Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thankz and Heartz N Skullz

Thank you to all my wonderful readers who left me well wishes on my blog yesterday. I really appreciate the good thoughts. I've started the vitamin regimen and with each capsule, I say, "Cheers, here to fewer migraines!" So this morning, you can lift your vitamin capsules and make a toast with me - here's to better health for us all! (Hmmmm that's slightly reminiscent of Tiny Tim's,"God bless us, everyone!" - but if the shoe fits....;-)

I had several hours to myself yesterday so you know where I went - into the glass studio to melt some glass!

If you had a chance to visit me over on last week's ABS Studio Saturday, I'm working on refining my artistic "voice." I asked the ABS readers to weigh in on where they thought I should go next with my beads. Overwhelmingly, comments told me to do what I love.

Yesterday, after having seen Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton Exhibit and buying a new Land's End t-shirt for the gym, I had stripes swirling around in my head. They made their way onto yesterday's beads - here's a quick snap of them.....

Mixed media influences come into play as I wanted them to look worn, so I've added a black patina to them which I'll cure today.

Do you like the stripes?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Coffee Talk: Hallejuah! Headache Center

I'm feeling pretty good today while we sit over coffee and talk. Yesterday, I had an appointment with a neurologist to investigate my migraines further. When I arrived, the door announced "Headache Center" and under the title was the neurologist's name who I was seeing.

I was taken in right away and after the nurse took my blood pressure and took my MRI scan, I waited probably a minute before the doctor arrived.  He sat down and started to explain what a migraine was, where it started and what the progression was.

Everything he said described what I experienced right down to triggers and how women experience them more often than men because of hormonal changes.

Hallejuah!  Someone understands!

Migraines can't be cured (I knew that) but what was most important to me was I felt like after 2 years of seeking some kind of help for them, I'd finally found the right place, the right doctor.

What a relief!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

Some days at work or school can feel just like this....

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

But a day in the jewelry studio with our intrepid bead bloggers is very different! Let's take a look and see what's going on in the bead blogging world this week.... Jewelry Making
Tammy has been showing off some of her favorite jewelry pieces on her blog this week like this pretty earring and necklace set.

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog. This month's theme is "passion."

Beading Arts
Does the beginning of spring lift your spirits? Cyndi has made a spring bracelet sponsored by Artbeads to celebrate this most wonderful of all seasons.

Carmi's Art/Life World
A vintage TUMs container becomes a necklace centerpiece in Carmi's project this week.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Rewind: Is your bronze metal clay warping? Then Cindy's got the tool for you - Rawhide!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Whoo- whoo! New porcelain owl pendants inspired by internet sensation Molly the Owl

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter Icons Grunge Style

I've taken the Grunge beads into Easter by taking the iconic Easter bunny and Easter egg and "grunging" them.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sending Art Charms for Healing

My jewelry designing/beadmaking friend, Christine Damm is collecting charms to make a healing bracelet for her sister in law Vila who has leukemia.

If you'd like to participate, here are the relevant details taken from Christine's lovely blog, Stories They Tell:

"Contribute a charm that is handmade by you-- that's the only stipulation. The charms can be anything, any theme, any color, any material, any technique but about 1” X 1/2” would be ideal. Send your creation to me and then I'll attach it to a nice chain that will become a charm bracelet with everybody's charm on it. The energy created in making the charm is what I'm after-- it doesn't have to be perfect, or expensive or elaborate. It could be resin, or metal or polymer clay or fiber or layered paper.

The deadline for contributions is Monday, March 22, 2010. E-mail me at if you plan to send a charm and I'll e-mail you my address back as I'd rather not broadcast that over the Internet! If I receive more than 50 or so charms, I'll collect them and pass them on to someone who wants to do a similar “kindness” bracelet for a friend who needs one."

To say thank for donating a charm, Christine is having a giveaway of these lovely items:

I've sent along a sweet little blue bird sitting in her nest, symbolizing new life and hope. I wrote a tutorial for the bird charm on ABS.

Sending out good thoughts to everyone today.....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Coffe Talk: Remembering my Grandmother

Last week was another flare up of my carpal tunnel so I had to lay off the computer for a few days. I wrote alot of posts and paperwork a few days before the flare up so I should have seen it coming. Since my work is focused on using my hands and arms (sign language interpreting, making beads), it's really easy to do too much and not realize it.

