Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So what's been going on that's made this week busy? Well...
On Sunday morning I went out for breakfast with a friend of mine, Fiona, who I haven't seen for a couple of months, so it was nice to catch up with her. She and another friend and I have attended the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee for the past several years, but this year we weren't able to go because we all had something else going on that weekend. Fiona's birthday falls near the dates of the show every year, but since we didn't get to attend this year I didn't have a chance to give her a birthday present. She LOVES giraffes, so I made her a special bracelet using my giraffe design. (I have some original patterns for animal print designs that will be making their appearance in my Etsy shop pretty soon.)
On Sunday afternoon I went to the Lake County Fair with another friend of mine, Colleen. I don't attend the fair every year, but it's fun to go and people watch, check out all the exhibits, and eat "fair food." We only stayed for a few hours, but during that time I managed to consume some of the required delicacies... roasted corn on the cob, dipped in butter; two giant freshly-squeezed, heavily sugared lemonades; one giant corn dog doused with a hefty helping of mustard. Yum. (Yes, I watch what I eat. I paid careful attention to make sure I ate every kernel of corn and every crumb of corndog.)
Monday was spent creating special gifts for the people who purchased the Evolutionary cuff and the Copper Rose necklace from my Etsy shop. I was participating in the Etsy BeadWeavers Midsummer Madness sale, and my offering was free shipping and a gift for anyone who purchased anything over $25 in my shop. I was a bit surprised that I only had two sales that qualified. It's just tough to get the word out about sales, I guess. There are soooo many sellers on Etsy these days that it's just hard to get noticed. Anyway, I don't want to post pictures here of the special gifts, because I know at least one of the purchasers reads my blog and probably hasn't received her surprise yet... but I'll post them soon. :-)
I also listed a new cuff design on Monday. This one features the leaves of a plant called monsterosa deliciosa. I had to look up the name, but I've always been fascinated by the shapes of these leaves. I created this one, which is called the Yellow Windowleaf (another name for the plant) using yellow and gray Delicas.
I already have ideas for doing this in some other color combinations.
Speaking of other color combinations, I just listed two new cuffs (yesterday and today).
For someone who's not all that interested in hiding, I created a version of my Camo Cuff using all reds and pinks. This one's called Camouflage in the Carnations.
The other new cuff is called Autumn Abstract and features the same design from my Evolutionary cuff, in dark brick red, deep pumpkin orange, bright orange, mocha, and light beige.
See? Busy. :-)
The other thing I managed to fit into my schedule was going to see The Dark Knight. I really enjoyed the movie, but I also found myself feeling sad that someone as incredibly talented as Heath Ledger is gone. His performance in the movie was amazing and (for once) lived up to all the rave reviews it's received. I'm sure I'll wind up with this DVD in my collection when it's released.
One more thing before I shut up and go for another cup of cappuccino... I have to post something here about the new Etsy team, Bead Art Originals. Together with Carol Dean Sharpe (SandFibers) and Regina X Jiron (BeadJewelryShopgirl), I'm one of the founders of the team; and I'm so excited to be working with such a talented group of artisans! You can read more about the team, its purpose, and its members on the Bead Art Originals blog. When you visit the website, make sure to sign up for the Newsletter; and sign up for the blog feed so you can keep up with everything we're doing.
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I guess it's obvious that I'm not one of those participating in Wordless Wednesday.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I had some leftover shiny blue beads the other day after I finished a project, and as I was trying to figure out what to do with them (because I really didn't want to create bead soup, and I have way too many of those little containers with just a few beads in them) I happened to notice that the shiny blue beads were a perfect match for some matte blue beads I had just purchased recently. So I dumped out the shiny beads onto my beading mat, added some of the matte ones, and stitched away for awhile to make this cuff. It's such a gorgeous shade of cobalt blue!!!
I'm actually more inclined to try to use all those leftover beads in something that has a pattern. Although I've made quite a few things using bead soup (caterpillar bracelets, for example), I have this compelling urge to SORT beads. Yes, I know. That's just weird.
