Monday, May 31, 2010

Randoms in Bloom

Random shots from life this weekend. There is flowers, fun, and food in bloom. I hope you all are enjoying your holiday weekend as much as we are!

roses in bloom
fun in bloom
peonies in bloom
garden in bloom

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pink Rangs

First, thank you SO much for all the pink bead love yesterday. I am thrilled you like the results. Pinks aren't colors I usually work in and it was fun to break out of my color box a bit and explore the possibilities.

Here are the first bangles created with the pink beads. So yummy. I am finding I don't care for the shade of fuschia wire from Parawire with these particular beads, so I went with the soft pink instead and it is divine. I love pink and gray together! (Yes, the beads look a little greenish, but they are actually transparent gray!) I had to resist editing all 20 or so pictures I took of these, and it was ever harder to narrow down to just a few to post here. (There are more over on FLICKR.) And before you ask, yes, these are taken ;)

pink rangs 2
pink rangs 4
pink rangs 6

I am having a blast photographing these bangles on a set of art books from 1883 that I picked up at a thrift store for $15. There are seven books all together and one of them has some handwritten script dated Feb 13th 1895 (my birthday 115 years ago). I don't think this is a style of photography that will work for my bolder, brighter, crazy, colored jewelry, but is a sweet match to these bangles.

This will be the last set for at least a week! I busted the pin in my punch pliers so unless I can find a really really tiny bit for Ron's drill, I am just gonna have to find something else to keep me busy. I think I'll manage.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pink Thinking

There has been some new developments with my secret project. So, I have to be a bit of an ostrich and stick my head in the sand. I am hoping to placate you with yummy photos of the pink beads I made yesterday. These are going to make some mighty pertty bangles. And check out those yummy cotton candy headpins!! Oh wait a second, is that a SQUARE, etched, EDP bead I see in the background? Yes, yes it is!

pink thinking 1
pink thinking 3
pink thinking 2

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Twisted Tuesday - Flashback Collection

flashback collection

For this very fine Twisted Tuesday I decided to post some Bead Box goodies!! Go have at 'em. There are just 2 sets and 4 new focals. I had a blast playing with my new Zoozii's tool (the big hole disc tool). I took a que from my sister for the name. She said the stipes were very 80's, so, we are calling this The Flashback Collection. I tried to use lots of different colors... different from my usual blue/purple/green combo I favor.

I hope you enjoy them!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Random Recollections

Today I...

puppies 24

:: had to give my hubby a ride to work because his muffler fell off his truck. Nice.
:: made beads with a new zoozii's tool. I love it.
:: nuzzled puppies that are growing like crazy! Clark has run away with my heart.
:: had veggie lasagna for lunch.
:: washed some laundry too.

puppies 19

:: was very very grumpy, but tried to turn it around.
:: cursed at the cottonwood trees. The fuzzies are out of control!
:: watched Andrew hit awesome at baseball.
:: had a backyard full of wildlife. Headless squirrel corpses, two circling vultures, baby fox (one the vultures got, one lonely for it's sibling), a Momma fox, and a sunbathing snake.
:: am not kidding you.

puppies 13

:: tried to figure out what the finale of LOST was all about. When did they die?
:: cooked a pork roast on the grill.
:: received lots of goodies in the mail!!! YOO HOOO!! Did you see what I won on Lorelei's blog last week?
:: didn't get to see my hubby much :( but he is waiting for me now so I better run.
:: was thankful for a good day.

PS... lots more puppy photos in my photostream on Flickr!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Exciting Announcement:: ArtBliss Workshops

teaching at artbliss

I am so excited to be making this announcement. ArtBliss: The Inaugural Event is taking place September 24-26th 2010 AND I WILL BE THERE TEACHING!! Two of my favorite beading ladies, my very good friend Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio and Jeanette Blix Ryan of Fundametals, saw a need, had a vision, and have been working together to make that dream come true. I get to be part of that dream and I couldn't be more honored. Both these ladies live in the Washington DC area and they found that there was a complete lack of national caliber workshops in their area. So, why not create their own workshops and weekend of activities. That is when ArtBliss was born!!

