Friday, May 29, 2009

In need of a little break but....

Ok, so I've been less than bloggiful lately. My backyard has been dug up for 3 weeks, not a little dug up but completely dug up with a backhoe sitting there and everything.

All right, so maybe it's not as big as THIS backhoe but after three weeks it FEELS like it! Every morning when I open the curtains in the dining room, there it is, looming larger and larger. I think it had designs on the house!

I'm feeling burned out. Time for a little mental refreshment. So even though the economy is bad, I'm going to spend a little of that money I've been saving for the past year and go to the Glass Art Society Conference in Corning, NY.

Originally, I wanted to go for the full conference but cut it down to one day to save on cash. I've got the day packed full though. I'll watch some demonstrations in the morning, go on a tour of Steuben Glass then to the vendors section to take a look at a new torch. Corning is about a 2.5 hour drive from my home so the day will be packed in between a longer than normal drive - but I've been planning to go since 2007 - can't miss it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Primary Colors: Bloggy Love for Jeannie

A couple of weeks ago on Studio Saturday, I gave away the Yellow, Red and Green Spiral for posting a comment. Jeannie Dukic was the lucky winner and I sent her a free lampwork/flamework glass bead. Jeannie designed this necklace and graciously sent me a picture of her lovely work. The accent beads echo the yellow, red and green of the spiral perfectly. Hanging from a silver toned chain, the necklace sings primary colors. Sending you lots of bloggy love to Jeannie for creating this beautiful necklace!

Have you designed using my beads? Yes? Send me a picture and I'd be happy to post it here on my blog and on flickr where the widgit will show it off everyday! I'll be spreading the bloggy love!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inspiration found while wandering a bazaar

On the annual trek to Anime North, it was expected that the parents would stay away. So The Bean Counter and myself set out to explore. This exploration lead to a surprising bit of inspiration in a very unexpected place - the flea market. No, not a flea market full of garage sale finds but a flea market like the five and dime or the dollar store.

There's a flea market/five and dime near my home but the mix of cultures in the one we ventured into in Ontario near Toronto made the trip almost like walking through a bazaar - spices, clothing, jewelry, electronics, dvds - everything you could want to buy. Among the booths of saris and salwar-kameez I found stalls of Indian jewelry sparkling Indian jewelry this one below:

You know I find inspiration in rhinestones and include them in beads with abandon. So I was happy to be among so many rhinestones.

The jewelry was beautiful in the stalls but when worn, it's even more lovely! The picture below is courtesy of The Style of India Blog.

I walked out of the flea market/bazaar with a big happy rhinestone smile on my face!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WireHead goes back to her roots! Filigree Earrings in Step by Step Wire

WireHead goes back to her roots! Yup, that's right! The summer issue of Step by Step Wire will include Filigree Earrings an easy wire earring project I was working on a few months ago.
(Pssst! Put some lotion on those cuticles!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spark Your Imagination: The Purple Doorknob

Went to my niece's graduation and afterwards we went to dinner. Next to the restaurant was this huge purple doorknob - a curiosity to draw you into the "Purple Doorknob Antiques Shop." I had to take a picture - afterall, it must be some kind of record- I've never seen a doorknob THAT big!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Design using Ivory Bling Links: Christine Dam

When I make beads, I have ideas in my head about how to use them. When a designer uses them in a way I never thought of, it's a wonderful and eye-opening experience. Christine Dam sent me a picture of a lovely necklace she created using my Ivory Bling Links in a unique and eye catching design. After me everyone..."Oooohhhh - Ahhhhhhh!"

Thanks, Christine for sharing your lovely work with me!

What about you - have others used your work in unexpected and wonderfully surprising ways?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jewelry Icons: Silent Super Star Gloria Swanson

Super silent star Gloria Swanson is still big "it's the pictures that got small" but her jewelry was always superstar quality. Below are just a few wonderful pictures appearing courtesy of

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jewelry Icons: Silent Star Lilly Damita

(Photo Credit)

Silent Film stars were so glamorous - lots of money was spent on making them look good. It worked! The black and white head shots have an enduring romantic quality that draws you in. Pearls are used to great effect in her headpiece, earrings and necklace. The flower/circle of pearls pendant gives interest but doesn't detract from the other pieces. The earrings are large drops that accentuate the rest of the pieces perfectly. The entire look is a symphony! It's just gorgeous!

