Monday, February 28, 2011

Reflecting On The Month, Randomly

week 1 - self portrait

:: my 1st deadline for rustic wrappings is here and i am meeting it with a reserved excitement.
:: in the past 28 days, i have done the following...
:: written 18 original project tutorials and shared more than 15 pages of techniques...
:: designed more than 20 one of a kind new pieces of jewelry...
:: finished knitting two sweaters! here was the first...
:: did a mini remodel on our master bath room...
:: finished reading two books...
:: watched more than a foot of snow fall and then seen it turn to rain, today it is all washing away...
:: helped install a new dishwasher and added a fresh coat of paint to all the lower kitchen cabinets...
:: played board games galore with my kids and squashed more petty arguments than i can count...
:: laughed hard and wrestled with a growing thirteen year old...
:: helped an excitable boy design a soon-to-be-built lego table...
:: frantically pulled together a last minute (because she forgot) star-of-the-week project with my girl (10 minutes ago)...
:: ate more grapefruit...
:: had so many wonderful phone chats with friends...
:: went antiquing and came up empty...
:: missed my studio and torch more than words can say (so so excited to get there today!)...
:: felt a seriously deep appreciation for my husband for putting up with the stressed out version of myself...
:: felt that for my mom and sister too, for putting up with my snapping on the phone...
:: joined picture inspiration on big picture classes...
:: acknowledged that i can't take an inspired photo everyday for a month, but i can do it once a week for a year...
:: loaned that pair of earrings to my girl for a birthday party where she promptly lost them...
:: sighed heavily more times than i can count... and time to do that again as i meet a huge deadline today.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

There is a party today!

Welcome friends... both new and old! Grab a cup and pour yourself a bit of my bead soup...

my soup 1

My partner for this exchange was the lovely Rose Noble of Lady Noble Designs. And I must say "Rose, please excuse my poor excuse for a before photo!" I dived right into creating projects and forgot to get a "pretty" shot of my goodies. I am hoping the photos below make up for it. As for the soup itself, it was filled with some of my favorite go to colors. Bright lime green, beautiful teally blue... *sigh*... dreamy...

Here is what I created...

clasp earrings bsbp 1
heart bangle bsbp 2
heart bangle bsbp 2a
cluster bracelet bsbp 3
bsbp group

One of the Bead Soup Blog Party "rules" is that you must use the clasp, and you must use the focal. Rose was sweet and sent a few possible focals. As for the clasp... can you find it? I decided to go a little crazy and use the clasp in earrings!! That's right, the clasp is the brass components in the earrings. I cut the two circles in half, textured the reverse side, polished back the oxidation, used punch pliers to add holes, and set to dangling them up. I think they might be my favorite project from the soup!

My second fav would have to be the heart bangle. Barbara Lewis (my partner in the first Bead Soup Blog Party last year!!!) shared some cute wire links on her blog the other day. I had those links on the brain while creating this bangle. I was astonished by the beautiful purple and pink hues that came out of the copper when drawing the beads at each end of the wire. So so beautiful. I was considering oxidizing the entire bangle, but when I saw those colors, I knew I need to leave it be.

And speaking of oxidation, I most definitely plan to go back in and oxidize the brass clasp I added to the Cha Cha style bracelet I made featuring  Rose's love link. Once darkened, it should blend right into the brass chain I used. This mix of fun mix of Czech glass. I love the little flowers and the I really don't have enough facets in my studio. Certainly something I should remedy.

Now, I know your time is just as limited as mine! You have over 200 blogs to visit if you want to taste all the soup that is being offered today! Hop on over to the master list to find out where else you are invited in to feast.

