Thursday, April 30, 2015

Over. Done. A new chapter spun....

Onward and upward.  My annual spring open house is done and behind me - with a little disappointment, and a lot of gratitude.  Not many came - for many different reasons.  But those that did are tried and true - and I am grateful to them for sticking with me.  Besides.  MORE GRUB FOR US!

I love how my 'denim' table turned out - and will attempting to repeat this with a 4 foot table at my first show this year - Celebrate Okemos on June 13th!  

But before I get into show mode - I have to get into CLASSROOM mode.  I LOVE to teach - but don't get an opportunity to do so very often.  Bead technique teaching is just not popular in my area - especially now that there's this THING called YouTube.  :)
So I'm a bit rusty.  And realized that the last time I taught the particular class I hope to be teaching (don't know about attendance numbers yet) - I had a different laptop, and no longer have access to the instructions I wrote.  So guess what?  I'll be using GUINEA PIGS (aka bead loving friends) to test my newly written instructions at my Bead Play date next Thursday night.  Great chance for a free lesson (the lesson through the school district community ed is about $30).  

I also have to get into PHOTOGRAPHER mode - which is the scariest mode of all.  It's time to start getting those photos ready for Battle of the Beadsmith.  And I'm nervous.  I have a professional all lined up.  A great one.  But something tells me I also need to have my own back up photos - with all the right photo parameters, lighting, backdrops, etc.   Never been great at the photo part - not sure why so many put such stock in the photos when they rarely do the actual item justice - no matter how professional.  I still struggle with my own; here are some examples of my jewelry photo journey:
One of my first attempts at photographing my jewelry.  

I then learned about lighter and brighter.

And shadow play.

And I discovered that I kind of like using the shiny gray cover of my laptop lit from behind by the natural light through a window.  I have used this method for a few current pieces as well.

And of course - you are all familiar with this one.  I have an actual light box that can be lined with fabric, lit from above and the side, diffused, etc.  but it's home made and a bit cumbersome at times. 

  I still find myself throwing a cloth on my studio work table under my Ott Light with a pretty piece of  scrapbook paper underneath - with my CELL PHONE camera.    Works for me, and works great with my photo edit program...
My newest creation, Shiawassee Art Center bound....

Hope your life is spinning you in all kinds of wonderful directions...mine sure is!

Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vintage Redux, family style

Let me begin with....

Image result for Kissing lips

I have such awesome friends and family.  I have had denim, and beads, and more denim, and vintage jewelry and buttons GIVEN to me on a regular basis for a couple years now.  MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY ROCK!   

My mother in law recently found a box of very vintage jewelry among some old even more vintage photographs (some dating back to the late 1800's) and told me to take it and do what I do best with it.

THIS was the latest and GREATEST of the pieces created with a vintage (circa 1940's) rhinestone and pearl choker from that box (long piece in the center of the photo above).
  I didn't have the heart to rip it apart - so I wanted to enhance and embellish the original choker.  It was truly a choker - barely 16 inches when closed.
I needed to make it a tad longer, without compromising the original shape.
Two days, and tons of vintage pearls and size 15 seed beads later....
Rodeo Pearls.

This piece sold within 10 minutes of posting it on my Facebook timeline.  It's a record!  The best part - it sold to my sister in law - my husbands brother's wife - so the choker, in it's new found glory - is staying in the family at least.  I hope she truly enjoys it. 
 It's one of my favorite pieces I've made (SO FAR!).....

Now I can concentrate of this weekends open house, then the new gallery inventory delivery, and then I can concentrate on class kits and instructions, after which I simply must start getting things ready for my summer of shows!  Over 1 dozen shows are scheduled between now and the end of the year!  TWO more applications in todays email!  I'm waiting for my handsome husband to say 'enough already'.  (The handsome part is meant to butter him up should he read this!  LOL).  I am really looking forward to seeing even more excitement that people have over my denim pieces.  I will be doing SOME of those summer shows with strictly a denim inventory.  
Still need to create just a few more...

Back to the peaceful, cathartic, meditative way of the bead.
Peaceful beading,

Monday, April 13, 2015

Coming up for air

Whew!  What a week!  Lunch with friends.  Spontaneous out of town art fair trip.  Farmers Market fun and dinner with hubby.  BEAUTIFUL weather.  And of course - my Battle piece.  Progress IS being made - in fact - I THINK the FRONT of the piece, the focal, the accents, etc. is just about done. BUT - since I've decided that the back also needs drama - that will be coming next.  I'm VERY pleased with how it's turning out - my vision, my dream - is becoming reality with each pass of the needle through the beads.  I DID have to break down and buy a few accents for it - one of them becoming a true miracle in itself - finding EXACTLY the same size, color and shape of bead at a different supplier than the original.  That almost NEVER happens!  And then almost running out of a certain color, and finding the exact same color among the beads I was gifted with last summer!  THAT almost never happens either!  That's why I think this piece was just destined to be - and why it's barely putting up a fight.   Here's another tease - I can't wait to show you the actual finished piece sometime in June or July!   

Very exciting!

And as if that weren't enough- it's less than 2 weeks now before my annual open house!  And I'M NOT READY!  I have several pieces left in mind to make - if I get half of them made before then (between Battle piece and class instructions and the darn good book I'm reading) I'll be happy.

LIFE is in bloom all around me - and it's GOOD!

Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I am fortunate to have a good relationship with not only my own family - but with my husbands family as well.  Never a bad word between my mother in law and I - for which I am grateful.
He has one of those families that even keeps in touch with cousins - for which I am also grateful - because ONE of those cousins just happens to like Cool Moon jewelry!  She has an amazing adventure coming up - a two year stint with the Peace Corps in Kyrgystan, where she will be a teacher.  Amazing journey - and even more amazing is that she came yesterday and bought several of my jewelry pieces to TAKE WITH HER!  She will be wearing a few with her daily school uniform, which has to be black - all the time.  She is permitted to dress it up any way she chooses (as long as it isn't offensive to their culture), so she CHOSE COOL MOON!   She also bought a few pieces that she'll be gifting to her fellow Peace Corps members and friends, as well as host family members.  So once again - Cool Moon goes around the world!  

I know I'm not brave enough to ever venture out into the world this way - so I'm glad at least my jewelry gets to go!  LOL!   I wish Dee all the best on her journey - safe trip, girl.   

In other news - still working diligently on that BOTB '15 piece.  I am very pleased with where it's gone so far - but now I'm well, stuck.  I had a plan in mind for attaching the neck sections to the focal section - but making that plan a reality has not been an easy task.  I'm off to Hobby Lobby this morning to see if I can come up with a crafty way to creative what I want - since I don't have time to head for the shore to find just the right thing.  That thing - because I believe I'm allowed to give teasers and hints - is a piece of driftwood - small enough to fit in a 3 inch area, thin enough to not overwhelm and weigh it down - solid enough to hold the embroidery, AND drill a hole into.  See?  NOT going to be easy.

Lastly - those classes I sent to HCE?  I'm in the next quarterly round of classes.  Way to let me know there, administators.   So between open house prep, and BOTB prep, and a trip to Owosso to deliver a whole new round of inventory to show - NOW I have tutorials and kits to prepare by May 13!

Isn't it the dream of every full time home based craft business to have work coming out their ears?  :)


Peaceful beading,