Monday, January 31, 2011

what gets you out the door?

winter day 11 :: warm your heart

(note: all random phrases must be read with a snuffy nose sounding voice and spontaneous coughing with a sneeze here and there... because i am sick, ugh)
:: i have a cold and i will be fine
:: but my butt hasn't spent this much time on the couch since i was a teenager
:: today will be better though, i will make it better
:: speaking of making things better, i love this new project from barbara bechtel, monday militia.
:: i was painting in the studio last week and it completely woke up a sleeping desire to make more mixed media pieces
:: i am still amazed by friday's beadbox update success... thank you
:: three deer just pranced across my back yard! beautiful!! i wonder where they are going?
:: they are saying that we are going to be hit with a big snow storm on wednesday... hope not, i have work to do!
:: i got the cutest pair of gray boots on sale at target and i can't wait to wear them
:: the boots might be what gets me out the door this morning
:: i hate it when i grab the fat free coffee creamer by mistake, yuck
:: the above photo of chocolate cheesecake is from last wednesday night, because sometimes, you just need a treat
:: i have some exciting posts planned for this week, you should really stay tuned! really, really
:: lauren just informed me we really need to make a valentine's box, because it is almost valentine's day, ya know.
:: and then... i ran out of things to say.

hope blooms 1

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just Because

organized books

Despite the sorta still tacky-to-the-touch shelves, I had to start putting some of my books in place on the new display case yesterday. I waited a whole twenty four hours, isn't that enough? I am guessing they won't stick too bad. I have always wanted to group them by color! Seriously, honestly, who wouldn't put their books in color order if given the option? And this is just about half of my collection. Perfect for the lower shelves of the display case. Yeah, cuz' you won't see me putting jewelry busts in a place that would have you bending over hanging your head upside down to see what pieces are below your knees. No... that is a perfect spot for my books.

And oh my, I was in the studio well after dark for the first time last night. I was in the stair well leading to the third floor, and EEEKKK I wish I had my camera on me. You have GOT to see the place lit up through windows. *love*

Come back here tomorrow (late in the afternoon)... I am going to have a *beady* treat for you... possibly beads posted in a little place known as my Bead Box... I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Full Days

display case view 2
color combo for tuesday
tuesday torch view

*sigh* My days are feeling so so full right now, and in the most perfect way. The more I think about it, the more I am sure that the feelings of the past few months are moving into a different place inside me. The feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and a lack of path to travel down have been taken over by purpose, and an eagerness. The eagerness drives me through every moment, it makes those moments become hours before I know it, and I find myself exhausted at the end of the day. My head hits my pillow, my thoughts slow, and when I wake, the eagerness fills me again for another day. I want to hold onto this sense of purpose as much as the excitement of the past few weeks.  I think it suits me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Display

new display case
cabinet in process 1
cabinet in process 4

I am so glad to hear that y'all aren't bored of the studio related posts! It's rather odd, I get a bit confused at times I think. I am spending nearly everyday there and I am here in this blog spot only a little. Combine the two and I think I am talking about nothing but the studio. Which in my mind would have you loosing interest, but maybe it isn't as overkill as it is in my head. We will just keep doing what we are doing and see how it goes, shall we?

Last week, my Mom informed me she wanted to do something for my studio as my birthday gift this year. (my birthday isn't until Feb 13th, she can be a bit over zealous when it comes to gifting... she does things early) I, of course, was thrilled and knew exactly what I needed her help with. I had it in my head that I.HAVE.TO.FIND. a step-back/hutch/cabinet/cupboard/bookcase thing. Kinda like this one: Tall Country Hutch, but for a lot lot less. I was thinking for less than $150. Crazy, you say? I have told you before that we have killer estate sales up here in New York, so I was really really hopeful.

Fast forward through two weekends of visiting estate sales, antique malls and craft outlets, and checking Craig's List daily, and I started to lose that hope. We were finding NOTHING. And I was getting grumpy. But then, we went to ReHouse Saturday afternoon. They have been salvaging an old 1920's hotel in a town south of here. Oh my... what goodies they are pulling out of that place!! I wish I needed a reception desk because this thing is seriously cool in person. But, I digress.

