Saturday, October 31, 2009

Silly Saturday and Sensational Links

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

A Bead A Day
Looking for a great way to commemorate a special moment or gift? Design a piece of jewelry!

About.com Jewelrymaking
It's like Wal-Mart, only you want to be there in this virutal tour of Shipwreck Beads.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene is having a book fair. Read up on your favorites!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has finally discovered how great polymer clay is.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Not thinking about your holiday gift list yet? Cindy helps get you started with a Knot Ready for Prime Time Lucky Knots and Friends Projects so you can get started now!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shares her final Crystal Week necklace... a piece she calls Woodland Mermaid

Jean Campbell
Jean celebrates her favorite holiday by showing off her costume and some very cool baubles

Jewelry & Beading
Krystal Backer, beading artist, shares her creative inspirations with Cyndi.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Have you been following Lorelei's Necklace Round Robin? Come take a look at the finished pieces!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a delightful book by the editor of BeadStyle: Cathy Jakicic

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off her favorite necklace created for Cynthia Thornton's Enchanted Adornments and winner in the metal clay category of the British Bead Awards

Friday, October 30, 2009

Grounded

Mediation and slowing down in general is good for all of us. Inspired to live a slower life, I'm creating a line of reminder jewelry that has style yet serves as a reminder to live life slowly. Each piece will be named after a slow life goal like this one - to stay grounded.


I put this up on my Flickr a couple weeks ago but decided to re-work it slightly and take another picture of it. It's available in my studio at ArtFire.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Share Your Stash - Beads of Clay Open House

I love clay but I can't make any beads from it that have grace and style - unlike the talented artists who belong to Beads of Clay - they can make the clay sing! I'm collaborating with Mary Harding, a clay artist, for the ABS December sponsor beads and when I went to her blog, I happened upon the Open House announcement.

Whee! I was there with bells on! (Who cares I was working at the time? Did I say that out loud?) Here's the stash I bought:

A dill pendant by Mary Harding...


A Passion Heart from Erin at EveryHeartCrafts - Don'tcha just love it?


Check out this great Lasso Wire Wrap Ring tutorial from Chinook Designs. Awesome isn't it?


That's my stash from the Open House - have you added to your stash recently?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ornamentea Unveil - Sew Together

I was a blogging dud last week, Dear Readers. The flu season arrived at my house by first hitting my son, then my husband. I luckily escaped the flu but was hit with a bad case of bronchitis. So last week is a blur of illness.

Finished jewelry pieces languished on my photography table ready for their close up. Well, today the wait is over. Remember the day I posted about Ornamentea and the 10 Loop Ring in Antique Brass? If you don't, here's a picture of the ring blank...


Without realizing it, I've been developing a group of pieces where I "sew" with wire and metal to create pendants. My need to sew metal and glass comes from learning to sew at age 4, sewing my own clothes through college and reluctantly giving it up when the fabric became more expensive than buying a dress, and reading Mary Hettmansburger and Susan Lenart Kazmer. Sewing seems natural to me - stitching with wire is a natural extension of who I am and the wirework I do.

I strive to put things together in unusual ways - make the unexpected. The 10 loops cry out for a flurry of headpins and beads - which I love love love by the way - but what could I do with the loops in an unexpected way? I held up one of my Pear Frost Links - it framed the loops beautifully. Aha! I would sew the Pear Frost Link to the ring (have I mentioned how glue is not my BFF?)







The title is an obvious play on words and how I'd like to be "together." Instead of being flawless, I'm held together by these strong and even stitches that have a beauty all their own.

Do you find something like sewing appearing as a theme in your creative life?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Silly Saturday and Sensational Links

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

A Bead A Day
Does a simple design equal a "Zen" experience? Lisa would love to hear your thoughts on when simple designs are able to make an impact.

About.com Jewelrymaking
After posting a new jewelry book review for a very cool mixed media book, Tammy is looking a head to other reviews coming up very soon.