At some point I bought a bag of mixed beads from Fire Mountain Gems. I'm not sure why, except that I wanted to get a variety, and buying a bag of mixed Japanese beads just seemed like a good way to get some different sizes and colors. I think it was back when I tried freeform for the first time, and I just couldn't bring myself to MIX UP my well-sorted selection of beads. Much better to work with a pile of beads already mixed up.
So what happened? Oh, I made a freeform bracelet or two. And I had fun doing them. But the compulsion to sort all those delicas was just too strong. Now I'm not so off my rocker that I would just sit and sort them into little piles and put them into containers. But sorting while beading into a pattern isn't weird, is it? (The correct answer here is, "No, not at all! It's perfectly normal!")
The result of sorting while beading? This beautiful Autumn Patchwork bracelet. Isn't sorting fun? :-)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
First things first... I want to continue the THANK YOUs to all the people who were nice enough to feature my work in their Etsy treasuries. You can always check out all these gorgeous treasuries in my flickr.
THANK YOU to DarkEleganceDesigns for including my Alice and Her Chatty Friends notecards in her treasury, Alice's wonderland.
If you check out her shop, you'll see that the name really lives up to her creations. I had no trouble at all deciding on a favorite, though, as soon as I saw this Amethyst pendant and Swarovski choker. Beautiful!
THANK YOU to a fellow Etsy BeadWeaver, Jamie of StudioJMK, who included Black and Blue in her treasury called Beaded Beauties.
I'm completely in awe of Jamie's beautiful beadwoven butterflies! This green butterfly is my favorite, but Jamie also has other beadwoven beauties in her shop.
How does Susan (ClinkscalesArts) make those perfect little beadwoven beads?! I honestly don't know, but don't you just love these? These three little beads, which make up her Spring Green Necklace, are soooo adorable!
Susan included Titiana Speaks to Bottom in a treasury she curated using some of the entries from the last EBW Challenge. Her treasury was called Shakespeare Would Approve, and I definitely think he would have if he'd been able to see all these creations!
I don't do very much with fiber, although I love the artistic pieces others are able to create with it. Louise, of scarfitup, is particularly talented at knitting gorgeous scarves and neckwear, and now she's ventured into felting with this piece of wearable art, her Nuno Felt Brooch. Isn't this incredible? You really need to look at all the pictures she has and read how this was created to truly understand the process involved.
THANK YOU, Louise for featuring Black and Blue in your lovely turquoise-filled treasury, Beadlieve Me!
Ileana, another Etsy BeadWeaver, curated a treasury called Etsy Magical Beauties. She had some pieces in there I'd never seen before, and my collection of Etsy Favorites grew by at least two as I clicked through the treasury... :-) Ileana included one of my bead crochet pieces, Twist and Shout in her collection of lovelies. Not only that, but Ileana included Piano Man AND Treble Clef in a treasury called Super Sexy; and included Piano Man again in one called My World in Black and White. WOW!!! THANK YOU, Ileana!
Ileana's shop is called enchantedbeads, and if you take a look at it you'll understand why. I'm a big fan of things from the ocean, so one of my favorite pieces from her shop is this Abalone and Pearl pendant, which she calls "Peas in a Pod." Gorgeous!
Okay, this has to be one of the hardest of these posts to write. Why? Because I have such a difficult time choosing a favorite thing from my friend Carol Dean's shop, SandFibers. Her beadweaving is unbelievable, and Carol Dean's pretty unbelievable, too. Having created my very first peyote triangle just a couple of days ago, I decided to show off her Anything Goes peyote bracelet, made from triangles in beautiful fiery reds and oranges.
Carol Dean was nice enough to feature two of my pieces (Piano Man and Autumn Patchwork) in two different treasuries - A Classic Combination (all black and white, my favorites!) and Bring It On (filled with creations by members of Bead Art Originals). THANK YOU, CD!!!
Jean, aka totallytwisted, also featured me in two of her recent treasuries, Do You Raku? (which included Celtic Square, a piece I made with one of MAKUstudio's raku pieces) and Winter in July (which included Long Island Stone, made from a quartz stone I found on a beach on Long Island in April).
One of Jean's recent listings is this wonderful Beaded Fringe Bracelet, called Winter. Isn't this gorgeous!?
I'm mesmerized every time I look at this Fish Stories beadwoven cuff by Sarah (thebeadedlily). The colors are so pretty, and the design itself is a piece of art! You can see more artistry in her shop and on her blog.
