Sunday, June 29, 2008

Favorites: The Trendy Bead

I'm loving The Trendy Bead feature over at Art Bead Scene. ABS Editor, Heather Powers, tracks the trends in the fashion accessories world and suggests ways to incorporate them into your beads and jewelry. Here's this week's trend using my Bling Links in Ivory.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Digression..Celebrate Summer with Wizard Rock!

Every year in June, we celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer with a party. "The boy" has become "the teen" who is is a budding photographer, musician and lover of books - with a streak of thinking outside of the box (gee, who'd he get THAT come?!?) If we hear of a banned book, banned from the reading list or library, I make sure we read it. That's how we started with the Harry Potter series. The school district we live in was pressured to ban it. I bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to see what the bruhaha was about - and read it aloud to "the boy" who was 7 at the time. We were hooked. So it's no surprise to me as a teen he's found a group of like minded creative types who love HP just as much. Even better, they all love music too!

Last night, the celebrate summer party included two Wizard Rock bands - the Butterbeer Experience and The Chocolate Frogs. Even if you're not into the Harry Potter books, the music the bands play is original and enjoyable.

Lena, the Butterbeer Experience has an amazing voice and her songs are clever, funny and catchy. Lena downplays her talent but she shouldn't- she has a powerful and lush voice that sweeps you away. Wow!

The Chocolate Frogs have a "Connor Oberst Sound" and a quick sense of humor - pay attention or you'll miss the wit. They write awesome music that gets you tapping your toes and each time you see them, they've added another instrument! They're impressive musicians and song writers.

The Wizard Rock bands don't take any money for playing at an event - yep that's what I said - they don't take any money for playing. The only way they can fund their tours is through the sale of their CD's and merchandise. So, if you ever go to a Wizard Rock concert - please buy their CD's!

Here's Lena singing an "Ode to Everyone Who Died in the 7th Book" - if you haven't read it, don't click on the play button!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ornament Thursday's Independence Day

It's almost the 4th of July. Red, white and blue, fireworks and picnics all in celebration of the independence of the United States. So, you're thinking, this Ornament Thursday is about red, white and blue and U.S. patriotism. That's the obvious path, right?

You should know by now, I don't take the obvious path.

So today isn't about red, white and blue but it is about the beads - afterall, I am an INDEPENDENT business woman - and it is about the independent spirit.

So, I've chosen to represent the independent spirit with a rainbow spiral. Crafted into a wind chime-like ornament, it reminds me of the glass wind chimes I collect. I have 10 - 15 artist made wind chimes made of glass, ceramic, metal and wood. Every summer growing up on the farm, my mother hung a set of wind chimes on our porch. There was always a strong breeze blowing across the pasture and the chimes made lovely wind-music.

The obvious metaphor is blowing in the wind, free and independent but do I need to remind you, I don't do obvious either. My Independence Day is about the spirit represented by chakra colors the rainbow represents, the life force in each of us.

I've added a simple word-charm "BE" - to remind us to let our spirits just be.

Let's see what the rest of the INDEPENDENT business women of Ornament Thursday are up to this month....

Alexa Westerfield aka Swell Designer
Craft some red, white, and blue drink charms from vintage wartime posters. They'll make a big bang at your 4th of July cookout!

Art Bead Scene
Field of Poppies bracelet project from Heather.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Celebrate the Independent Spirit

Joolz by Lisa
Lisa takes a shot at teeny tiny beads for a change

Linda at BeadStyle Magazine
Childhood memories of Independence Day's past inspired this necklace.

Michelle's Take on Independence
Over at http design, Michelle has scuplted a piece which gives a different perspective on independence.

Strands of Beads
Melissa sees stars this month while considering the meaning of independence

What is America to Me?
Michelle's favorite words on our country...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Independence: Designer Interview and Ornament Thursday

Independence in design and independence as theme for Ornament Thursday!

