goodness, my shoulders sank, my head fell back and I said "it ivs juft so buttery". Chelsey about popped a gasket laughing so hard. Last night was Chelsey's turn to host. She had a fantastic spread. I took a piece of toasted pita bread and threw chomping chews I said "dis ivs a reawly good crunfy fing". In case you can't read "mouth full" (my new made up language) I said "This is a really good crunchy thing." Everyone laughed.

These were just a funny pair I could remember, most of the other ones have been left in the evenings they happened, lost in the memory of a glass of wine. I told Chelse last night, she needs to start writing them down, lol.

Anyway, for those of you reading along, the new book is "The Tender Bar". Another memoir that looks to be a fantastic read. I picked it up this morning while Lauren and I were out and about. I can't wait to start it.

I spent the afternoon making beads. I am plugging away on orders, but I am making sure to have some "me" time on the torch too along the way. Every couple of beads I make, I make something for a piece I want to make. It is supposed to be a yucky, vile, rainy weekend (my absolute favorite kind, no kidding) so I hope to get lots of time in playing my fire. I made several GIANT "Catching Kandinsky" style discs for "Two For" necklaces. I can't wait to string up! Keep an eye out on my site for them :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

While I was at it...

I had some beads left from yesterday's stringing of "Napping Nannies", so I decided to string them up. The top picture is of a funky lariat. The dangley discs are larger chunkier ones and I decided for this one to put it on satin cording. It is super soft and oh-so-very trendy. I love it.

Below here is a new "Two For". I had all the rods out for the B&W beads so I figured I might as make a super gigantic disc just for one of these. I have been making so many of these that I ran out of chain (don't worry, 500inches is on it's way). So to make up for the shortage, I used a different chain on one side. It is my sister's favorite kind, she loves when I use two different chains.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Napping Nannies Necklace

Time it took to create: More then 12 hours
Materials Involved: 65 Glass Beads & 2yrds of Satin Cording

Having the freaking coolest B&W Playground Necklace ever: Priceless

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sneak Peaks

This is about half of what I have so far for the special request that I am working on for Joolz. Don't ya just love sneak peaks?

No time to chat today, I am feeling way in over my head!! I have lots to do... so I better dash and get to work!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall Walk

Where to begin? Sometimes, with these Monday posts, I have so much and so little to talk about at the same time. If you were hoping for a weekend loaded with bead making and hours of jewelry designing... sadly, you are going to be disappointed. Instead this was a very busy FAMILY packed weekend.

Since this is the 3rd year I have been blogging while Fall Walking... I am sure some of you have had enough of seeing the same people on the same path in PennYan. So, to spare you, rather then posting the DOZENS of pictures I took here on the blog... I picked my favorites and posted them all in a new folder in my Flickr gallery. Just click HERE and you'll be whisked away to the land of pictures.

Along with the day of walking and wine tasting in the Finger Lakes... we had a day full of football on Sunday. Jacob suffered his first injury of the season that had him pulled off the field by the coaches. Silly boy didn't strap his gear properly (something the coaches insist that the kids be responsible for) and his loose shoulder pads rammed his bicep while doing a diving tackle. He has a bruised/pulled muscle and it looks like his Playstation playing may suffer for a few days. But even the injury couldn't keep him from getting back in the game. He was back in with in minutes which led to the afternoon he spent relaxing and resting his hurt arm once we were home. I am sure every Mom knows that feeling that drops into the pit of your stomach when you watch your kid dive through the air and fight to stand up. I just about had a heart attack. But, really... he is fine and he learned his lesson about using his equipment properly.

I spent today on the torch. I am working on a special request for JOOLZ and I hope to have a preview photo for you tomorrow.

It also seems that loads of people opened their issues of Step By Step Beads is weekend. I am getting lots of requests for custom "Playground" beads. I don't usually take custom orders but since this is a special situation being the cover project, I have decided to make an exception (but only for a little while). So, here is the deal. If you want me to make a custom playground bracelet the cost is $175, custom playground necklace is $425. If you want beads, and you'll pick out your own cording and assemble it yourself... for a bracelet (12"fancy" discs, 12 "filler" discs and 6 bubble beads) it's $150... for a necklace (30 "fancy"discs", 18 "filler" discs and 12 bubble beads) it's $300. Those sound like high prices but when you think about it... in the necklace there is SIXTY beads!! That is a lot of work!! With the orders I have so far... we are looking at around a 3 week wait. But as more orders come in, the turn around may be longer, I will let you know what it is when you email.