Sarah's been making treasuries lately that feature different members of Etsy BeadWeavers (that's so nice!). She included one of my new cuffs, Evolutionary, in the treasury she curated for Anna (arosebyname). THANKS so much, Sarah!
By the way, if you love Sarah's work, she's offering 20% off all her beadweaving for the EBW Midsummer Madness sale!!
Cheryl of littlestonedesign, another talented Etsy BeadWeaver, included my checkered cuff (Check It Out) in a treasury entitled Not Just for Sissies Anymore! Lots of pink there, but she's right - it's definitely not just for sissies. :-) THANKS, Cheryl!
One of my favorite beadweaving techniques is the Cellini Spiral. Cheryl's Regal Purple Cellini Spiral Bracelet is a beautiful example of the technique.
I had absolutely no trouble at all finding my favorite of Patrizia's (triz) creations! This Purple Balagan cuff is amazing!! All of Triz' work is exceptional, as you're sure to see when you check out her shop and her blog.
Triz curated a treasury called Purple Reign (a Prince fan, perhaps?) and included my Passion for Purple necklace/pendant in it. THANKS, Triz!!
Triz is also a member of Etsy BeadWeavers and is participating in the EBW Midsummer Madness sale, so you can find some of her 2007 collection at 25% off from now through July 27.
Another Etsy seller (from Cork, Ireland!), ArguingTheMobius, created her very first treasury (Eloquence) and included my Eloquent Elephant mini notecards. THANK YOU!
I checked out her shop and her blog and found some of the most beautiful origami I've ever seen. Know anyone who's getting married soon? Wouldn't these origami tulips make a beautiful bouquet?
It seems there are always oopses (?) in life, and SunshineandLaughter collected a bunch of them for her OOOPS! treasury. My Celebrate the Oops labels weren't really a mistake... just make for celebrating those inevitable oopses we all have. :-) THANKS for including them in your treasury!
No mistake at all in this lovely Mother of Pearl Bracelet I found in her shop. So pretty!
Last (but certainly not least) in my long list of thank you notes is Marlaine (wMarlaine), who curated an entire treasury around my Pink and Purple Bouquet freeform cuff - time2cre8 Inspiration! What an aboslute honor from a fellow beadweaver!!! THANK YOU, Marlaine!
I love patchwork patterns, and Marlaine does some of the prettiest ones I've seen, such as this Turquoise and Sparkle cuff. Doesn't it look like this design has stitches holding the patches together? You can see more of her pretties in her shop and her blog (beadalicious).
Whew! That's a lot of thanking! It's really fun to browse all the treasuries and then to check out the shops of the curators. Although I try to keep an eye on the creations being listed by my fellow beadweavers, I always find new pieces in their shops.
Now I'm off to have some lunch!!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Etsy's front page had one of my cuffs on it today! I missed seeing it for myself, but my beadweaving buddy Carol Dean (SandFibers) was nice enough to grab a screenshot for me. There's my Hide in Plain Sight cuff in the second row. Woo hoo!!!
The Etsyian who assembled that gorgeous collection of red, yellow, and blue was lusitania, and she's from Madrid! Isn't it neat that something like Etsy can bring people together from different countries like this? Off I went to check out her Etsy shop, and it became obvious pretty quickly that she likes bright colors. Just looking at her avatar is fun!
And while I was looking at her lusitania shop, in which she sells some wonderful handmade supplies, I discovered that she also has a shop called Entropia where she has finished jewelry pieces. There I found this gorgeous Blue Thread Choker. I've seen these before, and I just love them!
I have some other people to thank here for including my work in their treasuries. It's so nice to find that gold star sitting next to a treasury, and I've been quite lucky lately. I've been trying [hard!] to improve my photographs so I have more treasury-worthy shots, and it seems to be paying off. One of these days I'm going to have to invest in a light box, I think.
I do want to send a HUGE thank you to these people for featuring my work. I truly appreciate it, and I hope you'll visit their Etsy shops!!
THANK YOU to fellow Etsy BeadWeaver beaderjojo for including my Just a Scribble cuff in her Beaded Bliss treasury. With all the beadweaving I've done, I've never tried anything like this Blue Crystal Fantasy Ring. Isn't this gorgeous?!