We ended finding this great display cabinet there! Granted, it was in a bit rough shape, but that just meant it was less than $100 and I had to have it. It is huge at over 6ft tall and 4ft wide. It is my new display case for when I have open studio time. I can't wait to fill it with books and busts and jewelry and twinkle lights. But first, it needs painting. One of the fellas at The Hungerford Building (where my studio is) suggested that everything looks great painted flat black. As soon as he said it, I couldn't see the cabinet any other color. Andrew and I set to getting the first coat of paint on it yesterday and I can't wait to get to the studio this morning to apply the second coat!

cabinet in process 2
first coat of black

Monday, January 24, 2011

fortune cookie messages and more

umi hibachi chandilier

:: sometimes life gets a little blurry, so it is okay if photos are blurry too.
:: it is subzero today and one child has no school while the other two do... naturally two are rather perturbed about that.
:: scored an awesome new display cabinet for the studio this weekend (an early b-day gift from my parents) and the child home from school will be helping me paint it.
:: i am wondering if you are getting bored yet with all the studio photos and commentary?
:: i got to go on a date with my hubby saturday night to a hibachi and vino party at a new local restaurant... so much fun was had.
:: i like to bounce to the beat of loud music rather than dance really.
:: i am cranking out new designs that i wish i could share with you, but alas they are for publication and can't be seen yet, sorry.
:: my first first friday (open studio!) is just 11 days away!! if you are local, i hope to see you there!! (more details next week)
:: we have all the furniture turned at odd angles in the living room. file that under "winter makes us do weird things"
:: i have been meaning to share... the very first time i took the family to the studio, we ate chinese take-out sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the floor... i got the best fortune cookie ever! "talent is a flame. genius is a fire."

talent flame genius fire fortune

Friday, January 21, 2011

Did You Message Me?

D'oh! I am still learning my new web-savy phone. Apparently, if I look at a message on my phone and then delete it (thinking I will reply to it when I get home), it deletes it online as well as on my phone. OH NOO!!!! I received a few emails this morning that have been lost to the cyber world. Please, if you messaged me today via my website, please send it again! One message in particular asked for some advice and I really want to reply.
Nevermind, I just recovered the deleted files. Phew.

Thanks... your's truly... the email deleter/recoverer girl.

tutu view

The Green One

Special note - Thanks to you ALL for the wonderful comments on my previous post. I don't think the new book seemed real until that moment I hit "post" and finally shared the news. I can't wait to take you along on this rustically wrapped ride.

The Green One 1
The Green One 2
The Green One 3
The Green One 3

I am pretty sure I have told you before that I find it impossible to just sit. I need something to busy my hands and my mind while we are watching tv or waiting for dinner to be ready or while the kids play video games. I honestly wonder what the heck I did during those times a few years ago when knitting on a sweater wasn't an option? Seriously. With that being said, I know you are going to think I am wicked fast knitter since this was started Sunday and finished on Thursday... but really, we just laze about a lot.

When I bought yarn on Saturday to crochet that ruffled 6ft long green scarf, I bought way too much. I tend to error on the side of having more than enough than having not enough. Crochet projects use a lot more yarn than knit projects so at the time buying 5 skeins for a scarf made sense. Silly me. Thankfully, it is inexpensive so it didn't wallop my wallet too bad.

As soon as I finished my scarf, I cast on this sweater for Lauren with the left over yarn. It isn't a traditional "Lauren" color my any means. She is a purple or teal girl through and through. I even joked with a friend that I would have to sew her a purple and green skirt to go with it or she probably wouldn't wear it. Much to my surprise though, she loves it despite it being green and I don't have to coordinate it with some special! When I finished weaving in the ends last night, I left it on her doll house (which is currently blocking her doorway, by the way) for her to find this morning. She came downstairs wearing it and I am happy to know she'll be snugly warm today as I think she might be coming down with a cold.

For those of you that like to knit, this pattern is available on Ravelry:: Big Sweater, Little Pockets. It is written up to a child's size 6, but Lauren is nearly 8 and growing like a weed. You can read my notes about how I modified it to make it larger here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Which I Share A Secret I have Been Keeping...

rustic wrappings begins

I have been keeping secrets... you know this and I know this. I have even said in several posts that secret things are afoot. I have been waiting for just the right time to tell you about what I have been keeping to myself. (and for those of you what don't know me well, I will tell you straight up, I.Am.Not.Preggers and have no plans to become so ever again, so that isn't the secret... I'm just saying because I know that's what you were thinking...)

I nearly told you in April when the seed of what was in my mind started to take life in the real world. I decided to wait. I almost told you in again in August when the seedling was transplanted from my tiny world out into a much larger one. But, I decided to wait. I came oh-so-very close to telling you just a few weeks ago in December too when that little seed of a thought went from transplanted seedling to leaf bearing blossom. But, I decided to wait.