I know you may be thinking "Kerry, you teach all the time now, why are you getting so excited about this one?" Well, you really should be the excited for this because I am going to teach something extra special at this event. Wait for it... LAMPWORKING!! Yes, yes, you heard me right. I am teaching lampworking at ArtBliss in September. I have had so many emails asking when and if I would ever be teaching lampworking. I am so so excited to finally get to shout YES!! Check out all the details about my class, K.reating A.rt B.eads - Intro to Lampworking, at the ArtBliss website. That is my Saturday workshop, for Sunday I have some wire working fun planed for everyone: Bang-A-Rang, a day devoted to creating awesome wire bangles.

Of course, I am not the only instructor that will be there. This is a star packed event, I tell ya. Also teaching is the amazing Deryn Mentock, the fantastic Melissa Manley, and the creative Lesley Venable. This is not only a jewelry workshop weekend, but mixed media art as well!! Truly, something for everyone. It is going to be a weekend you don't want to miss. Cindy and Jeanette have booked an awesome venue with super room rates and free shuttle service from the local airport, lunch is even included with the workshops!! Registration will open on June 13th, and I know spots are going to fill up fast! Don't worry, I will give you reminders :)

I hope you are as excited as I am about this. I can't wait for September to get here!! (Mind you, this isn't the big secret project. Sorry!) NOW, we need to get the word out about ArtBliss. Cindy and Jeanette are having a fantastic giveaway on her blog to celebrate the announcement. Pop over and check out all the goodies you could win and leave a comment to enter and/or tweet about it and/or facebook about it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Bang A Rang Day

bang a rang blues
bang a rang blues 3

I don't know what it is about my kids being home sick, but it really lites a fire under my butt and gets me into the studio. I think it had to do with cartoons. Cartoons drive me crazy! Naturally, the first thing a sick kido does is waddle over to the couch with a blanket in hand and flips on cartoons. It makes me want to flee the room though, lol. I can only stand watching Barbie Presents Thumbelina so many times.

My mental torture is your gain though! It really makes me productive. I spent hours yesterday going back and forth from the studio to the living room, living room to the studio working on these delightful bangles. I would make a set while downstairs, bring it up to show Lauren and check on her, have a tea party, go back downstairs to work harden them in the tumbler, come up to polish and photograph them, post them on FLICKR and Facebook for all my friends to see, then start the process all over again with another set. I was able to squeak out two sets with six bangles total though out the day. Plus I finished up a project made with crystals that was a special request from an editor.

These little diddies caused a bit of a frenzy on FB yesterday too. As soon as I posted them, I was getting comments, and private messages, and instant messages. I appreciate all the love! For those that are wondering, no, I am not taking orders on these, but you can get "dibs" on the next set. Meaning, there is a waiting list, and if you want on it, just let me know. I will let you know when there is a new set ready. The prices range from $65-$95 (for a set of three) depending on the amount of sterling, how complicated the wrapping is, and the style/number of beads. Speaking of complicated wrapping... did you see that amazing two tone wrapping?!? Yeah, I am not giving up that secret yet, so don't ask, LOL. I will tell you this little goodie... the colored copper wire I use doesn't oxidize!! So, you can do really cool layered wrapping, oxidize it, then polish the sterling, and the color will stay just as lovely as when you started.

bang rang green 4
bang rang green 2

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home Sick... What a Bummer

home sick

Lauren come home early from school yesterday sick. Poor thing. So, we are lounging today, taking bubble baths, watching cartoons, and eating chicken noodle soup. At least it isn't strep throat!

eta: doc just called and it IS strep throat! dang it. that'll be two days home now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Color Talk :: Patriotic Petticoats

crystal sample 1a
color palette

About a month or so ago, I found the blog brandi girl:: a life inspired by color (I think I found it via Lorelei's blog). Obviously, anything with the word color in the title instantly gets my attention. I have really been enjoying her color palette posts where she shares a photo and creates a color swatch from that photo to use as color inspiration. (In fact, I will share a pendant inspired by the "vegas boneyard" shot soon.) I thought it might be fun to dissect the color I used in this new piece in a similar way. Color is a huge part of Totally Twisted and it is also something I think a lot of people struggle with. Depending on how this goes, you may see me dissecting colors more in future posts.

So, this new piece, it doesn't really have a name yet. Though my friend, Tricia on FB, suggested "Betsy Ross Does Donuts". The "Betsy Ross" part is sticking for me but not so much the doing donuts bit. It sounds somewhat inappropriate to me, lol. Hmmm... maybe "Patriotic Petticoats"? Yes, that fits. But we aren't here to name things, we are gonna talk about color today!