While away from the computer, I received another goody package from the good folks at Rings n Things. (Here's my disclaimer.)

This one is very "Day of the Dead" - a holiday celebrated in Mexico and in the Southwest in November.  Relatives hold celebrations in cemetaries to honor their ancestors. It seems this tradition is particular to Mexico yet I remember growing up with a similar, more quiet celebration around Memorial Day.

Each year on Memorial Day, my family would load up the car with bright red geraniums and trowels and make the rounds to the cemetaries where our great grandparents were buried. My mother's family in one local town and my father's family in another. We would hear stories of our families and run through the cemetary reading the headstones of others. We were always careful not to walk directly on a grave but on the grass paths made by the caretakers.  My mother would pull weeds and old grass from around the headstone of her mother and plant fresh red geraniums near grandmother's name. My grandmother was 86 when she died and although I was about 4 or 5 at the time, I remember her wizen face and white/gray hair.  She seemed very old and stern to my 4 year old self. I couldn't imagine her being anything but old.

A few years ago, while visiting my mother on the family farm, I asked if I could have something - an old portrait of her mother in it's original frame and glass. It was taken before Grandmother was married at age 14.

The woman I thought was wizen and stern is forever young in this portrait. I feel like I see something of her spirit. My mother tells me she was quite a gardener and every year she'd plant something she'd never planted before. Apparently, Grandmother planted spaghetti squash before anyone knew what it was! I'm reminded of the bright red geraniums my mother chose to plant every Memorial Day - such a vibrant color is befitting an adventuresome spirit like her mother.  When I plant something I've never planted before in my garden or see the vibrancy of a red geranium, I'm reminded of the young woman my grandmother once was and the adventuresome spirit she had.
I'd like to make a remembrance piece for her using red and something impish. That's why I'm gravitating towards using the smiling and hat wearing calaveras charms from the lastest R&T goody bag - even though it isn't November 1st, my family's Memorial Day Celebration is fast approaching.

Is there a vibrant spirit in your family tree? Did your family have a similar "Day of Remembrance?"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

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

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

A Bead A Day
Similar to the excuse, "my dog ate my homework", Lisa revises her weekly project due to an incident with a furry friend! Jewelry Making
Jump rings seem like small items when it comes to jewelry making, but they can cause big problems!

Art Bead Scene
ABS unveils the March Challenge painting - Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a fabulous Zulugrass bracelet to giveaway this week!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Button making turns into jewelry making for Carmi this week!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
When is more, more? When you've got shell pearls and lampwork glass!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Another favorite song inspires Melanie to make new Heart Window pendants

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Thinking of selling on Etsy? Read this post, Lorelei has shared some tips from what she's learned along the way.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
An inveterate wirer, Jean approaches new things which other designers do with ease verrrry if they might be wild animals! Grrrr! Should she run away? Decide for yourself!

Strands of Beads
Melissa is giving away one of her floating box pendants this week in honor of her son.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Beading on a Budget or The Best Buy in Town - Artist Made Beads

I'm on a tight bead diet. Like many of you out there, I'm watching every cent I spend these days for alot or reasons. But handmade artist made beads can be had for very little cash. Thought I'd show you a few of my own recent Art Bead Acquisitions along with my favorite bronze gear beads. I know we're all searching for bargains these days but handcrafted Art Beads can be had for less than $15.

Nancy's Round Rabbit Extra Shop on Etsy is home to lovely ceramic jewelry components - under $10!

Pick up an entire set of beads for $15 including a handcrafted Art Bead at Melanie's Earthenwood Etsy Shop

Erin of Every Heart Crafts has lovely Leaf Toggles that would go well in many different designs for $10.

Then there's my bronze gear beads which can be had for only $7.00.

So when you're bead shopping, don't forget to take a look at artist made beads, they're unique and reasonably priced!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

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

A Bead A Day
Want to stand out from across a crowded room? These Electric Sparkly Beads ought to do the trick! Jewelry Making
Turn a little hand-dyed ribbon and shell pendant into a trendy jewelry piece you'll wear with almost everything in your closet.

