Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Titles Make Me Tired

Let's get back to the jewelry and beads, shall we?

As I mentioned the other day, I did finally get some time to create some finished jewelry this weekend that I'm pretty happy with. In fact, the "Sunshinesicle" bracelet that I posted about sold within about 30 seconds of me putting it up on Etsy - that's a new record for me!

Here's the last of what I worked on over the weekend:

I started with that amazing resin and metal clasp from Amanda Davie with the butterfly on it and started going through my stash to see what I could put with it. Originally, I had a pink ceramic pendant in mind for the focal, but it didn't quite seem to match style-wise with the clasp.

Then I remembered I hadn't yet used any of my wonderful wooden butterflies from PorkChopShow (thanks, Lorelei!) and since this one had some of the same colors in it as the clasp - it seemed like the perfect choice.

Then, I grabbed a pink ceramic bead, some lampwork spacers and faceted Czech glass rondelles in colors to match both butterflies and some gunmetal chain, wire and jump rings to match the dark finish on the clasp.

I did futz with the design quite a bit as originally there were a lot more of the large pink ceramic beads going up that side of the necklace, but they turned out to be too heavy compared to the weight of the pendant and they were pulling the necklace out of shape so they had to go.

I was a little concerned at first that it might be too much to have both butterfly pieces in the same necklace, but now? I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.

Here's the rest of what I created with resin over the weekend, too:

More pansies - can't resist 'em!

Another scrapbook paper bead set. I punched up the vintage-y vibe on this one by adding a pewter rose stamping, a tiny pearl and a tiny green crystal.

Look - I'm all "menswear" and stuff with mixing florals and stripes!

This is my first test piece with a new set of artwork - lots of lovely leafy images in fall shades that almost look like they've been "pressed." Lots of copper, carnelian and maybe some butterscotch jade would be fabulous with this!

I just like fairies. I can't help it. This little one is sitting on a branch fluffing fairy dust into the night air. She's surrounded by an antique silvertone bezel.

I've named this one "The Lilac Fairy." Now, I'm sure those flowers probably aren't lilacs (because I know absolutely ZIP about flowers), but I don't care.

I really like that in this image, the figure is not distinct. Is it a fairy? An angel? Some other mystical winged being? You (and your subconscious) get to decide. Personally, I'm going with angel. But, I threw in some glitter anyway...y'know, just in case it really IS a fairy.

I'm looking ahead and trying out some "winter" artwork, too. This is a single snowflake image.

And this is a veritable snowstorm of flakes - with some frosty glitter thrown in.

Another mermaid.

A unicorn charging through the surf on a beach - kicking up some glittery, magical spray in the process.

A unicorn in a magical forest.

Perhaps my favorite unicorn so far (Erin - check out the crescent moon!)

I've got one more new experiment I tried out with the resin, but I think I'll wait and post about that tomorrow!


That's Diva with a Capital D

Okay, I really didn't intend for this to be "Kelly is a Legend in Her Own Mind" week, but since it's turning out that way, I'm just gonna go with it.

After receiving a copy of "Stringing" a week ago and seeing my interview on the Beads of Clay blog over the weekend, I didn't think things could get much more exciting around here, but I was wrong.

I found this in my mailbox yesterday:

This year's issue of "Creative Jewelry" has officially hit the newstands and I am published in it!

These are my "Jumping Through Hoops" earrings - featuring beautiful patinated copper dolphin charms and rings from Patricia Healey (sorry, no link - she doesn't sell on-line although I think sometimes carries some of her stuff). Dangles are Caribbean blue opal Swarovski crystals and amethyst Czech glass beads.

They also published my personal favorite design of all the things I created last year. That gorgeous ceramic focal is from The Classic Bead.

A lot of other great artists (y'know, besides me LOL) are featured in this magazine so be sure to check it out if you get a chance. Last year's issue was by far my favorite magazine of the entire year and I was strongly influenced by a lot of the designs and vendors!