For me, when working with color, I tend to start with two main colors. In this case, it was purple and red. If we are getting specific, it was a transparent purpler ink blue and a rich transparent red. When I want to pull to seemingly unworkable colors together, I try bridge the color gap between them with different variations of those main colors. It is easier to think about it when you imagine a color wheel, but think of one of those fancy ones with more than 6 colors. How can we successfully get from purple to red on the color wheel?

Deeper, richer, shadow-esque colors are what help me move from one color to the next. I take that main color and add to it darker shades. As if that same color were in a different lower light. Then to add a POP, or a little spring to our step so to speak, I add one shade brighter than the main color. That gets our color palette sounding and looking a little something like this: blends of subtle eggplant, transparent purply ink blue, with rusty mauve, deep persimmon, rich transparent red, and pops of salmon pink and turquoise. I think how you describe the color combination has a direct connection to how well the colors work together. If it *sounds* beautiful, it most cases it will *be* beautiful. If I were just to say, "I made a necklace that is dark purple and bright red", with out seeing it in person, you might be thinking "that's prolly nasty." But when you describe the colors, as I did above, it works.

Now, don't even get me started on whether or not these are "trend" colors. I know a lot of people like to follow trends, and that is awesome! But at the same time, I don't think every day should be the same. You really mean to tell me you are going to where pale pastels for the next 3 months because someone on tv said it is what's popular? I think this necklace is just as wearable during the summer as it is in the fall. Pick your day! Not every day of summer is sunny and full of butterflies. I would wear this on a warm overcast say with a dark purple tank top and denim skirt.

Feel free to take the color combo above and use it as inspiration for a new piece! I would love to see what you make. You can add your photos to the Totally Twisted Designs Flickr Group. Just grab beads from your stash in similar colors and start creating.

crystal sample 1

Monday, May 17, 2010

Birthday Randoms

sweater in progress

:: My hubby turns 40 today!! YOO HOOOO!! Wish him a happy one :)
:: Got rather sun kissed yesterday, my cheeks are all rosy.
:: Lauren's class is raising chicks and her teacher just emailed to say the first one is hatching as I type!! Lauren is so so excited.
:: Had a really intense Friday & Saturday working on that secret thing I can't tell you about.
:: Brrr... sun burns make for a chilly start to the day.

mother's day blooms

:: I didn't touch my camera once all weekend. That's not like me and thus, completely random photos I just took this morning.
:: I don't know why I feel the need to check blogs at 7am... no one posts this early, LOL. All the news I read is a day late.
:: Gonna go for a run as soon as the kids head out to school, then I am working on studio stuff.
:: I keep mistyping stuff as studd and having to fix it lately.
:: Just three more lacrosse games before the season ends. He wants to play summer ball next.

peas in progress

:: Oh lordy summer is right around the corner. What am I gonna do with all these kids for 2 1/2 months?
:: Really wishing we had a cottage on a lake right now.
:: No wonder I am cold... it is 61 in the living room. HA!
:: I feel like I am forgetting something really important.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Which do you want to hear first? The good or the bad? Not that you are actually going to answer me, but I thought I should at least ask. I think I will hit you with the bad news first...
bang-a-rangs 1
bang-a-rangs 2
Bad News: Bead Box beads just aren't happening this week. I had really hoped I could cast a magical spell and the beads would make themselves, photograph each other, and write up lovely descriptions about how you would love them, but *sigh* I lost my magic wand. I kinda had an inkling on Tuesday and Wednesday that I wasn't going to pull it off, but I was trying to be hopeful. Now, with all the secret happenings (eeekkk!!) I know that it won't happen this weekend either, but hopefully, HOPEFULLY, the end of next week. Y'all know I love ya, and want you to have pretty beads to play with, thank you for being patient with me.

