Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution: Clear Out the Studio Sale

It's time for me to admit it, my studio and jewelry designing area is a mess. My New Year's resolution is to clean it out and I mean REALLY clean it out!

I have alot of old inventory and one of a kind art beads just sitting here waiting to be used in a lovely design. I need to release them into the jewelry making environment! You know what that means....

I'll be having a HUGE inventory clearance and seconds sale on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 from 12am-12pm.

I'll also be online LIVE from 1pm-4pm on Saturday, January 9th.

And to entince you even more, my beady colleague, Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio will be having a seconds sale and be online too! It's going to be so much fun!

I've set up a separate page one the website and have started stocking it. You can visit but you can't buy yet. I'll be re-stocking the ArtFire and Etsy shops too.

I'll be previewing items available for sale next week and explaining more about the sale, so stop by, take a look and make your list!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rings N Things Goodies Valentines

Here's my latest set of goodies from the good people at Rings n Things. I added in a set of black keys I bought from Joanns. Just perfect for the bleeding heart style!

Disclosure of Material Connection

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Another Christmas Song
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

A Bead A Day
There is still plenty of time to make some New Year's Eve jewelry! Lisa shares an eye catching bracelet using velvety hearts and chandelier-like egyptian crystals. Jewelry Making
Yellow facted CZ fan pendants become gorgeous earrings with just a little chain.

Art Bead Scene
It's the ABS annual 12 days of Christmas free projects. Twelve days of last minute holiday gifts!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap.

Beading Arts
Sweet, simple, and silly! Make a barrette that will delight a young girl in your life.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes huge resin baubles from an ice tray.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares her favorite things this week. You might be surprised to find out what they are!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie makes a chunky, funky necklace with some unusual wooden chain and findings

Jean Campbell
Jean shares a free sparkly necklace project, just in time to whip up for your New Year's Evening wear

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei goes back in time to remind fellow Etsy sellers about Heart-o-Matic!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean offers a project called Supercool which features a great focal by Dustin Tabor!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shares some whimsical lampwork artistry by Debi Cogwell.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Using a drilled resin piece from Lynn Davis and some filigree, Andrew creates a necklace paying homage to the faeryworld sanctuaries.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Swarovski Crystals on Top!

During my trip to NYC on Thanksgiving, we made the walk down to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. We went down the first night we were in town and the platform was still around the tree. The next day, the platform was down and the tree was topped with the Swarovski crystal star.

I took some pictures but my camera battery died so I only got to shoot a few. Fortunately, many others were just as enamoured as I was. I chose my favorite videos from YouTube to give you a good sense of the experience.

How'd you like to put that topper on your tree?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

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

A Bead A Day
Lisa shares a special gift she received from a friend, SHRINKY DINK earrings!! Still a great product after all these years!! Jewelry Making
Sparkle plenty with this endless knotted red crystal necklace project!

Art Bead Scene
It's the last ABS monthly challenge of 2009. Are you running out of ideas and inspiration? ABS has just the antidote!

Beading Arts
If you can string stone nuggets onto wire, and if you can crochet a simple chain stitch, then you can make this pretty necklace.

Carmi's Art/Life World
One shrunk sweater equals felted beaded mits for me!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy explains why she chose Lee Krasner's painting "Untitled" for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei tested out some cool chain from Rings and Things.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Would you like to investgate a lyrical book which explores all areas of your imagination and challenges your creativity? Try Lisa Crone's!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shares a cute find - sterling silver elephant clasps.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Thinking deep thoughts, Andrew offers up a sumptuous bracelet and adds a new bronze charm to his shop

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Favorite Things: Designers

One of my favorite things is when designers send me pictures of the pieces they've made with my beads. It's a thrill to see someone else's creativity sparked by something I've created. When I form the glass, I usually have ideas about how to use them but I'm constantly amazed at the variety of ways they are used by jewelrymakers - ways I've never even thought of.

Mary Jane Dodd created a beautiful necklace called "winterberries" using the Ivory Links and Silver Ivory Double Dips.

The unique use of fiber is a hallmark of Mary Jane's work. The fiber introduces another level of texture to winterberries, reminding me that it's fibers that keep us warm in the winter.

Thank you for sending the picture Mary Jane and thank you for designing such a beautiful piece!

When a designer sends a picture to me, I upload it to a special flickr account where others can see these amazing designs. If you're ever wondering what can be done with any of my beads, you can see it on flickr. Maybe it'll spark your creativity - it does mine!