THANK YOU to Andrea, of poshjewelry, for including my Inspired bracelet in her etsyBead gets an A in geometry treasury. Andrea just listed this beautiful Multicolor Crystal Cube bracelet in her shop a few days ago, at a great price! In fact, I just noticed that she's also having a sale on earrings...
THANK YOU to Jen, of BindingTwine, for including my Swedish Checkerboard cuff in her treasury. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous on clicking on her treasury when I first saw the gold star because it was called Flagged! Ack! No worries, though. It was just a fun, flag-filled treasury. Whew. Jen is a painter of pooches... and cats... and birds... and mermaids... and all sorts of things! Just look at this little guy!!! Awwww.
THANK YOU to buttfreckle. Seriously. Buttfreckle. What a hoot. She included my Soul-Searching Sloth mini notecards in a treasury that was purportedly named after her favorite quote: I'll never be your pizza burnin'. I'm not sure what that quote means, but as I was checking out her shop and her profile I found that she has absolutely impeccable taste. In cheese puffs. Yep, I've found someone else who likes STALE cheese puffs. How could you go wrong shopping for a little plush made by someone whose shop is called buttfreckle AND who likes stale cheese puffs!? And these little guys are GREAT!!!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to noahsarkcollection for including my button rings in not one, not two, but THREE treasuries! She even went to the trouble to recreate one that made it to the front page for a few seconds (before an Etsy gremlin caused a problem and made it go poof). I missed the FP appearance, but you can see the most recent treasury, Christmas is coming, so start early. Her shop is filled to the brim with animals of every kind. "WHO" (hee hee) couldn't love this ceramic owl bead?
Okay... I'm not finished thanking people, but I'm soooo sleepy! The rest will have to wait till tomorrow. Er. Today. It's past midnight. I think I've turned into a pumpkin.
The recent additions to the shop run the gamut of colors and designs.
Rigid geometry, with a slim little bracelet that features triangles beadwoven in pewter gray and dark bronze.
Fanciful swirls, a yummy delicious cuff beadwoven from pale blue and lime green.
Bold abstract, beadwoven with some of the brightest colors in my Delica stash.
I told you I'm trying to work outside my comfort zone, didn't I?
I've been very lucky in the Etsy treasury department lately, too, and I'm remiss in thanking the curators. I'll be back later to do that... promise!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Sir Elton John was on TV a couple of nights ago, in one of those biographical specials. Having been a fan of his music for years, I had the idea during the show of creating a beadweaving pattern for a piano. I'm sure others have created piano patterns before, so I actually went to look to make sure I wasn't inadvertently creating a design that already existed! After a few Google searches, I decided to just go for it, and here's the result.
Even my husband, who rarely comments on my beadweaving, likes this one. Lest you think my husband doesn't appreciate my creations, I think the main reason he doesn't comment is that he can't see up close without his glasses, and beadwoven pieces definitely require an up-close look!
I don't want Sir Elton to feel bad, but I wound up naming the cuff after a song by another of my favorite singers, Billy Joel. I just listed Piano Man in my Etsy Shop. Maybe I'll have to create another, more colorful version, called Goodbye Yellow Brick Road...
Friday, July 11, 2008
One bracelet finished, another begun. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I don't suffer from creative block. If anything, it's just the opposite. I have more ideas than I think I could possibly execute in a lifetime. At times that can be a bad thing, because I wind up with projects that aren't quite finished when I race off to start a new one. I'm trying to get better at that, more disciplined about finishing one thing before starting another, but it's just so difficult!
The idea for Black and Blue came to me as soon as I noticed that the Delica beads I had just ordered from Fire Mountain Gems were the perfect match to some turquoise and black "spatter" beads I've had for a few years. After just a few minutes of moving the beads around on my beading mat to see what I could do with them, I was off and running... er... beadweaving.
Almost all of the freeform cuffs and bracelets I had listed in my Etsy shop have been sold, and I've been wanting to do another one. I normally gravitate toward clean lines and geometric pieces, particularly for myself, but after I created a couple of freeform pieces I found I was having a great time with them. It's also a good way to use up those partial tubes of beads I have lying around, left over from other projects.