bang-a-rangs 3
bang-a-rangs 5
Good news: I had about an hour yesterday between appointments I was able to sneak into the studio to whip up these bangles. I have had bangles on the brain lately. I love them! Besides my secret happenings, I am also working on a collection of designs to pitch my second book. Bangles are going to be a big part of the pitch, me thinks. Back to these ones though, I should share the inspiration that sent me into the studio yesterday. I ordered myself a set of bangles from Etsy seller: Bullfinch & Barbury. I love the rustic charm these have and, needless to say, the colors. It got me thinking, how would *I* do a continuous, slip-over-your-wrist bangle were I to give it a go? Why, I would use colored wire and glass, naturally. I wore these all afternoon, running around to appointments for the kids. They were a huge hit. They feel great on your wrist, they have just the right play-ability factor, they are colorful, and they turned out totally me. Oh, and see, I told ya that ledger would make a fantastic photo prop!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You're Really Gonna Like This

My Mom recently found this rather unassuming old ledger at an estate sale. Oh my stars... it holds some serious treasures inside. Take a look for yourself...

ledger 1
ledger 2
ledger 3
ledger 4
ledger 6
ledger 7
ledger 8
ledger 9
ledger 10
ledger 12
ledger 19
ledger 21
ledger 44
ledger 49

Literally, page after page after page has been scrap booked with antique ephemera from the late 1880's - early 1890's. It is amazing. There are calling cards, advertisements, calendars, article clippings, Sunday school cards, note cards, and more. AND who ever made this, I think her name was Bertha Anthony (because her name appears a lot, a photo of her, and her 1892 report card is in it!), adhered the pieces to the pages of the ledger, right over simply gorgeous script... which dates to 1875 and earlier. Hot dang it is amazing. You can see even more images from the insides in my Flickr Gallery Set: The Ledger. Who knew scrapbooking was so big in the 1880's?!? And wouldn't this make an amazing back drop for vintage-inspired jewelry designs? What a treasure, it is visiting me at my house and I am loving every minute with it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


nervous jitters 2
This was me, this morning, just moments before my phone was set to ring with a very very important call. I was thinking, "Oh my stars... am I really doing this?" I was a huge ball of nervous jitteriness, can you see it in my eyes? It took so much effort to contain my smiles and excitement. (There are many a photo in my files now of me laughing too, but those I am keeping to myself.) I wanted to capture a snippet of it, of that excitement. I want to remember this moment and the butterflies that I had bubbling inside my innards. It really is amazing what nervous energy can accomplish, I tell ya. I was up, showered, hair done, and make up on, having an orange and a glass of water (no coffee) by 6:30am.

I am so tempted to tell you all what is going on behind the scenes here. I just can't though. Not yet. Rest assured it is big, and it would mean some pretty major life changes. Not-throw-your- family-in-the-back-of-a-pick-up-truck-and-move-to-another-state kinda life change (the kind I experienced with my parents more times than I can count as a child), but the kind of change that is pivotal. There are two paths before me, and I may need to choose which direction I want to take my art/life/career. I am proud of myself for seeking out the chance to have a choice of paths. I heard a whisper in my heart at the thought of an opportunity and I didn't quiet it. I turned it up full volume and went for it. It is scary and exhilarating at the same time. One of the best feelings in the world, if you ask me, and I hope y'all get to feel it in your own lives now and then.

The events of the past 24 hours had another effect on me... no studio time. I was knee deep in research (oh my, was that a little hint?) I am trying to get in there though!! I got stuff needs doing and things that need making. Many hands shaking like leaves isn't going to help much, but I am gonna try. Here is a little sneak peak at beads that will be available later this week... Friday or Saturday maybe. Wicked cool 80's stripey rounds, and wildly layered mod dots. Cool huh?

bead preview
Anywho... thanks for letting me get out of a bit of excitement here and understanding my secrecy. Hopefully the suspense doesn't have to last for too much longer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Fun Things

Grab a drink and settle in for the next 10mins as Lorelei and I talk our way though a collaborative beading project. You'll get some good tips along the way. Plus you get to watch me ruin my wire nips by snipping memory wire, dang it. We also chat for a couple seconds about Bead Fest. Remember, I am teaching there in August!! There are still lots of spots available if you want to take a class. You'll learn a ton more than just the project. Check out the classes HERE.

I also wanted to mention that I have heard it is frustrating that you can't see up close what we are doing! Sorry!! We are learning. Hopefully during our next get together, we will do close ups. In the meantime, if you want to learn to make the head pin for the pendant I showed you, check out the Delightful project in my book!! It is the same technique.