Art Bead Scene
You've heard of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Well, this Sisterhood shares bracelets.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe gets tangled up with Chain Style book review

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi decided to finally use her bead stash from Paris.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's got some new findings from Ornamentea. What's she going to make with them?

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
The inspiration for Melanie's Machinery of Nature necklace comes from science, steampunk, and nature.

Jean Campbell
Jean struggles through the creative process while bezeling some unusual crystal shapes

Jewelry & Beading
Little beaded flowers are addictive to make, and before you know it, you've got enough for a complete necklace!

Katie's Beading Blog
Check out Katie's ideas on making your old beads new again- and make some affordable gifts along the way!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Better get on board, Lorelei is having the last of the Enchanted Adornments giveaways. Leave a comment to play!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a little Boo power going on for her in this hand made Halloween bracelet!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off metal clay goodies from Rings & Things

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew revisits a bracelet design and creates six others.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Food Network Junkie - bring on a vegan!

Ok, I'm admitting it. I'm a Food Network junkie. I've picked up lots of tips on how to cook from watching Top Chef, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten just to name a few of my favorites. I had a brush with working in a kitchen but it's not for me - I don't move fast enough and the high stress is too much for me. But I do like to cook.

I wish Food Network had a vegan cooking show like Post Punk Kitchen. But in the meantime, vegan friendly Rick Bayless (whom I've always loved - must be because he studied linguistics like me) will do.



I'm hungry! Are you cooking or making the margaritas?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Photo


The Teen playing his original music at one of the local malls.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Silly Saturday and Sensational Links

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro - Balloon Boy Is Safe
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview


A Bead A Day
Do you have a distinctive style or do you go where the wind blows you? Lisa would love to hear about your design process.

About.com Jewelrymaking
Fall is in the air, at least in some areas of the world, so it is time to think about making fall jewelry.

Art Bead Scene
ABS shares a motherlode of giveaways for October.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe gets a mini artpiece from Artbeads.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes some resin filled embellishments quickly!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
There's a new addition to the Heartz n Skullz Family. Come check out the new Skully Bowz!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie heats things up with some fire inspired crystal and porcelain beads in her newest necklace from her Art Beads crystal week

Jean Campbell
Jean reviews Wendy Ellsworth's wonderful new book, Beading--The Creative Spirit.

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi shares the instructions for a special necklace that she made for a friend, called "The Fourth Day of Creation"

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is swooning over the newest Crystallized Innovations from Artbeads!

Strands of Beads
Melissa is proud to be Soft Flex Company's Spotlight On... Designer for October!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
See what Andrew whipped up when he sat down in the studio after a dry spell.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ornamentea, An Etsy Sale and Comments on the Comments

Blowing Kiss (Lg) Smiley Pictures, Images and Photos
Thanks for all the great comments on the disclosure. I always appreciate your comments and love to hear from you!

Unfortunately, I wasn't very clear where was coming from when I posted. So let me try to clarify. The FCC (I think) has come up with a new ruling requiring bloggers to disclose that they are paid to talk up a product. Companies have dedicated staff on social networking sites talking up products and people. They get real salaries, real money to pay their bills and buy groceries. I get paid in a goody bag. I can't send jump rings and Swarovski crystals to the gas company and they'll consider my bill paid. But the FCC works in broad strokes so since I blog about a product, then I need to disclose.

So that's why I wrote the "no secrets" post.

In keeping with my "No Secrets Policy," I've gotten an exciting selection of products from Ornamentea as part of a creative challenge to the editors of the Art Bead Scene. Each editor is to come up with jewelry using similar items from Ornamentea. I love working with the other beadmakers at ABS, they're such a creative bunch! You should check out the sale that Melanie is having on Etsy.