Let me take a moment to define "custom". You can request the color combo but you have to trust me with the designs, styles, and shape of the beads. I just don't have the time (or the desire) to fill orders asking for 5 green with yellow dots or 2 blue with white stripes. I appreciate letting me keep some of my artistic discretion. And don't forget... there is always the option of "waiting and seeing" or grabbing one of the Playgrounds that are posted on my website all ready. When you wait and see or get one that I was in the mood to make (so to speak), you always save!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Date To Save

So... did everyone get the Joolz newsletter the other day?!? Well then you know the news! I am planning on doing a Trunk Show and Demo Day at Joolz on Saturday November 17th from 11-4pm. I'll be there with Francie and the other Joolz gals showing everyone how I make my beads and I will have loads of jewelry too. It is the weekend before Thanksgiving and it'll be the perfect time to grab some great Holiday presents!! Go mark your calendars right now!! But don't worry, I'll post reminders too :)

In other news, I finally did a resin pour this morning so I should lots of new bottle caps for you all to go after. And this time around, I will be the one making the hand dyed silk ribbons that they hang from. I found a great tutorial at by another artist and I just couldn't resist trying it out. It was a lot of trial and error, I ordered the wrong dye the first time around and the new stuff should be here today. When the caps are ready and the ribbons are done, I will post lots of pictures about the project. Hey, maybe I can offer up a few cords to string your favorite beads from!! No promises though, we'll see how it goes.

I meant to say thanks for all the well wishes sent to the kiddos this week. Fingers crossed, everyone is feeling better and the sickies are all done (as Lauren would say). We are hoping everyone stays that way because tomorrow is our annual Fall Walk! Everyone is really looking forward to it. This year it'll just be our 5, my parents, and my sister. It should be a blast and I'll have loads of photos for you on Monday!!

Up tonight is dinner with Anne from AnneMade Jewelry. She has family here in NY and sent me an email about having a get together to talk shop. It should be fun... and hey, if you are ever in the Rochester NY area... I'll go to dinner with you too :) LOL!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Two Fors

While at The Clothesline Arts Festival in September, I wore a really simple necklace that I had thrown together out of stuff that was laying on my desk. You can check out a rather blurry picture of it HERE. You can see it was really simple, just a bright pop of lime green to go with the black and white top I was wearing and the lime green flip flops. Gals just went nuts for it!! And eventually it was bought right off my neck and I was convinced to make a second one as a custom order.

I designed the necklace to hang off center. I never used to like asymmetrical things but I have really come to love it. I goes against the grain of my very OCD inclined brain but I think it is good to train myself to go against my own grain and do different things.

Anyway, I told myself I had to make more of these necklaces. With just one simple glass ring in a solid color, they couldn't possibly be any easier, right? But I got to chatting with my sister about the glass rings. We decided that they are just too delicate. They don't enjoy being dropped on ceramic tile floors... even annealed. I knew I needed to come up with something that strengthened the glass. And to make it stronger, you have to make it thicker and bigger.

I am suddenly incredibly addicted to giant discs so here are the first versions of the reworked, stronger design with some. Now, why the "Two Fors" post title? Well, I discovered when photographing the "worn" shot that these look really cool when you let the disc slide to the center of your neck! So it is like these are two necklaces in one!! Wear it in the center or wear it off to the side.

Well? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Color Coated Wednesday

Color color color!! Don't ya just love a big ol' smack in the face of color? I sure do, lol. As promised, I have pics today of the goodies that will be heading to The Gallery Store at The Memorial Art Gallery here in Rochester. All this color is a great way to brighten up the dreary gray we have around here. Down side is that I thought this would be at the gallery today. But, instead, it is Jacob's turn to be whinging wrenches this way and that. He his home today with Lauren's phantom fever and sore throat. Poor guy. I am sure Andrew will be in bed with it by the weekend. It is just the way things go when you have 3 kids... sharing germs is the only kind of turn taking they are good at.