Why have I waited? Oh how I could psycho-analyze the choice. I could, and I have. Mostly it is fear that has held me back. This secret has me taking risks, and leaps of faith that will no doubt having me landing outside my comfort zone. Fear leads to self doubt, self doubt leads to insecurity, and for me, insecurity leads to avoidance. If I stay with the gardening and seedling analogy, you could say it will have me sprouting outside my normal, delightfully safe, well-tended garden bed. So I am much like that last little wisp that clings to the puffy dandelion head when you blow on it to make a wish.. The list of fears that have held me back so far are too many to go into detail, but I am strong and will face them head on. I have fought the weeds of fear before and I am good at getting to their roots and plucking them. (Goodness I picked a good analogy to roll with.) Naturally, some fear weeds are more stubborn than others and for those, I have my loving family and friends to help me with. And thankfully, my friends love rubber boots just as much as I do and they aren't afraid to get a bit of dirt under their nails.

Oh alright... it is time.
Why now? Well, because in that photo above, I finally started it, so it is time.

I am writing a second book!

Could you already guess that?  You see... in April, I started creating the projects. In August, I wrote the proposal and sent it into the hands of my publisher. In September, I was challenged to push past the initial concept and dig a bit deeper into the possibilities. In December, I signed the contract. And today... today... I started putting the words on the page. My first deadline for half the book and half the projects in March 1st and the complete manuscript is due July 1st. The expected release date is Spring 2012.

And, my favorite part... the title... Rustic Wrappings: Merging Metal, Wire, & Art Glass.

Through the pages of this new book we will explore together how to create timeless designs that are vintage in feel while still being fresh. Think western sunsets, beach side cottages, romantic promenades, ruffles on petticoats, and wearing your heart on your sleeve. Color will still be a strong element but we'll use the softer, subtler, and gentler side of color to express these things. As always, my passion is for glass, so the projects will feature lampwork beads and OH what a crew of artists I have assembled to help me along the way. I can't wait to introduce you to each and every one... but all in due time. The place where I was pushed to dig deeper into the possibilities is in two areas that are so incredibly awesome, I can't reveal them yet. But let's just say I will be showing you how to add a whole new "layer" to your color palettes, and the second area is most definitely going to have me teaching again nationally in 2012 (and teaching technique rather than project based classes which is something I am so so excited about).

It is going to be a wild couple of months as I juggle not only this deadline but several others as well. Exciting times are ahead not only with this project, but others too. You are going to see a written piece from me soon in one of my favorite magazines of all time. Wire Style 2 will be hitting shelves soon too. I am contributing on a beading friend's book project. The studio has me busy as can be with my first First Friday in just a couple of weeks. There are other details too that if I start to think on them and list them, I will get overwhelmed and want to numb myself to the anxiety of it all. So let's just put those other things off until we need to handle them. Plus, I will be turning 33 in no time at all and the odd number just isn't sitting well with me. I would much rather skip 33 and say I am 34 two years in a row. But, I digress.

I am so so excited and I can't wait to share this journey with you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yes, I Am Rambling Again.

lettuce head 1

:: i have been missing random mondays...
:: this past weekend we were the laziest we been in ages, it was wonderful
:: i am wearing my black ribbed turtleneck today and while it is a favorite, i think it may be the least flattering article of clothing i own.
:: the kids have dentist appointments today
:: i am not looking forward to being lectured about how little my kids floss

winter day 7 :: quiet beauty

:: it is negative degrees out, which is taking sledding off our to-do list today
:: thinking it may be time to put pen to paper and reveal some secrets soon
:: i went for a run this morning after a hyatis that started before thanksgiving... it felt really good
:: not only is my turtleneck not flattering, the sleeves are too short... damn
:: i refuse to change my outfit today

winter day 9 - bundle up

:: isn't popcorn popped on the stove the absolute best? down with microwave popcorn!
:: i joined the modern age and purchase a smartphone last week... pretty stinkin' cool
:: oh, that top photo... saturday night i decided i needed a 6ft long lettuce green ruffle edge scarf (thanks to anna maria horner for the inspiration)
:: it is after 9am and i haven't started the fire yet... better get moving
:: how are you spending this fine winter day?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nominate Totally Twisted!


Did you know that in 2010, Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework + Art Glass Jewelry was the only "beadworking" book released by Interweave? It's true! The others were considered "metalwork" and "stamping". is having a bragging-rights competition for The Best Of ...(different various craft topics). Nominations for The Best of Beadwork are being accepted until Feb 4th 2011 (click the orange text to be taken to the ballet). If you love my book as much as I do, would you please take a moment to nominate it?! While at the link, I also nominated a few of my other favorite beadwork things. Bead Fest is my favorite Beading Show, The Beadin' Path is an awesome resource for vintage beads, and Etsy rocks as the online source for specialty beads. And hey, if you took one of my classes, you could pop my name in as your favorite teacher too.