And if all the self-promo'ing is boring the snot out of you, don't worry. I'm sure that I will have to go back to the GS or that Ryan will destroy something else sometime in the near future and things will get back to normal around here ;-)

In the meantime, thanks for sharing in my triumphs!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

July ABS Carnival Blog Post - Commitment

This month’s Art Bead Scene Blog Carnival Theme is: commitment.

I wrote that sentence two weeks ago and that is as far as I got with this entry. I kept thinking about it, though, and trying to come up with something to say on the subject. And the more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I got.

Turns out, I’m not such a big fan of that word. The “C” word. It kinda gives me the willies. So, I decided to explore that.

Why was this word bothering me so much? I don’t seem to have much of a problem with setting goals and meeting deadlines. In fact, I pride myself on getting things completed on time (or early) whenever possible

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that those are things that I control while I tend to view “commitments” as things that are imposed on me from the outside. For example, I’m not really all that psyched about attending a certain community event (I could be home beading instead!) but I’m committed to attending it.

Ah ha! Once I realized that my inner control freak was secretly behind this, it all began to make sense. I don’t mind self-imposed commitments so much, but I chafe when they are applied from outside.

This means I say “no” to a lot of things. I hate to be over-scheduled and will sometimes need to decline things I’d actually like to do, just because I already have too much going on at a given time.

This was the case last month when the ABS Blog Carnival took an official “break” due to the Bead & Button show. The alternative, for those of us unlucky enough to miss out on the show, was to do a voluntary post about a “statement necklace.” Since this was something I’d actually been wanting to try for a while, I was really bummed when I had to bow out. I just knew I wouldn’t make the deadline what with custom wedding orders, magazine deadlines, a ton of family events (nearly everyone in my family has a June birthday – and every year we all complain about how it’s too much to cram it all into one month!).

I could’ve tried to shoehorn this project into my schedule, but I knew that was going to cause me extra anxiety AND, I never do my best work under pressure. It tends to quash my creativity and I end up with a “safe” design because I’m more concerned about meeting the deadline than about pushing the boundaries creatively.

So, I chose not to participate in the statement necklace post last month, but the idea of it continued to percolate in the back of my mind. And, once my schedule cleared up, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

I can’t imagine having tried to create this piece under any kind of pressure. It’s random and haphazard and it was fun to kind of go nuts with it.

I think I’m going to name it “Uncommitted.”

Oh, and it was a great way to use up scraps of chain and leftover items from other projects. Thus freeing me of the commitment to clean up my space.

And that is a commitment I’m HAPPY dodge any day!

The only thing this design is missing…is an art bead. And since this is for Art Bead Scene, there is a requirement to include an art bead into the post somehow. So, in the spirit of being “uncommitted,” I dug deep into my unpublished Bead Porn stash to provide you with one, random art bead:

This lovely image transfer polymer clay cylinder is from SCDiva.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Again with the Famousness?

I know, I know, I've been talking about myself way too much lately, but then again, it IS my blog. If you want to read about other people talking about themselves - go to THEIR blogs. If not, here's more about me in an interview I did on the Beads of Clay blog.

You'd think all this recent notoriety would buy me a little more consideration from the public at places like, oh, I don't know, the grocery store, but NO! The GS remains a hellhole which I only visit under extreme duress.

In my case, duress = the kid being convinced that I need to supply him with something approaching healthy food every 3-4 hours or his head will explode.

And since I already had to hose off my carpet once this week, well, off to the GS I went.

Everything went relatively okay for the most part (as long as you discount the woman who decided she needed to bend over and display her whale tail in the bread aisle for 10 minutes thus completely blocking not only all traffic down the aisle but of course the particular bread selection I needed to get to).

But, I weathered that little incident and managed to make it to the checkout line without dealing with the deli countor morons or accidentally flinging fruit at a perfect stranger.

Sadly, the checkout line was to prove my nemesis on this particular visit. I do try to avoid it by going through the self-checkout process, but I had too much stuff this time and had to go the old-fashioned route.