Tammy Powley of The Crafty Princess has graciously accepted to interview for Cindy Gimbrone Beads newsletter. (YAY!) As an independent designer and author of numberous jewelry making books, Tammy knows what it takes to earn a living as an independent business person. Thanks, Tammy, for agreeing to an interview!

Wondering how this teaser relates to the theme of Independence?

Tomorrow, all will be revealed on the round robin of blogs, Ornament Thursday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Just before I went to see Wicked this past Saturday, I read Art Bead Scene's Studio Saturday post by Melissa Lee on favorite words. I posted a comment and said I like enigmatic words - words that can have multiple meanings so anyone can personalize the interpretation of the word.

If you've gone to see Wicked, you know it's full of creative use of the English lexicon. "Congratulotions" is a banner raised high in one of the scenes. A misspelling and mispronunciation of the word "congratulations" - but is it?

It's word play - causing us all to giggle about the oddness of a word that might just be a word. So the fun-word-play words of Wicked are enigmatic but in a fun way - here are a couple I made up:

thrillify (thril-i-FEYE)
uglioscious (ug-lee-o-SHUSH)
beadification (bee-di-fi-KAY-shun)

What Wicked style word can you think of?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meet the Cool Ms. Cooper - Designer Interview

Candie Cooper will be one of the designer interviews in the upcoming newsletters - I'm fortunate to have quite a few so the interviews will be spread out over the next several months. Candie's a talented jewelry designer with a fresh approach to wearable art. Here's a taste of Candie's upcoming interview and her work - but the full story is available through the newsletter - so don't forget to sign up!

See? Didn't I tell you she was talented? She plays the tambourine too!

Ooo- I love these little people - such personality - just like Candie!

I love needle felting, it's a great stress reliever. Candie creates some wonderful pieces in her book. Check it out!

Don't forget to read the photo credits here. I've scarfed up all the photos from Candie Cooper's website - don't forget to sign up for the newsletter to read more on the awesome Ms. Cooper!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Plug Ur Bud: ABS The Trendy Bead

Plugging my buds at ABS today. ABS Founder, Heather Powers has a new feature called The Trendy Bead which made its debut last week. Check out this one using one of my bling links!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Studio Interruptus....

Yesterday's planned session in the studio was a bust. I was called away to sign interpret at the hospital. I had to go - turned out the person in the hospital was a very dear friend. So, I dropped what I was doing and went on the call.

While sitting at the hospital waiting for the doctor to honor us with her presence, I started thinking how I can re-design the glass hands. I made these regularly during 2003-2006. I still make them but don't have them up on my website - but want to re-design them and sell them again. They fit with the whole talisman thing I have going on.

Hmmmmm.....time to take out the sketchbook.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Budding creativity in the suburbs!

Maybe I mentioned it before but if I didn't, my house is the hang-out spot for my son and his friends. Every Friday night, I have a house full of teens, 6 to 10 of them to be specific. They're not the popular kids, nor the academic nerds (like I was), they're mostly artist, DIY types but they don't know it yet. I'm impressed by their Threadbanger style altered fashion, they're eye for photography and art. So, my house is full of very youthful creativity that can't help but permeate my creative sensibility - even though according to them, I'm "old." But today's post isn't about me, I want to talk about these talented young people who inspire me without even knowing it.

One of these budding artists has been friends with my teen since they were 7. They used to spend hours and hours drawing Anime and writing their own Manga. My son uses that influence in his photography by creating digital collages:

his friend, Robin has continued to draw. They share a love of all things Anime and were inseparable during the AnimeNorth convention.

Sidewalk art is cool and there's always a huge box of chunky sidewalk chalk in my garage. They know it's there and help themselves to creating on my suburban driveway. The neighbors don't like it but who cares? Why stifle creativity?

Today, I'm showcasing Robin's sidewalk chalk art. If you're a Pokemon fan, you're recognize some of the characters, Pikachu and a Snorlax.

I love love love having public art in the neighborhood - I was really sad to see the rain come but how Buddhist is that? Everything is temporary, enjoy it while you can. Fortunately, my teen took pictures and we all can enjoy them even though they've been washed away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Heat spoils the studio but improves the newsletter!