If you've designed with my handmade glass beads, please send me a picture! It's one of my favorite things!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite Things: Vintaj Ring

More of my favorite things today - Vintaj brass rings! I've borrowed the photos from the Vintaj website and included links to Artfire and Etsy if you fall in love with them like I did.

I'm most in love with the multi tiered donut pendant. I've made a necklace with it and my bronze Stile Floreal pieces. that's just waiting to be photographed. The tiers enhance the bronze pieces just perfectly!

Vintaj Rings on Etsy

Vintaj Rings on Artfire

Check out the Vintaj Design Gallery for ideas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Favorite Things - borrowing from scrapbookers

Every so often, I wander the scrapbook aisles at my local craft store. Being so pre-occupied lately, I found myself needing to get out of the house and wander on Sunday. I have a small but growing collection of stamps that I use to create my wrapping and shipping materials. So I gravitate toward the stamp section and on Sunday I fell in love with the Inkado clear stamps like these sweet winter birds

But I had to have the Tim Holtz Word Keys. I have a collection of vintage skeleton keys but I'm not quite able to alter them. The Word Keys are just the thing - I can alter them all I want and they have such meaningful words on them.

Do you have a favorite thing for your jewelry that you've borrowed from another craft?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coffee Talk: Preoccupied

I've got a pile of jewelry to photograph and ideas for blog posts but healthcare has been preoccupying my head space lately. Yes, it's in the news and it's a hot political topic but that's not why I'm thinking about it. Since TBC left his job and went into his own business, we've had a tour of the U.S. healthcare system going from company sponsored insurance to COBRA to paying completely out of pocket (with a premium equal to a house payment) and now to a "national plan" which has left me with a stack of medical bills to pay while they determine any "pre-existing conditions." I feel like a reflection of the political discussion going on right now.

I wish I weren't.

I'm coming to terms with the fact that health insurers are there to make money, doctors are there to make money, drug companies are there to make money and my husband's business is there to make money so the costs are passed to us, to me. I could talk here about how I don't think a for profit healthcare system is effective but the point is moot. I've just got to wrap my head around it.

Essentially, I pay a monthly premium out of my paycheck but for what? Paying a premium is like buying into a group rate. The insurance company has negotiated a price for health services. Paying for insurance allows me get their negotiated rate. I pay their rate on top of my premium - or as the insurance company explains, a deductible like car insurance. It's called "high deductible health insurance." My health services deductible is $5200 for a family. So here's another bill to add to the family budget - $5200 for healthcare in addition to the monthly $450 taken out of my paycheck.

I see your eyes glazing over like mine. I'm not trying to explain healthcare so much as I'm trying to explain how it effects Joe and Jane Schmoe.

The insurance company says it's a good thing because we'll all be careful and look for the most reasonable priced healthcare. The word reasonable usually means cheap.

Scary thought that keeps me up at night. What happens when the most reasonably priced healthcare isn't what's right for you?

I need to go for an MRI because of migraines. I've got claustrophobia and need a completely open MRI. Not every place has one so you know it'll cost more. But first, I've got to call around, price the options and then see if I can afford it.

This holiday, I think I'll ask for an MRI for Christmas. Do you think they'll wrap it?

I hope my readers will excuse me for being a bit pre-occupied - you can see why. But, I'm still here making beads and jewelry and drinking coffee with you.

So now that my kvetching is over, thanks for listening by the way, chatting over coffee always reminds me of one of my favorite SNL skits, Coffee Talk with Linda Richman - she's like butta!

So hit the play button and we'll talk!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Silly Saturday and Sensational Links

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

A Bead A Day
If you find yourself in need of a quick holiday gift, don't overlook memory wire! With this simple design, you can make one for all your friends. Jewelry Making
Thinking of making some beaded ornament covers? Then you'll need to know the size bulb to use too.

Art Bead Scene
It's the first day of Art Bead Scene's annual Twelve Days of Free Projects!

Barbe Saint John
Barbe gets all steamy over the new Steampunk Style book!

Beading Arts
Cyndi shares a new tutorial featuring one of Earthenwood Studio's fabulous new pendants!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi wonders if anyone else is working on Spring.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Inspired by Grandma's necklace, Cindy creates an edgey look with CZ's.

Earthenwwod Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows a sneak peek of a pair of earrings she made for the upcoming book Steampunk Style by Jean Campbell

Jean Campbell
Jean shares 3 easy tips for making holiday gift production a little less stressful.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei is saying Thank you and Merry Christmas by giving away a gift certificate to!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
When you check out this ornament kit which is available for you to make, it will REALLY put you in the spirit!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Each representing a different spectrum of lampwork glass, Andrew shares the new additions to his bead collection from two different artists.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Thinking, Perusing, Preliminary, Previous...