Buy I'm digressing from the fabulous findings I'm working with right now. I've received a 10 Loop Ring in Antique Brass, Medium Knurled Round Chain in Antique Brass and a Snake Hook in Antique Brass








Yummy! I've had these on my design table for over a week thinking and turning them over and over trying to decide what I wanted to create. I started putting together a piece using my Frost Links in Pear. The Pear color goes so well with the rich tones of the antiqued brass.

What do you think I'm working on? A necklace? A ring?

Monday, October 12, 2009

No Secrets


Russ is in my studio this morning encouraging me to make some beads but I want to talk about something else first. There's a discussion going on with bloggers - I don't really get the details but essentially it's about truth in blogging. Meaning, if a jewelry supplies company offers me products that I can blog about, then I should be telling you.

I do.

I prominently display the Rings n Things Blog partners badge. I tell you when I've gotten a goody bag from R&T. That's considered payment by the way.



No secrets.

I buy from Rings n Things too. So, not everything R&T is part of the blog partners, some is bought and paid for from little ol' me. You'll know the difference because I'll tell you.

No secrets.

I'm not here talking up any product from R&T that I don't like. If I get something from them in a goody bag I can't use, I don't use it. If I like something and use it, then I tell you.

Honest.

Open.

No secrets.

I like Rings n Things, it's why I'm a blog partner.

No kidding.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Migraines, Silly Saturday and Sensational Links

I lost a day in the studio yesterday because of the migraine that started on Thursday. Spent Thursday night waking every hour or so with nausea and a pounding headache. I was lucky to get in to see the doctor yesterday. Thank goodness! She gave me a shot which thankfully made me feel much better. I'm hoping to get time in the studio today.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Enjoy the beady links!

A Bead A Day
Do you buy beads for their "coolness" factor? What is your definition of "cool" when it comes to beads and jewelry?

About.com Jewelrymaking
Tammy has taken her net and collected some butterfly crafts for you in plenty of time to participate in The Butterfly Project at the Holocaust Museum Houston.

Art Bead Scene
The October Art Bead Scene Challenge gets folksy.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy shows off her new buckle charm necklace but what should she name it?

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie brightens up her beading palette with some spring colors for her second Art Beads crystal blog post

Jean Campbell
Jean shares her delight with Cynthia Thornton's new book, "Enchanted Adornments"

Jewelry & Beading
Bring home a souvenir, and figure out how to wear it!

Katie's Beading Blog
Katie's mixing polymer clay with beads again - check out this new design!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Come join in on the fun of the 6th Enchanted Adornments giveaway, it's FROGS! Ribbit!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is swooning over the newest Crystallized Innovations from Artbeads!

Strands of Beads
Melissa is proud to be Soft Flex Company's Spotlight On... Designer for October!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Facelift and What-if

I gave the blog a little facelift this morning. I'm re-vamping packaging, photo backgrounds and my Etsy shop in a black and white theme. I like the black and white, it's classic and serves as a nice showcase for my work. I haven't re-opened the Etsy shop yet because I'm still working on a banner.

It was a rough night last night. I had a migraine hit yesterday and I didn't get ahead of this one. If you have migraines, you know you have to take the pain reliever at the first hint or you're a gonner. I was a gonner yesterday and it only got worse through the night. For the first time, I got the dreaded nausea with it - woke me up every hour or two - ugh, it was awful. So I sit here with the phone in my hand waiting for the doctor's office to call to tell me they have a prescription waiting. All the while I'm thinking - What-if they don't call? What-if there isn't anything to take? What-if I have to do another night like last night?

What if I stop worrying and did some yoga? It might help.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bronze Metal Clay Rose Charms



I'm not sure why, but this little rose charm feels arts and crafts style to me. They're sweet.I made these bronze metal charms in July but was so enamored of the process, I never put them up for sale! Since they're my very first charms, I'm selling them for below cost. I've only got a few so if you like them, scoop them up before they're gone!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Voluptuous Surreal Rhythms

Spent some time at the torch the other day. I made another Surreal Rhythms and this one has a voluptuous shape, nipped in at the center and rounded at each end.