But enough about the boring things going on here!! You need to know about the jewelry!! Along with "Pretending", a new "Whirl-A-Gig" and "Outta Ordinarily", the museum will have "Circulate" and "Afterglow" available too. I think the grouping looks great together. It is odd... I never really thought I would have a "definable" style. There always seemed to be so much going on that you couldn't ever pin point what it is I actually do. At least, that is how I saw it. But in pulling these things together and seeing them all on the table together, you can see I have "a style". I think you can tell those are "Kab's" pieces.

I made a few more BANG Gals to go with the necklaces, and some bright earrings too. I thought that "Revamped" matched the grouping well and everything is rounded out with a pair of sweet beaded pens. Talking with the purchaser at the museum, she said they get asked for pens all the time but have only ever carried wood turned ones. I really hope these work out!!

I thought I would leave you with a solo shot of the new "Whirl-A-Gig". "Twirl-A-Gig" sold a few weeks ago, so I had to make a new one. This time, rather then two discs side by side, there are small solid rounds next to BIG discs. I love these discs. I really went into a zone when I was making them. I think they are some of the best I have ever done. They are very round, very balanced. I like the tone on tone stripes a lot too. Just plain fun. I really need to make one of these for myself. :) Oh, I should make a Black and White one too!!

I am very interested in feedback on yesterday's Bead Box update. Only 2 of the 9 sets have sold. That is very unlike you all!! Is it the colors? Is it the patterns? Is it the prices? What?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wrenched Plans

You gotta be able to go with the flow when you have kids... we all know that, don't we!! Things come up (like their lunch onto their freshly washed bedding), and you just have to adjust. I was saying the other day that this week was a busy one. I have something planned everyday this week. Today was supposed to be lunch with my friend Susan while Lauren was at school. Unfortunately, Lauren is very under the weather with a high fever. So... wrench thrown... plans cancelled... new plans made.

I decided that I probably wouldn't be able to make anymore Bead Box Beads between now and tomorrow, when I had planned to do the update. So I figured, while Lauren is curled up resting, I might as well post the beads!! Aren't they cool!! I could so keep going with these colors. But, alas, I am out of red copper green. I used up all 6 rods that I had on these beads and the experimental ones laying on my desk. My favorites are the new Solar Flare style ones, HERE and HERE. I just love those stylized snowflakey shapes. I mentioned in the description that these were inspired by a recent fabric purchase. Here is a quick swatch of it:

Pretty cool stuff huh? I am not thrilled with the colors in the fabric (yet another reason I should be designing my own fabric line, I could soooo pick better colors then other people) but I really love the design. I am probably going to make a skirt for Lauren out of this, or hey, maybe even one for me :)

You know, I haven't really talked much about the new website and some of the cool stuff it can do. One of my favorite new features is a tab called "Who's Online". I can "see" at any given time, who is on my website, where they are, what pages they are looking at, what items are in their carts, and how long it has been since they last clicked something. Pretty neat huh? If you have "registered" on my site then I have your name to go with all that info, if not, I just have a phantom IP address. I can click the address and it will tell me where in the world you are located, but that is it. It is amazing what technology can do!!

It is time for me to go curl up next to Lauren. Mommas need naps too when they sleep on the couch with sick kids to make sure they take the medicine they need in the middle of the night so their fevers don't send them into the hospital. The plan for tomorrow is to take a big batch of jewelry goodies up to the Memorial Art Gallery Store!! I am going to take pictures of the collection that will be there... stay tuned for that!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Get The Spins

Every time I start playing with these beads, the song "You Spin Me Round" from the band Dead or Alive (yeah I googled that, lol, I didn't know who sang it) starts playing in my head. Come on, you know it, if you weren't in a coma during the 80's then there is no doubt you had it stick in your head at one point/time or another too. "You spin me right round baby... like a record baby... right round, right round..." At least, that is how the lyrics go in my head, lol.

You guessed it, these beads are the ones you saw in the pins on Thursday last week. The design just wasn't sitting right with me. Something about it isn't working. So, this weekend I wired up this simple lariat with the GIGANTIC discs and I love it. It is one of the new ideas I have had doodled in my sketch book for a couple months now. Why only make lariats with simple glass rings? Why not go BIG and BOLD? Why not make a statement? Say... look at me, I am wearing a freaking cool lariat... nah, nah, na na nah.!! My sister wants to see lariats like this with huge flower discs, that is another design drawn in my book. I'll get to it eventually, right?