Only I would get stuck behind a guy who doesn't really speak English and yet is convinced - CONVINCED - that there was a coupon in the paper this weekend for "buy any 4 cases of soda and get a 5th case free." Of course, he "forgot" to bring said coupon with him but he's hauled 5 cases of soda up to the checkout line anyway and could the poor checkout girl please go get a copy of the paper, find the coupon and ring the discount for him?

At least, that's what me and the checkout girl and the bagboy finally figured out he was asking after a good 5 minutes of whatever mishmash of language he was spouting. goes the (overly nice IMO) checkout girl to find the paper and we all look through it for the coupon.

I'm sure you will be SHOCKED to discover that no such coupon exists.

So of course, NOW? Mr. Moron doesn't want his 5 cases of soda any more. Oh, and he doesn't want any of the rest of his groceries (that he's already unloaded onto the conveyor belt) any more either. So the checkout girl and the bag boy have to put everything back into his basket for him to get it off the belt and out of the way.

They're almost done doing this when he decides well, yes, he'll take ONE case of soda after all.

Guess where the soda is?

Yup - bottom of the basket underneath all the rest of his crap.

Oh, did I remember to mention that I couldn't change lanes because my stuff was all out on the conveyor belt already because at the beginning of all this, Mr. Moron put a divider bar down and actually ADMONISHED me for not putting my stuff up onto the belt faster because he'd gone to the incredible EFFORT of making room.

I bet Angelina Jolie doesn't have to put up with this kind of crap!

However, other than that lovely little incident, I actually had a great weekend. Even had time to get some creativity on while the kid was off doing a Cub Scout hike with his Dad. Look - I even have photographic evidence of same:

This is the last of my "resin example" jewelry that I needed to finish. Patera bezels filled with scrapbook paper and flatback crystals on top and then I added some wire wrapped Czech glass beads and some heat-patinated copper beads as dangles.

This bracelet is much mroe delicate than my usual style which was kind of fun to do for a change. The focal is a Jade Scott connector and I've wire-wrapped on some purple glass beads, vintage moonglow green lucite and some orange fiber optic beads. Other side of the bracele is two strands of copper chain.

I finished a necklace, too, but when I woke up this morning and looked at it again, I decided I wasn't quite happy with it so I'm going to have to play around with it a bit more before I post it.

I finished some new resin pendants and beads, too.

Aren't these dragonflies pretty? I thought this artwork was quite unusual.

I made a few beads with butterfly wing designs on them.

This one is my favorite - love the colors on it.

I've got a whole new crop of fairies, too. I'm trying out some new bezels in an oval shape and with different kinds of detailing around them. I call this particular pendant "Fairy Godmother."

And if I'm going to do more fairies, I had to do more mermaids, too, right?

And unicorns.

New stuff will start going up on Etsy tonight and throughout the week.

Enjoy...and stay out of the grocery store!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Destruction Bead Porn

Well, add another household disaster to the kid's growing tally. During the 15 minutes I was in the shower yesterday morning, he decided to wake up early (sure, do that on the first day of NO SCHOOL - why couldn't you do that during the school year???), go into the backyard and retrieve the bottle of bubble juice and then spill it all over the new area rug in the living room.

Have you ever tried to get bubble solution out of a carpet? It just makes more soap bubbles. And if you keep scrubbing - you get actual foam. A carpet full of foam. The only thing I could think up was to take it outside and try to hose the soap out of it.

So, there I was, in my nightgown, with wet hair, standing in my driveway at 6:30 AM in the morning hosing off my new rug. Have you ever tried to handle a wet, 8' x 5' rug? No easy task, lemmee tell ya!

Also...I wanna know the thought process behind "I know, I'll get up early while still in my PJ's, bypass the TV and my DS and the Wii and all the really cool stuff I COULD play with to go outside into the frigid morning air, get the bottle of bubble juice which I've only ever been allowed to play with OUTSIDE and bring it in the house. With the lid off. 'Cuz yeah, that'll be a really good idea."