Once all the nominations are in, the voting will begin! Winners don't "get" anything, just bragging rights. That is, seriously, the best kind of prize! I can hear it now in conversation... "yeah, I wrote the BEST beadwork book according to the readers of". I like the sounds of that!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Bit Of Blizzard Basking

lora ann photography collage 1

One of the things I love about being a creative soul is having the ability to do seemingly impractical things at a moments notice. Impractical is just the word my hubby used when I call him at work yesterday afternoon to tell him about an adventure that Lauren and I would be having. There was a blizzard in full swing, near white out conditions, roads were awful, all afternoon activities everywhere were cancelled, and Lauren and I met with a photographer friend of mine from high school for a bit of blizzard tutu twirling. Oh yes, you read that right... we met with Lora of Lora Ann Photography at Highland Park for an impromtu tutu photoshoot.

What an adventure have! I called Lauren's school to say I would be picking her up early and when I grabbed her hand at the door I said "come on... we are going on an adventure!" She was giddy with excitement the whole car ride to the park. We picked up my Mom and her bulldogs along the way too (photos below) and even they got in on the tutu fun. Once there, we stripped off our coats, plopped down on a blanket into a near foot of snow, and, though we shivered just a bit, we made a memory that I hope will stick in Lauren's heart for a long long time. And I have to say a HUGE thank you to Lora for so beautifully capturing those memories. I will cherish these images more than you know!

If you are local, I would highly HIGHLY recommend setting up a shoot with Lora. Her photos are stunning and I know you won't be dissappointed. If you would like to see the individual shots shown in these collages, hop on over to my Flickr Photosteam.

lora ann photography collage 2

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Make Way For The Wire

workbench wire 2
workbench wire 1
workbench wire 3
workbench wire 4

Much of this morning was spent unpacking a rather heavy box of wire. I think you can easily imagine just how awesome I found that task to be. This past Sunday, my hubby finished building my new BIG workbench in the studio. I love how it turned out!! It is going to be great for spreading out on and making messes. AND it will be perfect when teaching too. I just informed him that he needs to build another one. Oh yes, I must have another one and I know just where I want it too. Sadly, he hates being in "the city" (where my studio is located is most definitely "city") so, I will probably have to nag him relentlessly to get it built. I am game for it though... I am stubborn. But I digress... the wire is in the studio. I repeat. THE WIRE IS IN THE STUDIO and oh yeah I am excited. I have been torching for about an hour a day since moving in and I think I have all the beads I need to make my first finished piece in my new space. SO so excited. I plan to bring my tutu in honor of the event. Twirling with happen, you can count on it.

A moment ago, I typed the work lovcated... as in... love and located in one word. I like it. Let's make that a new word, an official word.

Anywho, we are supposed to get a storm tonight and tomorrow and that means a work-from-home day. I am looking forward to it. I have more packing to do and some cleaning to do. Being in two places makes for little time to tidy I am finding. These at home days help with that.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Heart My Blue Cabinet

fav cabinet 1
fav cabinet 2

Things like this make me really freakin' stinkin' happy.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Winter Walk

winter walk3
winter walk5
winter walk6
winter walk7
winter walk9
winter walk11
winter walk16
winter walk12
winter walk18

I decided today would be a work from home day. I was off to a good start until, all of a sudden, it started snowing giant fluffy flakes and I knew I had to throw on some long johns for a wintery walk. My new favorite usual spot for an impromptu walk wasn't open, so this walk happened on a different trail. I thought it would be a simple straight shot of a walk but what a surprise I was in for. I discovered a snow cover staircase that led down to a trail that meandered along a creek. The sun shined through the snow falling and oh what a beautiful hour it was. My nose is still cold (in the best possible way) and I am making hot chocolate as soon as I finish typing this.

Yesterday, in the studio, I spent a solid couple of hours sorting my glass rods (and cursing myself for not realizing my camera battery had run out). I was reintroduced to so many shades of colors that were tucked away for one reason or another. While walking in these woods, I kept thinking back to some of those colors. One, in particular, I plan to get reacquainted with very soon to create a piece to honor this walk. I can't wait to bring it to life. If it as pretty in person as it is in my head, you all are gonna love it. First though, I need to get my kiln up to the studio!! That's the plan for tomorrow.

It feels so incredible to have creative ideas flowing again. It can be hard to explain and articulate the feelings though. I was getting to the point where I couldn't really remember what it felt like to really *feel* that spark/drive/pull to make. I was seeking it... but couldn't find it. I think I have finally found it again and it is just so so good to have it back. It is a home coming of sorts.

One last thing, can you see the little fella that flew in to sing to me? He is a bit shy, but if you look close, he is there, in the last photo.