And a special THANK YOU to Lori Anderson for all her hard work and dedication to this exchange!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If You Could Join Me For Breakfast...

join me for breakfast 1
join me for breakfast 2
join me for breakfast 3
join me for breakfast 4
join me for breakfast 5
join me for breakfast 6
join me for breakfast 7
join me for breakfast 8
join me for breakfast 9
join me for breakfast 10
join me for breakfast 11

... I would have us sit in the sunniest spot in the house...
... I would tell you the kids and I are surviving "winter break" with the help of chilly walks, movies, and playdates...
... I would tell you that I am stealing plenty of moments to work on my manuscript...
... I would share my excitement at the feelings of something amazing coming together...
... I would scoff at the your apologies for licking the grapefruit juice off your fingers and I would lick my fingers too...
... and by the time the last meaty bite of fruit was had, the sun would have moved into another room and it would be time for me to get back to work.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 Reader's Choice Vote!!

My book, Totally Twisted: Innovative Wire Work + Art Glass Jewelry, is in the running for's Reader's Choice Award for Best Beading Book thanks to all of your nominations!! I am so thrilled. Now, just one more thing... it needs your vote. If you loved my book, would you please take a moment to click the link and vote for it? All you need to do is click on the title of the book (clicking the book title casts your vote). THANK YOU!!

Be Back Soon

birthday blooms 1

In my random comments yesterday morning, before sharing the new Simply Sweet collection, I mentioned I might have to take drastic measures to meet a deadline that is so very quickly approaching. Today, I don't think, I know it is what is needed. It is too easy to procrastinate these days (like listing the new Simple Sweet collection). So, it is time. I need to take a deep breath and really focus. That means, I need to not be worrying about this space while I have so many words swirling in my head that need organizing and typing and sending in to my publisher. I am taking a short blogging hiatus until my deadline is met. See you here again soon... and no, it won't take until tulips are in bloom to finish my writing assignment. Just another week... or two.

(If you really can't get enough of me and think you'll just be beside yourself with grief until I return... I'll still be tweeting on Twitter. Find me @kabsconcepts )

Monday, February 14, 2011

Simply Sweet Collection

jewelry chandilier
simply sweet 1
simply sweet earrings 1
simply sweet hoop earrings 2
simply sweet collection 4

Something simple... Something sweet...
The Simply Sweet Collection

I have become aware lately that I tend to favor rather simple designs when it comes to the jewelry I choose to wear. I love love LOVE to create bold, colorful, over-the-top designs... but then I adorn myself things that are completely the opposite. I decided it's time for me to create something more in tune with my personal tastes, once in a while. So, I bring you The Simply Sweet Collection. And it is here just in time to be a Valentine's treat.

The necklace is a beautiful transparent red bauble dangled on a sterling chain. The piece is heavily oxidized to a dark gunmetal finish. The earrings are all sterling construction as well and are made in two designs. The first is a long dangle that swings and sways.The second is a coiled hoop to capture your heart.

I only made a few of these... if you want one, best get one before they are gone. I won't be making these designs in this color again!! Get one for yourself and one for your BFF... you could be oh-so-very matchy matchy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Not So Lovely, But Still Loving Monday

sunny morning 5

:: Happy Valentine's Day!
:: scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the winner of Wire Style 2!
:: I hope you don't mind if share more flower photos from the sunny morning last week.
:: Today couldn't be more different... it is dark and the wind is howling.
:: A very wonderful weekend was had round these parts...
:: Ron and I enjoyed a delectable dinner Saturday night, minus the kids, to celebrate my birthday.
:: Yesterday, I turned 33!
:: I would kinda rather be 34 two years in a row because I just don't care for the #3 and two of them side by side is even worse.
:: I am now the owner of a NOOKcolor... it's so cool.
:: I spent much of my big day curled up reading this month's bookclub selection. *Perfect*
:: The kids made me a cake while with my Mom and it was delicious.
:: White cake with white frosting... boring, but good.
:: Today I'll be wiring up some goodies at the studio, having lunch with Lauren at school, then writing this afternoon.
:: There is a big deadline rapidly approaching, I may have to take some drastic measures to get it done.
:: Lots of love to you and your's....

sunny morning 7

And the winner is... stacilouise, she said,
"Thanks for another chance to win this book. It looks wonderful!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

{This Moment}

sunny morning 1

From Soulemama: “{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Honored by Artful Blogging

Last week, something very special arrived in my mail.