It was finally time to start one (even though I have to admit to having a few of those unfinished projects sitting here staring at me and trying to make me feel guilty). It's all purples and pinks, and there's absolutely no pattern for it. There is a lot of arm exercise, though, as I keep having to hold it at arm's length to see which beads I should pick up next. So far, so good. It'll probably receive a few more embellishments on top, but it all depends on what the bracelet says.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I also want to mention that one of the members (who I've talked about more than once here in this blog of mine) is having a giveaway!!! After you've gone to the EBW blog to cast your vote for your favorite entry, check out SandFibers' blog to see details about her giveaway. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.
Carol Dean gave me partial credit for the idea for her challenge entry, a wonderful freeform bracelet (it's number 31 in the mosaic you see on the EBW blog). It was so wonderful, in fact, that it stayed in her shop for less than an hour before it was bought by some lucky Etsy buyer!!! I'm waiting for her to create another one... there's a rumor that she has some more beads put aside for a freeform piece. :-)
The other thing I didn't find time to post about is my latest Oglala bracelet. I named this one for a beautiful type of coral called floreana. I love the way this one turned out, with all that red and orange mixed together!!
Monday, July 07, 2008
Oglala bracelets are so much fun to make! I'm not a "ruffly" person by nature, being much more comfortable in t-shirts and sweatpants or jeans than in anything with frills, but I still enjoy making these bracelets. This one is called Lavender Frill, and I just listed it in my Etsy shop (you can see more photos there, too).
I have thousands (probably more like millions) of Czech glass beads, in every color imaginable, and I really enjoy going through my stash and holding different colored beads next to each other to see how they look. When I held these clear lavender beads (which have an aurora borealis finish) next to the glass pearls, I knew I had a winning combination. The perfect finishing touch was the tiny Czech glass 15s I used to create the picot edge, as they have the same pearl finish.
With the holiday weekend, I somehow got behind on showing off the treasuries in which I was featured. I'd love to be able to post them here every day, but they're probably much more exciting to me than they are to readers of this blog. I do want to thank the people who featured me over the past few days, though.
Please check out their shops! I've looked at them all, and I guarantee you'll find some great things in them.
- Kathy (aka KathysKraftyKreation) does beadweaving and makes all sorts of beautiful bracelets, cuffs, lanyards, and other things with thousands and thousands of tiny beads. I think she might love them as much as I do! Kathy's treasury was a walk through her favorites, and I was honored that she included my Ribbon of Beads in it!
- Dee (aka DinkingAround) has TWO Etsy shops (I can't imagine keeping up with two). She featured one of my Surly Cats (Cat Want Food Now) in a treasury that was filled with all sorts of silly felines. Dee's DinkingAround shop is filled with really fun pendants.
- Jill (aka outofthepinksky) is someone whose Etsy shop I ran across when I was dropping Entrecards, and now I check her blog regularly. Her shop is loaded with all kinds of earrings, everything from glam to hilarious! Jill included my Obama cuff in a treasury all about politics. Really! It was fun! :-)
- Staci (aka PinkPoochDesigns) is a fellow member of Etsy BeadWeavers. I'm in awe of the photo ribbon bracelets she creates. She has Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and even The Joker designs (along with many more); and they're all wonderful. Staci's treasury featured loads of pink and green in an homage to watermelon (I wanted to race to the store to buy one!), and she included my Check It Out cuff among the yummies.
- Ileana (aka enchantedbeads) is also a fellow Etsy BeadWeaver, well known for her fabulous beaded and beadwoven brooches. Ileana featured some of the goodies that were created for the July challenge, a Midsummer Night's Dream, even though she didn't have enough space for all 31 entries!! She was nice enough to include my entry, Titiana Speaks to Bottom. (Be sure to check out the EBW blog on Wednesday so you can vote for your favorite!)
- Bea (?) (aka Humblebea) put together a treasury of smiles. Actually, her treasury made me laugh out loud! She was nice enough to include my Understated Greeting card, Nice Smile, in the collection. I don't have any little ones around, but if I did I'm sure I'd want them to have something from this shop. There are some of the most adorable little felt Mary Janes in there!!