This weekend was wonderful. There was some pretty extreme Rochester weather again. Saturday was a very balmy 84degrees with full sun one minute, a down pour the next. Saturday night showcased a wild light show in the sky with insane thunderstorms. Sunday was gray and barely 65degrees, though the sun was out again by dinner. You will never believe what I woke up to this morning... full sun, a warm breeze and temps in the 70s. It feels like summer again. I am actually going to take my cup of coffee and head out to the deck in a few minutes. It is just too beautiful out to let this morning go by unenjoyed.

With all the on again off again weather, I was able to get loads (I am talking tons) of beads made!! And I did a lot of experimentation, which I don't normally do. Most of my experimenting goes on in my head for days leading up to a torch session. This red copper green is pretty cool stuff. It is does some neat stuff. I have 5 sets ready so far and I think I still have more in my head to make. Hey, I got a question for you... do you all like it when I do 3-5 beads of one style together or would you rather I mixed things up more? You know, have 3-5 beads that are all the same colors and work together but that aren't the same design?

That is the official question of the day... so get on it... answer in the comment area. Oh and don't forget to tell me what you think of the giant bead lariat... would you wear it?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lazy Lake Days

Today was a day for kicking back and enjoying the everyday. Ron took off work and we decided to head over to our favorite local park for a picnic. The kids could quiet literally spend hours throwing rocks in the water. That water is the great Lake Ontario, which we are about 15 mins from our house. You can see the algae/seaweed has come in. Kinda stinky, but not as bad as it could have been. I have never seen the lake's water level so low, there was a good 15 feet of extra shore front today.

With Ron home I was able to get a great start on the next batch of Bead Box Beads. I am using a new-to-me-color called RED Copper Green. It is similar to the copper green you are used to seeing from me, but with a streaky red quality to it. I have some new ideas for new styles. I will let be sure to let you know how it goes. I am going to shoot for Wednesday on the BBB update. I was just looking over next week's calendar and it is getting full!!

Thank you all so much for the feedback and critique of the new pin design. I am gonna keep reworking it. I like it, but I don't love it. And if I don't love it, I won't make it. You know how it goes. I am actually thinking to of taking out the felt all together. Just wiring up the giant disc. Who knows?

Time to continue the lazy day and head out back to the deck with a glass of wine. Enjoy your whatever your doing. I'll see ya'll Monday.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bullseye Pins

Alrighty, this might be it... this might be the day that I have totally fallen off my creative rocker. I can't wait to hear your opinions on the subject.

To the right here, you are looking at a design that I haven't been able to get out of my head for about 3 weeks now. It is a pin/broach. It was inspired by a hairband that I saw in the book "Complete Feltmaking". I wish I could show you a picture of the project that was the inspiration because the two don't look like they could possibly be related. The thing I took from the project was the two layers of felt that are built up behind my glass bead.

That disc is HUGE and I know I have said it before about other discs, but truly, this is the biggest disc I have ever made!! It is GIGANTIC! Truly!! The pin itself is about the size of the palm of my hand. It is entirely hand made. The wire you see it 18g sterling silver. I make the latch on the back, then fish it through the felt and bead, make a big loop by feeding the wire back through... then bend it this way and that... make the loop, file the end and ta da... pin. And the 18g is surprisingly strong. It held up great to being pushed through denim.

I know I am jumping all around but... back to the felt. I said this was entirely hand made... and YES, I made the felt. I bought dyed roving (unspun wool) on etsy, pulled it and layered it, made a huge fun mess "hand felting" it and then set it out over night to dry. It is easy to do, just time consuming. I spent about two hours last night making 2 8x12 pieces of felt. One piece is dark purple on one side and light purple on the other. The second piece is dark red on one and burnt orange on the other.

Alrighty, have at it... click that comment button below. Tell me your thoughts on the new design. Are they just too weird? Are they freaking awesome and you have to have one? Are they too old lady? Are they stylish, young and contemporary? An insecure artist mind wants to know!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cover Model

I am totally doing back flips right now. Who am I kidding, I was never able to do a back flip, even when I was cheerleader. But I am really really really excited right now!!

Quick... go check out ... I'll wait here.

HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT!?!?! I got the cover!! YOO HOOO!!! I had no idea. The advertising manager sent me an email asking if I would like info on advertising with Interweave magazines, along with a "Congratulations on getting the cover...". I thought, "cover, what cover?" I pulled up the site and there it was!! The editor never told me. I think it is almost better that way, I didn't realize how much I love surprises.

While you are at the site, scroll down just a bit... did you see? YEP, an exclusive online featured step-by-step project. Check it out HERE. It is all about how I make my different discs and bubble beads. If you lampwork... have fun with it!!! If you don't... it is still fun to see.

I am off to spend the rest of the evening and most of tomorrow floating on cloud nine!

Brain Exercises

I have been saying for a few weeks now, here and there, that I have some sewing projects that need working on. My friend Lindsey is coming over on Thursday for a sewing day, and I took today to get some of the prep work done to be ready for the big day. OH MY STARS!! This is soooo harder then it looks, people!!

The book we are using is a Japanese pattern book that Lindsey found called "Girly Style Wardrobe". Apart from the patterns being labeled by letter (ex skirt 'c' or shirt 'b') there isn't a lick of English to it. I have always been good with patterns, I rarely read the instructions anyway when I sew. I have always been that way. It just makes sense to my brain which way things go and come together. But man oh man did my brain need to form new synapses to get these patterns figured out!!

All the patterns, for the entire book, are on one giant sheet of paper! All sizes, all shapes, overlap, intersect and are multi parted (meaning a section of one shirt is also the section of another shirt). I had to take pattern paper, find the piece of the pattern I needed and trace it, then cut it out of the pattern paper. Sounds easy enough, but it you scroll down on the link I shared up there and actually look at the sample of the pattern, you'll see why I had so much trouble. One pattern took me 45 mins to figure out... it was three pieces.

I spent a total of 2 hours tracing three patterns, 1 skirt and 2 shirts. I think it will be well worth it. I am proud to say, I didn't give up!! How could I? If you knew just how much I have invested in this little project, you would think I was nuts!! Between buying the book, the fabric, thread, pattern paper, and notions... Lauren is going to be wearing some of the priciest hand made clothes any preschooler has ever seen. My stars... but then sewing is a long term investment, I think. The more I make with all that fabric I bought, the lower the cost per item goes, right , lol. Oh well, that isn't really the point is it? I am going to have a wonderful day with my friend on Thursday, spending time with her and our daughters... and Lauren is going to have things no one else has, made just for her by her Momma.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Preschool Field Trips

Oh how I love the Fall field trip to an apple farm!! Lauren and I just got in from an afternoon full of pumpkin patches, hay rides, apple picking, cider drinking, and maze running. It was so much fun!! I miss getting to do field trips like these with the boys. They got big so fast. One minute they were little and couldn't see over the sides of the hay bail mazes and now they think it is boring and want to get lost in the 3 hour long corn field mazes. Every once in a blue moon, I wish they were little again!!

We had a great weekend here. I am feeling almost 100% now and we worked outside all day Saturday. The garage was spring cleaned (yes, I know it isn't spring anymore, but hey, at least it is done.) It was so overdue!! I think we fill 4 huge garbage bags and reorganized everything. You could park a car in there now!! You have to remember, our house is a raised ranch which means we have no basement... which means our garage is overflowing. So being able to park one car in our 2 car garage is a HUGE deal.

Sunday were we doing the usual football thing. Jacob's team had a rough loss to The Patriots. And next week's game is against the #1 team, so it isn't looking good at this point for making it into the playoffs. But hey, you never know!!

I have been working on finishing up some orders this weekend. If you have been waiting for one from me, check your email... it is probably done. With those out of the way, I have been able to start focusing on designs for the Gallery Store. I am half done with one new piece, started on a second and I was also able to do up a few wire BANG Gals. Not to mention the like 15 new things I have drawn in my sketch book. I have some cool new ideas for a "Floral Collection". Though, my idea of a "floral" is probably very different then the lampwork floral you are used to seeing from other artists. I also want to get some new Bead Box Beads done. And I am wondering if I should tempt you all with an eBay set... but eBay has been so crappy of late that I wonder if I should even bother.

Busy bee, that's me... can you tell I am feeling better?