Back in October, while I was going through an extremely difficult time here at home, I received an email that truly lit my heart up with honor. Jennifer Jackson, one of the editors of Stampington & Company's Artful Blogging, invited me to write a piece for an upcoming issue of what I consider to be one of my most favorite publications ever. I have been devouring the deliciousness this magazine has to offer for years now and I couldn't believe that my snippet of the cyber world was being asked to take part.

I remember the afternoon I set to writing my contribution. Knowing what wonderful words other contributors share in their articles, I levied some pretty heavy pressure on myself. I stared at a blank screen for countless moments that easily became an hour. I would start typing and quickly hit the backspace button. I would have a flash of a sentence and then it would be gone. I just couldn't put my finger on how I was going to take all my love and affection for my blog and translate it into a written piece for the masses. No simple what-blogging-means-to-me-thing would do. I knew from the beginning what I wanted to write about, though. Over the years, through writing and sharing here on this blog, I think I have been able to get to know and understand myself in a way that wouldn't have otherwise happened without it. I wanted to write about discovering the multiple sides to my personality that I have been given a voice outside my head in posts here. Namely, Kerry & Carrie. Finally, I took a deep breath and decided to tell a story.

Though I remember the day being bright and crisp, I got completely lost in the story I wrote about a rainy day in my basement studio. The hour I spent writing about a full day left me feeling like that full day had actually just passed. Exhausted, but proud, I sent the finished piece off to Jennifer and have been waiting to see the pages in print ever since. Last week, it arrived and it is beautiful.

Slowly, I am reading my way through the other pieces. I find myself in such fine company. I do have to laugh at myself a bit. I find it all rather ironic. The piece I wrote is about my home studio, and as I mentioned, it was written in October. Just a month and a half later, I had a million and one reasons why I wanted to more out of that place and into my new studio. I talk in the article about how my home studio was "mine all mine" and how it made me feel to be in it. And it truly made me feel that, but oh, there was the flip side too. You can be sure, I will keep my Artful Blogging article as a remembrance of the old place.

If you are new to my blog after finding me in Artful Blogging... welcome! If you aren't... thanks for visiting again and sharing so many posts with me. Now it is time to venture down to the basement for another reason... I need to go for a run.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Today While Tumbling

tumbler 1
while tumbling 1
while tumbling 2
while tumbling 3

Today at the studio, while the tumbler bum-tumbled my latest wire project (for a deadline weeks away, go me and my oh so productive self), I...

put my feet up on my desk and watched the barrel spin...
tried to get a shot of just how long my ponytail is getting and wondered if you remember it being this short...
ate a tomato and cheese sandwich on whole grain nut bread with an orange on the side...

then the tumbler was done bum-tumbling and I went on to other things.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


As a THANK YOU for the wonderful response to Cindy's Wire Style 2 give away, we decided to give away ANOTHER copy!! YOO HOOO!!! No need to do anything fancy, just leave a comment here before 9pm on Friday Feb.11th 2011. I will draw the name over the weekend.

GOOD LUCK and thank you so much for the wonderful response to Wire Style 2!

Edited To Add:
WOW! Look at all those comments coming in!! Keep them coming. I wanted to come back and update you all because, oh my, I just got my actual real live copy of Wire Style 2 in the mail today. I had the afternoon is sit with it and I can't tell you how cool it is. There are some seriously awesome designs and the photography is out of this world! The jewelry looks down right juicy and the styling is just killer. You are SO gonna wanna get your hands on this!!