The VERY SPECIAL treasury I have to mention here, though, is the one assembled by Sarah (thebeadedlily). She wrote about the inspiration in her blog, but just imagine my surprise when I came across this one!!! A treasury named after me!!! And including my all-time favorite color combination!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!
Whew! What an exciting weekend!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
My entry for the Etsy BeadWeavers July challenge was truly challenging! I had no trouble at all finding what I wanted to use for the focal piece. I don't remember where I got it originally, but I've had this gorgeous brass brooch for many years and could never bear to part with it. As soon as I saw the theme, Midsummer Night's Dream, I knew I'd use it somehow.
The pin never worked properly, as it would always come undone. I can't tell how many times I was stabbed by that silly thing, even over the past couple of weeks while I tried to decide how to incorporate this into some beadweaving. I originally thought to make a cuff using fabric and beads and leaving the pin intact, but it's such a large piece that I gave up on that idea. It would have been nice, perhaps, to leave the pin on so someone could use it as a pin or a cuff, but oh well.
Eventually, I opted to create a spiral rope for the pendant. The focal piece has a lot going on, with the fairy, all the gems and jewels, the freshwater pearl (which I added), and all the swoops and movement in the brass itself. It just seemed better not to get too carried away with the necklace portion. I created the spiral rope using two colors of Czech glass beads that match the colors of the brass, but it looked like it was missing something. I sent an early photo to my friend Carol Dean (aka SandFibers), and of course she had a brilliant idea - add some opalescent beads to the spiral, near the pendant, to pull in the opalescent gems around the pendant. I wonder if Carol Dean wears a cape...
The addition of the opalescent beads (which, luckily, I had!) took me past dusk, so the original photos I posted with the listing were pretty pathetic. This is one of the new pictures of my entry, Titiana Speaks to Bottom.
The deadline for entering the challenge was yesterday, and by my count there are 31 entries!! Two of them have already sold, which is absolutely wonderful. That's even better than winning the challenge itself (which doesn't come with a trophy or award of any type, just the honor of selecting the theme for an upcoming challenge).
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Here's the one I created, called Be Unique!. It's filled with lovely coppery and pewter tones that I just love. I pulled almost every one of these items from my extensive list of favorites.
The Etsy BeadWeavers have been keeping track of treasury appearances in the Etsy forums, but I still like to browse through the treasuries myself. Since I create all sorts of things, I occasionally find treasuries that feature my other creations.
This one, for example, curated by coolsisters, is a statement about the price of gas these days and includes my photograph, Got Gas?
I immediately went off to check out coolsisters Etsy shop and found some fun and funky jewelry! This Black Chunky Chain and Beaded Necklace is my favorite. How fun!!
Another of my photographs, Purple Flashes, was included in this treasury that was assembled by Purpledaizie.
It's nice to encounter someone on Etsy who has as much fun creating a variety of things as I do, and that's what I found when I checked out Purpledaizie's Etsy shop. She has all sorts of goodies in there - photography, artwork, and jewelry, along with lots of other things, including these Juicy Deep Red Dangle earrings that just popped off the page at me!
One of my newest beadwoven pieces, Little Vine, made it into this lovely treasury curated by fellow Etsy BeadWeaver Ileana (enchantedbeads):
Ileana is best known for her beaded brooches (well, that's what I think of when I think of her shop!), but she also makes other pieces as well, such as this little Red and Black pendant. How pretty!
Marilyn (aka GrandmaMarilyns) included my Passion for Purple necklace/pendant in her treasury, Life Spiralling Out of Control. This one's filled with spiral ropes, all created by members of the Etsy BeadWeavers team. I only recently learned to make spiral ropes, but I've already decided I love doing them!
Marilyn just added some new goodies to her shop, including another of her beadwoven rings. Aren't these cool!?
Lest you think I've just been hanging out and looking through treasuries (and working on dishwashers, as shown in my previous post), I've also been doing a bit of beadweaving. Surprise surprise. I just listed this Looooooooong (66", to be exact) Luxurious Lariat yesterday, bead crocheted from thousands of pearlescent beads. I really love the texture of these ropes. :-)
Now I'm off to try to finish my piece for the Etsy BeadWeavers July challenge! Nothing like waiting till the last minute...