Have a happy Twisted Tuesday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Green Random Monday

mom sweater
:: Green in color... green in purchases... green in plantings
:: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! I had a wonderful day... did you?
:: Oh my stars, it snowed yesterday... SNOWED! And on Saturday there was 60mph wind gusts. It is more like November than May.
:: HAPPY 12th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY to hubby & me yesterday too.
:: I was able to finish up my Mom's sweater (details on Ravelry if you would like to make one yourself) and she loves it.

:: Spent all day Saturday with my Mom and we got lots of new goodies for the gardens, plus I picked up an old travel trunk for $15 (photo below).
:: 2 Spirea (my new spring favorite), 1 Berkley Blueberry, 1 Reka Blueberry, Apple Mint, Peppermint, Red Rubin Basil, Sweet Italian Basil, and 5 Forget Me Nots too.
:: I got me some planting to do with week.
:: Cool things happening on the Bead Box front. An update in a few days? Maybe. Hopefully.
:: Our backyard is a wildlife preserve. We have 2 bunnies, 1 groundhog, and Momma & Daddy ducks. Not to mention a bazillion birds.

new thrifted trunk
:: Rusty, the cat, just went after one of the bunnies... oh dear.
:: There are awesome things in my sketch book.
:: I had busy brain the other night and I think I have a title for book #2. Maybe I need to get on that second proposal.
:: Spending the day with Ron today. I can't wait for our special lunch date.
:: OH OH OH... an episode of the Lorelei & Kerry Show coming up tomorrow!! Stay tuned.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Artistic Interpretation

I was recently asked by Erin Prais-Hintz if I might want to take part in a special collaborative project with her. I won't ruin the surprise and spoil her plans before she has gotten to share the details with you. I can tell you this, for my part, she asked me if I would make her set of beads inspired by the painting on the left. The piece is called "Loose Goose" by artist Brenda Wenberg. (Sorry, no link available, Erin tells me Brenda isn't online.)

If I am being completely honest with you, I must tell you, this was the project last week causing "Creative Constipation". Of course, the minute I saw the pieces I was to interpret, my mind thought of a million things. Then I had to wait and wait and wait though mass kit production, and Bead Fest, and Spring break, before I finally had the opportunity to get into the studio and play around with ideas. Once finally able to play, I had no idea what I wanted to make anymore!! Should I do discs, should I do rounds, should I do hollows, what colors should I focus on, what shapes come at me the most? After 2 1/2 hours, I literally had all of four beads in the kiln, 2 of which were simple solid color spacer discs. Yeah, the ideas were stuck in my head and none wanted to come out.

So, I sent Erin an email requesting some more boundaries. This is where I separate "art" and "design". For me, an artist can look a blank slate and know just what they want to bring to the canvas. They are frustrated by boundaries and wants and needs of the people who will view their work. To me, designers have the opposite problem, give them a blank slate and they don't know what to do with it. BUT, give them some want (make it red!) or needs (for a bedroom) and watch out! Those designers can go nuts with ideas. When being asked to visual interpret another artist's work, I am acting as a designer, not an artist (even thought the end result is a work of art). That is just how my mind works. Once I had a few more "client guidelines", lol, OH OH OH was I excited about what ended up coming from the flame of my torch.

Check them out:
loose goose 3
loose goose 1
loose goose 2

Not to toot toot my own horn, but aren't these FREAKIN' STINKIN' AMAZING?!?! Oh my stars, I am thrilled with them. I didn't want to put them in the mail and send them away I was so in love. Okay, here is what I thought... I noticed in Brenda's work, no inch of canvas is left on colored. There is something happening on every inch of the piece. There as just so many layers. So, I started to think about my classic "Mod Dot" style beads. What if, I filled all the empty space between the initial layer of dots? Then.. instead of dot on top of dots, let's go with them askew, and ivory. I wondered how I would add more interest and texture like the inspiration has. I decided to make plunged dots in the ivory. Then, I made it all pop with the coral dots that are sprinkled every where. To get an size canvas I needed to make these, I went with a large hollow bead as my base. Any lampworker will tell ya, making a plunged dot on a hollow bead is no easy task. You risk completely collapsing the hollow when you poke in the spot where you will trap the little bubble. I held my breath through so many moments of these beads! And each one took 30-45 mins to make.

It will be fun to see what comes of these beads in Erin's special project.