Monday, February 07, 2011

mondays just keep coming

trio 1

:: you'll have to excuse jacob's annoyed facial expression. we dragged him out in the snow even though he still wasn't feeling good.
:: look at all those cute little freckles on all three of them!
:: been thrown a curve ball today... that middle child has no school (again!), which means i need to change up my to-do list for the day.
:: today is cloudy and grey... good day to write? or maybe clean the basement?
:: i am amazed at the response to saturday's post... thank you for all your words everyone. i read each and every one of the comments.
:: is it just me or does february feel like it is flying to everyone? tell me i have a few more weeks before march is here.
:: sometimes i wish i had a better signing voice.
:: the library has had my bookclub selection on hold for me for nearly a week, i really need to go pick it up.
:: i am feeling like there is a total lack of things to take photos of.
:: maybe the above comment has something to do with the fourth one.
:: i am going to ask andrew if he wants to go for a winter walk to mix things up a bit.
:: stay warm...

hate basement running
(i am being extra brave in posting this photo... three guesses why i hate running on my treadmill.)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Then Again Maybe Not

hallway view
through the windows

Happy Saturday, my lovely readers. It is wonderful to see you on this bright and shining morning. I must confess, I was rather comfy in my bed and didn't rise until well after 9am. So unlike me... but so needed after last night. I know you aren't used to seeing my in this bloggy space on the weekends. But today it is warranted. I have some feelings to work through and I want to do it while the feelings are so very fresh.

As you know, last night my first First Friday event at the studio. With all the overwhelming other events of this week, on Thursday, I was thinking this event might not take place. With Jacob down and out on the couch with influenza, and my back smarting every now and then, I called Ron and asked if I should just let it go. He said, in the most husbandly fashion, "it is up to you". Not what I wanted to hear. So, I set to texting an understanding friend. My understanding friend is wonderful at leading me through a conversation in a way that helps me better know my own intention and heart. Often times, she does it with the simplest of words. She knows all too well the pressure I put on myself when it comes to doing "public" shows of my work. The simple thing she said was "... as long as you aren't waiting out of a place of fear...". The one word, fear, settled into my thoughts and I knew instantly, without a doubt, that there was no fear in my heart. I decided to just let things happen as they would and as they did, an excitement settled in.

Yesterday, I truly was so excited as I moved through the day. I bought a bouquet of balloons to draw the crowds down my hallway. I picked wine to share with friends that would visit. I tidied the studio, set up displays, made a last minute necklace, I hung silouettes that I made of the kids, and I felt really good. I felt antsy to see what the night would bring too. All the while I was checking in with myself, being present, and knowing where my heart was. No fear.

kids at the studio 1
first friday balloons 1

Then... people started arriving. Of this I have no doubt, I absolutely loved sharing my new space with my family and friends. I was so so proud to show my new creative home to them. I wish I had more time to focus and talk with them. (I also wish I could have found a couch for the studio too. It could really use some softer, cozier, spaces.) It would seem that just when one conversation would get going, new people would wander in that needed greetings and questions answered. One of the nice things about doing events like this is getting to introduce my style of lampwork glass jewelry to people that have never seen it before. It is fun to watch eyes widen at the mention of each bead being made by hand at the torch. (Yep, that torch right over there in the corner.) Many take a card and a final look around before going off to explore another studio in the building.

And then... there were the other kind of visitors. Before I tell out about the others, know this... my words aren't coming from a place of sadness or frustration or hurt. In fact, it is just the opposite. I am excited to finally know my feelings on this. I think a lot of my angst leading up to Friday came from a place of uncertainty. Now, I know and I am in a good, healthy place about it. So, read these next sentences with a tone in your mind that pictures me smiling and sort of whispering/sharing a discovered secret.

The others... well, some were down right rude and left me feeling violated. And I have told you before how tender I feel about my studio and protective of it. So, you can imagine how unsettling it was when people completely ignored the displays of jewelry I had out to bee-line to my work desk, pull out a strand of glass from a jar and snap it in half. Or how rattling it could be for some to walk behind my desk and feel free to touch my tools and pull rods of glass from my shelves. Some others went even further with their inconsideration, ignoring both my art and my workspace, to help themselves to free wine and snacks. Yes, they walked to my table, poured themselves a glass of red, then promptly turned and walked out. Truly... violating was the only word I could come up with to describe the sensations I was feeling in the moments when these others came into my creative home.