Art Bead Scene
Got cabin fever? ABS has some beady suggestions so you can get out of the house.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe is avoiding work by showing some pics of recently made creations.

Beading Arts
Cyndi is running a contest on Beading Arts, and the prize is an absolutely free advertisement!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A new spring challenge from means Carmi has a new brooch!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Squee! Rings N Things sends shell pearls which Cindy mixes with her single color lampwork beads.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Ferris wheels, carnivals, and comedians inspire a new Song Lore Saturday post for Melanie

Katie's Beading Blog
Surf on over to Katie's blog for ideas about making your own chain, layering components, and easy earrings.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
The answers still hold true in this interview that Lorelei had with herself back in 2008.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean made a necklace for a relative. Of course, it had to be perfect. Therefore she turned to Kazuri Beads!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rings n Things Remembrance or Surreal

For the month of March, Rings n Things sent a sample of jewelry making materials focused on "Remembrance Jewelry." This group of goodies might inspire you to make a piece of jewelry that pays tribute to someone or highlights a childhood scrap that's special to you. But all week, I've been talking about surrealism and Tim Burton. So my mind is swirling with ideas that aren't necessarily about remembering but about taking the the grotesque and making it beautiful or juxtaposing startling pieces together. Hmmmm let's see what I've got here...

...a glass bottle with a cork, a "watch" case with glass crystal, a square antiqued copper box....

...a blue diamond shaped vessel, a purple diamond shaped vessel, a small glass bottle and brass bezels.

So as my mind percolates some ideas, I'm wondering what is your mind coming up with?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Mini Surreal Film Festival....

Another little mini surreal film festival today. I wondered who had inspired Tim Burton and after a little googling, I found Jan Svankmajer who is a surreal filmmaker from the '70's an d '80's. Here is a clip from his film, "Alice:"

David Lynch is cited as a modern surrealist filmmaker. He's known for Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet but did you know he made a car commercial? I like this because it's a slick quick snippet of surrealism:

To echo Tim Burton's bit of wisdom to continue doing what you love, here's David Lynch on keeping true to your ideas.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Tim Burton Exhibit at the MoMA inspires

The weather was beautiful last November when we were in NYC.  After the Thanksgiving Day Parade, we were able to walk down the normally traffic crowded streets to have an afternoon stroll. The day after when everyone else was shopping on Black Friday, we went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to see the Tim Burton Exhibit (by the way, the Tim Burton Exhibit is at MoMA until April 26th, 2010). When you walk into the lobby, there is a large inflated sculpture there to greet you.

(Photo Credit: Submitted to Flickr Group the MoMA Project by woicik

I don't know if the mystic around Tim Burton being very dark and tortured is of his making or of the media's making. But I think a great deal of it is probably myth because if you take your time walking around the very first part of the exhibit, you'll learn that Tim Burton was a marching band geek. His very first poster was for the local marching band.

Completely dispells the "tortured artist" childhood for me. I absolutely related to the band geek I saw staring back at me - I wore a similiar uniform when I was in the high school band.  I felt like I knew him - he was the kid I played in the marching band with who had a quirky take on the world and was always drawing.  I could see how he turned the suburban life he was living on its ear with his art.  It was a true insight into how he developed his art.

As I was staring at each caption of the early band geek era, I heard one of the curators of the exhibit talking to a patron. He said they had an unprecedented number of his early works because his mother had saved all of his works (yes, I have a similiar set of boxes full of my son's work). She had presented him with these boxes and he had presented the museum with them. Tim hadn't seen or known that his early works still existed.

Very cool.  Thanks, Mom!

I once read an article on Tim Burton where he said he never drew like the art teachers wanted but that didn't stop him. He drew because he liked to draw and no one should stop drawing just because someone else doesn't like it. I remember reading the article to my son who was 10 or 11 at the time. To this day, we give each other knowing looks when someone says something we enjoy isn't up to par. It's not going to make us stop, we enjoy it. It was a great piece of wisdom. It's why we both love Tim Burton.

So here's Tim Burton on Tim Burton. See if you aren't struck by the artist spirit he has that he never let others snuff out. We should all hold onto our creative spirit as he did.

Make sure you go to theMoMA website to check out their other videos!

Let's close with a little song from one of my favorite Tim Burton movies - Beetlejuice!