Oh, and did I mention that the night before that, he knocked my beading tray off the table and flipped it upside down sending beads EVERYWHERE? Yeah, so, no birthday present for my Mom yesterday - because I'm still looking for half the beads I was using to make a necklace for her.

And he's only 7. By the time the teen years roll around, I'm picturing not only my house, but the entire neighborhood looking like Beirut or something -y'know, with like burned out vehicles and blast craters everywhere. Think I'm kidding? Last night he told me in the car he wants to design an infrared laser system for our house that will automatically scan passing cars for "bad guys" and, if said bad guys are detected, the system will blow them up.

Evil genius in the making.

All this mom crap is making me tired. So, here's some bead porn while I go lie down with a cold cloth on my head.

Sterling silver flower links from LilysOffering.

Also found these lovely sterling silver "water droplet" charms at the same store. I'm picturing them hanging from various lengths of silver chain in some long, dramatic earrings.

Sunshine copper and resin pendant from Jade Scott.

This beautiful pewter lock charm is from Lynn Davis.

And so is this one. Because why only have one when you can have two?

Gorgeous blue metal patinated and hammered squares from Atlantis Glass & Bead.

Cherry butterfly resin and metal clasp from Amanda Davie. Maybe one day I can get over my fear of metal and fire and make my own bezels to fill. I've already got the resin part down!

Rainbow fluorite rectangular beads from Artmooie. I have other pieces of rainbow fluorite, but they tend more towards lavender, green and aqua. I liked the more autumnal colors in these beads.

Faceted seafoam quartz rondelles from Uncommon Beads. I've already used some of these beads in my "Coral Gardens" bracelet. They're so pretty and delicate and they look fantastic with pearls!

Big and yummy tourmaline rondelles are also from Uncommon Beads. I love tourmaline, but usually when I find a strand I can afford, the beads are so tiny that I don't see them having much impact in a design and I end up not buying them. Also, the cut is usually quite poor. Not this strand! These are a very nice size and I got them at a "won't break the bank" price!

Gorgeous blue fire crackle agate beads from Uncommon Beads . Can you tell I like this vendor?

This incredible "Mariposa" polymer clay pendant is from Lynn Davis's OTHER store (yes, this woman is so talented she needs TWO Etsy stores!) ExpeditionD.

This summery, earthy ceramic pendant and coordinating beads are from Mary Ann Carroll.

With my strong Southwestern roots, I couldn't possibly pass up this incredible desert sunburst pendant from Tracee Dock at The Classic Bead. The colors in this piece are just phenomenal and I can't wait to work with it. I've had such great luck using Tracee's materials - am expecting a necklace I made with one of her flower pendants to appear in a magazine sometime this summer!

Deep, dark and mysterious purple hollow lampwork beads from Alisha White. Indoors, these almost look black, but take 'em out into the sun and purple just springs to life. They are gorgeous.

These little lovelies are from Beeboo. The colors are much more delicioso in real life - the picture doesn't do them justice. They happened to arrive on the same day as some blue enameled beads from Barbara Lewis which just turned out to match the blue in the lampwork PERFECTLY (and you know how I love when colors match!) so I'm thinking this is gonna be a project pretty soon here as soon as I get my backlog cleared off my desk. Maybe that's what Ryan was trying to accomplish by flipping my bead tray? Poof! No more backlog!

How can you not want these beads for summertime? Such incredible turquoise with the olive greens, sandy browns and sunny yellows are just made for this season. Beads are from MyLampworkGarden.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by as part of the Bead Soup blog hop and left such wonderful comments! I really appreciate the feedback!

AND! New followers! Woo hoo! I'm up to 182...that 200 mark is edging ever closer and I will HAVE to do something to celebrate that so stay tuned.

Hope everyone enjoyed this week's drool-fest. Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.