Monday, I will sweep and wash away the yuck left behind on the floors and tables by those others. I will return my spools of wire, pliers, and polishing pads to their rightful places on my desk. I will twirl a time or two in my tutu and I will shut my doors to those others. In my heart I know I do not want to open my studio, or myself, to them again. First Fridays are not for me... and I am at peace with that in the very best way. I really learned so much about myself last night. My family and my friends will always be welcome... and I am thinking private open houses on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon are what will be in my future. Last night, though, will not happen again. I feel stronger in knowing that resolve and eager to continue finding truths that make my heart happy.

publications to browse

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Balance Of Good And Bad

afternoon tea

You ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you feel like the Universe is plotting against you? I am sure the answer is... of course. We all have days like that. I am facing one of those days/weeks and I am finding it absolutely amazing how powerful looking for the good in the bad is. Simple, silly, and a wee bit sappy... yes. But it helps, it really does.

Wednesday we were greeted with our first snow day of the season, I knew it was coming and had grand plans for the day. Lots of work-from-home things to do while the kids played in the cumulations. Alas, I woke up with severe back spasms, much like the ones I had while we were on vacation this past summer. It forced me to slow down, lay flat all day, and appreciate my husband. Rather than wallowing I choose to be thankful. How can I grumble when I have such wonderful support?

Today, the back pain is still here, but if I move slowly, I can do it. If it were a usual day, not a Universe plotting day, I could handle that. But this week is a testing one... so, Jacob has the flu and is out of school, Andrew's school lost power and canceled for today too.  I am forced again to stop and I am choosing find some good. The sun is out and the fresh powder is sparkling like glitter. It is absolutely breath taking.

As for tomorrow... I am taking in a heavy sigh and acknowledging that grand plans/hopes for tomorrow night (my first open studio night!) might not be all I cracked them up to be... but that is okay. Just being in my new space, and sharing it with friends, will be enough. That is the goodness I am finding there.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Wire Style 2

wire style 2 pieces

It's here, it's here... after more than a year of waiting, Wire Style 2 is finally in house at Interweave ready to ship!! I couldn't be more proud to work again with Step By Step Wire Jewelry editor, Denise Peck, on her second wire-style installment. Wire Style holds a very special place in my heart. It is the first book I was ever invited to be a contributor on, I cried in Barnes & Noble the first time I found it on the shelf, and ultimately, it led to me feeling confident enough to write my own book, Totally Twisted.

The photo above is a collage of the pieces that I contributed to the book. Remember when you all were asking me how to make those coiled rings? Now you can find out how I do it! The instructions for that technique as well as others are right here in Wire Style 2. I also share how to make a coiled pendant bail, a sweet wire headpin project, what you need to do to add sterling swirls to felted wool beads, and a unique way to set a button as a center-stage focal. Just so much cool information.

These seven projects of mine are just a small sampling of the new designs this book has to offer. Denise knocked this one out of the park with fellow contributors including Jodi Bombardier, Jane Dickerson, Lorelei Eurto, Connie Fox, Lisa Niven Kelly, Donna Spadafore, and , last but not least, Cindy Wimmer. As many of you know, Cindy and I have been good friends for years. She is such an amazing Mom, wonderful friend, and true artist. We went through the process of writing our projects for Wire Style 2 together in late 2009 - early 2010, and I was constantly in awe of the images she would send me of the designs she was working on. And I couldn't have been more honored when she asked me to create a special set of beads for a collaborative piece. The final necklace is simply stunning.

You MUST stop by Cindy's blog today to read about her process, get a glimpse at what projects she created, and SHE IS HAVING A GIVEAWAY!! Yep, visit Sweet Bead Studio for details on how you can win a copy of Wire Style 2.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Studio Vlog & First Friday Info

Yes, I say "my favorite" a lot, and pardon my nasaly voice, I still have a cold. :)

My First First Friday

February 4th, 2011 6-10pm
At #307 in The Hungerford Building
1115 East Main Street, Rochester NY

Take Door #5 to the 3rd floor and look for the balloons.