Thursday, July 23, 2009

Collaboration with Kristie Roeder

If you're anything at all like me, you spend a lot of your online time drooling over the wonderful creations of others. I spend an inordinate amount of time browsing Etsy, flickr, 1000 Markets, Facebook, and all sorts of other places and am constantly amazed at the creativity and artisanship I see.

It wasn't too long ago that I was looking at pictures on flickr and came across some new smoke-fired clay pieces posted by Kristie Roeder. They were amazing! I could tell from the pictures that the textures of the pieces were lovely and smooth, and the muted color tones created by the smoke-firing process had such an earthy feel that I immediately fell in love with them. I left a comment on one or two of the pictures and mentioned something about doing a collaboration - I so wanted to do some beadweaving with one or two of Kristie's pieces (the only problem was that they were being purchased just about as fast as she was listing them in her Etsy shop).

Imagine how happy I was when Kristie contacted me and said she'd like to do a collaboration. We worked out the details, and she sent me a package with several of her smoke-fired pieces as well as some of her stoneware and recycled crackled glass pieces. I've had them sitting next to me for awhile, waiting for each of them to talk to me and tell me what it wants to become. A couple of them spoke up (screamed, actually), so they were the first to be turned into jewelry.

The first one is called Suspended Heart. The smoke-fired heart is, just as I imagined, very smooth and soft feeling; and it has wonderful patterns left on it from the firing process. I used a piece of heavy gauge copper wire I had found on the beach at Lake Michigan to suspend it from a very different type of bail I created with matte metallic bronze delicas. The necklace portion is made from two strands of ndebele rope and a single strand of delicas, loosely braided to mimic the lines in the face of the heart.

The second piece is called Atalanta, a Greek name that means "equal in weight." This one features one of Kristie's smoke-fired donuts as the focal. Once again I used salvaged material, this time some pieces of driftwood, to suspend the focal. Rather than try to match the color of the donut or the driftwood, I decided to go in a completely different direction and choose a color that would complement the browns. These dark red matte beads were the perfect color and texture. All the beadweaving is single peyote in varying widths.

I still have more pieces waiting for me, and I have a few ideas brewing. I do have a tendency to work right up to a deadline, and since I have until August 20 to get these in Kristie's hands (she's going to display them at the Philadelphia Bead Fest!!!), I'll have time to do at least one or two more pieces.

Want to be inspired? Check out Kristie's Etsy shop. You'll be amazed at all the gorgeous pieces she has in there! Here's just a sampling:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Giveaway Winner!!!

Just so no one thinks I forgot about the giveaway from the previous blog post, I didn't! I have used to choose a number so I know which of the people who left a comment with an organizational tip will receive the package of stationery goodies, and the number is...

drum roll...


Not one or two or three... but FOUR. (now who said that, and in what movie?!?) :-)

So that makes the winner of the stationery pack Robin, of nothinglikeit. Cool! Robin makes some of the funniest creations in polymer clay you've ever seen. Flattened critters and people of all sorts that are just hilarious... I did some of my Christmas shopping with her last year!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Getting [and Staying] Organized ... and a Giveaway!

I hate moving. Hate it. Hate packing. Hate hauling all the boxes up and down stairs. Hate all the things that go along with moving... getting our address changed, calling all the utilities companies, all that stuff that takes me away from doing what I like to do.

There's one good thing, though. It's FORCING me to get organized. There are so many things I like to do (beadweaving, drawing, reading, sewing, knitting, crocheting, photography, scuba diving, volleyball, racquetball, softball... the list goes on and on) that I have sooooooo much stuff to be packed! My gnat-like attention span causes me to flit from one project to another, and I'm not particularly disciplined about putting things back where I found them. Hey, I gotta go do that OTHER thing!

So, in the midst of hating that I have to pack up everything to move it, I'm organizing stuff as I go. Boxes are carefully labeled with a "code" and the contents are listed in a spreadsheet. I know that seems like overkill, but some of these boxes won't be unpacked for a long long time (while we build a house); and it's much easier to search in a spreadsheet than to try to read labels on a ton of boxes. As I pack, I'm also looking at everything with a critical eye -- do I really need that? could someone else use it? do I want to move it? how many years before I get around to doing something with it? And I'm packing boxes that will be donated to the Cancer Federation. At least someone will get some use out of my excess stuff!

While all this packing is going on, I'm still doing some beadweaving. Not as much as I'd like, naturally. Do you know how hard it is to pack beads??? I try to put them into a box, and they start talking to me...
I'm pretty sure there are other beadweavers and jewelry makers out there who know what I mean.

Here are pictures of the two newest items listed in my Etsy shop:

While you're looking at pictures, check out the mosaic for this week's Bead Art Originals Items of the Week. There are some great pieces there and some great deals to be had. (I'm still pouting because someone bought those beautiful black and white polymer clay beads created by my friend Dee!)

It's a giveaway!!!

Anyone have any organizational tips they'd like to share? I have done any kind of giveaway in awhile, so leave a comment here to be entered in a drawing to win a stationery sampler valued at $25! I'm not listing stationery in my shop any more (Allison, of papervictory, has taken over the whole line of products); but I still have a few things left... and I don't want to move them!

To be eligible for the drawing:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must reside in the U.S.
- Leave a comment with an organizational tip (any kind!).
- Make sure to include your email address or Etsy shop name so I can contact you.
- Deadline for being included in the drawing is Friday, July 10 at midnight (CST).