I should be drying my hair this morning instead of writing a blog post, the back of my hair will do it's weird wavy thing it does like in this picture of me in the Modern Art Museum (MoMa) in NYC over Thanksgiving - if I don't. But I'm throwing caution to the wind and writing it anyways!

I feel like I have a history with this Picasso. In 2004, I started making painted beads and a homage to Picasso based on this painting was the very first painted bead I ever succeeded in making!

I'd never seen it in person. It's a very large piece, vivid and lively.

I saw lots of art that day at MoMa and I'll share more with you throughout the week. There's so much to talk about I don't feel I can do it justice in one post.

Besides, I've really gotta go and dry my hair, I feel it curling up and it's getting time to go to work.

Uh-oh - I just looked at the time - I've REALLY gotta go!


Monday, December 07, 2009

Lee Krasner Versatility and Inspiration

I'm sponsoring this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge which is a Lee Krasner painting. I chose it because I wanted to see more female artists in the challenge - so I went looking for one. Married to Jackson Pollock, she was overlooked yet she created an impressive body of work. I was able to see this month's painting in person when it traveled to my hometown as part of the Action/Abstraction exhibition last spring.

Lee Rosenbaum of the Wall Street Journal had this to say about Lee Krasner:

"It's been said that without Lee Krasner, who for a time kept her volatile husband sober and productive, there wouldn't have been a Jackson Pollock. But without Jackson Pollock, there might have been a more self-confident, centered Lee Krasner."

I think the movie,"Pollock" did a great job portraying this part of Krasner's life.

My husband's grandfather was an alcoholic and his only child, my mother in law, did a heroic job trying to keep him alive and paid a high price for it. I believe Krasner did the same for Pollock.

Her personal life may have been draining, but her creative life survived thankfully.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society, New York.
Above:'Shellflower' (1947)

The color in her abstract paintings are lovely but I'm particularly enamoured of her later work. The Seasons in the Whitney Museum of American Art is particularly lovely and voluptuous.

I didn't know much about Lee Krasner when I chose Untitled for the ABS December Monthly Challenge. My interest had been piqued when I saw the movie Pollock - I loved the independence and the struggle. I wanted to know more and now I've shared that with you.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Studio Saturday!

I'm over on Studio Saturday today with Mary Harding, so don't forget to check out it out!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures Jewelrymaking
Give a beaded jewelry gift that gives twice.

Art Bead Scene
Be Inspired! Think about creating jewelry that tells a story.

Barbe Saint John
Artbeads Crystalized Elements!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi is selling jewelery in a show for the first time and is trying not to "jinx" her favorites!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Meet the newest addition to the Through the Looking Glass Nugget Charm Family - Alice Blue!

Jean Campbell
Jean discusses how Steampunk jewelry design fits into a larger "Poetic Couture"

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi is sharing a series of Gift Guides for handmade jewelry lovers!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Taking ya back to the Open House 2008! Now stay tuned for pics for Open House 2009 on Dec. 5!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
The ever breathtaking beadmaker Kim Miles pulls out all the stops for the Holidays and gift giving. But that is not all! If you have the "secret word" on the secret day" every week, you get a fab discount!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Inspiration: Grandma's Necklace and Artbeads' Cubic Zirconia

Going through my Grandmother's jewelry many years ago and trying to decide what I wanted to keep, I selected a classic design made with cable chain and crystals. I blogged about her necklace before focusing on the staple setting for each crystal.

It's a simple necklace, cable chain, spring clasp and crystals. Looks to me as if the chain and settings for the crystals were plated or maybe gilded but I can't tell for sure. It's very small too, 14 and 1/2 inches, made for a very young woman I assume. My maternal grandmother was married at age 14 and I imagine she could have worn a small necklace.

After drooling over the Cubic Zirconia Beads from Artbeads, I realized the crystals in Grandma's necklace were similar. Using her necklace as inspiration, I designed an edgey, modern version of the necklace for the bleeding heart.

I chose the 6mm connectors in black and garnet.

I used cable chain like my grandmother's but smaller and in sterling silver. I alternated the red and black cubic zirconias and faced the pointed side of the stones outwards giving the necklace an edgey, spikey feel. To soften the edgeyness a bit, I added four vintage stylized red hearts to the end of the string of cubic zirconias.

Both necklace styles show off how versatile cubic zirconias are, they can be classic or combined into an edgey look. Viva la Cubic Zirconia!

Disclosure of Material Connection