Thursday, July 28, 2011


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Wouldn't you know it... just when I say I have had no studio time, I go and spend a wonderful couple of hours there... not once, but twice, this week. I have been day dreaming for ages about changing up the lighting in the studio. I can't stand the harsh, blinding, blue light that the three gigantic florescent contraptions give off. I have told you on many occasion that I actually work in the dark about 99% of the time, only turning on the one strand of little lights that float around the top of the room. I don't get a lot of natural light, but I get enough if I sit by the window. In fact, I do a lot right by the window. It is my new favorite spot for jewelry photos, as well as my spot to paint, and write, and eat my lunch.

Although the natural window light was working out, I knew I needed more. I can't always be in a cave. Any visitor to the studio has my throwing on the big lights and my heart sinks every time I do it. From the very first day in the studio, I knew I would want paper lanterns. Don't ask me why, I just knew that is what I wanted. (Okay, and maybe a crystal chandelier at some point.) For the past seven months, I have been imagining those featherweight colorful beauties hanging in clusters over my work spaces. One quick search online a few months ago had me thinking it would never happen, that the cost would be higher than my ceilings.

But, the daydream nagged at me. And... summer boredom set in. Oh wait, you aren't familiar with summer boredom? It's that omg-i-have-too-much-freaking-energy-and-my-house-is-already-clean-and-i-don't-have-anything-to-knit-and-tv-is-stupid-so-let's-surf-the-web-and-mindlessly-shop-for-things-you-don't-really-need-right-now-because-i-am-so-fraking-bored feeling. I am quite convinced it is an actual mental condition listed in the DSM-V. I have suffered from it on several occasions this summer and I have three new dresses, a new sketchbook, some new painting publications, very expensive yarn for a new sweater, and these paper lights to prove it. But, I digress.

I found an awesome place online for these paper lantern lights. It was actually a little too good to be true, and I placed my order with baited breath hoping the package would show up. To my absolute delight, the package did arrive, in under a week, with everything I ordered. Awesome. And the whole kit-n-caboodle, 10 light kits and 10 lanterns with shipping, cost me less than $80. My daydreams often had all different color lanterns, and the company I found had about 20+ colors, but when it can right down to it, I thought less would be more and I went with classic off white for the color. They work, plus, I also figured I could paint polka dots and stripes at any time.

Okay, so I placed the order, it arrived, and then, Lauren and I set out to get the lights hung up. Thanks to all the water pipes on my ceiling, it was a snap. (Worry not, I only hung cords from cold water pipes, not the boiler pipes. I wouldn't want to set the building on fire.) I have a few cords that need to be painted white like the wall and blended in, but other than that, I am over the moon about how it is all coming together. I have four lighted areas, over the couch, over the torch, over the sink, and over the beading table. Each are on their own switch so I can turn on just what I need. (Yee haw! on saving on electricity!)I love the warm glow that the room has now. It is just enough without being more than I can work under. And um, is it wrong that I am already starting to imagine what the place will look like at Christmas time, with even more lights, and a tree?

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You see that big blank space on the wall above Lauren? Oh yeah... wait till you see what I am putting there. You are gonna love it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stolen For A Monkey

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Gertrude the monkey has been around as long as Lauren has. Lauren never snuggles teddy bears... only monkeys. So yes, this little baby sweater was stolen for a monkey. Which is fine with me since my Mom insists that the cousin I made this for isn't really into handmade things.

The pattern is Wyatt (ravelry link) and the yarn is Rios by Malabrigo (heavenly).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Little Butterfly

little butterfly 5

I may not be able to get to the studio to create beads and jewelry at the moment, but that doesn't mean my hands aren't busy making. Oh yes, I am a making-fool these days. My needles have been flying through projects. I finished my Deco sweater, I made a lovely little baby sweater with the prettiest yarn ever that was stolen for a monkey, and the most recent finished project is a sweet little sweater for Lauren called "Little Butterflies" (ravelry link).

It has become a new summer tradition that Momma knits Laurnadoon a back-to-school sweater. You might remember this little number from last summer. When I knit that one, I picked the pattern and I chose the yarn. This time, my girl picked the yarn, months ago, when I made my Hourglass sweater. She insisted on having the same as me and she is standing her ground that orange is now her favorite color. She also picked the pattern. I showed her several I had in mind and she said "oh, oh, that one!!" She also decided the length of the sleeves too. This practical Momma was thinking that Fall is around the corner and 3/4 sleeves would be a better way to go, but oh no, she knew better. My hot blooded child, the one that sweats when it is 10 degrees out, wanted capped sleeves. And oh no... don't block them so they lay the right way, they look best poofy.

It should also be noted that she styled this outfit herself. And by all means, I completely approve of purple/pink polka dots with orange. So, rock it. One should always wear at least 3 necklaces. The flower necklace she thrifted herself at the flea market and drove a hard bargin, getting if for 50cents. Double headbands will become the rage in no time, I'm sure.