I know I won't be alone with this complaint but it's been too hot for me to work in the studio. Instead, I've been working on ways to improve the monthly newsletter. I have exciting news - some of the top jewelry and craft designers have agreed to do exclusive interviews for my newsletter! YAY! As I write, I have another interview on the way. The newsletter will go out this week. Margot Potter will be the first interview - you know Margot from her fabulous Impatient Beader series of books. Margot's been working on a series of fun and funky craft how to videos. So to get ready for her newsletter interview, let's see the Sparkly Miss Madge with the ever famous Sock Monkey!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Check out Studio Saturday!

I'm keeping quiet today so you all can go over to Art Bead Scene and read Studio Saturday! C'mon back tomorrow, I'll have some good stuff for you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Here's a treat! Anime North Artists

A couple of weeks ago, I went to AnimeNorth with my teen. The artists at North are always awesome! Here's one who I bought bookmarks from - enjoy the visual treat from her!

Moonlight Whispers' Etsy Shop

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Green Studio: Antique Brass sans Chemicals

Do you love the patina of antique brass? Here's a Green Studio tip for giving your shiny brass wire a patina without harsh chemicals. Heat it! I heated brass wire in my kiln at 750 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes. The heat gave the wire a nice matte patina. A little turn in the tumbler to highlight areas and I have lovely antiqued brass hand formed links to use in jewelry pieces.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Designer Look Raspberry Glass Link Necklace

Inspired by textiles that matched perfectly to my Raspberry Glass Links - Here's a quick designer, one of a kind, necklace I whipped up using four (4) Raspberry Glass Links, Antiqued "Metal Madness" chain and lobster clasp from Michael's. I used the colored aluminum 1/2 inch jump rings from my stash.

Easy to put together, I cut 6 inch sections of the chain and connected it back together with the jump rings and Raspberry Glass Links. Quick, easy and designer look but better!

Monday, June 09, 2008

She's Alive! She's Alive!

Yep, that's right, boy and girls! I'm still alive despite my total lack of ambition lately. I've got several things lined up for this week including a Beading on a Budget post but first, I've been remiss in my support of some VERY COOL people! So I'm here to plug my buds: Art Bead Scene and the monthly challenge!


This month's theme is Pearls of Wisdom. So pull out the pearls and your art beads to create something wonderful to share with us! You can also interpret the theme with sage advice in the form of pendants and beads that share a pearl of wisdom.

The Prize & Sponsor:
Along with our Featured Designer of the Week we are returning with prizes this month! Our sponsor is the extremely talented beadmaker and author Lisa Kan. Lisa will be awarding a signed copy of her book, Bead Romantique and a few strands of pearls to one lucky winner. Winners are chosen at random from the all qualifying entries during the month.
Deadline is June 30th.

Now THERE'S a Beading on a Budget tip - enter an ABS Challenge and win FREE stuff!!

What are you waiting for? Get designing!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Studio Saturday at Art Bead Scene!

I'm over at Art Bead Scene for Studio Saturday talking about my recent exciting textile discovery that I'm using for inspiration.

C'mon over and comment!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Make it Pretty! DIY Packaging

Yep, I was quiet last week - a convention always wears me out that way. Spending the whole day walking around concrete floors and bombarded with everything Anime, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy, I need the week to recuperate from all the over stimulation! I relaxed by doing something creative....

Bead Packaging.

Bead Packaging?! How can THAT be relaxing?!

It's relaxing when you stamp, cut, and embellish!

As an small business owner, I look for the least expensive options in packaging to keep my costs low, it keeps the buyer's cost low. But low cost = boring! Brown paper envelopes, small plastic resealable bags, etc.


This is when I get out my stamps, ribbon, heart shaped paper punch and ink. I happily lay out groups of 12 plastic bags and stamp away, stamping thank you's and happy phrases for each customer. I add a little ribbon and VOILA!

A perfect bead package unique to each customer - and I DIY'd it!

What do you DIY?