Reminds me of what the famous line by the Duchess of York, "You can never be too thin..."

Monday, October 05, 2009

Expanding the Bead Family: Skully Bowz

I'm adding to the Heartz n Skullz series with Skully Bowz. Skully Bowz are like the Skele'Bowz but are made a bit differently - so a slightly different name. Instead of a black eye, I've highlighted the sculptural quality of the Skully with brown. She wears a sweet deep red bow.






Do you like the new addition to the Heartz n Skullz family? Do you create series within your work?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Screaming into a drive-through speaker and Sensational links!

This week was rainy and gray in the Northeast - very rainy and windy. I made the mistake of trying to order at a drive through. Needless to say, my teen was on the floor laughing at how I had to scream into the speaker 4 times! So, this week's silly had to include this one....

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Enjoy the beady links!

A Bead A Day
Have a favorite piece of day-to-day jewelry? Lisa shares hers and reasons for leaning toward practicality.

About.com Jewelrymaking
Tammy offers you two simple ways to become part of the on-line jewelry making community.

Art Bead Scene
Take a tour with the Art Bead Scene. We've got places to go and beads to see!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Simply Gemstones book review

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a new necklace with heart shaped resin pendants she made.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Take a walk on the dark side and see what kind of jewelry Cindy comes up with.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie begins her celebration of a week of crystal pendants with an autumn inspired fairy butterfly necklace

Jean Campbell
How do you use beads to decorate your house? Check out these photos of Jean's beady household decor.

Jewelry & Beading
Have you ever thought about trying glass fusing? The talented Wendy Talaro shares a fused glass primer this week!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei is hosting a Necklace Round Robin, come check out the necklaces as they transform!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean recalls and reposts a recipe for some cool October earrings, now that there is a chill in the air!

Strands of Beads
Melissa blogs about an intriguing new blog by lampwork artist Sarah Moran

Friday, October 02, 2009

Talk Back and An Immortal Corsage


Today I want to talk back. I really appreciate the comments!

Tuesday's post about the "money shot" surprised me. When I'm surprised by the comments I receive, I've learned something. I'm starting to feel the white background is boring and was sure that the roses background would make the charm more appealing. Seems not. Surprise. (It does make me wonder about my ability to have the "my fingers on the pulse" of what the trends are.) I guess white isn't boring after all!

So I'm going to reveal a deep dark not so secret secret today - I love crochet. I love to make it and I love to admire it. So handmade lace either crochet or of late, I've been trying to teach myself to do needle tatting.

Why? You ask.

Because I've been drooling over a needle tatted bracelet for about a year - My Immortal Corsage made by TotusMel on Etsy. (Photo courtesy of TotusMel's shop.)



I'm completely in love with it! I finally decided enough drooling it was time to take action! I bought it.

Lovely work isn't it? Amazing how something this exquisite is made with humble thread and a long blunt end needle. If you're interested in trying it out yourself, you can buy crochet thread at the local craft store but you'll have to go online to Handy Hands to order a tatting needle.

Are you smitten with another craft? Are you learning something new or buying?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

What's in a Name?

Thanks, Dear Readers for all the comments on the last blog post's pictures. I'm in the process of changing my packaging and creating a new banner. I've got a black and white theme in mind so today's pictures show a bit of a backdrop I'm toying with.

But alas! I'm stuck yet again for a good name for the necklace. I used a bead chain to repeat the beads in the fine silver belt buckle charm I made. I darkened the chain a bit to echo the feel of the charm and suspended a blood red crystal from the end.




Right now my creative muse is on empty. I keep repeating, What's in a name? What's in a name? Thinking maybe it will bring and idea into my head or refill my creative muse's tank!

Any ideas? Oh, and what do you think of the black and white backdrop?

Let's put our heads together and see if something other than Shakespeare comes to mind....