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I can hardly believe this baby of mine is getting ready to start 3rd grade. THIRD GRADE! I tend to balk a bit when people go on and on about how time flies, and how the kids get so big so fast, and where has the time gone... most of the time, I think time crawls. But I am starting to get it... I look at her and I wonder when she went from the teeny thing picking "free-bead winners" years ago, to this beautiful, smart, sassy, opinionated, fashionista. Isn't she awesome?

(ps... I am guessing you are wondering where the heck her curly ringlets are... she begged and plead with me to straighten her hair and I obliged. She likes the option.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Almost Halfway

coffee with lola
doing dishes

:: this week marks the halfway point of summer vacation for the kids
:: so, is it half left or half over? (ha! half full or half empty?)
:: i have seen way too many 5am's this summer
:: but it is nice that lola hangs out while i wake up with the news and coffee
:: all i have to say about the heat last week: thank goodness for the a/c vent that blows directly on the toilet paper in my bathroom.
:: completely tweaked my neck flying like a superhero, ugh, and it took 3 days to easy back into place that allowed me to turn my head
:: it was still
:: haven't seen me studio in over a week
:: daydreaming about all the things i'll do when i get back there
:: bought the awesomest moth weight top at anthropologie (on clearance), oh how i heart yellow polka dots
:: i am feeling horribly bad about not buying her the ruby slippers while out school supply shopping
:: does that make me the wicked witch?
:: the wizard of oz it making so many appearances in my life... maybe i should watch it today.
:: i just sang "wake up you sleepy head, open your eyes and get out of bed" to andrew (again)
:: why do passport photos make your face look so wide?
:: i'm completely devastated that there is no book club this month
:: *sigh* time to hit the pavement... mornings don't run themselves

ruby slippers
polka dot top

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Off The Presses

Time to take a short break from being a superhero and put on my business lady hat for a minute. I am really excited to tell you about the latest Interweave project I'm involved in, Live Wire. I am sure you have heard a lot of buzz about emags. But, just in case you haven't, emags are digital/electronic magazines. With a few mouse clicks, and no trips to your mailbox or bookstore, you have a copy of a great publication. And something that makes this emags extra special is that it isn't just a pdf of a magazine in print... this one is interactive.

Way back in February, I created a special project just for this new emag. I finally got to take a peak at my contributor copy of Live Wire yesterday and I couldn't get over how visually stimulating it was. Right from the get go, I was sucked in. After downloading the file, I clicked open, and watched as the cover filled, one by one, with all those goodies you see on it in the shot above. You can even see my project there on the cover, it is the cuff with bright orange bead with yellow spots.

Once I got past the cover filling with all that colorful goodness, I clicked to the table of contents and it was so cool!! You can click on images and hop directly to what you want to see OR you can simply move through flipping page by page. What is neat is that as you flip through the pages, each is sort of a title page. If you scroll down on any of those title pages, you can read the related article. Plus, I only saw one single advertisement! No postcards falling out from the pages is lovely. HA! Another interactive aspect is the videos!! Yep, as you work through the projects, many have videos right along with instructions. So, if you aren't sure how to hold your pliers to get that wire bent just so... it shows you.

Some of my favorite bead people are in the issue with me. My pals Cindy Wimmer and Cassie Donlen have shared really beautiful/inventive/sweet projects. Well done, ladies. Also making appearances are Interweave regulars Denise Peck,  Jane Dickerson, Sarah Richardson, and more.

But enough of my blathering... click on over to Live Wire and check it out for yourself! And while you are at it... I have those 5 pieces in Easy Wire 2011 (available as a digital download too) for you to try out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cape Not Required

This week is all about self portaits over on Superhero Photo.
The kids and I laughed our heads off leaping with a single bound on to my fluffy bed.


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(she actually said "move your butt, twinkle toes")

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This has got to be the most fun we've had all summer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where Time Flies

studio morning collage

:: two days in a row, i was in my studio by 6am.
:: i never knew what incredible early morning light made its way in through the windows at that hour.
:: i was right, it was just like riding a bike, i didn't forget.
:: would you believe, windows open and fan running, it was still 83degrees at 6am in the studio? yikes.
:: i am still in love with making polaroids and think it is a wonderful trick for cell phone shots on a day you forgot your real camera.
:: one of the brick walls between two windows whispered to me that each brick wanted to be painted a bright color. how could i refuse?
:: not really caring for the yellowie lime green though.
:: this morning's run is going to be a muggy one and i am kinda dreading it... and oh my stars there was a giant black snake on the trail last week... g.i.a.n.t... and black/gray stripes... shudder
:: saw the last harry potter with jacob on friday.
:: bawled my eyes out at least three times.
:: i am wondering if i should start a new blog devoted to the adventures/pictures of my yellow textured coffee mug?
:: lauren wants to go school supply shopping this week... i love that girl.
:: speaking of forgetting... i am trying to remember and hold close one feeling that washed over me while in the studio... utter *rightness*... for a few moments, i felt it.
:: everything is as it should be.

studio morning done

Friday, July 15, 2011

Around The Studio

Karen Valentine over at My Desert Cottage is hosting a fun blog hop focused on Where Woman Create. Pop in to Karen's blog and on the right hand side, below the pics of her cute dogs, you'll find the list of participants. I know I am going to have fun visiting everyone's creative spaces. Okay, with over 300 participants, maybe I won't get to everyone, but I am always on the outlook for inspiring ideas for my own studio, so... let's get our browsing on!