But wait, I haven't told you who the Jewelry Icon is today - Lily Damita. Lily Damita was a French actress who is probably best remembered for marrying an unknown Errol Flynn.

(Photo Credit of Damita and Flynn above)
I've strung a few pearl necklaces in my day. Hand knotting the silk between each pearl is a pain but it makes the necklace fluid and strong. If it were to break, all the pearls wouldn't come tumbling off.

Do you like Lily's pearls more than Frida's chunky necklaces? Maybe you love both or your style is something different. I wish the headpiece she is wearing was more popular - I'd surely make and wear one!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Icons of Jewelry: Frida Kahlo

After the walk around the Albright-Knox, I went inside to find an exhibit on Frida Kahlo. It was a photography exhibit with vivid color pictures. As I looked at each of the portraits taken of Frida Kahlo, I was mesmerized by her jewelry. I wanted to take pictures but knew I wasn't allowed. But my spirits were lifted when I found a copy of I Will Never Forget You in the gift shop.

Frida Kahlo dress in Tehuana traditional dress. The colorful dresses are a blog post on their own! Lovely, vibrant and part of the tradtion

(Above picture courtesy of

The saturated colors of the photography seem to highlight the jewelry. Since I've made numerous glass hands and have an entire collection of hands (what can you expect? I'm a sign language interpreter!) I was particularly drawn to Frida's earrings in the photo below.

(Frida Kahlo Photo Credit)
I'm sure more than one person found wearing hands as earrings a bit shocking. I think they're awesome! Or check out the big chunky necklace she has on in the picture below.

(Frida Kahlo Photo Credit)
Frida Kahlo was a icon of jewelry - big, loud, shocking jewelry. Just like her art.
What do you think?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Inspiration - Walk Around the Albright Knox

Did you guess yesterday's photo? I know, it was hard to figure out what it could be - there's so many possibilities! But that's a good thing - a source of inspiration should be potentially so many things. Here's another shot of the same thing but from a slightly different angle.

What is inspiring about the above picture? Is it the texture? Is it the color? It is the groupings of color? Maybe even the reflection is interesting to you.

Ok, so here's the same sculpture but from standing further away.

The bars of contrasting color make me feel as if there's movement or excitement. My eyes want to follow the colors outward and maybe even jump around the piece.

The sculpture on it's own is very modern and contemporary. As part of the outdoor sculpture at the Albright Knox, this piece sits in a larger context of the grounds. The Albright Knox is housed in a very classical style building - so take a look at the context for this very modern piece of sculpture.

Interesting, huh? I'm running out of adjectives for the contrast between the old and new. But instead of the old and new contrast I'm thinking more about the color contrasts - how the blue, yellow and orange of the sculpture make movement and vibrancy and how I may or may not be creating that in my work.

What about you? Do you use color contrasts intentionally to create movement? Or are you creating more subtle work?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

Walk Around the Albright Knox: Classical contrasts with contemporary

Around the corner from The Blue Spikes, the classical design of the main building reveals itself - as a part of the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901, the Albright Knox was a centerpiece of cutting edge design.

I love the contrast between the classical and the contemporary. The sculptures around The Knox are modern while most of the gallery was built during the Victorian Era.

The folds of the robes are so life like, it looks as if the wind could blow through them! What do you think?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Walk around the 'Knox: Blue

This is my favorite outdoor sculpture at The Knox. It's huge and it's the prettiest deep blue! I think it would make a cool bead if I could figure out how to do it. Have any suggestions on how I could do it?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Inspiration: Sculpture Walk at the Albright Knox

The Albright Knox Art Gallery is in my hometown and is across the street from a sign language interpreting assignment. On the first bright sunny day of spring, I walked around the outside of the gallery to look at the sculpture. The Albright Knox specializes in modern art so most of my walk was to see modern sculpture.

This piece is at the entrance to the gallery. I usually think of a gallery as smaller than the Abright Knox because this is huge. The outdoor sculptures are large and set against the backdrop of the classical style building.

The silver set against the blue, white and green is eye catching. You could gain color inspiration from this or maybe incorporate a shape.

What about this sculpture inspires you?