Now, I confess, last month when I signed up as a participant, I was still convinced that I was going to be able to get into the studio at least a few days a week. I have learned over the past week that it is going to be so much harder than I thought to get there on a regular basis. I've got to take time there where ever I can steal it. (for example, I have already whispered several requests to Ron to let me up there on Saturday while he hangs at home with the kids.) What does that mean to you? Well, I didn't get a chance to take fresh photos of my space. So, you might recognize a few of these shots... but that is okay! It is fun to look back and bring it all together.

Now, without further ado... Welcome to Studio 307 at The Hungerford!!

no lights 1
winter day 3 :: all the possibilities

I can't tell you how excited I was when I got my keys to this space back in January. It was a dream that was years in the making and oh how fear tried to whisper to me not to persue the possibilities. But I stuffed the fear down and leapt in.

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Having only been here seven short months, the studio and I are still getting to know each other. I am constantly rearranging the furniture trying to find what feels just right. Something that won't be moved any time soon is my inspiration board... er, inspiration wires. I love dangling things that make my heart sing from those hooks. There are postcards, fortune cookie papers, chunks of fabric, beads I love, and colorful scarves that I couldn't live without.

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furniture move new view 3

This is the spot I am missing most these past two weeks of summer break. And, it will be where I race to the first moment I get. I am bubbling with bead ideas people. Bubbling over!! I wonder if I even remember how to pull a stringer though. HA! I'm sure it is just like riding a bike... you never really forget.

(If you are a first time visitor to my blog, I am a lampwork glass artist and wire jewelry designs. Which means, ever piece of jewelry you see here on my blog or website, I have made from start to finish. I melt the glass to create the beads and I wrap the wire to bring them together.)

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There are still many areas of the studio that need to be softened with love. No doubt there is many a piece of brightly colored peeling painted furniture to be discovered and brought here for me to enjoy. The walls need ART... the floors need um... something, I don't know what yet. Something that feels absolutely incredible is knowing I have all the time in the world to make that happen. And even though I can't get there ::right now:: I love knowing it is there, and mine...

Oh, and here is a Studio 307 fact for you: 99% of the time, I work with the lights off. I love the muted light that filters in through my windows, combined with the the glow of twinkle lights.

flooded studio 1
shooting jewelry

Thanks for sharing a little time in my space with me today. Be sure to check out more of the beautiful spaces Where Woman Create (the master participant list is on the right hand side of Karen's blog)!! I would love to here who has some of the favorite spots. And feel free to share a link to YOUR creative space in the comments.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Around The Craft Table

er... I mean dining room table.

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I've been feeling the itch to sew a new quilt for several months now. I waited and waited and waited though. Don't ask me why I waited, I couldn't tell ya. Then, this spring, my favorite fabric designer released a new collection that had me completely swooning. Check out Anna Maria Horner's new Lou Lou Thi line. As soon as it was available I ordered up 1/4 yard cuts of almost every single one of them. Yeah, I am kinda psycho like that. I love her viberant colors and bold patterns. They remind me so much of the colors I choose for my beads. At the time this fabric became available, I was up to my eyeballs in the end stages of Rustic Wrappings and seeings these prints arrive in the mail give me a lift I don't even think I knew I was lacking.

Even though I had all the delicious fabric on hand, I still couldn't start a project. I had to finish the book first.

Waiting was kinda a good thing. I couldn't for the life of me decide what I was actually going to make with them. What kinda quilt would do these prints justice? So, I washed 'em... and waited. Then, I ironed 'em... and waited. I kept sorting them into different arrangements of color groupings and I noticed something... half the fabrics had a strong red/pink/burgundy color to them and the others were very yellow/light green/blue. I had half and half!!

And some how that led to triangles. And the triangle idea some how lead me to cut out 1296 triangles over the past week or so.

Over the next few summer weeks, these 1296 triangles will become 648 small squares. Which will then become 72 quilt blocks. Which will then become either A) the front and back of the quilt, or 2) the fronts of two matching quilts (one for home and one for the studio). The jury is still out on choice one or choice two. The jury is also still deciding if I'm insane because I am actually considering making every one of the 72 quilt blocks completely unique.

I'll be sure to let you know when the verdict comes in.

quilt polaroid 1